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Old 10-19-2013, 05:49 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is online now
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Default Do some Electric Guitars (pickups) not sound good with your amp?

Hey All. Do some Electric Guitars not sound good with your amp? Perhaps rather than Electric Guitar I should say pickups. And of course, the speaker plays a big role too. Let's leave out pedals just to keep the signal path clean.

I have a Marshall Vintage Marshall with matching 425A cab (G12C greenbacks). The Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro IIs, '59, and Gibson 57 Classics sound great through it. The DiMarzio Super Distortions and EMG 81/85s (active) don't. This is as I expected.

Now, those Dimarzios and EMGs sound great through my JVM though with the 1960a cab.

How about you?
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:06 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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As you imply in your post, there are just so many variables that it's hard to isolate pickups as the sole determinant; IME good electric guitar tone is highly synergistic and, with few notable exceptions, it's a matter of zeroing in on and fine-tuning a given combination - decide what your signature sound will be, and determine which components need to be addressed to achieve it. It's generally accepted that a well-maintained blackface Twin/Super/Deluxe Reverb will make almost any guitar sound good, and that a set of PAF/P-90/vintage-wound Strat or Tele pickups will cover just about any style of music; once you step outside the basic building blocks, however, things start to become more stratified (no pun intended) and genre-specific. I'm not surprised that you found such a disparity in tone - and I'd be curious to know if the reverse is true, that the vintage-style pickups fall flat through the JVM. I've found Brit-style amps as a rule to be more narrow in their tonal focus/variety than those with an "American" voicing, and much more sensitive to modifications; my own Bugera V22 - an EL84-powered/1X12" Celestion-clone equipped combo in the mold of the Vox AC15/18W Marshall - required major dial-twisting every time I changed guitars, and really only sounded decent with my '64 Gretsch 6117 (nailed the early George Harrison tone, BTW). A speaker swap, new mil-spec tubes, and a mild bias tweak turned it into a plug-and-play amp after the old NYC studio "key club" Ampegs, that sounds amazing with anything I've plugged into it to date: P-90 LP, Taylor Custom Solid, Strat, Yamaha SSC-500, the aforementioned Gretsch, and an original-owner '58 PAF goldtop that I'm waiting out; while I can still get the Brit-flavored tones (now more "Shea '65" AC50/"brown" Plexi in character), unlike a pure British-voiced amp I can also do rockabilly, blues, surf, country, jazz, or R&B with few if any adjustments or tonal compromises. Don't get me wrong, as I stated before there's a lot to be said for a specialized guitar/amp combination - Duane and Dicky's LP/Marshall tones are iconic, and still give me chills - but IMO unless you're playing one style all the time a less niche-oriented, broader-based setup is in order...
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:05 PM
dovetail dovetail is offline
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wow that is some paragraph ya got there Steve !!

Anyway ya Dru some stuff sounds like POOP some don't

Cheers
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:12 PM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Hey All. Do some Electric Guitars not sound good with your amp?

How about you?
No, every guitar sounds good with my amp if we're talking about the black face Princeton Reverb.

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Old 10-19-2013, 10:31 PM
Special B Special B is offline
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Some guitars/pickups definitely pair better or worse with different amps, and visa versa. It's all subjective anyways.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:50 PM
zabdart zabdart is offline
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Boy, you'd really need an electrician or somebody well-versed in circuit design (which I'm not) to explain this all to you. Basically, neither are all amps created equal (an obvious statement), nor are all guitar pickups. The circuit design of your specific amp is going to effect how the amp handles the signal your guitar's pickups generate, and the variables are as numerous as they are great. The design of your well-known Fender combo amps went through any number of changes through the "tweed" years, the "blackface" years, the "silverface" years and the current years, and this went way beyond how many watts they could produce and handle. On the Fender Twin, for example, the circuit itself was redesigned at least three times to my knowledge.
Likewise, there are all kinds of variables regarding pickups -- not just the obvious single-coil vs. double-coil design, including the number of turns of wire around the coil, the type of magnets used and high-output vs. low-output design. Gibson, for example, has used at least three different designs of mini-humbucking pickups on its guitars, and each design produces subtly different sonic effects.
So, the answer to your question is a long and complicated one.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:15 AM
ronbo ronbo is offline
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Nope! I have a Fender Supersonic 22 and have yet to play or hear a guitar that doesn't sound great through it. Humbuckers, Tele singles, Filtertrons, P90s, even a Supro slide pickup all seem to sound pretty good. Some sound better clean, or with a little grit, and my one high-output HB sounds best with the OD cranked, but with a few tweaks I can get pleasing tones out of this amp.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:54 AM
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I have a previous generation Hot Rod Deluxe. I've played several different pickups through it, even a guitar with original sixties Teisco single coils, and could get a nice tone from it. The one exception is the bargain basement single coils in some cheap Strat clones. No amount of EQ can seem to help those things through this amp. Actual Fender single coils, and especially handwound single coils, are really nice through it.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:11 PM
Acoustic Pain Acoustic Pain is offline
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I might not know why and I will not rule out could be made to sound good. That said running vintage type pickups through vintage type amp=good. Running modern super hot favorites of metal heads through vintage amp=not so good. Not surprised.

Do they have to sound bad? Maybe not might just be some very weird tone settings might tame the ultra hot signal. Example if so hot ever thought of turning all tones on amp to 1/4? My last suggestion is just an example.

Most important keep having fun.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:38 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Pain View Post
I might not know why and I will not rule out could be made to sound good. That said running vintage type pickups through vintage type amp=good. Running modern super hot favorites of metal heads through vintage amp=not so good. Not surprised.

Do they have to sound bad? Maybe not might just be some very weird tone settings might tame the ultra hot signal. Example if so hot ever thought of turning all tones on amp to 1/4? My last suggestion is just an example.

Most important keep having fun.
My thoughts too. That's why it's a great idea to buy numerous guitars, amps, speaker cabs so that you can achieve any tone

I will say that I don't have a Fender or a "clean" type amp but then again it's not my style.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:49 PM
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My Steinberger sounds dry as hell through my Carr without effects.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:56 PM
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terrapin terrapin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Hey All. Do some Electric Guitars not sound good with your amp? Perhaps rather than Electric Guitar I should say pickups. And of course, the speaker plays a big role too. Let's leave out pedals just to keep the signal path clean.

I have a Marshall Vintage Marshall with matching 425A cab (G12C greenbacks). The Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro IIs, '59, and Gibson 57 Classics sound great through it. The DiMarzio Super Distortions and EMG 81/85s (active) don't. This is as I expected.

Now, those Dimarzios and EMGs sound great through my JVM though with the 1960a cab.

How about you?
Dru,

I personally think what you are hearing is the difference between lower and higher output pickups into your amp. The pickups you say sound great are lower output, "vintage-like " pickups and the ones you say do not sound good are high output "modern-like" pickups. Lower output pickups will not hit your preamp tubes as hard as higher output. Hard hit preamp tubes result in preamp distortion which tends to be thin an "fizzy", especially with 12ax7 preamp tubes. Lower output pickups are softer on the amps preamp allowing for power tube distortion which is rich and thick. That is why I use low output pickups and prefer EF86 preamps. When EF86's are hit hard they react differently with a more rich, open clipping. Maybe because it is a Pentode? But, I digress.

You have probably tried this, but lowering the Super Distortions and the EMG's MIGHT help?
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Last edited by terrapin; 10-20-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:59 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is online now
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Originally Posted by terrapin View Post
Dru,

I personally think what you are hearing is the difference between lower and higher output pickups into your amp. The pickups you say sound great are lower output, "vintage-like " pickups and the ones you say do not sound good are high output "modern-like" pickups. Lower output pickups will not hit your preamp tubes as hard as higher output. Hard hit preamp tubes result in preamp distortion which tends to be thin an "fizzy", especially with 12ax7 preamp tubes. Lower output pickups are softer on the amps preamp allowing for power tube distortion which is rich and thick. That is why I use low output pickups and prefer EF86 preamps.
I was hoping you'd chime in Russ - thanks. Yep, I'm aware of the output of the pickups and I have no intention of using the Super Distortion through the Vintage Modern, other than a test.

Interesting about the EF86 tube. I recall reading about it here on the AGF so I'm assuming it was you and you may have an amp with them? I enjoy the 12ax7s though, although I must admit I've never tried the EF86.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
I was hoping you'd chime in Russ - thanks. Yep, I'm aware of the output of the pickups and I have no intention of using the Super Distortion through the Vintage Modern, other than a test.

Interesting about the EF86 tube. I recall reading about it here on the AGF so I'm assuming it was you and you may have an amp with them? I enjoy the 12ax7s though, although I must admit I've never tried the EF86.
12AX7's are great tubes. The EF86 thing is just my personal preference. They tend to like pedals better than 12AX7's in many amps.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:17 PM
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i'm real picky. i'll go thru a few of my guitars and amps until one of the setups work exactly how i want it to.

and, i just went thru that situation. i tried a les paul with a gibson ga5t, replaced with weber speaker. too dark. tried the strat but still not what i wanted. after trying a couple more setups, i ended up with the rks dave mason(humbuckers) with a 66 deluxe reverb.

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