I'm finally putting together a proper rig, but I'm dissatisfied with the tone I'm getting. I'm aiming for a modern metal tone (Nevermore, Arch Enemy or Demanufacture era Fear Factory, Opeth, even djent would be fine!), but I'm getting either crunchy 80s thrash / (kill em all meets acdc) or over distorted noise washout if I crank the gain. Any tips? Where is the weak link in my signal chain? Are the passive pickups the problem? Will a compression or distortion pedal before the amp fix things? I'm hoping that good tone can be had without needing an Axe FX.
PRS CE24 1997 maple top mahogany body
Peavy Ultra 120 tube head
Orange 1x12 cab