#1
Hey everyone! getting on here asking for your wise words about this concern: I'll be upgrading the pickups on my guitar in a while and would like to know what would you recommend for me on this:

Budget: 150$ top, maybe 10$ more but on a tight budget, need 2 HBs from that

Sounds I want: something for Classic rock-vintage-PAF sounds that can be taken up to 80s rock/Brown sound/Cranked Marshall type of tones mostly, pretty much AC/DC tones but with more gain, and Has to stay very clear when rolled back with the guitar volume pot for the clean tones

Location: Venezuela :/, so ordering from the USA through Amazon (preferably from there, as that being a known place from where I can order with venezuelan cards)

Being picky about them to be offered as 53mm spaced pickups for the bridge position (has to be like that) and normal 50mm spacing for the neck, and something I would Really like is them to have nickel covers (been wanting that look since I started playing actually)

Also Been looking around, reading reviews and a load of forums (including here), and thought about getting a set of DiMarzio PAF 36th anniversary ones, they are within budget, seem to have the sound I want, come with nickel covers, F spaced for the bridge and can be ordered on Amazon, just that I'm not totally sure about how they perform when rolling back the guitar's volume, do they stay clean? I seriously dislike when I roll down the volume on a guitar and it ends sounding like I rolled back the tone halfway also X_X, absolutely No from me to that, right now the stock pickups on my LTD stay pretty clean when taking the volume down, but sometimes they mud when taking the gain a bit higher.

In a nutshell I'm looking to get closer to a Gibson's sound with this (Closer, I Know is impossible to Nail the tone with my guitar 'cause of woods, construction, scale lenght, but if it can get closer with new pickups, is worth it to me)

TL;DR: Please do read it, please! you'll be helping a bro out with his tone chasing
ESP LTD MH-100QM STB with Suhr SSV-N & SSH-B
Phil Pro MS-20
Vox V845 Classic Wah
Fender Mustang IV V.2
Fender Mustang I
#2
The best one I can suggest to you is slightly outside your budget- RailHammer HyperVintage:

http://www.railhammer.com/hypervintage_neck.html
http://www.railhammer.com/hypervintage_bridge.html

A pair will set you back $198 at STEWMAC:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Pickups:_Guitar,_electric/Railhammer_Pickups/Railhammer_Hyper_Vintage_Pickup.html

You might also like the slightly less expensive Tesla VR-TE or OPUS-1:

http://www.teslapickups.com/?products=vr-te
http://www.teslapickups.com/?products=opus-1

I have a custom HSS guitar fitted with a VR-Extreme HB and 2 OPUS S-1 singlecoils, and am quite happy with the results.

They're pretty damn good, and I have seen them on Amazon (usually, NOT the USA version, though) from time to time.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 10, 2014,
#4
Quote by ADOLF1612


Also Been looking around, reading reviews and a load of forums (including here), and thought about getting a set of DiMarzio PAF 36th anniversary ones, they are within budget, seem to have the sound I want, come with nickel covers, F spaced for the bridge and can be ordered on Amazon, just that I'm not totally sure about how they perform when rolling back the guitar's volume, do they stay clean? I seriously dislike when I roll down the volume on a guitar and it ends sounding like I rolled back the tone halfway also X_X, absolutely No from me to that, right now the stock pickups on my LTD stay pretty clean when taking the volume down, but sometimes they mud when taking the gain a bit higher.


The 36th Anniversary pickups are an excellent choice, and I've found that they clean up when you roll them back.

That said, you might want to modify the wiring on your guitar before you splurge. Simply moving a wire or two around (actually, the leg of a capacitor around) may eliminate the loss of treble you get when you roll back the volume, depending on how your guitar is wired now.

You might also ask your friends if they have an EQ pedal ( Boss ge-7, MXR-100) lying around that you can borrow. Put it right after the pickups and before any of your other pedals (and before the amp, of course) and play around a bit. You might find this a much cheaper way to go (used EQ pedals are well under $100 here).



And finally, use less gain. The temptation, particularly if you're playing alone, is to use a lot more gain than would ever sound good in a recording. Not that *I* would ever do such a thing....
#5
The GFS recommended above are good. My favorites are the Stew Mac Golden Age Overwounds. They do classic rock, good bluesy foot stompin' stuff, and you can push them to a good crunch. I think the set runs $100 now... but I could be wrong. They are one of the more inexpensive options, and I really like them. I think you will like them for what you describe.
Ibanez SR1200E
#6
Like what dspellman was alluding to, have a look at a 50's wiring mod diagram or even a 'how to' vid on youtube. Im assuming the guitar is a H - H config ie les paul or similar, and if so will more than likely have the modern wiring which makes the tone darker and sometimes muddy when you roll of the volume pot. The 50's wiring modification is easily done, literally you change which peg on the pot that the earth is on the tone pots, and change to which pegs that the caps go. Its a 25 minute or so job assuming you don't need to replace any parts or break anything. I will be doing this mod to my Epi LP in the next couple of weeks but I'll be replacing the pots and 3 way switch with good CTS ones and renewing all of the solder joints.

I should add that the 50's mod doesn't bleed the treble away when you roll the volume down, however should sound the same when the volume is at 10 in both instances.
Last edited by dazza027 at Jan 10, 2014,
#7
Thank you everyone for your suggestions

to answer everyone I'm going by parts xD

- First: the guitar in question is the one in my sig, this one: http://www.espguitars.com/products/8956-mh-100qm-stb?category_id=1963304-mh-series so is quite away from a normal Les Paul setup :X

- The Railhammer pickups actually seem very nice! the thing is that they're actually that bit out of my budget and now over here the government is going to raise the rate from our currency to US$, so it'll be even more expensive to me now to buy them, pretty much taking them out of my budget completely

- The Teslas are really nice too, and I dig the sound of the OPUS-1 ones, pretty much what I'm looking for, the only details with them is that I can't find them in 53mm spacing for the bridge (do they come in that spacing?), I know it doesn't affect the tone but wouldn't like to see the pole pieces not matching with the strings X_X, and can't find them on amazon to order, if I can solve both of these then I'm ordering them instead

- With the Guitar Fetish ones happens the same thing on the spacing for the bridge, the website doesn't say anything about it either

- I had a look at the Stew mac Golden Age overwounds (and the normal ones) and the value seems amazing, it's just that here I come again with the spacing thing xD, that seems to be as critical as the sound to me :X

- I actually don't use that much gain, the absolute much I use is clean boosted jcm800 territory, pretty much hard rock, and that's for the solos, the rest is Ac/Dc levels of gain, I've found as you say that the more gain, the more saturation I have and perhaps less clarity, that's why I use such low gain mostly xD, and I dont have any EQ pedals or any friends with one, so can't try that T_T

- The Wiring Mods look pretty interesting actually, and to do the 50s style wiring on my guitar it seems to not be a difficult job, just one thing: I have Almost this very setup on my guitar:

http://cdn.seymourduncan.com/pdfs/support/schematics/2h_1v_1t_3w.pdf

The only difference being the wire running from the center lug of the 3 way switch to the Right lug of the tone pot (in the diagram the tone pot is turned backwards), Actually running from the switch to the Left lug of the Volume pot instead, the rest is the same, should be my wiring acting different to that of the diagram? or is the same thing? if it's the same then I'm doing the mod ASAP xD

And again, Thank you Everyone for your help (and sorry for my delay on posting again, had a bit of trouble today here at home :X)
ESP LTD MH-100QM STB with Suhr SSV-N & SSH-B
Phil Pro MS-20
Vox V845 Classic Wah
Fender Mustang IV V.2
Fender Mustang I
#8
Golden Age pickups are very nice- I have a couple of their HBs in one of my favorite guitars.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!