What pickups have knocked your socks off?

doc

Supporting Member
Messages
6,948
I'm particularly curious about newer designs that manage both to do something new and impressive. I'm pretty familiar with many of the pickups out there, especially PAF repros and similar. So far my exposure to newer designs is limited - a couple I have tried and like are the EMG X 89 and the Wilde (Lawrence) micro coils. I'm not really in the market for anything specific, just curious what's out there I might not be aware of. A couple of designs I've been curious about are the Lace Alumitones and Zexcoils, but not curious enough to buy. Anyway, if you've been impressed with something, tell me about it and some details - what's different in the design, what you like about it, styles it works for, etc.
 
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7,525
Dimarzio Air Norton (at neck)

EMG 85 at the bridge paired with Steve Lukather SLV stacked singles. The 89 at the bridge should be even better since it acts as an 85 in HB mode, but can go to a single SA mode for best #2 cleans.

Bareknuckle Nailbomb for classic Bay Area Bangers thrash tones.

The EMG TX series are very interesting as a sort of hi-fi hotrod take on the Telecaster. The detail is such than you can really hear the difference between wound and non-wound strings. Not for traditionalists, but the best EMG Tele pickups IMO.

Duncan Parallel Axis set - PATB2 + Classic Stacks - I have this is one of my Charvels, and the HB has one of the best molten lava lead tones I have heard! The singles also go very well with it. The original PATB is a little milder if you don't want a screamer at the bridge.
 
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Messages
3,912
I'm particularly curious about newer designs that manage both to do something new and impressive. I'm pretty familiar with many of the pickups out there, especially PAF repros and similar. So far my exposure to newer designs is limited - a couple I have tried and like are the EMG X 89 and the Wilde (Lawrence) micro coils. I'm not really in the market for anything specific, just curious what's out there I might not be aware of. A couple of designs I've been curious about are the Lace Alumitones and Zexcoils, but not curious enough to buy. Anyway, if you've been impressed with something, tell me about it and some details - what's different in the design, what you like about it, styles it works for, etc.
These days it’s really just Suhr and Bareknuckle. Absolutely love the Suhr Doug Aldrich set, and I’ve never tried a Bareknuckle set that hasn’t blown my mind (think I have about 10 different ones in various guitars).
 

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
2,923
DiMarzio Area T. I wanted noiseless pickups in my Tele and bought a used set to try them out as a less expensive option, and I will never replace them. Sparkle, twang, and chime all day. They drive beautifully and retain clarity. The neck pickup has a very Stratty tone, making it more functional than I am used to tele neck pickups being. This actually led to me selling my Strat. I could not be happier with this set.
 

doc

Supporting Member
Messages
6,948
How does the Mojotone do its noise cancelling? They don't really spell that out anywhere that I can see.
 

LTigh

Member
Messages
885
Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers-- right now they're my go-to for anything LP-style. Previous to that I were into the Pearly Gates or Alnico II Pro.

For S-types, the Seymour Duncan Five-Twos, what to me are sound like the best traditional-style SSS pups. If I want something hotter, the Fender Texas Specials.

For TEH METALZZZ I've had my face scorched off by the SD Nazgul/Sentient set during my 7-string phase, and Black Winters for my not-7-string phase.

Yeah, I know I'm a little biased towards SD, but they've done me more good than harm for the last 3 decades or so. A buddy of mine keeps trying to get me into BKPs, but right now I haven't been impressed enough to swap out my Sefs for a pair.
 

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
3,536
Fralin vintage hot strat pickups. I’ve had at least 15 different pickups in my strat over the past 24 years. I stopped looking when I tried the Fralins. Just insanely dynamic. Pick softly, you get one sound. Dig in and you get another. Other strat pickups seem one dimensional by comparison. Well, because they are.
 

David Garner

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,640
Basically the ones that are in my guitars. Antiquities in one Les Paul, Custom Shop Pearly Gates in the other. Bare Knuckle Apaches in the Strat. Custom Shop Texas Specials in the Tele.
 

Toffo

Member
Messages
185
Bareknuckle Juggernauts turned my 7 from mediocre to amazing. The guitar always played well but the sound coming out of the amp was disappointing. A pickup swap did the trick, now it’s possibly my favourite sounding guitar.
 




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