The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Keeping in mind budget restrictions, are the guitars with both humbucker and single coil (like the Highway 1) a *good* investment? Can you really cover pretty much all styles? Or is it better to have one with all single coils and one with humbuckers?

All single coils with one of them "stacked" humbucker?

What are some of the best affordable guitars in that style?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,968 Posts
You can play any music style with any guitar. There used to be an old jazz player back int he 80s, who jazzed on pointy Jacksons. The dude from Overkill thrashed using a S/S/S Strat. Its the player that needs to be versitile, the guitar is mearly a tool. Just get the guitar you feel comfortable with..............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,909 Posts
another option - I picked up an Eric Clapton circuit board from Axe awhile ago for, I think it was, $99.
Big mid boost for the Strat, makes it extremely versatile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
dwagar said:
another option - I picked up an Eric Clapton circuit board from Axe awhile ago for, I think it was, $99.
Big mid boost for the Strat, makes it extremely versatile.
Might be a good alternative for my Squier right now. Which pickups would you recommend as replacements for the stock ones?

Thanks guys.

Edit: 3 single coils
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Jeff Flowerday said:
You could also look at a guitar with 2 humbuckers and coil tapping. ie) PRS

You get the humbuckers and a decent strat tone when tapped.
Jeff I like that idea. I assume that they sell humbucker pickups like that separately. How do you search for them? (tapped pickups?) Any brand in particular anyone could recommend?

I'm thinking about picking up a gibson style *cheapie* now and maybe dropping these types of PUs in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,909 Posts
to split a humbucker, just make sure it's a 4 wire (not a 2 wire). And you can get push pull pots so you don't have to install switches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi again,
I very much appreciate your input (and your patience). As I’m starting to grow as a guitarist, *things* are starting to *reveal* themselves and I sometimes get *overwhelmed* trying to decifer what it is that I’m looking for and where to go next (and how I’m going to get there). I’ve read and heard a lot about *tones* but I was too worried about trying to get my barre chords down first ;)

Lately, I’ve been trying to divide my practice time between acoustic and electric. Never played much of the electric and when I did, it didn’t sound good. So I’d switch back to the acoustic fast.

So, to make a long story short :) , my latest *revelation* is realizing that my tones are pretty damn awful :) I’ve been experimenting, volume high on the guitar and adjust the amp volume accordingly, bridge and middle PU, neck and middle PU etc, tone knobs up down, and man, it’s awful.

Accept2 nails it in his post. I say that the tones that I get are pretty awful. But a good player might make this thing wail and it may sound decent (to a point). I’ve never had a setup done (on the Squier). The store that sold me this thing just took it off the rack, “rung me in” and I was out the door. It didn’t really matter (I guess) cause I played it unplugged a lot; my focus was more to get some chords down. I just played chords to play songs with a clean sound through the amp once in a while.

But this *revelation* has caused a growing frustration lately and I ridicule myself in a forum like this. It’s a very humbling experience. I’ve ordered the *bible* of guitar repair (I was hoping I’d receive it tonight) and this will give me a pretty good start. But if you’ll allow me a couple more questions, I’ll eh... ok I’ll buy you all a beer :)

1) I “think” at this point that I need new PUs for the Squier. The stock ones are probably *not so good*. Am I right? Or could a proper setup make them sound amazing? What’s a good step up for 3 single coils? Change the pots as well? I’m thinking of going with dwagar’s idea (EC mid booster board). I believe that it comes with the one pot. Does it replace the volume pot? Anything else you could point out is cool.

2) This place is getting pretty resourceful. I’d still like to hear from people who have had (or who have) experience with a *hyghway 1” style of guitars (a humbucker and a single coil). Enlighten me (and hopefully others). It sounds like a great instrument but what do I know? Humbucker always at the bridge? Pros? Cons?...

Thanks a million
Martin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,909 Posts
The EC kit replaces one tone pot with a TBX pot, the other becomes the mid-boost, so you end up with vol, boost, tone.
I just left my original Fender pickups in, works good for me.
I don't know what kind of pickups are in a Squire though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
save your money and get a luthier to make what you need/want. i paid about $2000 for this CAN



does everything i want/need it to do.... and totally worth the savings. everything about this guitar i requested (including the mic in the upper horn). save save save
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,161 Posts
Neill MacInnis said:
save your money and get a luthier to make what you need/want. i paid about $2000 for this CAN



does everything i want/need it to do.... and totally worth the savings. everything about this guitar i requested (including the mic in the upper horn). save save save
I paid $1200 US for my C66 from carvin. Active electronics, Both pickups can be split, out of phase switch, plus a fishman piezo for accoustic and a blend knob for any combo of electric/accoustic you desire. Swiss Army knife of guitars, great build quality, and sounds killer in all positions.
Having said all that it's probably more than you want to spend :)


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
dwagar said:
The EC kit replaces one tone pot with a TBX pot, the other becomes the mid-boost, so you end up with vol, boost, tone.
I just left my original Fender pickups in, works good for me.
I don't know what kind of pickups are in a Squire though.
"Vol, Boost and Tone" controls all 3 PUs?

Neill MacInnis said:
save your money and get a luthier to make what you need/want. i paid about $2000 for this CAN

does everything i want/need it to do.... and totally worth the savings. everything about this guitar i requested (including the mic in the upper horn). save save save
Neill, does everything you want/need. Do you go from nice bluesy to a *crunchy" hard rock/grunge whatever style in what you're playing? You know what I'm trying to say...

For 2k, you better have good tones man :D It a nice guitar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
davetcan said:
I paid $1200 US for my C66 from carvin. Active electronics, Both pickups can be split, out of phase switch, plus a fishman piezo for accoustic and a blend knob for any combo of electric/accoustic you desire. Swiss Army knife of guitars, great build quality, and sounds killer in all positions.
Having said all that it's probably more than you want to spend :)

davetcan, keep talking man. I get the "both PUs can be split, out of phase switch" but I'm over 40 and my brain is overloaded :D Alright, a fishman piezzo for acoustic..." is one (or two) of the single coil(s)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
for sure it does... has some of the sweetest sounds ever clean and then rips. i have no need for a bluesy crunch per se but im sure it could do that. btw my rig is delay, vol pedal and then tweed bassman... very simple and no dual channel to split clean and dirt. it all happens on the vol pedal and TO ME sounds amazing.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,161 Posts
ofender said:
davetcan, keep talking man. I get the "both PUs can be split, out of phase switch" but I'm over 40 and my brain is overloaded :D Alright, a fishman piezzo for acoustic..." is one (or two) of the single coil(s)?
I'm over 50 so it took me awhile to figure it all out :)

Both pickups can be split independently. The phase switch only works with both pups in Hum or Single configuration. There are 2 input jacks, so, you can run the electric side of the guitar to your amp, and the accoustic side to the PA or an accoustic amp. If you just plug into the electric jack you can still blend accoustic/e;ectric but you're only using your electric amp for accoustic, not the best scenario, but it still sounds pretty good.
Only downside, you need to replace the battery every once in awhile. You can order this setup from them on a cheaper guitar, you don't have to "gussie" it up like mine. My mom passed away a couple of years ago so I bought the guitar out of the estate. She was a red head and I thought it kinda fit. I've got her name on the trussrod cover, thank you carvin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Ofender,

I can really relate to your quest for better tone; I grew up playing piano when I was little and switched to guitar only a few years ago, so my musicianship and ear are much better than my technical abilities on guitar. It's sometimes hugely frustrating, but it's also what makes guitar so addictive for me: the challenge of sounding better. I can hear tones in my head which I can almost - but not quite - get out of my gear.

A good setup on your Squier will make it easier to play and intonate better. It will sound better if the intonation is currently off, but it won't improve the sound coming from the pickups. Changing pickups can really make a big difference in tone, and most pickup manufacturers can offer pickup sets based on the type of sound you're after. What type of music do you play? Who's tone is the tone you want? As for the pots, changing pots is not the "traditional" way to get better tone.

Getting a guitar with coil-splitting humbuckers and piezo's will definitely offer a lot of versatility. If you want to go this route, look up what Godin guitars has to offer - good bang for the buck, and many of their models have coil-splitting, piezo's and even MIDI capability.

And while I do agree with Neil McInnis's suggestion of saving up to get the absolutely best guitar for your needs, I would say that it would be quite important to have a very well-defined idea of exactly what type of tone you want before paying 2000$ for a guitar. If you want to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughn, you don't need a dual-humbucking coil-splitting piezo-equipped guitar.

And don't forget the amp. An extremely good guitar well still sound pretty lousy on a p.o.s solid-state practice amp. It's frustrating and difficult, if not impossible, trying to get good tone with a bad amp.

Lastly, your tone is also very much litterally in your hands. One of my very accomplished guitar-playing friends can make a cheap epiphone sound better than me with my Les Paul - it's in his fingers, his articulation and phrasing, his control of his pick attack and dynamics, more than in the guitar in his hands. Ever since I realized this, a few years ago, I got the #1 thing that made a huge improvement in my playing: lessons. A much better investment than ny guitar I ever bought.

Sorry this was so long, man. Just my 0.02$, hope I didn't come off as a pompous jackass...
:rockon:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
For me my Godin Exit 22 is the most versitile electric i have ever owned ($460 Can). The pure tone is better on other guitars i,ve owned but the territory I can cover with this thing is incredible.

Tarl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Imported_goods said:
Lastly, your tone is also very much litterally in your hands. One of my very accomplished guitar-playing friends can make a cheap epiphone sound better than me with my Les Paul - it's in his fingers, his articulation and phrasing, his control of his pick attack and dynamics, more than in the guitar in his hands. Ever since I realized this, a few years ago, I got the #1 thing that made a huge improvement in my playing: lessons. A much better investment than ny guitar I ever bought.
I'm with you on that, bro'! It's what I call the "order of influence". I've been reading a lot of forum posts about guitar players not happy with their sound and their first impulse is to buy new pickups to cure the problem, but that's a little further down the list in my opinion.

Listen to Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck for example. They all have immediately recognizable sounds no matter what guitar or amp they are playing. Pickups, unlike guitarists, guitars, or speakers, have no physical connection to the production of the sound, they are only transmitters. Here is what I would consider the order of influence:
1. the player - physical
2. the guitar - physical
3. the amp - electronic, speakers - physical
4. the pickups - electronic

The acoustic environment is also a major factor but it's not worth discussing because is usually beyond your control. I would say the biggest influence is where the rubber meets the road; hands on the guitar and how your brain's wish for a certain tone instructs your hands to produce it. You can't predictably produce a good sound without hearing it in your head first. It's also valuable to recognize your own personal nuances and capitalize on them. Recognize your own reality and don't fantasize some other players sound. Your bone density in your hands has a big influence on tone and it's yours alone. Try fretting a note with your pinky and then play the same note with your thumb, you'll hear the difference. How you attack a string, where you attack a string, with what you attack a string, and the split second timing between left and right hand is really where it starts.

I'm sure you can improve your tone with the gear you have now. Listen for similarities between your acoustic guitar sound and your electric sound. Those similarities will be your personal sound. Once you get a good clean tone happening, then you can start shaping it electronically but I would try different amps before messing with pickups.
When I started singing, the voice in my head, the voice I was hearing, was'nt the voice I was producing. After hearing myself recorded a lot I began to hear and was able to control my true voice. I applied this same principle to my guitar playing and it helped me a lot.
:rockon:
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top