Poll: Which pickup set would be best? (Bridge/Neck)
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View poll results: Which pickup set would be best? (Bridge/Neck)
Seymour Duncan Distortion/'59
9 75%
PRS HFS/Vintage Bass
1 8%
Gibson 500T/498R
0 0%
Dimarzio Super Distortion/Air Norton
2 17%
Voters: 12.
#1
Hey everybody, this is my first post and I thought I would ask everybody which one of the pickup choices you guys think would be best? I like prog rock, Steve Wilson Robert Fripp Mikael Akerfeldt, etc. are all examples of a particular sound I am trying to achieve. Basically I want a thick mid with enough presence to neither remain boxy nor sound shrill for a bridge pickup (sizzly is good though, i like sizzly). For a neck pickup, take into consideration I'm trying to learn jazz (fingerstyle mostly, but some pick) so a big "hollowbody" neck tone would be a must. My guitar is a Godin Solidac and im running through my eleven rack (vox ac30 amp mod with a RAT distortion mod in front for dirty patches) into a pair of mackie mr5mk3's. Of course if you have any pickup suggestions of your own feel free to make a suggestion (I am pretty set on getting a ceramic bridge unless convinced otherwise)
Last edited by Savourymilkman at Nov 13, 2014,
#2
Gibson and PRS pickups are overpriced, you can get better pickups for less money elsewhere. Either of those other sets are great, personally I prefer the Duncans but that's just my own taste.

If you want to make sure the bridge isn't too shrill I would get something other than a ceramic, not that they're inherently ear-piercing but of all the pickups I've found too shrill, a large proportion have been ceramic. I'd pick a Custom 5 (SH-14) over a Distortion with an AC30.
#3
Quote by Roc8995
Gibson and PRS pickups are overpriced, you can get better pickups for less money elsewhere. Either of those other sets are great, personally I prefer the Duncans but that's just my own taste.

If you want to make sure the bridge isn't too shrill I would get something other than a ceramic, not that they're inherently ear-piercing but of all the pickups I've found too shrill, a large proportion have been ceramic. I'd pick a Custom 5 (SH-14) over a Distortion with an AC30.


Interesting... I was looking at the custom as well. In your experience, how do the mids stack up to the distortion?
#4
Everything Roc said +1

Also, the Custom 5 (SH-14) he recommended is different to a Custom (SH-5). Confusing I know. Both love high gain and crank out the mids better than most. The Custom typically has more bite right at the top. Refer to the magnet advice given previously.
#5
Quote by Savourymilkman
Interesting... I was looking at the custom as well. In your experience, how do the mids stack up to the distortion?

The Custom 5 certainly has less mid presence than the Distortion, but that's true of almost any pickup. The Custom Custom would be the midway point between the mid emphasis of the Distortion and the more balanced tone of the Custom 5.

If you want a Distortion, get a distortion. It's a perfectly good pickup and tons of people use and love them. I'd just think about what it is you want exactly. A super middy pickup with a ceramic magnet is not my preference through an AC30 (tends to sound "choked" and loses a lot of the chime/harmonics from that amp) but you may have a different experience. To me, the AC30 type amps have got great midrange already, but it's a lot harder to dial out a harsh treble. So I would choose a pickup more for its treble characteristics than its mid presence.

Again, all of these are great pickups and any of them will sound good with a bit of tweaking. Just things to think about.
#6
One of my favorite combinations is the Suhr Aldrich bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan P-Rail in the neck. There are three output levels available in the P-Rail, one that SD typifies as a neck version and two that they label as bridge. I'd personally avoid the anemic "neck" designate and pick one of the two bridge versions as a neck pickup. Standard neck humbucking pickups tend to get muddy due partly to the spread between the individual coils, which affects phasing, etc. The P-Rail is actually a pair of true single coils (a rail coil and a P90 coil) that can be used individually and that can also be used together in either serial or parallel humbucker modes.

Another combination I'm using in two different guitars is a carefully selected 9.2kohm outout '57 (you need to go through a bin of them) in the bridge and a single-coil size DiMarzio Fast Track II in the neck. The DiMarzio is actually a side-by-side (not stacked) humbucker, and it's very high output (it would normally be a hot bridge pickup in a strat) but placed in the neck position, it offers a lot of clarity and punch and dynamics for finger picking and Jazz. You need an adapter to drop it into a standard humbucker pickup ring (I actually have a sustainer driver tucked up next to mine, so it LOOKS like a standard humbucker from about three feet).

And finally, a Carvin M22SD bridge pickup (about 13-14K) AlnicoV. This is a properly raucous rock pickup that does well dialed back and is absolutely gorgeous coil tapped. Couple that with the Carvin C22J or N. The two of these, coil tapped, middle position selected -- really nice.

And finally, I'd have one more neck pickup suggestion. Talk to Kinman and see if he has a version of his P90 Noiseless that will fit in a humbucker neck ring (I haven't been paying attention to his site lately). His P90 Noiseless is the ONLY one I've found that accurately covers the original Gibson P90, which was/is outstanding as a neck pickup, while providing a no-noise environment. It will be a bit pricey and worth every penny.
#7
I have the Duncan Distortion/59 set in my MH400. Great set, though I personally think that the 59 isn't quite hot enough to match the Distortion.
#8
A Solidac, eh? HSH? Essentially a precursor to the xtSA. Nice!

I can think of combos from Lace, Tesla, Rio Grande, Lollar, BareKnuckle and RailHammer I think would work.

However, I think you'd get best results from a custom winder like Vintage Vibe or The Creamery. Give them a description of what you want, and they make you a set that does just that.
#9
For me I have found Seymour Duncans to be quite.....disapointing. And most of the time I have found that they are not much if any better than the Duncan designed that come stock in most guitars

The SH-6 (distortion) I have is quite howlie at high volumes, very dissapointing. I also have a JB and that aint anything so great either. Now the P-rails I have are cool but nothing special and the Invader I have is, well an Invader.

Dimarzio has way better sounding pups imo. I know what sizzle you are talking about, the DP100 super distortion has that sizzle.If I had the cash, most of my guitars would be switched out to that.

I also have a Jackson rr with a Dimarzio D-activator in the bridge and a bridge PAF Pro in the neck. That might be too hot for you , but that is a great setup too.

If you have the cash I recommend the Ceramic Blackhawk set from Bare Knuckle. The ceramic bridge will give you the sizzle you want, and honestly the are a very good all around pickup. Very musical sounding and do clean very well. And are super dead quiet at high volume levels.

In fact I just sold a guitar to get another Blackhawk setup.

At any rate from your list I would go with the Dimarzios.