#1
I'm looking to replace the pickups in my Ibanez SZ320, two humbuckers. For the bridge I want something aggressive, medium output, useable for rhythm parts. For the neck pickup I'd like something warm, also medium output, used for soloing. I split both the pickups, so I get the kind of position 2 on a Strat for my clean sound.

I play bluesrock, hardrock, classic rock. This is the kind of sound I'd like to achieve http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=FDBz8-Ecb7M and for solo's I like the tone of David Gilmour, but a bit fatter.. I know he uses single coils but I just like his tone.
I was thinking about the Seymour Duncan Jeff Beck? Or maybe some kind of PAFs? I'm not really an expert on pickups.

Suggestions are really appreciated.

EDIT: Oh, my budget is around €150 for the two
#2
Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck maybe?
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#4
Quote by ortrigger
Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck maybe?

+1
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#8
I'll be putting a JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck of my SZ320 on Christmas day if I can help it I'll let you know how that turned out if you haven't done it by then!
#10
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
or Custom Custom in bridge

Custom Custom is, to quote I've forgotten quite who, "spongey." Custom 5 is better.

DiMarzio Humbucker From Hell in the neck will get you an okay Gilmour tone, as it sounds more like a single coil than a humbucker.

As for Airbourne, they're identical to AC/DC in several respects, so I presume they use PAF type pickups. Try the Duncan Pearly Gates in the bridge. Or, the Custom 5 as mentioned earlier.

HfH and Pearly gates sounds perfect, now I think about it.
Last edited by Rock Pig at Dec 16, 2008,
#11
Well either the Duncan JBs or maybe the Duncan Pearly Gates in the Bridge. I'm a fan of the Pearly Gates myself, they're fantastic for rhythm stuff, and have great note clarity with low to medium gain. The only downside to them is the bottom end can mud out a little if you've got too much gain on them. Although I've never had a problem with that myself.

I'm pretty sure the JBs are high output and the Pearly Gates are medium.

As for the neck the Alnico II Pro would be a great match for either. You could also check out the Dimarzio Breed Neck pickup, super fat and warm great for leads. It's not a traditional blues/classic rock pickup, but it actually works really well for those styles. Also, it would probably really help fatten up the strat sound you get in the mid position.
#12
Quote by icronic

As for the neck the Alnico II Pro would be a great match for either. You could also check out the Dimarzio Breed Neck pickup, super fat and warm great for leads. It's not a traditional blues/classic rock pickup, but it actually works really well for those styles. Also, it would probably really help fatten up the strat sound you get in the mid position.

The Alnico II Pro is ridiculously low output and has no real character of its own. You'd be better off with a Jazz model for a low output neck humbucker, although I'll stick with my reccomendation or the HfH, which I think is damn good, and will do Gilmour nicely.
#13
Quote by Rock Pig
The Alnico II Pro is ridiculously low output and has no real character of its own. You'd be better off with a Jazz model for a low output neck humbucker, although I'll stick with my reccomendation or the HfH, which I think is damn good, and will do Gilmour nicely.


I heard one in combination with the Pearly Gates and it sounded pretty good to me.

I actually thing one of the biggest problems he's going to run across is the coil split/out of phase/whatever thing that those Ibanez guitars do in the mid position. I've got an SZ520 and I put a pair of Pearly Gates in it, which made that mid position about the thinnest ugliest strat sound I've ever heard. Ended up having to replace the switch for a normal mid position sound. It's beautiful sounding, but quite aggressive both ways.

I'm almost of the opinion that it might be worth going for something of a slightly hotter nature for the neck. Would give things a little boost for lead playing, and it could also warm up the mid position while avoiding as much of the drastic volume drop that occurs in the mid position. Of course this is in theory, and it's fully possible that I've no idea what I'm talking about

Now that I think about it, the HfH might also be a really good choice. It could probably get a pretty similar sound to David Gilmour (unless of course you go for an EMG loaded strat with gobs of echo and compression). Still I wouldn't personally get one as they're a little too strat like for me.
#14
Quote by icronic
I heard [an Alnico II Pro] in combination with the Pearly Gates and it sounded pretty good to me.

Now that I think about it, the HfH might also be a really good choice. It could probably get a pretty similar sound to David Gilmour (unless of course you go for an EMG loaded strat with gobs of echo and compression). Still I wouldn't personally get one as they're a little too strat like for me.

The AIIPro CAN sound brilliant, but only because it lets its tone get coloured by the amp. If you have a $3000 boutique amp, it's a different story, but otherwise I'd keep away.
The HfH is perfect for exactly the reason you don't like it much; it's Strat like in sound, but still retains some humbucker depth. Perfect for a Gilmour tone in the neck.
#15
Quote by Rock Pig
The AIIPro CAN sound brilliant, but only because it lets its tone get coloured by the amp. If you have a $3000 boutique amp, it's a different story, but otherwise I'd keep away.
The HfH is perfect for exactly the reason you don't like it much; it's Strat like in sound, but still retains some humbucker depth. Perfect for a Gilmour tone in the neck.


Ah, I misunderstood and thought you meant HfH for the bridge.

Something to note though, I wouldn't call the HtH the warmest pickup ever, and there's a very very good chance that in conjunction with an aggressive bridge pickup the coil split in the mid position will sound super thin and brittle.

If the OP is willing to ditch the coil split then I definitely agree that the HfH/Pearly Gates combo would be really nice.
#16
Quote by icronic
Ah, I misunderstood and thought you meant HfH for the bridge.

Something to note though, I wouldn't call the HtH the warmest pickup ever, and there's a very very good chance that in conjunction with an aggressive bridge pickup the coil split in the mid position will sound super thin and brittle.

If the OP is willing to ditch the coil split then I definitely agree that the HfH/Pearly Gates combo would be really nice.

Agreed.
Or, he could simply remove the coil split, which is easy enough if you know how.
#19
Quote by Ibanez20th
A set of Bareknuckle Crawlers would sound great in my opinion.

Definitely, but he'd be lucky to pick a set up for 150 Euros even in the current climate.
#20
I have a set of pearly gates in a mahogany body Ibanez, sounds great for blues rock, hard rock, classic rock stuff. I believe Billy Gibbons uses them. There may be better though, I have not tried all the pups mentioned in this thread.
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#21
I would think

bridge pup - Duncan Full Shred
neck pup - Dimarzio Air Norton
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#22
Quote by Rock Pig
Agreed.
Or, he could simply remove the coil split, which is easy enough if you know how.

I actually like the split, it's what I use for cleans and it gives me a bit more strattier sound, so I'd like to keep the coil split if possible.

I checked the DiMarzio site and used that pickup-finder thingy. It gave me the HfH as a fist suggestion for the neck, but it doesn't have that much mids. Wouldn't that sound very thin? I don't think I'd like the HfH that much..

The pearly gates seems like a good option though. "slightly-hotter-than-vintage humbucker" sounds like what I'm looking for.

Now we're at it I might as well ask, what's the difference between a normal humbucker and a trembucker?
#23
Quote by WtrPlyr
Now we're at it I might as well ask, what's the difference between a normal humbucker and a trembucker?

the way they are spaced. I believe a trembucker is just a bit wider but I could be wrong.
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#26
Quote by WtrPlyr
I actually like the split, it's what I use for cleans and it gives me a bit more strattier sound, so I'd like to keep the coil split if possible.

I checked the DiMarzio site and used that pickup-finder thingy. It gave me the HfH as a fist suggestion for the neck, but it doesn't have that much mids. Wouldn't that sound very thin? I don't think I'd like the HfH that much..

The pearly gates seems like a good option though. "slightly-hotter-than-vintage humbucker" sounds like what I'm looking for.

Now we're at it I might as well ask, what's the difference between a normal humbucker and a trembucker?


HfH would sound like a much fatter strat from what I understand. So I wouldn't say it'd sound thin. It'll really avoid the muddy sound that a lot of neck humbuckers tend to get. It'd be kind of like a bigger warmer strat in neck position. I also wouldn't say it's lacking in mids or bass. 5 is your average, so it's really only slightly cut. Still I wouldn't chance using one of these with coil split.

I still kinda think an SD Pearly Gates in the Bridge and some kind of medium output Dimarzio in the neck would be the best option if you're really feeling adamant about your coil split. A Breed, an Air Norton, an Air Zone or just a Norton. You've got to have something in the neck that will really compensate for the trebly bite that the Duncans tend to have.

A warning though, I really have no clue how well that kind of combination would turn out. If you want to take the safe road, and you want to make absolutely sure you're getting a good sound in all three positions then I'd stick with Dimarzios, and go for a PAF Pro or PAF Joe in the Bridge and something else in the neck. You'd lose the aggressive bite that makes the SDs great for Rhythm, but you'd insure a good sound from all three switch positions.
#27
Quote by Rock Pig
Custom Custom is, to quote I've forgotten quite who, "spongey." Custom 5 is better.

DiMarzio Humbucker From Hell in the neck will get you an okay Gilmour tone, as it sounds more like a single coil than a humbucker.

As for Airbourne, they're identical to AC/DC in several respects, so I presume they use PAF type pickups. Try the Duncan Pearly Gates in the bridge. Or, the Custom 5 as mentioned earlier.

HfH and Pearly gates sounds perfect, now I think about it.

I was gonna say Custom 5/Pearly Gates as well. HFH is a great suggestion, I'd go with that or a SD '59 if you're after Gilmour.
#28
Allright, thanks for all the input guys. So the thing that would be best for me is a HfH/Pearly Gates combination, but then I'd have to sacrifice my coil split. An other neck pickup frequently named is the Duncan Jazz. Would a Jazz/Pearly Gates be nice? That way I could keep the coil split.

What do you guys think about a Phat cat (humbucker sized P-90) in the neck? Of course if I do this I'd have to sacrifice the split. A downside to this would be that it looks odd . But what do you think about this? Good idea or not?
#29
It might be worth asking somebody who's tried it just what the HfH sounds like split. Because of the way it's made and the unique characteristics it has, it's hard to predict.

Duncan Jazz is a good pickup but sounds a little more generic and probably wouldn't give you any of the tones you'd want; too restrained for AC/DC/Airbourne, too fat and warm for Gilmour.

Phat Cat is pretty good. Might do you a fatter Gilmour but I think a HfH would do that much better. The trouble with 'bucker sized P90s is that they lose a bit of sinle coilish bite and, in the case of the Phat Cat, aren't very true to the originals. Still quite good, but again I don't think it's quite what you're looking for.
#32
Quote by forsaknazrael
The Pearly Gates is a ruder kind of tone. The Custom 5 represents classic rock like AC/DC better. The PG makes me think of...ZZ Top.

This is true.
Then again, there's no arguing that Billy Gibbons doesn't get killer tone

Yeah, Custom 5.