And Now For Something Completely Different...

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Too Many Notes
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Apr 26, 2012
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As per my NGD post of last week, I'm the happy owner of a beautiful new DGT.

Before I bought it, I felt I was in an endless loop, a rut. To force myself out of my rut, I figured a different guitar might be in order.

I was originally going to get a Tom Anderson Strat with a Swamp Ash body (not available on the Silver Sky) and hum-cancelling single coils.

But you know what?

The more I thought about it (I had a previous Anderson Strat 25 years ago), and played some other Strats, the more I realized I didn't want a Strat at all. What I wanted was a PRS that could do a few of those bright Stratty things (but not BE a Strat), in addition to the hum-buckery tones only PRS does the way they do it.

My solution was this DGT.

It's a Wood Library model. The main departures from the norm are its Brazilian Rosewood fretboard and African Mahogany back (instead of South American).

I like this combination a lot (had a couple with these woods before). It's got a different resonance and snap compared to the Core DGT. I'd describe it as having super-tight bass, with a sprinkling of extra upper midrange/treble sparkle. This brings me closer to that midrange/high frequency thing I was after when considering the Strat.

And it feels different from my other PRS'. Playing this guitar is a different experience. This is not a bad thing; it's got me thinking differently, and playing a bit differently, and when that happens, it helps me out of the rut that was the very reason I decided I needed a different guitar.

I wanted to challenge myself a bit.

I opted to have Jack set it up with the stock .011 strings. I figured WTF. Go with the set the guitar was made to use. If they didn't work, I could always switch to a different gauge and set the guitar up for it. And of course, the frets and neck feel different, too. The more I play it, the happier I am that I went with this choice.

I like the pickups. They're different from any of the other current PRS pickups. I'm actually liking, and using, the coil taps (or splits, I'm unsure). This is a brand-new thing for me. In my original NGD post I was asked how I felt about the coil tapping function. My response was that I've never used coil taps or splits, didn't plan to, and have no standard of comparison (I've had more than a handful of PRS with this feature before).

I guess now I will. ;)

The sum total of all this stuff is a guitar that feels and sounds different from what I'm used to. This is a GOOD thing! So I'm working hard on the physical differences when playing it, which I think requires me to un-sloppy my playing a bit.

All in all, this instrument is doing what I got it to do.
 
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That’s great. I guess that is one of the main reasons why many of us like to own many guitars - they really do kind of decide what and how you play.

Like today I brought my Custom 24 to band rehearsal because I just wanted to play something that I don’t usually play. It’s a slim neck shredder with high output pickups. I don’t usually use guitars like that. And I definitely played very different than I do with my usual low output humbucker, big necked singlecuts. Very different. And it was fun!

But I’ll let it rest now for a few weeks, I think, and go back to my old ways. Because I’ve actually really been honing in on ”my sound” lately and tried to find really specifically the guitars that are most in my wheelhouse. Until I get bored with that again at some point and want something new…

Anyways, your new DGT looks fantastic!
 
So true.
You approach different guitars differently.

I have been playing my S2 35th anniversary and my Miras for a couple of months now.
Yesterday I took out an ES 335 and slung it over my shoulder.

Mrs. M. later in the day:
"What was that all about?"

"What?"

"You sounded different. Everything OK?'

"Yep."

"Switched guitars?"

"Yep."

"Oh. OK."
 
I love the comments, guys!

What I'm happiest about is that the guitar ticks all the boxes for something with a different feel and tone from what I had on hand, yet still retains the wonderful PRS characteristics that I love.

It's familiar enough, yet just different enough, if that makes any sense!
 
One feature that really draws me to a DGT is the dual volume knob. So you can do the Les Paul thing where you turn the neck volume down to 7 or 8 and have the bridge full blast. Giving you this hefty yet articulate tone.

Nice to switch it up. Hope that Northern Lights PS you have isn't getting jealous.
 
One feature that really draws me to a DGT is the dual volume knob. So you can do the Les Paul thing where you turn the neck volume down to 7 or 8 and have the bridge full blast. Giving you this hefty yet articulate tone.

For me the dual volume, single tone are perfect. I like the layout. There's no fumbling around, everything's right where it falls readily to hand. And yeah, you can definitely do the LP tricks. It's interesting to blend the two pickups with the coil splits, too.

Lots of truly useful tone options in this one.

Nice to switch it up. Hope that Northern Lights PS you have isn't getting jealous.

So far the others haven't uttered a word of complaint. ;)
 
For me the dual volume, single tone are perfect. I like the layout. There's no fumbling around, everything's right where it falls readily to hand. And yeah, you can definitely do the LP tricks. It's interesting to blend the two pickups with the coil splits, too.

Lots of truly useful tone options in this one.



So far the others haven't uttered a word of complaint. ;)
I didn't know the DGT had an individual volume control for each pickup and a master tone control.

That would mean the tone control is connected AFTER the volume controls and the selector switch, and probably connected more or less directly to the output jack.

That's the way my Bernie Marsdens are wired too.

That is also the essence of the "the 50's Mod". Some 50's Les Pauls were wired that way. The tone pots would be connected to the middle terminal of the volume pots. which is the output or wiper.

Normally the tone pot is connected to the input of the volume pot. Same terminal the pickup is soldered to.

The third terminal of the volume pot is usually soldered to the back of the pot and grounded.

The 50's Mod helps retain treble when you turn the guitar's volume controls down, without the need of a bright cap on the volume pots like so many PRS guitars have.

To my ears, the 50's Mod tends make a guitar feel brighter.
 
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I didn't know the DGT had an individual volume control for each pickup and a master tone control.

That would mean the tone control is connected AFTER the volume controls and the selector switch, and probably connected more or less directly to the output jack.

That's the way my Bernie Marsdens are wired too.

That is also the essence of the "the 50's Mod". Some 50's Les Pauls were wired that way. The tone pots would be connected to the middle terminal of the volume pots. which is the output or wiper.

Normally the tone pot is connected to the input of the volume pot. Same terminal the pickup is soldered to.

The third terminal of the volume pot is usually soldered to the back of the pot and grounded.

The 50's Mod helps retain treble when you turn the guitar's volume controls down, without the need of a bright cap on the volume pots like so many PRS guitars have.

To my ears, the 50's Mod tends make a guitar feel brighter.
That's pretty interesting!

Perhaps that's one reason the DGT tone has a lot of upper harmonic content.

Here's a look at the DGT wiring schematic from the PRS site. These are Greek to me, so let us know if the wiring is consistent with what you'd expect from a 50s mod:


Incidentally, here's how my pickup swaps have gone in the past:

Step One: Read instructions. Connect this wire here, connect that wire there, etc.

Step Two: Take guitar to tech to fix whatever I did wrong.

;)
 
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That's pretty interesting!

Perhaps that's one reason the DGT has a lot of upper harmonic tone.

Here's a look at the DGT wiring schematic from the PRS site. These are Greek to me, so let us know if the wiring is consistent with what you'd expect from a 50s mod:

Yes. The tone control and the output of the 3 way switch are both connected to the output jack.

But there is a bright cap (180 pf) on each volume control too.

That surprised me because my Bernie Marsdens are wired basically the same way (no coil splitting of course) and do not have the 180 pf bright cap on the volume controls.
 
Yes. The tone control and the output of the 3 way switch are both connected to the output jack.

But there is a bright cap (180 pf) on each volume control too.

That surprised me because my Bernie Marsdens are wired basically the same way (no coil splitting of course) and do not have the 180 pf bright cap on the volume controls.
DG and Bernie are players with different tastes, I suppose.

Grissom has said the DGT pickups are based on the tone of the pickups in his 335, that he thinks are the perfect set of 335 pickups. I'd imagine that Bernie's are based on his Les Paul's tone.

Obviously I know zilch about pickup wiring, but the DGT's tone is that 'different' thing I was looking for, since I have the McCarty Singlecut with a more LP-oriented tone.

I do like guitars that retain the high frequencies when the volume and tone controls are rolled down, so maybe that's related to the bright caps.
 
DG and Bernie are players with different tastes, I suppose.

Grissom has said the DGT pickups are based on the tone of the pickups in his 335, that he thinks are the perfect set of 335 pickups. I'd imagine that Bernie's are based on his Les Paul's tone.

Obviously I know zilch about pickup wiring, but the DGT's tone is that 'different' thing I was looking for, since I have the McCarty Singlecut with a more LP-oriented tone.

I do like guitars that retain the high frequencies when the volume and tone controls are rolled down, so maybe that's related to the bright caps.
BTW, my Tascam Model 12 mixer arrived. The faders have about 2 3/4" of travel. That's how long the slot they move in is.

Feels like a nice piece of equipment so far.

Wiley also has one.
 
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BTW, my Tascam Model 12 mixer arrived. The faders have about 2 2/4" of travel. That's how long the slot they move in is.
Yup, those are 60mm faders, which is too short a throw for me. I need at least 100mm in order to mix precisely on a hardware mixer. That gives me close to twice as much room to make incremental, accurate adjustments in the range of a db or less at a time.

I have MIDI faders that are 100mm as well, to control software.

But the important thing is that you like it, and find it to be consistent with your needs!
 
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Yes. The tone control and the output of the 3 way switch are both connected to the output jack.

But there is a bright cap (180 pf) on each volume control too.
This is indeed a tad bit odd/unexpected. Because the two different Volumes are wired ahead of the 3-way switch, with a global Tone after it, you end up with what is effectively the vintage-Gibson style wiring--which, as Lew pointed out, is Tone off the Volume output.

Usually in this style wiring, a "treble bleed" cap is unnecessary, as putting the Tone control off the output of the volume(s) does not affect the Volume's treble content as you roll it down. [Rather, in this layout, you actually lose Tone effectiveness if the Volume is rolled down.] But yet, that treble bleed is still there in this schematic(???). Color me confused... :confused:
 
Yup, those are 60mm faders, which is too short a throw for me. I need at least 100mm in order to mix precisely on a hardware mixer. That gives me close to twice as much room to make incremental, accurate adjustments in the range of a db or less at a time.

I have MIDI faders that are 100mm as well, to control software.

But the important thing is that you like it, and find it to be consistent with your needs!
For my simple needs I think it'll be fine. Don't have a SD card yet. That should come in the mail today.

Since I know nothing about navigating a DAW, I'm thinking of starting with something like Audacity.

Just to get a feel.
 
This is indeed a tad bit odd/unexpected. Because the two different volumes are wired ahead of the 3-way switch, you end up with the global tone control being wired after the switch in what is considered the vintage-Gibson style.

Usually in this style wiring, a "treble bleed" cap is unnecessary, as putting the Tone control off the output of the volume(s) does not affect the Volume's treble content as you roll it down. [Rather, in this layout, you actually lose Tone effectiveness if the Volume is rolled down.] But yet, that treble bleed is still there in this schematic. Color me confused... :confused:
Surprised me too.

Maybe the DGT pickups (and the coil split tones too) just sound better to David with the treble bleed caps there?
 
Maybe the DGT pickups (and the coil split tones too) just sound better to David with the treble bleed caps there?
Clearly so, or they wouldn't be there. He's a pretty specific guy, and lots of stuff on the DGT is to his unique spec, from neck, to frets, to string gauge, to control layout, to pickups...

I can't imagine that he wouldn't have been involved in the decision to include bright caps.

Of course, all that matters to me is how it sounds. I don't care how they got there, it's simply not a relevant concern.
 
My preference is to have every guitar I own sound different from the others.

That way the voice of the individual guitar matters on a recording. If they all were pretty close in tone, there'd be little point in having more than one guitar to record with. Since all I got the instruments for is recording, this approach works for me.

I do understand why others like to have backups for playing out, or very small differences between guitars, etc. On recordings, though, where the signal goes through the amp, the mics, the preamps, the effects, the mix bus, mastering, etc, it's a different mindset because after all that processing the differences between two guitars that sound pretty similar are less evident.

Yes, I want stellar examples of a model, but I don't need two of the same.
 
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I'm happy for you, Les, the DGT is one of 3 holy grail PRS guitars for me and one I strongly considered when buying my Custom. If Peach Guitars had one that day, I would return home with it. Yours is extremely cute; I could swear I have seen it somewhere window-shopping online. If I ever buy one more dual HB guitar, it will be the DGT.
 
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