#1
I can't decide... i've got a basswood bodied guitar, rosewood fretboard, maple neck, and a hardtail bridge.

i really can't decide which i like better so i was just wondering what others thought about these pickups in basswood guitars... i've liked the demos that i've watched so far, but im not sure what wood they're made out of. I've heard basswood tends to be really naturally thin sounding...

can anyone give me some reccomendations as to what other pickups to consider?
Taste anything from clean to hard rock and stuff all the way towards metallica. and everything in between.
but more towards hard rock
#3
I agree, the wood often isn't consistent enough to be meaningful. If you got, for example, a particularly bright piece of basswood, then everything that might be true in general of basswood would be irrelevant to your instrument. If you know already that the guitar sounds particularly dark or bright, that's more useful information. Reading that basswood is naturally thin doesn't mean a thing if your particular guitar sounds nice and fat. Listen to your guitar rather than reading about what it's "supposed" to sound like.

It might make more of a difference here because the pickups are so similar, but it's still tough to make any real determination about what your specific guitar will do with each pickup. So you might as well just try to tease out the details in pickups.

Anyway, what do you like and dislike about how the guitar currently sounds? The Custom is my first instinct here, just because that extra output and aggression are going to come in handy for the heavier stuff. As long as you're not getting pickups with way too much output for your tastes, it's usually more satisfying to get hot pickups and back off the volume a bit for cleaner passages than it is to boost up pickups that don't have enough for your needs.
#4
Quote by Tony Done
I wouldn't worry about the wood too much, the great bulk of the tone comes from the pickups. I would just go with what I liked best in the demos and specs - tone chart, passive resistance etc.

see thats exactly what i thought when i first went into the search for pickups, but the more i read and look up on forums, there seems to be a lot of people who say that it does make a difference and that certain pickups dont sound as good in certain woods, so i honestly have no idea. For example, i've heard that about the jb and the 59, but then again i hear some people say it works amazing.. see what my dilema is?
#5
Quote by Roc8995
I agree, the wood often isn't consistent enough to be meaningful. If you got, for example, a particularly bright piece of basswood, then everything that might be true in general of basswood would be irrelevant to your instrument. If you know already that the guitar sounds particularly dark or bright, that's more useful information. Reading that basswood is naturally thin doesn't mean a thing if your particular guitar sounds nice and fat. Listen to your guitar rather than reading about what it's "supposed" to sound like.

It might make more of a difference here because the pickups are so similar, but it's still tough to make any real determination about what your specific guitar will do with each pickup. So you might as well just try to tease out the details in pickups.

Anyway, what do you like and dislike about how the guitar currently sounds? The Custom is my first instinct here, just because that extra output and aggression are going to come in handy for the heavier stuff. As long as you're not getting pickups with way too much output for your tastes, it's usually more satisfying to get hot pickups and back off the volume a bit for cleaner passages than it is to boost up pickups that don't have enough for your needs.

i thought that too, but how exactly am i gonna tell whether the wood in my guitar is dark or not if i have crappy pickups. wouldn't it be hard to tell because the pickup quality can change the sound and so you may think its dark but it might be bright and vice versa? anyway, i still have those crappy ibanez v7 and v8 stock pickups and they just overall sound horrible

not enough punch(treble)
too dull and lifeless,
and just muddy sounding.
but then again they also sound sometime like they're too bassy or sometimes even thin
Last edited by GuitarNewbee at Sep 8, 2015,
#6
to give you guys an idea, i've got a peavey vypyr 30 as well as a tube 60, and honestly, i keep hearing about the vypyr's (regardless of which one) have loads of high gain and is often said to have very punchy and tight attack with tons of gain that most people will never need, but i can't seem to get ENOUGH gain, its like it doesn't have that punch that people always say it does...

edit:

its always either its too muddy and too dull with not enough treble and tight attack... or its too high on the treble side and not enough meat so to say (very thin sounding)
no matter what i do with the settings, i can't get that tight tone that everyone else seems to get..
Last edited by GuitarNewbee at Sep 8, 2015,
#7
Usually you'd tell by playing a few other guitars with the same pickups. The V7/V8 isn't an uncommon pair so perhaps a shop near you has a few other instruments with them that you can check out. That would give you a better idea.

If not, then you have to guess, or at least make an educated guess. If I had a guitar that sounded dull, muddy, and not punchy enough, I'd put the Customs in. They're aggressive and have a good tight bass and plenty of output. 59s are good pickups but I'd have suggested them if you said the guitar was too cold, too boomy, etc. The hybrid is a good compromise, so if you're still not sure that's a fine way to go. Or you could do a custom in the bridge and a hybrid in the neck.

JBs, I'd be careful with. They're brilliant in a lot of guitars but when they don't work they sound really nasal and shrill. A JB actually seem perfect for you're asking, but again I hesitate to suggest it because they're such a love it or hate it pickup. If you're able to at least try another guitar with one in it, you might get an idea of if it could work for you.
#8
Quote by Roc8995
Usually you'd tell by playing a few other guitars with the same pickups. The V7/V8 isn't an uncommon pair so perhaps a shop near you has a few other instruments with them that you can check out. That would give you a better idea.

If not, then you have to guess, or at least make an educated guess. If I had a guitar that sounded dull, muddy, and not punchy enough, I'd put the Customs in. 59s are good pickups but I'd have suggested them if you said the guitar was too cold, too boomy, etc. The hybrid is a good compromise, so if you're still not sure that's a fine way to go. Or you could do a custom in the bridge and a hybrid in the neck.

JBs, I'd be careful with. They're brilliant in a lot of guitars but when they don't work they sound really nasal and shrill. They actually sound a lot like what you're looking for, but again I hesitate to suggest it because they're such a love it or hate it pickup.

what do you mean too boomy? not enough thickness to it?
what will the hybrid do though? i dont understand exactly what the sound is like, what does it get from the custom, and what does it get from the 59?, i feel like it might be too thin sounding on my guitar...
#9
Boomy is where the bass isn't tight enough and you end up with just that 'woof' or 'whump' sound in the low end without any note definition.

The hybrid is exactly that, it's one coil from the Custom and one coil from the 59. You can't split the difference much more than that. The one place where it leans towards one pickup is the magnet, which is an Alnico like the 59 instead of a Ceramic like the Custom. The alnico magnet is a little less aggressive, a little softer in the bass, and a bit warmer. Ceramic magnets are very tight, very aggressive, but they can sometimes get harsh or brittle sounding. All of this is laid out pretty well on the Duncan site, that's a good place to learn about how the pickup construction changes the sound.

Ceramic magnet pickups can be "dry" or "sizzle" which can be good or bad depending on your needs. Most people prefer Alnico for clean tones because it's got a bit more character and warmth to it, for lack of better terms. Keep in mind you can always use a Custom in the bridge and a 59 in the neck, which gives you options on both ends and the ability to mix them in the middle position. You don't have to lock yourself in to one sound or the other with the set.
#10
IMO, you're overthinking it. Whatever you choose now, you'll likely change your mind as your expereince grows. I would avoid the JB; my personal experience with one wasn't good in a very dark-sounding semihollow, and opinions are in general divided.

And the Fx and amp haven't even been mentioned yet. Wood differences pale into complete insignificance when those is taken into consideration.

As one wit noted in another forum yesterday, the way to end the ton wood debate is to put the output through a Big Muff fuzz.
#11
one guitar tech who worked for jimi hendrix worked for the military and he believes that pickups are the most over rated thing on the guitar. Why there is tone charts is to help us make a decision.

Honestly I'm a believer in woods. the thicker the guitar or the less routing the more of a difference you'll probably see. Basswood to me seems balanced so it really is up to you. With the maple neck a bit more brightness too.

for example
fine tuning the sound try new pick materials or string materials (not just brand)
if a pickup is too hot - adjust the height, add a capacitor to the north start before the hits the switch
if you want to SLIGHTLY adjust the brightness or darkness use a resistor. 1k to 10m (10,000k) exist.

so for example if i wanted a brighter sound steel strings
if the pickup wasn't hot enough I'd adjust the pickup height, no sense in going with heavier gauge strings right away
this modded TBX usually has me covered for mids and clarity

personally I'd try the SD custom. It depends on the sound you're after though, your amp and all as no two guitars are the same. The advantage to the custom is that it's hotter so you can appreciate the splitting of coils and parallel sounds.

one out of the box suggestion or two is the pearly gates for the more vintage sounds, maybe the screaming demon (it only screams with super high gain , george wanted it that way) and the custom 5. It's a custom with an alnico 5 magnet. I got one in my LTD 27 fret. I think it's the first time in history that I've used a tone knob as the highs can actually get a bit harsh.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Sep 8, 2015,
#13
Quote by Roc8995

JBs, I'd be careful with. They're brilliant in a lot of guitars but when they don't work they sound really nasal and shrill. A JB actually seem perfect for you're asking, but again I hesitate to suggest it because they're such a love it or hate it pickup. If you're able to at least try another guitar with one in it, you might get an idea of if it could work for you.


Yeah. I've tried them and they've varied from terrible to actually pretty nice. I used to loathe them, but I've since tried them in other guitars where I actually quite like them- not my favourite, but a heck of a long way from "hate" as well. The other confounding thing about them is that there seems to be little or no rhyme nor reason as to where they'll sound good- some of the guitars I hated them in were alder superstrats, and some of the other guitars I've liked them in were also alder superstrats.

If you have other guitars you could try playing the ibanez unplugged to see how it compares. That might be better than trying to find other guitars with the V7/V8 combo (normally in the cheaper Ibanez Prestiges currently fwiw) since unless you try them with the exact same amp settings etc. and right next to your own guitar (which is virtually impossible unless you like travelling around guitar shops with your amp and guitar in tow), it's probably going to tell you something between diddly and squat.

Ibanezes are often upgraded as well (because of the middling-at-best V series pickups), so maybe you'd get lucky and find a used Ibanez with the pickups you're thinking of. Again, though as colin and Tony said, that's only really going to tell you how they sound in that particular guitar rather than yours, though it might be better than nothing.

Unfortunately with pickups at some point you sort of have to say, "Enough!", trust that you've done enough research, and bite the bullet and just buy something and keep your fingers crossed. There's a bit of risk involved that I'm not sure any amount of research can totally mitigate for, unfortunately.
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?
#14
Either of those 2 pickups is a good choice, and so is the Custom 5. The Custom 5 is the same wind as the Custom with a different magnet, and has a slight scooped sound, which could (in a good way) counteract the mids of the basswood. The Custom will be crunchier and brighter than the 59/Custom. There is always a 21 day Exchange policy on Seymour Duncan Pickups in the US. I would try the Custom first. It will certainly un-thin-ify (SAT word, kids) your guitar.