#1
I've been thinking about changing my gear so that i have the ability to get a really nice cugging heavy tone for when i do heavier stuff. However i don't have a valve amp; i've got a Blackstar ID:30 and i remember reading somewhere that changing the pickups on the guitar if i have a SS amp won't make much difference as the distortion of a SS amp is more artificial and 'compressed'

Now is this true?

My guitar is an Ibanez Premium with stock Ibanez own brand pickups

Should note i'm playing at bedroom level here, so can't crank up too much
#2
How are you dialing in your amp? I would say that's more important to how heavy your tone is.
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#3
The key word there is "noticeable" and yes, it will generally be noticeable.

But that's not the same as better, which it may or may not be.

At this point it's likely that pickups aren't your best value proposition, especially since you seem to want an entirely different tone.
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#4
H4T3BR33D3R

To try and replicate the tone i'm looking for i've got the gain at about 7, bass about 6, treble at 9, ISF just slightly on the american side and using the the 6L6 setting or the EL34's


Voicing on OD 1 as well

Master volume at about 2 and what would effectivley be the pre-amp volume maxed out
Last edited by Tcrumpen at Jun 21, 2016,
#5
What kind of tones are you going for? Can you post some links maybe? I'm guessing you're playing some sort of metal?


Personally speaking, if you're maxing your gain I find your tone starts getting less tight and more messy. Maybe try rolling down your gain a bit?
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My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Jun 21, 2016,
#6
H4T3BR33D3R

I thinking like Metallica (..And Justic for All era) or Iron Maiden tone:





Also i'm not maxing out the gain as i agree with you it makes it sound muddy
Last edited by Tcrumpen at Jun 21, 2016,
#7
Those 2 tones are pretty different. The maiden tone is still on the vintage side of things and the AJFA tone is mid scooped to shit and EQed to death. If you're looking to get that specific tone from your amp you will have better luck with coping the Maiden tone.


I would suggest setting everything neutral (I.E. your EQ, gain, voicing knobs) and then playing around until you get something you like. Maybe start with Super Crunch on the EL34 setting. Another thing you could do is if the ID series has an emulated OD (like a TS clone or something) you could pop that in front and tighten up your tone a bit.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Jun 21, 2016,
#8
H4T3BR33D3R

So i wouldn't be able to blend the two together they are just two different sounds? is the AJFA tone also studio'd to hell? (as in a lost of post production trickey like compressors etc.)

Also thjought effects pedals didn't work on SS amps, by that i eman they do anything noticeable
Last edited by Tcrumpen at Jun 21, 2016,
#9
Quote by Tcrumpen
H4T3BR33D3R

So i wouldn't be able to blend the two together they are just two different sounds? is the AJFA tone also studio'd to hell? (as in a lost of post production trickey like compressors etc.)

Also thjought effects pedals didn't work on SS amps


2 way different sounds. The AJFA tone isn't even from a single amp. It's like 2/3 amps blended together with a few different cabs and a ton of post-EQ work.


I didn't mention effects pedals did I? I said emulated effects. That implies the effects are digital and built into the amp. If you don't have it in the amp then I wouldn't bother.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Jun 21, 2016,
#10
H4T3BR33D3R

Yeah i misread that, yeah it doesn't have anything like that. BUt to teh orginial question would swapping the pickups get me any closer to the maiden tone?
#11
No it wont.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#12
H4T3BR33D3R

So what would you personally recommend?

Fiddling with the amp more or save up and get a head and cab?
#13
Fiddle with your amp more. If that doesn't work then upgrade your amp. You will notice a bigger change in your overall sound and tone that way. Pickups are usually the last things I'll swap out and mostly for fine tuning. That being said, 7/10 times I can adjust my pickup to suit a certain sound I need anyway. YMMV.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#14
H4T3BR33D3R

Might have to spend a few hours looking for tone patches on the Blackstar tone download page
#15
Yeah, just find patches, look up other people that have your amp on youtube etc... and see if you can get something usable.


New pickups are nice but personally I don't find them to be the lifesaver you might think they are. They won't automatically make an amp sound like a band's tone you like. They're voiced for certain sounds but that doesn't mean that it's impossible to dial them in without using a specific set of gear. So my advice is really just exhaust all of your possibilities before you start spending. Adjust your pickup height, adjust your amp, test new patches etc.... Once all of that becomes futile, then start considering that maybe you need something for your rig.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#16
Quote by Tcrumpen


Fiddling with the amp more or save up and get a head and cab?


Yes.

They aren't mutually exclusive.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#18
Quote by Tcrumpen
Arby911
I don't follow you


Continue to explore settings on your current gear while simultaneously saving for a better amp. You asked if you should do one or the other, but both are possible.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#19
Quote by Arby911
Continue to explore settings on your current gear while simultaneously saving for a better amp. You asked if you should do one or the other, but both are possible.


Ahh right i follow you now
#20
take the time to really learn your amp. downloading someone else's take on the tone you want may be easier but it teaches you nothing. one of the biggest things to keep in mind when trying to copy your fav bands tones is that they didn't use the same gear you are. studio tones have often been tweeked by a pro sound engineer using outboard studio grade gear that most of us will never have access to (at home).. tone chasing can be a very futile effort. the good thing that hopefully comes from it though is you learn how to get a decent tone out of what you have. it may not be what you were originally shooting for but god tone is what you want.
#22
If your amp with a reasonable-quality guitar/pickups isn't getting you 90% of the way to the tone you want, then upgrading your pickups isn't going to do it for you. I made up the 90% part.
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#23
Quote by Tcrumpen
i remember reading somewhere that changing the pickups on the guitar if i have a SS amp won't make much difference as the distortion of a SS amp is more artificial and 'compressed'


Nah -- that last bit is BS. 99% of the time you're never going to get into power tube distortion OR solid state power transistor distortion, and certainly not at bedroom levels. Leave your pickups alone; in almost every case there's no reason to change out your pickups (it seems to be an affectation some people have more than anything). Learn to use your amp properly. It may take some time and tweaking, but once you get it dialed in, you should be good to go.
#24
Then I have that affectation. I am very fussy about my pups - but I use good amps too.
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#25
Quote by Cathbard
Then I have that affectation. I am very fussy about my pups - but I use good amps too.


I too have that affectation I change the pups at least 90% of the time when I buy a guitar I typically buy used guitars most in the $700-$1000 range when they were new and need a pup upgrade, some of the ones I grabbed were in the $1200-$1500 range new and already had good pups on them, I also use good amps.
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#26
Okay so would you say most of your tone is produced by your amp or pickups then? Whats more important because its pretty obvious OP isnt experienced and probably pickups arent the smartest thing for him to upgrade. I agree that pickups make a difference but its not massive and its not the main focus when you want to get a certain tone.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#27
Pups are fine tuning.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#28
For one thing, anyone who told you that new pickups don't make much of a difference with a solid state amp has no idea what they are talking about. I will say that new pups may respond differently between a tube amp and a solid state amp, but there will be a difference depending on the nature of the upgrade. However, like most everyone else is saying, if you aren't happy with your sound, then it is better to upgrade the amp.
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#29
i don't think that anybody can say that even on a modeler pickups don't sound different. they do. good or bad? likely good.

here is my point. the $150 you spend on pickups will get you nowhere in comparison to other things.

i personally wouldn't bother doing the pickups at that time. i am playing through 15 or so good guitars through 15 or so (lol) good tube amps.

a good guitar feels better in your hands (assuming you got one to match your preferences and like it), in general they most impact how your playing feels. amps get you most of your tone, followed by (IMO) pedals, then speakers, then lastly pickups.

get a new amp, then go from there.
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#30
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i don't think that anybody can say that even on a modeler pickups don't sound different. they do. good or bad? likely good.

here is my point. the $150 you spend on pickups will get you nowhere in comparison to other things.

i personally wouldn't bother doing the pickups at that time. i am playing through 15 or so good guitars through 15 or so (lol) good tube amps.

a good guitar feels better in your hands (assuming you got one to match your preferences and like it), in general they most impact how your playing feels. amps get you most of your tone, followed by (IMO) pedals, then speakers, then lastly pickups.

get a new amp, then go from there.


well I think I could LOL. my strats have fairly different pups but they really don't sound much different running thru my POD. I find this to be a bit of a down side for modeling (to be fair my POD is one of the older versions). the modeling often tries to hard to make it sound like the amp but doesn't allow the natural sound of the guitar to really shine.

I think with pickups the amp really has to have the ability to reproduce subtle variations in tone. the definition of a good amp is that it has that ability. higher end amps are certainly known for this.

totally agree that the OP could probably benefit more from other options than a pickup change to get the tones he wants. also unfortunately he as to be a little more realistic based on what he currently is using.