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Riviera P93 tone clarity issues

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Need help with setting this guitar up somewhat. It is a challenge for me trying to get good clear tone. Could be my amp settings or probably the volume/ tone settings on the guitar its self. I am so use to my old gibson....I also think the pickups need adjusting as well. It seams like when I change chords quickly a remnant from the previous chord is still there and it all kinds of bleeds together and does not sound good. Kind of like a little feed back from the amp. Hard to describe.

 

Also it will just not stay in tune thus far. I have not played it for very long though since it has arrived. Perhaps the strings have to settle in. I would like to get a good clear tone out of it one time so I know where to set the knobs...

 

If anyone has a list of things to set up on these Rivieras please let me know

 

Thanks

Steve

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Exactly what I was thinking. I am thinking flat wound. I just think the strings that came on the guitar are just cheapos. There is no reason why this guitar can't sound good... I have heard some people say the P90's can give you feedback. Some people say clear tone, and some say warm full tone. At this point I don't know what tone mine has.

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I have heard some people say the P90's can give you feedback. Some people say clear tone, and some say warm full tone. At this point I don't know what tone mine has.

 

What they WILL sound is ... different, Steve. Especially if you've been using humbuckers or "Fender-style" single coils up to this point. Don't forget that 'buckers were developed as a replacement/improvement over P90's and that it was player demand that kept them around. They do have a different tone though ... one that I love ... but different. They can be warmer, thicker, grittier, harder that their twin coiled counterparts ... and I find them to be quite a bit more reactive to your picking hand as well.

 

You'll get 'em dialed in, don't worry. You amp will be a big part of the puzzle, so don't neglect to play around with that either. Oh ... did I forget to mention hum? Yeah ... they have a little of that as well!

 

Jim

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i'm wondering if the "remnant of the previous chord" could be harmonic vibration or wolf-tones.....

do you use any "palm muting" technique?

It also can be weird sustain, exacerbated by a strong tendency of unplayed strings becoming excited to vibrations, fundamentals as well as overtones. The Gibson Les Paul Traditional 2013 and Fender American Deluxe Ash Telecaster of mine are of that kind. My Weimann Blues Bird ES guitar with Seymour Duncan P90s is pretty close. Dampening or muting strings on them calls for special care. They blow all of my weight-relieved 60's neck Les Paul guitars and alder-bodied Telecasters with that, let alone all the other guitar models.

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I don't know what a P-93 is, but I know P-90's.

 

P-90's have a lot of tonal color available in them, lots of overtones and harmonic stuff happening. Humbuckers tend to cancell a lot out due to the "balancing" of two opposite coils- they can cancel certain frequencies. Fender pups by comparism are weaker and don't pick up or "change" as much of the purity. P-90's, they not only amplify, but exagerate and "amplify" more nuance "electrically".

 

They can be a beast of a pup.

 

But having said all that, it is REALLY hard to even guess what is going on by your description. From where I type, it sounds like it could be amp trouble, tube feedback (microphonic tube) or tube noise. It might be the combo of the hollow body and the pups picking up resonance.

 

If the amp sounds out of tune, even if the guitar is, it could need new filtar caps, and/or a bias.

 

What kind of amp and equipment are you running? Do you have more than one? Does it do this with all or just one? Other guitars?

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I like D'Addario EHR310 strings for my Casino and you might try them sometime on your P93. They are half-round strings that have the smooth feel of flat wounds, but with a brighter tone.

 

A lubricant is something to consider if you continue to have tuning issues and here is a comparison of the different types:

 

http://www.professorstring.com/archives/guitar_string_tuning_lubricants.php

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I think P93 means 3 p90s . I bought one when they first came out i like the guitar a lot . Put new strings on it and set it up a little and i play it when i want that sound they do have a sound all there own .

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I am playing through a Fender Twin Reverb. Now I have been sitting rather close to the amp, like about 4 feet away with it facing me, more or less.

 

I do mute (lay my palm across the bridge) my strings sometimes when I play the surf music like pipeline, and walk don't run (venture stuff)

 

I may be trying to compare sounds way too much to my other guitars. I play a Martin HD-28 also and the tonal quality from that is just amazing. But that is comparing two entirely different beast.

 

This new Riviera has not been set up at all. GC said they would do it for half price since I bought the guitar from them. That would be about $25. I just don't know what a setup would entail on this guitar or if it something easy I could do. I just can't imagine a new guitar being way out of whack??? Any advise is sure welcome.

 

Steve

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If you are playing surf music, you must be using a lot of reverb? If that is the case, what you describe is normal.

 

One of the joys of learning to play new things on new equipment. It sounds like fun to me. Sometimes you gotta go with it. I think we are all guilty of "fighting" to get good tone rather than embracing the tone we have.

 

I would suggest getting the guitar set up as soon as you can before you go evaluating it too much, as the pickups are not easily adjustable. Raising or lowering the strings will have an effect on how the pickups react.

 

As for set=up. checking for microphonis tubes, feedback, or such, I will at least leave that for a separate post to give others a chance to chime in without making it too hard to read. Obviously, to check if this is the reverb, turn the reverb down and see if this goes away.

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Well Ok you got me there. I am what you would call a reverb freak. I just love the sound of it. On my 1964 Gibson Firebird it is so clear, but that is a solid body guitar with Humbucking pickups.

 

You are so right about accepting the new sound this Riviera has. That is the main reason I bought it was to have a different sound.

 

I am curious as to how the flat wound strings will sound on it, as I am seriously thinking of trying them on it...

 

I will say the sound is growing on me.

 

I have noticed that it probably really does need a set up as the going out of tune issue is mainly when I play some chords up close to the nut. I am getting some off key notes I think due to the strings hitting the next fret up.......

 

Steve

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Well Ok you got me there. I am what you would call a reverb freak. I just love the sound of it. On my 1964 Gibson Firebird it is so clear, but that is a solid body guitar with Humbucking pickups.

 

You are so right about accepting the new sound this Riviera has. That is the main reason I bought it was to have a different sound.

 

I am curious as to how the flat wound strings will sound on it, as I am seriously thinking of trying them on it...

 

I will say the sound is growing on me.

 

I have noticed that it probably really does need a set up as the going out of tune issue is mainly when I play some chords up close to the nut. I am getting some off key notes I think due to the strings hitting the next fret up.......

 

Steve

Flatwounds, if you haven't ever tried them, are VERY different from rounds. Not to common for the type of stuff you seem to be after. I would guess you won't like them, but rather than describe it, you should try for yourself. D'ad Chromes are easy to get, pretty decent, and are a good representative.

 

I don't know how EPI's are coming out these days, but at one time it was common for nuts on new guitars to be rather cut high. If the nut is cut high, it will pull notes sharp when you press down up there. As far as I know, GC does not do this type of work (but that could be dependant on the particular store and who works there).

 

If you are decided firmly on keeping this guitar, it is worth it to find a "pro" who does this and get the whole guitar set-up.

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Flatwounds, if you haven't ever tried them, are VERY different from rounds. Not to common for the type of stuff you seem to be after. I would guess you won't like them, but rather than describe it, you should try for yourself. D'ad Chromes are easy to get, pretty decent, and are a good representative.

 

I don't know how EPI's are coming out these days, but at one time it was common for nuts on new guitars to be rather cut high. If the nut is cut high, it will pull notes sharp when you press down up there. As far as I know, GC does not do this type of work (but that could be dependant on the particular store and who works there).

 

If you are decided firmly on keeping this guitar, it is worth it to find a "pro" who does this and get the whole guitar set-up.

 

Agreed, and once you acquire a taste for P-90 tone/growl, and articulation, nothing quite matches it!

 

Good Luck!

 

CB

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I talked to my friend that is a luthier/tech and he is saying that I may need P90 risers to raise the middle and possibly the bridge pickup. Has anyone here done that to their guitar. He seams to think that is the way to go on these Epiphones. He has been doing this for many years. I don't know for sure. INPUT???????

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I talked to my friend that is a luthier/tech and he is saying that I may need P90 risers to raise the middle and possibly the bridge pickup. Has anyone here done that to their guitar. He seams to think that is the way to go on these Epiphones. He has been doing this for many years. I don't know for sure. INPUT???????

 

You should try raising the pickup as much as possible, then raise the "pole pieces". They have a screwdriver slots in them so it is very easy to do, both things (raise the pickup itself...I think that the screw heads on the pickups that do that are "Phillips" type screws, whereas the slots to raise the pole pieces are for "standard" screwdriver). In any event, you should be able to raise (and lower) the pickups and pole pieces yourself, with the right tools. No need for a technician. The heck... I was even able to do it, all by myself...lol.

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So those gold pole screws can be adjusted on single coil P90 pickups??? Where can you get the risers to raise the pickups. The bridge pickup has a riser under it but it is still low. Now the middle one is way way low. It could come up a good 1/4". The neck pickup is good!!!!! Do you think the screws that hold the pickup in place will be long enough with adding a riser?

 

Steve

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I'm not sure, try it and see. Just make sure you unscrew everything at a place where if everything falls apart, you can retrieve all the pieces...lol

Try raising the pole pieces by unscrewing them, until they are just about unscrewed, then raise the pickup using the screws on both sides of it. You should be able to get the pole tops to touch the strings. There is that much "travel" (well, there is in mine). Try it and see what happens, get back with results (please don't tell me "My pickup fell apart") lolmsp_mellow.gifmsp_unsure.gifdry.gifmsp_biggrin.gifmsp_rolleyes.gif

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Crust are you saying you can raise the P90 dog ear with the screws on the side of it. Like is it spring loaded so it can come up or do I actually need to put a spacer under the ones that need raising. I understand about the pole screws being able to be adjusted.

 

I do presume the first step in this process should be to get the action/strings where I like it, and adjust the truss rod if necessary?????

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Ok I have an appointment with GC tech on Thursday for a set-up. 1/2 price since I bought the guitar new from them. I asked him questions about what he could do and I am pleased with his answers. Even he said the pickups should be roughly 1/8 to 3/32 away from the strings. My middle pickup is about 3/8" from strings and the bridge one is about 1/4" . The neck one is right at about an 1/8".

 

I want to thank all of you for your input. It really has helped me understand this beautiful Riviera beast I have. And sorry if I ask lots of crazy questions. All of you have been extremely helpful, and I greatly appreciate it.

 

Steve

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Rock on msp_thumbup.gif

 

After you've put your guitar though a thorough workout, give us a review. You know, I dig my P93's, yes indeed msp_thumbup.gifmsp_smile.gif

 

and, if possible, post a picture of subject Epiphone P93 guitarmsp_thumbup.gifmsp_thumbup.gifmsp_smile.gif

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The closer the strings are to the pickups the more problems you will have, both in sound and "tone" and also your right hand pushing the strings even closer. Clear, even, "articulate" sound(god I hate that word) comes from pickups down, way down. All of my guitars have pickups down as far as practical, so that's down to the pickguard on my Fenders and down to the ring on my Gibsons.

 

Your mileage may vary, but don't accept blindly that pickups an 1/8th inch away from the strings is going to be a good thing.

 

rct

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The closer the strings are to the pickups the more problems you will have, both in sound and "tone" and also your right hand pushing the strings even closer. Clear, even, "articulate" sound(god I hate that word) comes from pickups down, way down. All of my guitars have pickups down as far as practical, so that's down to the pickguard on my Fenders and down to the ring on my Gibsons.

 

Your mileage may vary, but don't accept blindly that pickups an 1/8th inch away from the strings is going to be a good thing.

 

rct

This is so, SO true.

 

Many folks have a tendancy to raise pups when listening for the best sound, and get the impression that closer is better because they become "louder" and mistake some of the artifacts of magnet-pull as being more complex.

 

Pups too close will choke out frequencies.

 

The best way to evaluate when judging height (provided you can) is to reach for the knobs on the amp before you make the judgement.

 

My P-90's on the LP's are sunk into the wood on the neck positions.

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The Riviera is one great guitar now..... Had a setup done and flat wounds put on at it sounds great. I am a very happy camper now. Think I will keep it..............

 

Steve

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