#1
Hello GG&A! A while ago, I asked about EMGs and how would 85 sound in the bridge and so on..
Now.. I am in a total confusion again. I listened to some demos and actually tried this neck pickup called Seymour Duncan '59. It was a Schecter Classic in a stunning finish, however, the neck wasn't really for me.
So, what I wonder is: What would be a good counterpart for the '59? Seymour Duncan's site recommended me either JB or SH-5 Custom. Which one would you go for to achieve really good death metal tones? For example, Carcass.
My gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio -> Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95->Blackstar HT-1.

I'm open for any pickup recommendations (I haven't yet closed EMGs out).

tl;dr What would be a good bridge pickup when I've got a SD '59 in the neck? I play mostly death metal, occasionally thrash and heavy.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#2
The JB is very bright. I don't think it would be a good fit for death metal. You would want something with quite a bit of output and a dark tone. The SH-5 is one of those pickups, I think, but why limit yourself to Duncan? Not to say that an Invader or something wouldn't work for you, but there are a lot of options from other manufacturers, too. You'll get a lot of recommendations for Bareknuckles on this site, and with good reason.
#3
Quote by Roc8995
The JB is very bright. I don't think it would be a good fit for death metal. You would want something with quite a bit of output and a dark tone. The SH-5 is one of those pickups, I think, but why limit yourself to Duncan? Not to say that an Invader or something wouldn't work for you, but there are a lot of options from other manufacturers, too. You'll get a lot of recommendations for Bareknuckles on this site, and with good reason.


I am open for any pickup recommendations, as I said. I'd just somehow like to get pickups from the same manufacturer (I don't know why.) But if you know something that sounds like a '59, go ahead.
Also, I'd like the pickups to have chrome/nickel covers.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#4
I had a '59 paired with an SH-11 Custom Custom. It was a pretty good setup, but not for death metal type stuff. I don't listen to much death metal, so my assessment of it might be off, but from what I hear guitarists in that genre have a really hard hitting, tight, focused tone with a lot of distortion.

The SH-11 is too light on the bottom end for that. The SH-5 might be better because it's a ceramic magnet. The SH-11 and 5 are essentially the same, the 11 has an Alnico II magnet where the 5 is ceramic. Typically, Alnico II magnets have less bass than a V or ceramic. And less magnetic pull.

Personally, if I were going after that tone I'd hit up some active pickups. They'll keep everything clear even under really high gain and they don't get muddy. I have an 85 in the bridge of a Washburn X-50 Pro. It's got a huge bottom end, but the bass doesn't mud up because of the preamp. It stays clear, but can really hit an amp hard and overdrive it. It's not as bright as the 81, but to me that's good.

Seymour Duncan has the Blackouts and Livewires, but I've never tried those. EMG has been good to me over the years. You hear a lot about them sounding sterile and all that, but with a good amp they don't. And you hear complaints about the clean. Realistically, if a product really shines in one aspect, in this case clarity under heavy gain, it'll come up short in another. It's really up to the guitarist to decide what tradeoff is worth it to them.

And with EMGs, they're really easy to get in and out. They cost $20-30 more than a standard passive, but for some applications you really can't beat them.

One thing though about EMGs, you'll need long shaft 25K pots instead of the standard ones for a Les Paul.
Last edited by Fenderexpx50 at Sep 8, 2011,
#5
If you are determined to get a 59 and want another from the same manufacturer id consider the full shred or a distortion.
#6
If you're wanting death metal tones I'd recommend getting a bigger amp, 1W isn't going to be enough to get the clipping you're after.

I've got two guitars with zebra coil 59's in the neck, one has a JB in the bridge (EC-1000) and the other a Gibson 500T (Flying V). I'm thinking the 59 is an odd choice for what you're wanting, but it will give you the option to expand into other genres as well. I'd try something that hits a little harder, like a Pearly Gates in the neck. They're both vintage-voiced pickups but the Pearly Gates is a little higher output and has more grit in its tone.

I wouldn't get the JB for death metal, it definitely has the low end chug needed but the mids and highs are way too dominant. It's terrific for hard rock and some metal, but not death.
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Sep 8, 2011,
#7
Quote by Fenderexpx50

One thing though about EMGs, you'll need long shaft 25K pots instead of the standard ones for a Les Paul.


Well, that's why there is ZW set. I have considered that one for a long time.

Quote by guitarpatrick66
If you are determined to get a 59 and want another from the same manufacturer id consider the full shred or a distortion.


But I really don't shred much... And I've heard the SD Distortion, I don't think it's really good for a LP..

Quote by Flux'D
If you're wanting death metal tones I'd recommend getting a bigger amp, 1W isn't going to be enough to get the clipping you're after.


I'm pretty sure that it's obvious that my HT-1 is not going to be my main amplifier forever. No it is not going to, I have thought of getting a new amp, but I just got this one, it's a serious improvement from my line6, so I thought I could get new pickups for my LP before seriously saving up for a new amplifier.

Quote by Flux'D

I'm thinking the 59 is an odd choice for what you're wanting, but it will give you the option to expand into other genres as well. I'd try something that hits a little harder, like a Pearly Gates in the neck. They're both vintage-voiced pickups but the Pearly Gates is a little higher output and has more grit in its tone.

I'll consider Pearly Gates, I've heard that it's good, but I was little mislead, I thought PG is more of a vintage pickup than '59, like that it wouldn't fit death metal at all..
What I mean with the death metal sound I'm trying to achieve.. is more Carcass Necroticism-Heartwork and Sentenced Shadows of The Past-North From Here, not really like these bit more modern bands.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

Last edited by Sakke at Sep 8, 2011,
#8
i haven't really liked any of the higher gain passive duncan pickups i've tried (though i haven't tried them all). if you ask me, duncan does the lower gain pickups (like the '59) better.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#9
Pro tip: you don't need high gain pickups to play high gain.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#10
to be fair, though, everything else being equal, they help (assuming you have good ones, of course).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
^ Mostly just in response to the general attitude that he needs to have pickups with insane DC resistance.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#12
In all honesty, your Line 6 (depending on the model, and I'm including Spider's with this) would probably have given you more distortion and overall closer to the death metal sound. When I tried the HT-1 I found it was lower gain than the HT-5 and the cleans weren't as pristine throughout the majority of the volume knob. It would be great for gritty southern rock and most hard rock but I wouldn't pass it off for a metal amp (let alone the bands you're listing) any day.

Great pickups through a lower mid-range gain amp doesn't equal death metal. However mediocre pickups through a more powerful amp does. You could hold onto you pickup budget, sell your HT-1, and then afford something like a used Jet City JCA20. It's still not a high gain amp but it's got more gain on tap (and an overall better tone) than the HT-1.
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#13
Quote by bubb_tubbs
^ Mostly just in response to the general attitude that he needs to have pickups with insane DC resistance.


yep, sure.

though the custom isn't *that* hot. Pretty hot, sure. Ditto the jb (which is a little hotter than the custom? I think... not certain).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
yep, sure.

though the custom isn't *that* hot. Pretty hot, sure. Ditto the jb (which is a little hotter than the custom? I think... not certain).


Well, the guitar shop near me happens to have a Jackson Soloist with a duncan JB in bridge.. But won't it sound a lot different in a LP than in the Jackson? Also, I just noticed while searching through the specs of a Schecter C-1 Custom that it has a SD Custom in the bridge, that'd definitely give me some sort of direction.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#15
yeah it'll sound a fair bit different
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah it'll sound a fair bit different

Yeah, I thought so too. I did like it a bit, but how would my LP react?
Since my Gibson LP is made of mahogany (both body and neck) and Jackson Soloist's body is of alder and neck is of maple (both have rosewood fingerboards though, if that matters.)
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#17
probably be a bit brighter and more shrill in the soloist, warmer in the lp.

that's the theory, anyway... i've tried the jb in supposedly similar spec guitars where it sounded pretty different, lol.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
So I guess I'll just have to "find out". Thanks for the help Dave_Mc.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#19
yeah, pretty much it's a bit of a lottery even when you've tried the pickup before.

No problem, and good luck
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
Quote by Sakke
Yeah, I thought so too. I did like it a bit, but how would my LP react



My LTD EC-1000 (LP shaped mahogany body/neck with flamed maple cap) came stock with a JB in the bridge like I stated earlier. I usually play it through an open-backed 112 and it's definitely a warm and powerful pickup. I mean, it's hard to not like a JB but I would think there are better options out there for what you're wanting. If there was ever THE go-to humbucker that covers nearly all modern genres and easy to find.. it would be the JB. And like any pickup it does some things better than others, all out metal being in the "others" category

In all honesty if you're wanting a pickup set to play older death metal, you're setting yourself up for disappointment from the beginning. The JB is a great pickup but just not for what you're looking for. With the amp and guitar you have, and the pickup sets you're looking at, it's shaping up to be a fantastic blues/rock/hard rock rig. Which isn't what you're wanting.. Just trying to guide you a little in your selection
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Sep 9, 2011,
#21
Quote by Flux'D
My LTD EC-1000 (LP shaped mahogany body/neck with flamed maple cap) came stock with a JB in the bridge like I stated earlier. I usually play it through an open-backed 112 and it's definitely a warm and powerful pickup. I mean, it's hard to not like a JB but I would think there are better options out there for what you're wanting. If there was ever THE go-to humbucker that covers nearly all modern genres and easy to find.. it would be the JB. And like any pickup it does some things better than others, all out metal being in the "others" category

In all honesty if you're wanting a pickup set to play older death metal, you're setting yourself up for disappointment from the beginning. The JB is a great pickup but just not for what you're looking for. With the amp and guitar you have, and the pickup sets you're looking at, it's shaping up to be a fantastic blues/rock/hard rock rig. Which isn't what you're wanting.. Just trying to guide you a little in your selection

I found it rather easy, actually.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#22
+1

though i sorta see what he's saying about its being versatile. However, imo, that sorta makes it a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none kind of pickup, for most (if not all) of the stuff i play there's a better pickup available.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#23
@ flux'd
Wow, an interesting opinion, but... HT-1 is not going to be my main amplifier, as I stated above. I have not yet decided since the used market always has something nice and I want to test all of them before buying. But for now, I am not going to test any of them for now since I'm out of money. Probably the most amps I've looked at and kind of GAS for is Marshall JCM800/900 and Peavey 5150/6505. I know, they can be quite different from each other.. but they both sound awesome with the right settings.

About my general sound
If no one yet realized, I am NOT LOOKING FOR ridiculous high gain sound with really scooped mids. I want to be able to clean up the sound a bit with the touch of volume knob, that's why I like my 500k pots on my Les Paul.
My settings on my HT-1 are: Gain 2 o'clock, Volume 25% and ISF 2 o'clock. It isn't really that distorted, but it's far more than overdriven.

@ Dave_Mc
Would it still be an improvement of my current bridge pickup (Gibson 498t)? I think that it lacks a bit.. I've played it through umm.. Hughes&Kettner Tubemeister 18 head with the matching 1x12 cab and of course Blackstar HT-1. After that I tried LTD MH-400 with EMG81 in bridge and 85 in neck and it sounded better, although I didn't like the feel of that guitar at all.. You can play the guitar alright, but to me, Gibson LP feels the best. I suppose that I have to try Schecter C-1 Custom and Jackson SL3 to find which of the pickups is better(JB vs Custom).
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#24
i'm not sure, it's ages since i've tried a 498t and i can't remember much about it

the jb is still pretty hot. it's not emg-hot but i'd put it in the hot camp, in my opinion, anyway.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#25
Quote by Dave_Mc
i'm not sure, it's ages since i've tried a 498t and i can't remember much about it

the jb is still pretty hot. it's not emg-hot but i'd put it in the hot camp, in my opinion, anyway.

Oh.. Well, SD has categorized JB as a high output pickup so I guess it's supposed to be hot.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#26
yeah
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
Hello GG&A!
Well, I went to the local guitar shop today.. What I tested was:
Schecter C-1 Custom: SD SH-11 bridge and '59 neck. (Mahogany body)
ESP LTD MH-400: EMG 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck (Mahogany body)
ESP LTD JH-600: EMG 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck (Alder body)
Jackson SL3: SD JB in the bridge, hot rails neck and middle

Result: I found the EMGs overall most pleasing with both amplifiers: Blackstar HT-1 (same model as I own) and Hughes&Kettner Tubemeister 18 head with the matching 1x12 cab. The bridge pickup was everything I expected: Cleans aren't that nice, but WALLS of sound when distorted, I dig that . Middle position: Very nice cleans to my taste.. Really smooth and warm. Neck position: Smooth, articulate, clear and warm too I found it to be amazing when using distortion and it was quite good with cleans. That's pretty much everything I expect from a pickup.
So, what I'm going for is the 81/85 combo (ZW set cause it has long-shaft pots) and then probably going to get a 18V mod for it, just to test how it changes the sound (It won't affect my budget much..)

As a note: The SD '59 is a really good neck pickup.. No, not just good, probably the best passive I've ever heard. I found JB to be good, but not awesome. I agree with Dave_Mc: jack-of-all-trades, but master-of-none. The SD Custom though, it was quite pleasing, but still I didn't find it as good to my taste as the EMG81.
I would have definitely gone for SD SH-11 and SD '59 combo if I had found EMGs to be sterile and lacking or something that I hadn't liked at all. If I ever get another guitar, I will get that combo for it. Really nice sounds and very versatile.

Last note: I want to thank all of you for being helpful and help me being more critical about my tone.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

Last edited by Sakke at Sep 13, 2011,
#29
sweet

yeah i prefer the customs to the jb generally too

if emgs do the tone you want, that's great, if you're happy, we're happy, kind of thing
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#30
^Yeah, that's very kind. You helped me a lot Dave, so I'm grateful.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#31
no problem at all
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?