Zach Myers semihollow the wrong choice for blues

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by William Turpin, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. William Turpin

    William Turpin New Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm new to the forum, though I've had a PRS SE soapbar and a Zach Myers for about 5 or 6 years. I got sidetracked into acoustic blues and am only now trying to make my way back, to the old electric stuff (JLHooker, Fred McDowell) etc.

    My original thought about the Zach Myers was that a semihollow body would be good for blues, and I had it set up for electric slide (though I can't really see that much difference). Here's the thing. The soapbar has a lot of the punch and depth that I'm looking for. The Zach Myers sounds to my (acoustic mostly) ears more like a rock and roll guitar.

    Am I crazy? I (foolishly?) thought that the sound of electrics had more to do with settings and effects and amps than the actual guitar, but I simply cannot get the Zach Myers to sound anything like what I want. Should I sett it and get a Gibson (or Eastman) semihollow? Or change the pickups on the PRS? Any thoughts?

    thanks

    will
     
  2. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    I would say you already have the blues machine. P90's are very much at home in the
    blues, but then again I'm a P90 fanboy. About the ZM. I would think it can do the blues much like an ES335 can though maybe not as "hollow" sounding. In other words, it's probably not the ZM. It's probably you. I'm not knocking you. I'll tell a story as an example.

    A number of years ago I traded into a Les Paul Classic. That thing sounded dead in my hands. Just could not get the sound I wanted from it. I put it up on CL and got a bite on a trade for a McCarty. We met and the guy took it for a test drive. I'm listening to him play and the tone was amazing. I'm thinking "that is the sound I'm looking for". But I could not get it to sound like that. So the application to you is that sometimes we are not a good fit for the guitar. Now maybe he just knew the amp settings required to bring out the tone and I didn't. It's likely, but the result is still the same. I play McCartys better than I play PL Classics.

    So you can play with amp settings and pick up heights to try and get the sound you are after, or you can find something that is already in that ball park with the settings you already like. It's just that the ZM doesn't do your thing at the settings you are running.
     
  3. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    The ZM seems great for blues, IMO. What is it that doesn’t work for you?

    Have you tried adjusting your pup heights? Try lowering the treble sides on each pup, and/or raise the bass sides.

    Yes, the guitar itself has much to do with the sound you get, but don’t discount the amp type. What amp are you using? Some of the problem could be the amp.
     
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  4. Ovibos

    Ovibos Unsure why all necks aren't rosewood

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    Sounds like you need an SE Chris Robertson.
     
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  5. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    The SE245 pickups in the ZM are moderately hot, and fairly aggressive sounding, IMO. I swapped for a set of Seth Lovers and it’s more like a vintage hollow body sound. I think something in the PAF vein would help.
     
  6. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 New Member

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    I think playing the blues is more about the player than the guitar. I've never met a guitar that can't get blue.
     
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  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    One thing to remember when you’re hearing John Lee Hooker records, for example, is that he didn’t use a pick - played with his unique strumming style that was mostly thumb, used pretty low volume, and had a fairly bright tone with a pretty clean amp. The thumb strum kept it from being too strident.

    Fred McDowell was mostly an archtop acoustic player, who also strummed with his thumb. No pick.
    He did occasionally play a 335 style Gibson, but again, very bright and clean through a clean amp. Sometimes used a slide.

    I’m wondering...before you get different pickups (if you do, PAF low output would seem about right), you might try turning the volume control of your guitar down so that you’re not using the pickup all that hot, make the amp as clean and bright as you can stand, turn down the bass on the amp, and play with your thumb. I think the Myers could get you pretty darn close.

    Revealing my ancient age here...I was at the first Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival in 1969, and got to see a lot of the old country blues players live, including Fred McDowell.

    Of course, being the summer of 1969, I was thinking I’d hear a lot of Chicago blues with a semi-rockin’ band, and the last thing I expected in my benighted youth was that these guys would just sit down with a guitar and a clean amp, and use the amp to make their guitars sound like an acoustic guitar, only a little louder. You know, the way the guys who invented electric guitar basically thought of it at first! ;)

    But I got into it!

    Still, it was nothing like I expected!
     
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  8. William Turpin

    William Turpin New Member

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    Thank you all so much. Clearly it's going to be a journey.

    I do want to apologize for my heading. I meant to make it a question, not a statement. I'm sure the Zach M CAN be good for blues (it's on one of those internet lists of "best blues guitars"). My question is whether it's right for me; one problem being that I don't really know what I'm doing. (I am looking for a teacher).

    I wonder if John Lee Hooker would have liked it....

    best

    will
     
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  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Anyone up for a seance?
     
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  10. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Me. Anyone know how?
     
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  11. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    OP,

    Have a look at the PRS website Support page regards intonation and pickup height for info that will bring you back into the same zip code as factory specs. This did amazing stuff because a seasoned player knows to “season to taste,” and never overdo it.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Got a ouija board handy?
     
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  13. dogrocketp

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

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    Lindy Fralin P-92’s. Good for what ails ya.
     
  14. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    He woulda loved it! Man, those old guys made garbage guitars sound awesome, and they didn't care!
     
  16. BeerBatteredPhish

    BeerBatteredPhish New Member

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    My first PRS was a Zach Myers, I found those SE245s bright and “rock n roll”. Drop a set of PRS Archtop pups into it and it totally brought out the clarity in the notes. More definition in strings, roll the volume and tone down and she was darn “woody”. Try the low put PAF route, those ZM’s are amazing guitars.
     
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  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I love it! Is it yours?
     
  18. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Not sure if Alan owns one, but it's a Kirk Hammett (Metallica) siggy.
     
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  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It’s cool.

    Sorry, I fell asleep just after the sandman entered. What’s Metallica?
     
  20. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    You're obviously the One
     
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