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HNS

SG Sound

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I know I might be posting a redundant post, and I apologize for that, but coming back to electric guitars after years of playing exclusively acoustic, I was wondering if an SG can- with the proper eqing- sound like a Les Paul, relatively of course (body size and thickness, maple cap, etc.). I experienced the audible difference, what I don't really know and need your help on is whether that is true.

Cheers

HNS [thumbup]

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HNS...

 

The LP super-fans likely will suggest "no," although I don't know how some of them can tell one way or another because they have so many stomp boxes functioning.

 

I always figured that, assuming "straight through" guitar, you still are dependent on several variables for "tone" that one doesn't necessarily find on acoustics that have their own batch of variables.

 

String choice, specific model of LP and/or SG both for woods and pups, nut, etc, and then cord to the amp... and the amp itself is at minimum half of the "tone" of an electric. One's technique is also a super factor in "what's the diff."

 

I know that I'm considered something of an oddball on this, but I think you'll find more tonal differences between two LPs (or SGs) made at different times, with different style pups, bridge, nut, different style strings and even with some different woods, than between an SG and LP as closely matched as possible for those variables.

 

Then again, I never cared for the actual geometry of playing a LP compared to the SG - which is my one and only solidbody. Actually mine is a Guild SG "clone" bought new in the early-mid '70s - but that's close enough for folk music. It was and is nice enough I have no inclination toward another solidbody. If this were stolen, I'd play several variations of the current SG for replacement.

 

Dunno if this response does you any good.

 

m

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HNS...

 

The LP super-fans likely will suggest "no," although I don't know how some of them can tell one way or another because they have so many stomp boxes functioning.

 

I always figured that, assuming "straight through" guitar, you still are dependent on several variables for "tone" that one doesn't necessarily find on acoustics that have their own batch of variables.

 

String choice, specific model of LP and/or SG both for woods and pups, nut, etc, and then cord to the amp... and the amp itself is at minimum half of the "tone" of an electric. One's technique is also a super factor in "what's the diff."

 

I know that I'm considered something of an oddball on this, but I think you'll find more tonal differences between two LPs (or SGs) made at different times, with different style pups, bridge, nut, different style strings and even with some different woods, than between an SG and LP as closely matched as possible for those variables.

 

Then again, I never cared for the actual geometry of playing a LP compared to the SG - which is my one and only solidbody. Actually mine is a Guild SG "clone" bought new in the early-mid '70s - but that's close enough for folk music. It was and is nice enough I have no inclination toward another solidbody. If this were stolen, I'd play several variations of the current SG for replacement.

 

Dunno if this response does you any good.

 

m

 

Thanks a lot Milod. I agree with you .. when playing clean or with little grit I can notice a little difference, but with more stopmboxes as you mentioned, sometimes a strat sounds quite in the same vein.

Cheers

HNS

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For what it's worth, my SG "clone" has worn 8-38 since day one in the '70s and for years was backup to my favorite archtop of the day for "fingerstyle jazz" material. It's also played traditional "country," rock and blues at various times. Even "cowboy," depending on how it was set through the amp.

 

That might say something.

 

m

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As someone who loves, plays, and owns several of Both...

The SG has a tendency to be a bit more "mid-range"

all other things being equal. But, not so much

so, you can't effectively EQ for it...IMHO. Amps,

make more tonal differences, to me, than the small

tone differences, between similar equipped LP's &

SG's.

 

Before the days of Youtube, and the plethora of

video's, and all the "testing/demo's" that are

rampant, on there...I thought, after listening to

a particular track, on the debute album, by a band

I really liked...that (without any visual context

photos, video, film, etc.) their guitar player

must have been using a "Les Paul!" I found out,

some time later, that it was in fact, an SG!

His Marshall amp (and his awesome playing)

was the key element in his tone, more than the

actual guitar. So...

 

Cheers,

CB

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Since I am usually practicing with the guitar tone "as is", i. e. no EQ, no distortion, no FX, simply guitar output purely amplified to HiFi speakers or headphones, I can assure you that there are remarkable differences between my five Les Pauls and my four SGs. To my own surprise, they are much more distinct than e. g. those between my all-mahogany SGs and my SG Supra with a maple body, or between non-weight relieved and weight relieved Les Pauls.

 

Les Paul guitars with the same pickups (!) which means '57s in my cases have much stronger, rounder lows whereas the SG has a slim and sleek bass. The midrange of my weight-relieved Les Paul guitars is significantly softer, those of my massive ones perhaps a little bit. In the treble range, besides the longer sustain of the Les Paul there is next to no difference to my ears. In case you want to EQ, you may have to boost the SGs bass a bit. Don't forget that SGs can't compete with the sustain of a Les Paul over the entire fretboard. Among my SGs, only my Frank Zappa "Roxys" are beyond my Fender American Deluxe Telecaster Ash in this respect! SGs also tend a lot more to having dull notes than Les Pauls. Any note or chord intended to last longer will tell the difference between them two.

 

In case of playing through a small amp and/or an amp or box with open or piggy back, the difference in the bass range might be insignificant. The more bass your amp provides, in first order closed cabinets with multiple speakers, the more will a Les Paul push from the bottom compared to an SG. Nevertheless the SG might sound muddier and crunchier since the midrange and treble frequencies will die faster than those of a Les Paul.

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Thanks a million for these robust and articulate posts .... really quite educational ... thanks again for all your responses.

Cheers

HNS

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Really, an SG is an extremely versatile guitar...the sound is limited by the player's ability and imagination rather than the instrument...Here is the vastly underrated Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, live, playing his version of "I'm A King Bee" in almost every style and tone I can think of...

 

 

Granted, Frank is pretty close to a genius player, but the SG is his guitar of choice since about 1970.

added...FWIW, for many years, Frank played through Peavey solid state amps...:)

 

 

mark

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I know I might be posting a redundant post, and I apologize for that, but coming back to electric guitars after years of playing exclusively acoustic, I was wondering if an SG can- with the proper eqing- sound like a Les Paul, relatively of course (body size and thickness, maple cap, etc.). I experienced the audible difference, what I don't really know and need your help on is whether that is true.

Cheers

HNS [thumbup]

 

SG's (generally) have a more mid-range, edgier attack...all things being equal (pickups, etc.),

whereas the Les Paul has a (somewhat) mellower tone, due to thicker body, and a bit more bass

response, associated with that. However, with the right amp settings, they can sound VERY similar!

I own both, and have heard recordings, of other players, that fooled me...thinking it was a LP,

when in fact, it was an SG. So yeah, they can sound (nearly) the same, or...quite different, as

well. I'm talking here, about just the guitars, and amps. Pedals, muddy the waters even more,

as to the differences.

 

I think you'd be happy, with either model, depending on your prefernces. Best thing to do, is

play as many of both models, as you can, until the "right" one, becomes obvious. Good Hunting! [biggrin]

 

CB

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