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  1. #1

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    Dear all,
    I'veen trying for years to get a better classical jazz sound out of my LesPaul Black Beauty combined with a Blues Deluxe Reissue.
    This is a guitar I'm very fond of. Do you know any ways, via pedal or whatever? How can I dare an approximation?
    Thanks

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Use the neck pickup only, and turn down the tone on the guitar, or amp, or both. That's a start. What gauge strings do you use?

  4. #3

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    Lowering that neck pup should help as well.

  5. #4

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    Flatwounds would not hurt.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lennon
    Dear all,
    I'veen trying for years to get a better classical jazz sound out of my LesPaul Black Beauty combined with a Blues Deluxe Reissue.
    This is a guitar I'm very fond of. Do you know any ways, via pedal or whatever? How can I dare an approximation?
    Thanks
    To restate the excellent advice above: Front pickup, probably lowered; heavier strings, preferably flatwound; flat settings on your amp (bass 0, treble 0, Mids 8-10).

    If pedals are your thing, a parametric EQ such as a JHS Haunting Mids pedal will help emphasize midrange tones.

    In short, less may be more. Good luck!

  7. #6

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    Also, use "the google." Lots of great info about this subject.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    To restate the excellent advice above: Front pickup, probably lowered; heavier strings, preferably flatwound; (
    Flatwounds IF you want a lot of THUNK.

  9. #8
    Elixir Nanoweb but I'm thinking to go for Thomastik JS112. Do you thing it's a good choice?

  10. #9
    Thanks. I would prefer not to use any pedal if, I don’t have to. I'll try with a heavier gouge and the amp settings. Dou you think a 12” gouge would be a good choice for the LesPaul?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lennon
    Thanks. I would prefer not to use any pedal if, I don’t have to. I'll try with a heavier gouge and the amp settings. Dou you think a 12” gouge would be a good choice for the LesPaul?
    Absolutely, but you might have to adjust your truss rid a bit.

  12. #11

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    .12 flatwounds and lowering the neck PU was the recipe for my LP Studio. For amp settings, there seems to be two schools. Grant Green reputedly used the mid eq only, setting bass and treble to zero. While this might work for Fender, it's not necessarily the best idea for some other amps. Why not enable all eq zones for more volume and more tone options? My suggestion is: start from all eq knobs at noon, the add bass a little, reduce treble if it's shrill, and finally find the right spot for the mid eq - a balancing act between overall volume and excessively nasal honk.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lennon
    Dear all,
    I'veen trying for years to get a better classical jazz sound out of my LesPaul Black Beauty ...
    Does your guitar have a Gibson AlNiCo V neck pickup/P-90 bridge pickup, or does it have those newfangled "humbucking" pickups that the kids are talking about these days?

  14. #13

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    I use a Les Paul ‘60s Tribute through a DV Mark Jazz 12 with D’Addario Chromes in .012 gauge. I have P90s, and I typically use the neck pickup. Definitely able to get the old school sound with this setup.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lennon
    Thanks. I would prefer not to use any pedal if, I don’t have to. I'll try with a heavier gouge and the amp settings. Dou you think a 12” gouge would be a good choice for the LesPaul?
    12’s on an LP sound great. Not that hard on the fingers with the short scale as opposed to a 25.5” scale guitar.

  16. #15

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    I find the key is not the guitar's tone knob or the amp setting, it's the guitar's volume knob. Unless you have a treble bleed, turning down the volume on the guitar will tame the highs and warm up the sound.

  17. #16

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    In my experience it comes mainly down to the following:
    - reasonably heavy strings (a least 12's, but I suggest minimum .13 for the high E), but flatwounds are not necessary...and in fact can remove some of the "sparkle" or acoustic-y tone one gets a bit of with an archtop.
    - not running the volume or tone all the way open and having the pickup set on the low side in terms of height.
    - now this is key to really nail it IMO: replace tune-a-matic with wooden bridge...

    So on that last one, the bridge, I say this based on my experience with my Slaman Pauletta. It came with a tune-a-matic and sounded great, but still needed some improvement on the high strings to get closer to an archtop IMO. I gave feedback along those lines to Daniel Slaman (I purchased from CR Guitars but Daniel was kind enough to answer a bunch of my questions along the way) and he replied that he had a rosewood bridge he could send me. When I received and installed it, I was blown away by what a difference it made on ALL the strings. So, there you go, get a wooden bridge made...I think you will be very happy with the result.

  18. #17

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  19. #18

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    It's easy to get classic jazz sound out of an LP. It's a naturally very bassy guitar. You should be able to get in the ballpark by investing in no more than 12 gauge roundwound or flatwound strings. Roundwound if you want a bright jazz sound and flatwound if you want a classic dark jazz sound.

    If you want to dial it further for jazz you can change your pots for not very much money. It probably comes with 500k pots. If you lower it to 250k on the volume and tone, it will get darker and jazzier. For the cap on the tone pot my favorite are paper in oil in the 22nf - 6.8nf range.

    If you want to spend even more money, you can change your neck pickup. I recommend the Seymour Duncan 59. It's nice and bassy and smooth. But with a great classic voicing.

    That's about it. It ain't too hard. LP is a naturally jazzy ax. I only use solid bodies for jazz. Although I use only Fender style. Good luck.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Encinitastubes
    I find the key is not the guitar's tone knob or the amp setting, it's the guitar's volume knob. Unless you have a treble bleed, turning down the volume on the guitar will tame the highs and warm up the sound.
    To add to this, there's a "sweet spot" on the vol pot for the neck pickup; start with the vol pot turned up all the way and notice the very bright tone. Start backing off the volume control gradually and notice that the bright, trebly emphasis also decreases. Somewhere at less than full-open and before you start to lose a lot of volume, you'll find the spot at which the trebly brightness drops off without a lot of volume loss, while still having some definition that the top end provides. Maybe around 7-8 on the vol pot. Take this with a grain of salt, because you can put a vol knob on in pretty much any orientation you want, so what I see when I look down at the vol pot may be different than what you see...

    I use this in combination with rolling off the tone control an appropriate amount to further adjust the brightness of the overall tone.

    Then there are the controls on your amp... and your playing technique. So much (almost all) of jazz tone is in your fingers...!

    Pick material, shape, angle, and RH technique can also make a difference. I've gone through a lot of phases with picks... at one point used Dunlop nylons for their softer tone, but nowadays using Dunlop jazz teardrop 204s or 205s.

    Now... that's what works for me. Jonathan Kreisberg starts with roundwounds and leaves all the volume and tone controls on the guitar at 10, preferring to adjust tone at the amp, as he described at a master class I attended. And he has a great tone...

    Thus, you'll ultimately have to find your own path, but hopefully the ideas in this thread will help.

  21. #20

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    I also prefer using resistance rather than capacitance to darken the sound. Resistance (volume knob) dampens the entire signal while capacitance (tone knob) only cuts highs above a certain point. Resistance has a nice smoky quality to it while capacitance is more just plain bassy. You can get around that. I find that using a 3nf cap on the tone sounds almost the same as turning down the volume knob. 6nf is my favorite because it's nice and creamy and doesn't make things all swampy like normal value caps. You can get around having to turn your volume pot down. - Just use a lower value pot. Stick a 100k volume pot in there, and the nice, warm, smoky sound will be hardwired in for any point in the volume's sweep.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    - now this is key to really nail it IMO: replace tune-a-matic with wooden bridge...

    So on that last one, the bridge, I say this based on my experience with my Slaman Pauletta. It came with a tune-a-matic and sounded great, but still needed some improvement on the high strings to get closer to an archtop IMO. I gave feedback along those lines to Daniel Slaman (I purchased from CR Guitars but Daniel was kind enough to answer a bunch of my questions along the way) and he replied that he had a rosewood bridge he could send me. When I received and installed it, I was blown away by what a difference it made on ALL the strings. So, there you go, get a wooden bridge made...I think you will be very happy with the result.
    Absolutely. I have put wooden saddles on my semis and the difference is very real.

  23. #22

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    Take the neck pickup ring off (this will save you an unpleasant surprise) and lower the pickup on its main two screws as far as they will go without coming off. Screw the ring back on, plug in the guitar and play it for a few days. After a few days, raise the pickup closer to the strings just a tiny bit - do you like it better? Try a few more days, repeat to taste. Whenever I've done this the neck pickup never quite makes it up above the ring, usually not even flush.

    Remove the bridge pickup, put it behind that fuzzy door in your case, and put duct tape over the hole. Or at least lower it so the magnets aren't messing with the strings.

    Put the pickup selector switch in the neck position and duct tape it so it doesn't move. If you don't, I guarantee you will accidentally hit the switch and turn on the bridge pickup when you least desire to.

    Or take Jim Hall's advice and get rid of that Les Paul...

    Classic Jazz Sound on a Les Paul-jim-hall-les-paul-jpg
    Last edited by BickertRules; 12-20-2020 at 03:11 PM.

  24. #23

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    What's with Jim Halls string damper? Obviously not for feedback issues ?

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    What's with Jim Halls string damper? Obviously not for feedback issues ?
    That's the Van Eps damper. Herb Ellis used it to. It keeps open strings from ringing by accident. May also help with damping the sound of pulling off a string.

    Van Eps, btw, ran a hobby store when he retired from music and was apparently a very capable craftsman.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    What's with Jim Halls string damper? Obviously not for feedback issues ?
    Because it looks so cool, duh.

    Maybe it's not for feedback but for tamping down sympathetic open string vibrations, like the shredders' and tappers' scrunchies.

    I know if you play an E or a B anywhere on a Les Paul neck with any fair amount of volume, the low E string is going to ring in sympathy. Maybe guitar players started wrapping their thumbs around the neck to quiet the E string.