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The Prairie Prophet
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« on: May 07, 2010, 10:34:32 AM »

Alright, this is going to be a very general question.  I believe I'm going to be in the market for a new guitar shortly, and of course I know nothing short of trying out a large selection will find the right guitar for me.  But I was hoping I could get some advice to narrow down my search.

Also, I am still in the market for an amp (half stack), and would take advice there as well.

I'm looking for a setup that's going to handle lower tunings and deliver strong bottom end without compromising tone.  And by lower tunings, I don't mean ridiculously low, more so I'm talking D Standard, Drop C, and Open C which would be most likely as low as I'd go.  If I wanted to go lower I would just buy a baritone or 7 string somewhere along the line, but I don't need.

I guess my question is, would a baritone be a smart choice for me, or not really necessary as I generally still play A lot with Standard D and Drop C, which is lower but not a ton lower than standard tuning.  Are there just solid standard guitars out there that have a better build to them and can stand the lower tunings a lot better than what I currently play? 

Keep in mind that I currently play a modified Strat and Dagron (Dillion PRS copy), I'm not a fan of the body style or play style of Gibson, so probably wouldn't ever go down that road or the road of anything like that.

Add to that my amp head/cab search, I've always wanted a mesa set up, but I don't know if I can justify that kind of coin.  I'm currently playing Spud's Bugera, and I like the tone, but a few of the options (solo boost and effects loop cannot run at the same time) aren't quite right for me.  Plus the Randall cab (though far superior to what I currently have) isn't quite delivering the bottom end.  As far as that goes, I might just replace the speakers in my Behringer, as I would think it's generally the speakers in the cabinet that make the difference as opposed to the cabinet itself.

Finally, I'm a tone-first kind of guy.  I'm also a versatility seeking individual.  Any amp that doesn't have a good clean channel is not the amp for me.  I'm not a fan of the Floyd Rose setup either, though I probably haven't played one enough to be a solid judge of it.

Anyways, I look forward to narrowing down my search (which I may go out of town or out of province for if necessary)
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 10:54:57 AM »

Try out a Schecter or whatever they're called. Seems like people who tune way down use those... like Jeff Loomis.

that's all I can think of. I don't remember the last time I actually went to a music store and tried out amps and guitars, so I really have a narrow field of reference.
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 11:00:47 AM »

A Schecter Hellraiser would be similar to my ESP LTD Deluxe MH-1000, I agree that would be a great place to start. 

You can buy my Dime-O-Flame.  $600 (negotiable because I'm your brother).  I leave the floyd locked so you can do alternate tunings.

Doubt you want an ML though. grin
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 11:13:25 AM »

I'll pass on the Dime (haven't you sold that yet?).  Also you never got back to me about using your amp for the show this weekend grin
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 11:14:45 AM »

Try out a Schecter or whatever they're called. Seems like people who tune way down use those... like Jeff Loomis.

Half a step down isn't way down.

As for the original question question, anything with a good combo of bridge/nut/tuners will be able to handle lower tunings. I used to keep my Luke in D Standard and occasionally go to Open C with it. It never would go out of tune for me. What you'll find will make the biggest difference here is having the right string gauge (heavy) along with the guitar being set up to take those lower tunings.

As for amp selection I'd recommend a Marshall JCM2000 DSL 100. It's 100 watts, has a great clean channel and I find that Marshall's tend to be able to do anything from blues to metal when it comes to distortion when properly EQ'd. Pair it with 1960A Marshall cabinet and you'll find the low end to be very responsive.

If you're just wanting to replace the speakers in your Behringer cab, I'd recommend getting Celestion Green Backs. They are a good overall speaker found in many different cabinets.
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The Prairie Prophet
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 11:39:28 AM »

I can't remember what Mitch just put in his cab, but man do they honk, and they carry low end ridiculously well.

Setup is important of course, and I make sure to have my guitar set up to the tuning I play in most often.  Maybe changing my tuners is something I should consider on my Strat, but I think the wood quality is an issue there as well.  Bridge/nut have both been replaced.

I'm actually a touch surprised to hear a Marshall reccomendation.  I've always had a predisposition against Marshalls, don't really know why.  Maybe I'll have to give them another go.
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 12:26:34 PM »

Oh man if I didn't get my Genz Benz (which actually is comparable to a modified/hot rodded Marshall) I was totally going to get the DSL 100.
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 12:39:38 PM »

I'll pass on the Dime (haven't you sold that yet?).  Also you never got back to me about using your amp for the show this weekend grin

I got someone who wants it but can't afford it just yet.  It'll get sold hopefully come July.  And I suppose you can use my amp again this weekend.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 12:48:00 PM »

anything with a good combo of bridge/nut/tuners will be able to handle lower tunings.

What you'll find will make the biggest difference here is having the right string gauge (heavy) along with the guitar being set up to take those lower tunings.
post win.


Exacry. I use an Ibanez S 4insertsomenumberhe re  and have no problem at all Switching between standard and drop c even with the Tremolo. The one thing I think is awesome bout the ibanez's is that they use a slightly different tremolo than guitars with a floyd rose. Its got an easy turning knob to change the string tension, which makes it much easier to change tunings quickly and easily.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 06:13:24 PM »

Although the speakers are more important, the build quality/dimensions/wood type and thickness of the cab itself also seems to play a big part of its sound. I heard a shoot out recently between a Harley Benton cab and a Mesa standard, both with V30s and using the same amp settings and mic position. The HB was much more muddy and wooly sounding overall than the Mesa, despite having the same speakers.

If you're just wanting to replace the speakers in your Behringer cab, I'd recommend getting Celestion Green Backs. They are a good overall speaker found in many different cabinets.

In the shoot outs I've heard, those speakers seem to be great for standard tuned stuff. For anything in the D, C and below area though, nothing beats Vintage 30's (especially when in a Mesa Oversized cab). I think V30's are fairly expensive to buy on their own though, so if you're thinking about going that way it would be better just to buy a cab with them already inside. The Mesa OS can be had for about a grand. If that's within your budget, it's the last cab you'll ever need for anything heavy. Couple that with a 5150 and you've got the absolute industry standard for great metal tone. You could probably pick up a used 5150 II, which has independent eq's for both channels, for ~$700 ish.

That said, it would be cool if you went out looking on your own and picked a unique amp/cab instead of the great, but kinda "been there done that", 5150/Mesa combo, haha.

Also +1 to the Schecter recommendation. I'm GASing hard for one of those. I definitely recommend ESP/LTDs as well for their quality, sound, and easy playability.
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2010, 07:51:43 PM »

thanks for another helpful post!  I'm not a fan of the 5150, it's not my tone.  I'll check out the Schecters where I can, and look around for the amps as well.  Appreciated
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2010, 09:07:09 PM »

yeah those mesa's are nice fucking cabs. Beautiful tone out of those.
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2010, 01:42:00 AM »

Considering I am extremely late on the topic, I wont put in my useless knowledge. Except THIS http://www.usedregina.com/classified-ad/11756776 is my recommendation to you.
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2010, 05:16:36 PM »

In the shoot outs I've heard, those speakers seem to be great for standard tuned stuff.

Really? I've tried them at lower tunings and they do good good good.
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2010, 06:27:33 PM »

To me, it seemed like the V30's were tighter and clearer in the mid and low end range, as if they're pushing the exact frequencies you need for the guitars to be heard with a full band, especially as you tune lower and the notes get more and more indistinct. However, what is and what isn't good tone all boils down to personal preference I suppose. I've mostly just become a huge V30 fanboy since getting a Mesa OS. grin
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2010, 11:28:25 PM »

Fucking fanboys.
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2010, 05:49:03 PM »

Jooooiiiiiiiiiinnnn nn uuuuuuuuuusssssssss sssss

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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2010, 06:47:28 AM »

No.

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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2010, 08:46:25 AM »

OH SHI-
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2010, 08:57:00 PM »

I know I'm late on this thread but figured I'd lend my two bits anyhow...

I'm a Celestian fan for speakers. Frequency response curves are great on Greenbacks, Blues and so-so on V30's but lots of guys like the V30's. Greenbacks break up quicker than other speakers and have a nice dark, natural distortion to them. I want to replace all my speakers with Greens. I'm using a Marshall stack 1960A and 1960B loaded with Celestian G12T-75s and they serve the purpose but they were originally matched with a JCM900 head which is fucking weak.

Not a big eminence fan but heard good things about the man-o-wars and legends and seen guys rave about the red coats. Sleep, when they were using their Green Amps, had their cabs loaded with those speakers.

I'm pretty much a Marshall fan for heads...and only tube heads....no solid state anything anymore. Played with Orange....not a fan at all...which is sad because I really was looking into buying a green amp. They are completely different now...but now that I've had a taste...can't see'em being much different. Plus the green I was lookin at has no clean channel, so that killed it off for me.

There's 2 tricks to tuning low not everyone knows: use heavy gauge strings and when you string your guitar, pinch the tail of the strings between the winds on the machine heads. Fatter strings stay in tune much better at low tunings and pinching the string in the winds is like a poor mans locking nut but it does the job well. If you're tuning to C standard or lower, I'd suggest 12 - 52 or 13 - 56 or something heavy like that, my personal tastes. Also gotta make sure the machine heads are screwed down well and not loose...can't forget that.

You'll have to reset your intonation and more than likely need a truss rod adjustment to get rid of fret buzz at the lower tunings too. I spent years playing in B and A standard and had issues at first 'cause I didn't know what I was doing. Took a while to figure that out 18 years ago with no internet.

But the biggest thing to tuning low, your EQ. Everyone scoops their mids and tries to get that fat crunch with a VQ. It took me a long time to grow up and figure out that for the best tones, crank your fucking mids. Guitars belong in the mid to mid-hi range, base belongs in the low frequency. It'll help your notes retain their distinction in the mix and it'll give your guitar far more drive and punch. If you stick with a VQ, you muddy your sound and mush your guitar with the bass and wind up sounding like distortion soup. Sonic real estate, its all about keepin your instrument in the frequency range it belongs in.

Lastly, pick your pickups carefully. Pickups can make a shitty guitar a screamin beast or a good guitar a piece of shit. Personally, I fuckin hate active pickups. Fuck EMG. I like passive pick ups. I'm a Seymour Duncan fan. Get the right PuP, adjust your height and turn your guitar into a demon!

Sorry for the long post....
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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2010, 03:52:39 PM »

dont like gibsons?

have you tried esp's?

try an orange or a laney (if you can find a laney or a sunn would even be better but good luck finding one of those). Im no expert but liked these for tuning low.
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2010, 10:24:37 AM »

Sorry for the long post....

good post!! when a post has that much meat in it no need to apologize!


try an orange or a laney (if you can find a laney or a sunn would even be better but good luck finding one of those). Im no expert but liked these for tuning low.

Any day now L&M is gonna call and tell me my AD30HTC Head Orange Head has arrived (http://www.orangeamps.com/products.asp?Action=View&ID=76)..... im obviously into stoner rock / doom / Space-doom / spaceGazing........ so this is gonna be sick! I am running a dual effects loop switch for my two UBER-Boutique fuzz boxes... I drop everything two full steps and sometimes drop my top string for some low doomy goodness, sadly im using the same guitar (http://www.stratcollector.com/scn/europe/electric_guitars/PRS_SE_Standard_Camo_Finish_Electric_Guitar.html) iv had for YEARS (love the way she sounds and feel... hate the look) !!!!! I do have my weener set on a Gibson SG in the future....


ZVEX Fuzz Factory - Lead fuzz, bright as hell, in your face Fuzz



ZVEX Woolly Mammoth ($400 Fuzz, soo low bodies exhume themselfs from the ground while i play, soo crushing with my shitty Y-split output (1 to bass amp one to guitar.... i really wanna ampeg cab with my orange... lows are bainer)

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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2010, 11:16:58 AM »

Honestly Landry it's probably already there. My friend's guitar sat there for 2 weeks without anyone calling him. They are such fuck ups there.
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2010, 11:19:07 AM »

I go there EVERYDAY to see if its there... Buddy works at OTV and needless to say i am there atleast ONCE every weekday
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2010, 11:22:19 AM »

Good idea. My friend had bought one of those Gibson robot guitars. Well something was wrong with the tuners so L&M sent it to Gibson. Well when it came back my friend was calling and asking about it and everyone was saying it wasn't there. When he finally went it to see what was up Brad told him "Oh that's been here for about 2 weeks". Buddy looked at the shipping docs and sure as shit it had been. Worst.Music.Store.E ver.

I will never shop at the Regina L&M ever again due to shitty service and salesmen who don't really know their shit. Plus all their guitars are not set up properly on the walls so it's almost impossible to get a feel for an instrument there.
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2010, 12:13:25 PM »

Good idea. My friend had bought one of those Gibson robot guitars. Well something was wrong with the tuners so L&M sent it to Gibson. Well when it came back my friend was calling and asking about it and everyone was saying it wasn't there. When he finally went it to see what was up Brad told him "Oh that's been here for about 2 weeks". Buddy looked at the shipping docs and sure as shit it had been. Worst.Music.Store.E ver.

I can't comment on guitars but L&M has a great drum room and Chris (can't remember his last name, used to play with The Orchard and Sundial) has always been really helpful.
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2010, 01:28:12 PM »

That's what Brent always says. I can't comment though as I don't play drums.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2010, 01:47:17 PM »


only tube heads....no solid state anything anymore.

+1. There's nothing as killer sounding as a quality tube head pushed way beyond its comfort zone.
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2010, 02:53:01 PM »

+1. There's nothing as killer sounding as a quality tube head pushed way beyond its comfort zone.

IV been waiting for that moment for 3 fucking weeks now LOL
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2010, 05:40:49 PM »

I will never go to any other music store ever again except L&M in S'toon. I love that place. They have my loyalty for life. Great techs, can fix nearly anything, they're decently priced and they give you good trade value for your equipment. Usually have pretty decent stock too.

As for the gibson thing, I want a gibson sg one day. I've played dozens upon dozens but its about finding the right one for you. I bought an epiphone sg which is nice...neck like a tree trunk, but want a nice gibby. Right now I'm replacing all the PuPs in my sg...I can't wait for that beast to come back to me!

Something for you all to keep in mind, if you want to down tune, DO NOT BUY A GIBSON ROBOT GUITAR!!! I bought one, had issues immediately and traded it in for a second. When I had the exact same issue with the 2nd, I talked to the techs at L&M and then I called Gibson directly and first talked to their sales reps and then got a gibson tech on their production floor on the phone and went over the issue with both of them.

The problem is that the senor that measures the frequency of the B string (2nd highest), when tuned below D standard tuning, will continuously register as extreme frequency and you'll get nothing but a purple LED and it will not tune automatically at all. It is the only string that won't tune. The rest work fine. So you figure it'd be a s/w issue or a h/w issue, right? According to the gibson sales rep, the technician I spoke with AND their engineers, they don't consider this a problem or design flaw. But it  really is. I think its a software issue in the guitars cpu and their could fix it with a new s/w rev but as they told me, "ts not a design flaw". So don't buy a robot for anything but E and D standard tuning. Its a waste of money to keep that guitar when it won't work properly for your needs. Its really a shame too because it was a cherry red explorer, no pick guard, had beautiful binding on the neck, super hot pickups and was a dream to play. I loved that guitar.

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« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2010, 08:19:23 PM »

landry I sold my red gibson SG to l+M just before I left (could have taken it but it wouldve been a bitch to lug around and I want something new eventually)
you should go snap it up I think they were retailing it for like 700
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« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2010, 08:20:00 PM »

I would feel better knowing it was in somebody's hands with good taste haha
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« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2010, 09:33:15 PM »

I used to want SG sooooooo bad when I first started playing.
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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2010, 11:23:11 AM »

I would feel better knowing it was in somebody's hands with good taste haha

im going to look at it when i pick up my lovechild... SRSLY that would be SICK!
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