So I have an LP studio which plays like a dream... only problem is the pickups leave something to be desired. I absolutely abhor the 498t bridge pickup with a passion. The 490r neck pickup isn't terrible, but it's not that great either (I much prefer the SD Jazz pickups for that sound).

Anyway I'm looking for a classic rock sound. I have a set of Alnico II pros lying around which i bought used and planned on flipping for extra cash, but I may just use them for this. what do you guys think of the SD alnico II pros? also before I make a switch, I heard that removing the nickel covers from the pickups helps improve tone. any truth to this?
The Alnico IIs sound great for what you want, try them. About the covers, it makes such a small difference that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, and even if you can it's not better, just different. A bit more aggressive I think and the cover tames the highs a bit so more treble I guess. I wouldn't advise it though because you can break the pickup.
Call me Cahum.

Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat
Epiphone AJ-10 Acoustic

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Blackheart 112 cab
removing the covers tends to make a big difference when you've got a guitar with cheap, muddy sounding pickups, as it tends to add that little bit of clarity that "entry level" stock pickups often lack, which is a definite improvement. but with seymour duncans i would imagine the difference will be minimal and not really an "improvement" on the tone, although it depends entirely on the pickup, as sometimes the covers make a huge difference and other times they make no difference at all.

i would install the pickups with the covers first and see if you are happy with the tone, and only remove the covers if you need a little more pre-gain bite.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
Hm... for classic rock tones? You need to be more specific. "Classic rock" spans a huge range, and pickups anywhere from low output PAF style pickups to high output pickups like the Duncan JB or Dimarzio Super Distortion are appropriate depending on what kind of "classic" rock styles you're looking for.

Even amongst similar classic rock styles, sounds can be very different, care to provide an example of the sounds you're after?

Covers do not make a huge difference imo. It really depends on the cover, but a high quality, nickel silver cover should not really have any noticeable effect on tone.

A blind suggestion on pickups for "classic rock" would the Wolfetone Dr. Vintage set. They're awesome, versatile and sound great, very much like a good PAF.

Some clips (though clips rarely do these kinds of things justice)

Last edited by al112987 at Oct 24, 2009,
Quote by al112987
Hm... for classic rock tones? Wolfetone Dr. Vintage set.

Covers do not make a huge difference imo. It really depends on the cover, but a high quality, nickel silver cover should not really have any noticeable effect on tone.

that's what i was gonna say, i just needed some confirmation that it wasn't just some weird bit of information i'd made up in my head as i tend to do sometimes. i've heard that nickel covers have much less impact on the tone than the chrome covers they put on cheaper humbuckers which is one of the reasons it helps to remove the covers on cheap humbuckers.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
the covers themselves aren't usually chrome, but they're often chrome plated, and similarly nickel plated covers also affect high end a bit. I mean... it's a REALLY slight effect, I have to listen closely between having my pickups with a cover on and off and even then, I'm not entirely convinced that it's not some sort of placebo effect.

but if you get high quality covers (ie. higher quality than what you'd get on a Seymour Duncan or Gibson) for example when you buy a set of custom pickups, most winders will not plate the covers with either chrome or nickel because of their effect on the magnetic field of the pickup so they will usually take the raw nickel silver cover and polish it directly to give it the shiny appearance.
its insane how many good pups there are for classic rock. just like al said there are so many variations of classic rock it would be hard to give a precise suggestion.

my blind suggestions

bridge pup - Dimarzio Norton
neck pup- Dimarzio PAF Pro
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Dunlop 535q wah
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if you've got alnico II pros lying around, you might as well try them to see if you like them. they'll be in the right ballpark, kind of thing. if they don't do it for you, then sell them and get some different pickups. I wouldn't bother removing the covers either if you're thinking about selling them.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
yeah it's worth a try. I like A2pros in some guitars but dislike them in others. They're transparent so you need a guitar that sounds good naturally, otherwise they tend to be a little bit lifeless in some guitars. I also don't really like the kind of flavor they add themselves, they're like a PAF as far as DCR and magnet goes but they still sound different. Different wire insulation too, which gives it kind of a rounder texture than a PAF style pickup. But the most important thing to know is whether or not you want a PAF style pickup (like... Clapton, Zeppelin, Bloomfield, Free, Allman Bro) or something geared more towards that '70s-'80s hot rod sound (like Ace Frehley, a ton of hair metal bands, etc.)
Last edited by al112987 at Oct 24, 2009,