Mira Help Needed.... Tone issues

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by ronmail65, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. ronmail65

    ronmail65 New Member

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    I have 2 Mira's (the original ones, not "x" or "se" models). They are the best playing and most comfortable guitars I own. My favorite guitars from a playability perspective.

    But, I've gotten back into playing with a band the last few weeks and the Mira's just sound thin and weak in the mix (mostly classic rock / hard rock). Practicing at home, I knew they were bright and not as full sounding as other humbucker guitars that I was used to, but now in a band context I'm not sure they are even use-able.

    What do you guys think? Any remedies that don't require new electronics? Or is this just how these guitars are?
     
  2. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    I can't call my Mira weak. I can say it isn't an SC. Think of a comparison of an SG to a Les Paul. They just aren't going to sound the same. They aren't supposed to. The SG will have more top end and the LP will have more low end power. But it didn't seem to bother AC/DC, and they seemed to do all right with the classic rock thing. It's a matter of how you set the amp and what you allow the Mira to be. If you simply have to have the low end grunt of an SC, you will need to get an SC.
     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I tend to agree with AP, it's a matter of setting up the amp. I had a Mira and used it on an awful lot of recording sessions in thick mixes, and I have to say, it was great.

    Obviously, I have no idea how you're setting up your amp, but the settings that work at home mostly won't work with a band, and not just with the Mira. I zero everything out when I do a session or gig, and get the amp set up to sound good in the context of what I'm doing. In fact, generally, I'll set the amp up with the guitar volume around 5-6, and set the amp for a good crunch tone, so I have plenty of headroom, and can increase the volume and gain simply by operating the guitar's controls.

    I get a lot of flexibility that way, and then again, you may already be doing this, but there are lots of pros playing Miras and this is really the first time I've seen a post like this on any of the PRS Forums.
     
  4. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    What amp are you using?

    Usually the opposite happens, people play at home and get a big, thick tone that gets lost in the band.
     
  5. swede71

    swede71 Tja ba!Läget?

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    Check your mids.
     
  6. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

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    Try tweaking the bass player's amp instead :-D maybe it's a matter of the bass not melding with the guitar to support it like it should. Could also be what the bass player PLAYS.

    And as has been suggested (try this first): add mids, decrease gain
     
  7. drdoom8793

    drdoom8793 THAT guy at Chick-fil-A

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    Are you doing anything different while practicing as opposed to when playing with the band? I know, I have a habit of just plugging straight to my amp when I'm playing at home rather than running through my pedal board. I couldn't figure out why my tone at home was so much better than what I was getting during full rehearsals. Eventually, I realized I was losing a lot of the chimey top end to my tone when I was playing through my board. I pulled my board apart and isolated which pedal it was, got rid of it, and now I'm much happier with my tone in the full band setting.
     
  8. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    I played/gigged/practiced exclusively with a Mira for about two years as a rhythm guitarist. I got all the grunt and crunch I wanted from my PRS H combo. Not so much from my Fender HRD.
     
  9. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Are you sure that you are to thin to the audience ? or is it just what you hear onstage.
    If its your sound to you I used to use a second cab ( 1x12 ) next to my wedge just for me :)
    I agree with others a minor EQ adjust ( try one more on the Mid and Bass ) I bet gets you happy
     
    #9 Rider1260, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  10. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

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    The amp was the first thing that I thought about too.

    I concur with looking at the venue variables too. You can add reverb to make a venue sound better if the acoustics suck.
     
  11. TrevorSOJA

    TrevorSOJA New Member

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    I played my Mira on your for two years. One thing that I noticed that made a lot of difference was the pickup height. Try and make sure you get it back to stock height or if it's thin try raising the bass side. I got to the point where I could look at the pickup and tell it had sunk alil on the bass side. When palm muting and strumming the bass side is more susceptible to that happening then the treble side. Just a idea
     
  12. TrevorSOJA

    TrevorSOJA New Member

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    Tour* not your
     
  13. NomadMike

    NomadMike New Member

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    A few other things that can effect fitting into the mix when playing live with a band:
    Do you have a mic on your amp? Check it's placement.

    Is the sound man working front of house balancing the mix using not just the sliders but the EQ for each channel? I heard some recordings my old band had done and my guitar (S coil) sound was thick and present. Turns out our sound man adjusted the EQs for the keys, bass and my guitar to work that magic.

    What kind of cabinet? If a combo is it against a hard wall, a curtain or not against anything? Surprisingly those three things mattered.

    Where does the sound of your amp hit your ears, or does it only hit you from the waist down? On a big enough stage you can adjust what you hear by moving, on a smaller stage you'll need to raise the amp, kick it back, depend on the monitors or just trust the front of house guy. But often the sound you hear isn't what the audience hears.

    Are the instruments sonically stepping on each other? Make sure that the keys, bass, and guitars aren't always playing in the same range.

    Positioning. Where does everyone stand? If you don't have excellent monitors you may need to move to a different position on the stage to actually hear yourself.

    Those are a few things that I remember from my days of gigging and touring.
     
    #13 NomadMike, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  14. ronmail65

    ronmail65 New Member

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    Op Here!

    So, first, thanks for the great feedback and additional questions.

    Some replies and further comments:

    • I use the same rig at home that I do at practice. I use Marshall DSL or a Splawn Streetrod – with either a 2x12 or a 4x12 cab. Settings on the amps are similar… Treble is nearly “off”; Bass, Mid, and Presence are around 1 to 2 o’clock. Gain is usually at or below noon. Volume to suit the space. Amps are always on full power setting (no half power). I run a Boss GT-10 in 4CM, but use very few effects and never use the amp models.
    • I have an SG Standard and a couple of Teles (MIMs with Fender noiseless PUPs) – these guitars all have fuller tone and cut through the mix better than the Miras. But the Miras play soooo much better.
    • The Miras are both early versions (not X’s or SE’s or S2’s). One is Mint Green and the other is cherry stain (if that makes a difference). Guitars are totally stock.
    • Lastly, for gig situations, I will be mic’d. So the soundman can probably help me out to some degree.

    I will try some pickup height adjustments.

    Let me know if you have any additional thoughts. Sadly, I’m starting to wonder if I should part company with these guitars.

    Thanks,
    Ron

     
  15. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I also have an old Mira that I love. The first thing I did to thicken the sound was change strings. I`m running D`Addario NYXL 10-52`s and get a good full sound. Yes, I adjusted the pickups which helped. I also got extra tension springs which I used on the pickup screws to prevent the pickups from sinking. I think it also improved the tone slightly. Don`t dump them yet.
     
  16. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    I recently tried the marshall thing and found myself setting the treble very low ( 1/3 from 0 ) with the mids at 2 o'clock ish
    but listening to what you are saying you may have a wiring issue almost sounds like your coil tap is always on or some other issue
    the older Miras are 24 fret guitars so the neck pickup will be a bit brighter that an SG but you should have no problem with the fullness overall.
    check the push pull pot on the tone control and double check the wiring ( or change pickups ) on the guitar before you part ways
     
  17. ronmail65

    ronmail65 New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion... the coil tap seems to be working fine. By itself, the guitar sounds great. Yes, a little thin.... but practicing by myself it's not really an issue. But introduce some other players and I'm just washed out.
     
  18. NomadMike

    NomadMike New Member

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    Just ran into a Mira (an S2) tone issue using someone else's rig for two songs (church gig). The settings for his Epi 335 were not good for the Mira and I was a bit worried. Then I remembered that Paul put a very workable tone control on these things and just by rolling it back I was able to get a really good sound. Not muddy but thicker than on 10. Even got a complement. Figured I just pass this along.
     
  19. USMC/CPL

    USMC/CPL Scooter Trash

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    Try an EQ pedal, that way you can keep your amp settings with other guitars.
     
  20. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    This may be a stupid question, but what do you mean by washed out? I kind of assumed that by "thin" you mean that the guitar is too treble-y, but when I look at your amp settings I see mostly mids and bass. A drummer friend of mine plays in a band in which one of the guitarists plays through an older generation JCM2000 half stack, usually with a LP, and I can never hear him because his tone is so thick it just won't cut through the mix. It's one of those situations where if you stand in front of his amp, it will pound your chest and give you a headache, yet you still can't really pick it out. Once he brought an AC30 to a gig and he sounded great with a little more treble in his tone. I find it very strange that your tone is so thin, especially with those amp settings. Is it possible that you have too much bass and mids? I'm sorry, I know that's a prickly question to ask. I struggled with the same problem with my main amp for a while, I just couldn't hear myself until I turned down the bass quite a bit.

    Do you have a cymbal happy drummer? That's the only thing that I can think of that would compete for the treble frequencies in a band mix. Or, have you changed the position of your cab? I know sound from my 2x12 can shoot right past my knees and I never hear it if I'm standing too close and it's on the floor.
     

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