Les Paul Tone Guide?

ErictheRed

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I've been playing Strats for a while, and there are a lot of "tone guides" out there for Strat players. My favorite is probably Gilmourish. Although it focuses on David Gilmour's sound, his sound actually changed a lot through the years and there's a ton of information on getting various sounds out of your Stratocaster.

I was wondering if people could post some of their favourite Les Paul "tone guide" websites. I'm not looking to sound like one particular player, but I love reading about how people get unique sounds out of their instruments. It opens up the possibilities of creative expression.

As an aside, some of my favourite Les Paul tones are Mark Knopfler's on "Brother's in Arms," any sound from Paul Kossof, Dickey Betts from the Allman Brothers...
 

i am wet

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Take Les Paul and plug it into a tube amp. Crank tube amp. Play hard.
 

i am wet

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+1 :thumb:

My way of getting good tone, it has never failed me, nor will it ever
Me neither, my set up is an overdrive machine, Les Paul into Fulltone OCD into Blackheart Little Giant.
 

axepilot

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As an aside, some of my favourite Les Paul tones are Mark Knopfler's on "Brother's in Arms," any sound from Paul Kossof, Dickey Betts from the Allman Brothers...
You won't see an accurate "tone guide" for these guys. These guys wring the tone from their rigs...............they are masters at playing both the guitar and the amp.

You will never be able to quantify their "tone" into a guitar or two. These guys are the product of their skills and their rigs.
 

Xavier_32

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This is my tone setup sequence.

Set amp knobs to 12 o'clock and all guitar knobs to 10. Play clean into the amp if playing clean, play with the gain up if high gain stuff is on the agenda, leave the pedals off. Switch to neck pickup and EQ the amp for the tone I want (right now I have bass 8, low mid 4, high mid 7, treble 6.) Then I roll the tone down on the neck pup as low as I can without losing all the note definition (usually around 2-4 for me,) as I basically use the neck pup almost entirely for woman tone and deep, heavy, riffage. Then I go to bridge pickup and lower the volume to match the output of the toned down neck pup, and only roll the tone off when I need it.

I riff almost entirely on the neck pup, with most of the flourish licks done on there too, and I solo on the bridge pup. I use the middle position with the bridge volume rolled off just a little bit when I need to do palm muted chugga-chugga riffs as the neck is muddy with palm muting and the bridge is too bright for me (and unlike boles, I don't like fiddling with my knobs once I have them set :dude: )

Keep in mind that I play stoner doom. YMMV.
 

ErictheRed

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Alright, I expected these kinds of responses. At least Xavier_32 gave me a little more to work with!

Just to be clear, I've been playing 17 years, long enough to know that about 50% of tone is in the fingers (especially for people like Kossoff). My first real electric guitar was a Les Paul Recording and I just bought a Traditional. I play into a great sounding 20W all tube combo from the 70s, and I think my tone is very good.

But Paul Kossoff has a very different sound than Ace Frehley, who sounds different than Dickey Betts, who sounds different than early Clapton, who sounds different than me, etc, etc. I was hoping someone could give links to websites that explore some different sounds. What are they a result of? Type of pickups? Type of amp? What settings were used on particular songs? How did they get that sound?
 

LPCustom72

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Actually folks, the correct Les Paul tone is best achieved by...just kidding. The issue I had with Les Pauls relates to my first, a 1972 Les Paul Custom (hence my moniker). The pickups were so overwound I could never get it backed down below "Maximum White Noise". This was fine when we were doing punk and bad imitations of Cream. But it was too much for just about anything else.

Fast forward to the last few months. I finally decided to come home, so to speak, and get a Les Paul once more (was playing Telecasters). I came to this conclusion after a long conversation with my brother, an amp and pickup freak. I explained my problem. Having been a bass player in one of my bands and having lived with my Cherrt Sunburst White Noise Machine, he talked about PAFs and Alnico II magnets, etc. etc. I ended up with a pair of Wolfetone Dr. Vs. This makes for a very different Les Paul. It can crank, it can jangle and it can get very jazzy tones as long as you let the amp have ample head room and roll back tone and volume to 7.

This is the long way of saying, there is a lot variability to Les Pauls owing to pickups, not to mention woods, etc. I am not sure a tone guide works. You can get a wide range of pickups for telecasters or strats, but I am not sure they vary quite so much as Les Pauls. To get a particular sound, you have to start with the right kind of Les Paul for that style and then go from there.
 

LPCustom72

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As I have heard it, Dicky Betts played through a 100 Watt Marshall Head while Duane played through a 50 Watt Marshall Head. The reason? Duane ran his amp full out for the tube overdrive whereas Dicky wanted a cleaner sound and so needed more head room. Since they originally were playing clubs, small halls and frat houses (they played at the William and Mary PIKA House sometime in 69/70) the audience was hearing it straight from the amps, so the amps needed to be at similar db levels.

Don't know about Kossof but his guitar sounds like the PAFs are a bit weaker than say Duane or Dicky's. He seems to be pushing his amp really hard but with lower ohms and a lighter touch you can get that sort of sweetness peeking out from underneath the overdrive that he seems to get. Also, at times he sounds like he is hitting his strings with the egde of the pick not the full tip. It's how you get a tele chicken scratching sound. With a LP its a bit fuller.
 


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