The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by burchyk
    For what it's worth - I believe Pat is playing some paper thin Fender picks.

    Would be interesting if you could record a video with the settings and some sounds. Have a hunch that it can be done with the gear you've got unless your amp is one of those Vox 4W deals.
    yeah it is lol it's my home amp, but at least not the tiny TV. Anything bigger than that is useless for home/small venues, and I don't perform jazz live (yet ) I played in rock projects through the years. I'll try to record something as soon as I get the max out of what I have atm. Still playing with my Verbzilla to get what I want. The sound quality is probably going to suck, but at least I can show how much difference the pick made.
    Last edited by ASonic; 01-09-2022 at 09:30 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Hmm I think that amp is the weakest link..

    Get your guitar to the store and try some amps

  4. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by burchyk
    Hmm I think that amp is the weakest link..

    Get your guitar to the store and try some amps
    When I'm ready to buy one If you tweak and play with vox it's not bad, apart from the low end, I'm satisfied.

    check this vid out. With the pick change my sound is mellower and better than his though.He has bass on max and treble on min, which seems like a good idea, but I found that the amp has sweet spots when it comes to eq, and going too far just makes the tone worse. Bear in mind this everything is about the specific dark PM sound, if I wanted Wes sound or something else, maybe I'd have to tweak everything differently, and change gear.
    Last edited by ASonic; 01-10-2022 at 08:18 AM.

  5. #54

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    Brent from Learn Jazz Standards uses an Artcore guitar with a very nice sounding.


  6. #55
    Ok I tried to record a PM solo on my phone, and it's garbage quality, but maybe it will at least be 10% helpful.
    Also recorded another short clip in silence so that Pat's sound doesn't cover mine. I'm intending to get a proper audio interface for recording, so maybe soon I can post something worthy.





    P.S. wanted to do a pick comparison, but forgot, will add that later, I just don't think there'll be much difference on a crappy recording like this.

  7. #56

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    Thanks a lot Jimmy Blue Note for the capacitator explanation "...different values change the sweep, but the actual sound of the pickup at both ends of the tone, 0 and 10 are the same. Different caps will effect how fast the high or low end bleeds off,..."

    It saved me from a time consuming experiment that would only have given me a lesser functional guitar.

    Im not a manufacturer of capacitators but Im still on the capacitator track though and found another mod that maybe will change the tone the way I originally thought the capacitator could help me doing. It places the capacitator on the outgoing "hotwire" from the pickup.

    Seymour Duncan Mod Squad: Muddy sounding neck pickup? - Guitar Pickups, Bass Pickups, Pedals

    I will try it on my guitar before deciding on changing the pickup. Actually I think that the ACH is a quite good jazz pickup, with its own benefits, but I would like to try a different sound.

  8. #57

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    Oh, the capacitor debate... LOL.

    There may have been a few people before us who had an opinion on the subject.

    I'm somewhat agnostic, because I understand the scientific point of view that capacitance is capacitance.

    However, I did change out a Gibson PCB for some real PIO caps, pots, etc. and it did sound a lot better! There was no question about this!

    But what was the actual cause for the change? That's harder to judge. Too many things were changed at once to be sure.

    What I do know is, if I'm in the position to change caps for some reason, I'm going with the best old style ones I can find. It won't hurt!

  9. #58

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    I have an Ibanez JTK-3, with the same ACH pickups as yours. I found them lacking in clarity and fidelity, but adequate in output. So what I did, was swapping the ceramic magnets. I put an Alnico 3 magnet in the neck pickup and an Alnico 2 in the bridge pickup, and voila! Now they're both sweet-sounding and articulate, pretty much like PAF style humbuckers are supposed to sound.

    Magnets are cheap, and changing them is not difficult.

  10. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor
    I have an Ibanez JTK-3, with the same ACH pickups as yours. I found them lacking in clarity and fidelity, but adequate in output. So what I did, was swapping the ceramic magnets. I put an Alnico 3 magnet in the neck pickup and an Alnico 2 in the bridge pickup, and voila! Now they're both sweet-sounding and articulate, pretty much like PAF style humbuckers are supposed to sound.

    Magnets are cheap, and changing them is not difficult.
    I'll have to read how to do that, but that's a good idea. Why not 2 in the neck though?

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASonic
    I'll have to read how to do that, but that's a good idea. Why not 2 in the neck though?
    A2 and A3 is quite similar, but I find A3 slightly more open-sounding in the treble and maybe a bit less compressed. But I'm not sure I would be able to tell them apart in a blind test.

    A4 is also very nice, somewhat brighter than A2 and A3, and a little louder too. But not as trebly and loud as A5, which (in my opinion) is less usefull for jazz.

    If you want to try this, don't try to melt the pickups open. There is usually so much solder holding the cover to the base, that it is much easier just softening it with the iron. Then using a very sharp knife (Stanley is good), cut through the solder on both sides. This makes it easier resoldering them too.
    Last edited by Emperor; 01-11-2022 at 09:23 AM.

  12. #61

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    What I hear in your clips that PM has more mids / upper mids and less bass (might be room acoustics).

    Edit: check that track around 4:35 where he does a run from lower register to higher, notice how the higher notes have more volume. I think this is an interesting way to compare - by checking different registers.

    Try to bring the bass on the amp down a bit, and play with the treble on the amp in combination with the tone control on the guitar. E.g. on Fender amps I would run the amp treble > 5 and guitar tone lower to get those high mids.

    I think Pat has at least some compression and reverb (either guitar or the whole track), those are part of that sound as well.

  13. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by burchyk
    What I hear in your clips that PM has more mids / upper mids and less bass (might be room acoustics).

    Edit: check that track around 4:35 where he does a run from lower register to higher, notice how the higher notes have more volume. I think this is an interesting way to compare - by checking different registers.

    Try to bring the bass on the amp down a bit, and play with the treble on the amp in combination with the tone control on the guitar. E.g. on Fender amps I would run the amp treble > 5 and guitar tone lower to get those high mids.

    I think Pat has at least some compression and reverb (either guitar or the whole track), those are part of that sound as well.
    It's the mic and the phone and everything, I'm sorry the quality is so bad. It also runs through my verbzilla with some delay on it, but its hard to hear so you feel like there's no reverb . There's really not too much bass, I think it's even too little, the mids are a bit lacking indeed. I think all that boomy bass is simply phone mic being choked up, I'd love to have a lot of bass on the VOX, cause its pretty bad in that department. The bass is actually at 11 oclock, I can lower it even more actually. When you do that , the mids get bit better. My tone is almost at zero, so there's no option of shutting it down more and upping the treble on the amp. I can kill it fully, but that usually doesn't work with higher treble on the amp. The treble is also at 11 on the amp, i can move it to 1 o'clock and keep the tone knob where it is now, will try to do both and get back. Anything higher than 2 o'clock makes it a bright chimey rocknroll amp.

  14. #63


    Here got that part without the track so you can hear something. I upped the treble a bit but kept the tone at ~1, cause with fully closed tone it had no punch at all. I promise you the bass isn't as window shattering as it may seem just need a proper recording setup. What's remarkable is that barely any amount of delay is captured on the video lol I guess this everything is useless with a mic like this. What I wanted to show was that the sound of this amp tweaked well isn't bad at all, but I'm not sure it's audible like this anyway. The dynamics aren't showing either, when I play it the high strings are certainly more loud like you mentioned, but here it's all one flat mess for some reason. I believe Pat also starts the that run quieter and goes on a crescendo and not because his treble is much louder I'll give up on recording with this phone.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor;[URL="tel:1171847"
    1171847[/URL]]I have an Ibanez JTK-3, with the same ACH pickups as yours. I found them lacking in clarity and fidelity, but adequate in output. So what I did, was swapping the ceramic magnets. I put an Alnico 3 magnet in the neck pickup and an Alnico 2 in the bridge pickup, and voila! Now they're both sweet-sounding and articulate, pretty much like PAF style humbuckers are supposed to sound.

    Magnets are cheap, and changing them is not difficult.
    Thats such a good idea Emperor !
    and It looks a fairly easy job to swap magnets ....

    I don’t know why more people don’t
    try that ....

  16. #65

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    Nice, this sounds like a phone recording of a decent tone I think you're in the right ballpark, and the phrasing is spot on, esp those last few notes!

    If you feel like there is still too much bass/treble and not enough mids in person, you could try lowering the pickup slightly - it should soften the sound. Also use the opportunity to balance lows and highs with the pickup height while you're at it. Should just take a minute.

    Time to practice

  17. #66

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    Can confirm swapping magnets is an inexpensive way to tweak the tone. My favourite is A2 for richer mids.

  18. #67
    Things are not easy when you got no soldering skills whatsoever, but I'll try Thanks! Glad it wasn't a waste of time after all. My pickup is pretty low already.. around 4mm at the bass side, 3.5-3.6 at the treble, I could try, but I already have the amp at full volume lol

  19. #68

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    Wolfgang Muthspiel does OK with a Vox.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Greeff
    Wolfgang Muthspiel does OK with a Vox.

  21. #70

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    I suspect that the thing about capacitors that make people think they can hear the difference between types is the tolerance. There is a wide tolerance, and there can be a considerable difference between the actual capacitance values of two capacitors, and they can both be within tolerance, even if they're made of identical materials. If one is just within tolerance on the low side, and one is near the high limit, they can give different sounds. Which is better is purely a matter of personal preference if heard blindfolded, but seeing the caps can skew the preference. Oil and paper is an inferior, obsolete way of manufacturing them, but the eyes often affect the ears.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASonic
    Hmm now this is interesting. Are you saying the tone barely got better after changing the pickups? Maybe I have them too high? I'll be lowering them today, will report here. I got flats for the sound precisely, and the pick I use is quite dark sounding I believe and it's thick, I'll try jazztones, they seem to be 2mm + , mine are thinner. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I'm still positive it's the pickups, because unplugged the guitar sounds really warm and nice, it's a bit of a turn off that when I plug it in all the magic is gone. Could be the pups are too hot and need to be lowered.. If that doesn't work, I'll just try new pickups I guess...
    Yes. I changed just the neck pickup btw. from the stock pickup (I don't know if they changed these in the meantime, mine was one of the first when Ibanez started the artcore series) to a Seymour Duncan Jazz. There was not as much difference as I thought. Honestly I think I kind of liked the cheap chinese stock pickup better. It had a little bit warmer tone than the Jazz while the jazz was a bit brighter (IMHO it's a common musconception that pickups with anico magents are "warmer" than pickups with ceramic magnets). But it wasn't a difference like day or night, more like having the tone control on 8 or 10. So I turned the tone control to 8 and called it a day. I felt a bit silly because I had just spend 75 € (50 for the pickup and 25 for the luthier putting it in) for basically nothing changed. But I think it's human nature to look for improvements. The lesson it taught me is that pickups don't matter as much as I thought. Or the stock pickup was decent enough in the beginning. As I said before I thought strings (size, kind of), picks and the bridge had more impact on the tone. OTOH I was very pleased with the change after replacing the bridge – as it brought me closer to the tone I was after – more acoustic and airy – inspired by George Benson.
    If your chasing after the tone of Pat Metheny you may succed with totally different things. I'm not sure but I also heard that Metheny plays skinny strings and picks and I'm sure all his guitars have the adjustable metal bridge. And I think he also has (or had) a complex effect chain with harmonizers and delays and such.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly
    Yes. I changed just the neck pickup btw. from the stock pickup (I don't know if they changed these in the meantime, mine was one of the first when Ibanez started the artcore series) to a Seymour Duncan Jazz. There was not as much difference as I thought. .
    One thing about pickup swap outs from my own experience, a lot of the potential of a good pickup was in things that I didn't get or couldn't realize until I had more time on the instrument. But I have changed my own technique a lot, it's been an evolution, and that's actually when my own preference changed from a Duncan 59 to a jazz. For me my articulation changed as my own technique changed, and the "warm" sound of the PAF and 59 was still warm and soothing but my lines didn't match the acoustic feel I came to need in my playing.
    For me, changing to the jazz demanded that I control my note attack more carefully but it rewarded me by giving me a range that I could manipulate, especially in the clarity of upper frequencies.
    Pickups are a reflection of what you play. Style and electronics can be a constant challenge to feel a match.

  24. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly
    Yes. I changed just the neck pickup btw. from the stock pickup (I don't know if they changed these in the meantime, mine was one of the first when Ibanez started the artcore series) to a Seymour Duncan Jazz. There was not as much difference as I thought. Honestly I think I kind of liked the cheap chinese stock pickup better. It had a little bit warmer tone than the Jazz while the jazz was a bit brighter (IMHO it's a common musconception that pickups with anico magents are "warmer" than pickups with ceramic magnets). But it wasn't a difference like day or night, more like having the tone control on 8 or 10. So I turned the tone control to 8 and called it a day. I felt a bit silly because I had just spend 75 € (50 for the pickup and 25 for the luthier putting it in) for basically nothing changed. But I think it's human nature to look for improvements. The lesson it taught me is that pickups don't matter as much as I thought. Or the stock pickup was decent enough in the beginning. As I said before I thought strings (size, kind of), picks and the bridge had more impact on the tone. OTOH I was very pleased with the change after replacing the bridge – as it brought me closer to the tone I was after – more acoustic and airy – inspired by George Benson.
    If your chasing after the tone of Pat Metheny you may succed with totally different things. I'm not sure but I also heard that Metheny plays skinny strings and picks and I'm sure all his guitars have the adjustable metal bridge. And I think he also has (or had) a complex effect chain with harmonizers and delays and such.
    I have a les paul with alnico II , can't say I like the clean sound better than the ACHs. I believe lowering the pickups helped a lot with clarity, but there's still some room for improvement, I just don't want to get a pair for 200$+ and not get a significantly better tone.

    I agree on the bridge, I think for the tone that I want , wooden bridge may not be an improvement, so I'll def keep the TOM for now. The pickups.. I'm not sure. I really like Seths, but who knows if it will make a huge difference or not. I'd like to get MIJ Super58s, but these are like unicorns, almost impossible to find for a good price. All the listings are sold.

    I love Benson as well, but I don't play stuff with his sound that much, otherwise I'd go with TI's, wooden bridge, brighter settings etc. Right now I've successfully tamed my VOX's high end with flatwounds, EQ and tone control, so it's pretty good, but it's still a tiny bit dull. What I'm not sure is if it's a pickup issue, amp issue or something else. So I don't want to rush for now. I'll fiddle with it for a month or so and then see.

  25. #74

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    I find that the speaker has a big influence on the overall sound. If you have access to other speakers try hooking up your Vox (making sure the impedance matches or double, not less).

    I've read somewhere that the Vox AC4 have a bright cap on the volume and gain controls which is similar to a treble bleed. Maybe yours is like that? Running gain low would produce a jangly tone.. Testing that effect can be done by turning up the gain a bit and backing off the guitar volume - I like to do that on Fender amps (amp volume, there is no gain).

  26. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by burchyk
    I find that the speaker has a big influence on the overall sound. If you have access to other speakers try hooking up your Vox (making sure the impedance matches or double, not less).

    I've read somewhere that the Vox AC4 have a bright cap on the volume and gain controls which is similar to a treble bleed. Maybe yours is like that? Running gain low would produce a jangly tone.. Testing that effect can be done by turning up the gain a bit and backing off the guitar volume - I like to do that on Fender amps (amp volume, there is no gain).
    Yeah the amp does sound boxy for sure, one of its problems. I'll see what I can do.
    I do play with high gain and low volume when I use the overdrive with other guitars. Just tested with gain at around 2-3 oclock and volume at 10. It does sound better, a bit .. snappier? Less muddy? But at the same time its got some drive to it, making the attack sound sharper. It's not bad but not smooth enough as with low gain high volume.
    Last edited by ASonic; 01-15-2022 at 06:16 PM.