#1
I'm building up a guitar from Warmoth. I've either got, or have ordered everything except for the pickups and finishing stuff.

I'm finding it difficult to chose a set of pickups. At home I play mostly metal and hard rock. I also play in a band that ranges from soft to hard rock.
I'd like a set of pickups that can give me a fair bit of range, that can handle cleans, overdrive and full on distortion well.
I've gone with a twin humbucker design, and will be doing a coil tap.

I live in Switzerland, my budget is 250chf or 150GBP.

I play through a Peavey Valveking 212. The body of the guitar will be alder and the neck maple with a rosewood fretboard.

Aside from the usual Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan type stuff I'm also interested in looking at smaller makes.

Maybe something like a Swineshead Venom in the bridge and Warthog in the neck.

Maybe a Rockmonkey S.O.B. in the bridge and something lower output in the neck (which one?).

Any other companies I should look at?

I'm not saying I don't want to go with the big name companies, if you can think of a combination that would suit me, please recommend it, I'd just like to take a look at some of the smaller companies as well.

Thanks a lot.
#2
Hmm small companies are nice, but nothing beats a nice pair of Duncans. Go for the

Seymour Duncan JB TB4 Humbucking Pickup

and the

Seymour Duncan '59 SH1N Humbucking Pickup

Its whats in my soloist and I love em. You can get a searing metal lead, or slow things down and get some surprisingly jazzy tones with them.

Hot rails are good too for the single coil crowd...
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#4
Have you tried actually emailing Chris of Rock Monkey? Get as specific as you can, name tonal examples, and he can help you out.

Don't forget his 10% discount for UGers...

Quote by Richmanofaction
Hmm small companies are nice, but nothing beats a nice pair of Duncans. Go for the

Seymour Duncan JB TB4 Humbucking Pickup

and the

Seymour Duncan '59 SH1N Humbucking Pickup

Its whats in my soloist and I love em. You can get a searing metal lead, or slow things down and get some surprisingly jazzy tones with them.

Hot rails are good too for the single coil crowd...

Generic.....A lot of small companies DEFINITELY beat that...
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Aug 4, 2009,
#5
Quote by Richmanofaction
Hmm small companies are nice, but nothing beats a nice pair of Duncans.

Wrong!
I've been in Chris from Rock Monkey Guitars' workshop, and you can see the amount of time and attention to detail that must go into making a single pickup - 10x what you'd get from a big company. And that's only one small pickup company among many!
Seymour Duncan do some excellent stuff for the mainstream market ( the high end custom shop is very good but incredibly pricey) but you can do better if you look at smaller custom builders.

Good choice with Swineshead too - they make some excellent pups. Have a good look at Bare Knuckle too, they're some of the best going. If you want to save cash, there's also Tonerider, GFS etc.
#7
Quote by Richmanofaction
Hmm small companies are nice, but nothing beats a nice pair of Duncans. Go for the

Seymour Duncan JB TB4 Humbucking Pickup

and the

Seymour Duncan '59 SH1N Humbucking Pickup

Its whats in my soloist and I love em. You can get a searing metal lead, or slow things down and get some surprisingly jazzy tones with them.

Hot rails are good too for the single coil crowd...
I like Seymour Duncan but this is essentially untrue.

Duncan has become a big company and that can change the quality of a lot of their products. However, I really applaud Seymour Duncan for making such an effort to pay attention to detail and I really respect Seymour's ability to stay in touch with what is going, he still rewinds for people and he, his son and MJ will still wind custom shop pickups but the regular production models are just not as good as they were back when it was just Seymour and MJ winding everything themselves. I will say that Duncan's PAF style pickups are still the best in terms of the "big 3" aftermarket pickup makers (Duncan, Dimarzio, Gibson) and their attention to detail and quality is the best. The antiquities, seths, pearly gates and '59 are some of the best you can buy without going boutique, and in fact, the antiquities (with recharged magnets, the "aged" ones sound terrible) I had in an Epiphone a few years ago compared very favorably to most boutique pickups....

but small winders have their niche, and there is a huge benefit to buying from small winders. Over the course of the last year, I have been able to have detailed discussions with a lot of great boutique winders about the tone I want, gotten their input, their suggestions, tips about what goes into the sound, how to get a certain sound, what kind of things I should be looking for to get the sound I want, and these are guys like Tim Mills (Bareknuckle), Jason Lollar (Lollar), Jim Wagner (WCR), Wolfe MacLeod (Wolfetone), and Chris who winds Rock Monkeys. And the best part is that anyone can get in touch with them any time, they post on a lot of the online forums (especially TGP, LPF, etc.), thus they are very accessible, all have great customer service, and the ability to get a truly custom pickup is what these guys are here for, so saying that nothing can beat a set of Duncans is truly being closed minded.

And I also put Duncan's custom shop in with the "small winder" label, because their custom shop is basically a small boutique shop in itself, and they do fantastic stuff and I've heard a set of CS-MJ wound JBs that simply beat the pants off my production level JBs. And in the same mold, call them up and you can get something truly custom if you discuss it with Seymour or MJ. But again, those cost the same as you'd pay for WCRs/Lollars/Wolfes/BKP/Rock Monkeys, etc.
Last edited by al112987 at Aug 4, 2009,
#8
I have been emailing Chris. and getting some good advice.
I was considering a set of Barekunckles, but they cost a hundred Swiss francs more than what I'd pay for a set rock monkeys. I'm sure there great pickups but I doubt I'd find them worth that much more. That said, I do love those burnt chrome covers they offer.

Now I just need to decide if I want a Silverback or Warm Gorilla fists in the neck position. I've pretty much decided on one of those and a Son of Beefbucker in the bridge unless some sort of amazing deal pops up somewhere else.
#10
I emailed Chris with the type of music I play and what I posted were the recommendations he gave me.
So I guess those have good enough cleans for what I'm after.