#1
So, I am thinking of ordering a set of two humbucker pickups for my Grassroots SG guitar. I play it through a Roland 60 cube. I play stuff that's quite versatile, so I'd like the pickups to not be one-trick ponies.

Can you recommend me any pickups that would sound good whether I play clean or with heavy distortion?

I am thinking of a sound like Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Between the Buried and me and the like.

Also, I am going to buy a new guitar the coming summer. Should I upgrade this SG or rather get a higher tier guitar as my new one? I'm thinking of a Ibanez with a floyd rose, no models on my mind yet.

And yes, I know floyd rose's are a hassle.
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#2
I personally like taking my old guitars or cheap guitars and make them into a guitar I love. It really depends on if you want to do all of the work on the guitar to make it how you want it.
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#3
Honestly what pickups you want will depend on your personal taste. Personally I hate Seymour Duncan Invader pickups but other people seem to like them, etc.

EMGs might do the job for you, but some people hate EMGs so it's tough to say, again.

I would go and grab a list of high gain pickups and Youtube them to see the different characteristics of each, preferably with clean demos as well. Choosing pickups is a bit tricky.
#4
Quote by ciadude2
Honestly what pickups you want will depend on your personal taste. Personally I hate Seymour Duncan Invader pickups but other people seem to like them, etc.

EMGs might do the job for you, but some people hate EMGs so it's tough to say, again.

I would go and grab a list of high gain pickups and Youtube them to see the different characteristics of each, preferably with clean demos as well. Choosing pickups is a bit tricky.


What I have heard of and tried of EMG's, is that they are a bit too "muddy" for my taste. The clean is not as crisp as I would like it, but of course they're great for rock and metal. But the clean is the thing I'd like to improve...
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#5
Perhaps if you eased up the lows on the amp and maybe added a little bit of chorus?

They're not my favorites either to be honest, just the first thing that came to mind.
#6
i have an emg 81tw and 89 in my schecter and i'm in love with them. i can't listen to the bands right at this moment because i am currently procrastinating in envrionmental science. the sg is set for passive pickups so its up to u if u want to mod the body to take actives. if it were me, i'd stay with passives cuz i wouldnt' want to have my guitar drilled. i would suggest something like the dimarzio x2n or crunch lab in the bridge with an evolution in the neck. steve vai uses evolutions and they sound beautiful. i had an x2n in a previous guitar and even tho it is a very high gain pickup, it still sounds pretty good with cleans. i think that would be a real nice versatile combo for u. the crunchlab is john pettrucci's signature pickup and it can be oriented in 2 different ways. i think that would be a really nice combo for u. dimarzio pickups are real nice and very versatile. they have a neat thing on the site that will give u ideas of pickup combos. i would suggest a high powered pup in the bridge and either a medium or vintage in the neck

http://www.dimarzio.com/pickup-picker

or, to keep the clean look of the sg, just buy some gibson pickups for it, can't go wrong with those
#7
Quote by Tupu
What I have heard of and tried of EMG's, is that they are a bit too "muddy" for my taste. The clean is not as crisp as I would like it, but of course they're great for rock and metal. But the clean is the thing I'd like to improve...

"muddy" is not a word I would ever associate with EMGs, nor have I ever heard it used to describe them before!
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#8
Quote by steven seagull
"muddy" is not a word I would ever associate with EMGs, nor have I ever heard it used to describe them before!


When playing clean... There's also the work I would have to do to fit actives, when I have passive pups, and I would rather not work that much...
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#9
Change your amp first then your pups. The impact of a pup change through a cube will be almost like a spit in the ocean.

Think of an amp change like a sledgehammer. it will have a tremendous impact on your base tone to shape it into the sound you want, effectively bringin you most of the way to the final tone.

In contrast, a pup change will be like a hammer and chisel. It won't have a drastic impact on your tone, but it will help yo shape the details of your tone to match what you see. Like addin facial features to a statue.
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#10
I used to have an EMG 81 and 85 in an ESP H-301. I liked them for a while but then changed my mind when I began to appreciate the importance of mids in my tone. I personally found them to me very...I guess the word is 'harsh.' If you like the scooped tones the EMGs are fine but if you want to have the versatility in your tone to play anything less aggressive than hard rock I do not recommend them. Can't speak for any other brands as I'm not using my SG's stock.

Finally, if at all possible I would recommend upgrading your amp before your pickups as it will have way more of an impact on your tone than new pickups. The Cube is a top notch starter amp but it can only do so much. If you can hold off and save up for something like the Peavey 6505 I think you'd be very happy.
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#11
Quote by ragingkitty
Change your amp first then your pups. The impact of a pup change through a cube will be almost like a spit in the ocean.

Think of an amp change like a sledgehammer. it will have a tremendous impact on your base tone to shape it into the sound you want, effectively bringin you most of the way to the final tone.

In contrast, a pup change will be like a hammer and chisel. It won't have a drastic impact on your tone, but it will help yo shape the details of your tone to match what you see. Like addin facial features to a statue.


Okay. I've also been thinking of getting a better amp, but also have no idea what I would want and how much it would cost... Of course, the Cube amp is too easy and casual. If I were to get a better amp, I would probably have to get a bunch of pedals with it too.

EDIT:
I'm going to just ask this here, as you know my preferences and equipment already:
Is a PRS SE Torero worth it's price, or would I get a better guitar at the price from Ibanez or ESP?
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Last edited by Tupu at May 19, 2011,
#12
Quote by Tupu
Okay. I've also been thinking of getting a better amp, but also have no idea what I would want and how much it would cost... Of course, the Cube amp is too easy and casual. If I were to get a better amp, I would probably have to get a bunch of pedals with it too.

EDIT:
I'm going to just ask this here, as you know my preferences and equipment already:
Is a PRS SE Torero worth it's price, or would I get a better guitar at the price from Ibanez or ESP?


Not necessarily, you could get a higher end modeling amp. I'd recommend a modeler for progressive music. That genre usually means a lot of tap dancing. Amps like the Peavey Vypyr Tube are really really nice for the price. There's also nice Line 6 stuff, like the Vetta and the new DT amps (though they are rather expensive).

For the price of a Torero, you can also get an LTD Deluxe... I wouldn't say one is better over the other, they're both really nice. But for around or slightly more, you can get an Ibanez Prestige, which would be better than both, IMO.

That said, I'd take the LTD Deluxe, just because I love the way their necks feel. So that is an important factor as well.
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#13
Quote by Tupu
When playing clean... There's also the work I would have to do to fit actives, when I have passive pups, and I would rather not work that much...

Then that's likely the overly hot signal of the EMGs overloading the input stage of a solid state amp
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#14
Quote by steven seagull
Then that's likely the overly hot signal of the EMGs overloading the input stage of a solid state amp



i was playing my emg's thru a solid state amp and never had an issue with it. if you wanted to upgrade to a new amp and try a tube for less money, i recently got a vht special 6 ultra. tough to find, not super high gain without a pedal, but a really nice amp. its bare bones, not even reverb on it, but i am in love with it. all i need is my mxr fullbore and i can get watever tone i want. i believe guitarcenter just started carrying vht but i dont kno many ppl that have heard of them, let alone played them. just throwing that out there.

and btw, my emg's are definatley not muddy on cleans. if you really feel like you've got that issue and still want actives, u can try a 60 in the neck
#15
Quote by Tupu
Okay. I've also been thinking of getting a better amp, but also have no idea what I would want and how much it would cost... Of course, the Cube amp is too easy and casual. If I were to get a better amp, I would probably have to get a bunch of pedals with it too.

EDIT:
I'm going to just ask this here, as you know my preferences and equipment already:
Is a PRS SE Torero worth it's price, or would I get a better guitar at the price from Ibanez or ESP?


From the way you are asking questions in this thread, it's quite obvious you're not quite sure what you want. I feel that you want to upgrade because for whatever reason you feel that your amp and/or your guitar is lacking, but your upgrade choices are a little all over the place.

I recommend you set out your objective first: i.e. What are you the least happy with and what do you want to do / change about it?

Remember only one answer. Then we can tell what's wrong and what change would have the greatest impact. Asking UG what should I change is like leaving a in a candy store. he'll eat himself sick and not have enjoyed his stay.
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#16
If you want versatility, then stay away from EMG's, they are a one trick pony pickup for the most part.

I would look into a set of Bareknuckle Nailbombs, they are pertty versatile and will blow your mind with how good they sound, and how expensive they are.
#17
Quote by ethan_hanus
If you want versatility, then stay away from EMG's, they are a one trick pony pickup for the most part.

I would look into a set of Bareknuckle Nailbombs, they are pertty versatile and will blow your mind with how good they sound, and how expensive they are.


Much as I agree BKP are awesome pup, your advice is very impractical. The guy owns a Grassroots guitar and a Cube, do you honestly think it's practical or worth the money installing a set of BKP into that rig?

He can do so much more with the money he will waste there. In this case and setup, the difference between a set of custom hand wound BKP will have as much impact as a set of GFS or IronGear pickups which cost 1/10th the price.
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#18
Quote by ragingkitty
Much as I agree BKP are awesome pup, your advice is very impractical. The guy owns a Grassroots guitar and a Cube, do you honestly think it's practical or worth the money installing a set of BKP into that rig?

He can do so much more with the money he will waste there. In this case and setup, the difference between a set of custom hand wound BKP will have as much impact as a set of GFS or IronGear pickups which cost 1/10th the price.


Humm, well, I have a Squier and a Valveking, and I put BKP's in it. Made a huge difference. A cube 60 isn't that bad of an amp, I think he could get by. The pickups will also be interchangeable with any other guitar, so he could just throw them in the next new guitar he gets.

That's just my thinking. It worked for me.
#19
Quote by ethan_hanus
Humm, well, I have a Squier and a Valveking, and I put BKP's in it. Made a huge difference. A cube 60 isn't that bad of an amp, I think he could get by. The pickups will also be interchangeable with any other guitar, so he could just throw them in the next new guitar he gets.

That's just my thinking. It worked for me.


No it's not that bad of an amp, but modelling amps do not benefit significantly from pickups, especially those deigned to throw out a lot of nuance, harmonics and overtones. A lot of the original singal is "modelled over" to get the tone of a specific amp in the Cube, and in so doing kills a lot of the uniqueness of scatter wound pups in the process.

While I would question your choice of putting BKPs in a Squire, your ValveKing does benefit more from a set of BKP than OP's Cube.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at May 19, 2011,
#20
Quote by ragingkitty
No it's not that bad of an amp, but modelling amps do not benefit significantly from pickups, especially those deigned to throw out a lot of nuance, harmonics and overtones. A lot of the original singal is degraded to model a specific amp in the Cube, and in so doing kills a lot of the uniqueness of scatter wound pups in the process.



I would argue against that, there is a difference, maybe not as apparent as you would like it to be, but the signal will be clearer and it'll promote difference frequencies as compared to other pickups. Now if we were talking about a Spider or a Marshall MG, then it wouldn't matter what you did.

It's really up to TS and what order he wants to get his gear. I did pickups first, and I don't regret it at all.
#21
Quote by ethan_hanus
I would argue against that, there is a difference, maybe not as apparent as you would like it to be, but the signal will be clearer and it'll promote difference frequencies as compared to other pickups. Now if we were talking about a Spider or a Marshall MG, then it wouldn't matter what you did.

It's really up to TS and what order he wants to get his gear. I did pickups first, and I don't regret it at all.


Notice I keep coming back to the concept of impact, impact, impact. If he wanted better note definition, I know for a fact that spending on a set of DiMarzios or Seymour Duncans or GFS or IronGeear will give better note definition than most stock pups. He'll wont't need to spend on a set of BKPs to get that.

Also singal clarity depends on the quality and material of wires used in a pickup and coil windings. While frequency focus / character depends on the magnet and windings in a pup. Both of which are easily available in most aftermarket pups. BKPs sell well for their winding, high output signal and scatter windings.

Using a set of BKP in his set is like a spit in the ocean. In contrast saving the money from the BKP and from trading/selling off the cube can easily get him a better tube amp, of which IMO the impact will be like going from VHS to BlueRay.
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#22
Let me break this down for you.

Assuming TS has $200 saved.

The BKP is likely to cost £230 (with a conservative £10 shipping charge) which will cost US$370.

For argument let's say TS can sell his Cube 60 for $100

All in he will has a total of $200 + $370 + $100 = $670 in gear value.

He can easily buy a Peavey 6505+ 112 brand new or save another $500 and get a Mesa Ta15 head brand new, and pick up a used 112 cab.

The impact on his tone from this upgrade will significantly outstrip the impact of a set of BKP through a Cube 60.
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#23
I have three points to add to this discussion.

One being IronGear pickups are bloody amazing, and fantastic for the price.

Two being that, rather than buying an expensive Peavey half-stack or whatnot, you might want to look into Bugera's amps. Which are pretty much just clones, but very good clones nonetheless; they can almost match the Peaveys at a much cheaper price. In fact, if I were you I'd get a Bugera V22 (like a Blackstar HT-5 but cheaper and much better; the V22's bigger brother, the V55, might also be an idea) and a set of IronGear pickups. This is what I would consider to be the pennywise, bang-for-your-buck option.

Three being that ragingkitty is pretty much right.
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#24
Okay so I'm back here, I'd rather not wish making another thread so I'll see if anyone answers here.

What I am most frustrated is my amp. I feel like the tone I get out of it is just not for my taste and I only ever use one of the modelled amps on it and clean, because the others are even worse. I will buy the amp first and then look into if I want to upgrade my guitar.

Right now I've been looking into Engl's Powerball, which I found used for a nice price I can afford. Is it worth investing 300-500 euros more for a Mesa? The Powerball would go for 850, and I've heard lots of praise from it...
EDIT:
6505 would go for the same price as the Powerball. How does a Powerball compare to 6505? What's the difference with 5150 and 6505?
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Last edited by Tupu at Jun 13, 2011,