#1
I have been deliberating over this for a long time (since I got the guitar to be precise), irritating certain people by asking for advice/info and not really acting on it in any way whatsoever, but I've now decided that it's time to take a chunk out of my amp fund and change the pickups in my Charvel.

The neck pickup I have more or less decided is going to be a DiMarzio PAF Joe; I have one in my Ibanez (JS100) and I love it, and it should adapt well enough to the brighter toned Charvel.

The bridge pickup I am less sure about. The JB is too harsh in the highs and a little bit too thin for me. I'm looking for something fatter, with reasonably well defined but not overwhelming lows, and deep but most importantly sweet highs, with an open, vocal midrange. I play classic hard rock in the vein of Van Halen and for me the Brown Sound is probably the optimum.

Firstly, I've checked out the Seymour Duncan audio samples on the website (these are fairly, some would say scientifically, executed, with the same guitar, amp, settings, player and song) and in comparison with the JB I'm really enjoying the Custom Custom. I am aware that it has a reputation for spongy bass response though. What can you good folk tell me about the full extent of the potential muddiness and the harmonic response of the pickup?

Other pickups I've been considering have been the DiMarzio Breed Bridge model (concerned that its output might overwhelm the Joe), the DiMarzio Tone Zone (Ditto the Breed), the DiMarzio AT-1 (unfamiliar with it), the DiMarzio Air Zone (Unfamiliar with it), the DiMarzio Mo' Joe (too bright?), the Duncan Custom (heard it's sterile) and the Duncan Pearly Gates (unfamiliar with it). I'm also deeply enamored with Bare Knuckle pickups, as some of you might know, but I'm not sure which one of them would fit my own requirements the best; I know that the VHII is meant to be a Brown Sound type of thing, but I've actually heard that it's quite airy sounding - more like a beefed up single coil.

That was quite a lot, but I'd really appreciate it if anybody can offer me any advice as to the pickups I've mentioned and my concerns regarding them, or as to good options I haven't taken into consideration. Thanks all~

Edit: Budget isn't really an issue so as it isn't ridiculous - genuine 50s PAFs are off limits, thanks
Last edited by Rock Pig at Oct 29, 2009,
#2
personally i'd try the boutique pickup makers based in the UK- bulldog, bare knuckle and the like. I've heard the same thing about the VH2, but haven't tried it. best bet is to ask at the BK forum and email tim for advice, they know the pickups better than I do.

yeah, i'd say spongy bass response on the custom custom. Custom 5 might be better, but i've only tried the custom and custom custom. I'd be a bit concerned that the PG might suffer from a similar problem to the custom custom, or at least be too vintage-sounding.

tone zone might be too much bass, though it might be ok in an alder/maple superstrat.

breed... i thought it was a bit nondescript, if that makes sense. I don't remember much about it, it didn't really make much of an impression on me, basically. sounded like a reasonably neutral-sounding mid output pickup... maybe that was the basswood jem as much as the pickup, though.

steven seagull is the guy you want to talk to about dimarzios, really, i haven't tried anywhere near as many as he has. I jhaven't tried the other pickups you mentioned...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#3
Thanks Dave!
I'm really hoping the bass response of the Custom Custom is a non-issue since on the audio demos on the Duncan site (which are hugely helpful IMO) it does exactly what I want it to do in comparison with the JB. Irritatingly, the demo for the Custom 5 is completely different to all the other demos.
I've tried both the Breed and Tone Zone, and liked them but I'm concerned that theyd overwhelm the Joe in terms of output.
#4
Dimarzio Norton is right up your alley
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Tribute (Bare Knuckle Nailbombs)
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul (Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentinent)
-Ibanez S470 (Dimarzio D-sonic and Humbucker from Hell)
-PRS SE Custom (Guitarforce Black Diamond and Lord of the Blues)

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
EVH 5150III EL-34 50w
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Boss Super Chorus
Bogner Uberschall
Ibanez DE7 Delay
Electro-Harmonix Power Booster
Fender PT100 Pedal Tuner

Strings:
Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom 10-52
#5
I hadn't considered the Norton, but reading the marketing blurb on the DiMarzio site it sounds like a good one - Tone Zone beef with Fred harmonics or something to that effect. I'm pretty sure I read in an interview with Satch that the JS24 Ibanez are releasing next year (24 fret JS with DiMarzio Pro Track neck pickup, probably going to be unveiled at the January NAMM or whatever it is) is going to have a Norton in it so I might as well just wait around for a chance to try that out.
Thanks for that
#6
TBH, for what you play, the SH-11 should be perfect!
It's a great choice for Strats and Super Strats alike. Definitely will be smoother and warmer than your JB.

The only other SD pickup that I think would be good for your needs would be a custom shop model, the Evenly Voiced Harmonics model. Not saying you're trying to sound like Eddie, but that's supposed to be a copy of his pickup. Might be worth looking into, if you want a bit of the brown sound.
#7
yeah i liked the custom custom more than the JB. I did notice a bit of a spongy bass response, but then the guitars i tried it in were mahogany set neck washburns, so it might be ok in your charvel.

i'd still go boutique, though.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
I'm not going to pretend I don't want to sound like Eddie - I think I'll look into the EVH (IIRC they renamed it the '78 model, right?) but at that price I daresay I'd rather go boutique. More to the point, it's not really the details of the Brown Sound that turn me on, just the vibe of the whole thing!
Glad to hear the Custom Custom isn't too poorly defined; to be honest I've just finished practicing with my band and I can't see a little bit of mud being too much harm anyway. It's sounding like a real winner to me; almost certainly what I'll go with if I don't have the heart to take too much money out of the amp fund.
If I do go boutique though, the Bare Knuckle Rebel Yell is probably the thing, although the Bulldog Fat PAF sounds just as good - choices, choices...
Thanks a lot all~
#10
Quote by forsaknazrael
The Custom Custom does a pretty decent job, I think you'll be satisfied.


What about the BKP VHII?

It's touted as a Van Halen soundalike, yeah, but it's actually quite, I don't want to say thin because that sounds like a negative, but it's more like a beefed up single coil than a hot PAF. Not really ideal for me here - the Rebel Yell, Black Dog and the Crawler are probably the ones I should be considering.

Despite the nagging impulse to go boutique, I think I'll just go with the Custom Custom; I couldn't justify the price of boutique when there's an off the shelf model that does more or less exactly what I want it to, if without the polish of the more upmarket stuff.

Although then again... I do rather fancy that polish sometimes

Cheers for the pointers then - Custom Custom + PAF Joe it is!
#11
just to point out (having not tried any ), i think the duncan custom shop stuff (along with the antiquities) probably does count as boutique, i think it's handwound and all. I think. it's supposed to be a lot better than the standard duncans.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
just to point out (having not tried any ), i think the duncan custom shop stuff (along with the antiquities) probably does count as boutique, i think it's handwound and all. I think. it's supposed to be a lot better than the standard duncans.

So I've heard, from the tone hounds at the Bare Knuckle forum no less.
How does the Duncan custom shop work? Is it a whole different line of products or do they do custom equivalents of all the standard models as well?
#13
that's where i heard it too Though i've heard it from al957####whatever round here too, and to be honest I kinda suspected it might be true before that.

I have no idea how it works, to be honest, sorry.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
that's where i heard it too Though i've heard it from al957####whatever round here too, and to be honest I kinda suspected it might be true before that.

I have no idea how it works, to be honest, sorry.


I haven't been on BKP in ages - just lurking. Actually I made a thread about my Charvel there about as soon as I got it and managed to waste 2 pages of their time and bandwidth

I'll look into the Duncan thing myself then - a Custom shop SH-11 would be the optimum (a Custom Custom Custom?). Cheers all!
#15
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#17
Quote by forsaknazrael
I think you've misunderstood. They don't make custom shop models of Production line pickups. Dave was referring to the the Custom Shop, in regards to the '78.


they actually do make custom shop models of production line pickups
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Tribute (Bare Knuckle Nailbombs)
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul (Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentinent)
-Ibanez S470 (Dimarzio D-sonic and Humbucker from Hell)
-PRS SE Custom (Guitarforce Black Diamond and Lord of the Blues)

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
EVH 5150III EL-34 50w
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Boss Super Chorus
Bogner Uberschall
Ibanez DE7 Delay
Electro-Harmonix Power Booster
Fender PT100 Pedal Tuner

Strings:
Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom 10-52
#19
Quote by forsaknazrael
wat. You mean, like they can customize options on them? Yeah, i think so, but it's not like they make better versions of the production models - that's what I gathered from his post.

Yeah, that's what I meant. I just have no idea what the Duncan Custom shop does - that's why I was asking.
#20
neither do i. So apologies if i looked like i was suggesting that they offered a specific service.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
Quote by Dave_Mc
neither do i. So apologies if i looked like i was suggesting that they offered a specific service.

No worries, you didn't. I just seem to recall somebody ordering a custom shop JB or something. Eh, silly dream or something.
#22
aye. some of the reliced edwardses had custom shop JBs, I think (though I'm not sure exactly what that meant). the JB tele, i think, but i don't see it any more on the site which sold it...

According to guitar japan, though, "A limited model is accompanied, and please understand it on the occasion of a sellout."

so that's that cleared up unambiguously.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
oh, man, some of the japanese translations are hilarious. I'm not making fun, their english is a heck of a lot better than my japanese, but sometimes you could hardly help but laugh.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#25
Quote by Dave_Mc
oh, man, some of the japanese translations are hilarious. I'm not making fun, their english is a heck of a lot better than my japanese, but sometimes you could hardly help but laugh.

True that