My Alexi-600 has a SD SH-5 Custom pickup in the bridge, and with my TS7 I have both Drive and Level maxed, while still using my amp's (Marshall TSL100) distortion.

So basically I want more output than the SH-5 Custom seems to give, and I've been thinking of getting a Dimarzio Crunch Lab, but my question is...

Which method of achieving output/gain yields more desirable results in general?
1. Using a medium-high output pickup like the Custom and boosting its gain with the use of a Tubescreamer
2. Just slapping in a really high output pickup to begin with, like the Crunch Lab, and not necessarily having to use pedal overdrive much (if at all).


i've always had good results with pushing my amp around medium gain (around 7 or 8) and then using a tubescreamer or another OD pedal to boost it and add more gain.

as far as pickups are concerned, anything will do really, and the SH5 is one of the heavier pickups SD makes.
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the other pickup probably won't give you what you want and will add to the mush. perhaps you need to be a little more clear on what you are trying to do. just piling on more gain will turn your sound to mush and you will lose note clarity. i can't imagine that running a tubescreamer full up into your amps distortion channel doesn't give you enough gain. how is your EQ set up as perhaps your problem is there
It does give me enough gain, but what I'm asking is... would turning down the drive on my Tubescreamer and instead of relying on the TS for added gain, using a higher-output pickup, be a better choice for clarity and/or overall desirable tone?
You might want to consider using a distortion pedal on the clean channel of your amp if you are trying to change tones. Much easier to change again later if you want too. And you can still put the OD pedal in-line and you have multiple hi-gain, tone options that way.
Well, but I like the distortion of my Marshall. I just want it to have a little bit more, but turning up the gain knob on the amp seems to make it not sound as good as compared to boosting it with pedal distortion.

Basically, I don't have a problem currently. I'm just wondering if I'd be better off lowering the drive on my pedal and using a hotter pickup rather than depending on the pedal's extra drive.
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Jul 28, 2011,
whats your price range for the pickup?
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This is a tricky one. I'd say it depends mostly on what sort of sound you are after. Hot pups will normally have a bit less top end and sound bassier. However, the TS cuts bass. It's not really a midrange boost like most people think because you can boost/cut the treble. But they definitely cut the bass in stock form.
If it were me I'd go for the hot pups and mod the TS-7 so it doesn't cut bass - but it's all a matter of taste.
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