Hey, thanks for reading...

So, Ive had an RG350EX (Black) for a year or so now, and (especially compared to my other guitar, a Dean ML'79) Im not finding the pickups are doing quite what Im after (The RG is factory-fitted with Infinity series pickups).

So, after a few months of searching, I think I'll finally change the Bridge Pickup, an INF4 humbucker, for a Duncan Invader... Basically, my question here is, it this worthwhile?

I play 90% Metal, along the lines of Thrash, in a generalised kinda way, but with a fair variety... From a bridge pickup Im looking for a pretty high output then, less muddy than the INF4, and a decent high end, although admittedly, I tend to prefer the neck pickup for leads...

Feel free to suggest a better pickup, but bear in mind I'd prefer to keep below around £80 GBP due to a shortage of funds Also, Im something of a newcomer to modifications so If possible I'd aim to stay with a straightforward passive swap-out...

Thanks for reading...
i don't know what £80 in dollar value is but two great metal pickups are the SH-6 duncan distortion, SH-13 dimebucker, both are seymour duncan and sound great. the SH-6 is a great all around metal p'up, but the Sh-13 is just insane. it is one of the highest output pickups i have ever played. i love both, the SH-13 is more metaly, but it is more expensive, and can only play a few styles of music. the SH-6 is not as metaly but has plenty output and is cheaper than the SH-13. It is up to you.
Hmm.. so would you recommend the SH-13 over the SH-8 (Invader)? I'd heard from various sources that the Dimebucker can be fairly muddy played through some guitars, and kind of poorly imitates a Bill Lawrence?

Not to disregard your advice, though, Im just throwing about the possible pros/ cons to anything I come across
just make sure you have the right pot put in your guitar too, incase you don't know, a pot is the electrionics inside of the knob
bill lawrence dimebag wont fit without some work and its really trendy. makes me wanna puke when I see everyone butchering their guitars to rip off a deadman. duncan doesn't exactly sound like the bill lawrence cause its not made by bill lawrence. what a shock.

don't worry too much about if its SH-13 SH-8 SH-6. they are all good. just different. people say bad things about pickups sometimes for no good reason so watch out for that too. people hate the invader but forget that it started in the custom shop. anyway also checkout the dimarzio d-activator and the d-activator X2N which is a hybrid of the d-activator and X2N.
Quote by BigDC
how difficult is it to build your own guitar?
Quote by Gibshall
It's hard, annoying, and makes you want to punch a baby.
If you can stretch to £90 ( and I would recommend you do save up ) this:


Will do metal well, probably better than the invader although I've never actually played through either of them.

Search around youtube for some vids of them to kinda form an opinion of them.

From what I've seen BKP > Invader >>> Dimebucker
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Thanks for all the advice so far, really appreciate it.

@ Grunt344 - Slightly noobish view on this here, but If Im replacing a humbucker with a humbucker, they both run on a 500K pot, so I'm OK for a straight swap? (Likely to be wrong, please, correct me and save my gear if I am )

@ Fullsailstudent - Thanks... I looked at a bunch of Dimarzios and liked the sound of the X2N, and in theory loved the D-activator, in that it's sonically close to an active, but price-wise, I currently cant afford them )
I'd heard about the Dimebucker's way of imitating the Bill Lawrence badly, So Im likely to avoid it... Although, I may try it simply to be sure?
so wasn't dime using the bill lawrence 500 and the xl 500 but he also used bare knuckle too right? its been awhile, I cant remember. can anyone explain the whole dimebag thing?

your pots stay unless the pickup manufacturer tells you need pots. most likely you keep the pots you have.
Quote by BigDC
how difficult is it to build your own guitar?
Quote by Gibshall
It's hard, annoying, and makes you want to punch a baby.
Last edited by fullsailstudent at Jul 4, 2009,
I can honestly say, I've never heard a Dimebucker tone I enjoyed. The SD distortion, or the Bill Lawrence XL are both pretty good, as are the BKPs, imo.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
@ SimplyBen - The Bare Knuckles are something I'd looked into before, but I think I'd prefer to try a pickup before buying it in all honesty, which would be much easier given how widely available the range of Duncans are. Despite this, if anyone would particularly recommend them beyond all doubt, I might risk it...
Last edited by ||-MARKO-|| at Jul 4, 2009,
I would highly recommend them over the Dimebucker.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
for the SH-6 i would prefer a 1 meg pot for a brighter sound, i did alot of pot reasearch today.......alot
Wow, those Irongears seem real close to the Invader but, cheaper... How do they match up to it in terms of sound? Anyone tried both, by any chance?

Other than that, Im just bringing up something I managed to leave out from my original post; Given a direct swap between the SH-8s and the stock INF4, In terms of sound improvement, price, any other factor, is the replacement worth doing? I barely use the RG over the newer ML so if a new pickup could clear out the problems I have with it I'd effectively gain a second guitar, in theory...
They have tonnes of output, and a tone that's somewhere between an SH-5 and SH-6. Mine also never get muddy, which is the main problem people have with the SH-8. Also, the Hammerhead isn't an imitation of the SH-8 - the huge pole pieces are to eliminate dead spots during bends, and the tone is a lot clearer.

Man, if you want to breathe some life into a second guitar, DO ITT. £25..
Alright, so far the Hammerheads seem to be miles ahead in all honesty

They seem almost too ideal, actually... Cheap, hotter than the invader, very little physical difference, with the large pole peices for even output, and very little muddiness, which was something I disliked about the INF4...

Just one or two last little questions before I commit, I suppose - Hows the high end on the hammerheads? I've found that the INF4's highs were a little.... scratchy, almost? Never 'screamed', and just didnt like them at all somehow....
And the RG is fitted with an Edge III, so with the large pole peices I'd assume the average Hammerhead would fit in fine, somewhat like the Invader would?

Thanks for all the replies, it's been real helpful
I don't know how to describe the highs, really. You don't get that nasty, shrill sound from some pickups. The treble is pretty smooth, compared to a lot of pickups, but I don't tend to dial too much in anyway. Also, if you want them to scream, you'll still have to really attack them and your amp. Don't get me wrong, they're not the best pickups in the world... maybe it's just my other gear, but they seem to have plenty of bass and mids, and REALLY smooth. I don't seem to get that open, flappy bass that really nasty pickups give. I can play an open C in drop C and get a smooth rumble, instead of feeling like the guitar is falling apart.

You could always send an email to, or call, Keith from Irongear/Axetec. He's a nice guy, and would be able to tell you whether or not the Hammerhead would give you what you want. Also, he's pretty much no-bull****, and wouldn't try to sell you something you wouldn't be happy with.

Please get another opinion, though. I'd feel terrible if you bought them on my recommendation, then hated them!
Haha, alright, I need another recommendation, but Im almost sold right now... (If anyone feels like giving a second thumbs up? )

Sounds fine to me from that description anyway, I dont particularly like screaming treble anyway in all honesty, I was more pointing out how the faults I find in the INF's treble range... These pickups are likely to be going into a largely Drop C guitar, funnily enough, so Its re-assuring to know they cope well in drop-tunings, particularly C...

Thanks for all the help so far anyway, You seem to have saved me a fair bit of searching and found something pretty perfect for the limits Im looking at...
D-activator or D-activator X2N. dimarzio is one of the best pickup custom shops in the world for like 60 years. also liked stock pickups on some caparison's and a USA gary kramer. the gary kramer is a lot like the MAB pickup. BTW look up the MAB pickup also.
Quote by BigDC
how difficult is it to build your own guitar?
Quote by Gibshall
It's hard, annoying, and makes you want to punch a baby.
@ Fullsailstudent - I like Dimarzios, especially the X2N, but like I say, Im on a limited budget, and basically, at the prices they run at, I cant afford them yet...

By MAB pickup, I assume you mean the DMT Hands without shadows? I like MAB's lead tone but Im going for a rhythm pickup right now, although at the price of the Irongears I'd probably go for a full set of those, If I bought them.
*Bump* (Sorry!)

Just need some answers...
Can anyone vouch for the Hammerhead as a metal pickup?
Am I better off buying something more pricey, or does the Hammerhead surpass it's price tag?