Tone questions and Cu24

jamjam1

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Can some of you experienced folks help me out? I have an S2 custom 24 10th anniversary and I'm pretty new to electric guitar and exploring all the tones I can get with it. I've been getting into learning funk and want to get tones like this (both Mark Lettieri videos):

Seems like a typical stratty funk sound at around 5:15:

And something a little different at 24:44:

Yeah, I know both videos he's on a strat and I don't have a strat or a SS. But I'm assuming I can get close since the custom 24 is versatile. Is he using a pedal for those tones? How would you try to set that up? Would an EQ pedal help?

(Btw, I have a Supro combo amp and a Keeley Eccos...which seems to help me get a more glassy tone from the single coils, but nothing like the videos.)
 
Assume you’re using the coil split? You tried in all positions as on my cu24-8 SE it can kick out some pretty strat’esque tones on the coil split settings. Don’t jump for more gear to find the sound, amp settings, tone and any pedal settings should be enough to bring you close, congrats on the guitar btw
 
Mark Lettieri has a signature PRS guitar. Buying one of those would be a great place to start. :)

Now that we have the high priced option out there, you are not going to get a true single coil tone from a humbucker no matter how hard you try. Believe me, I have tried. As soon as you play a guitar with a true single coil pickup in it you realize that there is no comparison. This is why one of my main gigging guitars has an HSS pickup configuration. I would also argue that with the neck pickup location on a 24 fret guitar it makes it even more impossible. I typically have one guitar with an HSS configuration and another with HH so I can get pretty much every tone I am looking for.

You can try to use an EQ pedal to thin things out a bit to try to get in the ballpark. You should be able to get a bright enough tone from the bridge pickup, especially if you have a way to tap it. Where you may run into some issues is if you need to switch between this type of tone and another one during a song or for the next song. It could mean some drastic knob changes on amps and pedals or dedicated pedals just for this tone.
 
Assume you’re using the coil split? You tried in all positions as on my cu24-8 SE it can kick out some pretty strat’esque tones on the coil split settings. Don’t jump for more gear to find the sound, amp settings, tone and any pedal settings should be enough to bring you close, congrats on the guitar btw
What settings do you recommend to get close?
 
What settings do you recommend to get close?

Closest is depending on sound but split coil on the bridge with only that selected will get you the most treble and snap - for more full split both buckets keep your tone higher on the dial and use an EQ to round it out
 
Closest is depending on sound but split coil on the bridge with only that selected will get you the most treble and snap - for more full split both buckets keep your tone higher on the dial and use an EQ to round it out
I have a five way blade and can only do both split together or else bridge humbucker and split neck. I could get a mod that would install a push pull that could allow me to split either one or the other alone, but I'm looking for ways to get close to those tones with what I have. And then settings of guitar vol and tone and amp master and vol etc.

I assumed someone in this forum would have experience doing the same thing with a custom 24 by now.
 
I have a five way blade and can only do both split together or else bridge humbucker and split neck. I could get a mod that would install a push pull that could allow me to split either one or the other alone, but I'm looking for ways to get close to those tones with what I have. And then settings of guitar vol and tone and amp master and vol etc.

I assumed someone in this forum would have experience doing the same thing with a custom 24 by now.
Just looking at the videos you posted, he's on the bridge pickup in the first one, probably with the coil tap/split on. There isn't a great equivalent on the 5-way switch for that, but positions 2 and 4 (the in-betweens) are generally pretty good for thinner, quacky, funky tones. You might also just try the bridge humbucker and play with the EQ on the amp (more treble, less mid and bass, no gain).

The second video's tone is a slightly driven strat neck, which is kind of its own sound. You might be able to get close to it on the neck pickup with some tweaking of the amp EQ, but it might be tough because the cu24 neck pickup is further down the strings and thus more trebly than a 21- or 22-fret strat neck pickup. Both tones would probably work best with a fender-style amp, which tends to have more of a scooped EQ if I recall correctly (higher treble and bass, lower mids). Not real familiar with the EQ profile on Supro amps but I think it's a similar set-up to a fender.

Your thinking with an EQ pedal is probably a good idea if you really want to fine-tune and are set against just picking up a cheap strat. Something like the Boss GE-7 can really help you tweak your tone and hit your amp with the right input to get the sounds you want, but it is limited to getting one sound at a time. All that said though, it might just be easier to pick up a used mexican fender, SE silver sky, or squier classic vibe to complement your Cu24 and just immediately get those tones.

I would say the 5 positions on the custom 24 are kind of a hybrid between a strat, a tele, and a les paul. Positions 1, 3, and 5 hit the typical 2-humbucker les paul tones (minus the neck IMO, which is a bit less "sweet" than a Les Paul neck pickup), position 2 hits a "strat-quack" sort of tone (mimicking the middle/treble in-between position on a strat), and position 4 attempts to simulate a tele middle position. As you can see, none of those are really meant to mimic a strat's trebly bridge or glassy neck directly.

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Just looking at the videos you posted, he's on the bridge pickup in the first one, probably with the coil tap/split on. There isn't a great equivalent on the 5-way switch for that, but positions 2 and 4 (the in-betweens) are generally pretty good for thinner, quacky, funky tones. You might also just try the bridge humbucker and play with the EQ on the amp (more treble, less mid and bass, no gain).

The second video's tone is a slightly driven strat neck, which is kind of its own sound. You might be able to get close to it on the neck pickup with some tweaking of the amp EQ, but it might be tough because the cu24 neck pickup is further down the strings and thus more trebly than a 21- or 22-fret strat neck pickup. Both tones would probably work best with a fender-style amp, which tends to have more of a scooped EQ if I recall correctly (higher treble and bass, lower mids). Not real familiar with the EQ profile on Supro amps but I think it's a similar set-up to a fender.

Your thinking with an EQ pedal is probably a good idea if you really want to fine-tune and are set against just picking up a cheap strat. Something like the Boss GE-7 can really help you tweak your tone and hit your amp with the right input to get the sounds you want, but it is limited to getting one sound at a time. All that said though, it might just be easier to pick up a used mexican fender, SE silver sky, or squier classic vibe to complement your Cu24 and just immediately get those tones.

I would say the 5 positions on the custom 24 are kind of a hybrid between a strat, a tele, and a les paul. Positions 1, 3, and 5 hit the typical 2-humbucker les paul tones (minus the neck IMO, which is a bit less "sweet" than a Les Paul neck pickup), position 2 hits a "strat-quack" sort of tone (mimicking the middle/treble in-between position on a strat), and position 4 attempts to simulate a tele middle position. As you can see, none of those are really meant to mimic a strat's trebly bridge or glassy neck directly.

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Thanks for the indepth response. That's exactly what I was hoping to learn. A lot to think about though...sounds like it's not a simple solution to just get those tones. I'm in a learning stage so I'd just like to have access to those tones while I learn different types of music. I was hoping to do that without getting a new guitar, doing a mod on my current one, or even buying a pedal, if possible. Sounds like it's a reach.

I do like that strat neck tone, though. In fact I like the custom 24 neck tone. Totally different, but I seem to gravitate to bassy tones.
 
Thanks for the indepth response. That's exactly what I was hoping to learn. A lot to think about though...sounds like it's not a simple solution to just get those tones. I'm in a learning stage so I'd just like to have access to those tones while I learn different types of music. I was hoping to do that without getting a new guitar, doing a mod on my current one, or even buying a pedal, if possible. Sounds like it's a reach.

I do like that strat neck tone, though. In fact I like the custom 24 neck tone. Totally different, but I seem to gravitate to bassy tones.
The Strat neck pickup tone and the Tele neck pickup tone are two of the most iconic tones in music. You really have to have those guitars to nail those tones. You don't have to go with expensive versions of those guitars to get the tones. The Tele bridge is another iconic tone that can't really be duplicated any other way than to have a Tele.
 
The Strat neck pickup tone and the Tele neck pickup tone are two of the most iconic tones in music. You really have to have those guitars to nail those tones. You don't have to go with expensive versions of those guitars to get the tones. The Tele bridge is another iconic tone that can't really be duplicated any other way than to have a Tele.
Truth +1
 
I seem to get something closer to a neck single coil by turning down the volume on the guitar in the neck position.

Anyway, I'm just looking for a decent approximation. Though I do think it's funny people often say it doesn't matter which guitar you get because you can create any tone with any guitar. I assume with an EQ pedal. At least there are a lot of people who believe that.
 
I seem to get something closer to a neck single coil by turning down the volume on the guitar in the neck position.

Anyway, I'm just looking for a decent approximation. Though I do think it's funny people often say it doesn't matter which guitar you get because you can create any tone with any guitar. I assume with an EQ pedal. At least there are a lot of people who believe that.
It very much so matters what guitar you get if you are looking for a certain tone. Humbuckers and single coils sound very different. Pickup position and scale length play a big role as well. Then you get into the whole wood discussion. Maple necks and fretboards make a very noticeable difference in tone. You can use an EQ to get closer to a tone but there are going to be things you can't EQ your way into. The longer you have been playing and trying different gear the more you pick up on these things.
 
It very much so matters what guitar you get if you are looking for a certain tone. Humbuckers and single coils sound very different. Pickup position and scale length play a big role as well. Then you get into the whole wood discussion. Maple necks and fretboards make a very noticeable difference in tone. You can use an EQ to get closer to a tone but there are going to be things you can't EQ your way into. The longer you have been playing and trying different gear the more you pick up on these things.
It would be helpful to learn what kind of music a custom 24 is best suited for or similarly unsuited for, in that case.

More specifically, what do people like to play when they split pickups on a custom 24. There are definitely a lot of mixed and conflicting responses online when it comes to how versatile a guitar is vs you should only get a strat if you want that tone.
 
It would be helpful to learn what kind of music a custom 24 is best suited for or similarly unsuited for, in that case.

More specifically, what do people like to play when they split pickups on a custom 24. There are definitely a lot of mixed and conflicting responses online when it comes to how versatile a guitar is vs you should only get a strat if you want that tone.
The custom 24 does a lot well. I don't know what types of music you really like and play. You should be able to flip through you pickup options on clean and driven tones and hear things that sound familiar.

The reason people say if you want the tone of a Strat, buy a Strat is because that is the fastest way to get the exact sound you are looking for. Other options could very well be a compromise and not really give you what you are looking for. It kind of depends on how exact you want the tone to be. You can drive yourself nuts with different Strat options as well trying to nail a tone of a specific recording. The Strat has changed many times over the years.

There is a lot more to a tone than the guitar. Everything in your signal chain and your amp make as much of a difference, and sometimes more, than the guitar does. This is the rabbit hole of tone chasing. Don't go too deep into it and research things before jumping in. I have watched many of players spend a lot of time and money on this journey. It is always time well spent to research what gear a player used when they recorded the song you like the tone on. You will also still have the one thing you can't duplicate, their hands. That makes as much difference as anything else, maybe more.
 
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