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previous: Josh Pardes Pro Players & Duncan/Dimarzio -- 9/1/2004 8:15 AM View Thread

Re: Pro Players & Duncan/Dimarzio(sorta long and rantish

9/2/2004 5:40 AM
SweetfingerRe: Pro Players & Duncan/Dimarzio(sorta long and rantish
When I go out and buy a DiMarzio FRED and slap it in my strat - there's a couple reasons why I don't sound like Joe Satriani. One is that I'm not putting my FRED(or whatever he's using) into JOE'S guitar(The one he picked out from a bunch and has gotten used to). I'm putting it into MY guitar! Even two identical models from the same production line can have different tones. Are you using the EXACT model and specs as your hero? String guage/brand? How close to the strings DOES Slash set those Alnico II Pro's?  
Another reason is that you're playing through your rig, not Vai's/SRV's rig. Amps are more varied and weird than guitars-Many electrical components are rated for 20% tolerance- A critical capacitor in Page's Supro might be 25mf while yours might be 42mf. Both values are within tolerance and both will work fine, but can sound noticeably different.  
I've seen a picture of Eddie's old Marshall and the output tubes are USA 6CA7's. That tube sounds NOTHING like EL-34's, and slightly different than 6550's. You just cannot account for all the variables.  
Are you comparing your tone live with their recorded tone? Have you heard enough of your hero's tone live to know just how they ACTUALLY sound?  
A big reason-(and the one that no guitar player ever wants to hear) is that it really IS in the hands! How hard you pick, the angle of attack, the distance from the bridge that you tend to play at. Do you artificially "pinch" the strings as you strum making you sound like Warren DiMartini? do you even USE a pick?  
No matter WHAT guitar, or WHAT amplifier, SRV always sounded like himself.  
It didn't matter if he was playing a Guild 12 string on MTV Unplugged, a spare strat through one of Jimmie Vaughn's Super Reverbs at a T-Birds show or his #1 through a Dumble. He always sounded like himself, and sounded great. I own a gazillion different guitars and amps and pedals. I always sound just like ME! You are always going to sound like YOU! One of the most difficult things to learn about playing guitar is how to imitate other players sound and style, not just their note choice. Note choice is easy, style requires some serious study and change of mindset. Sound requires requires a change in the way the guitar is physically played, as well as the correct guitar/effect/amp combination.  
Pro players use/endorse pickups/guitars/amps for a variety of reasons, Zakk Wylde, Vai, Slash, and all the others aren't tone deaf, but they may have very DIFFERENT needs and ideas regarding their pickups. Yes, I'm sure that in some cases, the need was to keep their name in public, get something for free, or make a quick buck, but I can assure you that the difference(if any) between the pickups you buy, and the ones that player "X" is using is not the primary reason that you aren't finding the "magic" tone.  
More than my 2 cents worth -Jim