Are you about to tell us what pedals you use and how you chain them?
Sure. I could do that. In addition, i’m asking you readers to reveal your preferences. My comments are moderated due to vast amount of spam i’m getting even with most current protection, so don’t worry if it’ll take a day before your comment appears.. More on that later, but to be honest i’ve never spkoken with a guitarist who doesn’t have any detailed preference to his/her gear. I think we should start with the guitar itself.
I’ll begin with saying that i have rather large hands. Due to that fact the Gibson style 24,75″ scale feels awkward and cramped when i try to play anything from around 12th fret. So i settled for Fender style scale. I did think of myself as a Tele man for a long time. I’ve always thought the humble Stratocaster to be the ugliest body design there is. I had even gone to such lengths as slandering some acquaintances for their instrument of choice. Needless to say i’m no expert in field of guitars, but i’ve owned a few dozen different ones over the years. As i happened to score a japanese Fender Contemporary Stratocaster for peanuts about a year ago, i just had to try it out at rehearsals once i got it up and running (it had missing parts etc. when i got it). Took it out of a bag and played loud with it. To my massive surprise, it was the first time i could hear myself clearly through the drums and bass. That started an avalanche of enlightenment. Even with a case of slight cognitive dissoonance, i had no choice but to retract all my previous comments about the strat. Sometimes only thing that can get you forward is admitting that you are wrong. Plain wrong.
The thing is, while Telecasters sound very good to my ears, mainly because of their fast and brutal attack, the body of the sound stays very thin regardless of pickups. In terms of envelope generator curve found on synthesizers, Telecaster has very fast and powerful attack. It’s decay is just as fast leaving the sustain short and meatless too. Not to talk about release. Teles die instantly. As for Stratocasters – the attack is definitely a bit slower, but the decay time is way longer. with sustain being fat and powerful. I can come up with only one explanation for this behavior. The bridge setup. Hard tailed bridge resonates the guitar body from a tiny area resulting in Telecaster behavior. Stratocasters with standard tremolos vibrate the whole body due to springs holding the tremolo. Plus the bridge is fastened in two different positions and the mass of wood is a lot thinner under the pickups. So there you have it. Stratocaster is the most powerful sound there is. Mostly due to its tremolo bridge. I believe the power comes from the bridge, not from the body shape.
Of course, you’re preference of strings and setup affect the power too. I wonder how a Telecaster body would sound with a standard strat tremolo.
Get on with it…
Ok, i will. For guitar, i prefer Stratocaster with standard tuning, rosewood fingerboard, 10-52 set of strings and high(ish) tension for the strings by fastening the tremolo springs rather tight. For pickup i’ve grown accustomed to Seymour Duncan TB-14 Custom 5 humbucking pickup on the bridge position. It is hot enough, but not dulling hot. Plus it has very pleasing clarity and bright highs to it’s overall tone. That’s basically all that i currently need. Sure, the preference may change, but the change would need to radically alter the tone, making it a lot better before i’m going to change anything.
Next up my “production” pedal board. The board itself is made from wooden Ikea cutting board that i’ve drilled full of holes. I tend to fasten my pedals to the board with large cable ties rather than velcro. Cable ties leave the pedal bottoms with their serial number stickers in tact, which is rather important to me as a collector. Pedal arrangement is subject to change from time to time. But as active player, i’ve come accustomed to certain sounds being available. Currently my signal on the board goes like this: Guitar -> TC Electronics Polytune -> Custom made Green Ringer adaptation to FYA STF Driver in a single box -> another Custom made Green Ringer adaptation to FYA Apiformis Fuzztortion in a single box -> Nux Mod Force -> Nux Time Force -> Amp. Up octaves, OD and fuzz are the ones that get a lot of stomping. The Nuxes are there just in case i want to fool around.
What’s you’re preference for the amplifier?
About 12 years ago, i was dreaming about buying a AC30 and tried to accumulate cash for one. I always seemed to be a little short. Around those times, one local musician wanted to get himself a Fender Twin Reverb to replace a Marshall JCM800 2205. He was selling the Marshall for a low “need-to-sell-this-right-away” price. So i thought if don’t like it, i can always sell it and make a little profit in the process. But the amplifier sticked. I learned to love its sound and dynamics offered by a pair of EL34s. Later i stopped using the OD channel altogether and i’ve been on the “British clean” sound for about five years now. Sure. It has very little to do with clean, but to me, it is the greatest guitar sound there is. And we should not dismiss the fact the 2205 Marshall can handle almost any pedal at its input. All this makes it simply the perfect amplifier for me. I pair it with its original 4×12 cabinet.
To be honest. I currently have no idea how to make my sound “better”. I think i don’t even want to. This is the shit.
So.. If you read this writing all the way to here, i’d like to ask what do you, my readers, use and/or prefer? You could simply answer your guitar style, string gauges, pickup preference, pedal board setup and amplifier to the post comments.Of course it doesn’t hurt to justify your preferences too…