Fine Tuning Sound

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by duceditor, Nov 14, 2017 at 1:57 PM.

  1. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    This may be anathema here. After all so many of us find as much pleasure in parts switching and guitar flipping as we do in actual playing. Buy it. Modify it with new parts. Get tired of it and flip it, then start the entire process with all its inherent excitement and joys all over again.

    I've got a bunch of guitars. I'm not a head-over-heels modder, but I've switched more than a few PUPs over the years. Changed accessories. And yes, I know the good of it. But right now I am following a different track. And finding it perhaps even more satisfying. That is the track of digging out perfection from what I already have.

    One of things I like about electric guitars is that final music produced is created by a long chain of variables. From the strings, through the basic guitar design, through it own electronic components through add ons and amps and speakers and their room placement.

    All those choices allow for infinite number of sonic outcomes. But their complexity can be hard to manage -- one reason, I think, that we tend to start with somebody else's rig and set up -- then modify it a bit to make it our own.

    I'm certainly not free from influences, but of late I'm kind'a taking a different route.

    First off re the music. Yes, I play various types, but my creative focus in entirely now on just a couple of songs written at one portion of my life -- songs that resonate deeply with me now. Maybe even more deeply than they did when I wrote them.

    Thus I am working on perfecting one voice -- a voice I hear in my head. No doubt influenced, but still, my own

    The search for that voice led me first to one type of guitar. And, similarly, one amp.

    Of late I have gone from one "type" of guitar to one guitar -- the Les Paul CM -- and one set of tones from that amp -- a Champ-esque Joyo Sweet Baby -- an amp with no tone controls at all.

    One guitar/one amp with no settings? What's left to alter the tone?

    So much!

    Currently I am working on PUP setup.

    No, not changing the electronics connected to the PUP -- although that, too, could become an area of interest. But right now it is PUP height and screw height.

    The CM's single PUP, being a humbucker, has two coils. These are wound differently from each other.

    As delivered the coil with the greater number of wrappings is close to the bridge, thus boosting its relative output not only drives harder, but also shifts the balance between the fundamental and its harmonics.

    That difference is anything but subtle. Lowering the entire pup adds clarity. Changing the relationship of each coil's part in the total sound changes harmonic structure.

    I have now spent hours and hours just on this. And have hewed closer and closer to that sound I hear in my head.

    Multiple sessions are needed because hearing with fresh ears is needed. "Come back to tomorrow and listen again" has become my watchword as I get closer and closer to the sound that for me, and for this music, is perfection.

    Yesterday I took a detour to test out my progress. That of playing both other guitars, and this guitar -- the CM -- through other amps.

    That I came back to the last decisions with joy and enthusiasm ("Yes! That is it!") tells me I am on the right track. Getting closer and closer and closer.

    And it is not costing me an additional dime. That's kind'a cool too. :)

    rorygman, Merv_j and Eddie like this.
  2. Eddie

    Eddie Squier-holic

    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    I think I enjoy it because it gives me control of what I want. It also offers me instant gratitude for hard work ... I get instant results.

    It's not like working out ... where I put in massive amount of effort with very little visible return.

    But modding and changing things on the guitar makes me feel like I have some control in my life.

    Everything else ... I totally agree with you. :)
    rorygman, Merv_j and duceditor like this.