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How do YOU EQ your amp with a Les Paul

dirty145

Member
Messages
376
I've really been having trouble dialing in a good EQ for my amps with my Les Paul. I have a LP Custom Classic with Classic 57 and 57+ (bridge) and I'm running that through either a Bogner 20th Anniversary Shiva (KT88) or a Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. The problem that I have always had is choosing which pickup selection to EQ the amp to. I find that if I EQ the amp around the bridge pickup, it sounds WAY TOO bassy when I switch to the neck. If I EQ around the neck, then the bridge seems shrill and thin. I find myself using the middle combo more often than not to get a balanced sound. It becomes increasingly difficult when using overdrives, because I typically use pedals and I can't really use the middle or neck since I typically EQ the pedals around my bridge pickup. All that being said, how do YOU EQ your amp and pedals when using a Les Paul?
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,651
I switch between Strat type Suhr and humbucker Les Paul on my BF Fender inspired amp with pedals for OD tones. I change the bass control setting when switching guitars.......more bass for the Strat type guitar and less bass for the Les Paul. And occasionally, for some songs, the bright switch goes on for the Les Paul.
 

dirty145

Member
Messages
376
How about specifically when you are using the Les Paul. Do you EQ the amp around the neck pickup or the bridge pickup?
 

lostpoet2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,289
Typically I have the tone knob rolled back on my bridge pickup and full on for the neck pickup. I then set the amp up with the bridge pickup since I use it more.
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,651
How about specifically when you are using the Les Paul. Do you EQ the amp around the neck pickup or the bridge pickup?
I'd call it a 'compromise point' when EQ-ing for the Les Paul bridge and neck pickups. And as has been mentioned by lostpoet, I also adjust bridge pickup brightness with the guitar's tone control as needed for different parts and different songs.......not so much with the neck pickup.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,490
I live on the neck pickup of both hum bucker and P90 guitars... Gibson does not make a clear neck pickup (IMHO). I think something a tad under wound helps... I also use 500k or 1M pots for the neck. I will set my EG for the neck, and then I (with vintage 50's wiring) roll off a lot of treble on the bridge to get the tones I want there.

On mid heavy amps like marshals and the normal channel of your custom deluxe, I'd be looking at slightly brighter speakers. Even on the vintage or the term channel of you fender I'd never have the bass higher than 2 and the treble would always be above 5. It's just part of how most people play through Fenders. For most marshall amps I set the bass even lower and the treble very high.

The real problem with most neck pickups is that they are muddy. jmrolph and lollard tend to be more clear than the '57's... and lowering the pickup to the level of the ring (or lower) helps. Some guys like to raise the pickups screw poles a few turns, that's never really worked for me.

There is a long recent thread about getting more from the neck humbucker pickup you might look for. Lot's of approaches to this issue. You're not the only one that feels this way, especially if you're normally a single coil player.
 

koss59

Member
Messages
186
It's a problem with a lot of Les Pauls, they sound bloated on the neck pickup.
Make sure your pots are reading at least 500k and maybe think about changing to a clearer neck pickup.
 

dirty145

Member
Messages
376
Honestly, and sadly...I almost never change the tone controls on the pickups. I've always been a guy that sets them on 10 and then kindof forgets to use them as a tool. Pretty sad considering as long as I've been playing and how frequently I gig. I'll give that a whirl to try and tame some of the "shrillness" of the bridge pickup. I have the Bogner Red pedal which I have heard great demos of on Youtube, but when played through my rig, sounds like an ice pick. I've tried messing with the EQ on the pedal, but just couldn't dial anything in really. Maybe the tone knob on the guitar will help that some.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,490
I do most of my rhythm work on the neck with the lower four strings. If the song requires an open rif on the E/A stings... like a blues thing in E (like "she did a bad bad thing"), I'll switch to the bridge. I do a lot of lead work on the rhythm... but switch it up for a shift within a song. Working very hard to move completely away from full barre chords... because we do have a strong bass player, but old habits hang tough.
 

BobChuck

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
545
I agree with Smolder and Koss about higher pots value/ratio. You should start there.
What do you have right now? 300K/500K? 500K/500K?
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,490
Honestly, and sadly...I almost never change the tone controls on the pickups. I've always been a guy that sets them on 10 and then kindof forgets to use them as a tool.
Well, in that case, let me suggest something even more drastic than a 1M volume pot on the neck pickup. Disconnect the tone pot. If you (like I) are never going to roll off the treble on the neck, why have it? It only adds capacitance and reduces treble.
 

dirty145

Member
Messages
376
I agree with Smolder and Koss about higher pots value/ratio. You should start there.
What do you have right now? 300K/500K? 500K/500K?
Once again, forgive my ignorance, but I'm not even sure what the pot values are. I have never changed them, so whatever came standard with the guitar. What I have is 2008 Gibson Custom Classic Silverburst. It was Guitar of the Week #16 when they released these limited run guitars. I think they only made like 400 or something.
 

dirty145

Member
Messages
376
Well, in that case, let me suggest something even more drastic than a 1M volume pot on the neck pickup. Disconnect the tone pot. If you (like I) are never going to roll off the treble on the neck, why have it? It only adds capacitance and reduces treble.
Not a bad idea, buy maybe my approach should be to start utilitzing it, right?
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,490
Once again, forgive my ignorance, but I'm not even sure what the pot values are. I have never changed them, so whatever came standard with the guitar. What I have is 2008 Gibson Custom Classic Silverburst. It was Guitar of the Week #16 when they released these limited run guitars. I think they only made like 400 or something.
If you open up the back of the control cavity, the pots should be stamped on the back with a number (250k, 500k, etc). Might be harder if the cavity houses a printed circuit board setup.
 
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mizzlfoshizzl

Member
Messages
227
Varies with the amp, but my go-to rock setting for an LP into a Marshall is something like Treble 6, Mid 4, Bass 9, Presence 6. I use all 3 positions throughout a gig depending on the song. The middle position is glorious since you can use all 4 controls on the guitar to fine tune your spot in the mix. I'll often use both pickups but with the neck volume rolled down significantly to soften the attack of the bridge a bit but not get too muddy. And don't be afraid to turn down the tone control on the bridge either. Both your amps should be more than bright enough.
 

wickedcookie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,165
Not a bad idea, buy maybe my approach should be to start utilitzing it, right?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your gibson has a separate volume and tone control for each pickup, yes? I believe what smolder is suggesting is to leave the bridge pickup wiring as is, so you can use it's tone control to attenuate undesirable treble, and bypass altogether the neck pickup's tone control, eliminating its unavoidable affectation of the signal, even when it's at full.

By doing this, you could EQ your amp to sound good with the neck pickup, which should be a little clearer and brighter after it's tone pot has been bypassed, and adjust the tone on your guitar when you switch to the bridge pickup.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
23,337
I've really been having trouble dialing in a good EQ for my amps with my Les Paul. I have a LP Custom Classic with Classic 57 and 57+ (bridge) and I'm running that through either a Bogner 20th Anniversary Shiva (KT88) or a Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. The problem that I have always had is choosing which pickup selection to EQ the amp to. I find that if I EQ the amp around the bridge pickup, it sounds WAY TOO bassy when I switch to the neck. If I EQ around the neck, then the bridge seems shrill and thin. I find myself using the middle combo more often than not to get a balanced sound. It becomes increasingly difficult when using overdrives, because I typically use pedals and I can't really use the middle or neck since I typically EQ the pedals around my bridge pickup. All that being said, how do YOU EQ your amp and pedals when using a Les Paul?
I set everything up for the guitar in the middle pickup selection, with both volumes down around 5 or 6 and the tones on 7 or so. This gives me room to tweak from the guitar when changing to bridge or neck as needed.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,490
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your gibson has a separate volume and tone control for each pickup, yes? I believe what smolder is suggesting is to leave the bridge pickup wiring as is, so you can use it's tone control to attenuate undesirable treble, and bypass altogether the neck pickup's tone control, eliminating its unavoidable affectation of the signal, even when it's at full.

By doing this, you could EQ your amp to sound good with the neck pickup, which should be a little clearer and brighter after it's tone pot has been bypassed, and adjust the tone on your guitar when you switch to the bridge pickup.
Correct.

In the OP you stated the neck pickup is too bassy, if the first task is to fix that, and given what I've done to fix this problem, I doubt you'll get to the point of wanting to roll off treble there. But, if you do... a simple disconnect (of the neck tone pot) is pretty easy to put back.
 






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