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Don't be so quick to mod your pickups; it might be your amp

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Well - I have been running tubes for nearly forty years.

I bought Sheraton II 'cause I loved the big fat bluesy sound I got when I played a load of big fat semis over the years, and the Sherry was a big fat semi that didn't break the bank.

I put SD'59s in place of stock 'cause they moved the sound a little closer to the classic PAF 'bucker tone that I wanted to hear. Nuttin' wrong with the originals, but I wanted a different tone.

 

No idea what it sounds like through solid-state.

But through my Bassman and 4x12 it gives me what I want.

My thinking is the right pups AND the right amp (and lead and cab and fingering) is important.

 

But I'd rather play than tinker.....

 

Oh - and Matt -that is one beatiful guitar.

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Caramello Koala' date=' I hear what you're saying. My original reason for starting the thread is that many are looking for

the "Holy Grail" of tone. Too many people begin by swapping out the pickups and then don't notice that much of

a difference and become disappointed. I just found by playing through a better amplifier (VOX AC30CC2 tube amp) that my guitars with their stock pickups sound "So Much" better. Not to say that I won't or that nobody should look for a better pickup if they choose to, but having a great rig with it will make all the difference. That's all I was trying to get across.[/quote']

 

Ahh I see, I just took a quick glimpse through the thread and thought this was a 'pickups don't do jack' thread. But I have to agree, pickups should be the last thing you change, not the first. The amp delivers most of your tone and so does the speaker, so those two should be improved first. Followed by a good set up. I originally wanted to get a Gibson ES-335, but realised I didn't want to fork out $5000AUD (yes that's how much they actually go for retail at some places!) for one, so I spent my money on a Epiphone Dot and a Vox AC15 with the Wharfedale speaker. Later a friend of mine wanted to get rid of his AC30 so I sold my AC15 and bought the 30 off him (although I still think the AC15s are just fine, considering these amps sound best with the volume cranked, and the AC30 can knock a house down with it's volume on full). A year later I upgraded the speakers to the Celestion Alnico Blue variety, and a year after that I changed the pickups. But to be honest the only upgrade that was truly necessary was the upgrade from my old amp to the Vox AC15, as it was the one that made the biggest improvement to my guitar's tone.

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How does the sound of the Celestions compare with that of the Wharfedales? My AC50 has a pair of the Wharfedales from the factory. I rather like them, but I've not heard the Celestions.

 

 

 

Ahh I see' date=' I just took a quick glimpse through the thread and thought this was a 'pickups don't do jack' thread. But I have to agree, pickups should be the [i']last[/i] thing you change, not the first. The amp delivers most of your tone and so does the speaker, so those two should be improved first. Followed by a good set up. I originally wanted to get a Gibson ES-335, but realised I didn't want to fork out $5000AUD (yes that's how much they actually go for retail at some places!) for one, so I spent my money on a Epiphone Dot and a Vox AC15 with the Wharfedale speaker. Later a friend of mine wanted to get rid of his AC30 so I sold my AC15 and bought the 30 off him (although I still think the AC15s are just fine, considering these amps sound best with the volume cranked, and the AC30 can knock a house down with it's volume on full). A year later I upgraded the speakers to the Celestion Alnico Blue variety, and a year after that I changed the pickups. But to be honest the only upgrade that was truly necessary was the upgrade from my old amp to the Vox AC15, as it was the one that made the biggest improvement to my guitar's tone.

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Mike,

 

I think because we don't have the population you Yanks have and also because of extra freight considerations, we tend to pay a lot more for our gear. Additionally companies like Epi do their own distribution in the States but have distributors who add their margin onto prices elsewhere like in Oz.

 

Dig

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I've always been a believer in getting the desired tone from stock pickups by manipulating the volume and tone controls. I've played my Telecaster (with stock pickups) in bands with sets that ranged from Country to Metal and never had any effects but found out that if you want a sound bad enough...... you can make it happen regardless of what kind of pickups you have. You do need a decent amp with a gain channel.

 

I know a few people that change out pickups quite a bit, but its funny how their stage sound doesnt change dramatically. LoL

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Quality pups do make a difference' date=' I don't care what type of rig you're playing out of......

 

I've had some top dollar guitar rigs, and I could easily notice a guitar that had pups I didnt feel comfortable with. And if you record, you can really hear the difference.

 

[/quote']

+1=d>

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I've always been a believer in getting the desired tone from stock pickups by manipulating the volume and tone controls. I've played my Telecaster (with stock pickups) in bands with sets that ranged from Country to Metal and never had any effects but found out that if you want a sound bad enough...... you can make it happen regardless of what kind of pickups you have. You do need a decent amp with a gain channel.

 

I know a few people that change out pickups quite a bit' date=' but its funny how their stage sound doesnt change dramatically. LoL

[/quote']

 

Sometimes you just can't get that "sound" though from a stock set of Epi Pickups no matter how great an amp.

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How does the sound of the Celestions compare with that of the Wharfedales? My AC50 has a pair of the Wharfedales from the factory. I rather like them' date=' but I've not heard the Celestions.

[/quote']

Words cannot even begin to describe the difference, it takes a couple of months for the speakers to fully 'break in' but once they do it's a tonal dream. The sound is a whole lot warmer and less piercing, it also breaks up really nicely when driven giving a super clear compressed sound, basically it's the VOX tone, while the Wharfedale is not. The only downside is they are quite expensive, you can get an Eminence Red Fang for about half the price. Eminence is a very popular alnico speaker company and the Red Fang does what the Celestion Blue does really well, just with a darker sound.

Here are some sites for further insight:

 

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar+Amp/product/Eminence/Red+Fang/10/1

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar+Amp/product/Celestion/G12+Alnico/10/1

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/archive/index.php/t-105640.html

http://www.webervst.com/bt9908.htm

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-central-station/160410-eminence-red-fang-ac15-%3D-love.html

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I'm with Z-Clay as far as working on the V + T controls for different tones.

Key word - WORKING.

 

I just dropped my amp off to someone who will hopefully do right by me and fix the crackling issue my Twin has been having.

I'm pretty sure after that I still won't have issues with the stock pick ups. The DOT going through a Twin will be a massive improvement form the Marshall practice amp I've had the joy of using in recent months..

 

However, I know that I am going to invest in some P-90 style pick up for the neck. I probably mentioned that earlier in the thread. Cause, like others have stated, you know what sound it is you want..

 

The stock humbucker in the bridge suits me just fine. ya dig?

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