Dull Guitar Tone

Tanqueray

Member
Messages
463
I recently bought an SG Classic that sounds kinda dull. It sounded okay when I bought it, but when I took it home and compared it to my other guitars, I've found the tone is lacking the same punch and clarity. I tried adjusting the pickups, but that didn't help. I tested them all out unplugged and found the same characteristic is apparent acoustically: The Classic just sounds dull compared to all of my other guitars.

Is this guitar just a dog? Or is there something I can do to make it sound better? Maybe some adjustment I can make to the bridge or tailpiece? I really like how this guitar plays, and I'd love to get the most out of it. I bought it used from someone on CL so it's not like I can return it.
 

-CM-

Something Clever Here
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,725
Did you try new/different strings?
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,342
Try some GHS super steels strings. If that doesn't work try a Duncan JB at the bridge. Also make sure the pots are 500K.
 

Tanqueray

Member
Messages
463
Yes, I put new strings on it. I also raised the pickups and then the polepieces. It made it louder, but didn't give it the same brightness and clarity that my other P90 guitars have.
 
Messages
6,912
Some axes just have darker sounding wood than most. Brighter sounding pickups might help, if the guitar has decent natural sustain and you feel it's a keeper. Otherwise, pass it along and hope it winds up with somebody it suits.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
8,923
Make sure it's got 500k pots.
Some guitars need abit more treble/presence on the amp.
What are your other guitars and what pickups in the SG ?? I have a 05 SG Std with 490 498's and 500k pots and through some modern amps it's abit dull, but through a stock 2203 it's got plenty of presence.
 

rufedges

Member
Messages
1,268
Maybe take it to a tech and have him evaluate the electronics in the cavity, but other than that, your suspicions might be correct, it might be dead wood.............. I've bought a few guitars used, one of them was definitely dead wood. I always wonder when I see guitars that don't sell for a while / years, like one such boutique strat/tele builder, who only has pretty much one place you can get his guitars, and they're almost never for sale PP on ebay, but there's a few still listed on the site for sale for over a year or more.....
 

edwarddavis

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,319
Well it sounded good when you bought ,
Play it straight into your amp with no pedals , if it still sounds bad maybe you need a better amp
 

CubanB

Member
Messages
2,148
What you describe is the whole reason why it's good to evaluate guitars acoustically.. the pickups, the setup etc can be replaced but a lot of guitars have a core sound inside of that, and that can't really be changed. Once you change the neck or the body, it's a new guitar. And that's with strats, as with your guitar replacing the neck isn't even really an option. For someone with a bright amp, a guitar like that could be just the thing. But yeah..

And before someone says buy brighter pickups, sometimes it's not that simple. It'll be a different type of bright. For example, you can turn the bass up on your amp but it's not the same thing as increasing string guage or raising action. That core acoustic sound of the guitar is what gets amplified, especially when playing clean tones.
 
Messages
6,912
Well it sounded good when you bought ,
Play it straight into your amp with no pedals , if it still sounds bad maybe you need a better amp
I think it just sounds dull relative to the OP's other guitars, and he'd rather not have to reset his rig just for this particular instrument. Trying 500K pots is good advice IMO. He didn't say what year the SG is but if it has Gibson's 490R/490T pickups, many have found those a bit muddy sounding especially with the stock 300K pots.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,828
Has anyone asked why type and how long of a cable the OP is using at home compared to the the try at the shop?

Humbuckers are darker than P-90s
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,097
If your amp is set for p-90s you're gonna need to make some changes to your settings. You can't just switch guitars without adjusting.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,692
what amp are you using? Settings? Also, try lowering the pickup into the cavity, and raising the pole pieces if you can.
 

Jason_77

Member
Messages
7,210
It wouldn't hurt to have a pro look it over and give it a good setup. It's possible that the nut slots are nut cut right or at the right angle. If the strings have too much surface area to rest against in the nut slot, they can sound dull.
 

monty

Member
Messages
22,306
AHA!

It sounds like the 'problem' is that you like the sound of P90s better than humbuckers.
My $$ is on this too. My SC and bucker guitars do fine using the same settings but I have to mess a bit with my p90 guitars.
 

Tanqueray

Member
Messages
463
The SG Classic has P90s in it. I'm comparing it against other P90 guitars (an LP Special and an SG Special 60s Tribute), not my SG Standard with humbuckers. Though that guitar sounds brighter too.

I don't have any means of getting the actual measure of the pots right now, but the spec sheet claims they're 300k volume and 500k tone.

I've done adjustments to the pickups already, and I've tested it through multiple amps. It doesn't sound bad necessarily. It just doesn't sound as good as I think it ought to. What I'd like is to get it closer to sounding like the other two P90 guitars that I mentioned because while it sounds duller, it is actually much more comfortable to play due to its larger neck profile.
 




Trending Topics

Top