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-   -   I need a word of advice (http://metaltabs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30244)

Pundan 2006-05-26 18:43

I need a word of advice
 
First off, I've seen that there's a thread for all questions on what guitar to get etc, but I think my question/s is a little bit different than those who fit in there. But I hope I don't piss off any mod with my first post here.

Currently my setup is;
Ibanez GRG170DX
Peavey Bandit Combo 112 (Transtube Series) 80W
(As of now I don't use any distorsion pedals, I use the amp setting.)

I mostly use my setup for Death Metal, and my guitar is always tuned to atleast D flat or D#. So to make it easier on you guys (if you answer any questions that I have) I usually play songs by, Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Death, Nile etc. And then I often do my own songs etc.

My problem is that I want to get a better sound out of my guitar. I want a more harder distorsion, something that kicks your ass the moment you pluck the strings! I have thought about buying another guitar because the general impression that I've gotten on the GRG170DX is that it's somewhat of a beginner guitar. I've played guitar for four years and I consider myself to be pretty decent for learning all by myself. The problem is that I've never learnt about what mics to use etc, I've just been focused on playing and haven't spared a thought on the other things. I think I'll stick to Ibanez as their guitars are perfect for my playing style and I love their necks (Plus ESP's are way to expensive for me, atleast in Sweden they are.)

So what I have considered are the following,
  • Replace the shitty humbuckers in my GRG170DX with EMG's (EMG-81 is the one I've heard is the best, but I don't know where to put 'em. If I should go with two EMG-81's or one EMG-81 at the bridge and a 85 at the neck, and what to do with the single coil, leave it?) Is it really worth it to spend money on EMG's for this guitar?
  • Get a new guitar (preferbly something that won't cost more than 6000 SEK, which basicly is $800). But then again, I'm really interested in the EMG-81. So what I've thought of here is that I could get an RG370DX (don't know if it's such a big difference between the RG370DX and the GRG170DX I currently own more than a licensed Floy Rose etc.) Please help me out on this if you have first hand experience or just know if it is. And if I'd buy the RG370DX I could (should I?) replace the mics with EMG's
  • Get a new amp, currently I don't play in a band so I don't think I would need anymore than I already have..

Well basicly I can't decide what to do, as most of you who has come this far probably have noticed.

Another thing that I just wanted to ask as a side question is, if I should get a distorsion pedal what should I look for. I know the Metal Zone is an classic but I've also heard good stuff about the Digitech Metal Master (I think Jack Owen uses one). I've tried 'em both several times but I need some opinions from others as well.

Any help at all is appreciated!

DeathCS 2006-05-26 19:38

all of the above
haha
a new guitar might play better and sound a bit nicer but might not give you all wht ou're looking for. a new amp will give you a different sound, possibly more gain, but you'd still be playing on a mediocre guitar.

Diminished29 2006-05-26 20:38

1. SELL your guitar and pick up an Ibanez RG321MH, they can be had for like $270 on musicians friend, and you'll likely be able to get about $100-150 out of your guitar, so, again it WON'T be much money.

2. Get EMG's 81(b)85(n)...or whatever you perfer, that combination is just popular for metal.

3. Get some grover locking tuners, I think they can be had for around $70 bucks or a little less. They'll come in handy since you won't have a locking-nut like on a guitar with a floating bridge (tremolo)

4. YES, definately get yourself an amp. You might be able to pickup a used halfstack from somewhere and a cab if you look on ebay or some local music shops for around $500 or $600. You might wanna check out a Peavy 5150 head and some sort of used 4x12 or 2x12 marshall cab. At least that would be on the top of my to get list.

Hope this helps bro.

Dyldo 2006-05-26 20:39

I like you, Pundan.

Go out and try some new guitars with a set up as close (if not exactly) possible to what you're using at home. I think a new guitar with EMGs is your best bet. You can't really polish a turd.

Diminished29 2006-05-26 20:43

^^^EXACTLY what Darko said, with your guitar having a shitty as trem, cheap basswood, and I don't even think it has a wizard II on that model, YOU won't find a better new guitar for <$300 than the Ibanez RG321MH which again is MAHOGANY. Emg's will sound wicked in it.

mctriple 2006-05-26 22:43

get a real ibanez RG. you'll be blown away by the increased feel, sound, and playability. i know a lot of people suggest rg321s, but i would have to suggest that you go for a japanese-made RG with the real wizard neck. there's nothing wrong with the wizard II necks, but i used to have a 370dx with the wizard II neck.. and after spending time on a 570, I sold the 370 and hunted down a 570. got it on ebay in mint condition with a case for $305 including shipping.. so they're not really very expensive if you don't have to buy one tonight and can wait a few days for a steal to come along. the pups are a lot better than the stock korean pups, but you may not really care if you're wanting EMGs anyway. if you use the trem on your GRG, you'll LOVE the real edge/edge pro trems on japanese-made ibanez axes. i tune my guitar when i put new strings on and don't tune it again until it's time to replace those strings most of the time. they are VERY stable.

EMGs are obviously killer metal pickups, but for some reason dimarzios sound *excellent* through RGs as well. maybe it's the basswood body.. but they really are perfect matches. i play slightly different metal than you (largely neoclassical or progressive metal.. lots of stuff of my own, nothing tuned below Eb) but i can get some really mean tones out of my tone zone when i want to.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-RG-7420-...1QQcmdZViewItem
that would be one sexy ass metal axe :)

if you're considering a new amp, i'd suggest a digital modelling amp for you. they're perfect for bedroom players or people that are cool with rack power amps instead of standard amp heads. you'll get a lot of tone variety and it'll sound great at bedroom level. also, many of them hook up to the computer through USB so you can easily record yourself with great quality.

Diminished29 2006-05-26 23:21

Here are some ebay deals on some ibanez's RG321's & RG570s:

what mctriple said about the 570's is absolutely right! They play amazing, but I was just giving you a cheaper, best bang for the buck ibanez suggestion since you we're also thinking about an amp, but without futher ado here you go check some of these out:

Ibanez RG321MH :

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-RG321MH-...1QQcmdZViewItem

==================================

Ibanez RG570

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-RG-570-R...yphotohostin g - $249

http://cgi.ebay.com/MIJ-1995-RG570-...yphotohosti ng - $203 (MAHOGANY BODY)

DeathCS 2006-05-26 23:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diminished29
1. SELL your guitar and pick up an Ibanez RG321MH, they can be had for like $270 on musicians friend, and you'll likely be able to get about $100-150 out of your guitar, so, again it WON'T be much money.

2. Get EMG's 81(b)85(n)...or whatever you perfer, that combination is just popular for metal.

3. Get some grover locking tuners, I think they can be had for around $30 bucks or a little less. They'll come in handy since you won't have a locking-nut like on a guitar with a floating bridge (tremolo)

4. YES, definately get yourself an amp. You might be able to pickup a used halfstack from somewhere and a cab if you look on ebay or some local music shops for around $500 or $600. You might wanna check out a Peavy 5150 head and some sort of used 4x12 or 2x12 marshall cab. At least that would be on the top of my to get list.

Hope this helps bro.

please,
tell me where you buy you're tuners. $30 is ridiculous and for locking tuners at that. standard grover tuners cost about $60 let alone locking.

Diminished29 2006-05-26 23:32

^^Your right man, there are a few places that I looked at a while back that had them for cheeper, 40-45, but it looks like their ratings aren't very good at all, so probably worth paying the extra loot.

I'll edit it my post though. So I don't get his hopes up too high...haha

Sorry, I'm just looking into getting an RG321MH in a few months, and if it wasn't for me being into photography and about to buy a Canon 20D with some lenses then I'd probably shoot for an RGA121...we'll see though.

Here's that site though incase you wanna take your chances with em:

http://www.samash.com/catalog/showi...p?SKU=G106CXXXX

deifiler 2006-05-27 03:37

The bandit amp should get you a decent tone, so replacing the amp won't fix it. I've played guitars through my 5150 and they havn't sounded 'heavy' due to the build and style of the guitar.

Don't be suckered in by the high prices and effort it takes to get a set of active emgs. If you want a budget solution and a quick fix for your guitar, I recomend one of the passive kent armstrong pickups

http://www.wdmusic.com/humbucker_gu...s_13621_ctg.htm

(the ones labelled as 'distortion' are a good start, I had one a few years ago that drastically changed the tone of a cruddy old warlock.)

-But as stated earlier, your best bet for the tone would be to get a guitar that can provide all of the EQ etc when it's unplugged.

I've found that a 'heavy' tone comes primarily from a well built guitar with high output pickups; from your description, you're wanting a concise tone. My opinion is a rosewood fretboard through a solid built body. Perhaps if you can get your hands on trying a guitar, look out for "Maverick F-1", it's the guitar I currently use, as it came, and it delivers the kind of tones you speak of.

Problem with distortion pedals is that the merely seem to add an extra layer, rather than merging into your tone: this will probably do more harm to your quest than good, but try and use a freind's or something to see how it goes.

Along with everyone elses' posts, these are opinionated suggestions, so look into which ever areas you can and see what comes from it. :stoned:

Pundan 2006-05-27 07:39

Thanks to all of you for your answers. I think I will go with the RG321MH as it seems to be a good guitar for a reasonable prize. (costs 4575 SEK, about $600 at local shops.) I will probably wait with upgrading the mics to EMG's as I'd have to pay atleast an additional $300 for the mics alone, but I can do that a month later or so.

As of now it doesn't feel like I have to replace the amp, it's perfect for just fooling around with and I'm 100% satisfied with it. It's just that, now that I've gotten used to the sound of my guitar it doesn't feel as cool as it did two years ago, so that's the main reason why I wan't something new, and to get a harder sound. But then again, as Darko said, you can't polish a turd (that might just get sticky) so that why I'll probably go with the guitar of your (most of you guys in here) choice! However I will ask my local music shop to get one first and let me try it out.

It really sucks to live outside the USA when you're going to buy musical instruments and such, everything is so much more expensive here, and importing doesn't feel cheap (shipping expenses) and reliable enough. I might scrape $100-$200 of the prize but then again I'd have to wait like two months to get the guitar.

Thanks again for all your help, I'll definitly will look into the RG321MH some more, and I'll probably go for a EMG-81 (bridge) and a EMG-85 (neck) setting. :)

s7000 2006-05-27 08:17

Sound Increase
 
Cheap, Fast, and Good.

Pick any two of the three.

You can have cheap and fast, but it will not be good.
You can have Fast and good, but it will not be cheap.
You can also have cheap and good, but it will not be fast.

Step 1: Find a halfway decent guitar that you enjoy and has good tonal characteristic. In this case, your looking for a *USED* Ibanez RG. The higher the model the better e.g. the RG570.

Step 2: Find the right *BRIDGE* pickup. (You can always upgrade the neck pickup when you get the rest of your gear together.)

*..... I find the Seymour Duncan JB or Duncan Distortion to best suite my needs on Ibanez RG's. EMG 81's are great, but seem to be more of an ESP type pickup to me. They Seymour's are normally more *bang for the buck* and are easily soldered in and sound really good. However, you should probably go w/ the EMG's as if you don't, you will always have that feeling of "what if?"

Step 3: Get an EQ pedal for your amp. I'd say this is the most overlooked pedal, but should be the first pedal to your lineup. With an EQ (preferbly 6 band or even 10 band), you have a *WIDE* control over your amps overall tone and character. You can dial in all the Low, Highs, and Mid's to *shape* your sound to how you like it.

And EQ will also help you hear your amps true tonal *range.* Dial in the most brutal sound you can w/ the EQ, then start adding gain in *stages*

I found the way to find the *sweet spot* on your amps gain is to slowly increase gain and adjust the eq accordingly. I typically start playing 50's rock, then I move to 60's and 70's, then I dial in the 80's rock and each era I keep increasing the gain. I finally get to a good 90's metallica type tone.

((( NOTE**** Your typically not going to find the exact distortion you want just by turning the amp's gain all the way up. I find on most amps, I like their all out gain at first, but after owning them a few months, I find myself "searching" for better gain or for a little more flavor in gain.)))

((Keep in mind, each amp normally has several sweet spots, depending on volume. My 5150 would sound great at volume three w/ the gain at 7 or 8 but sucked w/ the gain at 9 or 10. If I turned the amp to volume 4 - 6, then the gain had to come down to 5 or 6.))

Step 4: I'd say the biggest secret in professional sound is knowing which pedals boost a paticular amps drive channel. Typically, you want to dial in your amps distortion to about 3 - 6 on the gain, then a stomp box of some sort to "boost" the gain.

Only way to do find the right pedal is to A: haul your amp to several music stores and TRY THEM ALL. or B: Find a store that will let you keep purchasing and returning pedals for 30 days until you find the ONE!!

You can read about pedals until you are BLUE IN THE FACE but all pedals react differently to different amps.

I can tell you this, you have a PEAVEY that is somewhat similiar to a 5150. So, the first clue would be to try pedals that work on 5150's. I hear the TS9 tubescreamers and Keeley SD-1 work well on the 5150. I also hear the MXR DIME DISTORTION (dimebag darrell) is an absolute MONSTER!! ((I'm actually going to go try one today))


This is what I would do if I where you because this is what I've allready done and seems to give you the quickest satisfaction. IF YOU ARE CAPABLE OF INSTALLING THE PICKUP YOURSELF. (If not, no biggie, hell, I can't do ALOT of things you might be able to do)

But, if you can, I'd say go ahead and buy the EMG pickup and install it on your current guitar. Listen to the shear difference of pickup for a day or week or however long.

Then, go hunt down the perfect distortion pedal for your amp. I'd start with the MXR Dime Distortion. (This will save you alot of headache as I've tried almost every pedal except that one)

Then pickup an EQ of some decent sort. (You'll be amazed what a good EQ does to an allready decent tone)

Next, purchase that guitar you've been saving up for the whole time and take that EMG pickup out of your old guitar and install it in to your newly purchased axe.

The next purchase should be a compressor.

Finally, if you aren't quite happy w/ your tone, start saving for a different amp.

9 times out of 10, the right pickups, the right distortion pedal (properly *blended w/ your amps distortion) and spending hours dialing in your amps best natural sound and then enhancing it w/ the Eq pedal, will give you the best results.

****The first 5 or so years I played, I had Ibanez RG 270's I'd pickup for $200 used and put Seymour Duncan pickups in them. They would absolutely scream and sound great. And to be honest, when your running HIGH gain and tons of distortion.... 99% of all listeners will not be able to hear the difference in the RG270 and RG570. "I'd say about 10% of all metal head MUSICIANS would be able to walk in a venue blind folded and say HEY, HE's USING a lower end Ibanez RG and not a higher end man!!!!"

powersofterror 2006-05-27 09:33

Don't talk about pickups in the guitar zone.

problematic 2006-05-27 10:31

Pundan, The bandit is fucking loud enough to play in a band

Fucking I know, since I have one, and love it, and it is so ridiculously loud in my 4 bedroom flat I reside in.

I have taken it to rehearsals and (we have a fucking loud drummer) volume level 5 was more than enough to stay in the balanced mix.

Seriously, don't buy a new amp unless you're doinf massive gigs, otherwise it'll just be a waste of cash.

And it's more convienient than a stack, anyway.

mctriple 2006-05-27 11:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by s7000
"I'd say about 10% of all metal head MUSICIANS would be able to walk in a venue blind folded and say HEY, HE's USING a lower end Ibanez RG and not a higher end man!!!!"

Unless it's getting a little old and he still tries to use the whammy bar :P

Pundan 2006-05-27 16:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by problematic
Pundan, The bandit is fucking loud enough to play in a band

Fucking I know, since I have one, and love it, and it is so ridiculously loud in my 4 bedroom flat I reside in.

I have taken it to rehearsals and (we have a fucking loud drummer) volume level 5 was more than enough to stay in the balanced mix.

Seriously, don't buy a new amp unless you're doinf massive gigs, otherwise it'll just be a waste of cash.

And it's more convienient than a stack, anyway.

Yeah I know, it suits my needs perfectly.

Pundan 2006-05-27 16:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by s7000
Cheap, Fast, and Good......

Thanks for that reply, I've been looking into EQ pedals some, but I haven't decided wheter or not to buy one. I will definitly look more into them though, I think BOSS offers a really good one. By the way, about compressors and so on, I found a good schematics on one, me and my friend has been meaning to screw together our own pedal some day, this might be the perfect project.

I'm no good when it comes to soldering, and from what I've heard EMG's should be a pain in the ass to solder, so that's why I'm going to let the local music shop fix it for me. They promised me to do it for free.

s7000 2006-05-27 18:55

EQ EQ EQ
 
I just got home w/ my MXR 10 band EQ and let me tell you.

IT IS THE SHIT!!!

You can vary your sound so much!!

The amp tech was telling me an EQ should be your first purchase. I TOTALLY AGREE NOW!!!

Panda 2006-05-27 19:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by mctriple
Unless it's getting a little old and he still tries to use the whammy bar :P


exactly


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