I currently have a Dimarzio D-Sonic in the bridge and an Air Norton in the neck of my Ibanez S520EX, which is a Mahogany guitar. I play a lot of progressive metal and thrash metal music and run it through a Mesa Boogie Mark V and an Eleven Rack processor and on either I noticed that it is very very muddy/muffled sounding. I opened it up and the pots are good and everything is grounded and connected right, so I know its pretty much the D-Sonic in the bridge since I play in Standard and Eb most often and its more suited for some more dropped tuned stuff.

I was going try the Liquifire/Crunch Lab combo or mix it up a little and do the Liquifire/D-Activator (or D-Activator X) combo to get more clarity, but I've never tried Duncans. I can actually get my hands on some locally on my next few days off so I thought I may have an open mind and give them a shot.

Does anyone recommend any sort of Duncan combo over Dimarzio's for the type of music I play?
Most thrash I'm familiar with is just an EMG 81/85.

The Seymour Duncan JB is a very popular choice, with a '59 or a Jazz in the neck.

What bands specifically have a sound you'd like to get close to? That will help us a lot more.
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My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
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Quote by Offworld92
Most thrash I'm familiar with is just an EMG 81/85.

The Seymour Duncan JB is a very popular choice, with a '59 or a Jazz in the neck.

What bands specifically have a sound you'd like to get close to? That will help us a lot more.

I'm looking for something like a hybrid of Petrucci's rhythms and Circus Maximus' rhythms also. The bridge pickup is most important to my playing as I play rhythm 99% of the time.

Its important to me to have a tight solid palm muted power chord sound while also having good articulate open note sounds on regular chords and licks.
Duncan distortion combined with jazz in the neck should be safe choice. Alternatively JB in the bridge. Basically same as distortion but brighter and less punchy bass. I think Dave Mustaine uses this combo.

Search seymour duncan 6 string pickup comparison on youtube. You should find keith merrows vid. Nice comparison between duncan pickups in and out of mix. Doesnt tell anything about output differences but EQ differences are clear as day.

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Aug 6, 2013,
i haven't tried those specific dimarzios, but in general (having not tried every single model offered by both companies, but having tried a fair few of them) my opinion is that dimarzio does better modern-style pickups, while duncan does better vintage-style pickups.

I'd probably leave well alone. Unless you hate the pickups that are in there already.
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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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After trying a local shop which had a couple of choices I decided to stick with Dimarzio and I got the D Activator bridge pickup.

I'll install it tonight and post a clip if anyone is interested :p
Duncan Distortions are quite versatile and sound great.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
I don't know whether you're doing the neck swap
, but the liquifire really impressed me, I put the crunch lab in a month ago.

Glad you have got it squared away
If you want obnoxiously bright, you want D-Activators or Full Shreds or a Duncan Custom.

I personally really enjoy the Duncan Distortion in mahogany guitars (my MH400 has a Distortion/59 set in it).
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.