E-D-DR Guitar (Die (DIR EN GREY) signature model!!) Tone Comparisons

I don’t know if this will interest anybody out of a very few specific nerds, but I’m here with some guitar tone comparisons, specifically honing in on the E-D-DR from Edwards!!
(If this isn’t appropriate for the forum then admins please feel free to nuke this :joy:)

For those who don’t know, this is one of the signature models made for Die from DIR EN GREY (specifically the very pointy 6-string). The models Die actually plays are made for him by ESP, but those are VERY expensive!! Edwards is a more budget-friendly subsidiary of ESP Japan, like Epiphone is to Gibson or LTD is to ESP North America. I’m normally not one for signature models for my own equipment, but… DEG are my favorite band, and Kaoru’s guitars are mostly just standard Vipers with a cool paint job and a piezo in the bridge, and that just isn’t very exciting to me, and his Ganesha models are a biiiit too out there for me. Die actually has bespoke shapes for his guitars that I’m a fan of, so when this came up on Reverb available in the USA I had to snag it.


Scale length: 25.5 inches
Pickups: EH-1G in both neck and bridge (Edwards’ in-house pickups)
Body: Alder
Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Bridge: Gotoh 2-piece Tune-O-Matic-style bridge
Tuners: Locking Hipshot (aftermarket mod by previous owner)
Controls: 3-way pickup toggle, 1 master volume)

We will be comparing the Edwards against one of my favorite instruments I own, a 1991 Gibson Les Paul Studio.


Scale length: 24.75 inches
Pickups: Gibson 495R in the neck, 495T in the bridge
Body: Mahogany w/ maple cap
Neck: Mahogany
Fingerboard: Ebony
Bridge: Gibson 2-piece Tune-O-Matic
Tuners: Locking D’Addario Auto-Trim tuners (after-market mod by me)
Controls: 3-way toggle, 2 volume, 2 tone

Anyway, here’s some sounds!! This is the chorus section of a demo I’m working on for my band. I’ve provided full-band files and isolated guitar stem files for both the LP and the Edwards - the latter for clarity, the former for actual context

The audio examples above have both guitars tuned to drop C# with identical sets of D’Addario strings, double-tracked (one take on the left, another on the right) with different tones on each side, but the overall signal chain remains the exact same: Guitar → EQD Palisades overdrive pedal → passive Radial DI box → Focusrite interface. In both examples the left-side amp sim is a model of a Peavey XXX into a Mesa cabinet impulse (all from the Tonality: Josh Middleton plugin by STL Tones), and the right-side amp sim is the Omega Granophyre suite by Neural DSP. The only post-processing on the guitars are very gentle low-pass and high-pass filters that I would always have on during writing and tracking sessions, just to get rid of some excess rumble and the super high-end fizz that nearly every guitar amp in the world produces but just gets in the way of cymbals and vocal presence.
Bass is a Fender Jazz, same DI box and interface, processed with Parallax (again from NDSP). Drums are a kit I put together in Steven Slate Drums 5

To me the differences are pretty obvious, but I want to hear what y’all think without actually having my opinions taint yours, so I’ll put my thoughts under the cut. Regardless of how obvious the differences are to me though, there isn’t a standout winner. Each instrument has it’s own strengths, and will naturally push me in different directions of writing when I pick one up over the other.

Tone thoughts

The biggest and most apparent difference to me is where the meat of the tones live. To my ears, the Les Paul has an immediate, grunty push in the low-mids that binds with the bass really well. It also has a lot of movement on open power chords, and the palm-mutes feel like they’re trying to jump forward at me. The (possible) downside there is, in a super dense mix with more elements, that area of the frequency spectrum can easily become super clouded, so a guitar tone with less emphasis there might be more suitable in those applications. In a sparser arrangement like this however, it works quite well and helps fill out a lot of the space.
The Edwards however is a little more scooped in that area, living more in the high-mids and treble space. Where the Les Paul grunts, the Edwards bites, having a… scratchier sort of flavor.
Additionally, there’s a sense of clarity that the Edwards has that the Les Paul just doesn’t. These are pretty high-gain guitar tones, and on the LP I can hear the note separation begin to crumble even on just those root+9th diads I’m playing high up on the neck when the bass drops out. With the Edwards though, that separation is more preserved.

Like I said, if this isn’t something for these forums admins please feel free to wipe this out lmao
But!! If it does belong, I’d love to hear what people think of this guitar tone! I’m also happy to record other examples (cleans, leads, etc)


This was a great, insightful read and I appreciate you breaking this down! Your description of the tone differences is spot on. Overall I think I prefer the Edwards sound.

I own a Grassroots Hellion (Uruha signature model from the GazettE) and although the signature tone is there, it’s obviously not the highest quality, especially when compared to my mid-tier PRS. Plus I’ve had problems with the neck setup over the years. I’ve always wanted to replace the pickups with Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P-90s but have had to step back a bit these days from playing as often. Maybe one day!

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Very nice comparison. I own a E-D-DR too but somehow when I play it, it doesn’t sound nearly as cool :sweat_smile: The Edwards has some incredible brilliance in the mid to high-range while the Gibson sounds much more bassy. To my ears the Gibson seems to sit better in the mix and feels like the “safer” option. The Edwards has some shrieky overtones that I really enjoy when it’s played isolated, but somehow sticks out negatively in the mix. I’d definitely like to hear some of your clean playing :pinched_fingers:


I love these very different opinions hahaha! I think it goes to show that taste is such a huge factor in things, and how any one person could have a million different things that leads them towards one tone vs. any other. When I was rendering out these example files I actually blended the two sets together at one point and that REALLY worked well, getting the bite of the Edwards and the chonk of the Gibson. If forced to choose JUST one though… In this specific instance, for this specific song, I think I would agree with thetrendkiller and go with the Gibson.
That said though! I actually currently keep the Edwards tuned down in drop B, and there it seems to really shine. Having a longer scale length than the Gibson lets it retain enough string tension, and being naturally brighter helps it retain clarity when adding all the low-mid mud you get from downtuning.

Other than the few issues you described, how do you like it overall? I’ve been eyeing some different Grassroots models, but the main thing that’s kept me away is the super super short scale length (it looks like most are about 20 inches/521mm? My picking hand may be way too heavy for that lmao). But I’ve also been thinking of possibly just making it a mod platform and seeing how crazy I could go with something like that!

I can try and get some clean stuff up soon, maybe comparing with my Tele!


I will say this model in particular has a heavy body and a thick neck so playing around and past the 19th fret is a bit unwieldy compared to my PRS SE model. Both are around the same scale length of 25", no issues with picking. Given the price range of Grassroots, I think it’s not a bad pick at all especially if you’re wanting to mod and experiment with it!