#1
I previously owned a Jackson RR3 that I set up for B standard. Here are the string gauges and what string each one was:

B - .13
F# - .17
D - .26
A - .36
E - .46
B - .54

The guitar had a Seymour Duncan Jazz / JB set in it, and had a 25.5" neck with 22 frets. I thought it was "okay", sounded pretty nice clean but it was very muddy and inarticulate when distorted. Did not really like it.I'm thinking about doing the same thing with my Eclipse sometime in the future - that is, setting it up for B standard. It has a Seymour Duncan '59 / JB set, a 24.75" neck with 22 frets.

Do you think that, for a single cutaway full thickness mahogany body guitar, that those pickups will work? If not, why wouldn't they? What should I consider when wanting to switch to pickups that handle these low tunings better? Clear, articulate tones are important. Just because it's a low tuning doesn't mean I'm going to play brutal metal with it. Which I won't. I should be able to play clean, rock, hardrock and heavy metal. Sort of like my current pickups but with a lower tuning.

Note: Do NOT simply suggest pickups. That does nothing for me. I'd much rather know what it is that makes a certain pickup good or bad for B standard, for instance if the pickup should boost mid/high frequencies or cut lows, what magnet are optimal, and so on and so forth. I don't know much really, hence the topic
#2
I would take it to a guitar shop to get it set up. It costs little and in my experience they really do a great job. What I did in the past, was go to a shop, tell them the following criteria:
- I want it with the lowest action possible, without fret buzz
-Tuned to (for me it was C standard) B standard
- Truss rod adjusted so it doesn't f*** up the neck.

It shouldn't cost you more that 50 bucks.

Another thing to consider is just getting a baritone guitar. They're made for such drop tunings as that one, or even lower.

The pickups won't change that much for the muddiness.
Last edited by Dream Floyd at Aug 27, 2010,
#3
i disagree, the pickups will make a huge difference for example if the pickups boost mids then the notes who's frequencies are predominantly mid range will be boosted yet if you change to a lower tuning you'll be playing much lower notes that may not be as predominantly midrange so you won't be boosting those same places on the fretboard
sorry if i've explained that badly but the gist is there
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#4
Quote by Dream Floyd
I would take it to a guitar shop to get it set up. It costs little and in my experience they really do a great job. What I did in the past, was go to a shop, tell them the following criteria:
- I want it with the lowest action possible, without fret buzz
-Tuned to (for me it was C standard) B standard
- Truss rod adjusted so it doesn't f*** up the neck.

It shouldn't cost you more that 50 bucks.

Another thing to consider is just getting a baritone guitar. They're made for such drop tunings as that one, or even lower.

The pickups won't change that much for the muddiness.

ORLY? you could not be more wrong. Ever heard of a seymour duncan dimebucker? those are known to be one of the most muddiest pickups out. Compared to scatterwound pickups like bareknuckles for example there is not competition in terms of clarity, note seperation and clearness.
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Quote by m33sta.

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#5
Dream Floyd: The question wasn't about me setting it up. As I previously stated, I've done this before (I took it to a shop and they set it up) and I think the wood/shape of that guitar, and the pickups, made the guitar sound a bit muddy and inarticulate.

And yeah, pickups will do a difference. I realize that part of the muddiness comes from the heavy gauge strings on that short neck (a baritone guitar would let me use standard .10-.46 gauge strings). But some of the muddiness is due to the pickups as well. More importantly, the right pickups on the right guitar! I know this because when strung with normal gauge strings, my Eclipse still sounded better than my Jackson. Same bridge pickup, but my Eclipse was just so much better sounding - the Jackson did sound good too, but not as good as the Eclipse (in my opinion anyway).

Back on track: Compare a DiMarzio Super 2, a Bluesbucker and an Air Zone in the neck. Just as an example.
#6
What amp are you running trough? some amps handle low tunings better then others.
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#7
I don't know if this was mentioned, but baritone guitars do best with longer necks. Something like 27" is best (or better) for something like B standard. I do not recommend tuning a guitar to B with a scale length of 24.75"... You're just gonna end up with really big and/or really floppy strings. :/
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#8
Amp?

I think what amp you are using has alot to do with it as well. I play everuything from standard to drop B with my Peavey and it all sounds good. My LP has active EMG's in it, but my V has stock PUPS and both sounded great with drop tunings.

Yes PUPS will make a difference, but not if you are playing through a shitty amp to begin with.
#9
I second the notion of a longer neck. My LP in C standard is a tad muddy. My suggestion would be to go up another string size, like into the 13-56 range. String gauge helps so much with the muddiness. I have like 12-60 on my LP, and I'm considering going to 13-65, just to have really manly strings...

Then again, I'm a bit crazy....
#10
Have people read through my post properly? I am fully aware of string tension. It was very clearly put out that for a 25.5" neck I used .13-.54 strings as opposed to .10-.46. I know that a baritone will sound difference and better than a regular low tuned guitar with thicker strings. However, setting a guitar up for B standard is $50. Getting a baritone guitar of equal quality will cost me 20 times as much. Maybe when the time comes, I will decide to buy that baritone instead, but that's for another topic.

As for use of amps, I'm using an Ibanez 15W solid state amp. And yes, I can make it sound good. I know that a cheap 8" speaker will sound very inferior to a good 12" speaker, but I've also tried this guitar through a marshall head hooked to a 4x12 cab. It sounded better through the Ibanez.

So, let's get back on track: PICKUPS. For a FTB mahogany body guitar with a 24.75" neck.
#11
I understand you're not an idiot concerning string tension. I was merely suggesting you use larger strings than you already do. It helps with muddiness to a certain extent. Case in point:

On my LP (24.75", as you've mentioned) I found that even 12-56 gauge were too muddy and not very tight sounding all around. I had to go find a place that stocked even bigger strings. They helped a lot, but they still don't feel as tight as my LTD with 25.5" scale neck and 10-46 tuned to E. So I may bump up another gauge or 2 and see if that helps or is just the limit of the guitar.

My point is: I'm pretty sure for B standard (I tune to C standard) 12-54 is a tad too small for a 25.5" neck and DEFINITELY way too small for a guitar that is 24.75". You just gotta trust me here.

As far as pickups go, I won't be a huge help, but I'd suggest looking up different brand 7 string pickups and seeing if they make the same model pickup in a 6 string configuration. On a side note, I LOVE my Dimarzio Super 2s in my LP. They sound so much more open and less compressed than my EMGs in my other guitar.

PS: If you're that set about string gauge, just ask your tech for his opinion.

Cheers!
#12
Quote by Quinlan


My point is: I'm pretty sure for B standard (I tune to C standard) 12-54 is a tad too small for a 25.5" neck and DEFINITELY way too small for a guitar that is 24.75". You just gotta trust me here.


I absolutely agree. I have a 25.5" scale and I use 11-54 for Drop C. I cant imagine using a 54 on the E. Actually I have tuned my E to a B just for kicks and it sucked. It was so loose and sloppy. Try the new DR DDT strings, there are two different sizes that are bigger than the ones I mentioned. Also, I would suggest the mick thomson EMTY blackouts because they are great for drop tuning. If you want to go the passive and more expensive route you cant really go wrong with bareknuckle painkillers.
what kind of palm muting is best for metal?
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#13
I have NOT restrung my Eclipse yet, and I would definitely not go with the same strings on a 24.75" as a 25.5" for lower tunings. But I didn't realize you suggested simply even thicker strings. I'll look into that, but I remember the 13-54 feeling right in my fingers. Except the B string, that one coould/should have been a 56.

Back to pickups. I appreciate suggestions, but do you guys know WHY they sound better? For instance, why should I go with bareknuckle painkillers? What about the Super 2's make the guitar sound more open and less compressed? I know the Super 2 is like a Super Distortion but with like, reversed EQ voicing (it goes like, some bass, a little more mids, and more treble). I think that's part of it? I'd do well with pickups that boost mid and mid-high frequencies?

I feel like I'm coming off as an ass right now. Not my intention at all. But people seem to be generally missing the point. I want to know this: What is it in a pickup that would make a guitar sound good for low tunings, assuming it is a good guitar and has been set up properly for low tunings?

PS: I will not get active pups because I have always preferred passives and do not see the use of the massive output actives provide.
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#14
i see this thread has been going on for a day. if you want good general advice quickly then use google (i did "guitar pickups sound" and this was the second hit)

http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/lemme/

looks good, has all the basic stuff i don't feel like telling you and a bunch of stuff i didn't know.

edit: even gives tips for fine tuning a pup that is 'almost there'
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Aug 28, 2010,
#15
Quote by Guitar-KID125
ORLY? you could not be more wrong. Ever heard of a seymour duncan dimebucker? those are known to be one of the most muddiest pickups out. Compared to scatterwound pickups like bareknuckles for example there is not competition in terms of clarity, note seperation and clearness.


I dont think the dimebucker is muddy.

Its gratingly trebely, thin and harsh. But not muddy.

The JB is a bright pickup, not much low end, pickup replacement would be ideal.

Good low and mid accentuation would make a good down tuning pup.

Maybe consider the Bill Lawrence XL500L. Theyre pretty cheap, and theyre a good pickup.

Actives are ideal too.
#16
For great clarity (even in B-Standard) a Dimarzio D-Sonic would be great, with the bar towards the bridge.
#17
I'm not answering the question because the article gumbilicious posted answered it.


Quote by littlephil
For great clarity (even in B-Standard) a Dimarzio D-Sonic would be great, with the bar towards the bridge.


Or a DiMarzio Crunch Lab. I like them better than the D-Sonics honestly. To me, there was always something missing from the D-Sonic that the Crunch Lab has. Who knows, maybe it's just me.


With tunings that low, I'd seriously suggest that you consider getting a 7 string guitar loaded with (depending on what type and with what wood construction, etc.) to put some new pickups in it unless it already has EMG707's, EMG707X's, DiMarzio Blaze Custom in the Bridge and DiMarzio Evo 7 in the neck. But that's just me.
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#18
Quote by Junnage
I'm not answering the question because the article gumbilicious posted answered it.


i know, i wasn't expecting such a good article. that thing broke it down. it would have been embarrassing to even try to summarize that thing.
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