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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys. I've been playing for over 10 years and been in and out of a couple small-time bands, but this is my first real shot at metal. It's always been my favorite style to play, but I have never done much live performing with metal. I was wondering what setup everyone uses for playing metal-style music. I'm still running my original setup, but I am looking to upgrade just about everything I have!

Here is a template for the things I'd like to know...

Guitar:
Pickups:
Strings:
Amp: (Head/Cabinet or Combo as well as Brand and Model)
Pedals or other accessories or effects:
Pick: (Shape, Density, and/or Brand)
Other: (Anything Else You Use That Might Be Useful)

I'll use my current setup as an example.

Guitar: B.C. Rich Warlock Bronze Edition
Pickups: Stock B.C. Rich Pickups
Strings: Thick Gauge Jazz strings (Red)
Amp: Spyder III Digital
Pedals: No Pedals, but Amp has built in effect channels.
Pick: Medium Density standard shape (rounded Triangle)
Other: None.

I am looking for a metal sound that can play deep bass lines as well as a solo without getting fuzzy at either end of the fretboard.

I am thinking about switching to EMG 57/66 combo pickups in my Warlock. The reason being that I really like the shape and character of my Warlock, but it has the flat B.C. Rich pickups in it and I can't stand them.

What setup is everyone running? And what suggestions would you have to improve mine? I am looking to get new pickups and restring my guitar with a different style string, as well as get a new amp, and possibly a pedal or two. Looking for a combo or head/cabinet with enough power to play small venues, that isn't so big it can't be mobile to take to practices, the stage, and home.

Thanks for any help guys!
 

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First off, welcome to the forum. About your question, there is no definite answer. Everyone has their guitars that they like with a certain tone they are going for so its all subjective. It is definitely a trial and error sort of process but we are a helpful bunch around here and are always willing to help. The only things i would say is that I would totally go for a pickup swap as stock bc rich pickups are just awful. As for EMG's a lot of people here really like that pickup set. As for the amp, a lot of people really dont care for the line 6 spyder stuff (myself included) but we do understand that money is a huge factor. If you are in the market for something new, have a budget/limit of what you want to spend, and know what kind of tone you are going for then let us know and we can go from there. Once again, welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^^^Thanks for the advice! I'm not a big fan of the Line 6 Gear either. It was a great starter amp, but as I have learned more about guitars and amps I am noticing that the Line 6 (and other all-digital amps) have a very comfortable range with what they can do, and you can't change them much. They have a way of making many different guitars and pickups almost sound the same. I'm looking to go with something different and was hoping people would post their favorite setup so I could try out the amps and effects for myself.

When I go in to my local guitar store there are 100 different amps in 100 different brands and I have no idea what to look for. Was hoping if I had 4 or 5 people post their favorite I could go try them all out and see what feels right for me. Or at least get me pointed in the right direction. No one at my local store plays anything even remotely close to metal sounding. It is all Jazz and light rock. Which is fine! I have nothing against these genres, but since they haven't had any experience in setting up equipment for metal, they aren't the best at giving advice for what to look for. Was hoping someone could point me in the right direction so I could go try some things out and see what I like.
 

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Bro of Bros, Bro.
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Guitars, amps, and pickups are really going to come down to personal preference from an aesthetic point of view and basically just what you feel comfortable holding/playing and the sound you like.

For pickups, I don't think you can go wrong with EMGs. They just do metal well.

I will say this, though: one pretty important aspect of playing that I think gets overlooked is the plectrum (pick) and strings. These are the two consistencies that you will be manipulating with your hands 100% of the time you're playing. It will be important to find a brand and gauge that you are comfortable with, as well as a pick that you are able to hold correctly, strike the strings with, but most importantly improve your technique with correctly over time.
 

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Ginger chug
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5150/6505....head and cab if you can or the combos would work.

57/66 set would work...that's probably the best set EMG has ever done.

10-52s for anything up to drop C depending on scale...I use 11-54s on my LPC in drop C but it's preference.

MXR 10 band in loop of whichever amp, and an SD-1 for a cheap boost to tighten up the low end.

Picks are personal preference too...I use thicker acrylics for metal vs nylon thinner ones for blues/rock...I just dig the attack more.

Throw up a budget and people will help more. Good luck.
 

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I can recommend you buying a Peavey Vypyr 75 (or similar) because they kick ass!

I don't know what kind of metal you're into but I've recorded a lot of different stuff with pretty good results.

Power metal (my solo project... nevermind the half-shitty vocals, this was one of my first attempt at singing clean Halford-like singing... I'm much better now. haha)
Old school death metal (also a solo project :flex: )

I've used a Vypyr on a tour in germany for about two weeks without any problems as well. Loud enough for gigs, and just enough for reharsing , but you gotta have it on max. Haha.
 

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Like a lot of people have said, the peavey 5150/6505 series is a great amp for metal. Especially when you use an overdrive, like a tubescreamer, in front of it. If you dont know about the terms we are throwing at you, just ask. We all had to start somewhere. The only downside to the 5150/6505 series is the lack of cleans but to some, that is not important. Peavey just released a new 20watt mini head of this that is only $500 brand new. You might be able to find a decent 212 cab, or even 412, for pretty decent price too but beware, dont "cheap out" on a cab and get one just because its cheap. A bad cab can make a great amp sound like ass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do ability sometimes, but I can always change my 1 channel back and forth from cleans to distorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry. Meant to say that I do cleans sometimes, and would like to have the ability to do them, but I could make 1 channel work if I found a sound I liked a lot
 

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Black Aquaman
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Here's my biased opinion:

Guitar: Yours is fine, all in what you like.

Pickups: Change the stock pickups to anything you get along with. 81/85 is a classic combo. Duncan JB and Jazz is an old standby. Try before you by.

Strings:Again It's all in what you like. I bounce around between Cleartone, D'addario, Dunlop. Cleartone last forever FYI.

Amp: 5150/6505 flavor and a 2X12 cab will get you through most any gig.

Pedals or other accessories or effects: You really only need a couple pedals IMO - A quality, reliable Tuner is a MUST. Korg pitchblack or a polytune work well.- A quility OD (I just use a run of the mill TS9 and like it fine) - A delay of your choice - Noise reducer- Wah - Reverb and chorus are optional. The Tc Electronic G-System is an option if you're an affect junkie with deep pockets.

Pick: I use star picks by Everly .88 mm. You may want something different.

Other: Use a proper, big fat leather strap, with lots of pointy studs to be pure KVLT! :immortal:

good luck in your Metal quest my friend.
 

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All the previous advice is on point. Please remember to practice and focus on technique. You can have the best rig money can buy but if your playing is sloppy no awesome rig can make up for that.
 

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I Am The Tweaker
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DMIN: Giving your budget would be a huge help when asking for advice on what to buy. Are you interested in tubes or solid state ? Did you want a head & cab or a modeller w/a power amp ? I used to have a Randall T2 and it was really badass. It had a clean channel as well as a high gain channel with a built in, switchable boost.
 

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$400-500 used Peavey 6505+ combo will be the best $500 amp you can buy. I'm happy with the cleans out of mine, just gotta cut the volume knob on the guitar a little and no issues.
 

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Heavy Metal starter kit?

Bottle of cheap booze, Master of Puppets on cassette, a fast rear wheel drive car and a denim vest with a Venom patch. Everything else is optional. :metal:
 

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I agree with what's been said here.

One thing I would suggest is don't cheap out knowing that you plan on replacing that item later.

Unless you consider buying something used because if you do decide to replace it you will likely recoupe most of the money if spent wisely.

Try gear out if you can at local music shops.

If you have a bit more money to play with I think a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier is a good choice...... well regarded, nice modern high gain, versatile, 800 to 1000 used. I don't personally own one but based on what I have read/seen on youtube I came to the aforementioned conclusion.

Do people consider the Line 6 HD 500 used a good choice for the OP? Or is the OP better off getting individual pedals?
 

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\m/ \m/
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Heavy Metal starter kit?

Bottle of (Great White wine)cheap booze, Peace Sells on cassette, a fast rear wheel drive car and a denim vest with a Venom patch. Everything else is optional. :metal:
Man thats my out of control years to a tee right there.
 

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Heavy Metal starter kit?

Bottle of cheap booze, Master of Puppets on cassette, a fast rear wheel drive car and a denim vest with a Venom patch. Everything else is optional. :metal:
This is metalguitarist.org condensed into a single post, and I heartily approve.
 
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