#1
K I play an Ibanez RG3EX1 guitar through a Peavey JSX 2x12 all tube amp. Guitar currently has cheap-o passive EMG rip offs that create a ton of noise, and sound worse the louder the volume is on any amp. I want to stay with passive pickups, and I play everything from Skynyrd to Metallica to Slipknot and Parkway Drive. I'm mostly rhythym but play some lead as well. So What are the best passive pickups for me?
Last edited by X TG X at Jan 9, 2009,
#2
I bought some SD Distortion Mayhem pickups to throw on my cheap Dean Vendetta that I'm customizing. I have to say it made my axe sound awesome. Its booming when playing clean and just destroys everything when I'm pushing thru my distortion boxes. You could check those out and they run 130 bucks for a set.
#3
A lot of people are moving from EMGs to passives it seems. My only experience really is with Duncan and I know if you call them, they will help you talk it thru unbiased and they have a great exchange policy if you end up not liking it. You can't buy direct from them though so I wasn't implying that, but they will handle an exchange directly.

..
#4
how much you looking to spend?

For a middle of the range budget (I usually say... $120-$220 a pair) Seymour Duncans are good, other than that, there are some good Dimarzios, etc. I can't really recommend that many Dimarzios as the only pickups by them that I've used are their PAFs. They're not bad, well priced pickups.

If you're on a real budget, some people around here like GFS pickups. I've tried some of their humbuckers, some sound much better than others, forget off the top of my head which ones I liked in particular. Either way, they're cheap.

If you have a lot to spend... say $250-$350 or so, you can probably afford to look at hand wound brands like WCR and Bareknuckle (the two biggest ones off the top of my head). I use WCR Fillmores in my les paul and they kill. They have some high output winds as well voiced more for metal but the Fillmores are really the do-it-all kind of pickup. A lot of people like Bareknuckle, I've tried two of their PAF styles, they're ok, pretty good, but their high output pickups are supposedly much better. There are a bunch of custom winders out there if you are in this price range, CourduroyEW on this site custom winds pickups, they get good reviews, and you could always call Seymour Duncan and have either Seymour or MJ over in their custom shop wind you something. Again, you're looking around $300 for these things though.
#5
Quote by al112987
A lot of people like Bareknuckle, I've tried two of their PAF styles, they're ok, pretty good, but their high output pickups are supposedly much better.

Bare Knuckle's higher output stuff really does outshine their lower output stuff as far as I've experienced, but expect the price point to be closer to the $400 mark for a set.
ESP LTD EC-256 and a Fender Deluxe VM
#6
I'd say the mid budget, under 300. As you can probably tell I know absolutely nothing about new pickups. But right now this is what I'm lookin at...tell me what you think.
Bridge - Either......S.D. sh-5 Custom, Dimarzio Super 3, or Dimarzio D-Activator X.

Neck- S.D. Jazz or pearly gates, or a Dimarzio Norton.

I'd like to use the same brand for both...so which one?? (remember..need versatility. Lookin for A7X type sound, but ability to go heavier and have decent cleans.)
#7
The usual choice for an Ibanez RG with Bareknuckle is to insert a 'Miracle Man' pup, which is kinda like their passive version of active EMGs. Alternatively, look at a set of 'Cold Sweat' pups as they're still hot but give a fuller and more vintage tone. Think more of a hot Gibson LP with the 'Cold Sweats' as they're based on the Gibson 'Dirty Fingers' pup that were used by John Sykes. In either case, this is only a choice for the bridge pickup as you should certainly put a 'Cold Sweat' in the neck position. If you visit their forum you'll find that option for the neck is very highly thought of. They're not cheap but they are very good indeed. If you want REALLY heavy then look at the 'War Pigs'.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
Last edited by Doadman at Jan 9, 2009,
#9
Some kind of Dimarzio PAF styled pickup would probably be your best bet.

While I'm not sure if it's the best option for you, I have a pair of Breeds in my RG1570, which I run into a JSX amp, and I've got to say they produce one of the sweetest tones I've ever heard. I'd say they work great for everything but Metal, and while they definitely can do metal, it'll require some toying with the EQ to get the right kind of tone, and chances are it still won't be "authentic" that doesn't mean it'll sound bad mind you.

I can't say I'm the biggest fan of Seymour Duncan pickups, I've tried a couple different ones through the JSX and I wasn't all that impressed. They did have a really nice low end growl to them, but the highs and upper mids were super thin and didn't have much character.
#11
buy a q-tuner www.q-tuner.com
Quote by Fzau
Wait.. you had sex thirty seconds ago and now you're in The Pit?
... you sir, are sick...


Quote by timeconsumer09
Quote by ThatGuy177
I can play bass.
That's not a useless talent.
It's just useless.

#12
Quote by forsaknazrael
^I think the Breeds sound great for metal. Pretty aggressive pickups.

And Seymour Duncan, like Dimarzio, has a wide range of pickups. Your statement doesn't really apply to all of SD's pickups. SD makes some great pickups, along with some bad ones.


Aggressive? I think that Breeds are about the warmest smoothest and fullest sounding pickups I've tried, so aggressive is definitely not the word I'd use to describe them. Also I never said they sounded bad for Metal just that they have far more midrange to them than your traditional Metal tone.

As for the Duncan's I know I made a drastic generalization in describing them. But I find each brand has certain tonal characteristics that carries across all their pickups, regardless of how different each pickup is. My point is I've tried about 4 or 5 different Duncans (JB, Pearly Gates, Custom Custom and a couple others I can't remember) and I just didn't find they gelled very well with the JSX.
#13
Quote by icronic
Aggressive? I think that Breeds are about the warmest smoothest and fullest sounding pickups I've tried, so aggressive is definitely not the word I'd use to describe them. Also I never said they sounded bad for Metal just that they have far more midrange to them than your traditional Metal tone.

As for the Duncan's I know I made a drastic generalization in describing them. But I find each brand has certain tonal characteristics that carries across all their pickups, regardless of how different each pickup is. My point is I've tried about 4 or 5 different Duncans (JB, Pearly Gates, Custom Custom and a couple others I can't remember) and I just didn't find they gelled very well with the JSX.

Aggressive in their upper midrange, not aggressive, you may think. In the right guitar, they've got a nice bite to them. They definitely are warm and fat pickups, though.

Quote by icronic
As for the Duncan's I know I made a drastic generalization in describing them. But I find each brand has certain tonal characteristics that carries across all their pickups, regardless of how different each pickup is. My point is I've tried about 4 or 5 different Duncans (JB, Pearly Gates, Custom Custom and a couple others I can't remember) and I just didn't find they gelled very well with the JSX.
I don't agree with that "certain tonal characteristics" going with a brand, simply because each brand has their own set of pickups styled after a different kind of tonal archetype.
FWIW...
the JB is a trebley and thin pickup, oftentimes, IMO...
The Pearly Gates is more of a rude blues pickup...
the Custom Custom is a warm pickup that's suitable for Strats...
Perhaps some re-EQing was in order? I know I don't use the same EQ settings for different guitars.
#14
Ok I'm gonna ask another nube questioin. Exactly what does Patent Applied For mean??? what makes them different from other pickups?
#15
Quote by X TG X
Ok I'm gonna ask another nube questioin. Exactly what does Patent Applied For mean??? what makes them different from other pickups?


It's not that there's anything really different about PAFs, they're just a "style" of pickup... sort of.

So, back in the mid '50s, Seth Lover, a guy who was working for Gibson, came up with the idea for the first humbucking pickup. And you know, when you invent something, you patent it, so the first few years the Gibson humbucker was being made, they had a "patent applied for" sticker on them, you know, to signify that Gibson had applied for a patent on the humbucker. That was really their only designation at the time, so when people talk about those pickups they refer to them as PAFs. But in general, when people are talking about PAF style pickups, they're talking about pickups that are replicating the tones of the originals. It's not really a good description, even though I'm guilty of using it, because the original PAFs were made a bit inconsistently, the machines that there were wound on didn't have counters, so the winding could be a bit erratic, thus you see PAFs with DC resistance values of anywhere from under 7k to over 10k, second, at the time, they were using all sorts of different magnets, so you had "PAFs" with AlNiCo II, III, IV, V magnets, all of which have different tonal properties. So really, it's not really fair to say what does a PAF sound like, because the tones could vary. Generally you are talking about a warm, moderate output humbucker with slightly hollow sounding mids and a very characteristic bite. But PAF tones could really vary.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yer-XGyZoYk There is a vintage PAF right there going into a slightly overdriven Fender amp

Edit: Here are some famous PAF tones. First three are probably the most "revered" so to speak...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUUEtCBhn_Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCWDPz6SYgY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHhKnc0XZrs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5RVHcUdVPU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YACK-n02AqI

All using PAFs.
Last edited by al112987 at Jan 10, 2009,
#16
Quote by Mattylightning
buy a q-tuner www.q-tuner.com



Interesting design.
and neodymium magnets?

I gotta look into these


EDIT:
Woah...
So heres some samples
8 string guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-lv9ltZ2cw
6 string guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec72sB7Pki0
Last edited by huevos at Jan 10, 2009,
#17
K I've been lookin at pick ups on every website and at every store now for two days straight and I've narrowed it down to these choices. Need some help from people who've had/heard these.

Bridge - DiMarzio Evo 2 or D Activator-X, OR a Bareknuckle Miracle Man

Neck - Anything that will match with the above for decent cleans, i'm thinkin the paf pro or hum from hell. I cant afford a barekuckle set, and the cleans arent THAT important to me anyway.

I really want the Miracle man, but...will it be fine to mix the bareknuckle with a dimarzio? And is there any reason the bareknuckle will be more difficult or cost more to install? Please help
#19
Quote by huevos
Interesting design.
and neodymium magnets?

I gotta look into these


EDIT:
Woah...
So heres some samples
8 string guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-lv9ltZ2cw
6 string guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec72sB7Pki0



yeah those pickups are definately gonna be a possibility when it come to replacing pickups in the next guitar i get which i'm still not sure of what to get but yeah the neodymium magnets are really sick and the clean sound on an electric sounds so close to an acoustic its amazing
Quote by Fzau
Wait.. you had sex thirty seconds ago and now you're in The Pit?
... you sir, are sick...


Quote by timeconsumer09
Quote by ThatGuy177
I can play bass.
That's not a useless talent.
It's just useless.

#20
all right i think I'm goin with the breed set because of the crap load of power and gain my amp has already built in it. Hoping I'll be able get some heavy distortion and still have good tone with em. i guess i can always send them back if i dont like them. thanks guys
#21
well...i messed up. I have to admit the tone is nice from the clean channel, but i can't make these pickups sound good for my heavy riffs and rhythyms in any way. I dont know if its the high mids or what...but i do not think these are for me. So now i'm back to the drawing board. But hey i got some expirience now. So i need NEW suggestios. It has to be Dimarzio cuz I'm sending these back to trade...so I'm goin for either the Super 3, D Sonic, or D Activator X (the new one) anyone got any expirience with these? Which one is best for tight riffs and good crunch for palm muting?