Lifeson on PRS

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
44,617
Nothing to do with copying his tone, everything to do with his guitar sound through the years and your opinion of it. I, and many others, think he sounded better when he used mainly Gibson guitars. As a Rush fan, do you honestly like his tone or think it better from the mid '80s on to that of the '74-'82 era?
You may find this strange coming from a fellow guitarist who like you is also serious about his own tone but I don't obsess over Lifeson's guitar tones over the years. I'm much more interested in his masterful phrasing. What model guitar he gets them on is just not of significant interest to me - his playing would fascinate me on a Teisco.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,658
I remember, perhaps the same interview, where he stated that the PRS guitars were set up better, but that the Gibson’s sounded better. I think his amp choices had a lot to do with it. I never liked his tones with the H&Ks. I thought that live he sounded better through his 335 than his Les Pauls or his PRSs.
 

Heinz W

Genuine '66 Relic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,745
You may find this strange coming from a fellow guitarist who like you is also serious about his own tone but I don't obsess over Lifeson's guitar tones over the years. I'm much more interested in his masterful phrasing. What model guitar he gets them on is just not of significant interest to me - his playing would fascinate me on a Teisco.
Again, nothing to do with obsessing over or emulating his tone. In which era do you feel he had better tone?
 

Rick Lee

Member
Messages
11,348
I play in a Rush tribute and my Hentor Sportscaster clone build should be done in time for my gig next week. It will look spot on, though I have never played anything with a Bill Lawrence pickup before. I'm curious to get it all finished.

However, for my amps, I'm trying to decide what to use here. I have a GK 250ML and it sounds perfect for the Power Windows stuff and pretty close for the Roll the Bones stuff too. I have a lot of guitars with coil-split pups, so I can get the single coil sound when I need it. I'm pretty sure I'm bringing the GK 250ML and a '79 Marshall 2203, will use an A/B pedal to go between them, depending on the song. The Marshall will be for everything he used a tube amp for and the GK for the solid state stuff.

I had front row twice on the RTB tour and, IIRC, he was using GKs and PRSs then. We're playing NWM, DEW, RTB and Dreamline, so GK and likely single coil for those. Then Animate, so back to the tube amp for that one. And all the older stuff will be through the Marshall too.
 

dirtyguitar

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
702
I think his tone was best, when the music was best. Which was prior to Signals.

Coincidence? I think he would have sounded great on a B.C. Rich in those days. Of course, B.C. Rich was high quality instrument back in that day.
 

Warmart

Member
Messages
244
I think his tone was best, when the music was best. Which was prior to Signals.

Coincidence? I think he would have sounded great on a B.C. Rich in those days. Of course, B.C. Rich was high quality instrument back in that day.
Have you given Snakes and Arrows and Clockwork Angels a listen? Personally always swore by Hemispheres and 2112 until 5 full plays of the entire Clockwork album. Especially once you get the concept, it's mind blowing that a 40+ year band could create something so phenomenal. Shame it was the last but damn, who else ever went out like that!?
 

msquared

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,051
It's really amazing to consider all of the different great guitar tones Alex has had over the years.

For me the sweet spot will always be the run from Counterparts through Clockwork Angels. Coming out of the keyboard heavy years and hitting the rock trio stuff with a vengeance sounds so delightful.
 

chillybilly

Member
Messages
3,769
Who can forget the Hentor?!? (with the inverted jack)

JpkkJS.jpg



The White Strat always intrigued me for several reasons...
1) It was at the time I became something of a Rush-head (Rushie?)
2) Their videos with the white Strat were in heavy rotation at the time (especially Countdown and the live Limelight)
3) I was visually if not musically familiar with his white Gibson.
4) I saw Grace Under Pressure tour where he still used it. In fact, the guitar cut out completely mid-song (probably the wireless unit) and I saw the quickest guitar change in history, thus setting unreasonable backup/failover expectations for myself in doing bar & club gigs.

It is interesting that a 70s Fender Stratocaster waterslide is in place, even a Fender strap!

Was there any facility for out-of-phase sounds with this setup? It was, by Rush's own admission, a time they were *ahem* influenced by the Police with lots of ringing chords that seemed to have that sound at times.

At the risk of going full anorak....ah who am I kidding? Rush fans/listeners have always been anoraks...in the videos referenced above he's got a cover on the humbucker.

Maybe a different vibrato as well? More Fender-ish? Or is the photo possibly a latter-day recreation of the guitar?


Screenshot 2022-05-28 07.52.26.png


Screenshot 2022-05-28 07.52.43.png
 

OotMagroot

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,708
The White Strat always intrigued me for several reasons...
1) It was at the time I became something of a Rush-head (Rushie?)
2) Their videos with the white Strat were in heavy rotation at the time (especially Countdown and the live Limelight)
3) I was visually if not musically familiar with his white Gibson.
4) I saw Grace Under Pressure tour where he still used it. In fact, the guitar cut out completely mid-song (probably the wireless unit) and I saw the quickest guitar change in history, thus setting unreasonable backup/failover expectations for myself in doing bar & club gigs.

It is interesting that a 70s Fender Stratocaster waterslide is in place, even a Fender strap!

Was there any facility for out-of-phase sounds with this setup? It was, by Rush's own admission, a time they were *ahem* influenced by the Police with lots of ringing chords that seemed to have that sound at times.

At the risk of going full anorak....ah who am I kidding? Rush fans/listeners have always been anoraks...in the videos referenced above he's got a cover on the humbucker.

Maybe a different vibrato as well? More Fender-ish? Or is the photo possibly a latter-day recreation of the guitar?


View attachment 611447

View attachment 611448

These pics are of the Hentor before the new neck and single-locking-non fine tune Floyd we're added. Of course, that's a Gibson pickup that was changed out to a Bill Lawrence L500.
 
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DarrellM5

Member
Messages
2,031
Regardless of which guitar he was playing I always thought he sounded great. I love my Gibson and PRS guitars but I sound like me playing any of them. I've seen several artists (Lifeson, Mustaine, Phil X, etc..) go to Gibson from what I consider to be better quality brands but they still sound like themselves. BTW, I got to see Rush on the Hold Your Fire tour in '88 and the R40 tour in 2015. They were great both times.
 




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