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 Clarity 
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is evil...Evil Joe

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:47 pm
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Post Clarity
How does Paul get such clarity? Listen to like, Y.R.O for example. The super fast picking parts are amazing - you can hear every note distinctly, and that nice sound of the pick hitting the strings.

How does he get so much attack and clarity? Is it the construction of the guitar (woods, joint, etc) combined with the pickups, and a nice amp, or can I replicate the same thing?

I've tried turning my treble to 10, bass to 3 and mids to 4, yet it still doesn't produce enough attack and clarity. Could it be because my guitar's neck is (supposedly) mahogany?

Would I be able to replicate the clarity with a Jackson DK2M run through a Peavey ValveKing112? Some amp settings would be nice, if anyone could provide some. The VK sounds similar to the 6550/5150, if that helps.


Fri May 15, 2009 10:00 pm
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Viking Kong
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Treble on 10 sounds high to me. Personally I would probably use more mids, and less treble. It depends though some guitars or guitar and pickup combos are muddy sounding. If you have bad sounding wood to start with there may not be much you can do.

I doubt its just that he has nice guitars, amps, and pickups. A great player can make even cheap gear sound good.

Paul probably can get that clarity because he has good technique. He is very good at muting the strings he is not playing.

There are many factors that contribute to your tone. Bad cables, old tubes, dying batteries in effects pedals are all things that could have a negative impact on your tone.

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Fri May 15, 2009 10:14 pm
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is evil...Evil Joe

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xjustice09x wrote:
Treble on 10 sounds high to me. Personally I would probably use more mids, and less treble. It depends though some guitars or guitar and pickup combos are muddy sounding. If you have bad sounding wood to start with there may not be much you can do.

I doubt its just that he has nice guitars, amps, and pickups. A great player can make even cheap gear sound good.

Paul probably can get that clarity because he has good technique. He is very good at muting the strings he is not playing.

There are many factors that contribute to your tone. Bad cables, old tubes, dying batteries in effects pedals are all things that could have a negative impact on your tone.


But how do I get the attack? Just super hard picking? He picks super fast, yet every note is still distinctive. Just to clarify, I'm trying to get an original Racer X sound (Street Lethal, specifically), without much success. How do I make my tone more emphasized on the highs, while not being too high it hurts your ears? I have an awesome Yngwie sound, so that's usually what I start with when I'm tweaking, but no matter what I do, I can never go from Yngwie to Paul. I try to keep the smoothness Yngwie has, but it's not as rich on the higher frequencies and not as clear as Paul's sound, I try to get Paul's rythm, but the lead is too Yngwie-smooth, etc.


Fri May 15, 2009 10:40 pm
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Godzilla
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I think the clarity is 99% fingers, Paul was/is extremely good at keeping the other 5 strings from making noise. This could have added to the clarity that you're talking about. Like Paul has said "On electric guitar, every time you play one note there's five more you have to control and keep quiet" or something like that...


Fri May 15, 2009 11:04 pm
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Viking Kong

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It's all in your picking technique and your how hard your pick attack is /what your angle is like. Also, it has to do with if your left hand is syncing with your right. People who are learning to alt pick generally have a slower and less accurate left hand. If your left hand fingers stay on frets too long or are inconsistent in finger pressure, it may result in a difference of tone. If it's both, then it's something you have to work on, because notes start slurring into each other, which generates sort of a messy smooth tone.

Pick angle is important too. If you point it 45 degrees facing downwards (like Paul), it still doesn't sound the same as pointing your pick up wards 45 degrees.

With amp settings, turn the gain down a bit, maybe in between 5 - 7. Having too much gain can mush up your tone and can result in a smoother sounding lead. Paul doesn't use that much distortion actually, he's just a very powerful and aggressive picker.

Hope that helped.


Sat May 16, 2009 1:06 am
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is evil...Evil Joe

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Refried Bean wrote:
It's all in your picking technique and your how hard your pick attack is /what your angle is like. Also, it has to do with if your left hand is syncing with your right. People who are learning to alt pick generally have a slower and less accurate left hand. If your left hand fingers stay on frets too long or are inconsistent in finger pressure, it may result in a difference of tone. If it's both, then it's something you have to work on, because notes start slurring into each other, which generates sort of a messy smooth tone.

Pick angle is important too. If you point it 45 degrees facing downwards (like Paul), it still doesn't sound the same as pointing your pick up wards 45 degrees.

With amp settings, turn the gain down a bit, maybe in between 5 - 7. Having too much gain can mush up your tone and can result in a smoother sounding lead. Paul doesn't use that much distortion actually, he's just a very powerful and aggressive picker.

Hope that helped.



I've figured it out :)

Put mids to 7, highs at 7 bass at 3, with gain at 6 boosted with the onboard booster to rock levels (I really need an OD. The boost on the amp is pretty bad, and even then if you try to boost it to metal territory it gets too fuzzy) and then I just raised my bridge pickup a little and slightly lowered my neck pickup.

Sounds great :) Need more un-muddy gain, but I can deal with what I've got.

I know understand what Paul means when he says "Michael Schenker *wah mouth noise thing*" when he refers to his tone.


Sat May 16, 2009 3:04 am
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Dr. X
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A71b8KVafM

its the amount of high end he has... not so much treble but presence.

:lol:

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Sat May 16, 2009 3:30 am
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Superhero

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Quote:
Pick angle is important too. If you point it 45 degrees facing downwards (like Paul), it still doesn't sound the same as pointing your pick up wards 45 degrees.


Ain't that true, Paul said in some interview that he recorded Street Lethal with his old picking technique (45 degrees upwards), and on some borrowed squier stratocaster.

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Sat May 16, 2009 12:54 pm
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God Of The Sun
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what about wiring pickups in parallel? I thought it gave more clarity on the picking runs

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Sat May 16, 2009 3:27 pm
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Motorman
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Volkan wrote:
what about wiring pickups in parallel? I thought it gave more clarity on the picking runs


exactly - big difference.

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Sat May 16, 2009 3:39 pm
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Jaden wrote:
Volkan wrote:
what about wiring pickups in parallel? I thought it gave more clarity on the picking runs


exactly - big difference.


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Sat May 16, 2009 4:47 pm
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God Of The Sun
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Jaden wrote:
Volkan wrote:
what about wiring pickups in parallel? I thought it gave more clarity on the picking runs


exactly - big difference.


just wired my tone zone in parallel and it sounds


CLEAN BUT IT IS DISTORTED OMFG HOWS DAT POSSIBLE???

I recommend it to everyone who hates muddy tone, I'm really happy with it.

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Sun May 17, 2009 12:04 pm
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Superhero

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When you say parallel you mean both coils of a humbucker wired in parallel, right?

Anyone knows if Paul has all of his pickups wired in parallel? Are stock PGMs coming with hums wired in parallel? (300/301 for example :P).

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Sun May 17, 2009 1:26 pm
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Dr. X
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I cannot get clarity from my low E string. D,G,B,andE can all be picked at top speed and I can get clear prcise sound from all notes. But the E and A speed picking sound muddy and flat.....always. It's not like I even have days where I am really "on" and I can get that "cellolike" sound from the E and A. I feel like I will never be able to play the main riffs from Tech Diff or Scarified because of this picking problem.

Any ideas on how to practice this or to set up the pickups and amps to get me one step closer would relly make my day. The pickups in parallel idea is something I need to look into. How do you tell how the pickups are wired?


Sun May 17, 2009 2:22 pm
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is evil...Evil Joe

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_NowakP wrote:
When you say parallel you mean both coils of a humbucker wired in parallel, right?

Anyone knows if Paul has all of his pickups wired in parallel? Are stock PGMs coming with hums wired in parallel? (300/301 for example :P).


The HH PGMs should be parallel, not sure if they are though. The HSH models aren't parallel.


Watch the DiMarzio interview with Paul, he talks about wiring in parallel, then discovering the HSH setup. Paul wired in Parallel because he could turn down the volume and have a clean tone, I guess he feels that with an HSH setup using the middle SC with the volume down he likes it more? Could also be using mid-low output 'buckers for a cleaner tone instead of high outputs in parallel.


Sun May 17, 2009 2:45 pm
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God Of The Sun
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Bluerooster wrote:
I cannot get clarity from my low E string. D,G,B,andE can all be picked at top speed and I can get clear prcise sound from all notes. But the E and A speed picking sound muddy and flat.....always. It's not like I even have days where I am really "on" and I can get that "cellolike" sound from the E and A. I feel like I will never be able to play the main riffs from Tech Diff or Scarified because of this picking problem.

Any ideas on how to practice this or to set up the pickups and amps to get me one step closer would relly make my day. The pickups in parallel idea is something I need to look into. How do you tell how the pickups are wired?

I had the same problem. what I did is this:

I used to run my amp with gain at 4-5 and boost it with the ds-1's level knob. this gave me great overdrive but it was muddy. muddy as hell. then I tried turning down the gain. I keep the amp's gain at 1.5 or 2 and boost it with the ds-1's level knob. it gave me much more clean tones and my fingers dexterity. now I can play confidently at real low gain settings. after I got my tone zone, because it has more bass and mids than a stock pickup, it was muddy again on the low strings. it sounded like the notes were feeding back instead of ringing. earlier today, I chaged the wiring to parallel, and I was shocked, really clean sound. I totally recommend it.

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Sun May 17, 2009 2:53 pm
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Dr. X
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Thanks Volkan. Do you have a basic way to tell the difference between series and parallel pickup wiring?


Sun May 17, 2009 5:10 pm
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God Of The Sun
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Bluerooster wrote:
Thanks Volkan. Do you have a basic way to tell the difference between series and parallel pickup wiring?

when you wire them parallel, the coils are parallel to each other which gives about 30% less output than series, but has more treble and clarity.

http://www.alexplorer.net/guitar/mods/serpar.html

this should help

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Sun May 17, 2009 5:57 pm
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Viking Kong
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My advice is practice without an amp. This can sound weird, but when you play without an amp, you hear a lot of mistakes you make. If your okaying is muddy on low E and A, you'll hear that without an amp. If it sounds ok, then try changing the amp settings.

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Mon May 18, 2009 3:20 am
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Dr. X
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Volkan wrote:
Bluerooster wrote:
I cannot get clarity from my low E string. D,G,B,andE can all be picked at top speed and I can get clear prcise sound from all notes. But the E and A speed picking sound muddy and flat.....always. It's not like I even have days where I am really "on" and I can get that "cellolike" sound from the E and A. I feel like I will never be able to play the main riffs from Tech Diff or Scarified because of this picking problem.

Any ideas on how to practice this or to set up the pickups and amps to get me one step closer would relly make my day. The pickups in parallel idea is something I need to look into. How do you tell how the pickups are wired?

I had the same problem. what I did is this:

I used to run my amp with gain at 4-5 and boost it with the ds-1's level knob. this gave me great overdrive but it was muddy. muddy as hell. then I tried turning down the gain. I keep the amp's gain at 1.5 or 2 and boost it with the ds-1's level knob. it gave me much more clean tones and my fingers dexterity. now I can play confidently at real low gain settings. after I got my tone zone, because it has more bass and mids than a stock pickup, it was muddy again on the low strings. it sounded like the notes were feeding back instead of ringing. earlier today, I chaged the wiring to parallel, and I was shocked, really clean sound. I totally recommend it.


hey volkan,
can u give the setting ur using on the ds-1?


Mon May 18, 2009 11:11 pm
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