#1
Some context: I'm in the process of modding a guitar for a friend and/bandmate.
He's described wanting a superstrat type deal that sounds good and fits with his playing style (currently plays an EMG outfitted ESP Eclipse and a high-output Cort), I disagree and think he'd sound better through a lower-gain more classic style guitar, but it's his deal so I'm trying to compromise it.
It doesn't matter how we mess with his signal chain, his playing always sounds fuzzy/high-gain/full of high mids, so I'm trying to tame that a bit, and the best way I can think of is to try and find a pickup that doesn't react to his playing like it does at the moment.
He says he likes high gain (never played medium output) but will getting a lower-gain pickup clean up his sound a little bit, or is it a completely wasted effort?
#3
It's a Line6 Spider Valve MkII with an Eminence cab.
But it isn't the amp, we've gigged through JCM900s and been in the studio with a MESA Dual Rec and a Peavey 6505 and he had the same problem.
I realize that there are much, much more important changes to make than pickups, but this is the one thing that I can change.
#4
It's probably a wasted effort. The amp and how he's setting it up is going to have way more of an impact on gain that a pickup ever will in this day and age.

Tell him to set his gain properly. If he can't get a good tone out of a 6505 then the problem is him.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Sep 22, 2014,
#5
Perhaps you could talk to a sound/recording engineer and ask them to listen to your record and see if there's just too much gain on the tone? Or get some neutral parties to say something if they agree.

EMG's might not be a bad idea, honestly. They make high gain sound a bit compressed and could probably help him get that tone in his head I suspect he's going for. What are his favorite bands?
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#6
It's something about the way he holds his pick, I suspect.
It's bizarre, he hasn't tracked a guitar part at all, even in demos, because we all know that he doesn't pull it off as well.
We've spent literally hours, I get it sounding good, he plays and it's a mess of gain and high mids. We wind the gain down, and it stays buzzy and harsh until a certain point at which it loses all sustain and starts turning into a pushed clean.
Oh well, dammit. Thanks anyhoo.
#7
Sounds like technique, then. Bands with friends are always hard.
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#8
He's buzzing out over Protest The Hero at the moment, but he's basically into generic 80's rock bands and some of the newer post-grungy type stuff, Breaking Benjamin, Creed, Alter Bridge, Staind, Audioslave.
#9
What is his EQ set at?
if there is always a fizzy sound, check the gain levels, the presence level and roll some of the high and mid off of the amp.

What type of Eminence speakers is he using? I had a SV MkI head and I used it through a Eminence V12 loaded cab and it sounded just fine.
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2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
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#10
Tell him to learn to mute the strings from ringing out while playing. I feel that EMGs are pretty bad for having too much gain when it's not necessary, but at the same time, they're usually not...fuzzy. I'd say it's definitely his technique, he's probably playing too hard and not muting right.
#11
strangest pickup questions i've ever heard was "can i lick that film off your teeth?"
#12
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
It's probably a wasted effort. The amp and how he's setting it up is going to have way more of an impact on gain that a pickup ever will in this day and age.

Tell him to set his gain properly. If he can't get a good tone out of a 6505 then the problem is him.


^^This, exactly. Also, active pickups have their own tone, and EMGs tend to be rather honky with those upper mids, at least to me. Nix that amp. That'll be your best bet.
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#13
Has his guitar ever been played by a different guitarist?
If so, and has the same issues, it is the guitar - DUH!
Pickup height can do some strange things!
#14
Can be anything from amps to technique. I will put out a suggestion for a pickup combo. Dimarzio Air Norton (bridge) and Air classic (neck) are great full range pickups. You will probably want to avoid pu's with pronounced mids like the Dimarzio Fred.