#1
Thinking about getting a custom guitar. I play songs from like the eagles, led zeppelin, a7x, nirvana, slayer, eric clapton, and hendrix. Im trying to decide which active pickups i would want. I like the EMG 81TW/85 set but would that be too heavy? I need pickups that have good cleans and then are also good for distortion. Im also possibly looking at sd blackouts. Im kinda thinking about having humbuckers in the neck and bridge and then a single coil in the middle. Is that a good idea? if so what single pickup would be good there? and how good does the EMG afterburner work?

The current pickup combo im thinking about: 81TW/SA/85 w the EMG-AB
Would it play cleans well?
#2
dont get active pickups dude, have some respect for your instrument. get a nice set of duncans or get the dude on UG to wind you some, dont remember who it is, someone on here will name him, i hear his stuff is choice.
fight the power that be
#3
For Hendrix, Zeppelin, Clapton and Nirvana you're going to need single coils.
EMG's are not good for those bands, but they are good for a7x and Slayer. But honestly, how would Clapton sound playing some high-gain EMG's compared to silky smooth '59s?
DEAD. AIR. SPACE.

Fender American Strat/Tele->Vox V847 Wah->EH LPB-1->BK Butler Tube Driver->Big Muff Pi->MXR Carbon Copy->EH Small Clone->Vox AC30/Orange Tiny Terror/Blues Deluxe RI
#4
it's generally considered that active pickups aren't as well suited for diverse playing styles, but to each their own.

I personally think a humbucker in the neck, a P90 in the middle, and a humbucker in the bridge, both sets of humbuckers being four wire, would allow for amazing combinations.

here's an idea of what a dual humbucker equipped guitar sounds like with mixing coils in non-standard combinations: video
STUFFZ:
SAGA ST10, IBANEZ(s): '96 ZR140BK (korea), '96 RX20 (indonesia)
Danelectro Cool Cat CC1 Chorus
Digitech Bad Monkey
Behringer BX1800A (180w 12" aluminum cone)
FOR SALE: Fender Champion 110 (25w RMS combo 10" with tank reverb)
#5
Quote by jedilley
it's generally considered that active pickups aren't as well suited for diverse playing styles, but to each their own.

I personally think a humbucker in the neck, a P90 in the middle, and a humbucker in the bridge, both sets of humbuckers being four wire, would allow for amazing combinations.

here's an idea of what a dual humbucker equipped guitar sounds like with mixing coils in non-standard combinations: video


What pickups was he using? could i use the EMG's and get anywhere near that clean of tone? The EMG 81TW and the 89 are made so they can be toggled between single coil and humbucking.
#6
lets... not use EMGs, or actives at all. come on dude, get off the hype. EMGs are made for metal, and high output nasty tone.
fight the power that be
#7
AFAIK - EMG pickups switched into single coil mode use only one of the pickups. you'd be limiting coil possibilities.

the guy in the video uses

Bridge: Duncan JB
Neck: Duncan Alnico II Pro
STUFFZ:
SAGA ST10, IBANEZ(s): '96 ZR140BK (korea), '96 RX20 (indonesia)
Danelectro Cool Cat CC1 Chorus
Digitech Bad Monkey
Behringer BX1800A (180w 12" aluminum cone)
FOR SALE: Fender Champion 110 (25w RMS combo 10" with tank reverb)
#8
Let's face it, EMG's suck ass. Get something with character.
DEAD. AIR. SPACE.

Fender American Strat/Tele->Vox V847 Wah->EH LPB-1->BK Butler Tube Driver->Big Muff Pi->MXR Carbon Copy->EH Small Clone->Vox AC30/Orange Tiny Terror/Blues Deluxe RI
#9
Well, I have a gibson sg sitting in my room with crappy stock pickups and i was already planning on switching them for the duncan '59s. but this is for a custom guitar in the future. but i wanted it to have a "crunch" to it while still being able to play clean.
#10
Crunch with clean?
You definitely want single coils, or a pair of good humbuckers.
DEAD. AIR. SPACE.

Fender American Strat/Tele->Vox V847 Wah->EH LPB-1->BK Butler Tube Driver->Big Muff Pi->MXR Carbon Copy->EH Small Clone->Vox AC30/Orange Tiny Terror/Blues Deluxe RI
#11
What if i used something like a Duncan JB (neck), Duncan Blackout single AS-1(middle), Duncan Custom 5(bridge)?
#12
You can't mix active and passive (I don't think you can).
Buy a JB or a 59 for the bridge, and SSL-5 (something like that) for the mid and the neck. Trust me, you want that Strat neck tone - nothing beats it.
DEAD. AIR. SPACE.

Fender American Strat/Tele->Vox V847 Wah->EH LPB-1->BK Butler Tube Driver->Big Muff Pi->MXR Carbon Copy->EH Small Clone->Vox AC30/Orange Tiny Terror/Blues Deluxe RI
#13
no, no black out, get off the active ****. put a dimarzio blue velvet or something in the middle. jb is a bridge pickup, get a 59 in the neck.
fight the power that be
#14
i meant the JB for bridge. but anyways... Is the custom 5 a passive pup? it's a higher output version of the '59. and are all higher output single coils active pups?
#15
no. the blue velvet middle pickup by dimarzio is.... how do you say... the best single coil pickup for HSH ever. the 59' does not need to be supped up, ESPECIALLY if its in the neck position, and the JB is really hot as it is.
fight the power that be
#16
So if i went with the JB/ blue velvet/ '59 i could get the clean jazz sound of course, will they also get the metal slayer/slipknot/a7x sound?
#17
So i went on the Dimarzio site and they dont have blue velvet? Instead, how would the Virtual Solo DP420 or Area '58 work as the middle?
Last edited by leon0008 at Apr 30, 2008,
#21
Hmm, I don't know about the rest of everyone else here, but any H/S/H/P combination would work. I highly suggest a semi-hollow body or ultra-thin acoustic guitar. Either way make sure to use custom gauge electric strings[along a 46 low E and 10 high E]. P meaning Piezo, which you could easily put in the soundhole of a regular acoustic guitar. I just state that because It would be so diverse to have all of that in one guitar. And of course the two Humbuckers to be different, probably an active or Duncan JB in the bridge and a nice mellow pickup for the neck. Single coil? I suggest the Fender Blues Specials.
I got some good guitars, yo.
#22
Quote by Guitarzan1143
dont get active pickups dude, have some respect for your instrument...
Quote by djszkoda
...Hendrix, Zeppelin, Clapton and Nirvana...EMG's are not good for those bands...
Quote by Guitarzan1143
lets... not use EMGs, or actives at all. come on dude, get off the hype. EMGs are made for metal, and high output nasty tone.
Quote by djszkoda
Let's face it, EMG's suck ass. Get something with character.
Seriously, the two of you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about...at all.

Its not even sad, its actually quite funny to be honest. Telling someone to get off the hype when this negative rep so many like you spread is as well, nothing but hype.

Quote by leon0008
...The current pickup combo im thinking about: 81TW/SA/85...
Skip the Afterburner altogether and run the setup on 18 volts.

You'll have more than enough headroom for excellent cleans and articulate dirty sounds
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#23
The 18 volt mod on the EMGs does make them way more versatile (I did it on two axe's of mine, it's tight) and it does give them a great sound. For the applications listed I would recomend passive pickups though. you can totaly do all of the styles listed with either though. I recomend you go to the pickup makers sites and listen to sound bytes to see what you like. Oh and the blue velvet? That was discontinued and replaced with the True Velvet, same pickup with some kinks worked out.

Oh, and what amp are you running through? That will make a big difference.
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#24
Quote by ValoRhoads
...For the applications listed I would recomend passive pickups though...
I don't disagree, I just feel it necessary to do my public service rant whenever someone talks trash on EMG
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#25
Oh I'm totally with you on that. No new technology should ever be down played as not being "true to your instrument". If EMG's were just for metal David Gilmour wouldn't be using them.
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#26
haha great. now im stuck between two pickup combinations.

'59 SH-1/True Velvet/JB SH-4
and
81TW/SA/89
Which would be better? with the passives couldn't i just install an on board booster? then they will have either the passive tone or a higher output signal like actives?
#27
Quote by leon0008
...with the passives couldn't i just install an on board booster? then they will have either the passive tone or a higher output signal like actives?
You could do this too.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#28
So a passive setup like that with the signal boost would probably be the most versatile for what i want?
#29
Personally, I would put the JB in the bridge position and the '59 in the neck position, but thats just me.

I would try it without the booster at first. You may find it more than adequate as is.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#30
Quote by jm1681
Personally, I would put the JB in the bridge position and the '59 in the neck position, but thats just me.

I would try it without the booster at first. You may find it more than adequate as is.


That's what i was planning on '59 (neck), JB (bridge)
I have a gibson that im planning on getting a pair of either '59s or a '59 and a JB so i'll get to see if i like it without the booster.
#31
Ah, cool. The way it was shown, in relation to the EMG setup, I assumed the ordering was the same.

Good stuff though
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"