#1
So bought myself a Burny LPC black beauty. Plays nice, pups are shit so I'm throwing em out while upgrading a bit of hardware like pots and tuners... Mahogany body, rosewood fingerboard dyed to look like ebony.

The band I bought it for plays 80's sleazy/hair/glam rock/metal and I'm running a Splawn QR into a Marshall 1960 so I've been looking at the Aldrich set with the gold covers which go for about $240 and some people recommended a Duncan Jazz/Custom combo which go for about $200 but I'd have to get an aftermarket cover for the neck since Duncan doesn't have gold covered Jazz necks...

Thoughts, opinions, other alternatives, etc
Quote by So-Cal
Incest is wincest!

Quote by Neo Evil11
Because he's the hero The Pit deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Anus.
#2
I use the Duncan Hot Rod humbucker set in all of my electrics, very versatile PUPS that work well with Mahogany.
#3
I'd go with the aldrich set. Doug Aldrich got one of the best "80s" metal tones of recent years. Listen to recent Whitesnake to hear the aldrich set in the hands of a master.
#4
Quote by 6...6...6...
I'd go with the aldrich set. Doug Aldrich got one of the best "80s" metal tones of recent years. Listen to recent Whitesnake to hear the aldrich set in the hands of a master.

Listen to Aldrich doing anything... His Dio albums, Burning Rain, etc...

His tone is him + Suhr pups in LP + Suhr and Cameron modded Marshalls... I figure that his pups in an LP in a Splawn (Which in Scott's own words is his Marshall mods minus the Marshall) I'd get to sound pretty decent.

But 240 for a pair that much better a tone than say a JB/59 etc?
Quote by So-Cal
Incest is wincest!

Quote by Neo Evil11
Because he's the hero The Pit deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Anus.
#5
Seymour Duncan do make Jazz neck models with gold covers. They just cost that little bit more, obviously, and so many shops don't keep them in stock. Any SD dealer can order one in for you, though, and it shouldn't be hard to find an online shop which has them in your country.

The Jazz/Custom and Aldrich sets aren't too comparable. They use the same wind and the Jazz uses a similar magnet, but otherwise they're very different. The Aldrich is a much, much hotter wind, the Custom uses a ceramic magnet and even the alnico 5 magnets in the Jazz and Aldrich are slightly different sizes; the Aldrich magnet is a tiny bit larger, which translates to more power.

The Aldrich bridge is effectively a halfway point between the SD JB and the SD Alternative 8. The neck is like a DiMarzio PAF Pro with smoother extremes.

For a Les Paul, assuming you stick with the standard 500k volume and tone controls for both pickups, I would recommend you get a SD Jazz or Full Shred* for the neck (the Full Shred with gold covers is only ever a special order and more expensive, though sometimes they come up on eBay at a reasonable price), or if you insist on having more power, the SD George Lynch Screamin' Demon (can also be ordered with a gold cover for even more money). For the bridge, a Custom or Full Shred will do equally well; the Full Shred is tighter on the wound strings, so good if you're tuning low or use very thick strings.
If you do want the extra power, I'd save some money and just buy the JB. The difference between the Aldrich and JB is almost nothing, just a couple hundred extra turns of wire, which at that gauge and that wind, means no audible difference.

Even then, the difference in output between all those pickups is very little, especially with an amp like the QR which, if you're playing 80s stuff, you probably already have the gain quite high on anyway. I know it can be tempting to think that more output will give you more compression, but bear in mind that a cooler wind will have a wider frequency response range, giving you a more precise sound and better clarity in warm, thick guitars like Les Pauls.

This may be me being little biased against the Aldrich pickups, since you can have something custom wound for you by a boutique pickup maker for the same amount that Suhr charge for the Aldrich humbuckers. That and the fact I run a pair of Full Shreds in a Les Paul myself. But yes, I see little reason to buy the Aldrich models when Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio already make standard pickups that match them in spec.

Even if you decide that the SD/DM pickups won't do what you want, rather than buy the Suhrs, just go to a boutique pickup winder and have them make something specifically for you to spec

That's not all to say that the Aldrich pickups are bad, in any way. Just that they don't have any magic pixie dust in them which justifies the much higher price tag. You're paying a lot for the name.


*Note on the Full Shred pickups: the neck is a SD Jazz and the bridge is an SD Custom 5. The only difference is they use hex screws instead of standard pole pieces. This gives them a tighter sound. Additionally, the 'Custom' line of SD pickups are all the same, just with different magnets: ceramic, alnico 5 or alnico 2. So you can buy a Jazz, Full Shred or Custom pickup and then, if you want to tweak the sound, just change the pole pieces and/or magnets and you instantly have one of the other types of pickup.
Interestingly, stock Epiphone and ESP LTD pickups match the Jazz & Custom line apart from their coils being slightly closer-matched than the Seymour Duncan pickups. By unbalancing the coils, you can make those cheap pickups sound like more expensive ones; I made a thread on this recently in the EG subforum. I can not stress enough the value of tinkering with pickups.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
Last edited by MrFlibble at Mar 23, 2014,
#6
Quote by IWasMaiden93
Listen to Aldrich doing anything... His Dio albums, Burning Rain, etc...

His tone is him + Suhr pups in LP + Suhr and Cameron modded Marshalls... I figure that his pups in an LP in a Splawn (Which in Scott's own words is his Marshall mods minus the Marshall) I'd get to sound pretty decent.

But 240 for a pair that much better a tone than say a JB/59 etc?

Go with the Aldrich set. My friend has them in his LP. They've got a really rich, powerful and fat tone. They're worth the extra money, I don't think you'll regret it.
#7
Quote by MrFlibble
Seymour Duncan do make Jazz neck models with gold covers. They just cost that little bit more, obviously, and so many shops don't keep them in stock. Any SD dealer can order one in for you, though, and it shouldn't be hard to find an online shop which has them in your country.

The Jazz/Custom and Aldrich sets aren't too comparable. They use the same wind and the Jazz uses a similar magnet, but otherwise they're very different. The Aldrich is a much, much hotter wind, the Custom uses a ceramic magnet and even the alnico 5 magnets in the Jazz and Aldrich are slightly different sizes; the Aldrich magnet is a tiny bit larger, which translates to more power.

The Aldrich bridge is effectively a halfway point between the SD JB and the SD Alternative 8. The neck is like a DiMarzio PAF Pro with smoother extremes.

For a Les Paul, assuming you stick with the standard 500k volume and tone controls for both pickups, I would recommend you get a SD Jazz or Full Shred* for the neck (the Full Shred with gold covers is only ever a special order and more expensive, though sometimes they come up on eBay at a reasonable price), or if you insist on having more power, the SD George Lynch Screamin' Demon (can also be ordered with a gold cover for even more money). For the bridge, a Custom or Full Shred will do equally well; the Full Shred is tighter on the wound strings, so good if you're tuning low or use very thick strings.
If you do want the extra power, I'd save some money and just buy the JB. The difference between the Aldrich and JB is almost nothing, just a couple hundred extra turns of wire, which at that gauge and that wind, means no audible difference.

Even then, the difference in output between all those pickups is very little, especially with an amp like the QR which, if you're playing 80s stuff, you probably already have the gain quite high on anyway. I know it can be tempting to think that more output will give you more compression, but bear in mind that a cooler wind will have a wider frequency response range, giving you a more precise sound and better clarity in warm, thick guitars like Les Pauls.

This may be me being little biased against the Aldrich pickups, since you can have something custom wound for you by a boutique pickup maker for the same amount that Suhr charge for the Aldrich humbuckers. That and the fact I run a pair of Full Shreds in a Les Paul myself. But yes, I see little reason to buy the Aldrich models when Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio already make standard pickups that match them in spec.

Even if you decide that the SD/DM pickups won't do what you want, rather than buy the Suhrs, just go to a boutique pickup winder and have them make something specifically for you to spec

That's not all to say that the Aldrich pickups are bad, in any way. Just that they don't have any magic pixie dust in them which justifies the much higher price tag. You're paying a lot for the name.


*Note on the Full Shred pickups: the neck is a SD Jazz and the bridge is an SD Custom 5. The only difference is they use hex screws instead of standard pole pieces. This gives them a tighter sound. Additionally, the 'Custom' line of SD pickups are all the same, just with different magnets: ceramic, alnico 5 or alnico 2. So you can buy a Jazz, Full Shred or Custom pickup and then, if you want to tweak the sound, just change the pole pieces and/or magnets and you instantly have one of the other types of pickup.
Interestingly, stock Epiphone and ESP LTD pickups match the Jazz & Custom line apart from their coils being slightly closer-matched than the Seymour Duncan pickups. By unbalancing the coils, you can make those cheap pickups sound like more expensive ones; I made a thread on this recently in the EG subforum. I can not stress enough the value of tinkering with pickups.


Alright, I appreciate this post out of all I've ever seen, thank you so much for the plethora of information.
So my QR isn't full blown gain wise but it's about 5-6 on gear 3 so there's no shortage. For this current set my LP will be used in Eb tuning with 9's (The drop stuff comes mid set where I'll switch to my Kramer with the D-Tuna and that has a JB so it's fine)
So for the bridge you suggest a Custom, Full Shred or a JB and the JB/Aldrich difference is minimal which is exactly what I wanted to know. JB is what, $70 compared to the $100 the Suhrs are, how different are they when I'm playing through a pretty heavy duty amp with chorus and delay and all that and you say not a lot if any...
So if I go with the JB, what should I pair it with out of the Jazz, Full Shred or the Lynch pup? For neck tones I love the Slash tone knob sapped thing but would like to be able to pull off that sort of shreddy Sykes Still of the Night solo thing... Which of those gets me the versatility of being able to drop the tone knob for the smooth Slash thing to the smooth shred thing with a bit more highs when you add the tone back
Quote by So-Cal
Incest is wincest!

Quote by Neo Evil11
Because he's the hero The Pit deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Anus.
#8
With .09 strings tuned to Eb I'd definitely go for the JB, or maybe a Custom 5. The Custom, with its ceramic magnet, could be a touch shrill. The Aldrich certainly would do the job too, but yeah, it's barely any different from the JB and costs more, so...

The neck is a tough one, if you want to do the whole Slash rolled tone knob thing. That's more the world of the A2 pickup, something like an SD Pearly Gates.
If that's a tone you want to use a lot, maybe look at the SD '59. It's not as 'shreddy' a pickup as the Jazz/Full Shred/Demon/Aldrich pickups, but it's not as locked into vintage sounds as much as A2 PAF copies are, either.
If you think the shred side is more important to you and rolling back on the tone is something you'll do less often, then the Jazz is the best option available to you. You will have to roll the tone knob much further back than you would with A2 pickups, but it will get there eventually, at least. The hex pole pieces of the Full Shred, Demon and DM PAF Pro make them unsuitable for that kind of Slash sound.
The Aldrich neck pickup actually would be a decent choice here, since that does have just a slightly thicker tone so you wouldn't have to roll the tone control back quite so much. Perhaps mix a set, with the Aldrich for the neck but a regular SD or DM pickup in the bridge?

Though don't discount what others have said. Indeed, Aldrich gets all those tones and he uses the Aldrich pickups with a Les Paul, so they will certainly do the job. I'm just one of those people who is quite conscious of price.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#9
Quote by MrFlibble
With .09 strings tuned to Eb I'd definitely go for the JB, or maybe a Custom 5. The Custom, with its ceramic magnet, could be a touch shrill. The Aldrich certainly would do the job too, but yeah, it's barely any different from the JB and costs more, so...

The neck is a tough one, if you want to do the whole Slash rolled tone knob thing. That's more the world of the A2 pickup, something like an SD Pearly Gates.
If that's a tone you want to use a lot, maybe look at the SD '59. It's not as 'shreddy' a pickup as the Jazz/Full Shred/Demon/Aldrich pickups, but it's not as locked into vintage sounds as much as A2 PAF copies are, either.
If you think the shred side is more important to you and rolling back on the tone is something you'll do less often, then the Jazz is the best option available to you. You will have to roll the tone knob much further back than you would with A2 pickups, but it will get there eventually, at least. The hex pole pieces of the Full Shred, Demon and DM PAF Pro make them unsuitable for that kind of Slash sound.
The Aldrich neck pickup actually would be a decent choice here, since that does have just a slightly thicker tone so you wouldn't have to roll the tone control back quite so much. Perhaps mix a set, with the Aldrich for the neck but a regular SD or DM pickup in the bridge?

Though don't discount what others have said. Indeed, Aldrich gets all those tones and he uses the Aldrich pickups with a Les Paul, so they will certainly do the job. I'm just one of those people who is quite conscious of price.

I am too, thus going 80's Japanese Les Paul Custom copy route over a real Les Paul Custom route...

In the band this guitar will be used in full rotation for the shred side is definitely more important, I'd only do the Slash thing when writing later this year or for the cover band I'll bring as a back up in case a a string breaks on the Floyd...

Thank you so much for that info... I'll be going JB/Jazz (Which I coincidentally found a set in gold on the Bay) route and when hours for my other jobs pick up after the summer and I have a couple hundred bucks burning I'll try out a set of Aldrichs for shits n giggles but for right now I need to get the guitar set and ready for our summer festival run

Much props to you good sir!
Quote by So-Cal
Incest is wincest!

Quote by Neo Evil11
Because he's the hero The Pit deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Anus.
#10
I've listened to pretty much all of the above, and went with an Aldrich bridge pickup.

[edit:] I think the Aldrich bridge works a bit better for recording and for a band mix. I almost never swap out pickups, so a one time expenditure made more sense to me than buying pickups twice or three times.
Last edited by dspellman at Mar 25, 2014,
#11
everything mr fib said is pretty damn well spot on ... very informative. I think the 59 would be a great option in the neck....I have one in my charvel and it is awesome matched with a jb. Full shred sounds awesome with mahogany as well (got one in one of my les pauls and its great)