I had a PRS SE Soapbar Maple II Custom and an old Crate practice amp that were stolen from my apartment while I was outta town.

I'm pretty heartbroken about it.

I used to play a lot of blues/indie stuff and that old Crate was a god send, like I could get the BEST cleans outta that little thing... anyway.

I bought an Orange Crush PiX 35LDX at the urging of a friend who is an extremely talented and versatile musician. I sat at the music store and toyed with it extensively with an Epiphone Les Paul with P90s, just because I was so used to my PRS and its P90s...

Anywho, they also broke into my car I left there, stole my CD player, my amp and subwoofer, and slashed all my tires. And kicked in my door and messed a buncha my stuff up. So, I'm not exactly balling at the moment. I was wondering, instead of buying a new guitar in the 600+ price range, my buddy has an Epiphone LP Special II he was gonna sell me pretty cheap. I've sat down and played it a little I mean it's a decent little guitar. It plays very well just doesn't sound that great. If I got some DiMarzio D-Activators and replaced the stock humbuckers in it, would it help the sound dramatically?

I know the sound won't be similar to my long lost Reed :'( but I'm kinda getting more into metal and stuff now. I listen to a lot of shred (Vai, Gilbert, Petrucci, Buckethead, Govan, etc) and a lot of tech death and stuff. I know the amp isn't exactly a high gain beast, but I just jam with some buddies and play with myself (tee hee). When I play anywhere I just mic it through the PA (the guy I play with has some Marshall combo I've always used when I play for him). I'm not really that concerned with sounding awesome, just not terrible.

Would the D-Activator set allow me a decent sounding guitar for both metallish stuff and be versatile enough to let me meander through my post rock and indie and bluesy material as well? I thought about getting a set of EMG-81/60s, but I just don't wanna shell out the extra sixty or so bucks, and I haven't ever used active pickups before. Maybe I'm missing out but I really like the passive pickups. I'm biased.

I'm sorry if I'm rambling I only came back to town this early because I work in construction and got slung off a ladder by some douche snatching an extension cord and broke my leg and you know... wasn't really able to do anything. So, I'm kinda roxied up atm. I have a prescription!

Thanks for any help!!
Sounds like you're #winning
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
Inb4 everyone else...

Like 90% of your tone is from your amp (From the directory of made up statistics...)

If you want to play shred, metal, the crush isnt going to deliver. Switch it for a vypyr or a roland cube 30. In around the same price range and youll be more satisfied i think.

Ive played the special, its pretty much a cheap cheaply made cheapo guitar, I wouldnt waste money putting pickups worth more than the guitar into it... No doubt itd be an improvement, but turd polishing rules still stand.

Theres no reason to go with active pups if youre not too fussed, deffinately no point when you're amp isnt really going to bring out the best in them, they sound quite sterile, and i wouldnt reccomend them for blues/indie. Id go for the SD blackouts rather than the EMGs if you do go actives.

Guitarwise - one of the Ibanez Rg321 models, used if you can.
it will definitely sound better with the DiMarzios, but still won't sound like your PRS, and in all my experience Epiphone Les Paul Specials play like crap. Maybe this one is better or maybe the II they've added to it is really a lot better, but I have never found a low end Epiphone that is a comfortable instrument to play.
I want to second the RG321, and I also want to say the Line 6 Spiders are horrible, a Peavey Vypyr is much much better if you are going for a small modeling amp. I like the Orange Crush amps but they aren't as versatile as the Peavey and they don't get as loud with comparable watts.
I don't really care for the effects, but I just wanted something really versatile. And I know a kid that has a Line 6... Yeah. **** that thing. It's a piece.

Of all the amps in similar price range and for what I want out of it, the little Orange was the best. The store I went to didn't have a Vypyr. Also, side note, I wish they would have just called it Viper.

Thanks for the help guys. I'm looking into that RG321. I mean my buddy was like give me fifty bucks and you can have it and a hard case so that's what got me thinking about trying to improve it.

Any other suggestions, anybody?
Slightly off topic, but do you not have homeowners/renters insurance that covers this sort of stuff?
I pride myself on my humility.
I wouldn't bother with the pups to be honest. If you played rock and metal to the exclusion of all other genres, the D-Activators would be a good choice. However, if you want some versatility, I wouldn't use them.
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