#1
Hey,

I plan on swapping the bridge pickup on one of my guitars (Ibanez GSZ120, basswood body). Since I almost exclusively play all kinds of metal (mostly Thrash/ Black/ Death), I need a pickup with tons of output but which retains some clarity, even with a lot of gain. By the way, in my other guitars I used EMG 81/85s, so I don't have a lot of experience with passive metal pickups.
After a great deal of deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that it should either be a DiMarzio X2N or a Seymour Duncan Invader. So my question to you guys would be, which one of those pickups is the better "allround" metal pickup?
#2
You want output and clarity? From an Invader or an X2N? Are you high?

Those pickups are pretty horrible. They have way more output than you could ever need, to the point of losing clarity and articulation. A lot of it. There are only very specific situations when the amount of output those pickups have will be a benefit rather than a hindrance.

Get a Seymour Duncan SH6. They have plenty of output for your br00tz, but with fewer of the drawbacks.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 9, 2014,
#3
Well, Chuck Schuldiner used X2Ns and Karl Sanders uses Invaders. Both have killer tones. So the PUs can't be that horrible, can they?
As for the SH-6, I kknow that Megadeth used them on some of their albums. But are they hot enough for, say, stuff like Malevolent Creation and Morbid Angel?
Last edited by dismau at May 9, 2014,
#4
That's because they have the amps to compensate for their muddiness. A much greater majority of a guitars sound than the pickups is the amp they're going through.

Speaking of which, what is your amp?
Quote by dismau

As for the SH-6, I kknow that Megadeth used them on some of their albums. But are they hot enough for, say, stuff like Malevolent Creation and Morbid Angel?

They are plenty hot enough for just about any style of metal.

Comparing how a pickup sounds to the way some famous artist used them is a terrible way to determine what pickup is right for you. They're all using completely different amps and they're all using them differently from one another. You'd be better off comparing the Wright Brother's plane to a Chinook.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 9, 2014,
#5
I use a Rath Amp Retro 80 with a Digitech Metal Master and a Boss Noise Suppressor. I also have a Fender Mustang II which I use most of the time for practicing.
#6
Quote by dismau
I use a Rath Amp Retro 80 with a Digitech Metal Master and a Boss Noise Suppressor. I also have a Fender Mustang II which I use most of the time for practicing.

Well there's your problem.

Forget about the pickups for now and get a new amp.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 9, 2014,
#7
Quite frankly, with all the gain you could get from an amp and/or distortion pedal with a boost nowadays, you could just use dual Alnico II Pro or Air Classics and get away with lots of gain.
Gear:
Jackson Dinky (JB+59) > TC Polytune Noir > TS808 clone > DOD 250 > Modded RAT > CH-1 > GE-7 > TC Flashback > Plexi Clone
#8
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Well there's your problem.

Forget about the pickups for now and get a new amp.


Nope, my amp is good enough, I can't crank it up in my apartment because of the neighbours so a tube amp would be overkill and would probably result in the police knocking at my door. I don't need a new amp, I need pickups.
As I said, in all of my other guitars I have EMG 81s/85s, so I need a passive bridge pickup with similar characteristics for my aformentioned Ibanez guitar.
Last edited by dismau at May 9, 2014,
#9
Quote by dismau
Nope, my amp is good enough, I can't crank it up in my apartment because of the neighbours so a tube amp would be overkill and would probably result in the police knocking at my door. I don't need a new amp, I need pickups.


No, you really do need a new amp.

You do realize that there do exist tube amps that achieve the vast majority of their distortion from their preamp and not their power amp? So that you can achieve extreme amounts of gain without needing high volumes? Pickups are in the minority of your guitars sound. There are so many other factors that make such a bigger difference to the sound of the guitar than what pickups are in it.

I love it when I take the time to answer a person's question just to have it rejected because the answer they got wasn't what they wanted to hear.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 9, 2014,
#10
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
No, you really do need a new amp.

You do realize that there do exist tube amps that achieve the vast majority of their distortion from their preamp and not their power amp? So that you can achieve extreme amounts of gain without needing high volumes? Pickups are in the minority of your guitars sound. There are so many other factors that make such a bigger difference to the sound of the guitar than what pickups are in it.

I love it when I take the time to answer a person's question just to have it rejected because the answer they got wasn't what they wanted to hear.


Look, I don't need a new amp because I already got exactly the amp sound I want. I just need a good replacement pickup for one of my old guitars that can match the EMGs in my other guitars.
#11
Quote by dismau
Look, I don't need a new amp because I already got exactly the amp sound I want.

Then why do you need new pickups? If you already love how your amp sounds, why waste money trying to fix something that isn't broken in your view? Why do you need to match your Ibanez GIO with the sound of your other guitars with EMG's? Why can't you just use your guitars with EMG's instead?

Why aren't you willing to experiment with other factors that could be having a far greater impact on your guitar's sound than what pickups are in the guitars?
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 9, 2014,
#12
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Then why do you need new pickups? If you already love how your amp sounds, why waste money trying to fix something that isn't broken in your view?


As I said, I have an old Ibanez guitar lying around here which I haven't played in ages. Now I want to use it as a backup guitar and, since I rencently tried it out, found that the sound the stock PUs (Ibanez INF I think) give me is sadly lacking compared to my ESP LTD and Epihpone SG Prophecy Custom EX, which both have active EMGs. Now I want to change the pickups on my old guitar so that it sounds more like my other guitars (tight, aggressive and clear) when played through my amp.
#13
I dont share the same sentiment that X2N is a terrible pickup, just special. Yes, its ridiculously high output but if you dont care about cleans do give it a try. Just keep it far away from strings (Dimarzio actually recommends 1/4" away, which is really far for a bridge pup) or it really does become messy.

But an amp first before pickups. The claim that tube amps need to be loud is a half truth at best, at least if we are dealing with amps made for metal and get their distortion from the preamp. Some tube amps sound better when turned up but usually everything sounds better when loud anyway (solid states too) and in no way it means that they would sound crap when volume is low. Bigger concern is if it has a global master volume to make adjusting volume easier so it wont skyrocket if you just look at the knob wrong.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#14
Quote by dismau
As I said, I have an old Ibanez guitar lying around here which I haven't played in ages. Now I want to use it as a backup guitar and, since I rencently tried it out, found that the sound the stock PUs (Ibanez INF I think) give me is sadly lacking compared to my ESP LTD and Epihpone SG Prophecy Custom EX, which both have active EMGs. Now I want to change the pickups on my old guitar so that it sounds more like my other guitars (tight, aggressive and clear) when played through my amp.

I just wouldn't bother. I can't see what is wrong with just using your other guitars if you're perfectly happy with them, and selling the Ibanez GIO. May as well put whatever money you make in selling it towards something that'll actually provide some benefit.
Quote by Axelfox
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 9, 2014,
#15
Quote by dismau
As I said, I have an old Ibanez guitar lying around here which I haven't played in ages. Now I want to use it as a backup guitar and, since I rencently tried it out, found that the sound the stock PUs (Ibanez INF I think) give me is sadly lacking compared to my ESP LTD and Epihpone SG Prophecy Custom EX, which both have active EMGs. Now I want to change the pickups on my old guitar so that it sounds more like my other guitars (tight, aggressive and clear) when played through my amp.



If tightness and clarity is what you are after then really high output passives is the wrong direction to look at. The result is usually the opposite, bigger and messier according to my ears. If you like active pickup sound stick to actives. Spice things up with Seymour Duncan Blackouts instead of having yet-another EMG maybe.

Or if the guitar doesnt see much use sell it and put the money towards something else.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at May 9, 2014,
#16
Quote by MaaZeus
If tightness and clarity is what you are after then really high output passives is the wrong direction to look at. The result is usually the opposite, bigger and messier according to my ears. If you like active pickup sound stick to actives. Spice things up with Seymour Duncan Blackouts instead of having yet-another EMG maybe.

Or if the guitar doesnt see much use sell it and put the money towards something else.


I might put a Blackout in the Bridge (and get rid of everything else except for the bridge volume nob). Actually sounds like a good idea since I've always wanted to give these a try. Thanks.
#17
Quote by dismau
Well, Chuck Schuldiner used X2Ns and Karl Sanders uses Invaders. Both have killer tones. So the PUs can't be that horrible, can they?


Yes, they can. I yanked Invaders on my Flying V, and they sit in the accessories compartment of that guitar to this day. I'm not a fan.

Take a look at the Suhr Aldrich bridge pickup.