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#1
What 6 string neck and bridge passive pickups would everyone recommend for guitar tones such as megadeth, slayer, anthrax and metallica etc. but that wont get muddy for down tunings like dropped C. I want them for a hard tail bc rich warlock. The stock pickups are perfectly fine but they aren't AMAZING and the neck pickups get super muddy on low notes. I know a lot of you are going to tell me i should get EMGs or duncan blackouts but i dont want active pickups for this guitar.
#2
• One does not simply play Thrash in drop C.
• Although they're not specifically for Thrash, look at:
-EMG H4: EMG's passive version, loosely based on the 81.
-Wilde Pickups L500XL: Great pickup, works great for Thrash/Groove
-Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB: Used by Dave Mustaine through the majority of Megadeth's career
-Dimarzio D-Activators: High output similar to an active, but it's passive.
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#3
I said "for a thrash sound but Also dont get muddy with dropped C" i didnt say im playing thrash in dropped C :P and thanks il look into all of those .
#4
Avoid EMG HZ's; they suck.

What is your amp?
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#5
Quote by Boonnoo666

-Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB: Used by Dave Mustaine through the majority of Megadeth's career
-Dimarzio D-Activators: High output similar to an active, but it's passive.



+1
#6
Dimarzio Norton, it has a nice grunt in E standard and i think it has that thrash vibe, even if it isnt high output, on lower tuning i didnt find it muddy but it's all in the ears of the one who hears
#7
I have a set of Dragonfires in my LTD explorer. Less than 40 bucks for the set, really tight and lots of gain.
See the amp question above, though. If you are using a digital modeling amp (Line 6 or Peavy Vyper or similar) it won't matter a bit what pickups you put in. Look at a good tube amp if you don't have one already, they don't have to be gigantic to sound good, there are a lot of them in the 8 to 15 watt range that are incredible right now.
#8
For the bridge get a Seymour Duncan SH-13 aka. Dimebucker.
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#9
Duncan Distortion or Dimarzio D-Activators. Not a fan of the JB personally, but you could easily figure out if you like it, it's slapped onto so many guitars it's not even funny.

The Distortion is tight and focused as f*ck with big output. You can check out Ola Englund's newer videos, he is mostly using a Duncan Distortion in the bridge. It's a great metal pickup.

The D-Activator is supposed to sound closer to an active pickup, never played one though. You might want to give that one a try. If it sounds anywhere near an EMG 81, it would certainly do it for you, as the 81 is pretty much THE tone of thrash.

As for the neck, with the Distortion you could pair a Duncan Jazz, which is a very clear pickup and will also do good cleans.

No idea what to pair the D-Activator with as I have never played one and haven't seen to many guitars with it stock. Maybe something like an Air Norton might do.
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#10
I have the Duncan JB/Jazz combo... JB at the bridge and Jazz at the neck. I love them.
#11
duncan jb/jazz set duncan distortion mayhem set dimarzio d activators set will do you good.
they all sound great in my mahogany body guitars but the jb/jazz sound best in my maple bolt neck on mahognany guitar for thrash and technical clean riffs. i play in e flat.
i bought all three sets for less then 100 each on ebay. check your local craigslist too i bought my mint 5150 combo for 400 checking everyday. good things comes to those who wait.
#12
I have an SD Invader in my gibson's bridge. I get a pretty good old school thrash sound. Emphasis on the old school sound, for dropped tuning it does ok but you wont get that super agressive low end (you know what I mean where the palm muted open string riffs sound like a machine gun lol), maybe like a more melodic metalcore sound a-la KSE I guess.
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#13
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Avoid EMG HZ's; they suck.

In what way? I have them in my Schecter, and IMO they sound pretty good. Not a great attitude to take, just stating your opinion as if it's fact.
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#14
Quote by Boonnoo666
In what way? I have them in my Schecter, and IMO they sound pretty good. Not a great attitude to take, just stating your opinion as if it's fact.

They just don't sound as good as the 81/85 actives they try to copy. They sound too harsh.
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#15
Ok, to answer the question about the amp, I currently have a gay little practice amp but im getting a marshall MG30fx soon and i have been using a zoom g1xn for effects. I tried the warlock through my teacher's MG100fx and it sounds nice but not as good as his either of his guitars and like i said the low end gets muddy. What would help a **** load is if any of you who have the pickups you have recommended installed in a guitar could post a video of some playing ( play some low end riffs, some harmonics and some fast sweeping etc. to give me an idea of its sound all around)
#16
Then save your pickup money, DO NOT get the MG30 and wait until you have enough money for a decent amp.
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#17
A video of the pickups won't help unless they are playing through your amp. The amp is going to make the difference. The MG30fx has a bunch of digital effects, and I'm guessing some digital modeling as well (help me out here, guys). Look for a good, no frills amp in your price range. Go a little bit over 200 bucks and you can start getting into low watt tube combos. Slap a good pedal like a Metal Muff or ProCo Rat in front of the amp.
The pickups are going to be the cheapest option here, but also the ones that affect the tone the least, especially with a digital amp. Take your guitar to the store with you and try some amps in your range, assuming you haven't done that yet.
I know how you feel, I went through the same thing you're doing about 15 years ago.
#18
Quote by Boonnoo666
• One does not simply play Thrash in drop C.

He can if he wants to
#19
If you ever intent to use old Thrash amps like JCM800 and such, Dimarzio x2n can sound amazing. Its propably still the hottest pickup ever made, leaving even actives like emg 81 behind, its insane. Voicing is perfect for thrash and oldschool death metal. However its quite guitar dependant and can sound muddy in some, plus its overkill on modern high gain amps. Personally I love these.

Dimarzio d-activator would be the saner and more modern choice. Plus it tries to mimic active pup sound so its propably closest thing to emg 81 you can get as far as passives go. Personally i havent owned one so this is just third hand information.

EMG-HZ has a poor reputation which i consider bit unfair. Its not the poorest pickup out there and some good sounds have been made with those (children of bodom). But they do have one flaw: they are weak! Output is pisspoor. The stock pickups of my LTD drove the preamps harder than HZ did. They really need some boosting help.

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#21
I'd avoid the MG's, they are not good amps. At all.
Source: I played through an MG15 for ages.

I'd take the $200 odd you would be paying for the MG and combine it with any money you were going to spend on pick-ups and have a look at some budget tube amps. Things like Jet City are supposed to be really nice. Have a look at what you can get used (I have no clue what the US market is like, being a UK native.) You're going to get a much more obvious increase in tonal quality that way.
#22
I currently have D'Activators on my Ibanez S (mahogany body) and you get pretty good thrash tones given the right amp. They note definition is quite clear upon down tuning. Gone till C only a couple of times. And again, I have tried only on Modelling amps like Peavey Vypyr. I do no know how it sounds through Tubes.
I have not tried actives, so no way to compare.
I had EMG HZs on my Dean Vendetta (Basswood body). and the tone was bit muddy (even in standard), and output was low. The drop tuning u get the metal tones , but again they are a muddy. All in all, it was a waste of money.
#23
This thread should be proof that pickups don't matter that much. There are so many suggestions for different pickups ranging Dragonfires to Livewires.

Worry about getting a good amp first. Don't get an MG. If you're trying to save money on the amp, then go for a Peavey Vypyr 30 or higher. You'd be cheating yourself if you tried to make crap amp and an FX work for this, it just isn't gonna happen.

After you've got a Vypyr, then worry about pickups.
#24
I have a actually tried both the MG100 and Mg300 and they both sound really good. whats the sound like on that Peavy Vypyr 30 or the Peavey 03608080 Vypyr VIP 2 - 40 Watt ? They are both far cheaper than the Marshall i was looking into.
#25
I haven't tried a Vypr personally, but from what I've heard from clips it sounds a lot better than the MG. It's also more versatile and will suit thrash/metulz a lot better.
#26
yeah thats what im starting to feel. Also its a **** load cheaper. what about the VIP2 40, does the fact that it can be used as a bass amp or guitar amp but does that detract from the quality of the sound or the variety of sounds on the guitar setting?
#27
If I were you I'd wouldn't bother buying any new amp until I'd saved up enough money for a small tube amp with a decent amount of gain such as a Blackstar HT-5. The 5 watt combo is about $449.99. But taking into account the money for a new set of pickups and the MG you should almost be able to cover the whole cost of the Blackstar or similarly priced tube amp.

Also what BC Rich are you using?
#28
Quote by AlongcameFred
If I were you I'd wouldn't bother buying any new amp until I'd saved up enough money for a small tube amp with a decent amount of gain such as a Blackstar HT-5. The 5 watt combo is about $449.99. But taking into account the money for a new set of pickups and the MG you should almost be able to cover the whole cost of the Blackstar or similarly priced tube amp.

Also what BC Rich are you using?


The BC rich i was talking about in this particular thread is this http://www.bcrich.com/models/guitars-and-bass/Warlock/Red-Bevel-Warlock-Pack/145 but they seemed to have slightly changed it on their sight since i got mine, the bridge on mine is a tune-o-matic string through body type. Also with that blackstar ht-5 am i right in saying that the $450 5 watt combo isnt all i will have to buy ?
#29
Metal amp on a budget? I'd start with the vypyr 30w @ $200. They are the best low priced modeling amps for metal, hands down. Do not bother with one of the marshall MGs.
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#30
yeah i think the vyper 30 is a good way to go. how is the Peavey VIP2 40 watt ? because thats really well priced and looks like it should be good but i dont know what the sound is like
#31
Is the new vypyr line available yet? I don't think they have done much tweaking on the modeling, but added some other features (bass & acoustic modeling??).
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#32
Quote by DarthV
Is the new vypyr line available yet? I don't think they have done much tweaking on the modeling, but added some other features (bass & acoustic modeling??).

Umean the VIP, its the viper but it can switch between bass and guitar amp
. If so then yes.
#33
The simple answer is save your money until you can afford a decent valve amp. The Vypyr is a lot better than the MG but you'd still be wasting your money to buy replacement pickups if all you're going to do is run them into a modelling amp. The amp is 80% of your tone - the pickups are a very small percentage in comparison so you really need to get the amp sorted first. There are quite a few really good low powered valve amps available these days that will be FAR better and FAR louder than a 30w solid state amp. Even a 5w valve amp should do that and you could play a loud enough gig with an 18w valve amp. Honestly, save your money and put it to a properly good amp. If you get any of the 30w modelling, solid state amps you'll be changing it again this time next year.

When you do eventually get around to new pickups and you want tight and aggressive passive pickups for Metal; look no further than Bare Knuckle. They don't know what mud is and any number in the range will do what you want: Black Hawks; Nailbombs; Aftermath etc.
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#34
Quote by Doadman
The simple answer is save your money until you can afford a decent valve amp. The Vypyr is a lot better than the MG but you'd still be wasting your money to buy replacement pickups if all you're going to do is run them into a modelling amp. The amp is 80% of your tone - the pickups are a very small percentage in comparison so you really need to get the amp sorted first. There are quite a few really good low powered valve amps available these days that will be FAR better and FAR louder than a 30w solid state amp. Even a 5w valve amp should do that and you could play a loud enough gig with an 18w valve amp. Honestly, save your money and put it to a properly good amp. If you get any of the 30w modelling, solid state amps you'll be changing it again this time next year.

When you do eventually get around to new pickups and you want tight and aggressive passive pickups for Metal; look no further than Bare Knuckle. They don't know what mud is and any number in the range will do what you want: Black Hawks; Nailbombs; Aftermath etc.


How much money do you think I'd be looking a decent valve amp and speaker ?
#35
Difficult for me to say as I'm in the UK and I assume you're not as you said the MG was a lot more expensive than the Vypyr and over here it isn't. Either way, the answer with amps is to go for a used one. There are lots about that are in excellent condition but I'll try to give you an idea. Let's take as a starting point the solid states you're looking at and what they are new here in the UK:

Vypyr 30 = £175
Marshall MG30 = £166

One option for a valve amp would be to get an amp with a good clean channel and then get your distortion from pedals. The other guitarist in my band does that and it sounds great. Something like a Fender Blues Junior or similar should do the trick. New they're £465 but used you're probably looking not much more than half that so not that different to a new Vypyr or MG.

Another good option would be a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister which in combo format comes as either a 5w or 36w. New, the 5W version is £280 and the 36w is £700 and again, you're probably slightly over half that used. Don't get fooled by wattage; 5w on a solid state amp would be useless but 5w on a valve amp can still be very loud.

Over here, a Laney amp would be a cheap option used. Both the LC-30 and VC-30 are more than powerful enough and are about £490 new so expect about £250 - £300 used but then you are getting 30w and that's easily enough to do a fair size of gig.

If you like Marshall, they do an all valve 15w now but it's quite new so there may not be any used ones around yet but an old DSL401 may be available. I sold mine a while ago for about £300 but again, it's very powerful at 40w.

A great option would be an Orange Tiny Terror. 15w all valve amp that you can turn down to only 7w and it's fantastic quality. They're about £500 new here and very sought after so I wouldn't expect change from £300 used.

As an alternative to the Vypyr, Peavey also do a couple of very reasonably priced valve amps, albeit more powerful than you need. I'll tell you what they are new over here and half it for a used value. Valve King = £400; 6505+ = £500

You could also look out for a Jet City. They did a really nice 20w that was cheap and very good, though there wasn't a lot of clean headroom in them. Another idea would be to look at the Blackstar HT series as they're good value too.

There's some to get you started anyway. Any valve amp is likely to be more expensive than a solid state amp so you may have to save but it will be cheaper in the long run. You'll soon grow out of solid state but invest in a good valve amp and it could last you for years. I made the mistake of going for cheaper solid state amps and I regret it now. I couldn't go back to one now as the tone is nowhere near as good as a valve amp and they just frustrate you. Learn from my mistakes - you'll find it's cheaper in the long run.

Good luck.
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#36
Well, there are quite a few passive pickups that come to mind that you should look in to (into?) hearing and/or buying.

Bridge:

1) Seymour Duncan JB
- I use this pickup and it's high output, but not overbearingly loud. I mainly use it for more "hard rock" stuff, but it can pull off thrash and other metal quite well.
2) Seymour Duncan Invader
- This is used by Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold, so it can deliver for metal.
3) Dimarzio Tone Zone
- It's just a bit quieter than the JB, but it's still a great sounding pickup.
4) Dimarzio Super Distortion
- The "beginning" of aftermarket pickups and it is quite a high output one at that. It can work very well for thrash.


Neck:

1) Seymour Duncan Jazz
- It's based off the old PAF-styled pickups with a bit of extra volume. I have this paired with the JB in my Les Paul and it works great as a neck pickup. It's very warm and clear sounding.
2) Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates
- This is another PAF-styled pickup from Seymour Duncan. From word of mouth, I hear that it's great.
3) Dimarzio PAF Pro
- Yet another PAF-based pickup. From what I've heard of this pickup, it sounds great in the neck f any guitar. It has a clear and versatile sound. It works great in the neck pair with another pickup or as the bridge pickup pair with two single coils. If I remember correctly, Paul Gilbert had a set of these in one of his custom Ibanez guitars.

I hope I helped you out with choosing pickups for your guitar.
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#37
Quote by Doadman

One option for a valve amp would be to get an amp with a good clean channel and then get your distortion from pedals.

<snip>

Another good option would be a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister which in combo format comes as either a 5w or 36w. New, the 5W version is £280 and the 36w is £700 and again, you're probably slightly over half that used. Don't get fooled by wattage; 5w on a solid state amp would be useless but 5w on a valve amp can still be very loud.

<snip>

A great option would be an Orange Tiny Terror. 15w all valve amp that you can turn down to only 7w and it's fantastic quality. They're about £500 new here and very sought after so I wouldn't expect change from £300 used.

<snip>

Another idea would be to look at the Blackstar HT series as they're good value too.

Yes to all that.

On pedals, skimping on those can be almost as bad as skimping on your amp. Look at quality instead of price- they are NOT intrinsically linked.

And on pickups, I'd look at Lace (Deathbuckers), Tesla (Plasmas) and Railhammer (Chisel and Anvil).
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#38
Quote by Doadman
One option for a valve amp would be to get an amp with a good clean channel and then get your distortion from pedals. The other guitarist in my band does that and it sounds great. Something like a Fender Blues Junior or similar should do the trick.


Really? Why bother buying a tube amp if you're just going to throw a distortion pedal in front of it?

Believe it or not, the vypyr will be responsive to change in pickups. Specially the 60w.

And Laney/Marshall have amps that would work for thrash metal, but they are more pricy in North America. Cheap tube amp in the US for old school thrash? Used Peavey Windsor, Butcher or Ultra head plus a 1x12 cab. Jet City is another option. As for pedals, the $40 Joyo Vintage Overdrive does the job just as well as a real Tube Screamer.
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#39
Dimarzio D-Activators.

I love my EMG 81/60 combo, but the D-Activator set is amazing.
It's also similar to the 81/60 combo.
The neck D-Activator sound single coil/P-90 like, and the bridge sounds raw with high output but still organic.
I can describe the D-Activator set as an EMG 81/60 set with an 18 volt mod.

I have both pickup sets and can say that I love them both equally.
(And I play mostly thrash and all kinds of other metal and hard rock)

But look up some youtube videos, reviews, or even try some out if you find a guitar at your local shop that has the D-Activators installed.

good luck, bud.
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#40
Quote by Doadman
The simple answer is save your money until you can afford a decent valve amp. The Vypyr is a lot better than the MG but you'd still be wasting your money to buy replacement pickups if all you're going to do is run them into a modelling amp. The amp is 80% of your tone - the pickups are a very small percentage in comparison so you really need to get the amp sorted first. There are quite a few really good low powered valve amps available these days that will be FAR better and FAR louder than a 30w solid state amp. Even a 5w valve amp should do that and you could play a loud enough gig with an 18w valve amp. Honestly, save your money and put it to a properly good amp. If you get any of the 30w modelling, solid state amps you'll be changing it again this time next year.

When you do eventually get around to new pickups and you want tight and aggressive passive pickups for Metal; look no further than Bare Knuckle. They don't know what mud is and any number in the range will do what you want: Black Hawks; Nailbombs; Aftermath etc.

This post is full of bias and bullshit.
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