i really am backed up on essentials and am going to get new pickups. three Prestige Ibbys, and will have a fourth. i am considering actives for the fourth, but i am not even putting it into consideration at this point.

i do a lot of lead work, mostly in the metal domain, not shredd but longer leads, as well as rhythm. COB styled mixed in there with a bunch of other influences. anything from COB to Down (use a LP for that as well) to Acacia strain LOG, etc. BUT, i only need really one guitar that is somewhat similar but not too different. i want any possible tone out of the three (in a few months 4) guitars.

i do a ton of blues open mics around the area, but generally haul over a gibson for that.

the reason for so many is different tuning and having a backup for what i need and to cover a lot of different tone.

the lowest i tune to would be C# std/Drop B, and i don't like tuning any lower. a vast majority i play is in E std/drop D.

i have a lot of amps, it would most likely go through a MKIV or Sig:X or a Splawn Nitro or Splawn Pro Mod.


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i have three ibaneze prestiges. i am going for a fourth, but pickups are what i am most interested in.

3550MZ has ToneZone/True Velvet/Air Norton.

2570EVSL *Crunchlab/?????/Liquifire* that i am relatively set on, but am open to others

1570 ?????/??????/??????

i like the demos of the Gravity Storm Dimarzio, so may consider that, but also don't know. an EVO2 bridge could be a good way to go, but i have no idea with what to throw in the neck. edit: how would the Breed Neck pickup would do?

what would be best for the SC in the center, i don't really use SC's and was/am considering a SC coil sized bucker.
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Last edited by trashedlostfdup at Feb 16, 2013,
If you're thinking outside of the box and considering other brands, you might want to check out Tesla, Railhammer and Rio Grande pickups.
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DiMarzio Cruiser is one of the best SC 'buckers I've played. And if you're looking for actives, the EMG SA is even better (I know lots of people hate EMGs, but trust me, these pickups are amazing).
So you need to get three (sort of four) guitars to cover a somewhat wide range of tones with many different tunings, for playing a fair range of styles and through any number and style of amplifier.

... Right?

My advice would be to stick more or less the same pickup in all of the guitars and let the tuning/amp do the rest. When you start trying to juggle tuning, amps, pickups and then the inherent differences of the guitars themselves, you'll never be happy. Believe me, you'll end up with a collection of a hundred guitars so you can have this one with low output in E Standard, this one with low output in EB Standard, this one with high output in E Standard, high output in Drop C, mid output humbucker in Drop D, mid output single coil in Drop D, another mid output humbucker guitar in Drop D but with a slightly brighter tone, another one with a slightly warmer tone for when you play through a Mesa... you get the idea. It will never stop.

Settling on a standard set of middle-of-the-road pickups that go into everything will let the inherent differences in the guitars/tuning dictate the tone you get and then you can more comfortably work with whatever amp you end up plugging into on the night, too. For this purpose I would strongly recommend DiMarzio PAF Pro, Seymour Duncan Jazz, '59 and Pearly Gates pickups. All of them sound find no matter how low you tune and all of them are medium output, very responsive, capable of fitting in with high gain and low gain equally. Lead, rhythm; they'll take on anything.

Now, if you're really set on putting different pickups in each guitar to focus and specialise them, that's fine, but my advice then would be to step back from the pickup choice for a second and decide which guitar you want to use for which tuning/style, first. The once you decide okay, you want this guitar to be your lighter-toned E Standard one and this guitar to be your thicker-toned Drop C one, or whatever, then you can start thinking about which pickups will handle that task in that guitar best. At the moment it seems like you are pretty much guessing at pickup combinations to try and cover everything in every guitar completely haphazardly, and that's just not efficient.

For the record, my top HSH sets from the common brands for versatility with a focus on metal lead with naturally bright-toned guitars and amps would be:
SD Custom-Cool Rails-Jazz (standard humbucker tones with a little more power behind them, European metal style)
DM Evo 2-SD Hot Stack-DM PAF Pro (proper hot rod/more cutting set, à la 80s metal; I would include a coil split to make this set do a relatively good impersonation of a normal Strat, for bonus range)
SD Alternative 8-Hot Rails-59/Custom Hybrid (super powered/heavier set, modern American alternative metal)

Assuming you keep to the Gibson plan for blues stuff, that is.
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