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Dull Sound from a LP standard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by giventofly, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. giventofly

    giventofly Member

    Sep 11, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    Ok I'm having a mini guitar crisis. Just bought a new 59' Bassman Replica (Weber Kit) and I love the sound through a strat (hell yeah squier) but when i hook up my baby, an 87 LP standard, the sound is all muddy and dull. no life and no sustain at all. Thinking about dropping in new pickups but need some help. P90s maybe?(humbucker size of course) or what? I play a lot of pearl jam and some heavier rock/blues.

    The kicker, i'm getting a '59 strat replica so i'm not looking for a single coil replacement.
  2. mr.mattphisto

    mr.mattphisto Member

    Oct 18, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Being a big PJ fan as well, I have struggled with LP/Humbuckers with my gear as well.

    My Tele sounds amazing at the settings I have now (Life wasted-esque), but then when I add a LP/Humbucker guitar, everything becomes a muddy. The Bridge pickup sounds a little better, but the note to note definition does drop a bit. The tone is very usable for Jazzy stuff, but in general pretty tame.

    It might be a good idea to buy an RC booster (or something like it) to make the LP come alive.

    Or try the Fralin Unbuckers/P92's. Very very nice replacment hums.

    I am chalking it up to just differences between single coils and hums.

    I have noticed that McCreedy and Gossard typically use the bridge PU with using their LP's.

    I am sure you are a big fan of the single coil tone of PJ though :).

    How is the greedtone?

    Hope that helps.
  3. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

    May 16, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    The Bassman may just be revealing how your LP really sounds. OTOH some people say Fender guitars go best with Fender amps. Go figure.

    Has the LP performed better through other good, clean, tube amps? Or only through gain channels, pedals, modelers, or other things where you were hearing more of the device than the instrument?

    If the LP sounds good through other equipment, I'd chalk it up to the fact that some guitars and amps just don't sound great together.

    With that said, an upgrade to WCRs or Voodoos (and a Tone Pros bridge and tailpiece, plus a RS wiring harness) couldn't hurt, but if you like how the LP sounds through other amps, I'd just play your Fenders through the Bassman, and play the Paul through what it likes.

    Personally, I'm not big on swapping out parts unless they fail (I'm in the vast minority on this site) but this only works if you limit your purchases to stuff that sounds and plays the way you want it to when you buy it.

    The idea of spending a couple of hundred for pickups, more for installation, and then not knowing if you'll think the change was worth it, is an experience that I could live without, but once again, WCRs or Voodoos would certainly be an improvement.

  4. Junior

    Junior Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Yeh, check the values of the pots in your LP. If they are 300K, upgrade to 500K to hear it come alive.
  5. has-sound

    has-sound Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Sunny South Florida, USA
    I'm sure your amp settings have a lot to do with it as well. Single coils and humbuckers are completely different tones, a good setting for one will most likely not work for the other. A tweek of the ole' EQ is in order when changing from one guitar to the other. But hey, who wants a Les Paul that sounds like a Strat anyway?!?

  6. leftyaxeslinger

    leftyaxeslinger Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    It took quite a bit of experimenting with pickups, wiring, pot value and learning the physics of what makes a guitar sound a certain way to get my LP Standard just right. And still it is much pickier than my strats as far what amp or pedal it sounds good with

    All it took with my strats was a pickup upgrade!

    Playing lefty guitars makes it hard for me to play a whole bunch before I buy too.
  7. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Playa Jaco, Costa Rica
    +1 on pot check-- swapping from 300K to 500K can (and often will) totally change the "gliss factor" of an otherwise dead LP. FWIW, you should try bridging the channels on your Bassman, and don't forget that Presence control......
  8. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Ghent, NY
    Good idea to install treble filters on your volume pots too. They help maintain the highs when you roll off the volume.

    EADGBE Member

    Sep 23, 2005
    Before you mod the guitar try some GHS super steels strings. They really help my guitars come to life.

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