#1
Hi guys,

Need another opinion on this.

SO I love my fender blacktop, but unfortunately think I'm going to trade it in for a new guitar because the pickups are a little muddy and not hot enough for my tastes. Wonderful pickups for blues/jazz but that's not my style atm (although I still like to play some blues every once in a while, I have another strat for that).

What I'm thinking of doing, is trading it in for a cheap dinky (with alder wood for leads) like this one: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/jackson-js32r-dinky-with-floyd-rose-electric-guitar-with-gig-bag - that looks wonderful for the price.

Then, I'll swap the bridge for an SH-8 Invader pickup. I've heard tones of tone vs. tones on youtube, and this by far sounds the best IMO in an alder guitar - the Sh-4 comes close but not hot enough for me. (Great for hard rock though.)


This leaves - what for the neck pickup? I want something with beautiful, clear, "sparkly" cleans/little distortion for interludes/clean lead passages/general clean stuff. Thinking an air norton, or even an sh-1 59 or sh-4.

Any thoughts? Do you think I'm making an all around good choice?

Reason I don't want to swap PUs in my blacktop is, it'd be expensive and if I'm going or metal, I'll get a jackson or dean or something. I like jackson's and alder woods so that's why my choice is jackson

EDIT: That FR looks ok on that jackson right? A little worried about it (heard bad things about cheap jackson tremolos), but I doubt it'd be worse than the one I have on my blacktop.. Also, favorite stuff I like to play: Van Halen, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer.
Fender Blacktop Stratocaster w/ Floyd Rose
Vox Valvetronix 40+
Last edited by Sonolin at Mar 22, 2012,
#2
Just swap the pickups. If you like the guitar, just swap for some better pickups. HH, right? Dimarzio D-Activators or Crunch Lab/Liquifire might work.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at Mar 22, 2012,
#3
I would avoid any guitar with a floyd for that mount of money. They're shit not matter what brand you get; you'll get totally frustrated.

Also, the JS Jackson's are not anything special. I would recommend changing the pickups in the Fender. Just because it doesn't look like a Dimebag Dean doesn't mean it can't sound like one.

What is your current amp? If you tell us what amp you have, it might explain why your tone is so muddy.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#4
If you like your Blacktop, don't sell it just for the pups, man! Just change the pups and it'll all be good! The Jackson's not too bad, but low-end Floyds tend to be a little...unpredictable after some time(coming from someone who's had a licensed Floyd actually pop out of the guitar whilst he was playing...if you ever get a 20something-year old BC Rich with a licensed Floyd, be sure to get a new Floyd for it! xD), and you could really save some dough and keep your Blacktop if you just swap the pups!
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#5
Hi guys, thank you very much for the replies. I'm not given up on my fender yet - I do love the guitar, but I did some quick tone comparison on youtube with the stock alnico pickups vs. some other pickups, and even the cleans sounded better on the newer pickups! Which made me a little upset...

And, I do know the JS aren't anything special. And I'm definitely not going for the look - or I'd a les paul ;P. I just figure, if I'm changing out the pickups, I doubt it will sound much different (the fender vs. the jackson), and will result in a cheaper guitar. Plus I like the neck, and number of frets, on the Jackson better.

EDIT: OH, and my amp is the Vox Valvetronix. I definitely need an upgrade (looking at a Peavey 112 6105 combo), but for now that's all I have. It has some pretty good tones, great ACDC rhythm tone and a good blues-y tones. Wish the metal amps were better, but for so cheap I'm not complaining. Would you think I'd benefit more with trading this amp in for something with equivalent price (<$300) ?
Fender Blacktop Stratocaster w/ Floyd Rose
Vox Valvetronix 40+
Last edited by Sonolin at Mar 22, 2012,
#6
Oh and guys keep in mind, I'd be returning the guitar for 100% of the money I paid for it. So it'd actually be cheaper

But, I do like the blacktop. Idk. I just don't like the thought of trading out the pickups because I was really hoping for the money they'd work stock.
Fender Blacktop Stratocaster w/ Floyd Rose
Vox Valvetronix 40+
#7
I'd save up and get a better amp first. Don't get a 6505 112 though; the speaker in it is shit.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#8
Hmm, ok... While that may make sense to you, it makes more sense to me to buy an invader now (which is like $67 bucks) put it in a fender or new jackson, and use the amp I have now for a few months. The tones are decent, and I'm just looking for a little more "bite" in the distortion and low end - plus I'd probably be getting the invader anyway. I like the fact it is a little "daker" sounding because it darkens up the bright tone of the alder wood, which I'd need to have any hope for a br00tal tone.

So my main concern right now is the guitar, and I'll get a new amp later. Focusing on one thing at a time is kind of how I'm wired .


On a side note, what amp do you recommend under $600 for a good metal tone (I need something that I can play with a drummer, so unfortunately can't go with a small 5 watter like a Blackstar or the smaller Orange amps, both of which I've heard good things about).
Fender Blacktop Stratocaster w/ Floyd Rose
Vox Valvetronix 40+
#9
Quote by Sonolin

So my main concern right now is the guitar, and I'll get a new amp later. Focusing on one thing at a time is kind of how I'm wired .

I think you should get the priorities right and get an amp first before pickups. It'll have a hell of a lot more impact on your tone than any pickups will.

As for amps, i'd try to get a used Peavey 5150 or 6505 212.

If you're going to get a 6505 112, at least change the speaker in it to a Celestien V30
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#10
You could probably play with a drummer using the ht-20, but really you could get a jet city for a cheaper price and buy a OD pedal to give it that bit more for a proper metal tone.

And then if your like 'the sounds better but the pickups are just not right' you can. I wouldnt by one of them cheapo jacksons with wood and hardware quality which isnt really solid and then you go and replace the pickups on it to find out you've got a guitar which was no better than your blacktop setup.

I'd upgrade the blacktop after you shop around properly for a setup you like, the amp is gonna make a lot of a more difference than the pickups, and if you still want that 'bit more' you can get new pickups for the blacktop.
Upgraded HSS USA Fender American Series Strat
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#11
Hmm, ok. Well thanks for the suggestions guys, I guess the amp really is the weak point here, gah. That really sucks, because I'm not a very patient person and can't afford a $600 amp.

I like the blackstar a lot (from what I heard), but I'm really hesitant because my old solid state 20w amp would never get CLOSE to the drummer I played with (he plays REALLY loud). Although, 20w tube might have a chance of competing with him, but idk. Hmm.

And I could probably afford it if I returned my valvetronix...

Choices choices...
Fender Blacktop Stratocaster w/ Floyd Rose
Vox Valvetronix 40+
#12
my 6505+ 112 could outloud the loudest drummers I've ever played with. Buy one used, they go for 3-400.

But as far as pickups go... Don't get an invader. They're awful and muddy.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#13
Quote by oneblackened
my 6505+ 112 could outloud the loudest drummers I've ever played with. Buy one used, they go for 3-400.

But as far as pickups go... Don't get an invader. They're awful and muddy.


Hmm I'll look into that.


And have you ever tried invaders on an alder? They sound sweet on all the jacksons I've heard on youtube, and my friend's jackson also has a dual invader setup and it rocks. I agree on a usual metal guitar (made of mahagony) the sound is pretty bad, but on alder I think they sound great.

But everybody has their own opinion I guess..
Fender Blacktop Stratocaster w/ Floyd Rose
Vox Valvetronix 40+
#14
I like my sound to be very crisp and tight - I prefer Dimarzios and Bareknuckles over Duncans a lot of the time. As far as Duncans, I like Duncan Distortions a lot in most guitars. Very nice and cutting in alder and ****ing roars in a Les Paul, and it's tight to boot.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.