#1
Drive a mid-gain amp harder, with high-output pickups and a boost?

Or use a Uber-high-gain amp with pickups that are hot, but not distorted?

Just out of sheer curiosity, BTW.
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#2
If your only goal is high gain, then a high gain amp would be best, it seems. If you need other tones, though, and a super high gain amp sacrifices most of your other tones, i would say the first approach.

It can really only be judged on an individual basis.
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#3
I was just looking for everybody's opinion.
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#4
depends what kind of high gain for me. For modern metal, I like a high gain head, maybe lower output pups, and let the amp do most of the work. I like a little boost too though, lol. For older metal and rock type high gain, probably a mid gainer that I could boost, and rely a little more on powertube distortion.
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#5
Uh-huh. I guess I'll need both then lol.
/jk

But Erock, what would you classify as modern metal, besides the obvious metalcore/melodeath stuff? I mean, people have different opinions on genres .
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#6
modern meaning current, in production today, i would suspect.
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#7
i personally tend to prefer a PAF style humbucker. super ****ing hot pickups can get quite muddy, compressed, and squealy with those high gain amps.
#8
Quote by TehJermie
i personally tend to prefer a PAF style humbucker. super ****ing hot pickups can get quite muddy, compressed, and squealy with those high gain amps.

+1
PAF style pickups rule. Always seem to have the best overall voicing & dynamics in most applications, IMO.
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#9
^ really, if the amp has enough gain and the right voicing PAFS do great in hi gain. they keep **** from getting too compressed and youll have much better picking dynamics to make those solos sound great. loving PAFS with A2 mags, keep the single notes nice and fat.
#10
ideally
i'd like to get an affordable midgainer like a windsor
overdrive that muther
and use some pafs
the reason i do that is because:
1.) its cheaper
2.) i can get better tonal variety with a windsor
3.) its ****ing cheaper
#11
I can't really say much about low gain amps, I use my fender for cleans and OD, not metal. My Boogies can be used all around for just about anything.

When I'm dialing up my preferred metal tone on my boogies, I have the gain about midrange (which is still more than most marshalls on 11) then overlap it with a metal distortion pedal with the gain all the way down and the output all the way up.

My pickups aren't very high output, covered minihumbuckers, and stock carvin pups. I guess you could say high gain amp cut back some, added boost, and mild pickups.
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#12
Quote by TehJermie
i personally tend to prefer a PAF style humbucker. super ****ing hot pickups can get quite muddy, compressed, and squealy with those high gain amps.

Yeah, actually my tastes are starting to go that way. I'm ordering some Marshallheads from Wolfetone just for this purpose.

Quote by aznrockerdude
Uh-huh. I guess I'll need both then lol.
/jk

But Erock, what would you classify as modern metal, besides the obvious metalcore/melodeath stuff? I mean, people have different opinions on genres .

Yeah, basically what I hear in the current stuff today. I guess if I was going to specify, I would say I really like Sneaps production techniques, so a lot of the bands he's produced, and stuff in a similar vein. That super saturated, thick percussive low end, with a sharp top end that doesn't go too fizzy, with a healthy mid, but not barking. That's the sound I like in the modern tones, but obviously that's just what I like too.

Edit: Riffhog, I picked up the PDI-09 on your suggestion, couldn't be happier man, thanks for the tip. I was able to make a little clip at 1am last night using a 100W amp, with people sleeping in the next room!
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Last edited by Erock503 at Oct 4, 2007,
#13
Remember that pickups aren't overdrive pedals and don't distort, pickups are all about output. Higher output = more definition. Clean to mid gain is where passives shine, as a strong abrupt output signal isnt what you are looking for. People automatically think "i'll get EMG's and i'll have super distortion" doesnt always work like that. depends on the amp you have.

Active pickups are better for high gain because they give higher output, meaning there is better clarity for the signal to go through high gain stages, meaning every note of your chord will ring out, every note you solo over will be clear.

That's why a lot of high gain players chose them over passives, cos passives at high gain can be muddy and clarity can be less defined.

GOOD players chose EMG's, if you are a sloppy player every nuance of your playing shows up as the ouput of the pickups is strong.

Passives are awesome clean to mid gain, and of course there are lots of passives that are high output that are awesome for high gain too.

Personally EMG's are awesome for high gain though. I play a Marshall DSL401 with a PRS with EMG's, tubescreamer for that little extra bite it gives and a Smart Gate to dampen the hiss, and it sounds heavy as hell !!! Distortion pedals dont come close !
#14
Quote by TNfootballfan62
If your only goal is high gain, then a high gain amp would be best, it seems. If you need other tones, though, and a super high gain amp sacrifices most of your other tones, i would say the first approach.

It can really only be judged on an individual basis.


yeah, +1.

of course, if you're looking for out-and-out br00talz, i'd probably go with a super high gain amp and high gain pickups too.
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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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#15
Quote by scott316
Remember that pickups aren't overdrive pedals and don't distort, pickups are all about output. Higher output = more definition. Clean to mid gain is where passives shine, as a strong abrupt output signal isnt what you are looking for. People automatically think "i'll get EMG's and i'll have super distortion" doesnt always work like that. depends on the amp you have.

Active pickups are better for high gain because they give higher output, meaning there is better clarity for the signal to go through high gain stages, meaning every note of your chord will ring out, every note you solo over will be clear.

That's why a lot of high gain players chose them over passives, cos passives at high gain can be muddy and clarity can be less defined.

GOOD players chose EMG's, if you are a sloppy player every nuance of your playing shows up as the ouput of the pickups is strong.

Passives are awesome clean to mid gain, and of course there are lots of passives that are high output that are awesome for high gain too.

Personally EMG's are awesome for high gain though. I play a Marshall DSL401 with a PRS with EMG's, tubescreamer for that little extra bite it gives and a Smart Gate to dampen the hiss, and it sounds heavy as hell !!! Distortion pedals dont come close !


dude no offence, but a lot of that doesn't make sense.
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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
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#16
Quote by scott316
Remember that pickups aren't overdrive pedals and don't distort, pickups are all about output. Higher output = more definition. Clean to mid gain is where passives shine, as a strong abrupt output signal isnt what you are looking for. People automatically think "i'll get EMG's and i'll have super distortion" doesnt always work like that. depends on the amp you have.

Active pickups are better for high gain because they give higher output, meaning there is better clarity for the signal to go through high gain stages, meaning every note of your chord will ring out, every note you solo over will be clear.

That's why a lot of high gain players chose them over passives, cos passives at high gain can be muddy and clarity can be less defined.

GOOD players chose EMG's, if you are a sloppy player every nuance of your playing shows up as the ouput of the pickups is strong.

Passives are awesome clean to mid gain, and of course there are lots of passives that are high output that are awesome for high gain too.

Personally EMG's are awesome for high gain though. I play a Marshall DSL401 with a PRS with EMG's, tubescreamer for that little extra bite it gives and a Smart Gate to dampen the hiss, and it sounds heavy as hell !!! Distortion pedals dont come close !

quit talking out of your ass. EMGS(and active pickups) arent that high output at all. in fact the pickup itself is very underwound to give more frequency response. it just gets a boost by an active preamp is all.
#17
If money wasn't an issue I would personally have an amp which could handle teh brootalz on its own.
I mean why using a airbaloon to fly when you could get a jetplane to do the same thing for you (bad comparison, I know ).
#18
Quote by Erock503
Yeah, actually my tastes are starting to go that way. I'm ordering some Marshallheads from Wolfetone just for this purpose.


Yeah, basically what I hear in the current stuff today. I guess if I was going to specify, I would say I really like Sneaps production techniques, so a lot of the bands he's produced, and stuff in a similar vein. That super saturated, thick percussive low end, with a sharp top end that doesn't go too fizzy, with a healthy mid, but not barking. That's the sound I like in the modern tones, but obviously that's just what I like too.

Edit: Riffhog, I picked up the PDI-09 on your suggestion, couldn't be happier man, thanks for the tip. I was able to make a little clip at 1am last night using a 100W amp, with people sleeping in the next room!


Congratulations! Enjoy the Palmer, man. No one understands how unbelievable those units are til they play around with one!
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#19
Quote by riffhog
Congratulations! Enjoy the Palmer, man. No one understands how unbelievable those units are til they play around with one!

thanks bro, I'm having a blast with it. For only having like 3 settings on The Junction, I'm very surprised how much versatility you can get out of it as far as cabs. I can only imagine how great the PDI 03 must be.
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#20
What are some good bridge PAF style pickups that you guys talk about? And please, nothing super-expensive compared to SDs/Dimarzios.

I play a basswood RG BTW, with a blocked trem (dunno if it makes THAT much of a difference but ya never know...).

EDIT: do they have a neck version of Steve's Special? I really want a "clean overdrive" for my leads.

EDIT 2: how's the Humbucker from Hell for my neck purposes?
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Last edited by aznrockerdude at Oct 5, 2007,
#21
dimarzio makes a nice affordable PAF. if you could manage it, score one from the 80s.
#22
Quote by TehJermie
dimarzio makes a nice affordable PAF. if you could manage it, score one from the 80s.

Which model(s)?
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#23
Right now i'm using a mid gain amp plus somewhat highout put pickups with an od and I really like the metal tones I can get from it. But if I could afford a mesa then i'm thinkin I would go for that lol.
#24
Quote by aznrockerdude
What are some good bridge PAF style pickups that you guys talk about? And please, nothing super-expensive compared to SDs/Dimarzios.

I play a basswood RG BTW, with a blocked trem (dunno if it makes THAT much of a difference but ya never know...).

EDIT: do they have a neck version of Steve's Special? I really want a "clean overdrive" for my leads.

EDIT 2: how's the Humbucker from Hell for my neck purposes?


I personally love the Mojave Amp Works pickup, which is a just slightly hotter PAF voiced bridge pickup (they only make one pickup-they are the Holy Grail of the EVH brown sound). Trouble is, it costs $189 US for one pickup.
TehJermie's suggestion of an '80s DiMarzio is a great idea (those were great PAF copies), but I don't know how to tell what year they are.
I haven't used any of DiMarzio's newer stuff.
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#25
Quote by aznrockerdude
Which model(s)?

the PAF pro or regular PAF model, though the 70s and 80s were GREAT years for dimarzios as they were still handwound. keep in mind the PAFS wont drive your amp which will force you to push your amp harder(thats a good thing) and you will defnitely have to reevaluate the way you eq your amp. but the benefits will be worth it. im pretty sure the guys from LOG use PAF style pups. if you dont mind parting with the cash, you could go with the mojave amp works pup suggested above(actually heard amazing things about these)
#26
Yeah, the only problem is the limited budget, but there's always saving up and waiting for a steal...
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#27
Quote by Dave_Mc
dude no offence, but a lot of that doesn't make sense.

i think hot output pickups have less response to pick dynamics... or is it just me?
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#28
I personally take the drive a mid-gain amp harder approach. I'm using a Peavey Windsor, with a Bad Monkey OD pedal, and a Gibson Explorer w/an EMG 81/60 setup is my main guitar. I get plenty of gain for just about any style of metal with this setup (although the Windsor is better voiced for 80's tones). It all comes down to personal preference really. I happen to love the "Mid-gain amp on steroids" kind of tone, so that's why I choose this set-up. Once nice advantage to this way of getting a high gain tone, is that you can still have an amazing mid-gain tone when you're not boosting the hell out of it . Amps that can do both mid and high gain tones very well are usually pretty expensive!

When it comes to pickups, I'm definitely a fan of actives for high gain, because I find them to be much clearer and overall better sounding than most of the high output passives I've tried. There are alot of great passive pickups out there, but alot of high output passives tend to sound on the muddy side in my opinion. If you have a very high gain amp though, you don't really need high output pickups to get a high gain tone (ex: Carvin MTS series amps). A simple PAF-style, or slighly overwound (mid-output) pickup will do the job quite well. Personally, I think the low-mid output passives have better tone than high out passives.

It all comes down to what you think sounds best though. If you try the boosted mid-gain amp approach, I'd recommend a good overdrive pedal and hot pickups. If you try the high-gain amp approach, compare a set of active pickups to some milder passives to see what you like. The amp is doing most of the work in this scenario though

Hope that helps!
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#29
Hey guys, a Breed wouldn't be considered a Paf pickup would it?
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#30
Quote by ECistheBest
i think hot output pickups have less response to pick dynamics... or is it just me?


yeh, probably. plus you might get a bit more noise from high gain pickups (though emg's are meant to be pretty quiet)...
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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
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#31
Quote by aznrockerdude
Hey guys, a Breed wouldn't be considered a Paf pickup would it?


The Breed is more of a mid-gain output pickup. Hotter than a PAF, but not a super-high output pickup. If you're not looking to play anything crazy high gain like death metal, then they'd probably be a fairly good set to go with.
#32
The most gain I'd probably use in my RG would be for Opeth. And even with 5150+Breed I wouldn't pull-off death metal?
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#34
^ yeah, a 5150 is pretty high gain as is. should be grand.

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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?
#35
Awesome. One more thing: would a Breed do modern metal better than a PAF with a high gain amp?
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Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
#36
^ its pretty subjective. but for you, i think the breed is a good choice. youll get a lot of the clarity, pick dynamics, and openess discussed earlier, but with enough push to still give you all the squeals and chunk you could hope for. which will be great for more "expressive" metal like opeth. enjoy!
#37
I would prefer a hi gain amp for metal, hi wattage if possible. The more you drive an amp, the power tube distortion you get. And while that sounds awesome for rock and that type of thing, for metal preamp distortion is best imo, because you don't lose so much definition and its a lot tighter.
#38
Quote by Say Ocean
I would prefer a hi gain amp for metal, hi wattage if possible. The more you drive an amp, the power tube distortion you get. And while that sounds awesome for rock and that type of thing, for metal preamp distortion is best imo, because you don't lose so much definition and its a lot tighter.


It's somewhat a tradeoff with high wattage amps.

For example the ever popular whats the difference between the single and triple rectos.
Triples will have the most push and percussiveness (combination of the full EQ and how present it is) but the least saturation, yet, it feels like it has the most gain due to the extra umph. The singles will have the most saturation (gain), a decent amount of force behind it, but not like the triples. Singles are a little more suitable for all genres while the triples are kinda metal/rhythm based amps.
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#39
Quote by TehJermie
^ its pretty subjective. but for you, i think the breed is a good choice. youll get a lot of the clarity, pick dynamics, and openess discussed earlier, but with enough push to still give you all the squeals and chunk you could hope for. which will be great for more "expressive" metal like opeth. enjoy!


+1

it's lower output than a modern pickup, but more output than a paf, and being a signature vai pickup, designed to be used with pretty high gain. should be a good choice.
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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?