I'm sure you're all sick of this kind of thread by now, but I need some advice on picking a new rig. I'm finishing college in a couple of months and I'm starting to take my music a lot more seriously, so I'm going to try and get a decent rig sorted out.
I live in the middle of nowhere in the top-left-hand corner of wales...so trying most of the stuff out before I buy it isn't much of an option. It'd take me about a 6 hour round trip to get to anywhere that stocks anything even remotely decent.
My current setup's okay...Schecter Tempest/Dean V (both with stock pickups) through an Ashdown FA60 and a 2x12 with V30s. The big problem I'm having is it's just too...loose. The high-gain tone's too crunchy if that makes sense? The Fallen Angel's also got way too much bass and it's lower gain than I'd like as well. I'm currently getting a tone I like more from the MESA Dual-Rec sim on one of my effects pedals...so something's definitely wrong.
Both guitars have the stock pickups at the moment, the Schecter having Duncan Designed ones...so I'm thinking of replacing them with an EMG 81x/60x set and replacing the ones in the Dean with a chrome 81/60 set. I'm hoping that should solve the "looseness" and lack of gain at the same time. The only thing that's putting me off is I've got a set of EMG-HZ H4s in another guitar and they sound bloody awful, and EMG claim they're the same tone. Any truth to that or is it the usual marketing BS?
I'm also after a Blackstar Series One 104 6L6, figure the 6L6s should help tighten the sound a bit more.... It might be a while before I can afford that though.
So, am I on the right track?
I actually don't think the HZ H4's sound that bad, but there really is a night and day difference between those and, say, an 81 bridge, 60 neck.
The first thing I typically do in any chain of sound is to replace the pickups, and then work from there.