im looking to buy some pickups that will give my strat a great metal tone (metallica, testament, megadeth, etc.) any suggestions? the pickup configuration is HSS.
I use Invaders... might be too high gain for some, but works well for me at least.
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I use Invaders... might be too muddy for everybody, but works well for me at least.


TS, what is your amp?


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invaders sound kinda nasty. you should buy emg's. standard metal pickups imo.
Jackson RR5 ivory w/ EMG 81/85
Jackson DX6 w/ SD Distortion & Dimarzio Super Distortion
Fender Starcaster Sunburst
Mesa/Boogie DC-3
Johnson JT50 Mirage
Ibanez TS-9
Morley Bad Horsie 2
Boss CE-5

ISP Decimator
Boss DD-6
Korg Pitchblack
EMG 60/85 or 81/85

Ibanez RG7621
Ibanez RG121
I disagree about the Invaders being too muddy. If you know how to dial in your amp they're fine. I have a Duncan Invader along with two Lace Sensor single coils in my guitar. Great cleans and great distortion.
Seeing as he has an HSS set up, he can't have 81/85/60.

You could put some SAs in there, along with an 81 however. Maybe an 89 instead, but I'm not sure how it would sound in the bridge.
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Last edited by zappp : Today at 4:20 PM. Reason: Suck on my balls, UG
^beat me to it.

There's always passives; more versatile, generally. EMGs or Livewires are too sterile sounding for my tastes.
DiMarzios are great. The D-Activators get a pretty good metal sound, the D-Sonic has an awesomely tight bottom end which is great for drop-tuning, the Evos are crystal clear for shreddy stuff. The Virtual Vintage Heavy Blues 2 will sit nicely in your single coil slots or, for something less traditional, Choppers are pretty good.
If your budget's higher, get Bare Knuckles. The Nailbomb has awesome high gain application as well as being incredibly versatile, the Miracle Man is perhaps the undisputed king of high gain, but sacrifices some clean tone for it, and the War Pig is ridiculously powerful, especially with ceramic magnets (but again, you lose some cleans with ceramics), but never muddy. The Painkillers are pretty shreddy. Single coil wise, the Trilogy Suites are pretty clear and have a good tone, while the Sinners have a particularly high output that's probably good for your heavier stuff.
If you're in the UK, RockMonkeyGuitars do excellent pickups for a particularly good price, especially if you're a member of UG. Consult CorduroyEW on this site or check their website to see what you like.

If you're using an unspectacular amp, save up for a new one. Pickups will make minimal difference.
im looking to spend under 300. my amp is a vox valvetronix ad30vt
Save up for a new amp then. You're not going to see as much (if any) difference with a modeling amp.
Quote by yabike
im looking to spend under 300. my amp is a vox valvetronix ad30vt

... ._.
Yeah, I'm sorry, but no matter how upmarket and amazing your pickup, it'll still sound about the same as that $50 guitar from the pawn shop through a modelling amp.