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> Pickup Advice Needed., Best pickups for middle and bridge position.
tommyboy
post Nov 24 2008, 03:02 PM
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HI Guys,

I've got a 1983 USA Charvel. The body's made of Basswood with a bolt on maple neck and rosewood finger board. In the bridge position I'm playing a Dimarzio PAF Pro. I really like the sound of this pickup. However, the middle and neck position are old stacked humbuckers that are pretty much worthless because when I purchased the guitar new in 1984 in had active pickups which I didn't care for. When I put in the PAF Pro I ditched the active electronics for passive.

However, I'm interested in replacing these pickups with something that could give me that edgy Strat sound out of the middle and neck position. Since I've always played Les Pauls and Humbuckers my knowledge of single coils or new stacked humbuckers in very limited.

I've visited Dimarzio's web site because I thought they might have suggestions for matching with my current PAF Pro. Both the HS-2 and the HS-3 look good but they're not true single coils but the web site said they would match well with my current pickup.

Any advice or suggestions would be great. Brands, pickup types, wiring configurations, etc. would be greatly appreciated. I'm open to anything but I would like to have the new pickups work well with my existing bridge pickup.

I play mostly old school metal, and hardrock. But the neoclassical lessons I'm seeing on the sight are amazing so I thinking the new pups might help.

Thanks,
tommyboy



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MickeM
post Nov 24 2008, 03:12 PM
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I think I have the same USA Charvel model you have. Are you sure it's basswood? Mine is late 80's - early 90's and it's adler.
I didn't care for the active S-S-S pu's and I'm a fan of humbuckers so I routed the neck and bridge position so now it's H-S-H. I put DiMarzio Breed neck and bridge in mine and they sound wonderful. Mid S position is empty, looks kind a cool.
But right now it's in pieces again since I have to put new saddles in.

Mine's mint green. I remember they released some awful colors like mine and orange back then.

No SSS recommendations from me, only routing and putting humbuckers in it wink.gif


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tommyboy
post Nov 24 2008, 03:26 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 24 2008, 08:12 AM) *
I think I have the same USA Charvel model you have. Are you sure it's basswood? Mine is late 80's - early 90's and it's adler.
I didn't care for the active S-S-S pu's and I'm a fan of humbuckers so I routed the neck and bridge position so now it's H-S-H. I put DiMarzio Breed neck and bridge in mine and they sound wonderful. Mid S position is empty, looks kind a cool.
But right now it's in pieces again since I have to put new saddles in.

Mine's mint green. I remember they released some awful colors like mine and orange back then.

No SSS recommendations from me, only routing and putting humbuckers in it wink.gif


Thought it was Basswood. But I could be mistaken. Either wood is good so if I'm mistaken not a big deal. My logo on the head stock is the old Charvel logo not the current one if it makes a difference. Since my openings for the middle and Bridge are carved in the body and not in a pick guard I'm limited to single coil or stacked humbucker configuration.

tommyboy


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kjutte
post Nov 24 2008, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (tommyboy @ Nov 24 2008, 03:02 PM) *
HI Guys,

I've got a 1983 USA Charvel. The body's made of Basswood with a bolt on maple neck and rosewood finger board. In the bridge position I'm playing a Dimarzio PAF Pro. I really like the sound of this pickup. However, the middle and neck position are old stacked humbuckers that are pretty much worthless because when I purchased the guitar new in 1984 in had active pickups which I didn't care for. When I put in the PAF Pro I ditched the active electronics for passive.

However, I'm interested in replacing these pickups with something that could give me that edgy Strat sound out of the middle and neck position. Since I've always played Les Pauls and Humbuckers my knowledge of single coils or new stacked humbuckers in very limited.

I've visited Dimarzio's web site because I thought they might have suggestions for matching with my current PAF Pro. Both the HS-2 and the HS-3 look good but they're not true single coils but the web site said they would match well with my current pickup.

Any advice or suggestions would be great. Brands, pickup types, wiring configurations, etc. would be greatly appreciated. I'm open to anything but I would like to have the new pickups work well with my existing bridge pickup.

I play mostly old school metal, and hardrock. But the neoclassical lessons I'm seeing on the sight are amazing so I thinking the new pups might help.

Thanks,
tommyboy


What amp do you play on? tubeamp?
You prolly want an EMG.

If you don't play much clean, don't bother with the middle.
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Jose Mena
post Nov 24 2008, 04:26 PM
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I think HS-3 or YJM is a good option for the neck, I had the YJM on the neck of a strat, and loved the tone, it is not a true single coil but it has the sound of one, low output and bright enough. The advantage of using these stacked coils is hum cancelling, single coils have that problem, they hum. So the YJM is vintage sounding pickup with hum canceling that could suit your needs


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kjutte
post Nov 24 2008, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE (Jose Mena @ Nov 24 2008, 04:26 PM) *
I think HS-3 or YJM is a good option for the neck, I had the YJM on the neck of a strat, and loved the tone, it is not a true single coil but it has the sound of one, low output and bright enough. The advantage of using these stacked coils is hum cancelling, single coils have that problem, they hum. So the YJM is vintage sounding pickup with hum canceling that could suit your needs


A really cool way to avoid hum on strats is to mod a noisegate into the guitar's circutry. Scott Henderson has one of these, and it works perfect.
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ZakkWylde
post Nov 24 2008, 04:45 PM
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My advice would be bareknuckle custom single coils. They are handmade in England but they ship worldwide.
http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/

They are awesome. I would say take a Trilogy suite middle and neck coil if you're into a more higher gain type of sound (they still sound strat like), take Irish Tour Coils if you want allrounders or Mother's Milk coils if you want vintrage sounds


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 24 2008, 06:22 PM
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I didn't understand what configurations of pickups you have on your guitar mate. Is it HSH?


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reallylongnickna...
post Nov 24 2008, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Nov 24 2008, 10:28 AM) *
A really cool way to avoid hum on strats is to mod a noisegate into the guitar's circutry. Scott Henderson has one of these, and it works perfect.

If your into things like pinch harmonics, fat rhythm, grunge and a lot of flash etc, the Malmsteen bridge pickup is NOT gonna do it for you. Keep in mind that Malmsteens pickups are suited to his style which is straight forward, cutting and clear to hear all the notes he plays. Malmsteen spends little time with flash and things that DON'T make little sense musically.

This is all in case you start thinking about the bridge pickup as well.

This post has been edited by reallylongnickname: Nov 25 2008, 09:48 PM
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tommyboy
post Nov 25 2008, 01:04 AM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Nov 24 2008, 09:26 AM) *
What amp do you play on? tubeamp?
You prolly want an EMG.

If you don't play much clean, don't bother with the middle.


Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 50 playing through 2 Marshall 1960 cabs. Both A and B. Guess I could of just said a MARSHALL STACK BABY!!! wink.gif Aren't EMG's mainly a active type pickup? That I want to stay away from.


QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Nov 24 2008, 09:45 AM) *
My advice would be bareknuckle custom single coils. They are handmade in England but they ship worldwide.
http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/

They are awesome. I would say take a Trilogy suite middle and neck coil if you're into a more higher gain type of sound (they still sound strat like), take Irish Tour Coils if you want allrounders or Mother's Milk coils if you want vintrage sounds


Never heard of them, but will check them out. Love the name "Bareknuckle". Suits me I guess. Thanks for the lead. This is exactly what I'm looking for. Something I'm not familiar with that nobody around me is using. Again thanks for the link smile.gif



QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Nov 24 2008, 11:22 AM) *
I didn't understand what configurations of pickups you have on your guitar mate. Is it HSH?


H, Stack H, Stack H. However, the two stack Humbuckers are what I'm looking at replacing.


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FrankW
post Nov 25 2008, 01:30 AM
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If you're wanting more of a Strat sound you'll need to go with single coils. I think you can go with a moderately powerful single coil from Dimarzio or Seymour Duncan, rather than a standard single coil in order to balance with your PAF. I wouldn't go too powerful though, because you'll not achieve the Strat sound you're looking for. I think a PAF Pro is not overly powerful, yes? If that's the case, go with equally powerful single coils in my opinion. smile.gif
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tommyboy
post Nov 25 2008, 02:26 AM
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QUOTE (FrankW @ Nov 24 2008, 06:30 PM) *
I think a PAF Pro is not overly powerful, yes? If that's the case, go with equally powerful single coils in my opinion. smile.gif


Right, My PAF Pro is just a good ole' crunchy warm humbucker. I wanted a Les Paul tone out of my strat style Charvel. This gives me such a tone. However, the neck position is what I'm most interested in. Warm, but can still cut through a mix but not throw the volume way out of wack between my bridge pickup and neck. Middle would be just a tone bonus since I'm going to this trouble.

thanks,
tommyboy


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 25 2008, 02:25 PM
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I would recommend Dimarzio Fast Track 1 for both neck and middle mate

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Nov 25 2008, 02:26 PM


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Xuestor
post Nov 25 2008, 09:14 PM
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Dimarzio Blues or Heavy Blues


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kjutte
post Nov 26 2008, 04:01 AM
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The batteries last forever tony, that won't be a problem at all.

I really think it's a viable option for your style.
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tommyboy
post Nov 26 2008, 06:15 AM
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Thanks guys,

Great leads and advice. It's kind of a toss up between the bare knuckles and some of the Dimarzio ones. I know Seymour Duncan makes some great pups but just can't see doing them and Dimarzio in the same guitar. Only problem with the Bare Knuckles is getting them in my area. Love the name thou.

Think I'm going to take Ivan's advice and try a Fast Track 1 in the middle position. Sound clips are amazing and the description on Dimarzio's web site fits the bill for my needs in this position I think.

While checking out the Fast Track 1 I found the Chopper DP184. All four of the sound clips are played in the neck position and the tone is MONSTER!! I'm thinking I might give one of these a try in my neck position. I'm hoping it won't over power my PAF Pro but I'm willing to take a chance because if I can get close to the tone on the sound clips I'll be in new pickup heaven.

Here's the link if anyones interested checking them out. Also, if anyones got any more suggestions I'm willing to weigh all options.

http://www.dimarzio.com/site/#/pickups/

Thanks again,
tommyboy


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kjutte
post Nov 26 2008, 06:32 AM
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I think Dimarzio's site is a bit misleading, as you don't know which guitar/amp/effects/additional preamps the player's using.

I really recommend that you try to play guitars that has various pickups equipped for yourself.

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tommyboy
post Nov 26 2008, 07:02 AM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Nov 25 2008, 11:32 PM) *
I think Dimarzio's site is a bit misleading, as you don't know which guitar/amp/effects/additional preamps the player's using.

I really recommend that you try to play guitars that has various pickups equipped for yourself.


This I understand and it's sound advice. (pun intended) wink.gif However, the root of the tone I'm looking for is there. I understand I'm not going to plug these pups in and magically have the exact tone in the sound clips. However, the clips they use to promote the the pickups I'm looking at are what I'm looking for in the pickups I'm choosing. Also, remember I have a Dimarzio PAF Pro in my guitar currently. When I listen to the sound clips of that pickup is sounds darn near identical to what I'm currently getting. So I guess I'm willing to take a chance. Besides, I'm never going to find another Charvel with the pickups I'm looking at to try out with my gear.

Thanks for the advice.
tommyboy


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kjutte
post Nov 26 2008, 03:24 PM
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QUOTE (tommyboy @ Nov 26 2008, 07:02 AM) *
This I understand and it's sound advice. (pun intended) wink.gif However, the root of the tone I'm looking for is there. I understand I'm not going to plug these pups in and magically have the exact tone in the sound clips. However, the clips they use to promote the the pickups I'm looking at are what I'm looking for in the pickups I'm choosing. Also, remember I have a Dimarzio PAF Pro in my guitar currently. When I listen to the sound clips of that pickup is sounds darn near identical to what I'm currently getting. So I guess I'm willing to take a chance. Besides, I'm never going to find another Charvel with the pickups I'm looking at to try out with my gear.

Thanks for the advice.
tommyboy


Anytime man, hope you find what you need smile.gif
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Xuestor
post Nov 26 2008, 04:04 PM
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The pro track is also a great choice. I have it in my strat as bridge, but sounds great in all positions. I originally had it in the middle, cuz it delivers a GREAT sound when combined with other pickups.


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