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> Pickup Switch For Gibson Explorer, What are my options for metal AND versatility?
Shime
post Jun 17 2010, 12:10 PM
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Hi all,

I am considering a pickup switch for my Gibson Explorer (mahogany body & neck, rosewoord fingerboard). The stock 500T bridge pickup is OK but it tends to get a bit muddy on high gain/distortion settings, while the neck 496R is a bit too boomy and muffled to my taste. So here's what I would want:

1) bridge pickup must be able to handle modern metal very well, including drop tunings. But also I would prefer dynamics & versatility over high output
2) neck pickup must be dynamic and versatile
3) I rule out EMGs because I have a set already in my other guitar (and absolutely love 'em!)

So 'metal' is an absolute prerequisite, but I don't want 'metal-only' pickups because I have a tube amp plus a Boss ML-2 pedal to crank up the tone.

Any suggestions? Budget is not an issue. Thanks!

This post has been edited by Shime: Jun 17 2010, 01:06 PM
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ruben_mcn
post Jun 17 2010, 01:18 PM
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Bridge: SD Invader SH-8 or Dimebucker SH-13

Neck: And SD w/ less output or maybe a DImarzio Paf pro or a fred ..

If you want them to match Maybe this ones: http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/elec...h5_duncan_cust/

or this ones: http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/elec...h6_duncan_dist/

hope this helped .... but wait for more oppinions ..

This post has been edited by ruben_mcn: Jun 17 2010, 01:35 PM


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ZakkWylde
post Jun 17 2010, 01:47 PM
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Sorry Ruben but your suggestions aren't ideal for this guitar...
The Sh-8 Invader is a output and bass monster that will be *too much* in such a hughe mahagony guitar it will be even muddier than the stock Gibson pickup and it will have too much low end with drop tunings.
The Sh-13 Dimebucker is a very unique pickup; I would say 80% of the metal heads are going to hate it in their guitars! The sh-13 was made for Dimebag Darrel of Damageplan and Pantera to fit his sound: Tight, cutting BUT with almost no mids and a very harsh tone! It fits HIS playing and style of music but for most metalheads it has too much of a Chainsaw-like sound...


Considering the guitar and wood I would say from Seymour Duncan the Sh-6 Distortion or the Sh-5 Custom. The Sh-6 is kinda like a better version of the 500t with a lot of mids and a great metal sound (famous players: Max Cavalera from Soulfly/Sepultura and Gus G from Firewind/Ozzy Osbourne).
The Sh-5 is a very hot vintage style pickup. It is not as metal as the sh-6 but it is more versatile! It can deliver br00tal metal aswell as rock and blues stuff. It has a ceramic magnet and a very balanced EQ - it will sound great in an Explorer! (famous players: Garry Holt of Exodus, Lamb Of God)
Either sh-6 or sh-5 work well with an sh-1 59 in the neck

If actives are an option, there are Blackout and Blackout Metal pickups - Seymour Duncans answer to EMG pickups.

No sh-4 Jeff Beck as Alnico V magnet pickups tend to drown in such a mass of mahogany...

From Dimarzio you could try the D-Activator pickups as a set. The X2N by DiMarzio is a great metal pickup but it will be muddy in such a big guitar!


And finally Bareknuckle pickups - Custom made, handwound in the UK. I am a big fan of those pickups as they just sound a tad better than factory made pickups by the other companies - they are more expensive though (but worth it^^)
I have a Bareknuckle MiracleMan set in my Gibson Gothic Explorer and it absolutely slays! The pickups are designed to sound like passive version of EMGs and they surpass them by far! Ultra tigh low end with a lot of clarity and growl (they remind me of Machine Heads tone when I play them). The bridge Miracle man gives me a great modern rythm tone with screaming harmonics and the neck pickup is great andfluid shred pickup.

This post has been edited by ZakkWylde: Jun 17 2010, 01:48 PM


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- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
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ruben_mcn
post Jun 17 2010, 02:57 PM
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Sorry for the bad suggestions man sad.gif


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Adrian Figallo
post Jun 17 2010, 04:27 PM
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dont feel bad ruben it is a thing of knowledge, but here my friend zakk is the king biggrin.gif
the pickups u said are great man, but, the explorer is a heavy mahogany guitar, and zakk pointed great choices, i personally would go with the Sh-5, great sounding aggressive thing!


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ZakkWylde
post Jun 17 2010, 05:21 PM
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Hey Ruben I hope I wasn't too harsh! It's not that you suggested bad pickups, you just suggested the right pickups for the wrong guitar! When you try out a lot of pickups in diffrent guitars (like I did) then you'll know what works in what guitar^^

The sh-8 works incredible in a thin superstrat like guitar as it helps with the lack of low end but it would result in too much bass in the Explorer. Some people want just that - a really heavy low end - from their guitars!


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Gear:
- Jackson USA Select KV2 King V with EMG 81/85
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Arctic White with EMG 81/85
- Ibanez Rg 8527 J Custom 7-String with DiMarzio Evolution and Air Norton

- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Practice Amp
- Dunlop Crybaby From Hell, Maxon OD808, Boss TU-2, MXR CarbonCopy, ISP Decimator, MXR Custom Audio Electronics Booster

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ruben_mcn
post Jun 17 2010, 05:58 PM
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No Problem Man smile.gif I hope to be as wise as you one day,when it comes to pick ups..

This post has been edited by ruben_mcn: Jun 17 2010, 08:09 PM


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Shime
post Jun 17 2010, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Jun 17 2010, 02:47 PM) *
Sorry Ruben but your suggestions aren't ideal for this guitar...
The Sh-8 Invader is a output and bass monster that will be *too much* in such a hughe mahagony guitar it will be even muddier than the stock Gibson pickup and it will have too much low end with drop tunings.
The Sh-13 Dimebucker is a very unique pickup; I would say 80% of the metal heads are going to hate it in their guitars! The sh-13 was made for Dimebag Darrel of Damageplan and Pantera to fit his sound: Tight, cutting BUT with almost no mids and a very harsh tone! It fits HIS playing and style of music but for most metalheads it has too much of a Chainsaw-like sound...


Considering the guitar and wood I would say from Seymour Duncan the Sh-6 Distortion or the Sh-5 Custom. The Sh-6 is kinda like a better version of the 500t with a lot of mids and a great metal sound (famous players: Max Cavalera from Soulfly/Sepultura and Gus G from Firewind/Ozzy Osbourne).
The Sh-5 is a very hot vintage style pickup. It is not as metal as the sh-6 but it is more versatile! It can deliver br00tal metal aswell as rock and blues stuff. It has a ceramic magnet and a very balanced EQ - it will sound great in an Explorer! (famous players: Garry Holt of Exodus, Lamb Of God)
Either sh-6 or sh-5 work well with an sh-1 59 in the neck

If actives are an option, there are Blackout and Blackout Metal pickups - Seymour Duncans answer to EMG pickups.

No sh-4 Jeff Beck as Alnico V magnet pickups tend to drown in such a mass of mahogany...

From Dimarzio you could try the D-Activator pickups as a set. The X2N by DiMarzio is a great metal pickup but it will be muddy in such a big guitar!


And finally Bareknuckle pickups - Custom made, handwound in the UK. I am a big fan of those pickups as they just sound a tad better than factory made pickups by the other companies - they are more expensive though (but worth it^^)
I have a Bareknuckle MiracleMan set in my Gibson Gothic Explorer and it absolutely slays! The pickups are designed to sound like passive version of EMGs and they surpass them by far! Ultra tigh low end with a lot of clarity and growl (they remind me of Machine Heads tone when I play them). The bridge Miracle man gives me a great modern rythm tone with screaming harmonics and the neck pickup is great andfluid shred pickup.


Thanks for great expert advice! I was expecting no less biggrin.gif

I was having the SH6 or SH5 in mind as an option for the bridge. Any thoughts on the SH2 jazz for the neck, as opposed to the SH1?

And then Bare Knuckle... You've said many good things about them in the forums, and I believe you. You think Miracle Mans are the best option here in comparison with other Bareknuckle humbuckers, in terms of versatility as well?

Cheers,
Shime
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ZakkWylde
post Jun 17 2010, 07:28 PM
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I personally don't like the sh-2 in the neck. I don't like to play leads on it but it works well for clean stuff, however the the Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates can do clean even better!

The sh-1 is a classic paf pickup, it can do pretty much anything and it teams up very well with the sh-5!

The Miracle Man pickups are the best for modern metal I guess (like I said Machine Head, Metalcore stuff and so on).Some even like them for hair metal but they aren't the most versatile bareknuckles though (keep in mind that those custom pickups can do pretty much everything better than regular pickups - the miracle mans don't have a very good clean sound but even that *not so good* clean tone is better than most sounds you can get from Duncans or DiMarzios)

The most versatile set from Bareknuckle for Metal and more would be the Cold Sweat set. It is basicly a better version of the Sh-5 - A vintage pickup with A LOT of Power (ceramic magnets). The bridge Cold Sweat is incredibly clear and versatile, it works great for rock and blues stuff but it can also get VERY HEAVY. You won't have any muddyness problems with it!

The Cold Sweat Neck pickup is my favourite BKP Neck humbucker because it excells with everything: Better cleans than on any other humbucker I have heard and it still has enough output to balance with the bridge and deliver a very fluid sound for leads. You can even play rythm on it!


--------------------


Gear:
- Jackson USA Select KV2 King V with EMG 81/85
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Arctic White with EMG 81/85
- Ibanez Rg 8527 J Custom 7-String with DiMarzio Evolution and Air Norton

- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Practice Amp
- Dunlop Crybaby From Hell, Maxon OD808, Boss TU-2, MXR CarbonCopy, ISP Decimator, MXR Custom Audio Electronics Booster

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Shime
post Jun 17 2010, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Jun 17 2010, 08:28 PM) *
I personally don't like the sh-2 in the neck. I don't like to play leads on it but it works well for clean stuff, however the the Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates can do clean even better!

The sh-1 is a classic paf pickup, it can do pretty much anything and it teams up very well with the sh-5!

The Miracle Man pickups are the best for modern metal I guess (like I said Machine Head, Metalcore stuff and so on).Some even like them for hair metal but they aren't the most versatile bareknuckles though (keep in mind that those custom pickups can do pretty much everything better than regular pickups - the miracle mans don't have a very good clean sound but even that *not so good* clean tone is better than most sounds you can get from Duncans or DiMarzios)

The most versatile set from Bareknuckle for Metal and more would be the Cold Sweat set. It is basicly a better version of the Sh-5 - A vintage pickup with A LOT of Power (ceramic magnets). The bridge Cold Sweat is incredibly clear and versatile, it works great for rock and blues stuff but it can also get VERY HEAVY. You won't have any muddyness problems with it!

The Cold Sweat Neck pickup is my favourite BKP Neck humbucker because it excells with everything: Better cleans than on any other humbucker I have heard and it still has enough output to balance with the bridge and deliver a very fluid sound for leads. You can even play rythm on it!


Wow. So now I'm thinking: Cold Sweat bridge + neck, or a Miracle Man in the Bridge paired with a Cold Sweat in the neck.
Thanks for your thoughts!
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 24 2010, 12:54 AM
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I would go for the second option, Miracle Man in bridge, and Cold Sweat in Neck, that will be really good upgrade.


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