#1
Hey guys, I'm contemplating converting a guitar from Active to passive. I've got a Old Skull V by Dean, I love everything about it minus the tone, which it has EMG 81's and 85's in it and I'm just finding it dry and sterile and not really that warm.

It's a Mahogany body and I'm looking at things like the Dimarzio Super Distortion, not sure where to start here.

Pickups I want to avoid: Tone Zone/ Air Norton. Had them in a Mahogany guitar and just found them incredibly dull and stale.

Thoughts?
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#2
What's your budget, where are you located, what kind of music do you play and what kind of sounds are you looking for? Also, what amps are you using right now?
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#3
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
What's your budget, where are you located, what kind of music do you play and what kind of sounds are you looking for? Also, what amps are you using right now?


Yeah, didn't mention that.

Right, what I'm writing now seems to be in the symphonic metal factor, however my College only has things like Line Six Spyders. However Peavey Valvekings (The older versions) are available to use too, which is nice. (As it's the only place where I can really record) But at home I have things like Laney AOR's Peavey XXX's, JCM 800's (Which I really need to fix) and other stuff, so I've got a wealth of amps.

Were talking up to 200 for the set, ideally less though! and I'm in the UK!
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#4
I have a 6 string pairing of the Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentient pickups. Are you in the US?
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#5
Quote by JustRooster
I have a 6 string pairing of the Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentient pickups. Are you in the US?


UK unfortunately.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#6
Bleh, not worth to ship international. I'm trying to sell these things off. My metal fling has been over for some time.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#7
Quote by JustRooster
Bleh, not worth to ship international. I'm trying to sell these things off. My metal fling has been over for some time.


Had a feeling you'd say that!

Was thinking about the Evolution as it's a really clean and midranged pickup, however it might be a bit too "hot" for what I want?
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
Last edited by Fisheth24 at Feb 3, 2016,
#8
I would look at some Black Winters or Crunch Lab/Liquifire.
Iron Gears are also pretty good if you are in the UK and cheap too!
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
#9
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
I would look at some Black Winters or Crunch Lab/Liquifire.
Iron Gears are also pretty good if you are in the UK and cheap too!


Not tried Iron Gear yet, Had the CL/Liquifire in a guitar a while back, wasn't a fan. However it was a basswood body.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#10
I'm pretty fond of the Duncan JB (SH-4) myself
'93 Gibson LP Studio (498T/490R)-Ebony
'14 Gibson LP Standard (JB/Jazz)-Ocean Water Perimeter
Epi MKH LP Custom-7 (SD Custom Shop JB-7)-Ebony
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#11
Quote by RCA1186
I'm pretty fond of the Duncan JB (SH-4) myself


Any good sound samples of it? Been hearing a lot of good things about them!
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#12
I don't have any myself. They have them on their website I believe

http://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/jb
'93 Gibson LP Studio (498T/490R)-Ebony
'14 Gibson LP Standard (JB/Jazz)-Ocean Water Perimeter
Epi MKH LP Custom-7 (SD Custom Shop JB-7)-Ebony
+More

Maxon od808|Boss NS-2|Boss CE-5|
Line6 G55|Korg Pitchblack Pro

JVM 210h|1960a(V30/G12t-75)
#13
Quote by Fisheth24
Any good sound samples of it? Been hearing a lot of good things about them!

They're a very popular pickup that you'll find on all kinds of guitars. But naturally it's a pretty bright-sounding pickup that actually has decent cleans too.
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#14
have you ever tried your EMG's with a MXR 10 band EQ ??.... I didn't like my EMG's until I tuned it in with a MXR , now I'm happy enough to leave them in , like you it's a sterile dry sound , with the EQ it pretty nice
#15
I know there's a guy on here who swears by running EMGs on 18V, maybe that could help?
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#16
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I know there's a guy on here who swears by running EMGs on 18V, maybe that could help?

That would be me.
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And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#17
You might like Teslas.
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#18
Duncan JB is fantastic. It is pretty bright, but it's fairly clear and articulate. Good for clean or distorted.

Seymour Duncan has a pickup finder on their website that might be worth a look. Actually, Dimarzio might as well, but I could be wrong.
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#19
I was going to suggest adding another 9V for the 18V mod as well if you have room. By far way cheaper than buying new pickups.

The Spider you're playing through isn't helping you either.

Just shooting in the wind I'd suggest a Duncan Distortion in the bridge and Jazz in the neck. A '59 in the neck is also good.

I really only like my JB boosted to all hell. . . .
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#20
Have you tried swapping the 81 and 85? Folks are usually fond of the 85 in the bridge position.
#21
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#22
Quote by metalmingee

The Spider you're playing through isn't helping you either.

Just shooting in the wind I'd suggest a Duncan Distortion in the bridge and Jazz in the neck. A '59 in the neck is also good.

I really only like my JB boosted to all hell. . . .


Bingo! The biggest affect to tone is going to be the amp. While the Spider can emulate a lot of amps, they don't do a lot of justice to pickups.

That being said: I had a Super Distortion in my Paul for a spell and ended up moving it to a strat and ended up loving it. I did have a JB/59 pair in my Epi for a while and the JB was great. I used to run it through a JCM900 and Vox AC30 and had a lot of big tone, presence and clarity. I've had EMG pickups before and have found that they tend to mask the tone of the guitar itself.

In a mahogany built V style guitar, there isn't a tone of tone wood, so EMGs do really well in them to give you a much more powerful tone. The classic JB/59 or JB/Jazz Duncan pairs do really well in them, too. If you really want the extra bite, the Super Distortion in the bridge can really push the guitar. If you pair it up with something more tame (like a duncan 59 or whatever equivalent brand you choose) you have a great means of switching tone on the fly.
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#23
Quote by Thomme
Bingo! The biggest affect to tone is going to be the amp. While the Spider can emulate a lot of amps, they don't do a lot of justice to pickups.

That being said: I had a Super Distortion in my Paul for a spell and ended up moving it to a strat and ended up loving it. I did have a JB/59 pair in my Epi for a while and the JB was great. I used to run it through a JCM900 and Vox AC30 and had a lot of big tone, presence and clarity. I've had EMG pickups before and have found that they tend to mask the tone of the guitar itself.

In a mahogany built V style guitar, there isn't a tone of tone wood, so EMGs do really well in them to give you a much more powerful tone. The classic JB/59 or JB/Jazz Duncan pairs do really well in them, too. If you really want the extra bite, the Super Distortion in the bridge can really push the guitar. If you pair it up with something more tame (like a duncan 59 or whatever equivalent brand you choose) you have a great means of switching tone on the fly.


Yeah the Spyders are awful, I love my tube amps, so I might have to take one of those in at some point, got a couple of mini heads. But because I don't exactly well, drive. It's a bit of an issue, so I kinda use what they've got. But the Valvekings are available most of the time, so it's not an issue really.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#24
I'd definitely try the 18v mod before I changed the pups out. Can't hurt to try.
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#25
And for what it's worth I made my own 18V harness by splicing some 9V connectors together and just plugged it into the existing 9V connector so the guitar is unaltered. If you have a spiffy externally accessible battery door then you will have to cut the guitar wires.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#26
Pegasus/Entient, Jazz/Custom or Black Winters would be my choice. Don't forget that you have to change the pots to 500k too.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan