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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to admit that i didn't like Steve Lukather in the past. But now, as i'm growing older :) and out of my shredding phase :) i digg his playing very much. And he's got that big, airy, non-dry sound, at least on newer records i heard.

I'm wondering what amps he uses? Or is his sound that way because of the active PUs he plays (EMG)?

Any insights?
sv
 

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I believe he started out on Marshalls, with his 1959 Les Paul.
Then he had an Ibanez Roadstar signature for a short while, not sure if he ever recorded with that.
Then came the Valley Arts years, when he started using EMGs and at first Mesa Boogie amps, modified by Bob Bradshaw... then eventually the CAE rack preamp, which afaik he still uses today.
At some point he traded in the Valley Arts guitars for his current Musicman Luke guitars, still with the same signature EMG set.

Mind you, at times he just records with a simple Pod. The tone does not come from his amp specifically... It's mostly about the way he lets his tone breathe with his fingers and use of delay.
Check this thing for example:
Nothing but the ole red kidney, and all the Luke tone you could want.
 

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everyone always said i sound like lukather, after i listened I agree, and i love his stuff.. have his solo albums, and some dvds.. he rocks
 

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yep, Luk is absolutely awesome. I had the pleasure of watching him perform with Toto at Casinorama north of Toronto this summer. He can really shred it up when he wants to and pulls off some really nice bends combined with awesome vibrato.
 

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I LOVE the msuic on the Los Lobotomys "Candyman" CD, but the guitar sound, to me, is just 'blech'.

He uses/I blame EMCHeese. I believe he splits his signal thru two amps, but i don't recall what amps. Sorry, but I get better tone thru my Black & Decker.
 

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I thoguht he was a Tonebone user? I dig the sound he has with Toto. Simply great rock sound.

Jimmy:smile:
 

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I LOVE the msuic on the Los Lobotomys "Candyman" CD, but the guitar sound, to me, is just 'blech'.

He uses/I blame EMCHeese. I believe he splits his signal thru two amps, but i don't recall what amps. Sorry, but I get better tone thru my Black & Decker.
I think it's funny how people who use magnets and wires can say that another set of magnets and wires sound sterile and dead. They're all metallic non-living substances and yeat the ones with a battery are "dead" sounding.

If you can play a Bblack & Decker than I would believe you because tone comes from your hands. Yes, there are subtle differences but come on not everyone has to have that overly muffled DiMarzio tone. Not everyone has to play a JEM, and so on. I swear people on this site ca't think outside of the box.

I don't think Steve Lukather has particularily great tone eaither, but I don't think Steve Vai's is any better, or John Petrucci's.
 

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I think it's funny how people who use magnets and wires can say that another set of magnets and wires sound sterile and dead. They're all metallic non-living substances and yeat the ones with a battery are "dead" sounding.

If you can play a Bblack & Decker than I would believe you because tone comes from your hands. Yes, there are subtle differences but come on not everyone has to have that overly muffled DiMarzio tone. Not everyone has to play a JEM, and so on. I swear people on this site ca't think outside of the box.

I don't think Steve Lukather has particularily great tone eaither, but I don't think Steve Vai's is any better, or John Petrucci's.
I don't dispute that some debateable percentage of tone comes from your hands/fingers, however, to dispute the role that pickups play in tone is just silly.

Since you don't seem to like the tones of several high profile players, please enlighten us as to what you DO like to use, and who's sound you prefer to listen to.

It can't be all negative all the time...
 

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Please, no "tone is in the fingers" debate,... one of these days I'm going to snap.

A preview:
Why do some freaks have such immense arrogance that THEY create the tone?! Indeed, it ALL (99,5) in the magnets, wires, preamps, poweramps and whatnot. I can't help that some peoples ears are so lousy they can't differentiate between vibrato's, fingertiming, attack strength and the actual tone produced.
Please, let's all believe in magic, and if you believe strong enough, you WILL fly your broom around the room!

Silly....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
muffled DiMarzio tone
Food for thought. Maybe that's the reason most people have such a dry distortion tone??? I like DiMarzio but since i switched to 10-46 strings, my Breeds sounded like crab :) ... Duncan '59 was the remedy. (Note: i'm still playing a Tech21 Tri-O.D. pedal, no valves involved...)

sv
 

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I don't dispute that some debateable percentage of tone comes from your hands/fingers, however, to dispute the role that pickups play in tone is just silly.

Since you don't seem to like the tones of several high profile players, please enlighten us as to what you DO like to use, and who's sound you prefer to listen to.

It can't be all negative all the time...
I like plenty of the high profile players tones like Satch (best IMO), Gilbert, Kiko Louriero, Slash, George Lnch, Reb Beach, Michael Amott, and more. I feel that if you are a great player you will generally sound good. There are exceptions but, Steve Lukather isn't one.

My point was the "life" of a pickup sound is such a strange thing to comment on. I have played EMGs right after paying Duncans and DiMarzios and they never sounded "dead and lifeless" to me, I wouldn't describe tones that way. Sure there are some I like more than others but, I have never came across some wires and magnets that sound "alive".

I'm not trying to compare tones of players in a "my favorites better than yours," way. I am just saying thataround here generally if it ain't related to DiMarzio or Vai it's crap. I think that is very bandwaggonish.

Your intitled to your opinion and please have it, I just don't understand how people can say that EMGs sound like crap every time no matter whos playing them. It's just silly, it's like supporting DiMarzio FC or something. "I love my team and all other teams are ****e!"
 

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I think it's funny how people who use magnets and wires can say that another set of magnets and wires sound sterile and dead. They're all metallic non-living substances and yeat the ones with a battery are "dead" sounding.

If you can play a Bblack & Decker than I would believe you because tone comes from your hands. Yes, there are subtle differences but come on not everyone has to have that overly muffled DiMarzio tone. Not everyone has to play a JEM, and so on. I swear people on this site ca't think outside of the box.

I don't think Steve Lukather has particularily great tone eaither, but I don't think Steve Vai's is any better, or John Petrucci's.
both my ernie balls have dimarzios and sound great, and far from muffled.. if you play a clip of a guitarist I have heard before or know, I can tell you who it is by their finger tone.. but finger tone, and the complete tone of a guitar player playing through an amp are two different things.. finger tone is only a part of your overall tone, and doesnt make a piece of garbage sound good... YES, a REAL guitarist can make 'crappier' gear sound better, for ex: i have sold many things that I didn't like the sound of, and later bought the same product, because now I can make it sound good (and not just from dialing in a tone..) BUT, if petrucci plugs into a crate 10 watt amp with a jay turser strat, he is not going to have a good tone.. if anyone honestly believes that he would, they have some serious problems with logic, and need to sit on their bed, rethink their lives, and get right with God..
 

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I interviewed Luke a few weeks ago. I don't have the interview tape with me right now he said he uses a Bob Bradshaw preamp, I think he might have said VHT power amp (but I'll have to check), and he likes the Tone Bone pedal, but he stressed that when Eddie Van Halen plays through his rig it sounds like Eddie, and likewise when Luke plays through Eddie's rig he sounds like himself.

My thought is that a lot of what we percieve as a player's 'tone' is more to do with their 'sound' - perhaps things like the way one attacks the string have more to do with defining what we think of as their sound than what the EQ settings are, or the attack of a particular amp or pickup. Not to discount the importance of those things - as a gear reviewer it's my job to try to quantify their effects on the sound - but I hear a lot of people say they can't get a particular player's sound even though they have the same gear.

Is guess my point is, if you want to sound like a particular player, studying the way they play will probably get you closer than copying their gear. But that doesn't mean you can't have fun collecting gear. ;)
 

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to go further on this idea, if tone was all in the fingers, then pick a distortion pedal that sounds like utter crap with your current amp.. yes, pick a pedal that you do not like the sound of, plug it into your amp, with your guitar.. and make yourself like it with your finger tone... you can't, because you hate the sound of this one piece of gear, which is a huge part in shaping your overall tone.. if it was all about your fingers, you wouldn't dislike the pedal, because you would sound good with it..
 

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My point was the "life" of a pickup sound is such a strange thing to comment on. I have played EMGs right after paying Duncans and DiMarzios and they never sounded "dead and lifeless" to me, I wouldn't describe tones that way. Sure there are some I like more than others but, I have never came across some wires and magnets that sound "alive"
I don't remember anyone on this thread typing the words 'dead and lifeless'.

I, for one, don't care who makes a pickup as long as it sounds good. I've used DiMarzios becuase i've had success with them, and also becuase they're homebase isn't too far from where i live, so if there's an issue, support is nearby.

I hate EMGs BECAUSE all the ones I've heard sound very 'harsh' and 'cold' (those are the adjectives I use). I didn't like Luke's sound before i knew what brand of pickup he used. THe fact that they turned out to be EMGs only bolstered my opinion. It didn't form it.
 

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both my ernie balls have dimarzios and sound great, and far from muffled.. if you play a clip of a guitarist I have heard before or know, I can tell you who it is by their finger tone.. but finger tone, and the complete tone of a guitar player playing through an amp are two different things.. finger tone is only a part of your overall tone, and doesnt make a piece of garbage sound good... YES, a REAL guitarist can make 'crappier' gear sound better, for ex: i have sold many things that I didn't like the sound of, and later bought the same product, because now I can make it sound good (and not just from dialing in a tone..) BUT, if petrucci plugs into a crate 10 watt amp with a jay turser strat, he is not going to have a good tone.. if anyone honestly believes that he would, they have some serious problems with logic, and need to sit on their bed, rethink their lives, and get right with God..
Did you read my other post? I must have not been clear. I wasn't talking about cheap stuff versus good stuff. I'm just saying that people around here are DiMarzio bandwaggoners. EMGs don't always sound like crap.

I never said that tone only comes from your fingers. In fact, between my post I have been looking at replacement pickups for my RG. I just said that a good player like Lukather sounds good on EMGs or otherwise.

And that I don't particularly like Vai's tone and he's the DiMarzio poster boy. To me sometimes EMGs sound really good for things, and other times they don't. Same with DiMarzios and Duncans. But here it's "DiMarzio or nothing."

What? I can't disagree that EMGs always sound crappy or say that to me DiMarzios often sound muffled, not catagoricly but often. I just think the bash EMG thing is childish.
 
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