Never a dull moment in The Fluffy Jackets household: Welcome to the guitar shoot out!!!
Today's question: What guitar sounds the best through a Marshall 1958x (2x10 Celestion speaker 18watt)
+ a Fender Princeton Reverb (1x10 Celestion speaker, 12watt)?!
One upshot of living in a quiet suburb is that one sometimes get to play one's guitars at max volume. So, for your reading pleasure, I assembled my guitars to see which one sound best when I run them through two of my amplifiers - at full Volume.
A bit of amplifier history
Fender- and Marshall are arguably the two of the most well-known amplifier manufacturers in the world:
Fender is the US amplifier brand invented by the incomparable genius Leo Fender in the 1950s. Notable Fender players are just about anybody in the USA who played music in the 1950's and 1960s, including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Holly, James Burton, Dick Dale, Steve Cropper and many others. Today, we are testing a Fender Princeton 1x10 celestion speaker amp (12 watts) 2019 mod.
Marshall is the UK amplifier brand, invented by Jim Marshall in the sixties (in Hanwell, Acton just around the corner from where I used to live, btw). This easy-to-distort-amp is basically the sound of the British Blues Invasion, spearheaded by notable UK players such as Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend (The Who), Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Manny Charlton (Nazareth), Paul Kossoff (Free), Toni Iommy (Black Sabbath) etc. etc. Today, we are testing a Marshall 1958x 2x10 celestion speaker / Bluesbreaker reissue amp (18 watts) 2018 mod.
Today's Fluffy Jackets test
Today, bascially, we aim to bring these sounds all together in one truly MASSIVE sound - with one purpose: to see which of my guitars sounds the best, played at high volume - though both amplifiers!
Test conditions: The amp settings
The test was conducted with the following settings: The Marshall 1958x handwired 2x10 speaker amp was set at full volume on the max output channel (without the built-in tremolo, which is a separate channel). The Marshall was chained together with the Fender Princeton 1x10 speaker amp via the Boss TU-2 chromatic tuner (which has two inputs). The Fender Princeton amp was set without any reverb or tremolo. Thus, the sound coming out, is the relatively clean/US-sounding Fender amp with the distorted/England sounding Marshall amp. No effects pedals were employed during the test. The volume was set to the max.
Test conditions: The guitar settings
All the guitars - were set at max volume, with the pick-up selector set as follows: The Fender Clapton Custom Shop Strat (5-way switch) which was played on the 4ht and 5th position. Telecaster Custom Shop played in the bridge position; Les Pauls played on all positions, Les Paul Jr. played at max volume (LP jr. only has 1x pickup), and the Gibson Flying V played at all positions - incl. out of phase.
First Impressions (thoughts about the overall amplifier sound)
The first impression = how fxxing loud the shit sounds! - One would have thought that you need a 100 watt Marshall amp to blow your head off, but in my modest living room, the Marshall 18 watt together with the Fender 12 watt amp sound just immense. Furthermore, the amps just sound sweet together. So the first lesson is learned, which is: if it is a great amp, it is a great amp. If it is two great amps: twice as great. In other words, there are no negatives in my mind with bringing these sounds together - Fender and Marshalls sounds great, at least the Princeton Reverb + the 1958x does.
Now: the guitars: From left to right: The Test!
Far left to right:
Fender Stratocaster - Eric Clapton signature (2004 custom shop)
This sounds just amazing, but loud - due to the mid boost (powered by battery). In fact, it sounds so loud that I tend only to play single notes when I play this instrument. And the tone of this guitar sounds insanely good. No wonder that Eric Clapton designed this: it is a solo-guitar machine which allows you to be heard -however loud the drummer and bass player is. Score (out of 10) = 9.
Gibson Les Paul Standard 1960 reissue (R0)- Wildwood spec. with custom wound pick-ups (2011 custom shop)
The humbucking pick-ups drives the amp more, making it sound more distorted. A much fatter sound than the Fender. However, though I do prefer humbucking pick-ups, I find that this particular guitar's pick ups (custom wired for Wildwood guitars in US) is wired a tad "too hot" in my humble opinion. It might be that I need to turn the amps down to dial in the sound better, BUT as I am dedicated to my test conditions (loud amps!) - I must only play at max volume today. Score (out of 10) = 7.5
Gibson Les Paul Standard (2005 mod)
Woah.. the pick-ups (Burstbucker Pro - the original 2005 pick ups) sounds just amazing, and the sound coming out is a dead-ringer for AC/DC anno 1979. What is not to like, I wonder??? = Score (out of 10): 10.
Fender Telecaster (2004 mod, custom shop)
This is arguably the biggest surprise out of the day: I was expecting the single coils to be noisy but I do not have any problem at all. In fact, the guitar sounds just incredible. It has that distinctive Telecaster sound, at the same time that it sounds fat! No wonder that Jimmy Page used the telecaster on the early Zeppelin records.. This is truly a versatile guitar, built like a tank too! In today's loud volume test, I have no complaints: Score (out of 10) = 8,5.
Gibson Les Paul Jr. double cutaway (1960)
This guitar only has 1 x P90 "dogear" pickup bolted on and the sound coming out is simply amazing. The high volume output is very beafy indeed. This just sounds incredible. Score (out of 10) = 9,7
Gibson Flying V (1975)
Tried all the positions with the cream-colored DiMarzio pick-ups, including the phase switch. This guitar sounds just killer, whatever the position. My fave position is the bridge pick up with the tone rolled off a little. But, whatever setting, this guitar sounds just magic. I am in rock heaven. Score (out of 10) = 10.
Top 3 guitars:
Based on today's test / the best sounding guitars are:
1. Gibson Les Paul Standard (2005 mod) = 10 x points
2. Gibson Flying V (customised 1975 mod) = 10 x points
3. Gibson Les Paul double cut-away (1960) = 9,7 x points