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Old 09-12-2013, 01:04 AM   #1
KailM
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What can you tell me about SD Livewire II pups?

Hey guys --

Recently I've been thinking about selling my Epiphone Les Paul in order to fund a new cab. The thing I'll really miss about it is when I want to play cleans -- its passive pups just sound warmer and cleaner through my 6505.

My main guitar is a Schecter ATX V1 with SD Blackout AHB1s. I've been wondering if SD has a lower output but still active pup to place in the neck position, and I recently noticed the Livewire II.

I'd be keeping my Blackout in the bridge, but I'm looking to tame the output a bit and bring in some warmth to my cleans, which I play primarily with the neck pickup. Unlike many players, I suppose, I don't really use my neck pup with distortion/high gain or for leads. I like my leads nice and tight and searing, so I do all that with the bridge. Since I don't really use the neck pup for anything but cleans, would I maybe be happy with the Livewire II as a replacement?

Thanks!
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Last edited by KailM : 09-12-2013 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:56 AM   #2
Velcro Man
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I don't think so, all active pickups tend to have that compression that plagues active lovers, if you don't like your other actives clean, you won't like any. I'd recommend just sticking with the blackouts or going with some passive pickups. DiMarzio makes a set that behave quite similar to actives, but without the compression...though I don't recall which it is.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:04 AM   #3
KailM
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Interesting. However, it's not necessarily the compression I don't like in the tone. It's that it has sort of a sterile tone that breaks up (and not in a good way) if I pick too hard. I compensate now by turning the guitar volume knob down about 1/4 of the way and paying special attention to my picking dynamics. That works, and I can get a decent clean tone that way. But I was hoping they made a lower-output active pickup that doesn't hit the valves so hard, or at least is voiced warmer and with less "bite." Maybe such a thing doesn't exist.

I was hoping not to have to switch everything over to passive if I can help it. I really do like the sound I'm getting out of the Blackout in the bridge over high-gain brootz.
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Schecter Blackjack ATX V-1
Peavey 6505+ 112 "head"/Crate 412 cab w/ Eminence Governors/Swamp Thangs
TC Elec. Hall of Fame 'Verb/Flashback Dly
Ibanez TS-9/MXR 10-band EQ
Boss HM-2
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
ishmonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velcro Man
I don't think so, all active pickups tend to have that compression that plagues active lovers, if you don't like your other actives clean, you won't like any. I'd recommend just sticking with the blackouts or going with some passive pickups. DiMarzio makes a set that behave quite similar to actives, but without the compression...though I don't recall which it is.


Are you talking bout the Dimarzio D-activator ?

When I was buying new pups I tried the lace deathbucker and i like it more than the emgs and SD actives. Cleans are pretty damn Good. Im happy I took the risk and bought a pup I wasnt sure on. And besides they have a pretty sexy appearance
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
dannyalcatraz
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The Alumitones- upon which the Deathbucker is based- is also quite nice- voiced for less extreme genres of music, though.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
T00DEEPBLUE
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Have you considered that it may well be your amp that's causing most of the problem?

6505+'s are far from ideal for cleans. I really struggle to get clean cleans on that amp too, I need the gain on the amp to be so low that the master volume needs to be cranked way up. And even then, the cleans lack warmth.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishmonkey
Are you talking bout the Dimarzio D-activator ?

When I was buying new pups I tried the lace deathbucker and i like it more than the emgs and SD actives. Cleans are pretty damn Good. Im happy I took the risk and bought a pup I wasnt sure on. And besides they have a pretty sexy appearance


I believe so, and hmm, didn't know lace made a humbucker...this changes my perspective on life

Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
Have you considered that it may well be your amp that's causing most of the problem?

6505+'s are far from ideal for cleans. I really struggle to get clean cleans on that amp too, I need the gain on the amp to be so low that the master volume needs to be cranked way up. And even then, the cleans lack warmth.


This is a very good point, high gain amp + high gain pickups = yeeeah

Active pickups are high output by design, that's the whole point of them. Maybe there are mods to use a AA battery instead of a 9v, kinda like the opposite of an 18v mod
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
dannyalcatraz
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I believe so, and hmm, didn't know lace made a humbucker...this changes my perspective on life


Lace makes a lot of humbuckers; the Alumitones & Deathbuckers are a unique design that can be amazingly clean.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:03 AM   #9
KailM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
Have you considered that it may well be your amp that's causing most of the problem?

6505+'s are far from ideal for cleans. I really struggle to get clean cleans on that amp too, I need the gain on the amp to be so low that the master volume needs to be cranked way up. And even then, the cleans lack warmth.


Yeah, I know I'm not going to get Fender cleans out of a 6505. But with my passive equipped guitar they are more than passable -- they actually sound pretty good (I almost always have reverb and delay with slight chorus when I play cleans as well). I was just hoping there would be an active alternative to my more vintage output passives.
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Schecter Blackjack ATX V-1
Peavey 6505+ 112 "head"/Crate 412 cab w/ Eminence Governors/Swamp Thangs
TC Elec. Hall of Fame 'Verb/Flashback Dly
Ibanez TS-9/MXR 10-band EQ
Boss HM-2

Last edited by KailM : 09-13-2013 at 08:06 AM.
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