#1
bought a project guitar the other day, ibanez ic300 iceman, wanted to change the pickups but didnt want to spend more on them than the ax itself. what are the best passive pickups for playing classic heavy metal and thrash? im considering emg hz h-4, h-4a, and was curious about the dimebucker. what do you guys think?
#2
IMOthe EMG's HZ is pretty much the worst pup I've ever heard,right after the dimebucker

If you want good quality pups,you will have to spend atleast 350$ and get some boutique handwired pups

but if its too expensive for you,I suggest you take a look at SD JB/59 or a dimarzio D activator,evo or a super 2
#3
I prefer the DiMarzio Evolution, personally. If not that, I think that the Seymour Duncan JB is the way to go.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

And have you figured out yet -


Life goes by?
Quote by Hydra150
There's a dick on Earth, too
It's you
#4
EMG HZ's aren't bad pickups, especially for the price. The Dimebucker is a one trick pony and I never felt it was that great. Pickups don't have to cost a ton, take a look at other Duncan pickups. They have a lot that fit the bill and would last you too. They also seem to interact well with the guitar itself (woods, etc). The JB/59 are a good combo and those show up in many guitars. They also make the Invader, Full Shred, Distortion, and a slew of hard rock/metal oriented pickups.
#7
We just recently tested a bunch of Seymour Duncans: Blackouts, Blackouts Metal, Dimebucker, Custom, Full Shred, Distortion Parallel Axis, Invader.

Guitarist ended up favoring the Invader with his setup for solid chunky rhythms: Dean ML, Langner DCP-1, BBE, Digitech GSP1101, Strategy 500.

IMO, Invader lacks a bit of mid-high end so it's not so good for solos... but that can be tweaked with eq/fx.
#8
Quote by SharkSandwich
peavey vypyr 75 watt



Forget it. That's a modeler. Pickups aren't going to do anything for you.
Not saying it's a bad amp.... it's actually a fine amp, but you will definitely be wasting your money.

Pickups are very small percent of your tone. Amp and fingers come first. Your tone won't change enough if any at all to warrant the expense.
Last edited by 667 at Jun 29, 2010,
#9
Quote by 667
Forget it. That's a modeler. Pickups aren't going to do anything for you.
Not saying it's a bad amp.... it's actually a fine amp, but you will definitely be wasting your money.

Pickups are very small percent of your tone. Amp and fingers come first. Your tone won't change enough if any at all to warrant the expense.


+1
#10
Quote by 667
Forget it. That's a modeler. Pickups aren't going to do anything for you.
Not saying it's a bad amp.... it's actually a fine amp, but you will definitely be wasting your money.

Pickups are very small percent of your tone. Amp and fingers come first. Your tone won't change enough if any at all to warrant the expense.


yeah wasnt sure about that either. thanks though, good thing i asked
#11
If $$$ are burning a hole and it's a hardtail, upgrade the tuners to a locking set (Planet Waves are great). Also upgrade to a graphite nut and graphite saddles.
#12
The HZ's aren't bad at all IMO.

I have the EMG ALX...which is almost a HZ-H2, but it comes with a gain boost and freq selector switches.

My HZ sounds better than the EMG 81 that came in my guitar. More output and better tone and dynamics.

The DiMArzio EVO's are also very high output and are very versitile.
Gear
Jackson RR24M - EMG ALX w/ ABQ installed
Ibanez Xiphos - stock
LTD Alexi 600 - stock
Ibanex RG - Tone Zone(bridge), PAF Pro(neck)
Blackstar HT-20H
Fulltone OCD
MXR 10 Band EQ
#13
One Vypyr player to another. On my vypyr when i play two guitars there is little difference.

On my 5150 II, there are huge differences.

Better amp first, my friend.
Gear:
Ibanez RG4EXFM1
Peavey 5150II All Tube 120w Head
Avatar contemporary 2x12 (Celestion v30's)
Peavey Vypyr 15w (Fantastic Practice Amp!!!)

Got Djent?
#14
agreed about a better amp but.....
Irongear Steamhammer pups are designed for metal. Mids are a bit scooped and the bass boosted. A pair of them will not cost what you paid for the axe and you'll be well set for when you get that valve amp.
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

T C Ellis Series 2 LP w/Skatterbrane Quiescence pups
Cort EVL-K6
Yamaha RGX211 modded
H&S Electric 12-string
Shaftsbury Ricki 4001
'84 Fender Yale
Roland Cube 15x

#15
I have a 30w vypyr, and a schecter damien special FR, which comes with stockEMG Hz H-4/H-4A pickups. I recently got a Jackson DKMG with a SD Dimebucker in the bridge, and while the tone didn't change THAT much, it did seem tighter and cruchier. Of course, that's with to completely different guitars, made of different woods, but still; different pups react in different ways. You play the exact same guitar with different pups in it, and it'll have a different "feel" to it.
#16
Bareknuckle Painkiller/Warpig/Nailbomb pickups
Seymour Duncan SH-6/JB, 59
Dimarzio Super Distortion
Lundgren M6
#17
i agree with srob7001.. if you want a emg-hz take the alexi laiho set...you get the emg hz-h4 with a hot gain boost
Last edited by dem0x at Jun 29, 2010,
#18
Quote by archenemyfan
IMO
If you want good quality pups,you will have to spend atleast 350$ and get some boutique handwired pups


Whu??!?!

DiMarzio Breed, DiMarzio Super Distortion, DiMarzio Norton, DiMarzio Tone Zone, DiMarzio Air Norton, DiMarzio Duncan JB, Duncan Custom 5. Let me know when any of those are even over $100. I guarantee you that you can get an amazing tone out of any of those pickups for metal. It's hard to believe some of the stuff you hear on UG, I feel like 90% of the people raving about boutique pickups don't even have the ability to make them sound better any better than a JB by playing with good technique.
G&L Legacy
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez RG20thDY
Ibanez RG25thFP
Agile Septor Elite 727
Fender Evil Twin / Mesa 412
EVH 5150 III Mini / Avatar 212


#19
Quote by PerpetualBurn
Whu??!?!

DiMarzio Breed, DiMarzio Super Distortion, DiMarzio Norton, DiMarzio Tone Zone, DiMarzio Air Norton, DiMarzio Duncan JB, Duncan Custom 5. Let me know when any of those are even over $100. I guarantee you that you can get an amazing tone out of any of those pickups for metal. It's hard to believe some of the stuff you hear on UG, I feel like 90% of the people raving about boutique pickups don't even have the ability to make them sound better any better than a JB by playing with good technique.


none of those pickups you mentioned are any good.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#20
Quote by AcousticMirror
none of those pickups you mentioned are any good.

I don't know what kind of crazy super-sensitive hearing you got going on, but all of those pups sound good, if not great, to me.
#22
Quote by dark__echoes
I don't know what kind of crazy super-sensitive hearing you got going on, but all of those pups sound good, if not great, to me.


I agree with him for the most part. The only ones I'd take out of those are the Custom 5 and Air Norton. I much prefer my Lollars to any other pickup make I've played. They blow away anything I've heard from SD, DiMarzio, EMG, etc. Other boutique brands are comparable but the Lollars do it for me.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#24
SD JB/Jazz,59 Combo is a good Choice

EX. Megadeth Stuff (rust in peace)

A Sd Invader is also a good choice

EX. A7X,Master of Puppets (early stuff)

Dimarzio makes D Activatiors which is a Passive pickup with the active tone.


EMG 85 in a bridge has very good crunch and blackouts are good choice
#25
Quote by dark__echoes
I don't know what kind of crazy super-sensitive hearing you got going on, but all of those pups sound good, if not great, to me.


it's the kind of crazy sensitive hearing that comes from hearing way too many pickups in way to many guitars into way too many amps.

i broke my ears so you don't have. none of those pickups are good. they are sterile and flat. They might be the best examples of pickups like that out there. If you haven't heard any better it's legit that you might think they sound good. However, there's stuff out there that blows any of those pickups away.

If you want to disagree that's fine. But, I'm only going to take you seriously if you list every pickup you've actually played.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#26
I've had the EMG HZ's come stock in a guitar and I can honestly say that I didnt like them at all. I've had $125 project guitars that have come with better pickups. They are low output and dont respond much at all.

The EMG H4/H4A set is not a great choice either for your needs. I like them in one of my guitars. They give you an EMG signature tone, but you dont get the harmonic assault or the sustain. IF you want to blaze and squeal, they aren't for you. What they do however is give a very nice natural vibrato to the tone. I like them for blues, and a little rock or old school metal. They react dynamically the same way as actives, but you just dont have anywhere near the massive gain. They are similar to the 81/85, but they still dont measure up even with the hottest OD you can find. I think the H4'H4a set does have that vibrato that is unique to them.

SD JB/59 combo is hot and can do anything you want. IT is a very good choice.

Duncan Distortion is super hot and will give a dirty sound to an amp all by themselves. They sound HUGE, but they dont have the mid presence the JB/59 do, so you will have slightly less crunch and harmonic responce. The bottom end is tight, heavy and the high end is bright. They will put you in the neighborhood of distorted Gibson tones you remember from recordings. The JB/59 is better at being mixed with affects. The Duncan Distortion is a very specific tone. Dirty, huge and hits hard.
I think they are great for punk.

Keep in mind...with the Duncan Distortion even players that tend to stay at 10 will need to dial down. They start to get dirty around 6.

Bareknuckle Miracleman/Nailbomb..is about the same as Duncan Distortion except a few things. The BK set is not as hot as the DD. The Duncan set is slightly hotter, but the BK set does the same job. The thing that sets the BK set apart though is the distortion. I have never heard any other passive with such a crisp tight distortion. Some players will say it is the cleanest distortion they've ever heard. The mids are a little stronger, so you get a nice crunch with palm mutes and the harmonics jump out more.

Just keep in mind that "Duncan Distortion" is not a gimmick. They truly do breakup. Dont expect to get a clean tone out of them once you crank them up.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Jun 30, 2010,
#28
Quote by archenemyfan
IMOthe EMG's HZ is pretty much the worst pup I've ever heard,right after the dimebucker

If you want good quality pups,you will have to spend atleast 350$ and get some boutique handwired pups
but if its too expensive for you,I suggest you take a look at SD JB/59 or a dimarzio D activator,evo or a super 2



ya if you're a corksniffer


A good pair of SD's or Dimarzios would be fine for 90% of guitarists.

I've heard good things about the D-Activators.
#29
Quote by AcousticMirror
it's the kind of crazy sensitive hearing that comes from hearing way too many pickups in way to many guitars into way too many amps.



Meh, suck it up.

There is a way to make anything sound good without needing to resort to highend products.
╠═══════╬═══════╣

THE LURKER σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

╠═══════╬═══════╣
#30
Quote by silly hats
Meh, suck it up.

There is a way to make anything sound good without needing to resort to highend products.


good does not equal awesome blossom. if you're alright with good that's cool. doesn't take much for good these days. IT'S TEH BEST OF TIMEZ.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#31
Quote by dark__echoes
I don't know what kind of crazy super-sensitive hearing you got going on, but all of those pups sound good, if not great, to me.
He thinks that only because he has a lot of boutique gear, pickups included.

Most of us are fine with Seymour Duncan or Dimarzio, but to AM, they sound like garbage simply because he has heard some of the best pickups out there.

I agree with you. I love Duncans and Dimarzio's, but they just do not compare to boutique pickup brands out there (such as WCR's).
#32
Quote by DIMEBAGLIVEDON
He thinks that only because he has a lot of boutique gear, pickups included.

Most of us are fine with Seymour Duncan or Dimarzio, but to AM, they sound like garbage simply because he has heard some of the best pickups out there.

I agree with you. I love Duncans and Dimarzio's, but they just do not compare to boutique pickup brands out there (such as WCR's).


Really this is it. Big brands sound just fine until you hear your first high end boutique pickup. They simply don't compare.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#33
At the end of the day it's all what you're willing to pay for. I just think it's silly to rationalize that whatever purchase you made is automatically the best. There's nothing wrong with seymour duncans or dimarzios. They are great for a certain type of sound. There are other options in the same price range though that offer custom winds and handcrafting. There are far more expensive options too. a 2k pair of real pafs is worth it for some people. Not so much to me.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#34
Quote by Tedward
ya if you're a corksniffer


A good pair of SD's or Dimarzios would be fine for 90% of guitarists.

I've heard good things about the D-Activators.


wut?I play a guitar with a BKP or a WCR in it and then play one with a industry standard like dimarzio and see the difference..according to everyone's advice I played a guitar with a pair of nailbombs in it and honestly,it was much better than the dimarzio's in my RGT,the sustain,they were so defined and wow,they were just great..
#35
A) BKP aren't $350

B) And there are plenty of "good" pickups for much, much less than that. It's just a matter of having what people believe is the "best". Best is subjective anyways, at least with pickups. I really don't think that people analyze pickups that much, handwinding pups is probably more of an art than a science.
#36
Quote by mmolteratx
How does a pickup give you vibrato?


When you really crank EMG H4's up, they have bluesy singing tone.

The notes have a very slight ringing sound. It almost sounds like a really small touch of vibrato effect. Im not saying they sound like they are running through a vibrato pedal dialed in at 4 of 10, but there is a slight presence. Most people won't even notice it, but it can be a great tool in recording.

I dont really notice the same level of presence in the tone of the 81/85, but I suspect that this characteristic plays a big part in the over-the-top vibrato you can get out of them with fretting tekniks.

I think the preamp and eq of the active counterpart probably take the edge off.

It makes me wonder what unique characteristic of the SD Blackout would stand out if
there was a passive version. However, they sound so much like a passive that the massive gain doesn't seem to sacrifice anything.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Jul 1, 2010,
#38
DiMarzio DP100 Super Distortion Pickup


that is all.

emg passive, i think, tend to suck.
Survivor of:
Maryland Deathfest X
Maryland Deathfest XI
Maryland Deathfest XII
#39
Quote by Arterial
Classic metal and thrash? Sounds like JB/Jazz combo.


+1 to this.

On a side note, do you own an EQ? If not, you should definitely pick one up FIRST. All different pickups do are minor EQ tweaks (albeit, they can make a big difference in your amp). However, you'll get better results by buying an EQ.

If you don't own an EQ yet, then its kinda foolish to be looking at pickups. With pickups you'll spend a lot of money for minor differences. With an EQ you'll spend much less and it'll have a HUGE impact on your tone.
1979 Gibson Les Paul Silverburst
James Tyler Variax JTV89
Schecter C1 Classic
Ibanez RG520QS
Greg Bennett Torino TR4

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
GSP1101 & Pod X3 Pro
Peavey 5150 & JSX
Bugera 6262 & 333XL
Carvin V3
Spider Valve HD100
#40
Quote by Tedward
A) BKP aren't $350

B) And there are plenty of "good" pickups for much, much less than that. It's just a matter of having what people believe is the "best". Best is subjective anyways, at least with pickups. I really don't think that people analyze pickups that much, handwinding pups is probably more of an art than a science.


http://online.physics.uiuc.edu/courses/phys498pom/498emi_guitar_pickup_results.html

Granted, manufacturers probably don't as much but I definitely know some boutiquers measure things like that and analyze material's chemical makeup of some particular vintage gear.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs