What are some changes in guitars and gear in recent years that are actually great?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by The Mirror, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    That was kind of my point. I think we've nailed the digital 5150 for "modern metal" and "djent" and "the brootz" at this point, but we're pretty far IMO from tones that have a little more... nuance? It's great if that's the sound you're going for, but the sound we've reached with free-level VSTs is kind of a one-or-two-trick pony. And it's not very close to "my sound" at all.

    My comment was mostly addressing the "replace it all for freeeee!" sentiment anyway. I'm sure a $1500+ piece of modelling gear is going to sound pretty good at this point. I'd still never trade in my tube amps for an AxeFX though. In a recording scenario I'd be happy to have both, but in a you-can-only-have-one scenario, I still stand by normal amps.

    That's given that I've never tried a Kemper in person, but I'm convinced so far that it's maybe the only gear that could change my mind.

    Kemper is easily a candidate for this thread.
     
  2. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Fishman Fluence, got em recently and they're just great for recording, everything just sounds better. And I've tried plenty of pups, BKP, Dimarzio, Mojo Tone, Duncan. The Fluence have just changed the game imo.

    Also Kemper cause Kemper.
     
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  3. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    Not sure how much the Fluence is a game changer, I've had the opportunity to try out some really high end pickups like Arcane, Joe Barden and it is just amazing how much more of an instrument character they bring up in comparison to the usual suspects.

    I'd have to give it up to most tube amp manufacturers for bringing in smaller wattage options for the most part with the big boy voicings, it definitely changed the game for me as I ditched most modelers and record with small tube amps. I guess my "modelers" nowadays are these amps: Mesa Mini Recto, Orange Tiny Terror, Marshall Class5, Laney LC15. These are the ones that I track thru and pretty much get me any sound I hear in my head.
     
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  4. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    Gotta agree with everybody saying digital recording / modeling technology.

    Got started recording a little under 10 years ago, with the Line6 TonePort and Gearbox. Boy, have digital ampsims come a long way since then! And not just those, the difference between Drumkit from Hell and Superior Drummer 2 and now 3 is just mind-boggling. Sound libraries in general are more varied, more expressive, and cheaper than ever before.

    People used to laugh at amp sims. Who's laughing now?

    ME.
    I'm laughing now. At all this money I'm saving by not buying a bunch of amps.
     
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  5. Curt

    Curt Where we're going we don't need neck pickups

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    Easily throwing my support in for the Fishman fluence stuff. I got a chance to play a guitar with some moderns in it and not only do they seem to me to be the best active pickups on the market, the tech behind them is super promising. IIRC, I read something about them being able to tweak the sound of the pickups in real time when designing a new set, making it more possible to have a pickup get exactly the sound you want (within reason, obviously) without having such a lengthy testing period of different pickups with different winding numbers, wire gauges, magnet strengths etc and all the estimation. The modern set basically takes an EMG 81/85 set and fixes all the things about them I didn't like. They're phenomenal. Also definitely amp/effect emulation software. I bought Line 6 helix native and it's insane how solid a tone you can get for $300 (if you already have a decent computer and audio interface to begin with) Game changer for the bedroom player all the way to home studio people starting out from nothing. then for gigging you have the actual rack/floor units and getting a wide variety of perhaps not perfect, but still good and usable sounds is getting cheaper and having a smaller footprint the more time goes by. Even tube amp/massive pedalboard/boutique guitar elitists can't ignore that fact. Good tone is no longer just something for the wealthy to enjoy.
     
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  6. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    I think Kemper has probably been the biggest improvement to guitar players who tour internationally. You may say your tube rig sounds better, but if you fly to let's say Lithuania for a gig, are you convinced the poorly maintained rental Recto with an unbranded 3,5x12" at the club will sound better than a profile of your own rig? Probably not, AND the rental cost is still an extra cost. Feels like half the people playing Kempers use them because of a) shipping costs, and b) rental amps being crap.

    Personally I love it because I can borrow a bunch of stuff from friends, make an entirely unique tone in the studio with oddball or expensive gear, profile it and then use it live. Takes no space, I can carry it in my guitar case on the bus even and it cuts my soundcheck time way down.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  7. lucasreis

    lucasreis ERG Ambassador

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    LINE 6 Variax guitars. Wish I could afford one. They're pretty expensive here. The crazy ideas behind them are awesome and I love what Twelve Foot Ninja does with them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  8. Ebony

    Ebony Blastology

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    The Internet.
     
  9. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    What do they do with them?

    In theory I should be all about them. But I don’t find them attractive, and they’re obviously not cheap. Just curious as to the draw?
     
  10. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    Various companies realizing that the EMG 707 and 81-7 was in fact _not_ the best seven string pickups ever made. Remember back when every sevenstring from ESP/LTD, Jackson and Schecter had those pickups? The used marked is still somewhat haunted by it.

    All the amp sim love, because it makes actual amps go for cheaper on the used market, which makes it a lot easier to justify using amps over amp simps .. I can buy 2 - 3 good heads for the price of a Kemper / Axe-fx :idea:

    Not really gear or guitar related, but music production:
    - Youtube, Spotify, iTunes and others making some good attemp at killing the loudness war
    - Mix engineers / producers realizing that Superior drummer could not actually substitue a good drummer and more people seeming to cherish actually recording real drums.
     
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  11. Church2224

    Church2224 Guitar Whore

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    I 100% Disagree with this. Since 2014 I have got 10 USA Schecters and all are great. I also got a 2017 Jackson USA DK1 Dinky recently and while I do remember having issues with USA Jacksons back around 2011 to 2013, my newest one is immaculate and I absolutely love it, same with others I have played in stores. Also ESP USAs are really stellar guitars. I also have a 2015 Suhr that is incredible too. Maybe with Gibsons these days, but in the whole most USA Guitars I have played have been fantastic, Jacksons, ESPs, Schecters, Music Man, PRS, Suhrs, all pretty awesome. As far as price increases shop around, know a good dealer and talk to them. Dealers usually cut good customers a break.

    Actually, Quality on guitars these days is stellar in most price points. Currently I have a collection breaching 40 guitars, most I have got in the past few years, and played many more, and the only guitar I had an issue with since 2013 is my 2017 JEM 777 DY where the finish cracked at the neck joint and Ibanez is replacing it right now. Prior to that I remember going through a few USA Jacksons with issues and some Carvins. But these days guitars are built extremely well.
     
  12. Dayn

    Dayn silly person

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    I guess I'll add my superfluous opinion to the mix.

    Digital gear and not pushing boundaries, but removing the boundaries between 'digital' and 'analogue' sounds. Or rather, it's not that I'm seeing less 'purism', but I'm seeing more people being open-minded about things that weren't solely popular in the 70s.

    When I got my RG2228 over 8 years ago, I could never have imagined the crazy things that are being released today. My guitar is... pretty vanilla, in comparison!
     
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  13. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Sheeeit I dunno why I didn't think of this. :lol:

    Distortion pedals went from your usual subtle overdrives or beehive distortion boxes, to amp-in-a-box JFET drives that sound VERY authentic. AMT's Legend series, the Bogner distortion pedals, Friedman's distortion offerings... Basically taking the preamp design of an amp, squishing it down, and replacing the tubes with JFETs.
     
  14. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    There's a bunch of demos of stevic, their guitar player, using the variax for live switching on songs.
     
  15. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    I’ve owned most iterations of Variax gear (including the basses), and currently own a single JTV-89F. They’re just swiss army studio guitars in the way PODs were regarded before Axe FX and Kemper became the industry standard. If you already have a particular guitar you prefer and get your favorite sounds out of, and generally stay in one tuning, then that removes most of the incentive to own a Variax.
     
  16. Esp Griffyn

    Esp Griffyn Play more music

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    Someone made a bass amp company aimed at fusion bassists and they are superb.

    Mainstream brands like Ibanez making some pretty out there offerings, with single cuts and some of their interesting bass lab stuff, made it affordable to get some fresh ideas into an instrument without it having to cost the earth. This has also lead to an increase of ERBs, which is a good and bad thing. While choice is great an ultimately the market is better for having things like the Ibanez BTB 7 string being so cheap and the sadly-missed Conklin Groove Tools 7s, these sort of instruments did seem to take off in a way compared to 15 years or so back when a Conklin GT7 was the preserve of serious musos. I do sometimes hear ERB players and it sounds like a case of "more strings than sense", or some equation of "more strings = better", when frankly a lot of these players would struggle to hold down straight 8ths groove but their sweep-tapped arpeggios are great.

    Ultimately I think that to have the choice is great, even if the market is being offered something it is struggling to put to good use.

    One thing that has gotten worse in the last 15 years or so is the rise of "bass schools", selling subscription memberships and offering total crap to their students with things like "how to get gigs", "Slap lessons" and "twp handed tapping lessons" junk. None of these things are helping anyone become a better musician because the people paying for this stuff generally can't read music and know very little music theory. The bass education industry seems to have become so focused on teaching people how to be bassists, not musicians, and achieving that goal by literally teaching anything but music.
     
  17. Rational Gaze

    Rational Gaze LithiumDawn Voicebox

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    So much this. I was always an Ibanez man. Started with an RG7231, got a 2228, then an M80M, which I all love dearly. The M80M is in my opinion the most playable 8 string out there. But last year, when my band was touring, our other guitarist owned a Banshee. I didn't really know at this time that Schecter was in the 8 string game. I wasn't really into their gothy guitars. I was turned off by the cheesy finishes and whatnot. But he showed me some Blackjacks. That shit changed my life. I jumped on the Blackjack ATX 8 string and haven't looked back. Such a gorgeous piece, comfortable to play, and the 28 inch neck is my ideal length. I haven't looked back since. One of the most playable instruments out there, very forgiving, and always stays in tune. I'm looking to getting a C8 at some point as well. They're just solid guitars and the company has come such a long way.
     
  18. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Big thing for me is the recording chain became "affordable". what I can do today with a PC, an axe FX, SD2, and a few hundreds worth of software (left Reaper and using Harrison's DAW with Harrison plugins now) would have cost me hundreds of thousands in the 90es. My first Yamaha MT8X cost me a small fortune back then.
     
  19. Ataraxia2320

    Ataraxia2320 SS.org Regular

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    Well don't just leave us hanging, can you name the company :D.


    For me the biggest improvement to guitars are the adoption of the whole pinwheel near the pickups truss rod adjustment. It just makes so much god damn sense and it makes the job so much faster and easier.

    I also love the fact that compensated nuts are gaining traction.
     
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  20. Restarted

    Restarted SS.org Regular

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    This!
     

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