Just got a Jackson DX10D. It has HB-103 (Duncan Distortion wannabe) pickups in it. I use Amplitube but also tried it through my Crate 15 watt practice amp and it has this annoying crackling overtone to it. It's not a bad wiring type of crackle but is somewhat like the crackle when a speaker is being pushed too much. FWIW, the signal isn't clipping in Amplitube and the sound is coming through a set of Fostex 120 watt studio monitors at about 5 - 10 watts, so there's no way it's pushing the speaker too much.

My old guitar was a Jackson JS20 with no-name pickups in it (which sounded better than these BTW), and using the same Amplitube settings with this new guitar produced a really muffled and muddy sound. I tweaked the parametric EQ in Amplitube and was able to get a decent tone back, but the annoying crackle is still there. Regardless of amp model in Amplitube or settings it won't go away. My gain is only at about 12 o'clock and I'm using no other distortion pedals. The only way to clean the tone up is to turn the gain to 9 o'clock or less which is useless for metal. I tried a clean amp model with a distortion pedal, but I think the pedals in amplitube sound like pure crap and it didn't cure the crackle anyway.

Any ideas to make this sound better? I plan on getting some new pickups, but in the meantime it's not very fun playing with this crappy tone.

Last edited by Rick540 at Jan 25, 2009,
Sounds like it could be a problem with the amp having enough umph to drive the speakers. Does the crackle go away when you turn down the amp?

Unfortunately, it's really tough to troubleshoot long distance.