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> Pickup Question, Led Zeppelin/Jimi Hendrix Tone Search
Animosity
post Apr 30 2010, 08:18 PM
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Hello GMCers!

I have this Squier Standard Stratocaster that I absolutely love. Something about it just feels right in my hands and I have been working on replacing some of the lower end stuff (ie machine heads) and the next upgrades on my list of improvements are pickups!

Now, I have been researching different pickups for a few days, but I just can't seem to find any demos on YouTube that demonstrate the tone I am looking for(besides humbucker demos, which won't work in my Strat).

So I have come to the GMC community in hopes that you might be able to point me in the right direction. I am looking for some single coils, stacked or not, that will help me to achieve a Led Zeppelin/Jimi Hendrix/Classic Rock tone.

I'm not so worried about the price as I do plan on playing this guitar long term, so I can save up for expensive pickups.

But if you guys know of anything that could help me out I would be very grateful!
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Adrian Figallo
post Apr 30 2010, 08:19 PM
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brother check my lessons smile.gif, i have a dimarzio chopper on my strat 100% recommended!


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Animosity
post Apr 30 2010, 08:35 PM
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QUOTE (Adrian Figallo @ Apr 30 2010, 01:19 PM) *
brother check my lessons smile.gif, i have a dimarzio chopper on my strat 100% recommended!



Jimi Hendrix Meets John Frusciante.....

I think you are my new favorite person
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ZakkWylde
post Apr 30 2010, 08:55 PM
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If you are willing to spend a little more money on the pickups you might want to get a set of handwound custom pickups like Bareknuckles... Their pickups are a bit more expensive but the tone is way above your average machine wound pickup by DiMarzio and co.

http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/products.html


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Adrian Figallo
post Apr 30 2010, 10:07 PM
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QUOTE (Animosity @ Apr 30 2010, 02:35 PM) *
Jimi Hendrix Meets John Frusciante.....

I think you are my new favorite person


hahaha thank you man, i really recommend the chopper, KILLER sound, now my strat sound more or less like a vintage sg on the bridge position and like a strat on the neck (and i love that combination)


QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Apr 30 2010, 02:55 PM) *
If you are willing to spend a little more money on the pickups you might want to get a set of handwound custom pickups like Bareknuckles... Their pickups are a bit more expensive but the tone is way above your average machine wound pickup by DiMarzio and co.

http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/products.html


Yeah zakk!!, i'm going to get those Bareknuckles for my flying V hopefully this month, but as far a single coils, can you recommend one punchy one like the chopper?, well ok the chopper is not really a single, but it doesn't sound quite as a humbucker neighter biggrin.gif


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ZakkWylde
post Apr 30 2010, 10:24 PM
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With Bareknuckle, it is the best to email the owner Tim Mills himself! He winds all the pickups ao he can give you the best advice on his pickups if you tell him what guitar you play and how you want it to sound.


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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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MickeM
post Apr 30 2010, 10:45 PM
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I think the key to your tone is a Plexi on full, a fuzz and a wah. Less depending on the pickups actually but maybe a Tonerider (bang for the buck) vintage or blues set. smile.gif


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Animosity
post May 1 2010, 06:14 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Apr 30 2010, 03:45 PM) *
I think the key to your tone is a Plexi on full, a fuzz and a wah. Less depending on the pickups actually but maybe a Tonerider (bang for the buck) vintage or blues set. smile.gif



I hear you man, my dream amp is the Marshall 1987x Plexi.

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Daniel Realpe
post May 1 2010, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE (Adrian Figallo @ Apr 30 2010, 08:19 PM) *
brother check my lessons smile.gif, i have a dimarzio chopper on my strat 100% recommended!

yeah, you've got one killer sound going on there!


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Adrian Figallo
post May 3 2010, 04:49 PM
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thank you daniel!!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 4 2010, 06:39 PM
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I must mention that no matter how expensive the pickups are, they are only translating the vibration that guitar gives.
In the case of a Squier guitar, where the guitar bounces thin, pickups will bounce thin. When I say thin, I mean not rich with overtones and focused (usually straight in the middle). This is why cheaper pickups will work just fine, so if you get Dimarzio or SD or something similar you will get pretty much similar results for less money and possibly change other important things as well (I would say a proper bone or graphite nut and decent bridge are one of those important things on strat that somehow always need an upgrade one way or another).
However, if you do plan to switch to higher priced pickups, this is good too, later you can put them in a more better guitar and they will translate that sound even better.
If you need something for Hendrix, Zep, and classic rock in general, you ask for vintage pickups with low output. However, I recommend moderate pickups to beef up the sound a bit. If you are going for Zep stuff, you might want to put single-sized hum in the bridge position so you get a HSS configuration.

To keep a long story short, if you get a dimarzio single-sized chopper for bridge, and area 67 singles for middle and neck, you will fall in love again in your guitar wink.gif


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Staffy
post May 4 2010, 11:18 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ May 4 2010, 07:39 PM) *
I must mention that no matter how expensive the pickups are, they are only translating the vibration that guitar gives.
In the case of a Squier guitar, where the guitar bounces thin, pickups will bounce thin. When I say thin, I mean not rich with overtones and focused (usually straight in the middle). This is why cheaper pickups will work just fine, so if you get Dimarzio or SD or something similar you will get pretty much similar results for less money and possibly change other important things as well (I would say a proper bone or graphite nut and decent bridge are one of those important things on strat that somehow always need an upgrade one way or another).
However, if you do plan to switch to higher priced pickups, this is good too, later you can put them in a more better guitar and they will translate that sound even better.
If you need something for Hendrix, Zep, and classic rock in general, you ask for vintage pickups with low output. However, I recommend moderate pickups to beef up the sound a bit. If you are going for Zep stuff, you might want to put single-sized hum in the bridge position so you get a HSS configuration.

To keep a long story short, if you get a dimarzio single-sized chopper for bridge, and area 67 singles for middle and neck, you will fall in love again in your guitar wink.gif


+1 on everything here Ivan. I'm getting a little confused here - Jimi sound and Zeppelin sound is like the total opposite for me.
Like Micke said here above, the key to a hendrix sound is merely the amp, the fuzz and effects rather than expensive pickups. I think some standard Strat pickups will do fine for this.

For the Zeppelin sound, humbuckers is definitely required, even that You can come pretty close with stacked pickups. But then, even if You put a HB on a strat it will never sound like a LP......

So I will suggest buying one guitar more and the plexi-stuff....... wink.gif

//Staffay


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 5 2010, 01:14 AM
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In addition to all said, Staffay and Micke gave me an idea biggrin.gif Like said in their posts - if you aim Hendrix & Zep, the key is Marshall Plexi tone. There is a great distortion pedal from Radial that earned great reviews from magazines and users. It's called Plexitube. If you have limited budget for a full blown Plexi amp, this might be a nice solution to cover lots of classic rock territory. Couple that with relatively decent pickups and it will rock.


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Adrian Figallo
post May 5 2010, 05:02 AM
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+1 guys, but bottom line, i think mr hendrix could make his sound on a prs and a bogner biggrin.gif, it's al (or almost)l in the fingers smile.gif


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fkalich
post May 5 2010, 05:15 AM
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QUOTE (Staffy @ May 4 2010, 05:18 PM) *
For the Zeppelin sound, humbuckers is definitely required, even that You can come pretty close with stacked pickups. But then, even if You put a HB on a strat it will never sound like a LP......

So I will suggest buying one guitar more and the plexi-stuff....... wink.gif

//Staffay


Then explain this.....



You can play anything with anything, if you have it in your fingers. You might sound a little different, but only in a superficial way, what really matters is what is in your fingers. You should just play any guitar you like.

Myself I never change pickups, I get good guitars that come with good pickups. You can spend money on that stuff, or maybe save that towards the purchase of a guitar that you don't feel the need to change anything on. It does not have to be new, if you are careful, you can get a very nice guitar used at a good price, without risk.


edit: spelled new as "knew" and don't like looking like a stupid American whose spelling and grammar is not on the level of the average European who uses it as a second language. Which is often the case.

This post has been edited by fkalich: May 5 2010, 05:18 AM
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Staffy
post May 5 2010, 07:05 AM
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I hear ya guy's. My mistake. I should have pointed out that I'm dicsusses the tone and not how to SOUND like Mr.Hendrix or Mr.Page. Ofc. the playing sits in your hands and not the gear, thats why "Smoke on the water" sounds good even on an acoustic. Both Hendrix and Page used other guitar & amps than the one's I mentioned occasionally, but I'm speaking in general terms here. But Hendrix was actually responsible for the success of Jim Marshall, since every player in the UK bought one after they heard Hendrix. As I said before he was using Fender amps from the very beginning, but they were too weak, so Jim Marshall built one with heavier transformers and more power tubes than the Fenders. Still the circuit was nearly identical to Fenders except for some resistors and condensers, that gives Marshall a more "mid"-type sound.

Anyway, the bottom line that I wanted to point out here is that the issue here is about HB vs. Single-coils or Fender vs. Gibson. I have never came across a really good compromise in one instrument - eg. it doesn't sound like neither Fender OR Gibson, no matter what pickup combinations, stacked pickups etc. You use. Personally I rather prefer two guitars of each kind instead.

Amp-wise, there are a lot of amps that sounds similar to Plexi's, but just SIMILAR. Nothing is like the REAL thing..... It's like comparing Vicky Silvstedt with Ms.Pfeiffer by my means !!!! tongue.gif

//Staffay


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 5 2010, 12:10 PM
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I think we can all agree to the fact that Marshall Plexi sound was dominant and distinguishable in those days? smile.gif
I must agree pickups are less important for "that" sound. Even the amp can be different, but plexi stack really nails it nicely IMHO.

On a side note: you can always use les paul (or any other guitar) for playing hendrix stuff, put fuzz in front of amp, and play like hendrix, no one will tell if you are playing strat or LP, they will say you sound like hendrix - that's the point. Great musicians don't sound like "gear", they sound like "them".

I've seen crazy people that really sound like Hendrix, there are numerous festivals where they impersonate him and everything. This can be entertaining, but somehow I feel if you are yet to become a musician, you should find your own tone, and not aim specifically towards musician or a group of musicians for long periods of time.

Purpose of the story: no matter what gear you take, pickups, pedals, amps, the tone will definitely be the product of you and your way of playing. If you decide to play like hendrix, you will sound like hendrix. If you think that is your goal, that's cool. If you decide to play like classic rock, you will sound classic rock. If you decide to play your own style, blend of many different styles, you will sound unique.. I hope that clears the gear related issues.


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fkalich
post May 5 2010, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE (Staffy @ May 5 2010, 01:05 AM) *
Anyway, the bottom line that I wanted to point out here is that the issue here is about HB vs. Single-coils or Fender vs. Gibson. I have never came across a really good compromise in one instrument - eg. it doesn't sound like neither Fender OR Gibson, no matter what pickup combinations, stacked pickups etc. You use. Personally I rather prefer two guitars of each kind instead.
//Staffay


I feel the same. Also the statements of Ivan are correct.

I like guitars to keep it simple and do what they do well, not try to do everything. BTW, Page did not pick up a Tele occasionally, he play that guitar as his main guitar for some time, I think through LZ's second album recording. Clapton did not play a Strat either, not with Cream for sure. I think he mostly played an SG. It is not the equipment, it is the guy. We do care about the equipment, it is important to us, the little nuances. But to the basic listener, it is the musician, and if you blind fold them and let the guy play a telecaster one nigth, and a les paul the next, the casual listener probably won't even notice a difference unless you point it out to them.

Don't get me wrong. I care. I think all solid state amps are products of Satan's Minions. I don't even feel human playing with a solid state amp, I feel like I am a mutant robot, that something is really really wrong. But I know that is nuts. Just don't care, nuts is reality to me, so it is not nuts in that context. But I also know most people won't notice any difference.

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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 10 2010, 03:10 AM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ May 5 2010, 10:21 PM) *
Don't get me wrong. I care. I think all solid state amps are products of Satan's Minions. I don't even feel human playing with a solid state amp, I feel like I am a mutant robot, that something is really really wrong. But I know that is nuts. Just don't care, nuts is reality to me, so it is not nuts in that context. But I also know most people won't notice any difference.


laugh.gif Man, I dig you biggrin.gif On a side note - I played Roland Jazz Chorus several weeks ago (didn't had chance to play one for several years), and the amp was sounding pretty cool and warm to me now. Perhaps you would feel like a humanoid robot playing that, not a mutant one laugh.gif Unfortunately they don't make them like that anymore sad.gif


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Staffy
post May 10 2010, 07:56 AM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ May 5 2010, 10:21 PM) *
I think all solid state amps are products of Satan's Minions.


Yeah, I agree 100% to that, with the exception of the one Ivan mentioned. Its good for clean, jazzy sounds. Btw. I also think Satan invented AP and have his fingers in Peavey's low-end amp production.

//Staffay


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Guitars: Ibanez AM-200, Ibanez GB-10, Fender Stratocaster Classic Player, Warmouth Custom Built, Suhr Classic Strat, Gibson Les Paul Standard 2003, Ibanez steel-string
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