#1
Any advice on this particular topic would be appreciated. I don't know much about pickups and I've never changed mine before or anything like that. Mainly, I'm curious how one could mix pickups. For example, I play a lot of metal so something with a truck load of crunch is obviously expected. On the other hand, I would also like to play some really slow and clean melodies every once in awhile. So my question is would it make sense to put in some Seymour Blackouts in the bridge and then maybe some Dimarzio D Activators in the neck to have the best of both worlds?
#2
Dude, the D Activator can take gain really well... and it's a pain to have one active pickup and one passive... I reccommend going one or the other. But the Blackouts are great distorted and clean... so I'd say go for the Blackouts I plan on putting the seven string version in my new axe I wanna buy
#3
the amp is where about 60% of your tone comes from.

Active pickups + Tube amp = ideal for metal.

I wouldn't mix pickup brands or active and passive because it tends to have bad effects on tone.

If you want distortion but still clean, get a good solid state amp and a pair of dimarzio's or passive SD's.

learn more about woods as well to see what pickups will have most effect on your tone based on the wood of your guitar. Good amp first tho.

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#4
D-Activators are actually great. They sound like active pickups, but are passive in design, so they have more of a dynamic range, useful if you wanna play clean.

That's what a lot of people complain about in active pickups: they sound too compressed when played clean.
#5
Quote by SPBY
the amp is where about 60% of your tone comes from.

Active pickups + Tube amp = ideal for metal.

I wouldn't mix pickup brands or active and passive because it tends to have bad effects on tone.

If you want distortion but still clean, get a good solid state amp and a pair of dimarzio's or passive SD's.

learn more about woods as well to see what pickups will have most effect on your tone based on the wood of your guitar. Good amp first tho.

Mixing pickup brands is fine. I'm considering getting a Dimarzio PAF Pro and a Duncan Full Shred for my LP.
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You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#6
Quote by SPBY
the amp is where about 60% of your tone comes from.

Active pickups + Tube amp = ideal for metal.

I wouldn't mix pickup brands or active and passive because it tends to have bad effects on tone.

If you want distortion but still clean, get a good solid state amp and a pair of dimarzio's or passive SD's.

learn more about woods as well to see what pickups will have most effect on your tone based on the wood of your guitar. Good amp first tho.


Mixing brands is absolutely fine like oneblackened mentioned.

Just because you have one DiMarzio and one Seymour Duncan, your tone wouldn't magically deteriorate for some inexplicable reason.
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#7
Quote by oneblackened
Mixing pickup brands is fine. I'm considering getting a Dimarzio PAF Pro and a Duncan Full Shred for my LP.



I have a D-sonic and a '59 in my Warmoth,and it sounds just fine.Some duncans and Dimarzio pups seem to go really well together.

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#8
Quote by ragingkitty
Mixing brands is absolutely fine like oneblackened mentioned.

Just because you have one DiMarzio and one Seymour Duncan, your tone wouldn't magically deteriorate for some inexplicable reason.
Seriously I think people forget that all a pickups is is a magnet, baseplate, plastic bobbins, screws, slugs and wire.
#9
Quote by al112987
Seriously I think people forget that all a pickups is is a magnet, baseplate, plastic bobbins, screws, slugs and wire.

Yeah, but it's kind of interesting how changing the magnet type, the magnet size, the baseplate material, the bobbin shape/material, polepiece shape and makeup, and wire thickness and insulation change things.
Let's say we have 2 humbuckers. Same everything, except the pole pieces; one's hex bolts and the other is the flathead bolt/metal slug combo. It'll sound different (If I'm right,the hex bolts would be brighter and have more attack).
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
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Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#10
I'd like to know how SPBY came to his conclusion. All of you know way more than me so I'll take in all the opinions I can get. So the D Activator and the Blackout combo is a good idea then?
#11
Quote by sashki
D-Activators are actually great. They sound like active pickups, but are passive in design, so they have more of a dynamic range, useful if you wanna play clean.

That's what a lot of people complain about in active pickups: they sound too compressed when played clean.


This is what Dimarzio sells them as but I have tried them and thought they were great BUT they dont sound even remotely like active pickups. They sound like exactly what they are, high output passive pickups. I did an A/B with a guitar with emg's in it and the d-activators were quite noisy compared to the actives but not more noisy than your average high output passive design. In short:

D-activators = Great high output passive pickups

D-activators DON'T = passive pickups that sound like active pickups.
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#12
Quote by volesky88
I'd like to know how SPBY came to his conclusion. All of you know way more than me so I'll take in all the opinions I can get. So the D Activator and the Blackout combo is a good idea then?


No most people suggest you choose 1 set. Because blackouts are active pickups and d-activators are passive pickups.
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#13
Haha some say yes some say no. I suppose it all comes down to overall opinion?

How exactly does it affect tone if you mix the two?
Last edited by volesky88 at Aug 5, 2009,
#14
Don't mix actives and passives
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#15
Quote by al112987
Seriously I think people forget that all a pickups is is a magnet, baseplate, plastic bobbins, screws, slugs and wire.


I can't figure that part out. Does brand purity somehow bestow some magical shredding power? If it does; no one told me about it.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Aug 5, 2009,
#16
Quote by volesky88
Haha some say yes some say no. I suppose it all comes down to overall opinion?

How exactly does it affect tone if you mix the two?


Its not so much your tone its the physical wiring of the guitar. It's possible but is alot of frustration over something that would probably not work as well as a matching type of humbucker.
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#17
The first step to changing pickups is to identify what is wrong with your tone that you want to change. Then you judge which pickup's will provide that optimal tone. Of course for the second part you will have to ask around for information. Don't buy a pick-up just because your favorite guitarist uses them. They should fit your playing style, and fit how your tone is shaped. Note that pick-ups are just for "tweaking" your tone and will not provide extreme changes between night and day
...
#18
Quote by volesky88
How exactly does it affect tone if you mix the two?


It doesn't affect tone the least. Just make sure you're using the correct wiring diagram and wire colour codes to hook up your pickups.

If you do wire the pickups with the wrong diagram or with the wrong colour codes, then yes it affects your tone.
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it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

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#19
What guitar are you going to be putting the new pickups in btw, woods in the guitar effect pickup choices.
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Digitech Screamin' Blues
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#20
possibly a jackson soloist, or an ibanez prestige series, im still trying to decide on a really nice high end guitar.
#21
Quote by ragingkitty
I can't figure that part out. Does brand purity somehow bestow some magical shredding power? If it does; no one told me about it.
Seriously, it's not as if Seymour Duncan designed his pickups to only be compatible with his own pickups or something. He designed pickups to sound a certain way, and they all sound very different, the difference in tone between two Seymour Duncans can be just as different, if not more so than the difference between a Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio.
#22
Quote by volesky88
possibly a jackson soloist, or an ibanez prestige series, im still trying to decide on a really nice high end guitar.


What guitar are you using now?
1st Schecter 8er? in UG's 7 String Legion
Conklin GT-7
Hartke Hydrive 210C
Digitech Screamin' Blues
Bugera 1990 Head
Dunlop wah
Saxon snakeskin 1x12 cab
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#23
haha schecter omen 6...im in need of a serious upgrade. i thought about buying a really nice high end guitar (such as the soloist or prestige) and possibly eventually trade in my omen 6 for a hellraiser and pay off the difference.
#24
Quote by volesky88
haha schecter omen 6...im in need of a serious upgrade. i thought about buying a really nice high end guitar (such as the soloist or prestige) and possibly eventually trade in my omen 6 for a hellraiser and pay off the difference.


Most high end guitars come with great pickups which is a plus.
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Conklin GT-7
Hartke Hydrive 210C
Digitech Screamin' Blues
Bugera 1990 Head
Dunlop wah
Saxon snakeskin 1x12 cab
I Nouni
#26
yeah i haven't made any big decisions about it i guess, i just thought about it one day and thought id ask for the sake of learning a thing or two about pickups.
#27
I prefer D-Activator-X with coil tapping. The cleans can be pristine in the middle position coil tapped, while the distortions will be super tight on the humbucker mode.