Have you ever been mesmerized by the scorching guitar solos of Avenged Sevenfold? Their music is not only powerful but also intricate and technically demanding. As a guitarist, I’ve always been drawn to the band’s unique sound and playing style.
In this article, we’ll explore the secrets behind the signature A7X tone, and how you can achieve it for yourself.
Let’s dive in!
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Synyster Gates, the lead guitarist of the band Avenged Sevenfold, has wielded a lot of guitars throughout his career but you’ll typically see him playing one of his signature Schecter guitars with high-output pickups.
He has a number of signature models with Schecter and if you’re looking for that signature A7X tone, I’d highly recommend checking them out. That being said, any guitar with active, high-output pickups will do the job.
Schecter Synyster Gates Custom
The Schecter Synyster Gates Custom is a signature model designed in collaboration with Synyster himself. He often uses this guitar in live performances and it has become an iconic symbol of his playing style and musical identity.
One of the key features of this guitar is its Syn Gates USA Signature Humbucker pickups. These high-output pickups deliver a powerful and aggressive tone that’s ideal for heavy metal and hard rock. The Custom-S model even has a Sustainiac pickup in the neck position if you’re looking for a searing tone with unlimited sustain.
Synyster is also well known for using Seymour Duncan Invader pickups.
If the Synyster Custom is out of your price range I’d recommend checking out the Synyster Standard by Schecter or the Ibanez Gio GRG121DX if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option.
The Schecter Hellwin is a high-end guitar amp designed in collaboration with Synyster and is what he primarily uses. The amp was developed in partnership with James Brown, a well-known amp designer, and it was designed to deliver the kind of aggressive, heavy metal tone that A7X is known for.
The Hellwin features three channels, each with its own set of controls. The first channel is designed to deliver a clean tone, while the second and third channels are designed for high-gain distortion. The amp also features a built-in noise gate, which helps to eliminate unwanted noise and feedback.
Synyster has also used the Mesa Boogie JP-2C and Marshall JVM Series JVM205H earlier in his career.
A more affordable and accessible option that will get you close to the A7X sound is the Boss Katana. This is a good budget amp if you’re looking for that modern mid-2000s heavy guitar tone without breaking the bank.
In this rig rundown, you’re able to see the amp settings that Synyster uses on his Hellwin amp. Keep in mind that the settings are specific to this amp, and you’ll need to tweak them depending on which amp you’re using. You can use the below settings as a starting point and fine-tune from there.
The sound you should be looking for is one that’s not particularly scooped or mid-pushed either – just the right in-between.
Synyter’s clean tone is quite bright so you’ll want to have the treble fairly high and add a slight mid-boost to give it some more body. He adds a bit of gain on his clean channel as well.
The clean settings should be:
High Gain Channels
For the high-gain channels, you’ll obviously want to crank up the gain. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be careful not to add too much gain as this can wash out your tone and make it muddy in the mix. Again, this will depend on your specific amp.
Below are Synyster’s settings for the two dirty channels:
High Gain Channel 1
High Gain Channel 2
Here are the settings for some of Avenged Sevenfold’s most famous songs.
Hail to the King
Synyster Gates keeps his pedalboard relatively simple and relies on his high-gain amp to deliver the distorted tone A7X is known for.
If you’re using a high-gain amp like Synyster does then you might not need a distortion pedal. That being said, you might want to use an overdrive pedal in front of your amp to make sure that the gain from the amp, which is usually very rich in the low end, isn’t too messy.
The overdrive pedal will tighten everything up and give you a tone that’s still aggressive but also cuts through the mix. Something like the Ibanez Tubesceamer or the Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive would be great options.
If you’re not using a high-gain amp, you’ll want to use a high-gain distortion pedal in front of it to get that aggressive A7X tone. Something like the Wampler Dracarys High Gain Distortion Pedal would be an excellent choice.
Synyster has also been known to use compression, delay, and octave pedals. The Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer, MXR M169 Carbon Copy, and Electro-Harmonix POG Polyphonic Octave Generator are his pedals of choice for these effects and are fairly accessible and affordable for most guitar players.
Achieving the signature Avenged Sevenfold guitar tone requires a combination of factors, including the right gear, playing technique, and a good understanding of the band’s musical style. While it may seem daunting at first, with practice and persistence, anyone can develop the skills and knowledge necessary to master this unique tone.
So take the tips and tricks we’ve explored in this article, experiment with different gear and settings, and most importantly, have fun! With time and dedication, you too can unleash the full power and intensity of the Avenged Sevenfold sound.