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> Need Help Choosing A Pickup
EddieB
post Jun 7 2007, 07:06 PM
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Hi everyone!

I've been thinking about changing the pu's in my guitar for a while now, but I'm not sure what I should go with. I was originally going to go with EMG's, but after reading some reviews and talking to some of my friends I've decided to put some Seymour Duncans in instead. However, I'm not sure which ones I should pick. I was looking at the HotRodded Humbucker set which comes with the SH2 Jazz and SH-4 bridge pickups, but I was worried that it's not going to give me the 'punch' (best word I could think of huh.gif ) I'm looking for since I play mostly heavy metal. The SD Invader looked like a good choice, but I don't want to spend that much more money buying the pups seperately if it's not going to give me a much better sound.

PLEASE HELP blink.gif

Oh, one last question, I've been having issues with my guitar with getting really clean and sharp pinch harmonics as well as good tone when tapping. Whenever I try to tap it usually comes off really... dull, I guess is the best way to put it. Would changing the pups help this at all?


Thanks everyone!


My Gear:
Jackson JS30 Warrior w/ stock pups
Digitech RP100 effects processor
Line 6 Spider III 15w amp
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MickeM
post Jun 7 2007, 11:12 PM
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The JB/Jazz is a classic combination, so is a 59' in the neck.

I've playet the JB/Jazz but ...nah... not for me, it was on maple so it was very bright.

I have the DiMarzio Breed neck pu and I can't wait to get the same bridge pu. Very clean tone and fat.

I also got the DiMarzio Super distortion. Good for rock, hard rock.

Also the Evo pu's (also DiMarzio) are said to be good. A bit brighter than the Breed's.


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blindwillie
post Jun 8 2007, 01:56 PM
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I love the JB/Jazz combo, something in the tone really speaks to me.


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Schecter C1 Hellraiser EMG 81/85, replaced with JB/Jazz (SH4/SH2n) w. coilsplit
Schecter Revenger HB-105, replaced with EMG 81/85
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VinceG
post Jun 8 2007, 09:29 PM
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yea ive been meaning to change the pickups for my Schecter as well. I got a C-1+ and although the p/u's were nice, it just doenst cut it for the music i try to play with it. Im confused on what to get since Im mixed with clean experimenting post rock kinda sound and sometimes death metal tone so anyone have tips?


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Evan
post Jun 9 2007, 01:58 AM
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The JB(SH4) is a great pickup for rock and some metal, but not really for the heaviest of the heavy. With metal I associate the sound of the JB with Iron Maiden (if run without pre Distortion EQ) and Megadeath (run through pre-distortion EQ). I think it's a great pickup for leads with good harmonics, but for death, or modern thrash rhythm, not so good for tight bass. If you like Duncan, the full shred is a versatile choice. The dimebucker can be good, but I know people that tried it but hated it, but also people that prefer it to the Bill Lawrence L500XL that it's based on. I don't know anybody who liked the invader for a long period of time - it's very bassy and loose with a sound that makes me think of something along the lines of Korn. The super distortion can be deadly through an eq pedal also, but it's more for hard rock than heavy metal.

My honest opinion though is this -if you were thinking about an EMG 81 in the bridge, consider these choices if you don't absolutely have to go with Seymour Duncan:

The Dimarzio X2N: very close in sound the EMGs, more output than EMG, mega harmonics without 'sterile' sound. A great choice for guitars with a floating bridge like a floyd rose. Way better for palm mutes than JB. Loses to the JB and EMGs for clean sound. Very poor clean sound. One of my favorite metal lead pickups. Pinch harmonics? Tapping? what you want is gain for those techniques, and for that reason this pickup is my top recommendation. Based on what you said I think this would make you the happiest. I have used one in my Jackson DK2 for years and love it.

The Dimarzio D Activator: Just came out. Has the 'punch' or powerful attack of the EMGs but even more pronounced. Good harmonics, but not as good as the X2N. Better for palm muting than either EMG or X2N. Clean -poor but no worse than EMG.

The Dimarzio Megadrive: Awesome metal rhythm pickup when installed with the 'bar' toward the bridge. Not carried by most stores -get it on eBay. Not good for harmonics. Acceptable clean sound, but below the JB.

Bill Lawrence L500XL: Legendary metal pickup - the true pickup used by Dimebag. Get ready to wait if you want one -possibly for months. They are made by hand one at a time. It's Hit or miss -some people dismiss it as garbage, others swear by it. I played my friend's guitar that had this pickup in the bridge, a BC Rich warlock with a Kahler tremolo. It was in my opinion one of the best sounding metal guitars I've ever played.

I personally own every one of these pickups btw, so I've had plenty of time to hear them (except the D Activator which I've only had for about a month). I think you'll like an X2N or L500XL best for your bridge position on that warrior (I love Jacksons btw). For the neck pickup the SD Jazz or a Dimarzio PAF Pro are my top picks.

I hope this helps. I spent a long time going from the same question you had to this point, so I wanted to lend you my personal experience. In the end though, I encourage you to play a guitar with the pickup you're considering if possible, but most of all to make the choice that you believe is right.
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The Uncreator
post Jun 9 2007, 02:27 AM
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I love these.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Sey...-Set?sku=360506

They sound so great, great for riffage and great for leads!
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EddieB
post Jun 9 2007, 03:34 AM
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Thanks Everyone! I really appreciate all of the info you have provided.

Right now I'm somewhat leaning towards putting a DiMarzio Evo2 in the bridge and an Evolution in the neck. I looked up the X2N's, but I think that's pushing it a little for what I play. I'd like to have a really high gain pickup, but still be able to have decent cleans when I need/want them. Would these two be a good combination if I'm looking for a mostly rock/metal sound while still being fairly versatile?



Oh... and does anyone know how much Guitar Center (especially near San Antonio, Tx where I live ^^) would charge to swap out the pickups in my guitar? I'm a complete newbie when it comes to soldering and whatnot and I don't want to mess something up and destroy my baby blink.gif

Thanks again, Everyone!

\..\, (sleep.gif)
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JVM
post Jun 9 2007, 04:03 AM
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I don't really know much about active pickups - what are the advantages? How long does a single battery charge last (seems like it'd be a pain, I'm not used to batteries having anything to do with my guitar!)?

[edit] Otherwise, the description of those mustaine pickups meets about what I would like out of a pickup... but does anyone know what he himself uses normally?

This post has been edited by JVM: Jun 9 2007, 04:04 AM


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MickeM
post Jun 9 2007, 10:39 AM
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QUOTE (EddieB @ Jun 9 2007, 04:34 AM) *
Thanks Everyone! I really appreciate all of the info you have provided.

Right now I'm somewhat leaning towards putting a DiMarzio Evo2 in the bridge and an Evolution in the neck. I looked up the X2N's, but I think that's pushing it a little for what I play. I'd like to have a really high gain pickup, but still be able to have decent cleans when I need/want them. Would these two be a good combination if I'm looking for a mostly rock/metal sound while still being fairly versatile?
Oh... and does anyone know how much Guitar Center (especially near San Antonio, Tx where I live ^^) would charge to swap out the pickups in my guitar? I'm a complete newbie when it comes to soldering and whatnot and I don't want to mess something up and destroy my baby blink.gif

Thanks again, Everyone!

\..\, (sleep.gif)

If you go for the EVO's I suggest you change into a 5 way multipole switch, same as in the Ibanez models. It's opens up the same pu selections as you see on the Ibanez homepage.
And make sure you have 500kOhm pots in your Jackson or you have to order them aswell. Unscrew the plate on the back and see what you can read off of them.
You should also measure if you need an F-spaced Evo for the bridge position. I post at the end the description from DiMarzio's FAQ

I'm not trying to make this an impossible mission for you, it's easy, just read up, get the 5-way switch, pots (if you need new ones), a soldering iron and the charts for how to connect and you're good to go.
But if you're unsure just drop it off at the store and ask em to install the pu's (they should know about the F-spacing if you get the pu's from there), new pots, the EP1112 5-way multipole switch.

And while the strings are off why don't you clean the frets and the fretboard... belive it or not but natulat citrus juice (Swe: saft - is it not "juice", or is it lemonade or syryp?) is great for the fretboard. I use paraffine oil... mailny because I have a bottle at home. rolleyes.gif It works fine, it's a white oil that doesn't shade the wood or anything.
With your new PU's your guitar deserves a cleaning laugh.gif


From DiMarzio's FAQ
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What is F-spacing?
All of our full-size humbuckers except the X2N® are available in two polepiece spacings. F-spacing refers to the wider of the two spacings. For proper string alignment and balanced output, F-spaced humbuckers should be used in the bridge position on all guitars with string spacing at the bridge of 2.1" (53 mm) or greater. On these guitars, if the nut width is 1-11/16” (43 mm) or greater, F-spaced pickups can be used in the neck position as well.
Why are there two different spacings?
A long time ago (in the 20th century, actually) the electric guitar world was divided between Gibson and Fender designs. One of the differences between the two was string spacing. In general, Gibson chose a narrower string spacing at the bridge than Fender, and therefore the polepieces on Gibson humbuckers were closer together than the magnets on Fender pickups. When guitar shops started installing humbuckers in the bridge position of Strats, it was obvious that the strings didn’t line up with the polepieces, and if the E strings were too far outside, the sound could suffer. Our first humbuckers followed the original Gibson spacing, and we call them standard-spaced. When we released our first humbuckers with wider spacing, Floyd Rose bridges were very popular. Floyd string-spacing is the same as Fender spacing, so we naturally called the new pickups F-spaced.
How do I know which spacing to use?
F-spaced pickups measure 2.01" (51 mm) center-to-center from the first polepiece to the sixth. Standard-spaced pickups measure 1.90" (48 mm). Although some players believe that F-spaced pickups are only for the bridge position of tremolo bridge guitars, many guitars with fixed bridges (including late 1990s Gibson Les Pauls and Epiphone LPs) should have F-spaced pickups in the bridge position. Most tremolo equipped guitars that have a nut width of 1-11/16” (43mm) or more should also use an F-spaced pickup in the neck position. If you’re replacing a bridge-position pickup and you're not sure what your string-spacing is, it's usually better to get an F-spaced model. It is not necessary for the strings to pass exactly over the center of the polepieces for best performance, but it is wise to avoid a situation where the E strings are sitting completely outside of the outer polepieces.
Do some of your humbuckers come only in one spacing?
The X2N® has solid bar polepieces that work in both normal and F-spaced applications. All 7-string humbuckers are available F-spaced only. All Parker Fly replacement pickups are F-spaced only.
Is there F-spacing for single-coils?
All of our single-coil-sized pickups are designed for F-spaced applications.


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blindwillie
post Jun 9 2007, 11:45 AM
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Nice walkthrough of the pickups Evan. Good to know.
Same to Micke, that might by good to know.


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

Schecter C1 Hellraiser EMG 81/85, replaced with JB/Jazz (SH4/SH2n) w. coilsplit
Schecter Revenger HB-105, replaced with EMG 81/85
Stratocaster Deluxe Players Noiseless
Ibanez 2550z
Blackstar HT5H, Blackheart BH5H w. BH112, Laney LX35D, Line6 Pod XT, Marshall MS-2
Headphones: Sennheiser RS120

Stay tuned...
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Evan
post Jun 9 2007, 06:39 PM
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Just wanted to add a couple of things:

First, both the stock volume and tone pots of the Warrior are 500k ohms - which means you can keep them with 99.9% of humbuckers.

Second, I have to disagree with the advice of the 5 way switch for this particular guitar. First, I know you don't want to cut up your guitar to install it. Second, it won't really give you much of an advantage. 5 way switches are usually used when there are 3 pickups present -like on the Ibanez Jems or a strat to handle the middle pickup. When a 5 way is used with only 2 pickups, the 'notch' positions (the positions of the switch not present on a 3 way) are usually used either for phase or coil tapping options. You can switch your stock pots for push pull volume and tone pots to with one controlling phase and the other as a coil tap. With the push pull pots, you would not only have more sounds available than with the 5 way, but your guitar would look exactly as it does now with no need to cut or route the body and you could return it completely to stock if you ever wanted to.

Btw, the Evo is a great pickup choice, especially when it comes to harmonics. You can really make 'twisted' lead sounds with this pickup that you can't get from any other. It's probably not the best thing for death metal and stuff like that, but it does have a usable clean. I wouldn't worry too much about the clean sound of your bridge pickup unless you thats the sound you're already into. Most people will switch to the neck position 99% of the time on 'metal' guitars like yours for clean passages. Although I know at least a few people who uses the bridge position 100% of the time.
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MickeM
post Jun 9 2007, 10:21 PM
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QUOTE (Evan @ Jun 9 2007, 07:39 PM) *
Second, I have to disagree with the advice of the 5 way switch for this particular guitar. First, I know you don't want to cut up your guitar to install it


My bad, I thought the Jackson JS30 had a 5 way switch already and didn't figure the Warrior looked different.


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ClifordACDC
post Jun 14 2007, 01:49 AM
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[quote name='JVM' date='Jun 8 2007, 11:03 PM' post='34602']
I don't really know much about active pickups - what are the advantages? How long does a single battery charge last (seems like it'd be a pain, I'm not used to batteries having anything to do with my guitar!)?

[edit] Otherwise, the description of those mustaine pickups meets about what I would like out of a pickup... but does anyone know what he himself uses normally?

he uses those pickups but he used to use regular jb/jazz pickups


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