Phil X: Proof gear doesn't matter?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Ed P, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Ed P

    Ed P Friend of Leo's

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    Let me be clear - I love watching Phil X. He gives me constant inspiration and is a very funny guy.

    But here's my question: Seems to me that no matter what gear he plays he always sounds like himself, other than some tonal differences. But his essential musical personality remains unchanged.

    So, do you sound the same no matter what gear you play, therefore making gear relatively unimportant?
     
  2. mexicolafuzz

    mexicolafuzz TDPRI Member

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    Tone and character is in the fingers for sure man. Phil X is a super high energy heavy handed player and it comes through in every demo. I'm sure you could pick out your favourite guitar players blindfolded even playing through different rigs, i know i could.
     
  3. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    Gear is like paint. It changes some things but not others. If you paint your guitar a different color, it will look different. But it will also still look the same.

    Gear does matter, because of the "tonal differences."

    That's all.

    But for some reason people keep posting as though it's a revelation that changing guitars doesn't change an accountant into a rock star.
     
  4. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

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    Phil X is so unique that anything he touches sounds like him. Many not so good players only could do so much with fingers so gear, amp, and effects make a bigger difference. We all want to get to the point, given enough talent, drive, and time, to have our fingers do the talking. Other players I would assume sound exactly the same regardless of gear would have been Hendrix and SRV. Roy Buchannan proved the point of gear vs. fingers and made a Les Paul, neck pickup, in front of Guitar Player Magazine staff, sound literally exactly like a tele on bridge pickup mode.
     
  5. Five Fingers

    Five Fingers Tele-Afflicted

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    I think we all sound like ourselves. Our basic personality will always shine through regardless of our gear. However, good gear helps us to translate into music what we have in our heads. It makes things easier, but to the listener it might not necessarily sound better.
     
  6. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sorry. This Hofner does not sound like this Rosewood Telecaster. And neither of them sound like this Strat.
    Playing the same is not the same thing as sounding the same.
    Phil always plays like Phil, but his guitars sound different from one another.





    The WAY I play might rarely change, but I can make my gear sound different with a twist of a knob or a stomp on a pedal. My Tele Thinline does not sound like my Apollo with the P-90 and the humbucker. My Blues Jr. amp does not sound like my old Traynor or my Peavey Delta Blues. And I have a Digitech modelling pedal that can give me thousands of different sounds.

    Gear does indeed sound different.

    Does Mark Knopfler make the same noises on Sultans of Swing as he does on Money For Nothing? No, because he uses different gear.
     
  7. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    Sure, different gear, different sounds, but he still sounds like Mark Knopfler.
     
  8. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

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    He makes those three sound a lot more like each other than I could ever do! I hear far more similarities than differences and that's Phil X. He's a freakin' genius even though he's hard to take early in the morning.:D

    I think Mark Knopfler could easily switch out guitars for those two famous songs and sound just like the record. His sound is not so much gear, and he uses his style (his unique electric guitar fingerstyle) to really get his signature sound.

    That being said, yes, those digital effects are amazing (and tons of fun) and even Phil X could not make a thousand dollar Digitech set on an acoustic 12 string sound patch/sample like an ESP KH with EMGs through three Boogies at full volume. We live in great times.
     
  9. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ah, but in this case "sounds like" refers to his style of playing, not the "tone" of his gear. It's one of those phrases with different meanings. So, I can still sound like me, but at the same time sound completely different.

    I guess this eternal debate always hinges on which version of "sounds like" people are talking about. I think folks are mostly talking about style when they say that Player A always sounds like Player A.
    I heard David Gilmour on an acoustic guitar recently, playing Comfortably Numb, and he certainly sounded just like David Gilmour, even though the guitar sounded completely different from the Strat setup he usually uses.
     
  10. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well you should hear more similarities than differences. They're all guitars. He's not comparing oboes to Les Pauls. :D However, those three guitars do indeed have different tonal qualities. Hell, they have different tonal qualities when he switches from the AC30 to the Evil Robot on the same guitar, or can't you hear that?
     
  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    Player first, gear second:



    @1:52, close your eyes. What do you hear?:lol:
     
  12. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

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    I've posted it over and over on here....if (insert favorite player) walked into my home, grabbed my gear, within just a minute or less it would sound like them, not me. They could then hand me the guitar, not touch anything, it will sound like me (dread the thought). :oops:
     
  13. rolling56

    rolling56 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I heard fezz play in a video awhile back and he sounded like.......... fezz ;)

    How's it goin' fezz?
     
  14. mal paso

    mal paso Banned

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    Hey Fezz, dig the new avatar!

    I never thought I would say this, but I agree with Kelnet.



    On a strange side note, I find that using different pedals and/or combinations of pedals influences what style of music I play. I hope this doesn't mean I'm not good enough to have my own distinct sound!
     
  15. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You will play like you play, but you can get different sounds from your gear.

    Frankly, if you can't make your gear sound different from one song to the next, then you need to spend less time posting and more time playing.
     
  16. 51Nocast

    51Nocast Tele-Meister

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    A friend of mine made an observation years and years ago. He said no matter what amp you get you will start twisting the knobs and end up back close to where you were with the amp you just sold...... so save your money.

    The more I think about it, he is probably right. You have a sound in your head you are wanting to hear and will seek it out regardless of the amp you use.
     
  17. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I'm writing original material, I tend to gravitate towards a sameness in my sound. However, when I play different covers, I need to be able to get different sounds out of the gear. Kansas City requires a different sound than Rocky Mountain Way. Love Me Tender requires different settings than Whole Lotta Love.
     
  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    Depends on the arrangement. :lol:
     
  19. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think the subtle differences, though they are still there, are that key. One can get far more tonal differences in changing out strings. I was getting tired of a certain sound, roundwound 9s and 10s through large amps, so I tried D'Addario Chromes and that made the biggest difference I have ever heard sans effects.
     
  20. Ed P

    Ed P Friend of Leo's

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    Very insightful! (This is one of the rare moments I'm not being sarcastic.)
     
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