Area 58-58-61 vs Alternatives

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by doveman, May 25, 2008.

  1. doveman

    doveman Member

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    I'm leaning towards getting Dimarzio Areas for my G&L Legacy. I realize that there is a bit lost with the noiseless single coils, but I've really liked my Seymour Duncan Vintage Stacks (Tele). I wired them up so they are easily split. i do run them split quite a bit ... but that guitar even split has much less noise than the Legacy on 1-3-5. The Legacy on 2-4 is great.

    So ... wanting to try a reasonably priced option ... < $200 to see if I can get this guitar quiet. I record more than play out ... keeps me on 2-4 settings almost entirely. Right now the options seem to be:

    • Best: Area 58-58-61 (maybe 67 or '54 Pro in the mix) set. With a 15% coupon from MF, I can get these for $183. Most of the input on these has been good.
    • Seymour Duncan Classic Stack Plus set - A bit more expensive but has the advantage of easily splitting the pickups and the RWRP in the middle. However, I'd have to mount a SuperSwitch to take advantage of this. Not nearly as much "buzz" about how good these are ... no pun intended.
    • Suhr-Backplate - A really cool idea - but I'd have to buy at least one more pickup to get them to work ... $260 street price + shipping + at least one more pickup. I bet this is a cool product but I'd spend way more than I want to
    • Kinmans - too expensive, as well
    • Bill Lawrence - I can find anything to look at ... vibe is good but I can't find enough information on them - I know I don't want rails ... aren't these rails?
    Anyway ... coupon good through tomorrow ... might pull the trigger on the Areas ... counsel me. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  2. mybusinessmy

    mybusinessmy Member

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    The Dimarzio Areas and the Suhr Backplate both have their strengths.
    The "quietest option" would definitely be the Dimarzio Area pickups.
    The most authentic single coil option would definitely be the Suhr Backplate (since you use actual single coils), but it is not entirely noiseless, though it does break down the noise considerably (maybe about 65-70%). I had one in a guitar I used to own, and while I wasn't ecstatic about it, I was satisfied with the product. Unfortunately, the only completely noiseless option with Single coils is the built in Suhr SSC system, which surrounds the pickup cavity, and is only available on his guitars.

    I have tried the Duncan Classic Stack Plus pups, and while they are a definite improvement over the original, I couldn't get used to the constricted feel. They felt choked regardless of how I changed the height of them. The Dimarzios don't have that constricted feel.
     
  3. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    Doveman,

    I think you and I are thinking alike and we somewhat hear things similar too. I totally agree with the last G&L Legacy I had, where the 2 & 4 positions were to die for.

    This thread is perfect for me as I'm looking to upgrade my CS 50's Relic Strat loaded with Tx Spls. I'm specifically eyeballing the Area setups:
    • Neck - Area '58
    • Middle - Area '58
    • Bridge - Area '61 or '54 Pro
    I was considering the Areas because my favorite Strat player uses them and I love his tone. But I was also open to these and would like to opinions:
    • Fralin Vintage Hots
    • Fralin Real '54s
    • Fralin Blues Special
    • WB '67-07 Singles
    • WCR SRs
    Sorry if I hijacked but I think this may help us both...
     
  4. doveman

    doveman Member

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    I don't know anything about the WBs and WCRs but I put a Fralin "High Output" bridge in the Legacy. The Fralin sounds good ... but then so do the G&L pups. The Fralin at 9.5k has just enough kick vs. the 7.1k G&L pup. My American Strat had the same issue ... too thin bridge. The only way I could use the bridge was background picking unless I combine with the middle ... now you can do solos with it. That's the reason I'm considering the '54 Pro.

    The truth is ... the pups are really pretty good right now ... I'm likely to put them back. If I could just get the 1-3-5 to be a little quieter, I'd be good to go. Strat-types just have much more noise than Tele-types ... my experience anyway ... both being shielded.
     
  5. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I don't have Areas but can tell you that Bill Lawrence L-200s are very Stratty sounding Noiseless (totally) pups. 2&4 quack great, the other 3 settings sound like they should. Beautifully made (in USA) & $120 for all 3 (+ a little shipping). They offer hotter bridge pups (L-290, maybe others). They are a small company & only sell direct, hence the price. (I have no connection with them except I bought the pups.)
     
  6. doveman

    doveman Member

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    Where can I see a set of his pickups? Are they rails?
     
  7. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    http://www.wildepickups.com/Home_Page.html is the Bill & Becky Lawrence pickup site- appears to be under construction again. The best thing to do is call them- they will answer all your questions & then some! The L-200's are 6 polepiece pups, not blades.
     
  8. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    I've had the areas 61-58-58 for a litle over one year now. They were an improvement over the stocks---Fender NOS60 strat. The 61 is a bit hotter; the 58 more musical by far albeit lower in output. They have a certain high end spike to them that I'm trying to get away from. My new Fulltone Fatboost helps a lot. They are very quiet. I'd have to say they are OK. I"m gonna switch to Frailin blues specials though.
     
  9. doveman

    doveman Member

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    I understand about the Fralins (G&L neck, G&L Mid, Fralin HO Bridge). I played the Legacy for a couple of hours last night ... just ripping ... I just can't pull those pickups out! I guess it's a good problem ... maybe I just gotta have one guitar that makes noise. I still might run the experiment ... maybe the Areas ... maybe the BLs.
     
  10. beej

    beej Supporting Member

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    The Areas are good, but I have to say the Lawrence L-200s are better sounding pickups to my ear. I've played both for a while and am happier with the Lawrences.
     
  11. doveman

    doveman Member

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    Do you have L-200s in all 3 spots or something different in the Bridge?
     
  12. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    I can get a fulleton red Legacy with rosewood board never owned for $700. I keep talking myself out of it. How good are the Legacy model G&L? The only thing I've noticed from looking at them is you could take the trelomo arm off and knock someone over the head with it. It is huge. I never really screw em in anyway. tell me about it.
     
  13. doveman

    doveman Member

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    I got mine for about $700 new. It's a real high quality version of a Strat. Mine's swamp ash ... it has nice pickups (again noise is an issue like all Strat-types). I don't use the vibrato either, but if I did that would probably drive me crazy. The vibrato is way over engineered but there are no tuning problems. I had an American Strat that I owned for several years and gave to my son. I loved both guitars ... the Strat is riding with noiseless pickups in it now.

    Opptys: If I could change on thing about the Legacy, there's a bit too much space between the strings and the pick guard ... so the pickups ride a bit high ... I think that adds to the noise a bit ... more pickup outside the shielding.

    Best thing: The Legacy's tone control setup Volume, Treble, Bass for all pickups ... set the bass (reverse pot) in the middle and either roll off or add bass. It's like a "thick" control.

    Bottom line: It's a top notch guitar ... especially at that price ... you'll never regret it ... IMHO. If I were to do it over again ... have the opportunity for either the American Strat or the Legacy, I'd probably lean toward the Legacy. But that Strat's a kick ass guitar too!

    Here's mine:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I have BL L-200's in all 3 slots. The bridge pup is pretty trebly but not screechy or painful. I kept to 3 low output pups to get the nice glassy #2 quack. Each time I have put a hotter bridge pup in any Strat I lose some glass from # 2- it is a trade off.
     
  15. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Get yourself $20 worth of copper foil and spend an evening shielding your control cavity and pickguard. Next, if you use lighting dimmers in your recording space, make sure they have EMI/RFI filtering. Lastly, make sure you are using the best cables you can afford. Cables like Klotz, Evidence, and Zaolla have excellent shielding (and therefore noise rejecting) properties.

    I say all this because I believe it's always best to do everything to fight the noise before switching pickups. The recommendations above won't eliminate all the noise, but if it brings it down to a manageable level then why change pickups?
     
  16. doveman

    doveman Member

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    Done it. All shielded with paint and copper from Stewart McDonald ... and it does help a lot ... but 1-3-5 still hum a lot. Helped my Tele even more. Cables and all are fine as well ... other single coils doing OK too with the same setup. No dimmers around. No PC screens. Etc.
     
  17. doveman

    doveman Member

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    I like a bit stronger bridge and am willing to lose a little quack off #2 notch. In fact, that's one of the best settings on my Legacy with 6.9k G&L middle and 9.5k Fralin bridge. So is the L-290 a similar choice. Also, can you split the hum coil off? I really like that on my Tele.
     
  18. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Member

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    I was going to suggest what testing1two said. Also how about extra grounding? I had a CS Rory Gallagher strat that was a little noisy. My local shop did a great job grounging/shielding the guitar. It was very quiet afterwards. Also back to your original question......

    I have both the factory Suhr SSC in two classics and also a strat with the 58-58-61 setup. The Area's do sound really good but when I compare then to the Suhr Fletcher/Landau p/u's with the SSC it's not even close (for me of course). Since you already like the way the G&L sounds I'd suggest looking for a used (or new) backplate SSC and try to get another middle p/u. In the end it won't cost that much more than the $200 and you may not be happy with changing p/u's.
     
  19. doveman

    doveman Member

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    It's a consideration ... I think that the specific polarity/phase requirement by the BPSSC might even require that I get two new pickups. I think the Fralin bridge may be reversed from the requirement. It's something to consider though. I'd have to research it a bit more though for sure.
     
  20. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Lawrence has the 290 & 298 I believe for the bridge. They can tell you all about them on the phone. There are reviews on HC too.
     

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