Touch Sensitivity & Seth Lovers

Classicplayer

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I've got a set of Seths in my Classic and really like their versatility for everything from Jazz to Classic Rock. For those who use these pickups, how do you go about adjusting your amp(s) for touch sensitivity; so that using your picking hand, you can go from a gain tone back to a "clean" sound?

I use a Micro Dark which has lots of gain, one of this amp's characteristics that drew me to it.


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Antigua

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I've got a set of Seths in my Classic and really like their versatility for everything from Jazz to Classic Rock. For those who use these pickups, how do you go about adjusting your amp(s) for touch sensitivity; so that using your picking hand, you can go from a gain tone back to a "clean" sound?

I use a Micro Dark which has lots of gain, one of this amp's characteristics that drew me to it.


Classicplayer

If you like the high gain, but want a clean tone too, then you have to roll back the guitar's volume a bit to bring the output down.
 

dmoss74

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Turn down the gain.

and then turn up the amp. you only need top end when you need it. otherwise you're sort of married to it. :) the volume (and tone) pots are your friends.

i'll say it for the bazillionth time; try '50s wiring, too. it's very versatile, albeit with a healthy bit of knob fiddling.
 

Rhust

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echoing what others said... in addition I have learned the hard way to set my amp with the neck pickup, VOLUME and TONE turned down to about '7' and if I want that 'touch sensitivity' I set the amp pretty clean on this, with maybe just a touch of hair...

then the tone and volume can be turned up or down to act as boost/cut.. once it's set, try turning the tone up first to add, and you will get hit with a 'wow' factor.

I do this for high gain too... just set that 'base' gain level higher, then when you turn up the volume and tone, it's like stepping on a boost pedal :D


I'll admit freely, I'm not a great player with that super dynamic sound, and have mad respect for those that can get that crazy tone versatility from just their right hand...
 

Ringwood

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I actually think its easier to dial in your highest gain setting first so you know where you want to go.
So select the pickup you want to use and set tone and volume all the way up, turn up your amp volume and or gain to your desired dirt or lead sound, then for your clean and crunch sounds simply lower the volume and or tone on your guitar.
This works best on tube amps.
Also if you do want that extra punch when already at full gain try a clean boost pedal, that will kick the tubes into even more natural gain and compression on your amp.
 

mdubya

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I don't always do this, but I have been known to set my amp way over the top and then have my volumes set at about 2 for rhythm and only roll up to about 4 for leads. Most will never even try that, but it is one of the most playable, best tones I get. :dunno:

It works especially good for low volume situations where you want it to feel like a raging loud amp.
 

Ringwood

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volumes set at about 2 for rhythm and only roll up to about 4 for leads.
similar to what I'm suggesting. Set the amp for your loudest tone first then roll back to find your clean.
2 is certainly low for a clean tone on volume knob, but i do find that some guitars with high output sound better when volume isn't cranked on them. it Pushes pedals differently too.
 

mdubya

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similar to what I'm suggesting. Set the amp for your loudest tone first then roll back to find your clean.
2 is certainly low for a clean tone on volume knob, but i do find that some guitars with high output sound better when volume isn't cranked on them. it Pushes pedals differently too.


Yep. You can set the amp for "out of control" ala an old plexi on "10" and then just ease the guitar volume up to get a full rich tone; add a little more for singing leads, edge of feedback city, etc.
 

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I'm back for an update on the subject. Since my original post #1 above, I've added an Orange
Dark Terror to the Micro Dark, so now I have just the two amps. I still use my Classic with Seths and added to that an '18 Traditional Lester. It has Burstbuckers 1. & 2. The BB pair are similar in overall tone to the Seths IMO.

With all the good comments given here, I pretty much solved my puzzle of touch control by getting familiar with the Dark Terror's control’s. Now, the Classic with Seths works a charm with amp gain at little more than say, 30%. I can roll the Seths back as low as 7.5 on the neck volume and 8 for the bridge without 50's wiring and just stock pots on the guitar.

The new Trad however requires that I can't really roll back any lower than just about 9 on the guitar volumes. All the action seems to be located from 9 to almost 10!? I'm not sure about the stock pot values on this Trad. I have belatedly discovered my “base tone” on the Dark Terror....my set and forget” settings which work pretty well for both guitars; still I'd like to have a teensy bit more ”room”
on the Trad's volume knobs.

To maneuver around this and still keep my Trad stock, should I boost upwards on my amp and
find a new “base setting” and go from there? It seems to me that I should just start by rolling the Trad's volume to 7.5 or 8 and tweak my amp controls to get where I want to be. Keep in mind I
I prefer using a crunchy and not high gain or Metal sludge, and I don't use boost or OD pedals; just prefer thengain on the DT, thank you. My ideal of a gainy tone is Page at the O2 concert playing “For Your Life”.


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mdubya

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It is just the taper on the volume pots of the Traditional. You can change to volume pots with a wider taper/smoother roll off, or you can leave it as is and deal with it.
 

mdubya

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It is just the taper on the volume pots of the Traditional. You can change to volume pots with a wider taper/smoother roll off, or you can leave it as is and deal with it.
 

Classicplayer

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It is just the taper on the volume pots of the Traditional. You can change to volume pots with a wider taper/smoother roll off, or you can leave it as is and deal with it.

Yes. I can deal with it, but to keep the original guitar controls, I'll experiment with my amp by
increasing volume and gain in the smallest of increments to see what happens. This involves playing at home at not exactly “bedroom” volumes, but rather, reasonable volumes, yet loud enough to get my cab's speaker thumping a bit.


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Antigua

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I'm back for an update on the subject. Since my original post #1 above, I've added an Orange
Dark Terror to the Micro Dark, so now I have just the two amps. I still use my Classic with Seths and added to that an '18 Traditional Lester. It has Burstbuckers 1. & 2. The BB pair are similar in overall tone to the Seths IMO.

With all the good comments given here, I pretty much solved my puzzle of touch control by getting familiar with the Dark Terror's control’s. Now, the Classic with Seths works a charm with amp gain at little more than say, 30%. I can roll the Seths back as low as 7.5 on the neck volume and 8 for the bridge without 50's wiring and just stock pots on the guitar.

The new Trad however requires that I can't really roll back any lower than just about 9 on the guitar volumes. All the action seems to be located from 9 to almost 10!? I'm not sure about the stock pot values on this Trad. I have belatedly discovered my “base tone” on the Dark Terror....my set and forget” settings which work pretty well for both guitars; still I'd like to have a teensy bit more ”room”
on the Trad's volume knobs.

To maneuver around this and still keep my Trad stock, should I boost upwards on my amp and
find a new “base setting” and go from there? It seems to me that I should just start by rolling the Trad's volume to 7.5 or 8 and tweak my amp controls to get where I want to be. Keep in mind I
I prefer using a crunchy and not high gain or Metal sludge, and I don't use boost or OD pedals; just prefer thengain on the DT, thank you. My ideal of a gainy tone is Page at the O2 concert playing “For Your Life”.


Classicplayer

If you're finding success by working the guitars volume, you might also consider this volume pedal https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DZW1CDO/?tag=mylespaul04-20 , it's a little pricey for a volume pedal, but it's active, so you can control the level of dirty without losing so much treble in the process, and it has a minimum and a gain control, making it double as booster pedal.
 

Antigua

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I'm back for an update on the subject. Since my original post #1 above, I've added an Orange
Dark Terror to the Micro Dark, so now I have just the two amps. I still use my Classic with Seths and added to that an '18 Traditional Lester. It has Burstbuckers 1. & 2. The BB pair are similar in overall tone to the Seths IMO.

With all the good comments given here, I pretty much solved my puzzle of touch control by getting familiar with the Dark Terror's control’s. Now, the Classic with Seths works a charm with amp gain at little more than say, 30%. I can roll the Seths back as low as 7.5 on the neck volume and 8 for the bridge without 50's wiring and just stock pots on the guitar.

The new Trad however requires that I can't really roll back any lower than just about 9 on the guitar volumes. All the action seems to be located from 9 to almost 10!? I'm not sure about the stock pot values on this Trad. I have belatedly discovered my “base tone” on the Dark Terror....my set and forget” settings which work pretty well for both guitars; still I'd like to have a teensy bit more ”room”
on the Trad's volume knobs.

To maneuver around this and still keep my Trad stock, should I boost upwards on my amp and
find a new “base setting” and go from there? It seems to me that I should just start by rolling the Trad's volume to 7.5 or 8 and tweak my amp controls to get where I want to be. Keep in mind I
I prefer using a crunchy and not high gain or Metal sludge, and I don't use boost or OD pedals; just prefer thengain on the DT, thank you. My ideal of a gainy tone is Page at the O2 concert playing “For Your Life”.


Classicplayer

If you're finding success by working the guitars volume, you might also consider this volume pedal https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DZW1CDO/?tag=mylespaul04-20 , it's a little pricey for a volume pedal, but it's active, so you can control the level of dirty without losing so much treble in the process, and it has a minimum and a gain control, making it double as booster pedal.
 

JeffH66

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I don't see the point in keeping tone controls that don't work as well, just for the sake of keeping them original. Gibson is well known for using cheaper and lower value pots, especially on the USA series guitars.

Simply changing the pots to high quality 500k CTS and moving one wire to change to 50's wiring can make such a big difference in your tone, and give you the control range you're seeking. None of this will have any impact on the value if the guitar and is considered positive by most. If you're really concerned you can save the old pots to include in the sale should you ever sell the guitar.

Original for the sake of original doesn't make sense, to me, if original is inferior.
 
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Classicplayer

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I don't see the point in keeping tone controls that don't work as well, just for the sake of keeping them original. Gibson is well known for using cheaper and lower value pots, especially on the USA series guitars.

Simply changing the pots to high quality 500k CTS and moving one wire to change to 50's wiring can make such a big difference in your tone, and give you the control range you're seeking. None of this will have any impact on the value if the guitar and is considered positive by most. If you're really concerned you can save the old pots to include in the sale should you ever sell the guitar.

Original for the sake of original doesn't make sense, to me, if original is inferior.

In more than one sense, you are making a lot of solid points and good sense. In my case, I just sold
off a Studio which had 500k pots, coil tapped, pickups, minus 50's wiring. Despite having it shielded,
I never was able to get rid of an annoying hum and those 500k pots did not allow me to roll volumes back any further than my Classic with 300k pots; in fact, I could roll volume much further back with the Classic. If I factor in also that I've seen capable guitarists in shops, pick up a stock Lester and immediately come up with great tones while watching them tweak the guitar knobs and amp controls.

If I were to make any change, it would be to try out the 50's wiring and see for myself. I think too
that my paying more attention to how I set up my amp is more of a factor in my quest; than my two Lesters.


Classicplayer
 

Classicplayer

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I don't see the point in keeping tone controls that don't work as well, just for the sake of keeping them original. Gibson is well known for using cheaper and lower value pots, especially on the USA series guitars.

Simply changing the pots to high quality 500k CTS and moving one wire to change to 50's wiring can make such a big difference in your tone, and give you the control range you're seeking. None of this will have any impact on the value if the guitar and is considered positive by most. If you're really concerned you can save the old pots to include in the sale should you ever sell the guitar.

Original for the sake of original doesn't make sense, to me, if original is inferior.

In more than one sense, you are making a lot of solid points and good sense. In my case, I just sold
off a Studio which had 500k pots, coil tapped, pickups, minus 50's wiring. Despite having it shielded,
I never was able to get rid of an annoying hum and those 500k pots did not allow me to roll volumes back any further than my Classic with 300k pots; in fact, I could roll volume much further back with the Classic. If I factor in also that I've seen capable guitarists in shops, pick up a stock Lester and immediately come up with great tones while watching them tweak the guitar knobs and amp controls.

If I were to make any change, it would be to try out the 50's wiring and see for myself. I think too
that my paying more attention to how I set up my amp is more of a factor in my quest; than my two Lesters.


Classicplayer
 

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