Les Paul Customs, BKP Warpigs, Lee Malia and TONE

Caca_Spaniel_123

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New to the forum, glad to find the right place.

Heres my '83 Les Paul Custom.

warpig.jpeg

TL:DR: Why does my rig (Les Paul -> Precision Drive set to moderate boost -> Marshall DSL100) sound so bad compared to Lee's rig (Les Paul -> Klon -> JCM800) when 90% of the stuff we play are about the same. My guitar has way too much bass. I need a tube screamer boosting even for my clean tone for clarity. wtf man

Thinking about uploading a sample or two. Its a crappy recording done with a phone but better than nothing at all I guess.

edit: the best capture of my tone I've ever done. https://on.soundcloud.com/K6rgM Not very professional but shows how it sounds in my room quite well.

If only it sounds as good as it looks, man. I've had three different sets of pickups in this guitar so far (stock paf, Super Distortion, Warpigs) and they all sounded INCREDIBLY dull and bassy. No note definition whatsoever. That was the inherent sound of the guitar coming through. I sold a good amp thinking it was the one to blame when the culprit turns out to be the guitar itself. And yes I had 550k pots on them. All properly set up.

So my Gibson dream was totally shattered but honestly I'm not too sad about it now. The guitar weighs 10.14lbs which is kinda crazy. Almost double the weight of a well built modern axe. Tuning issues, tiny frets (which I don't dig), you name it this has it all. As cool as they are I won't be buying another old Gibson in the foreseeable future. Least I thought so back then. Haven't changed just yet.

Today I found out Lee Malia had Warpigs in some of his Gibsons. He plugs into a JCM800 with nothing but a Klon in front. I was shocked when I heard his tone. Even without the Klon the tone was in the metal ballpark, tight and aggressive with that Marshall crunch. It was the very sound I had in my head, but was never able to get. My guitar sounds like a roll of soggy toilet paper straight into the amp, no matter what pickups for amps I use. A conventional Tube Screamer still didn't clear up enough mud I had to get a Precision Drive for extra high passing.

So much typing, no points made. Apologies for the saltiness and random bashing on Gibsons. I still love them don't get me wrong. Does every Les Paul sound this crappy for the heavy stuff or could it be that I got myself a crap guitar for $2100 (good deal on a LPC)?
 

CanserDYI

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This is going to sound really rude, but have you ever tried rolling back the bass knob on your amp? Maybe put a little presence in to add some bite back? Also, don't add any gain on the OD, that can squish things up really quickly. You should be slamming the LEVEL going in to the front of the amp.

Also, how loud are you playing? That's a big factor too. Especially if we're not using modelers and only using real life amps/cabs/speakers too. I bet it chunks up and breathes a bit more fire at Lee Malia volume...
 

Alex79

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Due to the chambering a lot of modern Les Pauls can be brighter than non-chambered ones. Lee Malia might have a particularly bright-sounding model, so don't go by the type of guitar.

My advice would be to put a set of EMGs in it. If they don't make it sound tight and give it proper note definition, then nothing will work in them.
 

Caca_Spaniel_123

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This is going to sound really rude, but have you ever tried rolling back the bass knob on your amp? Maybe put a little presence in to add some bite back? Also, don't add any gain on the OD, that can squish things up really quickly. You should be slamming the LEVEL going in to the front of the amp.

Also, how loud are you playing? That's a big factor too. Especially if we're not using modelers and only using real life amps/cabs/speakers too. I bet it chunks up and breathes a bit more fire at Lee Malia volume...
Ah right, I forgot to mention these things. Soz

The bass is set around noon, thats where it sounds best with the OD. Even with the bass at zero the guitar makes the amp flub like crazy. Presence is a nudge below noon, below that the sound becomes dull and above its too buzzy.

The pedal is set to a clean boost, I don't have gain dialed for rhythm tones. The gain on the amp is at noon. Full of surprises, eh? Not a ton of gain contrary to popular belief.

Master volume is set at 11'o clock, wish I could push it above noon but the sound becomes a tad too compressed. Not enough headroom from the amp. Amp pushing through 1960A with G12Ts and Vintage 30s.
 

Caca_Spaniel_123

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Due to the chambering a lot of modern Les Pauls can be brighter than non-chambered ones. Lee Malia might have a particularly bright-sounding model, so don't go by the type of guitar.

My advice would be to put a set of EMGs in it. If they don't make it sound tight and give it proper note definition, then nothing will work in them.

My thoughts exactly. I plan on installing the Warpigs on my Les Paul Junior that is a pretty lightweight guitar, modern chambered body with a three piece maple neck.

As for my Custom I thought Fishman Fluence Moderns would do the job. The Warpig has this pseudo active voice so the passive - active transition won't be that bad.
 

zjb7777

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Okay, so a few questions here.

Even without diving too deep, and that clip not being professionally recorded, it doesn't sound too bad to me.

On to my questions, first, have you tried other guitars through this rig with the same results? What strings are you using?

Are you expecting exactly the same tone with a different amp and OD than the tone you're chasing?

Are you only listening to what your amp sounds like in the room? Are you able to record it with a mic? Your setup will sound different mic'd up than it does to your ears.

There are usually a lot of things to factor in with a situation like this. You should be able to get a DSL100 to sound fairly similar to a JCM800 but they are still different amps. If you've swapped pickups, tried different guitars and tried all different EQ settings on your amp, mic'd up an SM57 or equivalent microphone and recorded, and you're still having this problem, then I would be thinking there's something with your cabinet your could change, like swapping a speaker, or using a 212 to reduce some of the bass.
 

CanserDYI

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Yeah actually I just listened to the recording and ngl, that's not a bad in the room tone? Was actually pretty close to the "right" tone Id use for that song, at least.
 

KnightBrolaire

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Try dialing in the precision drive differently, eg bump up the attack knob and maybe bump up the gate control. If you actually can't get a tight rhythm tone with that then I'm going to chalk it up to user error. The PD is a pretty solid pedal and I used to use it to push my mesa F30 (which is much lower gain than a jcm900) into high gain metal territory.

You could also try bypassing or cutting the tone knobs out of the guitar's controls. If that fails, try a 1meg ohm volume pot. Those options are pretty easy and tend to open up a guitar ime.

sometimes guitars just sound dead and no pickups will save them :shrug:
I had an agile LP like that, and a cheap ibanez like that. I swapped in multiple sets of pickups, and they just never sounded good.
 

Caca_Spaniel_123

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Try dialing in the precision drive differently, eg bump up the attack knob and maybe bump up the gate control. If you actually can't get a tight rhythm tone with that then I'm going to chalk it up to user error. The PD is a pretty solid pedal and I used to use it to push my mesa F30 (which is much lower gain than a jcm900) into high gain metal territory.

You could also try bypassing or cutting the tone knobs out of the guitar's controls. If that fails, try a 1meg ohm volume pot. Those options are pretty easy and tend to open up a guitar ime.

sometimes guitars just sound dead and no pickups will save them :shrug:
I had an agile LP like that, and a cheap ibanez like that. I swapped in multiple sets of pickups, and they just never sounded good

I have my attack dial set at 5, just one notch below maximum. Its still kinda boomy and not "fast". The transients lasts forever (not a good thing), the resonance and bass knob won't help.

The stock pot was around 400-500, I think Gibson was trying to install the usual 500k pots but the ones they got for my guitar were just undervalued. I went up to 550k and the tone definitely got brighter but the bass overkill persists.

I plan on installing Fishman Moderns as a final attempt to save my guitar. If this doesn't work Imma prob put it on Reverb or something, I hate it enough for making me sell my amp I liked. What an idiot I am
 

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Might be worth checking to see if you have 300k pots in there. Gibson have been known to use them fairly often, swapping in a good quality 500k set would likely make a big difference if that's the case.

Edit: disregard, posted before your last post was visible
 

Caca_Spaniel_123

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Yeah actually I just listened to the recording and ngl, that's not a bad in the room tone? Was actually pretty close to the "right" tone Id use for that song, at least.

For the "right" tone it needs a hot paf that has a upper mid bark. I believe Jerry had a JB in his G&L. The Gibson stock pup had this quality but on top of not having enough output it didn't work well with my Marshall in particular. Too old-school sounding? Not contemporary enough for my personal taste.

Okay, so a few questions here.

Even without diving too deep, and that clip not being professionally recorded, it doesn't sound too bad to me.

On to my questions, first, have you tried other guitars through this rig with the same results? What strings are you using?

Are you expecting exactly the same tone with a different amp and OD than the tone you're chasing?

Are you only listening to what your amp sounds like in the room? Are you able to record it with a mic? Your setup will sound different mic'd up than it does to your ears.

There are usually a lot of things to factor in with a situation like this. You should be able to get a DSL100 to sound fairly similar to a JCM800 but they are still different amps. If you've swapped pickups, tried different guitars and tried all different EQ settings on your amp, mic'd up an SM57 or equivalent microphone and recorded, and you're still having this problem, then I would be thinking there's something with your cabinet your could change, like swapping a speaker, or using a 212 to reduce some of the bass.

The biggest gripe I have with my current sound is that it needs an extreme high-pass from my overdrive to get tight enough, but to the extent where it sounds "hollow". The cut eats into the low mids that I can't dial back in whatsoever.

I didn't have the chance to properly mic them up, however when I used an Helix IR pack to monitor my sound the problem was still there. I dunno man, never knew Marshall 1960As were known to be bassy. I thought Mesa OS cabs are notorious for this
 

Caca_Spaniel_123

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Might be worth checking to see if you have 300k pots in there. Gibson have been known to use them fairly often, swapping in a good quality 500k set would likely make a big difference if that's the case.

Edit: disregard, posted before your last post was visible

TBH it doesn't even make that big of a difference
 

Excruciator

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TBH it doesn't even make that big of a difference
It should, so if that's the case, the only other suggestion I can make is to check the tone pot, maybe consider desoldering/cutting the tone pot to see how it sounds with that out of the circuit. What you are describing sounds like what you'd get if the pot had failed and was permanently rolled back - it can happen sometimes if wipers detatch or break. It didn't sound like that in your clip though to be honest, although it's hard to say since it's a phone mic room recording.
 

CanserDYI

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Can you post a different sound sample? Because you played a thick chorded section in that, and note definition isn't something we can even attempt to hear in that sample.
 

Caca_Spaniel_123

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It should, so if that's the case, the only other suggestion I can make is to check the tone pot, maybe consider desoldering/cutting the tone pot to see how it sounds with that out of the circuit. What you are describing sounds like what you'd get if the pot had failed and was permanently rolled back - it can happen sometimes if wipers detatch or break. It didn't sound like that in your clip though to be honest, although it's hard to say since it's a phone mic room recording.
Can you post a different sound sample? Because you played a thick chorded section in that, and note definition isn't something we can even attempt to hear in that sample.

I have the guitar gutted to install Fishmans so I'll to try to upload a sample with better quality. Maybe see ya on the Fishman megathread
 

luca9583

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A couple of ideas...

Do you have any DIs recorded of all the pickups you tried? If so, post them here so we can run them through our gear and compare to other guitars. Would be good to do that once your Fishmans are in too.

What string gauges are you using and what's the tuning? Sounds like it might be Eb standard with a dropped C# in that clip.

I would bypass the tone knob altogether if it's a dark sounding Gibson. Does it sound dull unplugged or does it have a nice ringy twang?

Curious to see how you get on with the Fishmans. On a Les Paul that needs more bite i would go with a Bareknuckle Black Dog, Aftermath or Painkiller..or any pickup that has a slight boost in the high mids.
 

BabUShka

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I would go with a Black Dog. I had one installed in my Les Paul Classic and then a SG61 RI. It has a perfect bass cut that I think would solve your problem.
 

TheBolivianSniper

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I dunno man warpigs are notoriously super bassy with a big treble spike especially on the ceramic version. I had a thin sounding plywood V that played well and dropped a warpig in it and it sounded pissed off and massive. It could honestly be the pickups making it flub out and get too scratchy.

Also, that clip sounds killer in the room, but that's just my opinion. If fishmans don't get it tight then it's just not gonna be doing the thing you want bc those are probably the tightest pickups on the market bar the killswitch engage signature set.
 

Hoss632

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Don't forget that a lot of your tone also comes from your own hands/fingers. Which is why no 2 guitarists usually sound the same. That said if you decide to run Fishman's or EMG's that should tighten up everything and brighten the guitar up as well. I honestly think EMG's sound amazing in LP's.
 

Caca_Spaniel_123

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I dunno man warpigs are notoriously super bassy with a big treble spike especially on the ceramic version. I had a thin sounding plywood V that played well and dropped a warpig in it and it sounded pissed off and massive. It could honestly be the pickups making it flub out and get too scratchy.

Also, that clip sounds killer in the room, but that's just my opinion. If fishmans don't get it tight then it's just not gonna be doing the thing you want bc those are probably the tightest pickups on the market bar the killswitch engage signature set.
That defo does explain alot.. VERY bass heavy yet scratchy in the top end. My guitar dont like no Warpigs, no..

I hope Fishmans will be the cure but honestly I'm expecting to get disappointed. Not that theres anything wrong with the pickups, just upset my guitar is a pos

Also thank you for the kind words
 


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