Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

A Guitar owner's thread

If you're bedroom noodling, don't bother. Learn to make use of the ones you've got and get a decent amp instead.

A good amp can make a crap guitar sound good.
A crap amp just makes everything sound bad.

I have four different amps which hardly get used now. I play through an amp-sim (Amplitube) on my computer almost exclusively at home. It does everything I want or need and very well, too.
 
I have four different amps which hardly get used now. I play through an amp-sim (Amplitube) on my computer almost exclusively at home. It does everything I want or need and very well, too.

I imagine I would too if I started playing again.

Get thee behind me, Amazon.

Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster, Butterscotch Blonde, Maple Fingerboard £195.
 

Bob Upndown

War Hero
You have to be a bit careful when mixing and matching Fender USA and Squier stuff. They are built to different measurements. Fender USA use inches (imperial), while Squier, which are made in Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia etc. use metric. Even fitting new pots can mean a bit of routing or drilling. I very much doubt that a ready-wired pickguard intended for a US H-S-S Strat would slot straight into a Squier unless it was specifically made for a Squier or something else metric. Check before buying.

Pickups by themselves are usually fine, although it requires a bit of skill with a soldering iron.



You might consider Tonerider pickups. They are very reasonably priced and it is what Fender themselves use in their top-of-the-Squier-range guitars (Classic Vibes). I've never owned a set, but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't have anything but high praise for them (or for Classic Vibe Squiers).

Replacement pots might be more tricky. The guitar could well be routed for the mini pots that are usually fitted to import guitars. Normal size (US) CTS or Alpha replacement pots might require a bit of body rerouting. The scratchplate might also require a little bit of drilling out to accept the fatter pot shafts (as well as a set of new knobs to fit on the shafts). Again, check before buying.

Unless the existing pots are shot to bits or completely crap, I'd be inclined to leave them as they are.

Similarly, the caps. Unless you want to change the tone to something brighter or darker, changing a capacitor to something of the same value is rarely worth the effort. You will be hard pushed to notice any difference at all.

Thanks for response, that's a good point re the sizing, I'll look out for that. I''m handy with a smoldering iron so happy to dive in.

Good steer re Tonerider thanks, very good pricing and the reviews speak for themselves. Of course, Sod's Law means the set I want is 4-6 weeks lead time. I might just have to remember those hazy, olden days before Amazon Prime and wait!
 

Bob Upndown

War Hero
I have four different amps which hardly get used now. I play through an amp-sim (Amplitube) on my computer almost exclusively at home. It does everything I want or need and very well, too.

Sims are something I've started thinking about as I don't really plan to gig and I can't wind up any amp to any volume that's going to make the difference due to not living in the middle of nowhere (I wish).

Could you describe your setup with the Amplitube software?
 
Sims are something I've started thinking about as I don't really plan to gig and I can't wind up any amp to any volume that's going to make the difference due to not living in the middle of nowhere (I wish).

Could you describe your setup with the Amplitube software?

It's best to have a decent audio interface. Onboard audio on a motherboard chip is certainly better than it was, but you can do considerably better with something a bit more specialist. I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 external USB interface, but others are available. A decent internal soundcard would do the job fine. You need to run an active (powered) monitor speaker(s) off the audio interface. Something a bit better than the sort of computer speakers that normally come with the computer or that you'd pick up from PC World. If you're a gamer, you might already have something set up.

There is a headphone output on the Focusrite, which I never use (I'm not that keen on using cans). I don't have monitor speakers. Instead, I run a line to my Hi-Fi amp and speakers. So that might be a possibility if you don't want to shell out for a powered monitor or monitors.

It's all quite suitable for home use. If I had need to fill an auditorium, I'd use a proper amp setup, although you could quite easily run the amp-sim on a laptop (with all your presets) and feed it through a desk in a live situation.
 

Bob Upndown

War Hero
It's best to have a decent audio interface. Onboard audio on a motherboard chip is certainly better than it was, but you can do considerably better with something a bit more specialist. I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 external USB interface, but others are available. A decent internal soundcard would do the job fine. You need to run an active (powered) monitor speaker(s) off the audio interface. Something a bit better than the sort of computer speakers that normally come with the computer or that you'd pick up from PC World. If you're a gamer, you might already have something set up.

There is a headphone output on the Focusrite, which I never use (I'm not that keen on using cans). I don't have monitor speakers. Instead, I run a line to my Hi-Fi amp and speakers. So that might be a possibility if you don't want to shell out for a powered monitor or monitors.

It's all quite suitable for home use. If I had need to fill an auditorium, I'd use a proper amp setup, although you could quite easily run the amp-sim on a laptop (with all your presets) and feed it through a desk in a live situation.

Many thanks that's great info, I can feel a new gear purchase coming up (after the new pups!).
 
Morning all,

I've got a Squier Affinity Strat which I bought to learn with some time ago. It's all going great; I'm thoroughly enjoying picking up an instrument again after many years away from music.

I now want to change the pickups. The Affinity has a humbucker at the bridge and single coils for the other two. Ultimately I want a blues tone along the lines of Dave Gilmour, Gary Moore, Walter Becker, Joe Bonamassa, et al.

Can anyone suggest suitable replacement pickups at a reasonable price? I'm also keen to swap out the whole pots at the same time so if you have any info on the resistances applicable to the pickups, it would be greatly appreciated.



Standing by for incoming from pickup fans…

A pickup is just a magnet with wire wrapped around it. You can change the strength of the magnet, or wrap more or less wire around it (which, to be fair, does change the impedance too). This only really changes how hard you poke the amp, and unless you have a pure valve preamp, the impedance is not going to matter that much. Of course humbuckers have less treble response and more output, but dialling down the tone pot and cranking up the preamp gain gets you close.

What mostly affects the tone coming from the guitar is... Where the pickup is; where you pluck the string; and how you pluck the string (finger/nail/pick, hard,/soft, etc.).

But, as previously suggested, I’d say the place to start is at the amp end. It doesn’t just make the guitar louder and tweak the bass and treble a bit, it’s effectively the other half of the instrument. And, they do vary a lot in tonal characteristics and dynamics. Definitely try running your guitar through an amp sim – you can find some here: 19 Best Free Standalone / VST Guitar Amp Simulators For PC, Mac | Rock Guitar Universe Alternatively, if you have a multi-fx pedal you may have some built-in.
 
A pickup is just a magnet with wire wrapped around it. You can change the strength of the magnet, or wrap more or less wire around it (which, to be fair, does change the impedance too). This only really changes how hard you poke the amp, and unless you have a pure valve preamp, the impedance is not going to matter that much. Of course humbuckers have less treble response and more output, but dialling down the tone pot and cranking up the preamp gain gets you close.

Not really the full picture. The more coils you have, the more capictance, which makes a difference to the frequency response. Hotter pickups (more coils) will have a different frequency response to cooler ones. The strength of the magnet (Alnico 2 vs 5 for instance) also makes a difference.

Guitar pickups are a live part of a circuit that starts with the string (and the gauge of string) runs through the position of the pickup on that string, through the coils and magnets, forming a R-C circuit with the volume and tone controls and then into the pre-amp, where all these components make a difference before you even get into the whole valve/transistor debate. What you've done before you get to the amp will then make a difference to how the circuitry of the amp itself responds.

It may be subtle, and cranking different sections of the amp side can compensate / make big changes, but it's all part of the overall sound.
 
Not really the full picture. The more coils you have, the more capictance, which makes a difference to the frequency response. Hotter pickups (more coils) will have a different frequency response to cooler ones. The strength of the magnet (Alnico 2 vs 5 for instance) also makes a difference.

Guitar pickups are a live part of a circuit that starts with the string (and the gauge of string) runs through the position of the pickup on that string, through the coils and magnets, forming a R-C circuit with the volume and tone controls and then into the pre-amp, where all these components make a difference before you even get into the whole valve/transistor debate. What you've done before you get to the amp will then make a difference to how the circuitry of the amp itself responds.

It may be subtle, and cranking different sections of the amp side can compensate / make big changes, but it's all part of the overall sound.


Yup – can’t really argue with that. But, my personal experience is that cheap stock pickups can get extremely close to ‘classic’ tones when run through a posh (all valve) amp.
 
Picking the collective brain here...

My grandson (nearly 12) has decided to saveup for an electric guitar and sent me a text that he is thinking of one of these for £119.00...



LA Electric Guitar + Amp Pack, Black at Gear4music

Has anyone had any experiences with this company/brand?

Grandson is keen to get his own electric guitar (which means at least he won't be fiddling with the settings on my guitar and pedals) but I don't want him buying something that will turn out to be a piece of junk. I think he is about halfway with the cash so far but it is his birthday in a couple of months and I'm thinking of giving him cash instead of a birthday pressie and making up the difference for the guitar for him.

He will need the amp, leads etc as well so he wants to get everything in one hit.

Any recommendations?

TIA...

Edited to add that I have been recommended the Squier Affinity Stratocaster pack (includes Fender amp leads etc)
 

Carbon 6

War Hero
Picking the collective brain here...

My grandson (nearly 12) has decided to saveup for an electric guitar and sent me a text that he is thinking of one of these for £119.00...



LA Electric Guitar + Amp Pack, Black at Gear4music

Has anyone had any experiences with this company/brand?

Grandson is keen to get his own electric guitar (which means at least he won't be fiddling with the settings on my guitar and pedals) but I don't want him buying something that will turn out to be a piece of junk. I think he is about halfway with the cash so far but it is his birthday in a couple of months and I'm thinking of giving him cash instead of a birthday pressie and making up the difference for the guitar for him.

He will need the amp, leads etc as well so he wants to get everything in one hit.

Any recommendations?

TIA...

Edited to add that I have been recommended the Squier Affinity Stratocaster pack (includes Fender amp leads etc)

I would go with the Fender package. I suggested one for a friend's daughter several years ago and it's now been passed on to her younger brother and still plays like new.
Any of those guitar and amp packages are superb, compared to what I started with; a Rosetti guitar from the 1950s with a neck like a boomerang. The action at the 12th great was about 1" high.
 
Yup – can’t really argue with that. But, my personal experience is that cheap stock pickups can get extremely close to ‘classic’ tones when run through a posh (all valve) amp.

Nothing wrong with 'cheap' pickups much of the time - and let's face it, pickup manufacturing is pretty much the same now as it was when they were invented.
 
Picking the collective brain here...

Just a slightly alternative view - most of the budget end of the market is made in the far east, irrespective of what brand is on the guitar. The quality of a generic guitar these days is pretty solid (and may be made in the same factory), but as always (and this applies to the big names too) it is best if you can pick it off the shelf and check it over. As long as there are no major structural faults there should be nothing a good setup can't fix.
 
Thanks chaps

My gut feeling is for the Fender pack, but I will call in at my local guitar shop and see if they have anything to offer - at least we can try before we buy rather than just ordering online.
 
+1 one on a set up, it's seriously worth the cost.

I would suggest finding someone away from the guitar shop as a general rule of thumb unless they do have a genuine in house luthier...which most don't in my experience.

http://www.jwhite-guitarworkshops.co.uk/ I have used this chap in the past (and I posted to him from over here in France that is how much confidence I have in his work) as he makes a first class job and you also get a printed sheet of exactly what the state of the guitar is when he takes it in and the difference in action height when he's worked his magic on it.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
Thumb up for Tonerider, I have a set of their City Limits in my Squier strat - they are maybe a little hot, but I love them.

ETA: also check out Iron Gear - I have a pair of zebra Hot Slags in the kit SG.

Iron Gear do decent pickups at a great price, IMHO. Impressive stuff.
 
Top