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Old 02-09-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
zack7521
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Maple body, maple neck, ebony fretboard, and D-Activators too bright?

I'm getting a guitar with a maple body and neck, and a ebony fretboard. I'm going to put D-Activators in it, but I'm worried the overall tone will sound really shrill. Will it?
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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depends on your standards for shrill

but honestly its nothing a bit of eq cant fits
too bright? lower the treble and/or presence on your amp
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
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thats what tone knobs are for.
easier to take away the treble than put back what isn't there to start with.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #4
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lynches original kamikaze was that combo of wood and he has said it was the fattest sounding guitar he has so who knows really. I have an all maple guitar (incl fretboard) and it is really thin sounding so I put a megadrive in it and it is much better
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sytharnia1560
lynches original kamikaze was that combo of wood and he has said it was the fattest sounding guitar he has so who knows really. I have an all maple guitar (incl fretboard) and it is really thin sounding so I put a megadrive in it and it is much better

Fat's kind of a vague term, he could've meant in terms of clarity.
I think it'd depend on what you'd use it for, if you want something to be your main guitar then unless you're fond of particularly bright sounding guitars I would say it's too bright - but if it's something you just want to have on hand, or even something to occasionally pull out in the studio then where's the harm in having your extremes covered?
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akherousia
Fat's kind of a vague term, he could've meant in terms of clarity.
I think it'd depend on what you'd use it for, if you want something to be your main guitar then unless you're fond of particularly bright sounding guitars I would say it's too bright - but if it's something you just want to have on hand, or even something to occasionally pull out in the studio then where's the harm in having your extremes covered?


the way he said it was he was expecting a bright harsh guitar and it was the opposite to that....it was a big beefy tone monster.....

I think the thickness of the body has a whole lot to do with how it will sound, the thinner you get the thinner the sound will be. You can always add capacitors into the circuit to help as well
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:25 AM   #7
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^Ah, then I stand corrected.
Interested in hearing other people's experience with those kinds of specs. I generally stray away from guitars with so many bright tonewoods so I haven't a clue, myself.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:06 PM   #8
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I think the wiring will have more effect than the wood. And the amp has way more to do with it than the wiring.

I say this because I've just re-done the wiring on my current project for the third time. Each revision has exposed different tonal qualities. The earlier revisions had mistakes that were not serious enough to stop the guitar from playing, but the mistake minimized the difference between some settings. I dont think I can duplicate the exact sound of the earlier revisions with the 'corrected' wiring.

Brightness, even overly bright brightness, is not right or wrong unless you are trying to make something less bright, or trying to make a guitar that works in the widest variety of situations. I dont think a specific voice type can be considered right or wrong in itself, but can be less useful in some compositions.

Last edited by RebuildIt : 02-10-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:00 PM   #9
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I wouldn't put D Activators in it purely because D Activators sound like utter turd. They're like the bastard offspring of the SD Invader and Dimebucker, with the output jacked up another notch for no reason other than because it looks impressive on the spec sheets.

Want high output pickups? There's a million better options. Want an active sound without batteries? Get low-output humbuckers, because that's what actives actually are, inside; boost with a pedal and you have the same result.

You need to bear in mind that there is more to a guitar's construction than simply the woods involved. How it is made (bolt, set or neck-through; solid, chambered, semi-hollow or hollow; large body mass, small, etc), what the hardware is (top mount fixed bridge, string-through fixed bridge, recessed vibrato, non-recessed vibrato, nut material, headstock angle, etc) and how the rest of the electronics are made up (number of controls, values) are all just as important as the type of woods being used.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:31 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice guys, I really like those bright highs, especially on slower metal songs, that sound is so perfect. If it sounds really shrill, I could mess with the tone knobs or EQ.

@MrFlibble What other high-output passives would you recommend? I'm going with the Super Distortions in the bridge, and putting the D-Activator in the neck. I know it's really bright, so I wasn't sure about this, but I like the sound of them. I wanted something kinda similar to EMG's actives, and the D-Activator seems cool. I'm not really a fan of the sounds of most the lower output pups, and don't really want to rely on a pedal too much. My Vypyr already has everything haha.

Last edited by zack7521 : 02-10-2013 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:58 PM   #11
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If you like the tone of actives then you do like the tone of low output pickups, because an active pickup is just a very low-output one with a boost stuck after it.

Also, if you're using a Vyper then output becomes irrelevant. Not only is it a solid state amp, but it's a digital modelling amp, too, so you'll be getting the same results no matter what the output level is that you stick into it. In fact a lower output pickup will give you more dynamic response, which is pretty imporatnt with a solid state amp.

Either way, as I said before, D Activators really don't sound much like EMG active pickups. They're just a generic high-output humbucker without the power shifted to the least useful extremes.

Since you're using a solid state, digital modeller, I'd go for a Seymour Duncan Custom 5 or DiMarzio Breed in the bridge—a DM Tone Zone could also work, if you insist on getting more output—and a SD Jazz or DM PAF Pro in the neck.

I've got an all-maple guitar (one that's even brighter than yours, I'd wager), I also use a solid state, digital modelling amp, and I've owned or used damn near every high output pickup you can name; I really can not recommend the D Activators, nor would I choose a Super Distortion. Go for pickups with alnico magnets for a smoother tone and something slightly lower output so you get some clarity and more dynamic response. You'll still have a bright tone and you'll still be able to get whatever ridiculous distortion you want, but you'll at least stop the guitar from sounding completely sterile and lifeless.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:14 AM   #12
sytharnia1560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zack7521
I'm going with the Super Distortions in the bridge


I had a super D in my all maple super strat and it really we way to thin sounding....put a megadrive an and bam instant 1978 van halen

I also have an all maple rhoads style V and it sounds a lot bigger/fatter than the super strat (again may have something to do with the longer body I guess)...I have a duncan jb in that, that I have changed the magnet from an A5 to an A8...sounds great

Last edited by sytharnia1560 : 02-11-2013 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:34 PM   #13
zack7521
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I've heard mostly positive reviews about the D-Activators from other people, maybe that's just your bad experience. What would you guys recommend, D-Activator Neck or the Humbucker from Hell?
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #14
sytharnia1560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zack7521
I've heard mostly positive reviews about the D-Activators from other people, maybe that's just your bad experience. What would you guys recommend, D-Activator Neck or the Humbucker from Hell?


funny I have a humbucker from hell in the all maple super strat I have mention already and it sounds great...BUT you won't get a nice creamy tone from it. It is a beautiful clean sound and a pretty neat shreddy high gain sound....make sure you hook a tone control up to it so you can roll it back and get a bit more cream from it
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:49 PM   #15
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Thanks, I'll use that. I think it'll go well with the SD, I wanted a kinda classic metal tune, and this would be great, I'm pretty sure Iron Maiden uses SDs and Strat pups, and I love me some Maiden.
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