Best Les Paul Creamy Neck Pup Tone: Sykes Vs Slash

Discussion in 'What's left to Talk About?' started by toomanycats, Jun 18, 2017.

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Which is the better neck pup tone?

  1. Sykes on "Out of Love"

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  2. Slash on "November Rain"

    7 vote(s)
    70.0%
  1. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of guitar players over the year who have produced incredible and distinctive tones from the neck pickup of a Les Paul. Everybody knows of Clapton's "woman tone," which was one of the first, if not the first.

    But for purposes of this discussion let's narrow our consideration to these two players on just these two songs: John Sykes on the Blue Murder song "Out of Love" and Slash on Guns & Roses song "November Rain". These guys arguably produced their best, and certainly their most well known works, during the same era (mid/late 80s through early 90s).

    John Sykes
    Though the general non-guitar playing public may not be as familiar with Sykes as they are with Slash, for many of our ilk he is widely regarded as something like a god. His stellar neck pup tone is exhibited on many familiar Whitesnake songs that have become staples of classic rock radio, though I've always found it particularly haunting and awe inspiring as demonstrated on this tune.



    Slash
    G&R's lead guitar man. The top hat, leather jacket, cowboy boots, curly black hair, cigarette dangling. C'mon, what more can I say? He's an ikon, a caricature, a veritable household name. It's also safe to say that most everybody knows this song.



    So which do you prefer, and why so?

    I'm bracing myself for when one of you wise guys chime in with proof that one of these was actually a Tele. :tongueclosed: :ROFLMAO:
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  2. jam

    jam Well-Known Member

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    Actually, pretty sure it was an Esquire.
     
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  3. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Freaking love both.

    And I no longer use a Les Paul neck pickup to make Slash-tone. Ephesus does it out of the bridge pickup.
     
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  4. kungphugrip

    kungphugrip Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    i have always found slashes tone to be some of the worst,
    i find the November Rain tone to be particularly bad despite
    the amazing playing.
    i think the guitar on the Blue Murder song sounds really good!
    so i vote Sykes all day!
     
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  5. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Obviously there's a lot of factors that contribute to the different sound of these two guys, though I suspect that a significant part of it has to do with how a Mesa and Marshall differ tonally.
     
  6. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    Slash hands down. Sykes is a monster, but that Boogie is bit shrilly and fizzy in comparison to the A2/Marshall creaminess of Slash's tone.
     
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  7. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    I'd be happy with either.
     
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  8. backinit

    backinit Well-Known Member

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    Both so nice. Sykes is such a great classic rock player and probably does not get as much love as Slash (or hate in some cases) because he is less of an iconic figure. Slash by a neck.
     
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  9. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    I'll get shit for this, but I don't care about that. I've never like Sykes' tone at all. Sounds like a stompbox in front of a Boogie, big fuzzy bumble bee. The Whitesnake 1987 record would've been so much better with better guitar tone, the whole production actually kinda sucked, the drums sounded terrible. Slide It In sounded so much better.
     
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  10. Mikesr1963

    Mikesr1963 Member

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    On the recordings a lot has to do with the magic created through mic placement, mic selection and the console and/or Protools. The more recording I do the more I understand that. In fact it has a lot less to do with the actual guitar pickups than one may think. But creating the myth does sell guitars.
     
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  11. eldos1

    eldos1 Well-Known Member

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    A HB tele, A goldtop LP with HBs and a Double Cut with a P90....:astonished:

    Kind of the full AGF check off list.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  12. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    I can see what you're saying. There's definitely a highly processed sound to Sykes' tone, as well as the Whitesnake and Blue Murder material he recorded ("Slide It In" era excluded, as you noted). By way of contrast, Slash has a more direct, guitar straight into the amp sound.

    This doesn't directly relate to the tone, but just a word on the playing on these two songs.

    Sykes is perhaps the more modally biased player, Slash the more pentatonic. While he can play fantastic melodies, Sykes seems most comfortable when he's really letting loose of the reins and burning the fretboard. Slash is so controlled and paced, astonishingly lyrical and conversational in his phrasing, able to communicate fathoms with a single sustained vibrato note. I feel like I'm closer to Slash's inner self and "soul" when he plays, whereas there's a bit of a barrier of ostentatious technique and technology between Sykes and I.

    In the end I have the greatest respect and appreciation for both of them.
     
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  13. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong, Sykes is one of my favorite players, but I hate his tone. Doug Aldrich can rip just as well, but sounds so much better doing it IMHO.
     
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  14. Mark W

    Mark W Well-Known Member

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    I'm not so sure on this. If I had just the solos from the two songs to play side by side then maybe I could tell.
    Fukit. I like them both.
     
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  15. ECruz

    ECruz Well-Known Member

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    Maybe there's something wrong with my ears, but to me it sounded like Sykes' tone was more pure (as in guitar into amp) those opening sustained notes were full of win; while Slash's November Rain tone sounded like it had an effect..not sure if its a chorus or something, but it comes off as tinny...but not in a bad way, infact that's basically how the Illusion albums sounded as a whole, to me the Appetite tone is where is at for Slash which is more straight forward.
     
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  16. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    Be careful. I just read an interview with the Whitesnake album producer. John Sykes wrote many of the songs, but was mental in the studio. Most of his tracks were done over by a studio session player on the original release. John was soon after fired from the band, which is why he is not in the videos. Blue murder is all him
     
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  17. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I often hear the 'lite', keyboard heavy version of "Here I go Again" on the radio, which I believe Vandenberg and not Sykes plays on.

    The entire band who played on the Whitesnake album was canned after it was recorded. On the album Aynsley Dunbar plays drums, Neil Murray bass, and Sykes guitar. They were replaced for the videos and tour by Aldridge, Sarzo, and Vandenberg/Campbell respectively.
     
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  18. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Looooooooool
     
  19. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    And then Vai came along and completely destroyed what little was left. David had to break up the band to save it. The Aldrich, Beach, Mendoza, Aldridge, Dreary, Coverdale lineup was RIDICULOUS in it's beastliness.
     
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  20. despiadado

    despiadado Well-Known Member

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    Even after hearing Sykes, it's Slash for me. His AFD tone enchanted me 10 years ago and still does to this day. The rawness of Slash's tone from 86-89 is how a a Les Paul should sound, especially on the neck pickup. Just so, beautiful.
     
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