Paul Studio

How do I get my ideal guitar sound?

I have a gibson les paul studio and I am soon replacing the pickups and buying a decent amp. I want to get a mix of john fogerty's "blunt" ccr sound like on the song fortunate son, eric clapton's "woman" tone, the grrr of grunge and the smooth santana sound. What pickups and amp would be best for this?

You can get those sounds with a lot of different rigs (Boogie, Marshall, Fender, stompboxes), so don't get too hung up on gear or replacing pickups etc. Tube amps rule, BTW.

FYI Clapton uses a Strat not a Paul, but u can still approximate that tone with a little extra work on your Paul...

The secret to the Santana tone is using your neck pickup with a good tube amp that has a ton of gain (Carlos uses a Boogie) and the tone and volume controls on your guitar wide open. Back down the volume for a Fogarty crunch. To approximate the Clapton tone, use the clean channel, and get a coil tap switch installed on your guitar, maybe a phase-reverse switch too. (Easy mods that any decent guitar shop can do) The tap helps approximate the single-coil strat sound and the phase-reverse thins out the tone further.

My luthier did the coil tap in a really cool way - he installed a pull-pot in place of one of my tone controls, so when I want the tapped sound, I just pull that knob outward. No change to the looks of my vintage axe but all the tonal flexibility. And my tone control stays set exactly where I want it, regardless of whether I use tapped or full humbucking pickups.

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