Taming tone

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Taming tone

Post by Racing on Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:10 am

It works like this....
That little Pantera of mine,as some of you know i replaced the bridge pup with a SD JB.
IMO a great improvement over the rail equipped MMK45 it replaced.
However,due to the guitar being maple/maple it carries quite a bit of brightness as well as attack when played.

I would like to tame the brightness of it down a little while retaining the attack,and hereīs my thoughts...
As my Pantera is an "early" 300 i lacks a tonepot.
Iīm thinking alog the lines of soldering a few very small caps in between signal and ground to bleed some of that brightness off.
This NOT to make it into a "mahogony" guitar,but just to mellow that sharpness it carries out a bit.

Iīm giving consideration to some approx 250pF caps.

Whatta you guys think?

Point is that we rehearsed last night,and FTW we were just fooling around the last hr or so with some good ol fashioned funk.
For that...the Pantera fits like a glove.
We do play it LOUD,and when doing so and all of those approx 100W of valve power breathes it sure becomes bright-like no matter what.
The attack of the guitar though puts it right in a sweetspot.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by corsair on Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:28 pm

Jesper, just fit a tone control! Easy peasy....

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:49 pm

John....thatīs the friggin point!
I donīt WANT to drill into the guitar.

What i AM giving consideration to tho is sanding that awful pink down and just stain the maple underneath.

We just pulled that stunt on friends old -80 vintage Epi Genesis,and that the boys at the factory had the nerve to "hide" that beutiful woodwork underneath paint is nothing short of a dayum shame.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Administrator on Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:10 pm

What about switching the Pot for a 250k? Or for a bonkers and fast experiment, turn the JB round so the adjustable poles face the neck.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by DuoFuzz on Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:30 pm

Hi Jesper.

This is just a brainstorm on my part so slap down me if this is stupid, but you could try to fit a trim pot inside the control cavity. Wire the pickup through this first, set it like a normal tone pot then leave it set inside the guitar?

I have an old article in a magazine which used a similar idea for coil tapping. The basic idea was to set the trim pots around halfway to get a coil tapped sound while maintaining the noise reducing humbucking aspect of the pickups. When you went to flick your coil tap switch on, instead of just hearing one of the coils on and the other dead, the second coil was just slightly on to humbuck the noise but have little effect on the actual sound overall.

I can't see why something similar couldn't be placed inside your guitar, not as a coil tap just a tone control, effectively a preset mini tone circuit.

I'll see if I can find the magazine just to make sure I'm not talking complete crap!

DAN.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Warrn on Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:50 pm

The pink isn't awful, don't ruin it.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:41 am

Duo.
Youīre right.

Idea of mine though has been to replace the SC pups of it as well eventualy.
Have given thought to some of the "area" pups by DM,and then with the build specs of the pantera in mind.
Ie;hard maple.(Loads of attack and loads of brightness)

What iīm striving for here is not pure vintage tone.
Got enough guitars that can cope that.
What iīm looking to "fab" is a guitar more pointed towards rock and easier going 80s metal asf.
From that respect the pantera has given me the impression that itīs right at home-no doubt.

Ie;the downright mindblowing attack it carries i can indeed use,while the brightness that comes with it..weeeeeeeell...
As is i dial this on the amp,but thatīs just the point.
I shouldnīt need to to that degree,so hence why i play around with the idea of installing a small capacity capacitor towards ground to bleed some of that massive amount of screaming treble off.
The thing here is that as such i can do this for each of the 3 pups.
Ie; for instance a 220pF for the JB,a 500pF for the SCs respectively.

PickoFahrad as i wanna bleed the absolute TOP of the treble off.Nothing more.
FWIW.The volume pot i indeed use,and rather extensively at that.Tonepots on the other hand...nah...donīt have time for that.I rather swap guitars midst set if need be.
That said...i wanna go on record and state that as time has passed...that Pantera of mine...talk about bang for the buck.
Sure...it needed some work as i picked it up,but hey...letīs put things into perspective here.
I paid 80 euros for it

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:44 am

Warrn btw.
Think what you will,no offense,but that pink colour at least makes me wanna downright barf.
So...sorry to disappoint you,but it IS coming off.
Sooner or later.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Warrn on Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:20 am

I don't really see the point of not modding the guitar for a tone pot if you're going to strip the paint off anyway. It seems kind of silly to me. Good luck with it regardless.

Alternatively, just trade someone your pink one for one that isn't pink.


Last edited by Warrn on Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Taming tone

Post by DuoFuzz on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:36 am

Jesper, you do realise by removing pink paint from a Westone you risk getting hit by the full force of Polly's fury! (Our great moderator and Queen of all things pink!).
God knows what bodily harm she could do with her pink wellies on!

DAN.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:45 am

Might be Dan...might be

Point being that some of the Uncle Mat axes carry ludecrous amounts of topcoat,and iīm absolutely certain it kills tone to a large degree.

My idea is to have the body of the pantera whatīs known as "furniture blasted".
Boys that do that use walnut crush to clean wood from paint from what i understand,and this method is a rather subtle way of getting the wood clean again.

Idea iīve got is to get the entire guitar-sans the "front" of the head with the westone logo-clean and then just stain the body dark brown in a burst kind of way.Neck will remain maple clean and just get oiled to finish.

A couple of things that has impressed me with the pantera is that its ergonomical-due coarse it feels lighter than it is,it carries absolutely MASSVE amounts of attack and is a fast and nice guitar to play around with being resonant like few others.
Very very well built in general,very thought through,altho as usual i feel that the OEM pups leave something to be desired,but thatīs more to attribute to the era than anything else IMO.Jap pups in general can be rather "cold" to the sound though.

Friend of mine has a digital decal/sticker cutter.Ergo,iīve taken pics of the Pantera logo and asked him to cut a number of them out of very very thin foil.
IOW,the pantera logo will still be there..

No.
I donīt wanna drill another hole in the guitar as that would detract from the guitars identity,while i feel a change in colour will not.
Further,scavanging another of those knobs somewhere....nope..
Fail to see the point.

Dunno about the rest of you guys,but when we gig it is very seldome i use the tonepots TBH.
I DO use the volume one-s extensively,but the tone...nah..
Hence why i feel it would be an idea to just install caps over respective pup til satisfied.
OEM this guitar carries MUCH tone,and IMO some of it needs to be tamed out.
As is i need to basicaly tune the amps to where they dont really belong EQ wise.

I guess some of you are aware of the Uncle Mat "variatone",this is basicaly along the same idea...just thereīs no switch to turn.
IOW,one size fits all,and the capacity of the caps here is along minute amounts of shaping tone.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Westbone on Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:23 am

Why not make some kind of stompbox with a varitone circuit. Or put a varitone switch on the guitar(knob) shouldn't be hard to make a knob with all the facilities at your disposal. Seeing as they made them with a tone control. Won't detract from any value or authenticity. Seems the simplist thing to do, then you can change as many caps as you need to "find" your tone.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Steve777 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:00 am

Or simply use a 7 band EQ box that you can switch in or out. Very useful.

I'm sure I've seen push pull pots that allow both Volume and Tone control as well as pots with an inner and outer "controls" on the same shaft.

Frankly, I'm getting a bit hmmmmm cynical about what wood produces what tone. Pickup height affects tone, type of amp, effects pedal in a chain, string choice, ceramic or alnico 5 Pups etc etc etc... . Sustain I can understand, But with so many PUP manufacturers claiming to have the ultimate tone, who is to be believed. Its all abit like the "Kings new clothes".

Brian May uses his red special ( hand wound Pups and lots of knobs and switches, oak and mahogany body and neck) and still puts it through a stomp box and if I remember correctly, 6 x AC 30's. His "tone" would disappear completely if put through my Carlsbro.

I read somewhere on the internet where someone was claiming tone varied from a maple fretboard to rosewood one. Rubbish .I recently played a Switch guitar made of Vibrocell, a resin type material. Close your eyes and you wouldnt of known it.

Still beauty is the eye of the beholder. Until someone gives me a set of graphs or science based readings showing how different woods(or materials) perform tone wise, I shall remain ever so cynical

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:05 pm

Agreed Steve.
Thereīs lots of hype and lots of mojo in this.
That there IS differences tho is beyond a doubt as far as iīm concerned.

Whatīs more...taint pink no more ...and underneath those MASSIVE amounts of armor paint was hidden some really really beutiful maple let me tell you...
Neck has already gotten its first strokes of oil,while the body still needs work.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Barry on Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:59 pm

Racing wrote:...taint pink no more...and underneath those MASSIVE amounts of armor paint was hidden some really really beutiful maple...
Jesper you wild and crazy guy!
I would have thought they put that tough finish over mis-matched or sub-standard wood. Sounds like you got lucky!
Uncle Mats strikes again! Razz

Now, of course, you'll have to answer to our Polly. The 'Pink Booted One' will no doubt scold you severely for your transgression.! tongue

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:32 am

Iīll reply this way Barry...








...in essence,you tell me...

Why the boys at Mat decided to hide this from us is beyond me at least.
O tempera o mores in its own right...but thatīs a beutiful piece of maple right there.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Warrn on Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:40 am

I don't think Uncle Mat knew how to use less pretty woods. Every example of a stripped Mat I've seen has been a beauty. Still wouldn't do that to any of mine, though.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:20 am

To each and his own i guess,and iīm 100% happy with the decision.
When you get upclose with it..it sure stands out.
After all,maple is by many considered to be a less beutiful wood...which i have to say is beyond me...but hey...as stated,to each and his own.

Before i got rid of the paint i was basicaly set on tainting/staining the body...but as it turned out i have to say i donīt see that as cleacut anymore.
Body is so good looking that iīm giving thought to simply oiling it up and buffing it out.

Then again,from an estetic POW might be that an all maple guitar will be over the top?

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Barry on Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:12 pm

Wow, you're right, it is beautiful! Now you have the problem of how to finish her.
I would be tempted to oil her up too, however with a maple neck, I agree it might be too much maple and you would lose the impact.

Perhaps a transparent colour of some kind? (I'm thinking of Kees' beautiful blue Skylark here) or maybe something like the trans red finish on the Avenger AV325?

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:22 pm

Uhu.
Iīve been playing around with the idea of staining it light oak in the middle and kind of build a burst,going darker and darker the more towards the edge of it we get.

Then top it off with a couple of layers of clear.

Neck will remain just oiled up though,and it honestly looks and more importantly FEELS like a million bux compared to the eggshell black that was on there.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Barry on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:19 pm

Hmmm, not bad.
Would you be able to something with a bit more "fire" in it, like a tobacco sunburst for example? Wouldn't be easy, but could be a stunning effect!

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:51 am

Agreed.
Iīve even given thought to pinstriping it.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:47 pm

Well.....i couldnīt really contain myself could i.....

So...as i had the body cleaned out i simply gave it some oil...which really didnīt turn out all that well...
In fact it simply looks like something someone made in shop at school,so...back to the drawing board on that one.


However.

Good friend Kaj was the first one up to "teach" me about the drawback of massive amounts of clearcoat.
I reasoned as such previously that it indeed IS a lot of "mojo" and in essence BS....
Well.
My bad.I was wrong.

The thing is...
This Pantera with its now basicaly bare body simply went into full bloom like a wildflower.
To the point where i have to state that itīs way beyond what i could ever imagine.
Downright friggin amazing!

The "issue" that this post started out with....well...the attack is still there,but that over the top treble is all gone.
Instead,whatīs come forward is a VERY pronounced upper midrange-which is USABLE.

So...here i am.Basicaly with one foot on each base.What to do?
I dunno guys...iīm absolutely hell bent on NOT putting any sort of clearcoat on it again...i WILL not restrain tone by doing that.
Like H*LL NO!
Period.

On the other hand...i canīt have a body that looks like a 10yr old brought it home from woodshop...
Tricky to say the least,but TBH iīve REALLY learned something here.
Free your tone...the rest will follow...

Neck btw...just oil on that sanded smooth canadian hardmaple...just trust me...dayum....
It friggin LOOKS like a million bux,but more importantly it friggin PLAYS like a million bux!
Feel of it...iīm lost for words...itīs THAT good.

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Warrn on Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:03 pm

Couldn't you just oil the body as well?

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Re: Taming tone

Post by Racing on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:08 am

Thatīs exactly what i did,itīs just that the body is from different grade maple and wonīt darken the same way the neck did.
Ie;the neck is all it can be as is while the body needs some more thought.

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