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Here's a question I'll throw out there. Excuse me if it has been asked before. Can you get pretty much any tone from any guitar (pickups) if you have a certain amp and effects setup or does the guitar itself make a huge difference?
 

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It’s the totality. Everything between your brain and the sound waves coming out of the speaker contributes. Each piece has a tone it can achieve easier than other tones but yes, it may be harder for some tones than others but with the right gear you can approximate any tone with the same guitar. There’s a local duo here (The Hairfarmers) where the guitarist uses modelling gear with an acoustic. He does a very good impression of Jimmy Page. He also makes that same acoustic sound like a bass, a 12 string, and even an acoustic.
 

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I once tried a Digitec pedal board that allowed to emulate diverse amp/cabinets etc.
As I am not an electric guy, I could not make an opinion about its actual capacity to produce correctly all it was supposedly doing.
 

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I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but I think that’s what all those modelling effects are aiming for these days; the ability to cover more ground with a minimal setup, one guitar.

FWIW, most of those effects at this stage in the game can’t nail the differences in tone between P90s vs singles or single vs humbuckers and that’s why I own guitars with varying pickup sets. They’re getting closer, but give it more time. You might have some luck playing with an eq on whichever modeller you choose.

Those digital modelers are great for reverb, delay, tremolo, phasers and a whole whack of other effects though, so definitely consider them for a pedal board position alongside some analog drive pedals. Great space savings and not to mention easier on the wallet, depending on what you get.
 

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I think you can get any sound with a certain amp and effect , regardless what guitar you use..
There are many examples of guys playing Stratocaster , that produce a totally different sound . Hank Marvin vs Richie Blackmore , come to mind.
We do a song by AC/DC , I am using a Strat with single coils , and with the right effects , it sounds great...
 

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The guitar is a smaller part of the equation than a lot of people think imo.

It's like how if you give Vai a squier strat and a gorilla amp, he still sounds like Vai.
 

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Went to see Whitehorse a few weeks back. There is no way, no how, that you can get a non-Gretsch to sound like the White Falcon Luke Doucet played. Modelling will capture the EQ settings, and perhaps harmonic envelope of a given guitar. But the "spank", dynamics, and the manner in which the actual body-shape/size and neck affects your playing resists modelling and often trumps amplifier.

When you have a chance, try out one of the Line 6 Variax guitars. The modelling is surprisingly good. The accompanying software even allows you to model different pickup locations, including some which may be physically impossible in the real world. But one does not play a slim-neck slab body the way one plays an acoustic, big jazz box, or semi-acoustic. So, there are limits to how much one can replicate any guitar/amp combo with another amp/guitar combo.
 
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When you have a chance, try out one of the Line 6 Variax guitars.
I used to own one of these and yes, they do offer many different configurations for sound.
eg; The 12 string acoustic sound is very authentic to my ears.
I only sold it because I found myself just mucking around with it and the computer then actually playing it. lol.
 

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I had a long detailed comment typed out but then I realized this is one of those questions that can't be properly answered because there's too much room for personal opinion.
Might as well ask if there is a God in Heaven or if Coke really does taste better than Pepsi.
Rather than try to type it all out again while making room for opinions, I'll just give you the extremely truncated version of my own opinion.

No.
You cannot get all sounds from all guitars.
You also can't get all sounds from all amps.
 

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The way I look at it, your sound is defined by your choice of amp and pedals, your tone by the guitar.

Lots of ways to get close, it's up to you if it's close enough.
 

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IMO, the people that think all guitars can be made to sound the same are the kind of guys who only use their bridge pickup, and all their guitars have humbuckers.
Or they just have their sound.
 
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Guitar and PUP's have very little to do with the final tone once effects and processers enter the picture.
You’ve hit the nail on the head.

Conversely the FEWER effects /processing you use, the greater the impact the guitar itself will have on your tone. I generally plug directly into non-MV tube amps & definitely hear a difference from one guitar to the next, even if they are similar models (i.e. no 2 Strats are exactly the same). This being said, the usual tendency is to dial in every amp to produce “the sound that we have in our head”.
 

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From personal experience, I've never really been able to get a real Strat sound out of my LP or a real LP sound out of my Strat. Nor do I want to - processing be damned. And my G6120 fits nicely between the two. I like guitars and the more the merrier. YMMV.


Might as well ask if there is a God in Heaven or if Coke really does taste better than Pepsi.
View attachment 225963
 

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the manner in which the actual body-shape/size and neck affects your playing resists modelling and often trumps amplifier.
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i think that was a good point to bring up. it certainly does have an effect, although it will be diminished with more gain and stomp boxes added. still, the differences made that way can't be mimiched other ways, they are unique, even if subtle.
 

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i think that was a good point to bring up. it certainly does have an effect, although it will be diminished with more gain and stomp boxes added. Still, the differences made that way can't be mimicked other ways, they are unique, even if subtle.
I concur. The more the distortion, corruptions of the signal, and volume gets ramped up, the more the differences between guitars and between amps tend to fall away. I think it is also fair to say that there are some guitarists who will always sound like themselves, no matter what they play through.

But outside of those conditions/caveats, many of us are regularly able to pinpoint what a player (even one we have never heard or heard of before) is using, by ear, simply because the gear has a distinctive signature.
 
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