This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Does the Guitar Even Matter in a Mix?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Delitzsch, May 8, 2016.

  1. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Sorry for the click-bait title, but I couldn't think of anything else. So here's the long question.

    For example. In a mix, could you tell if the guitar played was a $800 Epiphone Les Paul or a $3,000 Gibson Les Paul?

    I'm thinking about it and I'm not sure. In a studio, I think other things blur the line. A various high quality tube amps, speaker cabinets, mics, mic positions, mic pres, EQ, compression, ect. ect. After all is said and done, would it matter in a mix?

    If your Epiphone feels just as good in your hands as a Gibson, does it justify upgrading? Maybe upgrading pickups, but still that might not even have a huge impact on the final product in a mix. Hell, we have to read in a guitar magazine what our guitar heroes used on a particular album because we couldn't even guess if blindfolded.

    What do you guys with experience think?
     
  2. Old Man Doom

    Old Man Doom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I suppose the other factor that would come into play, since you already mentioned feel, would maybe be build and hardware quality, mainly with the tuning stability. I'm a huge advocate of low-to-mid range price guitars and basses, but only if they can keep their tune and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to upgrade them to do so.
     
    Delitzsch likes this.
  3. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Excellent point. Yeah, assuming feel and what you said were there.
     
  4. Keregioz

    Keregioz Kimon Zeliotis

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    2,297
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    I'd say that most of the times you wouldn't be able to tell the difference even outside the mix. Sure you might have a bit more trouble with tuning stability (not always though), or the instrument might not feel as nice while playing. But once properly recorded, I doubt anyone would notice.
     
    Delitzsch likes this.
  5. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Ruhrpott Germany
    in many cases, no one will ever notice that a different guitar has been used at all. As soon as they are similar enough (eg. LP vs LP, pickups sound close to each other, same strings), they can hardly be distinguished from each other. Even on the clean channel on an amp, let alone with distortion engaged.
    Even less will you be able to tell which guitar is the more expensive one. Difference in playing will be much, much more evident
     
    Fox Mulder and Delitzsch like this.
  6. KillFrenzy

    KillFrenzy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    This part can't be stressed enough. Given that we are talking about decent quality gear that fits the sound you are going for, every item other than the player/difference in playing has little effect on the end result IMO.
    The mixes I struggled the most to make sound good were the players' fault. Recording the same riff with a better player solved all my punch, cleanness and definition problems.
     
    Fox Mulder and Delitzsch like this.
  7. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    So, I just picked up a Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro for $349 and I love it. The satin finish on the back of the neck is awesome. I have a Gibson '56 Les Paul Goldtop and I like the Epiphone just as much. Killer deal. :thumbsup:
     
    KillFrenzy and Fox Mulder like this.
  8. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder The Truth Is Out There

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    2,207
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
  9. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I can't stand those guys. A lot of their videos are complete bunk. No offense to you, though.
     
  10. KillFrenzy

    KillFrenzy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The law of diminishing returns is the first thing that comes to mind when I'm trying to decide if I'll buy a piece of gear or not. With that in mind, I always try to look for the weakest link on my chain.

    Bottom line is: I try to use the best gear available and never lose my sleep over the difference between good (and fitting) instruments.
     
    Delitzsch likes this.
  11. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I'm a firm believer that if it feels good in your hands, holds a tune, frets aren't completely jacked up, then it's all good. Small things like truss rod adjustment, string height, intonation and even filing the nut a bit, are things that even expensive guitars need.
     
    KillFrenzy likes this.
  12. Mattayus

    Mattayus Sir Groove-A-Lot

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,059
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Cambs, UK
    This. A guitar that feels great to the player will transfer the player's nuances more freely, and will therefore sound good if the player themselves has a good inherent sound. If you put a well set-up £200 guitar and then a £3k guitar in the hands of a guitarist who knows his shit, you are NOT going to be able to tell the difference, even isolated, let alone in a mix.
     
    Delitzsch likes this.
  13. Keregioz

    Keregioz Kimon Zeliotis

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    2,297
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    I don't think the skills of the guitarist are a factor in this. If you put a shitty guitarist in the same situation you're still not going to be able to tell the difference. Expensive guitars don't make you play better.
     
  14. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    France
    Not sure he meant that. The player is indeed the main factor but I doubt a $200 guitar would sound as good as a $3000 axe, especially if the player is bad (this would sound horrible in both cases). Wood and quality hardware have a role in the sustain, the capacity to maintain a good tuning, also the capacity to be properly set up... That said, there wouldn't be a big difference, even probably very minor differences in some cases. Sorry for my shitty english but you'll get the picture I guess :)
     
  15. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I have a PRS Custom 22, Gibson '56 Les Paul Goldtop, and a EBMM JP6 BFR. All of these guitar retail for close to $3,000 or more. The Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro that I just bought, holds it's own, right up there with those expensive guitars. Granted, I had to play 4 of them in the store before I found one that held a tuning and didn't have fret issues. If you have the time and patience to sift through their crappy QC and do the QC yourself, you might just find a gem. I did and I couldn't be happier. Like all my guitars, though, it will be sent to my tech next week for a thorough setup. But to be honest, I could continue to play it as is and be fine with it.
     
    egan. likes this.
  16. Keregioz

    Keregioz Kimon Zeliotis

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    2,297
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    The player is the main factor when it comes to how good he can make a guitar sound. But the guitar is not a factor to how good the guitar player's technique is (assuming we're talking about decent instruments). A more expensive guitar won't make you play better than a decent cheaper guitar, at least not to the extend that you'd be able to tell a difference in the recorded tracks. It might feel different to the player though. And of course there are factors like woods, pickups etc. and different guitars will have different sound but there's no way you'd be able to tell the price of the guitar by listening to it, no matter who plays it.
     
  17. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    To be honest, I'm a bit skeptical of the whole tone wood debate.
     
  18. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    France
    You're right. I played on some very cheap guitars, some were more than decent, even really good and some other were total crap. I just kept the latter more in mind when I said that "a $200 guitar would not sound as good as a $3000 axe".

    I had a Hohner longtime ago, cheap as fuck yet excellent! Very good hardware, decent DiMarzio pups and super easy to play. That was a present from a friend that was the boss of a music store actually and I chose it over some Jackson, Ibanez and Charvel models that were 3 to 4 times the cost and were finally not good. I played many gigs, recorded, etc. with the Hohner and although I could have replace the pickups, I've never been disappointed.

    I maybe mispoke but that's what I meant.
     
    Delitzsch likes this.
  19. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,441
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    NorCal
    There is a base line cost where you start to get better quality parts and thus better stability (and arguably better tone) but once you get over that hump there are all sorts of gems to be found in the low end and dogs to be found at the top of the market. I own some dumb expensive instruments but a lot of it admittedly has as much to do with aesthetic and a relationship with the luthier as tone.
     
  20. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Latvia, Riga
    In sound departament in my experience first after player comes pickups, that dictates tone. But stability of guitar is that in influence player's performance and consistency. Guitars that will do it grate usually is found starting AROUND 300$ new.
     

Share This Page