#1
Hi all, this is my first post and I hope someone of you can help me out with this question (also sorry for poor grammar as I'm not a native english speaker, hope you can understand me anyway). I was searching, as the title clearly say, two good metal pickups, both neck and bridge. I own a Jackson SLX Soloist that has the following specs (took directly from the website)

The Jackson Soloist™ SLX has a basswood body, through-body maple neck and Duncan Designed™ alnico HB102N (neck) and high-output ceramic HB102B (bridge) humbucking pickups.

The guitar is equipped with stock pickups and I'm not happy with them. My main problem is on the bridge pup, wher I can't get a bassy and punchy tone, mainly in low E palm mutes. I mostly play old 80's thrash and heavy and I'm not really interested in any modern stuff yet. I'm searching for a pickup that can give me a Metallica, Slayer tone, you know, old thrash style, but a passive one. I was looking for Dimarzio's pups lately and I noticed the D-Activatora and the X2N. Also I'm searching a very tight pick up, clear on low palm mutes but also punchy. And also would you give me an opinion about my actual pick-ups for playing metal? Thanks in advance!
#2
What is your budget? Could you afford Bare Knuckle pickups for example? They go for almost 300$ a pair.

EDIT: I meant to say "over 300$" by the way, sorry for the typo.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Aug 1, 2014,
#3
Hahaha no sorry I already knew about bare knuckles but i forgot to write that they're out of budget!
#4
Hey buddy. I'm not too sure if you've tried out DiMarzio's Pickup Picker option on their website, but it may be really helpful in guiding you towards exactly what you want. Here's a link to that: http://dimarzio.com/pickup-picker --- As far as recommendations, I've personally used the Breed Bridge model with a PAF Pro in the neck to get some great tones. If you go one step further and have a coil tap installed with the pickups you'll have the ability to create a huge variety of sounds. I used that combination on my Jackson Rhoads and was able to go from filthy thrashy distortion to sparkling cleans.
#5
Quote by highquality.cov
Hahaha no sorry I already knew about bare knuckles but i forgot to write that they're out of budget!


Okay, cool In my personal opinion, which is not necessarily correct, Seymour Duncan makes better pickups for thrash metal in my opinion. Models like JB and Distortion are pretty popular, you could look into those. If you like DiMarzios yourself, have you tried the Pickup Picker? I know that it's not really close to reliable, but it has helped some people.

EDIT: "In my opinion SD makes better pickups in my opinion"

I have a drunk-typing mode on apparently.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Aug 1, 2014,
#6
I already tried the pickup picker and the d activator was one of the choiches. But what I really want is a pickup with a good tightness and with a very good bottom end For palm mutes. Every pup brand is well accepted, but it has to be passive
#7
Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient (yes they are now in 6 string!)
SD Distortion/JB & Jazz
Dimarzio Crunchlab & Liquifire

or if you wanna for acrive EMG 81/85 (Metallica and Slayer use them)

/thread
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Last edited by loki_lulamen at Aug 1, 2014,
#9
I checked out some more pickups and I like very much both the Dimarzio D Activator X and Duncan distortion, what is the best one in bridge positin to have very tight and clear palm mutes with a good low end punchy feel? and for the bridge I was searching for a good mid-low range pickup, for solo like Chris Poland's one. I changed my mind and you can also name some actives pups names if you think they're worth it
#10
They both have ceramic magnets which if I'm correct are known for handling metal tones with great articulation and tightness. Watch a few demos and see what you think of their tones, Ola Englund might have some clips with those pups.
#12
what do you use your neck pickup for? unless you use it for brootz too (probably not, but i suppose you possibly might) it's normally a better idea to get a lower output neck pickup for some versatility and cleans etc.

i haven't tried the x2n or d-activator
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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?
#13
Good options found here:

http://www.teslapickups.com

www.railhammer.com/index.html

http://www.lacemusic.com/index.php

Among the options they offer, Lace has the signature pickups for the guys from Mastodon and Matt Pike as well as the Deathbucker; RailHammer has the Chisel and Anvil; Tesla has all kinds of high-output pickups.
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 Aug 1, 2014,
#14
So I don't know, the X2n seems a quite good pickup for 80's thrash, but in the neck... By the way never heard abou RailHammer, Tesla and Lace. How are they?
#15
Quote by highquality.cov
So I don't know, the X2n seems a quite good pickup for 80's thrash, but in the neck... By the way never heard abou RailHammer, Tesla and Lace. How are they?


Lace pickups are pure epicness, Teslas are underground gems and Railhammers... I actually don't know a lot about them, they have cool design and I've heard a lot of good stuff about them.

If you really like the X2N I think it'll work, now you should answer the question about what you want the neck pickup to do.
#16
Lace is a popular choice for a reason: what they claim, they deliver. I personally have a set of Lace Alumtones in a luthier's prototype hollowbody- cleanest passive pickups I've ever used. A lot of the Strat players on UG recommend their noiseless sensors as the go-to upgrade. Tonally, the Deathbuckers sound like EMGs to me. The signature pickups for Hinds, Kelliher and Pike seem to deliver the tones those guys are known for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwxbihuTZPY&sns=em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPk5nc9FkCM&sns=em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUls3HRoZ1M&sns=em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqMLoljINHo&sns=em


I was introduced to Teslas when I first saw them in a video review of the Malden Subhuman. While I finally bought a Malden, it was a different model with different pickups. However, I eventually used a VR-Extreme (same as in the Subhuman) and a pair of OPUS-S1 singlecoils in a custom design last year, and was rewarded with an axe that delivers all kinds of classic 1980s-90's classic rock/hard rock/classic metal tones. (The VR-Extreme also sounds good split.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2YMKE2HFUQ&sns=em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkiCL7XDUog&sns=em


RailHammer pickups are designed to have a tighter low end while still having a fat high end. They do this by having oversized poles under the highest 3 strings, while a blade is used under the low end. Designed by Reverend guitars' Joe Naylor, and used in many of his latest designs. I don't have any yet, but I plan on getting some.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK6kUnLa47I&sns=em

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FcDUT4TlU0&sns=em
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 Aug 1, 2014,
#17
Lol so many possibilities I don't even know where to start! So what's the best thrashy-low end-punchy pickup for metal? I ALWAYS play in standard tuning so take this in mind as well!! Is the X2N worth it? Or Teslas, or RailHammers, or Lace? I'm confused >_<
#18
Lace are awesome. I also like Dimarzio. For thrash I don't think you can beat the X2N, Pad Joe is awesome for leads in the neck, have both of these. Duncan distortion and job in neck is also very popular combo. BTW, dimarzio lerts you swap pickups for free if you're not happy, mail it back and they'll give you another one.
#19
I didn't know about the Dimarzio replacement service, this is a HUGE advantage actually. I've decided myself for the X2N in the bridge, and, as i previously said, for the neck one, I want it to produce sounds like the leads in this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tCGwHRM2xY

Or just anything about Chris Poland's solos from first Megadeth Albums

I just love that sound, soooooo smooth <3. Also, with my actual stock neck pickup, I can achieve the sound, do you think I could just leave it there?
#20
don't see why not, the neck one is supposedly based on a jazz
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?
#21
So this is it, thanks you all guys you helped me a lot as I don't know nothing about pickups and this is my first replacement. Oh and what about the replacing itself? Is it hard to do all by myself watching some tutorial on Youtube or should I bring my guitar to a shop?
#22
can you solder? if you can already solder it's pretty easy. even if you can't and can be bothered putting the time in to learn it's not too bad, but at the same time if this is the only pickup swap you're ever going to do it probably won't cost you much more to pay a shop to install them than it will to buy all the soldering stuff you need if you buy the pickup from the shop they might give you a reduced rate on fitting, too.
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?
#23
I am not mechanically inclined, so I'd take it to a pro. From what I understand, though, pup swaps are NOT rocket surgery.
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!
#24
Quote by highquality.cov
Lol so many possibilities I don't even know where to start! So what's the best thrashy-low end-punchy pickup for metal? I ALWAYS play in standard tuning so take this in mind as well!! Is the X2N worth it? Or Teslas, or RailHammers, or Lace? I'm confused >_<

There is no "best", and we can help you only so far. My advice is this:

1) set your budget and stick to it. Consider not only the price, but any shipping & taxes.

2) if you have emulating the tone of a particular artist or artists in mind, your best bet is to buy what you can of THEIR gear. Not just pups, all of it. Pups are the third or fourth most important part of defining your sound after your amp and pedals.

3) if you're more interested in carving out your own tone while remaining within a genre, you can afford to be more experimental.
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!
#25
Well actually I play guitar more on pc than a real amplfier, so I don't need a particular equipment to emulate my Idols (I can potentially have lots of different amps within my PC, not that I pretend them to be even comparable with the real things, but you got the idea). By the way I'll install the pickup myself with my dad's help if needed. I'll have to learn someway, or not???
#26
You can go nuts and split both pickups (coil split) on the pots:
http://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_Electronics/Components_and_Parts/Potentiometers/Alpha_Push-pull_Pots.html

This way you can get single coil and pickup sounds.
#27
Quote by highquality.cov
Well actually I play guitar more on pc than a real amplfier, so I don't need a particular equipment to emulate my Idols (I can potentially have lots of different amps within my PC, not that I pretend them to be even comparable with the real things, but you got the idea). By the way I'll install the pickup myself with my dad's help if needed. I'll have to learn someway, or not???


Yeah assuming you mean that your dad can solder, then absolutely that's the best way to do it. Worst case scenario, he can bail you out/do it for you if you really suck at it (which achieves the same result as taking it to a guitar shop, minus the cost, plus you still probably come away learning a little). Best case scenario, you learn how to solder (and also get your pickups fitted).
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?
#28
I don't think to understand that. You mean splitting the single coils which an humbucker is composed by? Do I have to buy a particular switch??
#29
^ yeah you'll have to buy a special switch if your guitar doesn't already have coil splits. a push-pull pot is the normal way, to replace your volume or tone knob(s).

And yeah, a humbucker is basically two single coils bunged together. Splitting them lets you use one coil alone which sounds closert to a single coil (but you'll get single coil hum).
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?
#31
i missed that
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?
#32
And assuming I'll do that, what advantages could I have? I mean, I don't play classick rock or things like that... should I try it anyway?
#33
There are certain metal genres that only sound right coming from singlecoils or split HBs- there's a reason why HSS and HSH guitars ruled the late 1980s. And some of the neoclassical shredders favored SSS 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!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 2, 2014,
#34
Just got a guitar back with the x2n in the bridge no tone control
just straight volume and its killer on my Randall's KH3 module
nails thrash with ease no boost necessary. You'll be pleased.
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