Lollar El Rayo vs SD Pearly Gates vs....

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Tonzokinawa, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Tonzokinawa

    Tonzokinawa Member

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    So in my quest for a new sound I have been making a custom guitar.

    Specs:
    -ash body
    -mahogany neck
    -ebony fretboard
    -25" scale
    -HSH configuration: SD quarter pounder in the middle and I'm leaning toward a Jb or tone zone in the bridge (that may change once I decide on a neck pickup)

    I'm trying to get the most versatility out of this guitar. I love a bitey, "woody", articulate neck pickup and am looking for a humbucker that will give me that when wired in parallel or coil tapped but still maintain a nice warm sound when wired in series. SD recommended me the pearly gates and lollar recommended El Rayo. Both sound pretty good but I was curious if anyone had any experience with these pickups or something they think would be right up my alley. Those two might be too bright off the bat when in series but I have no prior experience with either.

    Also, I play through a modded Crate Palomino V32. Kind of a mixture of Vox cleans and Marshall-esque dirty channel
     
  2. lgoncay

    lgoncay Member

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    Both are great pickups. I bought two el rayos before. One is still waiting for my new upcoming custom shop telecaster which has an alder body and maple neck and rosewood fretboard. If it's a bolt-on construction, you can give el rayos a shot. If you like higher gain,go for the PG, and if you like more bluesy stuff, definitely go for the el rayos. The clarity seems second to none.
     
  3. Tonzokinawa

    Tonzokinawa Member

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    Thanks for your feedback. I actually like a good amount of natural distortion/overdrive but also love a good clean sound too and love a bit of a blues feel from time to time. Which one would you say sounds slightly darker? Kinda hoping for a good nice thick sounding series sound and a nice articulate but still not too thin sounding parallel sound. I heard the El Rayo on the new Thrice album and it does sound really good
     
  4. lgoncay

    lgoncay Member

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    PG might suit you better if you're interested in coil tapped sounds since its output is higher than El rayo. If you intend to use only El Rayo, its hard to beat its dark and smooth sound. Both are great but I'd suggest you to try the El Rayo first. If you don't like it, you can always find a PG neck.
     
  5. presence

    presence Member

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    I put a pair of El Rayos in my PRS Custom 22 a few years ago and they're never coming out. Beautiful sounding pickup that can cover a lot of bases. I can split mine too. I wouldn't call them dark or bright. To my hands, they are extremely touch sensitive and compress nicely when you dig in. Nice sweet top end, never harsh. Highly recommended.
    Get the whole set.

    This demo gives a good idea of their sound

    This review may also help
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
  6. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    wow, with DC resistance around 4k you better get the set, yes.
    I would be very worried about combining them with anything else, level wise.
    Sure, DC resistance isn't everything, but still a big factor.

    Pearlies on the other hand combine nicely with almost any vintage style PU.

    Completely un-PAF, but if versatility is your thing you could also look at P-Rails.
    Mind you, the P-90 part is the highlight here, the 2 HB wirings and the rails are distinct and very useful, in a non-vintage way.
    They also go well with e.g. a PG in the bridge position.
    With a pair though you'll have the added benefit of all settings being noiseless, except for a single P-90 or rail.
    Great PUs ...

    ymmv,
    Rhino
     
  7. jalmer

    jalmer Member

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    IMO I would not call the pgn "bitey". Smooth but powerful may be the operative term. And woody. Nice counter force to a jb.
     
  8. GuitarNorton

    GuitarNorton Member

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    The DC- resistance is so low on the El Rayo's because he used thicker wire. Can't judge them on resistance.
     
    TB72 and lgoncay like this.
  9. Tonzokinawa

    Tonzokinawa Member

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    I appreciate the note on the P-rails but I wasn't super into the pickup besides the P90 sound. And yea the El Rayo resistance is low but I've heard the output is good.

    I guess when I say "bitey" I might mean woody with nice top end. Great videos by the way! I haven't seen the first one yet and they sound great in that. I have considered several PAF style pickups too
     
  10. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    that would explain a lot.
    Filtertrons / clones in general have low Z.
    Rhino
     
  11. Tonzokinawa

    Tonzokinawa Member

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    This decision gets harder the more I look into other companies! Bare Knuckle just recommended the VHII which does sound pretty good and I'm curious how it will sound in parallel or coil split.
     
  12. lgoncay

    lgoncay Member

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    El rayo is weak in splitted positions. A friend of mine has an el rayo in the neck and he switched to 3-way switch because he didn't like the in-between positions. Maybe you can look at Lollar imperials or suhr thornbuckers.
     
  13. Tonzokinawa

    Tonzokinawa Member

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    Yea I've decided against the El Rayo at this point because while it does the "single coil-ish" sound well it doesn't seem quite versatile for what I want
     
  14. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    haven't tried the others but the SD pearly gates is an amazing pickup. I love it.
     

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