Clear humbuckers WITH character...Suhr? Fralin?

hendrix2430

Member
Messages
1,440
I have a guitar that I really love, which has a mahogany/maple top body, and 1 piece IRW neck. It plays great and it sounds great, especially with the EJ custom humbuckers that clear up the guitar tremendously.

As much as I've tried to stop my search for "better" humbuckers for that particular instrument, part of me still wonders if there are humbuckers out there with the same clarity, but with more "body", and character. The EJ customs are very nice, but perhaps sound just a bit sterile for my taste, and not "punchy" enough.

Since this used to be the PRS forum, I know a lot of you have similar guitars (mahogany, rosewood necks), so you may have already searched for the same kind of pickups.

I'm mainly a single coils guy, and I know I will never get a similar response with this guitar as I would with an alder/1 piece configuration for instance, but I'm trying to get as close as possible to that feel with a mahogany/RW guitar via a pickup swap. Tough thing to do? certainly. Impossible? perhaps not, I'm waiting for some advice! ;)

Right now, I'm looking at several replacement pickups:

Suhr DSV or DSV+

Fralin Unbucker

Fralin P92/Twangmaster

Bare Knuckle Stormy Monday

Thanks for the advice :)
 

rh

Robo Sapien NoiseMaker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,891
I was REALLY impressed with the WCR Crossroads in a '61 SG RI. Great clarity and a classic humbucker sound to boot.
 

Bonedance

Member
Messages
480
I've been through a lot of humbuckers ( Duncan, Dimarizo, Armstrong, Wagner ) in the past few years. While all are excellent pickups and have their own tonal niche, for articulation and clarity, the handwound beauties Jon Moore did for me are un-equalled. Mine are unpotted, unbalanced coils, A-3 mags. 7.75 neck, 8.3 bridge.

They reside in a custom made semi-hollow, mahogany bodied guitar. A great match of guitar and pickups.

I can not stress highly enough how incredible these pickups are. Clean or with overdrive, they allow the natural voice of the guitar to shine though.....along with flaws in ones technique........by allowing every subtle nuance to come through.

I realize this style of pickup is not for everyone. But, if you require clarity, articulation, touch response and definition, these will do a fantastic job.

Jons email is rhonjon@sympatico.ca If you're itnerested, contact him for further information. No affiliation....just very satisfied with an outstanding product. Jon nailed the tone I was after.
 

Power Freak

Member
Messages
205
I would reccomend Bare Knuckle for clarity, truly inspiring pickups. I haven't tried the Monday personally though, I tried the Mule and VH2 buckers.

:)
 

Swampash

Member
Messages
702
As a single coil guy myself, I'd recomend a set of Joe Barden's Twin-tone humbuckers. They have more dynamic range than normal humbuckers...you can "dig-in" without the sound compressing - but they have tons of output to drive the front of your amp (so let the amp compress instead). They give a very piano-like sound, with the added high-end that [I think] is needed with a rosewood-necked guitar. They can be split to sound like his strat pups too.

You can find them on ebay, and if you don't like them, they'll be easy to resell without losing much (if anything).

One word of caution: the string-height adjustment is very critical, so be prepared to spend several hours "dialing" it in to be just want you want to hear.
 

jokerjkny

Member
Messages
9,592
i know EXACTLY what you're talking about H, cause that's what i look for in my humbuckers.

for cleans, Seth Lovers arent too bad. but can at times, be a bit uninspiring.

the Crossroads are like a Seth with a bit more magic dust sprinkled atop. but a tad anemic depending on the guitar.

the Goodwoods are actually pretty nice, with a wide open top end, but the lower mids do have a touch of plumpness, which sorta offsets that. still, its a terrific humbucker that sounds great in my McCarty, which has FINALLY solved that guitar's humbuckers conundrum.

the Fralins w/ a lower impedence have that clarity. the regular 8/9K's are usually a tad fat and dark.
 

Jack Briggs

Member
Messages
1,607
Originally posted by hendrix2430
I have a guitar that I really love, which has a mahogany/maple top body, and 1 piece IRW neck. It plays great and it sounds great, especially with the EJ custom humbuckers that clear up the guitar tremendously.

As much as I've tried to stop my search for "better" humbuckers for that particular instrument, part of me still wonders if there are humbuckers out there with the same clarity, but with more "body", and character. The EJ customs are very nice, but perhaps sound just a bit sterile for my taste, and not "punchy" enough.

Since this used to be the PRS forum, I know a lot of you have similar guitars (mahogany, rosewood necks), so you may have already searched for the same kind of pickups.

I'm mainly a single coils guy, and I know I will never get a similar response with this guitar as I would with an alder/1 piece configuration for instance, but I'm trying to get as close as possible to that feel with a mahogany/RW guitar via a pickup swap. Tough thing to do? certainly. Impossible? perhaps not, I'm waiting for some advice! ;)

Right now, I'm looking at several replacement pickups:

Suhr DSV or DSV+

Fralin Unbucker

Fralin P92/Twangmaster

Bare Knuckle Stormy Monday

Thanks for the advice :)


Lollar's Imperial humbuckers. Get a pair - you'll thank yourself for it! More articulation than most humbuckers could dream of. Of the above, I've played the Fralin Unbucker bridge - which is good, but Imperials have the widest tonal palette from my experience, and to my ears' liking.
 

ES330

Member
Messages
5,219
Having tried or heard just about every humbucker around, two stand out for clarity.

For clean, Tom Short pickups. Especially if you like single coil like clean. Lots of chime & spank. These bloom better than any other pickup I've heard.

For dirty, Jon Moore pickups. Great clean too.
 

cnardone

Member
Messages
2,099
If you are singles guy, would you think about the HD Z-90? I think that might fix the bill for clarity with Punchi-ness. I've also heard that they sound great with Rosewood necks.

cmn
 

ES330

Member
Messages
5,219
Originally posted by cnardone
If you are singles guy, would you think about the HD Z-90? I think that might fix the bill for clarity with Punchi-ness. I've also heard that they sound great with Rosewood necks.

cmn
Z-90 is an aggressive pickup. Sound great with a hollow body.
 

hendrix2430

Member
Messages
1,440
wow, I thank you guys for the help, I have lots of stuff to look at now! ;)

I'm a big Fralin and Suhr fan, and have a mix of their pickups in all of my guitars so far. That's why I strated my search by looking at them primarly.

But, I'm really interested in all of your suggestions, especially the Lollar and Bare Knuckle, which I've only heard good things about.
 

roknfnrol

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,555
Originally posted by Dave Orban
Unbuckers. Love 'em...! :dude :dude :dude
Agreed! The Unbucker (and the Lollar Imperial for true PAF tone) is fantastic. The Unbucker is brighter (to me) and has more mids.
 

malabarmusic

Member
Messages
1,700
Another Z90 suggestion. In my experience they deliver that rare "best of both worlds" combination -- humbucker like punch and crunch plus single coil sensitivity, articulation, and chime.

- DB
 

Scott Cioe

Member
Messages
508
I think the key is to go with unbalanced coils.

That said, I am very happy with the burstbuckers in my LP standards.
 

Bonedance

Member
Messages
480
Originally posted by Scott Cioe
I think the key is to go with unbalanced coils.

That said, I am very happy with the burstbuckers in my LP standards.
I agree! The hummers I've used with unbalanced coils all had a much sweeter, single coil tone.
 

Roe

Member
Messages
7,893
Originally posted by hendrix2430
I have a guitar that I really love, which has a mahogany/maple top body, and 1 piece IRW neck. It plays great and it sounds great, especially with the EJ custom humbuckers that clear up the guitar tremendously.

As much as I've tried to stop my search for "better" humbuckers for that particular instrument, part of me still wonders if there are humbuckers out there with the same clarity, but with more "body", and character. The EJ customs are very nice, but perhaps sound just a bit sterile for my taste, and not "punchy" enough.


I'm mainly a single coils guy, and I know I will never get a similar response with this guitar as I would with an alder/1 piece configuration for instance, but I'm trying to get as close as possible to that feel with a mahogany/RW guitar via a pickup swap. Tough thing to do? certainly. Impossible? perhaps not, I'm waiting for some advice! ;)

Right now, I'm looking at several replacement pickups:

I'd recommend a TvJones TVClassic or Tvtron
 




Trending Topics

Top