The Schecter C-1 Classic is, for better or worse, my main axe at this stage, having owned it for two years and a half. I used it in most common scenarios, from home practice to recording, rehearsal, and gigging.
The Gibson Les Paul is a legend, and rightly so. A very sought after legend. It’s played by countless guitar heroes, and has a long and noble history I won’t go into here.
The Gibson Les Paul is, beyond all doubt, a marvellous instrument. It sports a look that hints really close at perfection. From the body shape to the headstock shape, from the fretboard inlays to the controls arrangement, the Les Paul is a thing of beauty. Along with its distinctive, iconic tone (that practically defined the sound of classic rock), this makes it a very desirable guitar.
I arrived at the Big Stubby picks1 from using the Dunlop Tortex Standard 0.88-1.14 (green, blue, purple) habitually, because I had this almost undefined need to go thicker. The Big Stubby Lexan® 2.0 mm is now my favourite pick, for both electric and acoustic.
This question pops up every once in a while among guitarists: why would I tune down a semitone? Well, there are certain benefits in tuning down a half-step to E♭ (E flat, or E bémol), along with your entire band, of course. These are:
Some people swear by paper-in-oil (PIO) capacitors for electric guitar tone circuits. They say all else being equal (same capacitance, similar tolerance — voltage is not relevant in guitar circuits), a PIO capacitor will sound different, meaning better. Words like “warmer”, “mellower”, “livelier” are being employed to describe the difference. The theoretical basis for this would be the dissipation factor, which obviously varies with capacitor “architecture”.
I own a Schecter C-1 Classic, a beautiful guitar, factory-equipped with Seymour Duncan pickups, the Jazz SH-2 (neck) and the JB SH-4 (bridge), which, although a famous and great sounding set (in certain instruments, Seymour Duncan himself uses it in a Telecaster-type guitar), always seemed to me somehow unsuited to this guitar – these pickups, with their Alnico 5 magnet, especially the overwound JB, seem too hot, and either too muddy or too shrill for many applications, prompting me to do my JB SH-4 vs Custom SH-5 comparison.
Warning: The following is not a thorough test, nor a fair comparison. The setup I used is not appropriate for any scientific conclusions. In fact, this “versus” is simply my own subjective experiment with these two awesome pickups by Seymour Duncan: the JB SH-4 and the Custom SH-5. But then again, in the world of guitar and tone, as much as we may strive for scientific accuracy, in the end it all comes down to player (and listener) preference. I don’t intend to praise either of the pickups, I’m not trying to get anyone to buy the one or the other, and most importantly, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, so please don’t come at me for merely expressing subjective opinion, labeled as such. Remember that your guitar and rig may sound completely different than mine, with these same pickups – this is part of the disclaimer Seymour Duncan themselves have for the tone samples they offer over at their website.
WARNING: Some of the suggestions below will void your guitar’s and parts’ warranty. Use discretion. Employ a guitar technician if you get out of your depth.
Many guitarists find themselves in this situation: they end-up with a guitar that is simply too dark, sometimes so dark it’s muddy. This is often the result of inexperienced or beginner guitarists buying badly built, or badly setup guitars, or it can happen during your (seldom ending) quest for Tone. The Tone.