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Old 04-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #1
james.fusco
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Best pickup set for Metalcore

Hi there,

I'm looking to upgrade one of my guitars pickups to get a better tone on my new set up. The guitar I'm looking to upgrade is an Ibanez s570b ( The INF's don't cut through well enough). I'm looking for a high output passive pickup. I play Metalcore and the sound im looking to aim towards Trivium and Killswitch Engage. The rig I'm currently using is a Blackstar Series One 200 with Ibanez TS-9 and boss NS2.

Any advice would be great!

Cheers

James
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
MrFlibble
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If you can't 'cut through' with a Series One and a TS-9, you're setting your rig up wrong. Pickups don't make you cut through any better or worse; pickups tweak the response you get, not your tone. Tone is down to your amp and pedals. If you're finding you're getting lost in the band then you should put your mids up. If you think your guitar should sound brighter and tighter then push the tone control on the TS-9 further, put the Series One's ISF control closer to the 'American' side and/or experiment with the balance of your resonance, presence and treble controls. More presence and less resonance and treble may well be what you're looking for.

Also consider dropping the DPR control down. 200 watts is a helluva lot of headroom and isn't going to provide much power amp saturation unless you're pushing the volume to hearing-damage levels. Using the DPR to take the effective power down to 50 watts or so will let you get a much punchier sound while keeping sufficient clean headroom and without any particular drop in maximum volume.

Lastly, think about switching speakers. When it comes to cutting through a band, speakers are one of the—if not the—most important part of your rig. you've not said what speakers you are using, so there's no suggestions to be made yet, but basically if you want to cut through more then get speakers with fuller mid and upper-mid reproduction.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
Carl21221
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If you really want to change pickups get a set of high output active pickups like a set of EMGs. Or if you want Passives, try a pair of Dimarzio D-Activators. They are what I have and makes everything sound great. The TS-9 in your rig should be the thing tht helps you cut through by adding mids and giving you a bit of clarity. Maybe you need to tweak the EQ on your amp. Speakers as mentioned above are an important choice. Typically the Celestion Vintage 30s are the industry standard for those types of tones.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:14 PM   #4
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I'm going to third what the others have said - consider a speaker swap! A commonly overlooked, but vastly influential part of tone that can make all the difference (After all, they are where your sound is coming from). Typically speaking, the Celestion Vintage 30 is pretty much the go-to standard speaker for the modern metalcore sound. You could also go with some WGS Veteran 30's if you want a cheaper, but similar and awesome option (Good route as long as you live in the US).

As far as pickups go, it's usually active EMG's that are used in metalcore (typically, the 81/85 or 81/60 combo, or their extended range guitar variants), but if you want to use passives, go with a pickup that's gonna have aggressive upper midrange bite and a tight low end response. Maybe a DiMarzio Crunch Lab or D-Activator would be good options.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
Mark G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.fusco
Hi there,

I'm looking to upgrade one of my guitars pickups to get a better tone on my new set up. The guitar I'm looking to upgrade is an Ibanez s570b ( The INF's don't cut through well enough). I'm looking for a high output passive pickup. I play Metalcore and the sound im looking to aim towards Trivium and Killswitch Engage. The rig I'm currently using is a Blackstar Series One 200 with Ibanez TS-9 and boss NS2.

Any advice would be great!

Cheers

James


What speakers are you using? Those infinity pickups aren't half bad for high gain, and the amp and TS-9 should be fine as well. Either you have the worst speakers on earth, or you are not setting up your gear properly. Some mistakes people tend to make resulting them in no longer cutting through:
#1, they turn the bass up too much. Yes you want a lot of low end, but you don't want to sound like the bass guitar. Make it thick, not overbearing.
#2, they turn the mids down. You want mids, especially for metalcore!
#3, they use too much gain. You tend to need a lot less gain than you'd think. Turn it all the way down, then up while playing some hard palm mutes. Keep turning it up until you it gets rich, without getting soppy.
#4, they use the OD to increase gain. Use the amp for gain, and the OD/TS just for the low mid hump they offer. Other than that, keep it neutral.

If the above doesn't help, you can't go wrong with V30 speakers for metalcore. I can't really recommend you pickups, as I don't know the tonal quality of your guitar's wood. Find out what some of your favorite bands used in the studio to record guitars (both wood and pickups) and see if you can find something to complement your getup.
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Last edited by Mark G : 04-13-2013 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
MatrixClaw
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Meh. The INF pickups aren't that great. Can get very muddy IMO
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
Tremolo Bum
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Can't really go wrong with a Seymour JB/Jazz set
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
Mark G
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Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
Meh. The INF pickups aren't that great. Can get very muddy IMO


Not great, but not half bad either. Takes some amp tweaking, but I've gotten them to work just fine. It would be good to know the speakers before recommending pickups. Mayhaps the speakers are worse than the pickups.

Quote:
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Can't really go wrong with a Seymour JB/Jazz set


Very cool set, used it for a good 3 years.
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