#1
I have an ESP LTD MH-1000 (Mahogany body, maple neck neck through) and I am kind of bored with the sterile emg sound, especially through my solid state amp. I was thinking about getting the crunch lab and liquid fire from dimarzio, but I'm not sure if its exactly what i'm looking for. I play a lot of metal (trivium, iron maiden, metallica, slayer, judas priest, avenged sevenfold, etc) so I want the pickup to handle gain well and have a really nice low chugging sound for thrash but I also want to be able to get a nice clean tone. Basically I want a pickup that is great for metal but versatile enough for me to play other genres as well.
#2
Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold =/= Metal. But on to the point, Dimarzio super distortion is my personal favorite bridge pup, as for neck... i dont exactly know, but i have heard good things about/from the john petrucci neck pickup(Liquifire?). That would be my suggestion Dimarzio has sound clips on there website.

EDIT: and congrats on realizing EMG's sound cold and lifeless.
#3
Dude, go for a set of seymour duncan blackouts in my opinion! Definitely got a nice clean tone, but since they are still active alnico pickups they still have a brutal metal hi gain tone =D
#5
Quote by kennykenny
Dude, go for a set of seymour duncan blackouts in my opinion! Definitely got a nice clean tone, but since they are still active alnico pickups they still have a brutal metal hi gain tone =D


blackouts are ceramic, and the cleans albeit better then emgs are still souless.
#6
try out the JB59's
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#7
Oh, get off the EMG Bandwagon. They're not "horrible" pups like everyone thinks, nor are they the best. Has it occurred to anyone that a very, VERY large amount of metal albums released in the past who-knows-how-long were recorded with EMGs?

And speaking of sounding cold, aren't they suppose to, since they're meant for metal.

I'm tired of people saying they suck. They don't deserve a lot of the good hype they get, but they also don't deserve the bad.
#8
The Crunch Lab/Liquifire combo would most likely do just what you want, although I haven't tried it.

Now, speaking from experience, I'd get a Super Distortion in the bridge. It's amazing for high gain, and while the cleans aren't great, they're not awful either. That's if you want a metal/hard rock pickup though. If you want something more versatile, maybe a DiMarzio Norton, or a Duncan JB for the bridge (JB's are great in Mahogany bodies IMO).

What amp are you using anyway?
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#9
The EMG that sounds sterile is the 81, and even then, you can EQ it to sound pretty good, it has a twangy Telecaster-ish sound. The EMG 60 is incredibly smooth and beautiful, one of the best I've heard out of a humbucker. If you really want a nice clean sound with EMG's, switch to the neck pickup or use a different bridge model, like the 85. Also, 18v modding helps to alleviate the sterility, and you can also add chorus to the 81 to give it a real nice sound. A great example of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0zyWlcosTk
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Gear:

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#10
My 81/60 combo in my guitar sounds amazing like said above the 60's are amazing. alot smoother then the others with more of a calm twang.
#11
Quote by stephen_rettie
what is your current amp?

my practice amp that i have with me at college is a Roland Cube 15. At home I have a Vox Valvetronix.
#12
You could get the EMG 81TW and 89. They both have coil taps and so you get single coil as well, which would work better for cleans.
#13
Quote by Moose_Avenger
my practice amp that i have with me at college is a Roland Cube 15. At home I have a Vox Valvetronix.

Then there's not really any point spending money on pickups - it's just a lot of expenditure for what will amount to not an awful lot of improvment.
Actually called Mark!

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#14
Quote by SMB13
Oh, get off the EMG Bandwagon. 1. They're not "horrible" pups like everyone thinks, nor are they the best. 2. Has it occurred to anyone that a very, VERY large amount of metal albums released in the past who-knows-how-long were recorded with EMGs?

And speaking of sounding cold, aren't they suppose to, since they're meant for metal.

I'm tired of people saying they suck. 3. They don't deserve a lot of the good hype they get, but they also don't deserve the bad.


1. and 3. Who's giving them the good hype if everyone think's they suck?
2. Has it occured to you that a very VERY large amount of metal albums released in the past who-knows-how-long were also recorded with very high quality gear, and have been produced and mixed/mastered so even a plywood strat copy with stock pickups would sound like it was played by Thor? Get off your high horse


TS, if you are not happy with your active pickups then maybe try switching to passives. If you sell your EMG's you should get enough money to pick up a decent pair of Duncans of DiMarzio's.

On the other hand you might actually get a very good tone out of your guitar if you save up for a bit longer and go for an all tube amp to really get the best out of them. The choice is up to you
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#15
yeah maybe i will just save up my money for a mesa dual rectifier or a marshall. too bad they cost an arm and a leg.
#16
a ENGL is what cost an arm in the leg
and it does both clean and distortion rather well

To be perfectly honest the SH-6 (Duncan Distortion)
is a ceramic magnet which has a god bit of sustain
I find it more "organic" than an active
mind you an EQ loop can make a pickup
sound pretty good. I've noticed that the settings
between some pickups will vary to get a similar sound.

EMG's arn't bad, just not my preference, just as I
think Standard tunings are heavier than Drop
Ibanez AEL10E BLK- W/ Graph Tech Nut, Saddle and Pins
Duncan Woody XL Pickup w/ stock fishman EQ

Schecter C1+ Darksunburst w/ SH-4 (N) & SH-6 (B) 24.75"
Gain boost Switch
11-14-21w-38w-49w-60w D'Addario strings
ENGL Fireball+Savage+Vader Cab
#17
Holy crap people, how did this get so far? I stopped after

Quote by Moose_Avenger
I have an ESP LTD MH-1000 (Mahogany body, maple neck neck through) and I am kind of bored with the sterile emg sound, especially through my solid state amp.


What a surprise, active pickups through a solid state amp sound crap! I never would have guessed!


OP, changing pickups to any other kind of active pickups will do nothing to your tone and changing to passives won't really fix it either. You're simply not using your gear in the way it's designed to be used so it's no wonder it doesn't sound good. The only time active pickups are used with solid state amps is for very ultra clean and responsive jazz tones - even then, we're talking about highly specialist solid state amps that run into the multiple thousands. The main use for active pickups is to drive a naturally medium- or high-gain all-valve amp harder than it usually can with minimal background noise and hum.
Neither of these things apply to you. You've not got a high-gain valve amp that you're turning to 11 and you've not got a specialist jazz amp either.

You could change out the actives for passive pickups. This means changing out all of the electronics in the guitar and will do next to nothing for your tone. A much better option is to get a different amp. Your amp defines your tone much more than your pickups do - from the sound of it, the aspect of your tone you're not liking is the rigid sterility that solid state amps provide. The answer is fairly straight forward; get a naturally mid-gain all-valve amp. There are lots of good, affordable valve amps out there - you don't have to be looking at Mesa triple rectis and Marshall full stacks right away. You'd probably be okay with something in the 5-15W range and valve combos around there don't cost that much, usually no more than your current amps do. So long as whatever amp you get is valve-based for both the pre-amp and power-amp sections and it's got a gain control so you can really crank the pre-amp, you'll probably find your current EMGs are fine.
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