I've been playing about 4-5 years total. About 4 years in the early 90's and again for the past year or so. I've owned two guitars in that time which was a Washburn N2 in the 90's and a Jackson JS20 now. Both guitars had/have stock pickups so I've never owned a guitar with name brand "real" pickups.

So with that said, I've got two Jackson DX10D's on the way. Why two? Well, I was considering a single higher-end Jackson, but I really hate all black hardware and the DX10D is the only Jackson Dinky with a chrome Floyd Rose. Since it's tax return time and I have the cash, I figured I'd get it while the gettin' is good instead of pissing the money away on hookers and meth like I usually do.

Anyway, the DX10D's have Duncan Design pickups in them. I'm sure these are better than the stock pickups I've always had, but again, while I have the money, I want to put some real Duncans in the bridge of each. I'm more of a rhythm player and don't use the neck pickup really at all anyway so I'll worry about neck pickups later.

My influences and what I like to play is long-haired Metallica, Friedman era Megadeth, classic lineup Anthrax, Ratt, Sebastian Bach era Skid Row, Iron Maiden, and so on. More simply, old-school thrash and hair metal. I dig a lot of modern rock and metal but don't really play it that much. And while I might go to Eb or drop D if something calls for it or if I'm in the mood, I'm not really into crazy drop C, B, or any other ridiculous down tuning.

For an amp, I use Amplitube Metal with an M-Audio sound card and some 120 Watt studio monitors. Even with this cheap JS20 I think it sounds killer. IMO, the presets that come with Amplitube suck BIG-TIME so I dialed in my own tone and really dig it.

I'm pretty much set on replacing the DD pickups with real SD pickups instead of EMG because even though I've never played a guitar with either brand or even heard either brand in person, all the EMG's I've ever heard through the EMG site and/or YouTube sound flat, over processed, and generic. I think the SD pickups have a more dynamic and organic sound.

One of the guitars I'm getting is black and the other is a trans blue finish. I'm thinking of putting an SH-8 Invader in the black one to make it a metal monster and putting a TB-4 JB in the trans blue one to make it a more versitile axe. If not the Invader then maybe a TB-6 Distortion. But I figure I might as well go all out and get the Invader for as much output as possible in a passive pickup.

My delimma is this. I really dig Dave Mustaines tone on his earlier stuff and of course he always used the JB. When it's all said and done, Mustaine is probably my favorite guitarist. My fear is that I won't like the Invader or distortion that much and I'm thinking I might be better off putting the JB in both guitars. But if I put a JB in both guitars, then I won't have as much variety because I'll just have two identical guitars that are just different colors.

What kind of pickups should I go with based on what I play? JB in both? Neither? What would you do?

FWIW, the guitars are made of Alder wood. Also, there's not really any decent music stores around where I live to go and hunt down some guitars with these pickups.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
wow....tnx for wall of text!


well, at least you provided all the detail. I'm just not sure how a new pickup is going to affect your tone through Amplitude. So bump.

Otherwise, I would think a TB4 would be kind of bright in a Alder guitar. I would look into the custom series like a TB5 or TB11 for starters. Not so sure about that TB6 but maybe someone else can.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jan 21, 2009,
1. the jb is a very high treble pup. i put one in a schecter a while back, ended up not using it after a while. it was better after i adjusted the poles, but still, it's sort of a one trick pony.

2. did you say what amp you're using? as that's so very important.

3. wow, i felt like i was back in school reading all that.

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I would buy both a neck and a bridge. I play rhythm mostly but use both pickups, gives me tonal options plus I hate limiting myself.