Low Gain pickups for high gain?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by ibanez4life SZ!, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. ibanez4life SZ!

    ibanez4life SZ! Member

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    Hey guys!

    I'm on the hunt for new passives. EMGs were fun, but they got REALLY boring very fast....just miss the organic bloom and nature of my guitar. Way too anemic on cleans sadly :(

    I've tried numerous passives before in my 3 PRS guitars:

    Singlecut in standard
    CE-24 in Eb
    Singlecut in D standard

    All of the pickups have been high gain though...I've tried the Duncan custom, custom 5, PRS Tremonti, etc. None of them did it for me....

    I play hard rock and the lighter side of metal....nothing to extreme, but I need a clear and tight tone, but not to the point where it is brittle and anemic....some natural give is nice.

    So, I'm thinking it might be time to try some lower output pups, and maybe that will get me there. With all the gain my amp has, I think I might get a sweeter tone that way, and just use the amp for distortion.

    Can lower output pups help me achieve this punchy aggressive tone when needed? Or will they wimp out on me?

    What specific models would you recommend? I'm consideing the Duncan '59 or Pearly Gates....'59 is the first contender though.

    Another pup that is drawing my attention is the Suhr Aldrich, but that is definitely a high output bucker.....

    Thanks for the input!

    Eric
     
  2. Shine

    Shine Member

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    I really dig the SC250 pickups. They're a bit fuller and hotter than #7, but not as bad as high output as Tremontis.
     
  3. gang twanger

    gang twanger Member

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    I have Duncan Seth Lovers in my Les Paul-type, and they're the best pickups I've ever tried (Antiquities are also great), but they do not recommend them for ultra-high gain stuff. I don't know if that's because they're unpotted and noise could be a factor, or if they think they will sound bad, but I don't really play the super-high gain stuff. I love the sound of Alnico ll pickups. They have a sweeter, warmer tone than alnico 5's.
    I wish I knew whether Eddie Van Halen and also some of the late-70's/early-80's hard rock/metal guys preferred alnico ll's or alnico 5's. I really have no idea. I love my Seths though, and I can pull off most stuff, as long as it's not crazy-high gain.
     
  4. ibanez4life SZ!

    ibanez4life SZ! Member

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    Sounds good so far...I am a bit worried about non-potted pickups when it comes to noise with high gain amps....

    More opinions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  5. KBN

    KBN Member

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    I have Dimarzio Air Classics and love them. Just the right amount of punch and dynamics. I plan on putting a set of Duncan 59s in another guitar. Stay away from the Seth Lovers. They are nice sounding pickups, but I got rid of them because with higher gain they had a strange metallic ring to them. Sounded good for cleans though.
     
  6. jcoggins7

    jcoggins7 Member

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    What I've heard is best generally with high gain amps are medium output pickups. Low output pickups won't fill up the sound enough generally, while high output pickups drive high gain amps too much, taking away both clarity and dynamics and muddying/mushing up the sound. Medium output pickups should be just right.
     
  7. gang twanger

    gang twanger Member

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    Just curious, but how do the Duncan '59's work with high gain? I'm a huge PAF fan (I like the earlier '57 PAF-style ones with the alnico ll magnets more though, but that's just me). I thought that maybe the potted alnico 5 PAF's would work better for high gain, so you could still have a vintage sound.
     
  8. gang twanger

    gang twanger Member

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    JCOGGINS7, you would'nt be related to anyone in Bristol, CT, would you? Sorry to get off topic. I should have PM'd instead.
     
  9. ibanez4life SZ!

    ibanez4life SZ! Member

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    Exactly what I'm wondering about on the '59 ;)
     
  10. bionic

    bionic Member

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    Sunn O)))) which is the heaviest band I have ever heard use P-90's. You tube them and check it out
     
  11. MBreinin

    MBreinin Supporting Member

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    It is a perfect combination, just ask Eddie Van Halen. Best high gain/low output pickup I have ever used is a hybrid Duncan, half a '59 and half a Custom., Around 10k. It is a magic pickup, the best humbucker I have ever used, period.

    Mike
     
  12. fuzzfan1

    fuzzfan1 Member

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    I agree, I love the SC250 pickups for metal. Unfortunately(at least to my knowledge) they aren't offered for individual sale yet. Why not check out a SD JB? I've had great results in Explorers and LP's with the JB. In fact I'm going to be dropping one in my Hamer Standard Custom.

    For high gain, I really couldn't stand the '59 in my Standard Custom. Just didn't have anywhere near the girth in the bottom end for chugga chugga type stuff to my ears. I do really like it in the neck position though. My $.02. :)
     
  13. uOpt

    uOpt Member

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    What you gotta do is use some smooth pickups to drive some suitable pedals.

    Seymour Duncan's APH1 (Alnico II Pro) are an example, it is what Slash uses, and Keri Kelly of Alice Cooper. Played straight into an amp they don't sound like these guys, but they give you the "base" to work on, with low distortions ont heir own.

    PAF style coils, so good cleans.

    Duncans '59 are entirely opposite: much of their own character, tipping overtones, get snorty when playing harder. Can sound awful as a base for much postprocessing. More of a straight-to-amp pickup.
     
  14. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Member

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    I just removed a 59 bridge pickup because fr hard rock, I found it a bit thin and shrill. I prefer a dimarzio air zone for hard rock tones.
     

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