hi im currently in the middle of placing an order at halo custom guitars for a custom build . ive pretty much got everything figured out except for one thing :pick ups. right now im think on getting a Duncan invader in the bridge and a lace deathbucker in the neck . problem is I don't really know much about pick good combos or lace pick ups for that matter so if anyone can tell if invader/deatherbucker is good that be great or suggest other pup combos for metal . I know it just be easier to get a 81/85 EMG set installed , but considering how much money I'm pouring into this I'd rather get a more unique sound and look , rather than something you can find on any $600 stock guitar . Also if anyone can tell me about their experince with a halo custom shop guitar that be great.
the key word is high output, it's really hard to determine without playing the guitar what it'll sound like as say for example the seymour duncan JB sounds great in one guitar and not the other.

the invader has a lot of power in the bridge and lots of treble is the easiest explanation, see if the first metallica record sounds like something you want to get. I haven't played a lace pickup before but one of my friends who is really into custom shop guitars swears by them.

So many people just settle for the EMG 81/85 both on here that ask or people I deal with locally. They aren't wrong and lots and lots of people like EMG but some examples are.

Dimarzio X2N / D-activator
Dimarzio D-activator X set (more bass and they look like X2N pickups)
EMG 57 / 66
EMG 81TWX / 85TWX (if you really want that over used 81/85 combo this is more modern)
Seymour Duncan Full shred / jazz
Seymour Duncan Naguzel / pagasus (or something like it)
Seymour Duncan Blackouts

other pickups I like
Seymour Duncan Custom , Seymour Duncan Jazz, EMG 81TWX , EMG H (not HZ) , Dimarzio super distortions a classic, Seymour Duncan JB.. the list goes on. I'd say go on youtube but there isn't a lot of professional comparisons so try some guitars out in shops. What woods and all you go with matter big time. Looks of the pickup and how cool the name is shouldn't matter it's all about the sound. You can also mix 2 bridge pickups like an X2N in the bridge and tone zone in the neck like Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo.

in the end just make sure your bridge pickup has more volume and output than your neck and you'll do fine. Pickup height and body / neck wood are some of the things that matter big time don't worry about just pickups they get wayyyyyyy too much attention.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 27, 2015,
+1 on the bridge having more volume than the neck. Some will say wood doesn't matter with pickups, but there are those rare guitars that have the magic that most don't - your results may vary. A lot depends on amp and effects too. I still go back to my POS Ibanez RG470L with Bill Lawence L500XL and L500R, even with my new found fascination with Mustaine and Dean actives. I can even get a great metal/thrash tone with my vintage P90/gold foil combo. The rest is all in your ears and fingers.
Sent from the cleanest toilet in Hell
I don't have any direct experience with the Deathbucker but I used the SD SH-8b and SH-8n Invaders in one of my guitars for the last two or so years. Yes, very high output at around 16k ohm windings. The bridge output really comes through.

They are also dark. Lots of low end. Great for drop tuning. Tradeoff is they lack some high end. Also they are a bit muddy, bordering on sludge on the low end. Palm mutes tend to lack definition and tightness. Chords sound really fat but tend to lack individual note definition. Ideally they should be used in a light, bright sounding guitar body to contribute in offsetting the effect of the pickups. I enjoyed them while I had them, but they only do one thing well and that's metal. They don't do so well when you drift away from that. Ultimately I decided they just wern't what I was looking for in terms of tightness, tone and versatility.

Also used and still using the EMG 85/81 combo, in the same guitar. I'd go so far as to say the Invaders had slightly more output but the EMGs have a tighter control on the low end and their top end comes through better with greater definition. They sound a lot tighter on palm mutes and drop tuning. Not as muddy as the invaders. However they do sound 'flatter' and lack personality. But they are a reliable and proven sound for metal.

Even though its a common favorite, I still favour the EMG81 in the bridge over the SH-8b Invader.
'It takes 100 guitar players to change a light. One to change the light and 99 to stand around pointing, saying..."Yeah man, look...I can do that too"...'

My gear is in my Profile

Builds & Refurbs
Hondo 780 Deluxe
Gibson Studio
Epi LP100
never really liked invaders. something about those butt ugly pole pieces always makes me cringe as well as the harsh sound everyone with invaders seems to like.

Since you are already paying for a really expensive guitar, you might as well go for the best pickups they have to offer. By that I mean any of the Bare Knuckle pickups. Im pretty sure there arent many if any mainstream guitars sporting these pickups, mostly because of how expensive they are (though they are just $80 more than the invaders on halo guitars). As for the neck, Ive never played or heard through Lace pickups, but they sure look better than all the others.
Marty Friedman is GOD!

curently in a SEX MACHINEGUNS and X JAPAN phase AND Galneryus AND Anthem phase

damn J-Metal, why you so awesome

My Gear:

Schecter Hellraiser V-1 fr
Ibanez RG321mh
Fender GDC-200sce
Peavey Vypyr 30 w/ sanpera 1
I got Seymour black winters great pups for metal.
Mesa Boogie Single Rectoverb 50 series 2 combo
Randall RM100
Peavey 5150 4x12
Peavey XXX 2x12 combo
Deadlymisfit, what kind of amplifier are you using? I think it'd be better to match your pickups to the sounds you can achieve.