#1
I am looking into getting some new pickups. I play Rock, Alt, and some metal. Please post your suggestions.


Edit: I have the guitar I've had it since 7/4/08. I can't figure out how to change my sig.
My Gear
Peavy Raptor 1
75w Line 6 Spider lll Amp
Epiphone Les Paul (SH-4 JB Bridge, SH-2 Neck)
Squier Jazz Bass
Crate 30w Amp
Jasmine Acoustic
Peavey Valveking 112
Last edited by Sheogorath at Dec 2, 2008,
#2
im not to good on all pickup recomendations and stuff, but i here the SD '59 and jazz(?) is a good combo. Anyways, Seymour Duncan is your best bet

Wait in your sig.... you don't even have this guitar yet? How come you dont already know how the pickups aare going to sound like and your already buying new ones for it...
#3
if you want something harder: a JB in the bridge is a good idea, the Duncan Distortion and Invader are also good choices. In the neck, usually people pair them up with the Jazz or 59 to get a smoother overall tone.

If you want something that's more subtle and quiet with a good, vintage tone, Alnico Pros, 59's and Jazzes are great choices. If you're willing to spend the big bucks, the Antiquities are unparralelled for vintage tone.

Also, don't limit yourself to duncan, Dimarzio also makes some great pickups. I like their Virtual PAF, but the Duncan 59 is my favorite PAF copy. The Super Distortion by Dimarzio is another AWESOME pickup, as is the Air Norton.

GFS is another good company to look into for pickups if you're on a really tight budget.

Or if you want something just balls out, melt your face: Duncan Black Outs or EMG actives.

There's a whole world out there for differant tone when it comes to pickups. Coil tapping is another cool way to go, phasing as well. I mean, my paul standard has a Duncan JB bridge and a 59 Neck, the JB's coil tapped and it's got an AMAZING range of tones and sounds delicious. My Epi strat's loaded with a 59 bridge and an Antiquity SC in the neck, and it's got good tone, kind'a bright due to the maple body, but it's good. And my Ibanez has a single Dimarzio Super Distortion in it and that thing screams when you crank it and chimes when you clean it up.

edit: I've actually got some clips of the pickups in the paul on youtube, you can judge for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsPIWCYO8eo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz_KS0T4ifI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgFfK8dYfH4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HbNUbGT33A&feature=channel

don't judge the playing too harshly... :-D

also, the BBE Greenscreamer test in my profile is the Epi Paul, too.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
Last edited by Thomme at Dec 2, 2008,
#4
Quote by Sheogorath
I am looking into getting some new pickups. I play Rock, Alt, and some metal. Please post your suggestions.


Edit: I have the guitar I've had it since 7/4/08. I can't figure out how to change my sig.

There's very little point changing the pickups until you have a proper amp, they're not going to make a significant difference, if any.

A set of pickups is typically $120 - your amp cost $99....think about that for a second.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Dec 2, 2008,
#5
Amp before pickups.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#6
I'm sick of everyone on this forum ****ting all over line 6 amps. They're not bad. I kind of like the Spider Range, I played out of a Spider 2x12 for a couple of months (with a Tom Delonge Strat and my Ibanez Strat... funtimes, punk rawk god) and I actually liked it. Granted, it's not the best amp, but it gets you a decent range of sounds without sounding like butt or giving you the trouble of tubes, it's a good amp for beginners. But then you'll all turn around and suggest the ADT Vox or whatever and the Roland Micros, which sound just as bad.

But, dude. If your Spider III's working for you, rock it. If you want to upgrade your amp, scrap the Spider III.

I know for a fact that you will hear a tonal improvement with the pickup swap (changing pickups while playing a DS-1 through a Squier 15watt bass amp), and I know you'll appreciate your guitar a whole lot more once you ditch the ice pick and the blanket that Epiphone call pickups.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#7
Quote by Thomme
I'm sick of everyone on this forum ****ting all over line 6 amps.
no one "shit" on line 6. but the fact remains, upgrading the amp will have a huge improvement in tone.

second-rate pickups through a good amp > the worlds best pickups through a second-rate amp.
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#8
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
no one "shit" on line 6. but the fact remains, upgrading the amp will have a huge improvement in tone.

second-rate pickups through a good amp > the worlds best pickups through a second-rate amp.

I don't know... depends on how you wiegh everything. Maybe he doesn't have the money for a nicer amp right now, so he might as well pop in the pups for now. He will see a considerable upgrade in tone from the stock epis. Not as much as if he got a better amp, but a better amp costs more than the pickups, so it only makes sense to do that upgrade first.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#9
^ No, he might as well not pop in the pickups. They will not make a difference through a bad amp, and then he will have that much less money to spend on an amp.
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#10
Quote by Øttər
^ No, he might as well not pop in the pickups. They will not make a difference through a bad amp, and then he will have that much less money to spend on an amp.

listen to me... ok? I know for a fact, becuase when I put the 59 in my epi strat, I was playing through a Squier Champ 15b, and I heard the differance. It was definately there. It sounded a whole lot better. Not the type of better that you get upgrading amp, but it sounded better. I PROMISE you that if you played through a Crate 15 practice amp (like I have on several occasions with several guitars) that you WILL SEE A DIFFERANCE. If you can't see a differance in tone by swapping out pickups with a cheap amp, then you shouldn't see that differance with a more expensive amp... or you shouldn't see a single differance in tone from one guitar to the other on cheap amps, only expensive ones....

so are you going to sit here and tell me that simple logic and common sense doesn't exist and that my experience with going from Epiphone to Duncan pickups was a fluke, or didn't really happen?

YOU WILL SEE A DIFFERANCE. Let's analog this. Let's say you have a msutang with the 3.8l V6 and the 4 speed auto, so you put a 6sp short throw into it. You see a differance in performance... not the same that you'd see if you dropped a 5.0l into it, but you'd shift faster and shave a couple tenths of a second off your quater mile with the 6sp short throw. Same thing with guitar pickups. You'll see a differance, but not as much as if you upgraded amps.

You have to either be daft and know nothing about guitars and pretend you do to make such an ignorant claim or never changed a single pickup on a guitar, ever.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#11
Quote by Thomme
I'm sick of everyone on this forum ****ting all over line 6 amps. They're not bad. I kind of like the Spider Range, I played out of a Spider 2x12 for a couple of months (with a Tom Delonge Strat and my Ibanez Strat... funtimes, punk rawk god) and I actually liked it. Granted, it's not the best amp, but it gets you a decent range of sounds without sounding like butt or giving you the trouble of tubes, it's a good amp for beginners. But then you'll all turn around and suggest the ADT Vox or whatever and the Roland Micros, which sound just as bad.

But, dude. If your Spider III's working for you, rock it. If you want to upgrade your amp, scrap the Spider III.

I know for a fact that you will hear a tonal improvement with the pickup swap (changing pickups while playing a DS-1 through a Squier 15watt bass amp), and I know you'll appreciate your guitar a whole lot more once you ditch the ice pick and the blanket that Epiphone call pickups.

Hey, I don't mind line 6. I just don't like spiders. for that price there's a Vypyr of the same wattage.
Current Gear:
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Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#12
*removed cause I fear teh bannhammer.*
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Last edited by Øttər at Dec 2, 2008,
#13
Seymour Duncans. If you are pushing metal try active EMGS or Blackouts.

I have used a Spider III 15w for a year now, and it's "****ness" doesn't get in the way of my playing at all, in fact the amp has served me very well, so what's the hell the point of replacing it until I need to?

Some people...
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#14
It's not about the existence or non-existence of a tonal change with after-market pickups. It's about the fact that investing in a better amp is a vastly better way to spend the money if you want better tone.

I have to sell those Spyder amp-things to kids all the time, but they're also making their first foray into guitar playing at 12 and 13 years of age. If you've reached the point where you can appreciate better pickups, then you'd appreciate having a better amp. And when you're current playing on a Spyder III, you'd be a lot better off getting that better amp because whatever you have now will definitely sound better and if you do get those pickups, there'll be a much, much bigger difference in tone.

If you want better tone, you'll want to get a good amp. Period. Pickups are a good idea, sure, but there's unparalleled improvement in tone quality on good-sounding amps. If you go to guitar players and ask for advice on aftermarket pickups, one of the most important questions is regarding the amp, since it will make a big difference in what pickups to suggest, almost as much as what music you like to play. I have a Hot Rod Deville, and I'll tell you what, I'm willing to bet no one here would ever tell me to get those blasted EMGs.

I have used a Spider III 15w for a year now, and it's "****ness" doesn't get in the way of my playing at all, in fact the amp has served me very well, so what's the hell the point of replacing it until I need to?


If you don't mind the way it sounds, power to you. You've saved a lot of money on a big 'ol tube amp (or a small tube amp, either way). Tone may be subjective, but a solid number of people agree that tube amps, and indeed all higher-quality amps, yield a significant improvement in tone. Why else would anyone still sell them?
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Last edited by GravyFish at Dec 3, 2008,
#15
Quote by Thomme
listen to me... ok? I know for a fact, becuase when I put the 59 in my epi strat, I was playing through a Squier Champ 15b, and I heard the differance. It was definately there. It sounded a whole lot better. Not the type of better that you get upgrading amp, but it sounded better. I PROMISE you that if you played through a Crate 15 practice amp (like I have on several occasions with several guitars) that you WILL SEE A DIFFERANCE. If you can't see a differance in tone by swapping out pickups with a cheap amp, then you shouldn't see that differance with a more expensive amp... or you shouldn't see a single differance in tone from one guitar to the other on cheap amps, only expensive ones....

While sometimes it can make a difference....Is it a significant difference? Enough to justify spending 100-160 dollars?
What happens if the reason he doesn't like his tone is because he doesn't like the fundamental tone of his amp? New pickups won't help in that case.

And in your situation, or rather, in similar ones, there's also the placebo effect. I guarantee you that if I put my Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup (it's missing the Duncan logo, I accidentally scraped it off) in the average guitarist's guitar (If he was looking for a Jazz), and didn't tell them it was a Duncan, they wouldn't like it. You may hear a difference because you want to. It's the same deal with super expensive cables. I don't believe they make a difference. But there are people who do.
#16
Quote by forsaknazrael
While sometimes it can make a difference....Is it a significant difference? Enough to justify spending 100-160 dollars?
What happens if the reason he doesn't like his tone is because he doesn't like the fundamental tone of his amp? New pickups won't help in that case.

And in your situation, or rather, in similar ones, there's also the placebo effect. I guarantee you that if I put my Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup (it's missing the Duncan logo, I accidentally scraped it off) in the average guitarist's guitar (If he was looking for a Jazz), and didn't tell them it was a Duncan, they wouldn't like it. You may hear a difference because you want to. It's the same deal with super expensive cables. I don't believe they make a difference. But there are people who do.


If you were to AB them, the average guitarist can hear the differance. Whether or not the guitarist holds onto the idea of how a guitar sounds and its nuances is debatable. So if someone plays an Epi standard and you through them an Epi standard with a JB in it, but not the standard to compare, they may or may not notice the exact differance, but they'd know it sounds better. My ex could tell the differance when I put the JB/59 into my les paul and she doesn't even play guitar.

Also, the cables do make a differance. I use nothing but planet wave and monster cables. I actually picked up a set of Monster patch cables to replace the Hosa's I used on my Vox, and it quieted the thing down considerably. Better shielding, higher quality contacts... just works.

But, then you have to also compare cost. You put a pickup set into a guitar, it's about $120 for parts to do yourself for one of those duncan set. You buy a new amp, something to fit the bill that's a formidable amp to get over the drummer, and you're spending at least $400 to get that amp. Now, you can spend a lot more, but $400 would be the lower end of the spectrum, something 20-30watts with a 1x12. Compare the cost of those two... big differance. You can't always drop huge money on amps, sometimes you gotta take what you can get.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#17
Everyone in here is about the get warned for fighting.

Let us all drop it and stop comparing pee-pee sizes, and I think if we really need to keep talking about it, there is a PM system.

If anyone were to read all of the posts in the thread they would see that pickups do not make a big enough difference to buy a new pair before you buy an amp.

Like I said, if you really want to fight about this, there is a PM system. Since mine doesn't work, there is my profile.
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#18
Quote by Thomme
Also, the cables do make a differance. I use nothing but planet wave and monster cables. I actually picked up a set of Monster patch cables to replace the Hosa's I used on my Vox, and it quieted the thing down considerably. Better shielding, higher quality contacts... just works.


Sorry, monster cables aren't the best. They're unreliable, and don't sound that good.
And no, those aren't the expensive one's I'm talking about. I'm talking boutique cables.

Quote by Thomme
If you were to AB them, the average guitarist can hear the differance. Whether or not the guitarist holds onto the idea of how a guitar sounds and its nuances is debatable. So if someone plays an Epi standard and you through them an Epi standard with a JB in it, but not the standard to compare, they may or may not notice the exact differance, but they'd know it sounds better. My ex could tell the differance when I put the JB/59 into my les paul and she doesn't even play guitar.

You told her you changed the pickups, right? So of course she's going to know there's a difference. Again, it's all in the head.

Quote by Thomme
But, then you have to also compare cost. You put a pickup set into a guitar, it's about $120 for parts to do yourself for one of those duncan set. You buy a new amp, something to fit the bill that's a formidable amp to get over the drummer, and you're spending at least $400 to get that amp. Now, you can spend a lot more, but $400 would be the lower end of the spectrum, something 20-30watts with a 1x12. Compare the cost of those two... big differance. You can't always drop huge money on amps, sometimes you gotta take what you can get.

No, you're looking at it wrong. How can you spend 100-160 bucks on something that BARELY makes a difference. On a good amp, a pickup change will be much more noticeable.
Furthermore, a pickup swap is for tweaking your tone, not straight up improving it. If you're not using your optimal gear to get close to your ideal tone, how can you know that your pickups are the weak link that need to be "improved"? How can you know what's lacking about your tone?
#20
Quote by forsaknazrael

Sorry, monster cables aren't the best. They're unreliable, and don't sound that good.
And no, those aren't the expensive one's I'm talking about. I'm talking boutique cables.

didn't know the mantra on cables. Sorry. Thought that 50 dollar cables were in fact the nice cables. Guess I was wrong. I guess that I don't understand why my vox sounds so much less noisy with monster and planet waves cables, either... I guess it's just coincidance that when I plug them in it sounds better.


No, you're looking at it wrong. How can you spend 100-160 bucks on something that BARELY makes a difference. On a good amp, a pickup change will be much more noticeable.
Furthermore, a pickup swap is for tweaking your tone, not straight up improving it. If you're not using your optimal gear to get close to your ideal tone, how can you know that your pickups are the weak link that need to be "improved"? How can you know what's lacking about your tone?

No, pickups do change tone, hugely. It's not just tweaking. Compare a JB to the stock Epi pickup, it's a WORLD of differance. Compare the stock Epi to the Invader to the JB and to the Super Distortion and the Antiquity. Those are not minor tonal changes, those change the whole characteristic of the guitar. It plays and sounds differantly. One of the things that may contribute to people's less than stellar opinon of the spiders is the fact that no one hears them with a guitar with nice pickups, just the crappy ceramic magnet and generic alnico pickups that come in epiphones and squiers.

It makes a differance, it makes a huge differance. If I had my Epi humbuckers with me, I'd show you the differance. If you really don't believe nicer cables make a differance, I can record that differance for you.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#21
Quote by Thomme
didn't know the mantra on cables. Sorry. Thought that 50 dollar cables were in fact the nice cables. Guess I was wrong. I guess that I don't understand why my vox sounds so much less noisy with monster and planet waves cables, either... I guess it's just coincidance that when I plug them in it sounds better.

It makes a differance, it makes a huge differance. If I had my Epi humbuckers with me, I'd show you the differance. If you really don't believe nicer cables make a differance, I can record that differance for you.

I never said cables in general don't make a difference. AGAIN, I was saying that boutique cables, the ones that cost more 70 bucks and up to 200 dollars for a 20 footer....Those don't make a difference. They don't improve your tone as much as people would like to think.

Please, learn to spell the word difference, btw.

Quote by Thomme
No, pickups do change tone, hugely. It's not just tweaking. Compare a JB to the stock Epi pickup, it's a WORLD of differance. Compare the stock Epi to the Invader to the JB and to the Super Distortion and the Antiquity. Those are not minor tonal changes, those change the whole characteristic of the guitar. It plays and sounds differantly. One of the things that may contribute to people's less than stellar opinon of the spiders is the fact that no one hears them with a guitar with nice pickups, just the crappy ceramic magnet and generic alnico pickups that come in epiphones and squiers.

First off, of course a change from the stock Epi's to a JB or Invader will sound different. The two latter pickups are much higher in output.
And sorry, they ARE minor tonal changes. A change to uber high output pickups will not make your guitar a fire breathing metal monster if you don't have the right amp. New pickups will not give you the most immaculate cleans in the world, if you don't have the right amp.
Sorry, pickups are NOT the biggest factor in your tone. There are many things I would change or buy before I changed pickups, if I wanted to improve my tone. EQ pedal, Overdrive, better setup, etc....All before a new amp, too.
And no matter what you say, pickups do not make that big of a difference on a crappy amp. Do you really think that the tone through said amp would sound different with 3 different humbuckers, where one has an Alnico IV magnet and a asymmetrical poly wind, one has an Alnico V magnet and an asymmetrical plain enamel wind, and the third has a slightly more degaussed Alnico V magnet with a normal plain enamel wind?
No. You won't notice the subtle nuances like that - the pickup won't shine.

So, going back to my original point, spending 160 bucks on a minimal improvement is silly, when if you save up, you can get a better that will|:
A - sound better.
B - be gig ready and pop through in the mix.
C - probably take pedals better.
D - let your pickups shine.
E - actually vary in tone as you change your picking dynamics.
F - be a better long term investment
#22
this is pretty much a ford vs. chevy debate. We're not going to settle on this. But if he likes his amp, he should upgrade his pups. If he doesn't like his amp, he should get a new amp.

but, the fact remains, you'll hear a differance on a spider between the pickups. Not just a little differance, a big one. Not as big as if you got a new amp, but that's the point. You pay $100-120 for a set of pickups, you get a 100-120 differance in tone. You spend 6-1000 on an amp, you get a 6-1000 differance in tone.

Maybe you won't notice a differance between a Seth Lover, a Gibson PAF, a Virtual PAF and a Duncan 59 outright, but there's still subtle differances when you play with them. Going from those crappy Epi HB's to a set of Duncans will give you a differant tone, as in: no ice pick on the bridge, no blanket in the neck and a much warmer, round sound that fills out better.

Sure, if you upgrade from a Spider III to a Marshall JCM or Vox AC15cc you'll get a MUCH better change in tone, but you're also talking 6-10x more for the upgrade.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#23
Make sure that your Epi will be able to handle pick-ups such as Seymour Duncans and EMGs because there is a number of problems that could arise.
If you have to rewire the whole guitar and get new pots then leave it. New pick-ups could also create a hell of a load of feedback. I'd get it checked to see whether your guitar will be able to handle pick-ups like that.
If in the case it can't, then upgrade your amp. I'm not saying you have a bad amp but their are greater ones out there.
#24
Quote by Thomme
this is pretty much a ford vs. chevy debate. We're not going to settle on this. But if he likes his amp, he should upgrade his pups. If he doesn't like his amp, he should get a new amp.

My point being, if he doesn't like his tone, how does he know the problem is his pickups? Replacing them may do NOTHING beneficial for his tone.


Quote by Thomme
but, the fact remains, you'll hear a differance on a spider between the pickups. Not just a little differance, a big one. Not as big as if you got a new amp, but that's the point. You pay $100-120 for a set of pickups, you get a 100-120 differance in tone. You spend 6-1000 on an amp, you get a 6-1000 differance in tone.

No, I don't think it is a 100 dollar difference in tone. 100 dollars is a lot to spend on nothing. Your pickups might get a little brighter, sound a little hotter. But it's not really that much of an improvement in tone. You could do all of this with an EQ pedal. But when you finally get a good amp, you might find that the same pickups that "improved your tone" before aren't the best pickups for your guitar now. They aren't right for "that tone" in your head.
Pickup swaps are for tweaking your tone, for changing that last little bit, to get closer to your ideal tone.
Playing dynamics don't improve, it doesn't get the same kind of bark that it might with a good amp, the distortion doesn't necessarily round off to being more musical, it might not sound as full...
It's a poor investment.


Quote by Thomme
Sure, if you upgrade from a Spider III to a Marshall JCM or Vox AC15cc you'll get a MUCH better change in tone, but you're also talking 6-10x more for the upgrade.

You're exaggerating. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to get a good amp.
Also, the AC15CC sucks.
#25
eh, whatever. You think the upgrade isn't that big, I do. That's the reason I've got duncans and dimarzios in everything I own. Differant strokes for differant folks.

The AC15cc sucks? I always wondered about that. The new AC30CC's, I'm not too keen on, the panel's too... modern. And the sound is a touch more steril than the older models. But, what about the AC15cc sucks?
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#26
Quote by Thomme
eh, whatever. You think the upgrade isn't that big, I do. That's the reason I've got duncans and dimarzios in everything I own. Differant strokes for differant folks.

The AC15cc sucks? I always wondered about that. The new AC30CC's, I'm not too keen on, the panel's too... modern. And the sound is a touch more steril than the older models. But, what about the AC15cc sucks?

Once again, young grasshopper, spite is no way to make progress in anything.

Plus, poor grammar in a place where words are your only indication of intelligence doesn't often prove anything. Don't pick fights, it's not worth your time or ours. If someone disagrees, let them. It's the internet, we're here to contribute opinions, nobody's stating that their opinion is fact. You may see someone as ignorant or stubborn, but really, if they can argue their point well, they obviously know what they're talking about. There's a difference between being well-read and being cocky.

If someone opposes you, let them, if you feel you need to prove yourself as the bigger person, ignore them.
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#27
Quote by Thomme
eh, whatever. You think the upgrade isn't that big, I do. That's the reason I've got duncans and dimarzios in everything I own.

Duncans and Dimarzios are okay. Better stuff out there.

Quote by Thomme
The AC15cc sucks? I always wondered about that. The new AC30CC's, I'm not too keen on, the panel's too... modern. And the sound is a touch more steril than the older models. But, what about the AC15cc sucks?

It's overpriced for what it is? Same reason I don't like the Tiny Terror. Both are:
- 15W amps: meaning, low amount of clean headroom
- The EL84 overdrive on these amps isn't that great
- Not a lot of features
- Poor value in the US

For 600 dollars, there are a lot of other amps with more headroom and more features.

I wouldn't even pick up a Vox AC30CC, myself. I'd be looking boutique, at the Valvetech Hayseed.
#28
Quote by deftonesordie
Once again, young grasshopper, spite is no way to make progress in anything.

Plus, poor grammar in a place where words are your only indication of intelligence doesn't often prove anything. Don't pick fights, it's not worth your time or ours. If someone disagrees, let them. It's the internet, we're here to contribute opinions, nobody's stating that their opinion is fact. You may see someone as ignorant or stubborn, but really, if they can argue their point well, they obviously know what they're talking about. There's a difference between being well-read and being cocky.

If someone opposes you, let them, if you feel you need to prove yourself as the bigger person, ignore them.

a) what spite?
b) what bad grammar, other than two misspellings?

Shame 'bout those AC15's. I was kind'a interested in getting one for a lower volume break up.

I'm actually interested in what the TS is going to be doing at this point, since we so successfully hijacked his thread.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#29
Oh FFS!

This thread has been *reported* for being one massive fight.
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