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Vintage Tone Watershed Moment

hogy

Member
Messages
13,452
I'm still kinda dumbfounded by the experience on a gig I played Friday. I've had a love/hate relationship with humbucker guitars all my life. I've tried everything, including a '59 burst (a really good one at that), dot necks, 345s, you name it. Every single time I take a humbucker guitar to a gig, I can't wait to put it in the stand after a song or two, and grab a Strat.

I wanted the tone for this whole Freddie/BB/Albert thing, but it just wasn't happening.

Until Friday, that is. I bought this early '61 SG Les Paul to give the humbucker thing one last go, and it was as close to a religious experience as I've come before. It was absolutely perfect, incredibly satisfying. The whole band was commenting and telling me I need to play this thing "all the time". People came up during the break and commented on how great this guitar sounds. I show up with some good gear every gig, this obviously made an impression. It must be how it sits in the band mix, it just fits perfectly.

I'm still learning the manual of arms of an SG. Doesn't feel like "home" yet, but tone wise, this is IT. Love the wide, flat neck, too.

This is one of the five or so "core" guitars that will never leave me again. I really feel like my gear obsession is gelling lately, and I'm arriving somewhere. Gonna have a big garage sale post-Covid, maybe a table at a vintage show, and really focus on playing from here on out.

Yeah, right... :D

 

asintoras

Member
Messages
1,874
Gorgeous example and I mentioned on your Instagram. Are you going to post some recordings soon? And how much did you pay for it? You can use PM if that makes you feel more comfortable. I am just curious because it looks pristine.

Congrats and welcome to the SG lovers club.
 

( . )( . )

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
944
I'm still kinda dumbfounded by the experience on a gig I played Friday. I've had a love/hate relationship with humbucker guitars all my life. I've tried everything, including a '59 burst (a really good one at that), dot necks, 345s, you name it. Every single time I take a humbucker guitar to a gig, I can't wait to put it in the stand after a song or two, and grab a Strat.

I wanted the tone for this whole Freddie/BB/Albert thing, but it just wasn't happening.

Until Friday, that is. I bought this early '61 SG Les Paul to give the humbucker thing one last go, and it was as close to a religious experience as I've come before. It was absolutely perfect, incredibly satisfying. The whole band was commenting and telling me I need to play this thing "all the time". People came up during the break and commented on how great this guitar sounds. I show up with some good gear every gig, this obviously made an impression. It must be how it sits in the band mix, it just fits perfectly.

I'm still learning the manual of arms of an SG. Doesn't feel like "home" yet, but tone wise, this is IT. Love the wide, flat neck, too.

This is one of the five or so "core" guitars that will never leave me again. I really feel like my gear obsession is gelling lately, and I'm arriving somewhere. Gonna have a big garage sale post-Covid, maybe a table at a vintage show, and really focus on playing from here on out.

Yeah, right... :D

Congratulations on finding your humbucker tone!

Those two guitars seem like the perfect pairing for almost any gig....very nice.
 

fitz

Member
Messages
2,410
I think what is intriguing tone wise with SG is the fact they are constructed with the thin mahogany body. It has less of the thick sustain that Les Pauls impart. They sound less "heavy" than LP's and thinner sounding to the point they have a more stinging tone. Try them with P90's and you may have another epiphany.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,916
I recently had the same surprising experience myself. For about 50 years of gigging and trying many humbucker & P90 guitars along the way, I always went back to a Strat...so I all but gave up on humbuckers & P90's and haven't even touched a guitar so equipped in many years.

Then, recently, on a whim, I tried a dual humbucker guitar one last time mostly based on the dealers photo thinking I'd end up sending it back. But it was a beauty that I just had to try out. The color was my favorite and the maple top was one I would have hand picked given the opportunity.

It arrived and, MUCH to my surprise, it sounded like what I always wanted a humbucker to sound like, sans the murky mids that I don't care for with typical humbuckers, with nice clarity from all strings.

And, of all things, its a new PRS McCarty. I've tried at least a dozen PRS over the years and they just left me flat despite the PRS attention to detail & looks. But I think it's these new PRS 58/15 pickups that did it for me. Nothing needs replaced! I hear the clarity of my Strats but with just a little more heft around the notes...excatly what I'd been seeking for many years!

Never say never I suppose! Anyways, here's the dual humbucker guitfiddle that finally did it for me:
 

Dashface

Member
Messages
5,687
I mean, you obviously know strats and love em... But there’s something truly glorious about a perfect SG! Rock on, man! :D
 

Rockinrob86

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,834
Haha, maybe one day I’ll have this moment with a strat someday!

welcome to the club.

The best Gibsons are thick and clear sounding, I love my SG! I bought it when I was 11, and it isn’t vintage, but it is mine. Some OX4 pickups turned it from good to GREAT!
 

deytookerjaabs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,255
You have enough holy experiences that I must propose you change your username to "Holy Roller." :p


That there is a badass lookin' SG! Even next to the other thing.
 

Snorktop

Senior Member
Messages
503
I can relate to your feeling about humbuckers, even on a godly '59. SG is a bit of the best of both worlds.

I've never experienced this kind of epiphany. I am happy for you, though a bit jealous. Maybe I shouldn't be, since myself, the band and audience have been very satisfied with my tone.

Cool amp.
 

Chris Scott

Member
Messages
9,157
Hey Hogy, you've described my relationship with humbucker guitars most perfectly...try as I may, I usually can't wait to get a Tele back in my hands

I'm hoping to have a different experience here soon with the '60 345 (thanks for the fretwire recommendation btw), but I have a feeling it's gonna be the same - we'll see.

Btw, Dean Parks has a lovely '61 like yours, and he gets a really broad range of sounds out of it every time I see him...I had one ages ago, but those necks just don't work for me...otherwise they're a great sounding instrument.

Congrats on your newest "best friend"!
 

YYZ

Member
Messages
2,719
I'm still kinda dumbfounded by the experience on a gig I played Friday. I've had a love/hate relationship with humbucker guitars all my life. I've tried everything, including a '59 burst (a really good one at that), dot necks, 345s, you name it. Every single time I take a humbucker guitar to a gig, I can't wait to put it in the stand after a song or two, and grab a Strat.

I wanted the tone for this whole Freddie/BB/Albert thing, but it just wasn't happening.

Until Friday, that is. I bought this early '61 SG Les Paul to give the humbucker thing one last go, and it was as close to a religious experience as I've come before. It was absolutely perfect, incredibly satisfying. The whole band was commenting and telling me I need to play this thing "all the time". People came up during the break and commented on how great this guitar sounds. I show up with some good gear every gig, this obviously made an impression. It must be how it sits in the band mix, it just fits perfectly.

I'm still learning the manual of arms of an SG. Doesn't feel like "home" yet, but tone wise, this is IT. Love the wide, flat neck, too.

This is one of the five or so "core" guitars that will never leave me again. I really feel like my gear obsession is gelling lately, and I'm arriving somewhere. Gonna have a big garage sale post-Covid, maybe a table at a vintage show, and really focus on playing from here on out.

Yeah, right... :D

Like literally 1961 or early '61 Reissue?
 
Messages
663
the '61 is a freakin' re-issue, like everything f-in else in the vintage section.

our Lifes, our instruments, the music, you name it.

:aok
 

yucatown

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,972
The same enthusiasm you’ve had for strats I’ve had for Gibson guitars for some time. I’ve had my share of vintage instruments, still have a few, but this one to me represents my tone watershed moment.


It’s a 59 355 in factory mono with a big neck.

I’m into vintage Marshalls too, which helps with the tone equation.
 

crashbelt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
335
The same enthusiasm you’ve had for strats I’ve had for Gibson guitars for some time. I’ve had my share of vintage instruments, still have a few, but this one to me represents my tone watershed moment.


It’s a 59 355 in factory mono with a big neck.

I’m into vintage Marshalls too, which helps with the tone equation.
Factory mono - very nice indeed:)
 




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