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#1
Well i decided that im gonna try to customize the pickup section. so without it being like over priced what kind of pickups are good for metal music.
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#2
Well many people recommend EMG pickups, they're like the industry standard. Some say that Seymour duncan Blackouts are better though. If you don't want active pickups try something from DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan, theres loads to choose from. I've heard that bareknuckle pickups are supreme, if you can afford them.
#3
Depends entirely on your amp, your playing style, your guitar, what (if any) pedals you use, what you consider to be good tone and what you consider to be 'metal'.

Bear in mind too that pickups make a minimal change to your tone unless you go through a very drastic change (e.g. changing from a passive single coil to an active humbucker is a very noticable change; going one ceramic passive humbucker to another ceramic passive humbucker will make sod-all difference). Your amp dictates your tone far more than any other part of your rig does.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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#4
Quote by MrFlibble
Depends entirely on your amp, your playing style, your guitar, what (if any) pedals you use, what you consider to be good tone and what you consider to be 'metal'.

Bear in mind too that pickups make a minimal change to your tone unless you go through a very drastic change (e.g. changing from a passive single coil to an active humbucker is a very noticeable change; going one ceramic passive humbucker to another ceramic passive humbucker will make sod-all difference). Your amp dictates your tone far more than any other part of your rig does.
well i was gonna change it from 2 ESP LH-100 humbuckers (terrible horrible blah sound) to emg's...i thought that would make a noticeable change.
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#5
Oh yeah. From LH-100's to EMG's would make a HUGE change. but you're better off with passives. Something high output in the bridge, and something mild, and flexible in the neck.

I always suggest the Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded pickup set. But that's just me.
#6
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
Oh yeah. From LH-100's to EMG's would make a HUGE change. but you're better off with passives. Something high output in the bridge, and something mild, and flexible in the neck.

I always suggest the Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded pickup set. But that's just me.

would they give a good metal tone sound.
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#7
EMG's, yeah. but they might also sound like crap. Assuming you don't have tube amp or high quality SS amp.

You're better off with the passives, and the pickup set i suggested is two pickups, they are very flexible. I think the its the '59/Jazz combo, $130. Cheaper than buying them separate.
#9
Amp?
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
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
Don't touch active pickups. They're a very specialised pickup that require a very specific rig, set up and style of playing to get any actual use out of them, and nine times out of ten they will actually end up being far worse than any passive pickup because the vast majority of people neither have the right sort of rig nor th right kind of playing style to actually make any use of them. My rule of thumb is if you have to ask about them, you don't need them.

Before anyone can give you any advise that will actually be useful, we need to know the following:
  • What amp you use.
  • What guitar you use.
  • What pedals (if any) you use.
  • What sort of genre(s) you usually play; 'metal' is a very broad and vague category (e.g. hard rock, classic metal, heavy metal, black metal, gothic metal, etc).
  • What your specific style of playing is (e.g. rhythm, lead or both? Shred lead, neo classical, chunky powerchord chugging or single note riffing?).
  • What you think is wrong with your tone now, and how would you like to change it? What is, to you, a good tone?.
  • What's your budget and where do you live?
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#11
a Passive with a large Ceramic magnet sounds just as good as an active on the right gear and "player"
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
#13
Quote by MetalGuitarest
for passive pickups i'd get seymour duncan JB set, for actives seymour duncan blackouts or emg 81/89


SH-2+SH-6 is far better than JB combo I assure you
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
#14
Quote by MrFlibble
Don't touch active pickups. They're a very specialised pickup that require a very specific rig, set up and style of playing to get any actual use out of them, and nine times out of ten they will actually end up being far worse than any passive pickup because the vast majority of people neither have the right sort of rig nor th right kind of playing style to actually make any use of them. My rule of thumb is if you have to ask about them, you don't need them.

Before anyone can give you any advise that will actually be useful, we need to know the following:
  • What amp you use.
  • What guitar you use.
  • What pedals (if any) you use.
  • What sort of genre(s) you usually play; 'metal' is a very broad and vague category (e.g. hard rock, classic metal, heavy metal, black metal, gothic metal, etc).
  • What your specific style of playing is (e.g. rhythm, lead or both? Shred lead, neo classical, chunky powerchord chugging or single note riffing?).
  • What you think is wrong with your tone now, and how would you like to change it? What is, to you, a good tone?.
  • What's your budget and where do you live?


  • What amp you use. Quantum.
  • What guitar you use. ESP Ltd ec-50
  • What pedals (if any) you use. Delta lab metal distortion....and a chorus a wah and an octaver
  • What sort of genre(s) you usually play; 'metal' is a very broad and vague . Death metal black metal hard metal (metallica)(AS i lay dying)
  • What your specific style of playing is (e.g. rhythm, lead or both? Shred lead, neo classical, chunky powerchord chugging or single note riffing?). some lead tapping solos...and the ocasional rythemish thing.(heavy distorted palm muted bar chords in drop c lol)
  • What you think is wrong with your tone now, and how would you like to change it? What is, to you, a good tone?. Well its just that it sounds to soft like playing through cotton i need like a bit more punch on sound. that was a bad example.
  • What's your budget and where do you live? its around 60 bucks ( St.augustine, Florida)
That was allot lol
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#15
If I were you id go for a set of Dimarzio Evolutions. The bridge gets some nice palm muting plus a good lead tone and the neck gives a nice warm tone. You get great sustain and harmonics out of em too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLVjmBSEOLA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QAD7lwTjHY

Bridge: http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/DiMarzio-DP159-Evolution-Bridge-Pickup?sku=302960
Neck: http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/DiMarzio-DP158-Evolution-Neck-Pickup?sku=302950
#16
Quote by Prodigy179
If I were you id go for a set of Dimarzio Evolutions. The bridge gets some nice palm muting plus a good lead tone and the neck gives a nice warm tone. You get great sustain and harmonics out of em too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLVjmBSEOLA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QAD7lwTjHY

Bridge: http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/DiMarzio-DP159-Evolution-Bridge-Pickup?sku=302960
Neck: http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/DiMarzio-DP158-Evolution-Neck-Pickup?sku=302950
wow these are great! ive arranged for me and a pro guitar tech to meet at a music shop and talk guitars and he said that he would help me look of some new pickups.
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#17
Quote by MrFlibble
Depends entirely on your amp, your playing style, your guitar, what (if any) pedals you use, what you consider to be good tone and what you consider to be 'metal'.

Bear in mind too that pickups make a minimal change to your tone unless you go through a very drastic change (e.g. changing from a passive single coil to an active humbucker is a very noticable change; going one ceramic passive humbucker to another ceramic passive humbucker will make sod-all difference). Your amp dictates your tone far more than any other part of your rig does.



thats just crap

1.amp
2.pickups
3.guitar wood
#18
Quote by jman_nunez
wow these are great! ive arranged for me and a pro guitar tech to meet at a music shop and talk guitars and he said that he would help me look of some new pickups.



And since your a Metallica fan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW7X8F76vs&annotation_id=annotation_765219&feature=iv

Same guy, Same guitar, Same pickups. Hes running through a Pod--->Crate Powerblock---->Cabinet.
#19
Quote by MetalGuitarest
for passive pickups i'd get seymour duncan JB set or Seymour Duncan sh6 (bridge) and 59 (neck), for actives seymour duncan blackouts or emg 81/60


Fixed.

Also, try out Bareknuckles, they are raved about more than capitalism.
#20
Quote by Prodigy179
And since your a Metallica fan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW7X8F76vs&annotation_id=annotation_765219&feature=iv

Same guy, Same guitar, Same pickups. Hes running through a Pod--->Crate Powerblock---->Cabinet.
yai saw that one that was my favorite video if u look at the video i posted a comment on it like 4 hours ago lol
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#21
Sounds like a Seymour Duncan Custom is what you want. Fairly high output with a compressed, punchy tone. Without knowing what specific model of amp you have though I can't say for sure if a pickup change is even worth it for you. From the sound of it your tone worries may have more to do with your amp than your pickups.

Quote by Tedis1111
thats just crap

1.amp
2.pickups
3.guitar wood
Utterly, utterly, no.

amp - pedals - guitar construction - neck wood - body wood - neck join - bridge - electronics. Pickups don't effect your tone even remotely as much as your guitar's wood and construction does.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#22
Quote by MrFlibble

amp - pedals - guitar construction - neck wood - body wood - neck join - bridge - electronics. Pickups don't effect your tone even remotely as much as your guitar's wood and construction does.


This is true, only thing I have noticed is the SH-6 & 8 models just have more clarity
on ring out notes and cut through a tad more, about it. Lower pickup models
can be just as sensitive and will require a different setting on your amp.

A lot of tonality's can be found adjusting pickup heights and pole heights

link goes more in depth

http://gretschpages.com/articles/mals-big-guide-guitar-setup-and-troubleshooting/
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
#23
I also want to get some metal sounding PUPS, but on a semi hollow.
Right now its got a Duncan designed jazz pick up on neck with stock PUP on bridge, looking to get something on the bridge, wait would that make a difference?
#24
Quote by howangcturtle
I also want to get some metal sounding PUPS, but on a semi hollow.
Right now its got a Duncan designed jazz pick up on neck with stock PUP on bridge, looking to get something on the bridge, wait would that make a difference?


SH2 neck SH6 in bridge does it all, they sell them with covers
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
#25
In a cheaper guitar with cheap woods like the EC-50, I'd go with actives..
Tons of good deals on Harmony Central and Sevenstring.org.
#26
Quote by BryanFTWL
In a cheaper guitar with cheap woods like the EC-50, I'd go with actives..
are you talking about me or him lol
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#28
I'm going to buck the EMG trend, and say a slightly overwound PAF type - say 9k DC resistance. Nearly every pickup company makes something like that. It worked for Van Halen, and it can work for you

Of course, we may be talking about different types of metal, but with modern high gain preamps there is no need for a particularly high output pickup. What you want is dynamic, not hot.
GMW hot-rod telecaster
GMW soloist
PRS Custom 24
The Illegal Les Paul
CAE 3+SE
Soldano SM-100R
Splawn 4x12

“Life is on the wire…the rest is just waiting” - Papa Wallenda
Substitute the stage for the wire, and he's got it.
#29
Quote by Tedis1111
thats just crap

1.amp
2.pickups
3.guitar wood

I agree with this 100%. While wood matters, amps, speakers and pickups matter WAY more - they're actually in the electrical signal path.
GMW hot-rod telecaster
GMW soloist
PRS Custom 24
The Illegal Les Paul
CAE 3+SE
Soldano SM-100R
Splawn 4x12

“Life is on the wire…the rest is just waiting” - Papa Wallenda
Substitute the stage for the wire, and he's got it.
Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 14, 2009,
#30
Quote by Even Bigger D
I agree with this 100%. While wood matters, amps, speakers and pickups matter WAY more - they're actually in the electrical signal path.

Just being in the signal path wont mean they make more difference. By that logic, pots should make a bigger difference than wood. MrFlibble is right, unless you're going from complete crap pickups to SD's, Dimarzio's, EMG, Bareknuckle, etc, there wont be a huge difference. If you had 2 guitars, exactly the same shape, but one had a Mahogany body and the other say Alder, and one had Dimarzio PAF Pro's and one Seymour Duncans (I dont know SD's) of similar output to the Dimarzio's, changing the body alone would make much more difference than changing the pickups. Its just not well known because its mostly too much hassle to change a body, and is far easier to swap pickups, or get a different guitar completely.
#31
We may just have to agree to disagree. I've changed lots of pickups and used the same pickups in lots of guitars. My experience has been that the difference between two different guitars both with the same pickups is much smaller than between the same guitar with substantially different pickups.

I will agree that lots of manufacturers make somewhat similar pickups. Nearly everyone makes about 3 variants on the 9k bridge potted PAF. They all sound 90% the same. But if you go to something radically different (say, a 15k ceramic HB) the change is very obvious.
GMW hot-rod telecaster
GMW soloist
PRS Custom 24
The Illegal Les Paul
CAE 3+SE
Soldano SM-100R
Splawn 4x12

“Life is on the wire…the rest is just waiting” - Papa Wallenda
Substitute the stage for the wire, and he's got it.
Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 14, 2009,
#32
Depending on how you approach swapping pickups, they will either have a big difference or little difference.

I don't buy blindly and keep if it sounds good, I have a very specific tone in my head, the kind of attack I want, the kind of tone I'd like to hear when I bent a note on the g around the 5th fret and the kind of tone I want to hear when I bend at the 12th fret. How a pickup sounds with the volume pot rolled down to 7 and how it sounds when rolled down to 3. These things all matter to me, and when you are looking for THAT sound, then little things become big things and what a lot of people are probably thinking are small unnoticeable differences, become huge glaring differences to you.

I've had several different types of PAF style pickups, and they've all sounded different to me.
#33
Give the Wilde Bill's(the 'real' bill lawrence) bl500xl a try. I believe the SD sh-13 was based off the early versions of this pickup. Notable users were Dave Mustaine and Dimebag Darrell. The only problem is that they're a real pain to order.
Last edited by Grimriffer at Dec 15, 2009,
#34
UGH so much bickering about tone on here..... the pickups have alot to do with the sound, on any guitar..... if you have a good amp, the differences are much more audible.... all these threads and vids are making me want another predominantly metal-suited guitar.
2008 M.I.A. HSS Strat
Marshall JCM 900 50w Dual Reverb
Last edited by LPstudioWRz28 at Dec 15, 2009,
#35
Quote by MrFlibble
Sounds like a Seymour Duncan Custom is what you want. Fairly high output with a compressed, punchy tone. Without knowing what specific model of amp you have though I can't say for sure if a pickup change is even worth it for you. From the sound of it your tone worries may have more to do with your amp than your pickups.

Utterly, utterly, no.

amp - pedals - guitar construction - neck wood - body wood - neck join - bridge - electronics. Pickups don't effect your tone even remotely as much as your guitar's wood and construction does.


I think this may be a bit misleading, depending on the style of music you play and the pickups used. Active pickups, with their built in EQ, would tend to decrease the effects of a given guitars' construction and materials more than any passive pickup would, just because of their EQ.

IMO, if you play predominantly metal, you can't go wrong with Seymour Duncan Blackouts. Who cares about guitar construction, these are (imo) the best active pickups and they will decimate in just about anything.

Opinion aside, I think we can all agree that the amp plays the biggest part in sound. I can't comment on much else, as I play metal and hard rock mainly, but I have sets of SD Blackouts and SD Invaders, and luv em each for their own qualities, though they are hugely different. Both are very middy, the Invaders having more bass and less treble, and the Blackouts more treble and less bass. Nothing beats the blackouts for high output clarity and a really hot sound, but imo the invaders have a very thick sound that makes powerchords and octaves sound thicker. Both are in mahogany, set neck 24fret schecters.

Have also had EMG 81/85, Dimarzio D-Activators (set) and stock epiphone SG400 pickups.
#36
I've got one guitar with the JB/Jazz combo, another with Evolutions, and yet another with D Activators. For pure modern Metal the D Activators are probably the best. However, they aren't as versatile as the JB/Jazz combo which can pretty much do everything except for the very extreme end of the metal spectrum. They are great for 80's/90's metal sound. The Evo's are nice as well, but I just don't like them as much as the other 2 combos.

Good Vid of D Activators:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFY6OgKIdTo
#37
Quote by jman_nunez
would they give a good metal tone sound.



And what is "a good metal tone sound" exactly?
#38
Quote by GrandWazoo
And what is "a good metal tone sound" exactly?
like able to have a nice tone for when i chug bar chords in drop c. or when i play a metalish solo will it sound nice and tonefull (not a word lol)
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
#39
not especially helpful - what is a "nice" tone? What does "toneful" entail? A little bit more specific please.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
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.
#40
Quote by oneblackened
not especially helpful - what is a "nice" tone? What does "toneful" entail? A little bit more specific please.
ok well watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFOmKOtwVi4 that sound is what i want.
"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling." - Anonymous
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