By KenBJammen on Feb 1, 2012 | In Music
PART II - Here is part two of the 2012 thoughts on the single coil manifesto
6. Nobody wants to hear you solo for more than about three minutes. I don't care HOW good you are. That's just the way it is.
Maybe, maybe not. Depends on your audience. Depends how drunk your audience is. I have played places where a three minute solo is way waaayyyy to long, and I have played a solo for 15 minutes and the crowd was upset that it was too short. Other factors to consider is the Genre of music. That is really how it is in 2012.
Follow up:7. Humbuckers sound "bigger" when playing at higher gain. And they are undeniably quieter. When playing clean or at lower gain overdrive, however, no humbucker can match the sparkle and definition of a good single coil. That's just the way it is.
Ok, Humbuckers will sound bigger when playing at higher gain, and they are quieter. After that with the advances in pickups and the selection of high end pickups out there, this is less of a truth than it was ten years ago. Cheap pickups will sound cheap. After that a guitar and pickup selection should be aimed at the style of music you are going to play with that instrument. If you are looking for an “all around” instrument, you will have areas where there will be weakness. If you focus your instrument toward a particular tone or Genre you can actually do better. Here’s a good example. If you are setting out to be the next Chet Atkins, don’t get caught up in an Ibanez RG series guitar. Neither the guitar nor the pickups are designed for that style of music. Sure, you COULD play that style, but the guitar is set up to be a rocker. Coil tapping is another thing to consider to make your humbucking pickup more versatile. Well done it can go along way. I have no idea why the whole concept of the P-90 pickup was left out of this discussion, because when you look at it, A single coil IS NOT a P-90 IS NOT a Humbucker, they all have unique and individual qualities, that is really how it is in 2012.
8. Your amplifier accounts for anywhere from 55% - 80% of your tone. If your amp sucks, buying the best guitar in the world won't help much. That's just the way it is.
Sure, but what really is left out, is that improved tone is not a linear equation, it is exponential. Great strides are made by simple changes at the low end of the spectrum, and little is noted at the high end. Most people lose track of what sounds good at the 50% range. Really crappy tone will be noticed, but really great tone will not be noted, except by a few tone savvy people. A adequate player, playing a solid state modeling amp with adequate tone will not be a tone slug and only those with a distinct ear will care. 75% of tone is in the hands of the player. Whatever amp a great player is given, whatever guitar, they can tweak it to sound fairly well. Even if the guitar intonates badly, they will hear the pitch variants and bend to accommodate the correct pitch. A bad player or unseasoned player with the greatest equipment on earth is still going to sound like crap. Take a Beaker and throw it in the path of a train, no matter how much you spend on that Beaker, you still have a train wreck. That is really how it is in 2012.
9. Tube amps still sound more organic than solid state amps. The difference is mostly in the power amp section, however. That's just the way it is.
Maybe, really? I am not a qualified amp repair person, nor do I care to understand why an amp works. What I do know is that a well tuned tube amp sounds great, has better harmonic responses and responds better to dynamics in playing. Don’t get me wrong, solid state amps have their place and I actually use one on one of my regular gigs, but when it comes to having great tone, the solid state amp is only a back up. That is really how it is in 2012.
10. All preamp distortion, tube or solid state, will sound buzzy at low volumes. I don't care if it's a point-to-point wired Matchless Hotbox, a Boogie V-Twin or whatever, preamp distortion sounds buzzy unless it's used moderately in combination with a hot power amp. That's just the way it is.
Maybe less true now than ever. I am going to refer to my perpetual motions mod DS-1. This effect sounds clean and not grainy at any level. Sure the run of the mill Boss pedals will have their own problems at low levels and need to be pushed, but your high end pedals can really shine. Maybe this was true 10 years ago, now more than ever not true. A great point was made yesterday, even at almost silent levels, a modeler (as much as I cannot stand a modeler) sounds the same at any level. That is really how it is in 2012.
Tomorrow part III
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