#1
Which ones should I get? I mainly play heavy/thrash metal (e.g. Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica) but I do play with clean tones every now and then.

I like a more crisp tone and also not needing a battery appeals to me heavily. Also, I want my pinch harmonics to be loud and tapping to be clear so which should I go for? Thanks
#5
Agreed.

What guitar is it, as well?
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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.

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#8
Agreed- I'm not saying it won't make no difference (especially if your current pickups genuinely are terrible- hence why I asked what the guitar is), but there are other things for the same money, or not much more, which will make more difference. In the UK a set of EMGs can set you back the guts of £150 (granted, closer to £120 on Thomann). They're always out of stock but when they're not you can normally get the jet city jca 22 high gain combo for about £200.

Bit of a difference there, granted, especially if you're already struggling to afford the EMGs, but if you are, getting those pickups will really slow you down for that better amp.
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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?
#9
Since I hate when I ask a question and someone doesn't just directly answer for my circumstances, you're going to get more punch, volume, and clarity with the EMG 81 than the SD you mentioned. That's right out of the box, mind you, and if you had an amp that had a nice eq section on it, you could achieve a good tone with either set of pickups. However, for your setup, and because I like EMGs myself, I'd recommend, from your options, the 81 for the bridge, although you should be warned it has a very VERY harsh high-end frequency, and runs the risk of being tinny depending on your amp. EMGs are also very unforgiving on your playing, and every mistake will show loud and clear, which isn't a bad thing, but something to be aware of.

As for the 9V battery, be aware you'll have to find a place in the body for storing it, or route one out. Depending on your guitar, this can happen in the trem-claw spring cavity, near the pots, under the pickguard in the middle position route, and I've even seen a guy fix the battery clip to the butt of the guitar behind the bridge, though I wouldn't recommend this particular avenue). EMGs don't need a battery change frequently - I think I change mine about once a year if I'm not gigging heavy, and once ever five months if I play a lot.

If you're asking for my honest opinion, though, I think Random pretty much nailed it. I'd take the 200 or so bucks you're aiming at new pickups and put it towards a new amp. The MGs aren't as bad as they get a rap for being, but they're definitely not something to hold onto if you're looking for, like you said, clarity and crispness.

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Last edited by an.interloper at Jul 18, 2015,
#10
the dimarzio d-activator is similar to the EMG 85 people say with no battery required so you can spend more time rocking or nailing groupies and drinking cold ones.. but as for the EMG 81 there is a bunch of alternatives. After playing with so many guitars I can't take active pickups seriously. It's to the point I was re-wiring guitars and if i was rich I'd be throwing EMG actives in the garbage how sterile (lifeless) and inarticulate they are in my experience. I'd rather dimarzio or bc rich stock pickups! .. i know how dare I :Wtf:

if i needed to go active my choice is seymour duncan blackouts but seriously copper shield your guitar and use a powerbar that gets rid of RFI and EMI and you'll never have to worry about "clarity" again; There's a reason why even places like ZZounds and a bunch of guitar shops sell them.

what you'll learn is at the end of the day you can compensate amplifiers and all to get those sounds you're after. A lot of guys like the james hetfield emg set more than the boring 81/60 (which is what james used since the 90s, the 60 has more of a jangle like single coils in the neck). Besides that something along the lines like positive grid, a line 6 pod (not spider) will do a lot of justice to help get the master of puppets or ride the lightning sounds. Don't stop at the pickups get as close to kirk or james setup as possible. Pedals and all as you continue to play which they mention their entire setup help big time.

this will help if you're considering seymour duncans , all of these are done by a professional musician using professional gear so you'll really get to appreciate all these pickups more than cellphone videos or poorly miced amps by beginners who use pickups in different guitars when they play their just learned tabs of their favorite smoking hot licks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZYDYiOIuC8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3YzI3sd2WA
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jul 18, 2015,
#11
Your amp should be the upgrade to be concerned about, not the pickups.
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#12
Quote by Random3
Then I would be surprised if any pickup change would be worth the money.

I have the money for both a pickup upgrade and an amp upgrade. Besides, the pickups are only 100 quid.
#13
This isn't what you want to hear (and I've certainly done the opposite in my time ), but if you can thole at all I'd try to get the amp first. Getting the pickups to suit the amp normally is easier than getting the amp to suit the pickups.
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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?
#14
Quote by sandvika
I have the money for both a pickup upgrade and an amp upgrade. Besides, the pickups are only 100 quid.


What amp are you looking at upgrading to?

The amp contributes a huge percentage towards the overall tone, usually more than pedals, pickups, guitar, strings and guitarist all put together.

If you get a decent amp and want to upgrade the pickups to specialise your tone more towards your needs then go for it. I can't be too specific as I don't know your intended amp upgrade or your current guitar, but stock pickups through a great amp will inevitably sound better than EMGs or SDs through a practice amp.
#15
Quote by Random3
What amp are you looking at upgrading to?

The amp contributes a huge percentage towards the overall tone, usually more than pedals, pickups, guitar, strings and guitarist all put together.

If you get a decent amp and want to upgrade the pickups to specialise your tone more towards your needs then go for it. I can't be too specific as I don't know your intended amp upgrade or your current guitar, but stock pickups through a great amp will inevitably sound better than EMGs or SDs through a practice amp.


Quote by Dave_Mc
This isn't what you want to hear (and I've certainly done the opposite in my time ), but if you can thole at all I'd try to get the amp first. Getting the pickups to suit the amp normally is easier than getting the amp to suit the pickups.


Thanks, I didn't think of getting the amp first in this way.

Also, I am looking at an orange tiny terror head with a marshall 2x12 cab though I'm not sure as I haven't done much research on amps. What would you suggest? I don't want another combo
#16
Quote by sandvika at #33507448
I don't want another combo

Why not? What's wrong with them?
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#17
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Why not? What's wrong with them?

1) It is nice to try something new
2) I hate having to go on me knees just to change the settings slightly
#18
Quote by sandvika at #33507463
1) It is nice to try something new
2) I hate having to go on me knees just to change the settings slightly

You're not trying anything new by getting a head/cabinet over a combo. And a 2x12 cabinet is still going to force you to bend down to your knees just to adjust the settings depending on how you elevate it. Especially on an amp as small as a Tiny Terror.

Honestly not wanting to bend down is a pretty flimsy reason to not buy a combo unless you have some physical disability or something. If it's such a problem why not just put the combo on a stand or a table to elevate it?

It's your money though,
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jul 18, 2015,
#19
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
You're not trying anything new by getting a head/cabinet over a combo. And a 2x12 cabinet is still going to force you to bend down to your knees just to adjust the settings depending on how you elevate it. Especially on an amp as small as a Tiny Terror.

Honestly not wanting to bend down is a pretty flimsy reason to not buy a combo unless you have some physical disability or something. If it's such a problem why not just put the combo on a stand or a table to elevate it?

It's your money though,


I am by no means as advanced a guitarist as you are, but I am pretty sure that combos aren't the exact same as a head/cab. I would like to try something different while I am still in the cheap zone (probably my last amp upgrade before spending a lot of money) and I'm asking for suggestions. I appreciate you are trying to help but just answer the question..
#20
Quote by sandvika at #33507497
I am by no means as advanced a guitarist as you are, but I am pretty sure that combos aren't the exact same as a head/cab.

The only difference with a combo is that the head and the cabinet are in the same box. That's all there is to it. Otherwise, you can treat them exactly the same way.

I'm not what I'd consider an advanced guitarist either. But that's really not what this is about. Sometimes questioning the nature of the question is actually more helpful than just answering it, as it assesses if your priorities are really what I feel they should be.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jul 18, 2015,
#21
An head/cab is not automatically better than a combo. You can buy Mesa combos for £2000 and more. Yes there may be small differences between the combo and head version of the same amp but these are going to be unique to each amp. Given your budget you basically have the option of getting a decent 1x12 combo, or getting a bad half stack.

As an example of this is that the half stack version of what you have now is like £450. The only real difference is that it may be marginally louder. It isn't suddenly a better sounding amp because the amp and speakers come in separate enclosures.
#22
Quote by Random3

The amp contributes a huge percentage towards the overall tone, usually more than pedals, pickups, guitar, strings and guitarist all put together.


that's probably overstating it a fair bit, but yeah, in most instances the amp makes the biggest difference (though it does depend on which amps your comparing, compare two similar amps and the amp won't make that much difference).

Quote by sandvika

Also, I am looking at an orange tiny terror head with a marshall 2x12 cab though I'm not sure as I haven't done much research on amps. What would you suggest? I don't want another combo


if you can stretch to the tiny terror, get the jet city jca50H and harley benton g212 vintage cabinet on thomann. Probably more aimed at harder rock and metal. The TT is more aimed at classic and hard rock I think.
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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?
#24
Yeah.

Pedals can make a big difference, depending on the pedal (and the amp tone).

I don't think any amp will make a les paul sound like a strat.

So yeah- I tend to agree, but at the same time (as you said) there are a lot of caveats involved as well.
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?
#25
I see someone has me quoted, lmao yes let me say this again. You don't go to a Slayer concert and see a combo! I got my Bugera 333 head and 412 cab for $300. Go the half stack route! I dunno, I just wanted to quote myself
#26
There's nothing wrong with combo amps- but in my personal experience, my first tube amp was a combo and I wish I had just spent a little extra to get a head and cab. Specifically, I wish I had gotten a 1x12 v30 cab with a 50-100 watt amp (I cant usualy jack the volume up high anyways when Im at home so the wattage aint a problem). The 1x12 cab is easy to move around and isnt a space monger. Heads are always a little on the heavier side unless its a lunchbox amp. In terms of sound quality, I dont think there is a big difference (nothing that I would notice in a full mix anyway, unless you are talking closed vs open back).
The only thing that annoys me about the smaller 1x12 or 2x12 cabs is that they literally seem to be the same price as a 4x12 with the same speakers :/. I got my mesa v30 4x12 for $350, and the 1x12s are like $400. Even used, the 1x12s are a least $300 from what ive seen
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