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brianh

Electric Guitar Tone Hierarchy


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Technique, guitar, pickups, amp. But ultimately, it's all down to the player. Two people can make the same exact rig sound completely different.

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So Robin' date=' what's your (general) order or factors?[/quote']

 

I dont know. They all seem to work together. I do know that unless the strings are way old and/or rusty, they are pretty much at the bottom of the list for me, tone-wise.

 

I guess I'd have to go with Amp, PUPs, git, technique, setup & strings.

But i'm pretty inexperienced with all of this guitar-wise, so I may be totally off, here. As far as bass, I would definately put them in that order with amp & PUPs being near equal. It seems so much harder to find good tone on bass with crappy PUPS and amplification. Been fighting this for awhile. I have great PUPs now, and now I'm not as happy with my GK rig's 410 cab @ 200 watts amp. Just doesnt seem to be cutting it with the bartolinis. I recently switched to my 215 Randall cab and noticed a definate improvement in headroom, but still...

 

Plus, there is guitar tone and tone from technique. You can absolutely have a setup with great tone and not know how to play a lick at all...and vice-versa for the experienced player.

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Thanks Robin, I forgot you're primarily a bassist. Even harder in that realm, I expect.

 

Question for the folks that voted "none of the above": If it's not the Amp, pickups, technique, etc. then what is it?

 

Magnetic pull of the moon? Number of beers? Chances of getting laid?

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Actually, Thinking a little more on this, I'd put technique before git. I can totally ruin the pocket or a fill by plucking too hard or hitting the strings wrong.

 

Magnetic pull of the moon? Number of beers? Chances of getting laid?

 

LOL!!

I dont know about guitar' date=' but you just described most peoples' sex-life.

Magnetic pull of the moon + Number of beers = Percentage of chance to get laid. [cool

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I too had to vote " some other " as I have always believed that it is amp, p/us, and guitar. That is where your tone is going to be. Now experience or technique may change it SLIGHTLY , but the basic tone is going to remain the same.

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Technique' date=' guitar, pickups, amp. But ultimately, it's all down to the player. Two people can make the same exact rig sound completely different.[/quote']

 

+1

 

 

But I'll add mood/emotion in front of all of those.

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I was the first vote for "none of the above".

 

It seems to me you want a very simple answer to a very complicated equation.

There's no way to quantify such an answer.

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It seems to me you want a very simple answer to a very complicated equation.

There's no way to quantify such an answer.

Hmmm. Didn't ask for quantities' date=' just general order of importance.

 

Are you saying that the whole concept of one thing having more to do with tone than another is flawed, or that none of the above have anything to do with tone?

 

Hypothetical situation: John Lee Hooker (or your favorite deceased bluesman) comes back to life and you give him an Epiphone starter pack. Let's say this one:

 

[img']http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt163/brianehuff/EpiStarterPack.jpg[/img]

 

Now, we know JLH has talent oozing out of every pore, so theoretically technique is outside the argument for the moment.

 

So, if you could change out ONE THING in the rig shown above, what would it be? Strings, Pickups, Amp, or Guitar? Could you put JLH in Carnegie Hall with this rig out of the box and expect he would bring down the house?

 

I'm just curious....

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Hmmm.

 

Not looking for quantities' date=' just general order of importance...[/quote']

 

Brian, you obviously do not know the definition for quantify. It has several definitions. And the way that I used it made perfect sense.

 

I find it interesting that you chose that part of my very small post to discuss.

The first sentence was the one that gave you how I really felt about it. It was the main point of what I was trying to say.

Yet you ignored that. That speaks volumes.

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Are you saying that the whole concept of one thing having more to do with tone than another is flawed' date=' or that none of the above have anything to do with tone?[/quote']

 

Wow, I thought I was quite clear.

Let me write it again.

 

It seems to me you want a very simple answer to a very complicated equation.

 

Is that really that hard to understand???????

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Brad, it's a simple question, but yours is an obfuscated answer.

 

What's interesting here is that while many folks here repeatedly tell noobs that changing pickups, guitars, strings or much else is secondary or optional, they invariably tell them to get a better amp.

 

That's my advice too, but why will nobody will go on record in a poll?

 

Interesting...

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Well I'll go on record and justify why I gave a pecking order.

 

The player matters more than anything - his mood, ability/technique is what governs most of the tone. Contrary to what many people may would say, the guitar itself comes next. Which guitar is in my hands influences very heavily what and how I play according to its weight, woods, feel and even style. Pickups and amp, I believe, come last; even though they govern the subtle tonal characteristics/final sound/volume etc. (they're electric instruments afterall).

 

I can pick up my SG, for example, and I can make it play and sound (to my ears) like a) an electric guitar and [biggrin] like Angus Young before I even plug the thing in. When I do plug it in, I can still sound like Angus even with masses of scooped mids heavy distortion or with an ultra clean setting.

 

Alan

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Virtually all guitars sound far better than I can play them[confused]

 

eggmuffins

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In my opinion........

 

Guitar, Amp and Player are all equal in their ability to produce tone

 

Everything else, eg cables, pedals etc etc is far behind

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