#1
The name of the game is chord clarity. I'm playing progressive death metal with this guitar, and I utilize some big chords - 4, 5 & 6 string chords. While also using very heavy modern distortion. Distortion is sort of a natural enemy of clarity, so I need to pick up the slack everywhere I can.

I'm currently running DiMarzio D Activators in it. They aren't really what I thought they were going to be. Note clarity and separation is absolutely top priority, but if there's any leeway, I'd like something with slightly more mids and/or slightly less treble.

Budget: I'd like to try to keep it around $60 each, will buy used if I possibly can. I suppose I can go up to $80 if I have to.

I'm currently using Peavey Vypyrs - the Tube 120H model and I also have a VIP 3. In the future I plan on using a Randall RM100 w/ the Ultra module, most likely.


EDIT: Oh yeah, tuning is C Standard.
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 Nov 25, 2013,
#2
Oops, just remembered I've asked this like a bajillion times. Sorry. Still make recs if you want to, I know I'm gonna just have to trial and error this til I find what works for me.
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
#3
do you need high output? clarity for me (out of what i've tried) normally means paf pros, but they're pretty trebly and also pretty low output. also i don't play in drop-brootalz like you do, I normally play in E, occasionally Eb. EDIT: yeah i know C standard isn't a drop tuning but that would have adversely affected the quality of the crap joke i made.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Nov 25, 2013,
#4
I don't know. I haven't tried low output pups in low tunings. I have a GFS Fat Pat set I guess I could tune down low just to see.
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
#5
yeah, that'd be worth a try. though bear in mind that often lower output pickups have a much more vintage voicing, so it could be that, rather than the output, which is making them unsuitable...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
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.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
Do you find that the D-Activators are lacking clarity or that they're simply too bright for your taste?

If they're too bright I'd start by rolling your tone knob back a bit and seeing if that helps.

If clarity is the problem... Well, then there is something else going on here, because as far as high output pickups go they are among the clearest I've tried, and I suspect that swapping pickups will not help solve your problems.

Now to open a can of worms.

Instead you'll have to take a closer look at how you EQ your amp how much gain you use and what effects you use. Reverb and Echo will pose big problems. Bass and lo mids will cause problems. Putting a 10-band EQ in your FX loop and carving out some of the low mids while boosting the high mids could go a lot further than a new set of pickups.

Also, rethink what you play. 5 & 6 string chords will likely have redundant notes. Eliminate them. Is the bass player playing the root note? Eliminate it. Do you have another guitar player? What is he playing? You can often get a heavier and more brutal sound by playing playing only what you need to. Bass plays root, rhythm guitar plays power chords and lead guitar plays color tones.

If you still feel the need to swap pickups The Crunch Lab/Liquifier combo is excellent. Less Treble than the D-Activator with plenty of clarity. Evolutions also have a TON of clarity but I've found them to be a little harsh.

Lower output pickups definitely have more clarity, but they don't often play well with high gain. They can get really flubby, or they can squeal like crazy.
#7
Thank you for your comment.

So basically, get rid of everything I like in my tone.
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
Quote by icronic

Now to open a can of worms.

Instead you'll have to take a closer look at how you EQ your amp how much gain you use and what effects you use. Reverb and Echo will pose big problems. Bass and lo mids will cause problems. Putting a 10-band EQ in your FX loop and carving out some of the low mids while boosting the high mids could go a lot further than a new set of pickups.

Also, rethink what you play. 5 & 6 string chords will likely have redundant notes. Eliminate them. Is the bass player playing the root note? Eliminate it. Do you have another guitar player? What is he playing? You can often get a heavier and more brutal sound by playing playing only what you need to. Bass plays root, rhythm guitar plays power chords and lead guitar plays color tones.

If you still feel the need to swap pickups The Crunch Lab/Liquifier combo is excellent. Less Treble than the D-Activator with plenty of clarity. Evolutions also have a TON of clarity but I've found them to be a little harsh.

Lower output pickups definitely have more clarity, but they don't often play well with high gain. They can get really flubby, or they can squeal like crazy.



That. Is some of the best advice regarding tone, ive read in a long time.
I shouldn't post when drunk..



07 LTD MH400NT SD SH2/SH5
15 Jackson SLATHX-m 3-7 Slime green
Squier std tele (modded to hell)

Engl Powerball
Laney Ironheart 60h
Zilla Superfatboy 2x12 v30's

Pedals
#9
I haven't ever owned an S, but (even though they are extremely different guitars) i really like the crunch lab and liqufire. They come a little cheaper together as th petrucci set. Great pickups pretty versatile, once i played a blues gig with them, sounded great, the Gibson is normally that. But they did the job.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#10
I'm also going to recommend a Crunch Lab/Liquifire *or* D-Sonic/Liquifire combo.

My experience is more with the D-Sonic, as I've owned one for awhile. They are very similar to a CL, but slightly lower output (they are both more of a 'medium' output pup). Both have a slightly tapered-off high end to their EQ structure.

I play a very similar style of music as you, with lots of big chords and fairly high gain. My D-Sonic (when I had a guitar to keep it in, lol) was nice for that because there was definitely the note separation you're talking about, even through 6-string barre chords and what have you. The highs still had plenty of detail and leads were quite musical. Low-end was ultra-tight but not due to an absence of low-end, if that makes any sense. It sounded very chunky on palm mutes. If we lived closer I'd loan you my pickup just to try it out!

The bad thing about pups is that you really need to try them in YOUR guitar through YOUR rig to get an accurate reading on them. I was trying to sell my D Sonic but there's just no market for used pups. I like it so much I'm probably going to keep it until I can get another guitar to put it in.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#11
Are you in the US? I'll buy your D Sonic if the price is good.
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
#13
Oh yeah, I looked into Lace a while ago. Interesting, but expensive things.

D Sonic is actually on the top of my to try list, regardless of this thread, so if I can get a deal on one that'd be great.
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
#15
Quote by Offworld92
Thank you for your comment.

So basically, get rid of everything I like in my tone.


No, obviously not. You never really specified what you love or hate about your current tone and as I haven't actually heard how you sound I can't really comment. I was simply throwing ideas out which may or may not help you get the tone you're after.

I do think that a 10 band EQ through your FX loop would get you closer to what you want than a new set of pickups. But D-Sonics are nice pickups, they always reminded me of a light EMG. Personally I don't think they've got the clarity of the D-Activators but for medium/high output pickups they're still damn clear. Those or the Crunch Lab are definitely your best bet.

By the way, before you swap pickups, try lowering the D-Activators. Pickup height can make a HUGE difference in terms of brightness and clarity.
#16
Ok, will try that.

The problem is that I already have my tone knob back quite a bit. And after a certain point you lose the balance between attack and darkness. It's just way too bright for my tastes. I guess that's some kind of prerequisite for the clarity?
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