#1
I just got one of the new PRS Custom 24s, and after a few weeks of playing it I agree with what most metal players say about the pickups, they're weak. My palm mutes don't have as much "oomph" to them and pinch harmonics are more difficult. I'm used to the schecter with blackouts I owned before this, harmonics were no problem whatsoever on that baby.

I'm looking for a crisp, articulate sound. Much like John Petrucci's tone. Cleans are important to me, as well as creamy lead tones, and the ability to get that Dream Theater tone. I use a lot of palm mutes, a lot of harmonics, and a lot of chording, so when I play that 9th chord I really wanna hear it ring. Budget is under 200, which pretty much leaves anything by dimarzio, SD or EMG. I'd prefer not to get actives again.

Also, I know Petrucci uses the Crunch Lab, but that thing would clash with the look of my PRS. I know aesthetics aren't everything, I'd be willing to cover it, has anyone had experience with this before?
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The Legion
#2
Crunch Lab / Liquifire is the screaming obvious choice here.

I absolutely understand and agree about aesthetics though. Although it seems to be a minority opinion around here.

What look are you going for?
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#3
have you considered using an OD boost pedal? lot cheaper (and easier to fit ) than new pickups.

that's not to say it's exactly the same as hotter pickups, and if you'd prefer them that's fair enough (i use a boost or two and i still prefer hotter pickups when i'm playing heavier stuff). But it might be worth a try, and an od pedal with a tube amp is pretty useful anyway, it's handy to have, kind of thing.
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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.

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#4
I have a crunch lab in one of my guitars and love it so much. I just ordered the new EMG 57/66 set because everything I've heard and read they sound amazing. They also look pretty sweet.
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#5
Quote by McLeod
I have a crunch lab in one of my guitars and love it so much. I just ordered the new EMG 57/66 set because everything I've heard and read they sound amazing. They also look pretty sweet.

Good choice, I'm a fan of the 57/66s!
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#6
Just a basic humbucker look. I feel like the crunch lab would look at home in a super strat of some sort. Has anyone had experience with d activators?
"Any statement beginning with the words 'In truth' is almost always a lie."

The Legion
#7
I have a D Activator set in my main guitar (S420).
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#8
I was interested in those as well. What are your thoughts on them? Compared to actives?
"Any statement beginning with the words 'In truth' is almost always a lie."

The Legion
#9
I have an EMG 81/60 set in my secondary guitar, my EC-1000.

The D Activator bridge is brighter than I expected it to be. I guess that is to give it the note and chord clarity it's known for. The EMG 81 is known for being bright, but I think they overdid it with the DA bridge trying to emulate that. Granted, it could actually be closer than I hear, since my S is undoubtedly a brighter guitar than my EC.

Being passives, the D Activators naturally have a smaller, more focused EQ range - they don't have the simultaneous extended low and high content that EMGs have. But as long as you're aware of this and aren't out trying to get something that sounds exactly like an EMG in a passive pup, it's not an issue.

They're crazy for harmonics. I can get pinch harmonics out of them easier than any other pickup I've used before.

The neck pickup is kind of weird... it's very "passive". I don't know how to explain it. It sounds very subdued, almost acoustic-y. But it doesn't sound like an acoustic or anything. I really can't explain it. I find it to be very dark, a lot darker than you'd expect from it's EQ rating on the DiMarzio site, and it's fairly similar to the EMG 60 in that way. The 60 has more presence though.

I have issues with tonal disparity between the neck and bridge, wherever I set my tone knob is either too dark/muddy on the neck and right on the bridge, or too bright and metallic on the bridge and not too my liking on the neck. Single tone knobs for more than one pickup is just stupid though. I'm eventually gonna mod a lot of my guitars to concentric pots so each pup can have it's own tone knob. But that's a whole rant for a different subject.

Lastly, though I love EMG and I love what they do/what they put out, I'm really swinging toward passives lately because worrying about gradual tone degradation due to batteries dying is just annoying.


This probably isn't too helpful, I might try to tackle the question again after I've slept.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at Jun 14, 2013,
#10
I'm not overly impressed with the CL in my mahogany rga121 tuned to C standard. It was awesome in E standard, but feels a little undefined with the heavy strings & low tuning.

I have a d-activator in my mahogany s470, tuned to Eb, and absolutely love it.

Maybe I just need to add an extra EQ to my usual mark IIc profile? Or start a fresh rig for Petrucci stuff that's tuned down or 7 string.
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