Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
7,563 IQ
#1
I have a little better idea about what I want now, I hope you guys can help point me in some good directions.

I've recently acquired an SD Invader, and I love it. I want something similar for the bridge of a different guitar, but slightly different.

The output and the overly thick, overly heavy nature of the pickup are wonderful and I want to retain that, however I'm looking for something that's a little bit brighter, and with a little bit more clarity.

The guitar it would go into would be my Ibanez S420.

I'm almost 100% set on a D Activator X, but on DiMarzio's EQ chart for it, it has a really low amount of bass, and I am afraid it won't have the massive palm mutes the Invader has.

I'm also interested in the DiMarzio Super 3, but I'm afraid it will be too vintage voiced, and therefore will lack the massiveness I want, as it's a variation of the Super Distortion.


For the neck, I'm looking for something that has a little bit more output (volume) and is a little brighter than the SD '59, but isn't hot. I don't want to be able to drive the amp at all with it, I'm looking for very pristine cleans. I'd also like it to be able to handle heavy distortion as well though.


As for price range, around $80 each tops is what I'm aiming for. If I can find it used for less that's even better.

The tunings I'll use are Drop C & C Std, and I'm going into a boosted Peavey JSX.

EDIT: I also may just put in an Invader / Full Shred (N) combo. I could probably work out what I want with some EQing. Any opinion on how the Full Shred Neck performs for cleans, and under drive?
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at Apr 30, 2013,
Maidenheadsteve
I do the guitar good
Join date: Nov 2011
2,176 IQ
#2
1)I heavily suggest ignoring the EQ charts. 2) The Super 3 (which I don't consider vintage at all) has more output then the regular super distortion, . I suggest the regular regardless. 3)If you want more clarity, a pickup with less output might be a good way to go, considering you've already got the JSX boosted. Again, the regular super distortion since it tonally describes what your looking for.

I suggest a PAF pro neck, since it'll cut through gain, but have a nice bright end for cleans. The output will also match a high output bridge pickup nicely
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stonyman65
Unregistered User
Join date: Sep 2005
809 IQ
#3
What you want is either a Steve's Special or D-Sonic in the bridge and an Air Norton in the neck.

You'll thank me later.

(note: both the Steve's Special and the D-Sonic can be flipped around for a different sound. Kind of like two pickups in one)
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Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
7,563 IQ
#4
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

If it helps, I'm going for a Black Dahlia Murder type tone. Think this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAW70sNDqvU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGND_Gd8SW8

I kind of forgot about the D Sonic. I'm loving what I'm hearing, it's definitely a good option.

How do you feel about a D Sonic / Humbucker From Hell combo?

Unfortunately I care a lot about aesthetics - whatever set I get has to look good together and with the guitar. A D Sonic & a PAF Pro would irk me (the bridge having nickel poles & the neck having black poles. And the screws on the Air Norton would kill me with the hex screws on any of the bridges I'm looking at.

Sorry.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at May 1, 2013,
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
1,110 IQ
#5
Get some EMG's.

Fee bump.
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HammerParty
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2011
1,359 IQ
#6
Never used invaders, but I had a pair of dimarzio d-activators in my ibanez ict-700. Those are passives modeled after actives, they were articulate, loud and distorted extremely well. In fact, if they weren't so loud they surely would have been one of my favorite pickups.
Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
7,563 IQ
#7
Quote by R45VT
Get some EMG's.

Fee bump.


I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm kind of over EMGs. I still love the company and what they do, but my EC-1000 has not really done much for me sonically in a long time now.

Maybe I need to get/try EMG Xs though? Hm... Pretty damn sure I can't fit a battery in the S control cavity.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#8
I wouldn't go for actives. In theory an 85X will do what you want, but it's a pain to change everything over to active to then find that actually it doesn't quite manage it. It's not like you've asked for a huge, dramatic change, so I see no reason not to stay passive.

The neck is easy; SD Jazz or DM PAF Pro. They're exactly like the '59 but a bit more articulate and with very, very slightly more output. Just enough output to balance them with high-output bridge pickups properly. The Jazz has softer-sounding plain strings and the PAF Pro has clearer wound strings. The actual difference between the two is minimal and either will do what you want.


The bridge is tough.

A brighter and clearer Invader is a Duncan Distortion. The only real differences between the bridge models are the pole pieces and magnet size; it's the oversized pieces and mag of the Invader that expand the magnetic field so much and give you the extra power and the overly-thick mids that go with it. The Distortion has a smaller magnetic field so you naturally get a clearer sound of it when it's at the same height. The coils themselves are virtually identical. You can more or less flick between the two simply by lowering the Invader a lot or raising the Distortion right up underneath the strings.

That said, I've never tried either pickup in a guitar like the S420. 24 frets and vibratos aren't my thing. In LPs, SGs, Teles and so on, the Distortion is the Invader's little brother, but whether it will be too much of a change for an already-brighter guitar like the Ibanez, I don't know.

The Alternative 8 may be a good option for you. The resonant peak is actually lower than the Invader and the A8 mag softens the plain strings, but the mids are also shifted down a bit so it comes across as a little brighter. The downside is it doesn't quite have as much clarity on the wound strings as ceramic humbuckers tend to.

The Super 3 actually has more grunt to it than the Invader does, so I would ignore it. The regular Super Distortion may actually be just what you want; it's very similar to the Duncan Distortion but with even more bass. It's not really "vintage sounding" in any sense other than you've probably heard it a lot because it's been around for a long time. It's a far cry from any PAF copy, though. For reference, the Gibson 500T is the more "vintage' version of the Super Distortion and Duncan Distortion.

I hate to say it, but this is one time when the D Activator-X could be a good choice. I've yet to hear it sound good, but then, I always look at them at being failed attempts to replicate the active sound. As a clearer Invader, it may well be the ticket. The huge blade pole pieces give you more or less the same effect as the Invader and the magnet is also stronger, but the coils are wound a little cooler and unevenly so you do get a bit more clarity. Don't worry about what DiMarzio rate its EQ as, because it certainly does have a lot of bass. It just doesn't have quite as much as something like the X2N (which is even heavier than the Invader).

There's no one pickup that does leap out to me as solving your problem (expensive custom winds aside) and every option is a little uncertain, but I think any of the above should do what you need. I mostly fear that they may stray from the Invader sound too much.


... You could try using the Invader and simply place it much further from the strings, or disconnect the tone control from it. That'd also give you more clarity.
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Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
7,563 IQ
#9
Thank you for the thoughts, I really appreciate.

I've read that the Full Shred Neck is basically a Jazz with hex poles. Have you ever used one?

Similar to how you feel about the D Activators, I've never heard anything good out of the Alternative 8. :P:

I'll consider the Super Distortion.

I have a feeling that at the end of the day I'll just end up going with my original gut instinct on a D Activator X set. But I love taking other's experiences into consideration.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Guitar-KID125
UG's Hottest MoFo
Join date: Oct 2009
188 IQ
#10
Quote by Offworld92
Pretty damn sure I can't fit a battery in the S control cavity.
It can be done, believe me i'm struggling too, but I once saw a photo with 2 in there
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R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
1,110 IQ
#11
Quote by Offworld92
I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm kind of over EMGs. I still love the company and what they do, but my EC-1000 has not really done much for me sonically in a long time now.

Maybe I need to get/try EMG Xs though? Hm... Pretty damn sure I can't fit a battery in the S control cavity.


I was joking and giving you a free bump.

I have a SH-4 in the neck of my KV-2 and does the cleans just fine. I actually like it more than the bridge pick-up which is a TB-4 and will be replaced soon.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
KailM
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2011
5,120 IQ
#12
Quote by Offworld92
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

If it helps, I'm going for a Black Dahlia Murder type tone. Think this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAW70sNDqvU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGND_Gd8SW8

I kind of forgot about the D Sonic. I'm loving what I'm hearing, it's definitely a good option.

How do you feel about a D Sonic / Humbucker From Hell combo?

Unfortunately I care a lot about aesthetics - whatever set I get has to look good together and with the guitar. A D Sonic & a PAF Pro would irk me (the bridge having nickel poles & the neck having black poles. And the screws on the Air Norton would kill me with the hex screws on any of the bridges I'm looking at.

Sorry.


I'm not sure a D Sonic is what you're after. I know EXACTLY what tone you're after because it's my dream tone as well, lol. I have a D Sonic in one guitar and Blackouts in another and the Blackouts definitely get a lot closer to that sound. Don't get me wrong -- I love my D Sonic; it sounds thick and warm with lots of tight low end, but BRIGHT it is NOT. I've found that pickup much more useful for a "Lamb of God" tone where the emphasis is on super-tight riffing without quite as much of an "edge" to the distortion.

Then again, that is only MY perception through MY rig. You might find a D-Sonic to be exactly right... It's sort of a crapshoot.
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#13
Quote by Offworld92

I've read that the Full Shred Neck is basically a Jazz with hex poles. Have you ever used one?
Yes. The winding actually is a tiny bit different to the Jazz, but it's close enough. Compared to the Jazz, the plain strings are harsher but the wound strings are clearer; compared to a PAF Pro it simply has slightly less bass. If you like the tighter sound that hex pieces give you, the PAF Pro is probably going to be the better choice for you with that guitar. The Full Shred is a better fit for thicker-toned guitars.
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Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
7,563 IQ
#14
@R45VT Oh

@KailM well you already have a 6505 - you just need an 81 or a Tone Zone.

@MrFlibble I see. And a Super 3 is less defined than an Invader?

DiMarzio isn't making it easy for me to find a set that matches aesthetically. Might have to shell out extra for a PAF Pro with nickel hex pieces or something.

I can try out a Super Distortion easily enough, they're very common.

I wish I could find a used D Activator X set so I can break even on it if it doesn't work out.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
LaidBack
Call me Mike
Join date: Oct 2006
854 IQ
#15
I love my Super Distortion. I've got an Air Classic in the neck of the same guitar...but that's not very high output. Very nice pickup, though.
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MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#16
I wouldn't say that the Super 3 is less defined than the Invader, exactly, but it is wound an awful lot hotter. The smaller hex poles make it tighter than the Invader's oversized ones, but the output and treble loss is ridiculous. Basically, take an Invader and put a mid boost on it and you've got the Super 3. Technically more responsive, but in practical terms it's just such a monster of output that it will seem much muddier.
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Dysprosium
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
113 IQ
#17
I say SH-5 Duncan Custom. I think it's an amazing pickup that's not suggested as often as it should be. I have one that's been in my LTD MH since December, and will be getting another one for my RG shortly.
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#18
Nobody would dispute that the Custom is a gorgeous pickup, but it's almost the opposite of what Offworld asked for. The EQ of the Custom is practically the same as the Pearly Gates, just double the level all over.
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