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Parental Advisory
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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. :nuts:

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. :spock: 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. :lol:

So, am I on the right track?
 

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Bro of Bros, Bro.
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15,373 Posts
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. :spock: Any truth to that or is it the usual marketing BS?
In my opinion, there is a massively HUGE difference between ANY active EMG and the HZ H4's.

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.
 

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Parental Advisory
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. :)

I've got the Treble at 1 o'clock, Mids at 10 and Bass at 8. The FA60's got some weird active-EQ thing going, so you can't turn the Mid and Treble controls too far past 12 without it sounding awful.

The kind of tone I'm after is something along the lines of these:



Which is what's drawing me to the EMGs.
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
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Can't comment much on the Series One 104 6L6, but the Series One 100 is a beastly sounding amp. I probably should get another boost for mine, but you know, money and whatnot. Not had chance to get out and try it live in a metal settings, but it sounds awesome through my 2x12 at practice, and live for punk stuff. The Direct Out is awesome for when playing live too.
 

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I don't believe the FA60 has an active EQ. Certainly the mid control is the most important control in shaping your tone. So not turning it much past twelve is not going to give your much of any difference in tone. Once you turn the mids way up or way down you'll have to readjust your bass and treble controls. It sounds to me like you might be a mid squishier type guy. (like me! :]) So just try this as a test turn your mids down to about two or three and then adjust your bass to give it just enough bass to before it gets flubby and then adjust the treble to try to give it more clarity. Or try turning up the mids and doing the same thing. Tell me what results. :metal:

-HM :cool:
 

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Parental Advisory
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Right, I've been mucking about with the EQ and it's sounding a bit better now. I had a look on the net for the manual first and found this:

The Treble, Middle and Bass controls are based on a traditional passive guitar tone network and as such are interactive in their function. This type of tone network provides the best overall character for the guitar, giving a classic, full-bodied guitar tone...

(blah blah blah)

It is recommended to use the Treble and Middle controls set between minimum and 12 O'clock. The bass control can be used set on maximum if desired.
With the mids at anything over 12 it sounds like an old FM radio. :noway: I've turned the mids down to 9-30ish and it's a bit better.
I'm thinking it is the pickups that's causing it though...set up my old LP-copy and it sounds clearer than either the Schecter or the Dean. :nuts:

Can't comment much on the Series One 104 6L6, but the Series One 100 is a beastly sounding amp. I probably should get another boost for mine, but you know, money and whatnot. Not had chance to get out and try it live in a metal settings, but it sounds awesome through my 2x12 at practice, and live for punk stuff. The Direct Out is awesome for when playing live too.
I'd forgotten they'd got those. How's the tone with it? The one on my FA60 doesn't sound anything like the amp does miced. :(

I heard the Blackstars a couple of years ago at MusicLive, they were running one of the 15-25 watters plugged in to a 2x12 from what I can remember. Beat the crap out of every other amp there IMO, including most of Marshall's catalogue and the Diezel booth they had there the next year. Glad I heard them, I was all set to save up for a Diezel VH4 until then...
 
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