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Gibson SG owners....


Joshs24
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I have a Gibson SG Standard and I've been using the Helix floor model for a couple years now. I really enjoy the unit and the flexibility/convenience it provides. But I have one issue...I CANNOT get my tone dialed in with my SG. It always sounds thin and fuzzy or to woofy and dark. I am going for a John Mayer style tone (it doesn't need to be an exact replica by any means, just ballpark) and I've spent hours working on this thing and just can't get a good tone. Are any other SG owners having this issue or do I need to do more configuring with the board? 

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I've only ever had one SG - an Epiphone "Custom Shop" (means from the better Chinese factory) with Classic 57/57+ pups. I was able to get anything from jazz to '80s metal out of it.

 

What are you using for playback? Your playback system is easily more than half the final sound.

A decent set of studio monitors will sound a lot better than a SS combo with 8"speaker and no FX loop.

If you're using a guitar amp it's mandatory to bring the signal into the FX Loop return (forget 4cm for now, keep it simple) and since you won't be using the Helix Cab, the amp's speaker and cab will color everything you try to do. 

 

Concerning "John Mayer" tone. Dude has used dozens of amps (including a VERY expensive Dumble) and countless guitars in his career, but AFAIK his main axe has always been a Strat. Strat vs SG = apples vs elephants.

 

Mayer's R'n'R sound is basically edge of breakup, and most of his sound really is coming from his hands. Helix amps that excel at this are many including the Litigator, Voltage Queen (Victoria Electro King), Soup Pro (Supro) and Interstate Zed (DrZ). The new Ventoux is also really, REALLY good.

 

Try Derailed Ingrid (Trainwreck Express), Cartographer and (GASP!) the 2204 for more dirt without going full metal.

 

Too thin usually means add mids. That will interact with the other controls, so be aware of the interaction.

Try a darker mic (421?) and take the high cut on the cab down to 5k if it's too fizzy for you.

 

That's all I got for now!

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I have an SG with P90s and it's far and away my most flexible and versatile guitar in my stable when it comes to rock or blues sounds.  As mentioned above EVERYTHING is dependent upon what kind of output device you're using.  If you go cheap you're on your own.  In my rehearsal studio where I do most of my guitar work I'm using a Yamaha DXR12 so that I can better represent the live performance tone I'll be producing.  If I were to approach a John Mayer tone I'd likely start with the Line6 Ventoux amp model through a HiWatt Fanes speaker cab using an R121 mic about 2 to 3 inches distance.

Amp Settings:

Drive - 4.5

HP Filter - 6.5

Mid - 5

Presence - 6.5

Depth - 3

Ch Vol - 4.5

Master Vol - 10

For boost/leads I'd put a Minotaur before the amp with Gain - 4.5, Tone -  7.5   , Level - 5.5

With a decent output speaker that should get you fairly close.  Of course all bets are off on this if you're using Humbuckers.
 

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That guy is mostly a single coil guy, and that's a tone which is not in the character of an SG, even if it has P90... let's not even talk if it has stock 490/498 humbuckers which are muddy and dark by default. Even the wirings are different, so are the available switch positions to mix the pups and shape it through volume/tones pots.

 

I do have an SG standard, and I do have strats... there is no way I can get a SG tone out of the strats, and viceversa.

 

Tone core starts with the pickups, especially for that kind of bluesy tone. 

 

 

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Two things you might try to get you closer. The guitar input pad and impedance selection. The guitar input has a pad that you can engage. It is in the Global menu / inputs/outputs submenu page 2. Unfortunately I think this means it's something you cannot change on a per patch bases. I do not remember how much the pad lowers the signal. I think it might be 6 dB. So if you want to change it for different patches, you will need to put a gain block at the very front of the patch or something similar and lower the input there. Check out page 11 of the manual for the global menu directions.

 

The input impedance is in both the global menu and the inputs section of the patches. Check out pages 24 and 64 of the manual. I believe they each have different settings.

 

Play with those two settings and see if that helps.

 

You might want to check this out as well

 

https://www.glenndelaune.com/helix-patches.htm#!/Helix-Guitar-Pick-up-Simulations-Patches/p/390114626/category=117975648

 

I have not personally tried them so I cannot speak to their accuracy. I tried looking for other places that might have IR's or patches that claim to help your guitar simulate other guitars but wasn't coming up with a lot. I didn't look too hard (that's your job (wink wink)) but I did find Glen's patch. So these are all the ways I know of to do what you want to do with the Helix. Good luck.

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On 8/1/2022 at 7:15 AM, PerS said:

From v3.15 you can set the input pad per preset.

/Per

 

Excellent. Looks like the manual needs updating which I think it will be for the upcoming 3.20 firmware upgrade.

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Let me tell you about my experience...

 

I play mainly my Brian May guitar, with the humbucker sound of 2 pickups in series (bridge and middle).  That's my main meat and potato sound.  I also have a Gibson Les Paul Classic guitar with humbuckers.  Real Gibson humbuckers are a lot louder than my "fake" in-series mid+bridge.  The difference is so drastic that I have to put my Les Paul's volume control on 4 in order to have it match my Brian May's volume on 10.  So maybe the answer is simply cutting the input volume with a volume pedal. 
 

As a side note, I noticed that if you have too much volume going in, the guitar does not want to chug -- it's wooly and shapeless.  Lower the input volume to 4, and all of a sudden the chug is back. 

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My Les Paul will have a similar pickup configuration as an SG with humbuckers.... 

 

On my LP presets I place the GAIN block at the very front of the chain, and lower it by -6db.

That makes the amps and effects (drives/compressors, etc..) respond much more like I am accustomed since my TELE is my main instrument. 

 

I prefer using the GAIN block over the input pad because it's not a fixed value... you can adjust it to the exact level you need at the front of the chain.

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