How Did You Improve Your Rig/Tone in 2021?

efstop

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I don't think I improved my tone, just added to the multiples of tones I have. I bought a used Junior Tribute DC on impulse because it was the lowest price I'd seen for one, and a new Origin 5C for $50 off but had to wait for it.
 

Neffco

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Apart from my new amps, I’ve been working on my hybrid picking a lot. There’s a pinky involved.
 
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Gibsonrocknroll

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A couch amp. Yamaha THR30II.
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palmerfralick

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2021 was a wild year and its still in progress!

What did you do this year to improve your rig or tone? Did you get a new guitar that brings out your playing in new ways? Did you find an amp or pedal that expanded/improved your sound? Did you dedicate more time to practicing or taking lessons?

For me, a few improvements

Guitars:
  • 2018 white sg standard - love this thing, plays so well and helped me get over my fear of slim taper necks - love the 57 classics
  • 2012 goldtop custom classic - this thing makes me feel like a fancy bitch, somehow just feels cooler than my 50s goldtop standard - love the 57 classics
  • 2021 captain kirk sg - first 3 pup gison - plays better than it looks (and its damn pretty)
Amps:
  • Marshall sv20 head - i think enough has been said about this amp and its amazing. The sound and feel is all there - upgraded from the marshall origin 20 head and well worth the upgrade
  • Fender 65 deluxe - one of the essential fender amps and the fender cleans - this plus a les paul and a tube screamer are pretty much all you need in life
Pedals:
  • Xotic SL Drive - pretty much nails the super lead sound for the few amps ive tried it on - awesome pedal in a small package if youre into that sound
  • Klon KTR - after wasting time, energy and money on clones, i pony'd up and got the real deal. Worth it.
  • Bugera PS1 Attenuator - not technically a pedal but this thing is great, especially for the price! Allows me to tame these beasts without sacrificing much

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Aquired a Fender 65 Princeton Reverb Reissue. Added Wizz to my Traditional. My extensive pedal collection now has the platform I've always been looking for and my goodness the clean tone is what you would use to properly test pickups. This of course is an in home setup not stage but louder than "bedroom". And so far the sound has not changed overnight. I think I'm set for a while. Also added a pair of Made In USA New Balance V990's, so it's been a ground up revamp as to were.
 

MyLesPaul462

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Rig Improvement 2021:
I was actually without an electric guitar for about 3.5 years. So 2020 (The Shutdown) was the year I rediscovered my love for playing guitar. And this year (2021) I jumped back in with an absolute holy grail rig.

Guitar
- 21' Gibson Les Paul Standard 50's

Amp
- Fender 57' Custom Champ

Pedals
-MXR Micro Amp
-Boss Waza Craft Blues Driver

The best part is that it's such premo components that it's really hard to justify any further upgrades or mods, thus keeping GAS at bay. I just get such a PRO sound, especially from the amp and guitar. I can put on a record from the 50, 60, or 70's as a backing track and the tone just fits into the mix perfectly.

It's the ultimate practice rig too, as everything is so clear and defined, I can make out the slightest flaws in my bending, hamer-ons, slides, chord fretting. There's no superfluous support for your tone. If it doesn't sound good, I know it's because of my technique, and not the gear. But when you nail your run on the fretboard, you sound like a million bucks...nuff said.
 

rjwilson37

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I went back to my favorite tone from years ago, picked up a Blackheart Handsome Devil with an extra 1x12 cabinet. I then changed out the speakers to some better ones that don't get muddy when you crank it up. That nice smooth creamy boutique tone and this amp takes pedals very well. A great base tone to start off with and then I can throw anything at it with the Headrush MX5 and it sounds great. I also just picked up a nice Joe B. 59 copy that feels/plays/sounds great.

You should hear the Studio 60's Tribute with Mini Hums through this rig, sounds awesome.
HandsomeDevilStack.jpg
HandsomeDevilCorner.jpg
 
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moreles

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Klon KTR - after wasting time, energy and money on clones, i pony'd up and got the real deal. Worth it.
I agree. I do not look to equipment to improve my playing, really, but running everything through a Klon makes it more possible to produce a great, musical sound that is still expressively your own. My own improvement this year was to not change my rig, to remove a few pedals, and to concentrate on using my touch and guitar knobs to evoke tone.
 

E.T.

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Spent many sleepless nights in the guts of my amp with a soldering iron. Also got a flanger :cool2:
 

Classicplayer

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Spent some quality time dialing in pole pieces on the humbuckers in my 2 Les Pauls which when completed, allowed for some new tweaks to my Orange amp's controls to get closer to the tone that ”I hear” in my mind. Didn't cost me a cent.


Classicplayer
 
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msalama

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EDIT: Nuke that shit, not funny.
 
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j_ambitious

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Have been working on revamping my board and have added the following pedals:

- Strymon Timeline
- DBA Rooms
- SSBS Mini
- OBNE Dark Star
- Meris Enzo

Pedals I sold or got rid of this year:

- GFI Synesthesia/Specular Tempus
- Empress Compressor
- Keeley Dark Side
- JHS Pulp n Peel
- Alexander F13
- Walrus Audio Julia
- Neunaber Immerse

I've also gone back and forth on my next Les Paul purchase about 4568 times.

The Timeline, Rooms and Mini were total game changers for me. I get lost just hearing the sounds these things can make. Also waiting on some work stuff so I can pull the trigger on my Lester.
 

diogoguitar

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I almost forgot. My LP trad was bone stock for 12 years, but this year it finally went though some mods.
I added a faber locking bridge w/ titanium saddles, and tailpiece, gotoh tuners and a bone nut

I don't know what did what , but the sound improved 10x

20210225_123118.jpg
 

rogue3

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This a good question.Given the lockdown,my biggest dissapointment(and potential improvement not achieved) is not getting out to mingle with other players.

So a year largely inward focused...on work, finances and family issues.

Still, i had time to play, priority one, to keep my chops.

Minor things.Changing strings :rofl: ...adjusting bridge saddles on a Fender:)

...repositioning my amps in my music rooms for better dispersion and elimination of standing waves > to taking full advantage of the large rooms i have for best acoustics.

...The big one, the discovery of an excellent sound modifying(and proofing) material that can be distributed around my biggest sound room/basement hall (20 by 40' by 9' ceiling) for great frequency equalization, and volume dampening...and its free for me!...discarded from work
( Sct13 will know these!) .That was cool. Half-Stack heaven now.
The solution:
Drape-Medium-Sterile-Drape-720x538.jpg
Drape-Medium-Sterile-Drape-720x538.jpg

Made of plastic, with a rough surface. extremely light, each sheet is just a couple ounces...easy to deploy...like a throw.
I use them in layers.Covered anything and everything i have stored in the basement to break up the space in which the sound waves travel. It works, and required no infrastructure change. Not soundproof, but sound altering,significant sound absorption...in an ear pleasing way. I have couple dozen, or more, deployed... in multiple layers > most effective...wherever is conveniant. Really changed the room acoustics.
It is now, *The Blue Room* :rofl:

Was on the edge of buying...but then backed off.Like Roxy,i had big vehicle repair bill this year that ate my budget.

Still, an amp is on the menu.:cool2:
 
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dro

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2021 has been all about getting my acoustic solo performance to top shelf.
Martin and Gibson, Fishman Aura equipped acoustics.
JBL powered 815"s
And small Soundcraft analogue mixer.
 

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