#1
Skip To 13th Post!


This should probably go in the Electric Guitar Forum, but I like you guys more.

Wall of text:

I'm going to be purchasing a Gibson Explorer Pro with some scholarship money I have. I do not play metal and I do not like the high output ceramics in it, so I will definitely be swapping the pickups. I love a good vintage P.A.F. sound. The heaviest I go is like Coheed and Cambria's Shabutie albums, but mostly I play blues/classic rock. I don't play with a lot of gain.

I have a Schecter S-1 Blackjack with an SD 59' in the neck and a JB in the bridge. I really like the 59' and I absolutely loathe the JB.
So I was thinking of putting a 59' in the neck with something like an SH-5 Custom in the bridge.
How does the APH-1 Alnico II compare to the 59'?
I was also thinking of maybe putting a 59' in the bridge with an even lower output pickup in the neck. Any suggestions?

I'm not only limiting myself to Seymour Duncan, I'm just the most familiar with them. So any suggestions.

I'll also probably be getting coil-tapping installed, as I pretty much can't live without some single coil tones.


I'm also undecided on the finish.

It's between the natural satin: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/document?cpd=0OEY&doc_id=99371&base_pid=512598&index=0

And the Ebony: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/document?cpd=0OEY&doc_id=99371&base_pid=512598&index=1

The reason I'm undecided is because they have a nitrocellulose finish, which to my understanding ages and wears. I really like the Ebony, but am turned off by the though of having another black guitar. How long will it take the finish to wear? I think the Ebony finish would look really neat if it wears out.
How will the natural satin look when it's worn?


I know these question seem almost not worth it, but this is pretty much the only chance I'll have to buy my dream guitar and I wanna make sure I make the right decisions.

Abridged(Skip to me if you hate reading!):

What would be some good pickup choices to get a low to mid gain classic tone in a Gibson Explorer Pro?
How does the SD Alnico II compare to the SD 59'?

How long does a nitro finish take to wear?

...and which finish would you prefer-- Natural Satin or Ebony?

Do you guys have any warnings for some of this gear I'm looking at?


I play through a Peavey Classic 30 that's being boosted by a Visual Sound Route 66.

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Last edited by Checker at Sep 12, 2008,
#2
i'd go for Seymour Duncan Custom 5/59 or a Dimarzio 36th Anniversary PAF set. that natural finish is really nice. i would pick that over the ebony.
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#3
Quote by leviticus_22953
i'd go for Seymour Duncan Custom 5/59 or a Dimarzio 36th Anniversary PAF set. that natural finish is really nice. i would pick that over the ebony.


The natural certainly is nice... The only reason I would pick the ebony is if it would eventually look like http://www.themusiczoo.com/Vintage_Strat_Relic_Blk_R32401combo.jpg

I'll listen to some clips of those Dimarzio's. Thankee.

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#4
Ebony finishes don't look all that much different with age. You'll have fingerprints, the odd scuff here or there and some wear but otherwise, nothing.

The satin will most likely fade and the finish checking will probably work the satin better. Plus, woodgrain is always cool to look at.

Don't expect it to age like an older guitar though. The laquer used nowadays isn't pure Nitro.

It's nitro mixed with polyurethane and other things. Makes a much more durable finish. Can take more of a beating than the original laquers used. The pros (or cons if you're like me ) of it are that your finish won't look as destroyed and neglected come 50 years.
#5
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Ebony finishes don't look all that much different with age. You'll have fingerprints, the odd scuff here or there and some wear but otherwise, nothing.

The satin will most likely fade and the finish checking will probably work the satin better. Plus, woodgrain is always cool to look at.

Don't expect it to age like an older guitar though. The laquer used nowadays isn't pure Nitro.

It's nitro mixed with polyurethane and other things. Makes a much more durable finish. Can take more of a beating than the original laquers used. The pros (or cons if you're like me ) of it are that your finish won't look as destroyed and neglected come 50 years.


Well that's major bum! A beaten up vintage Explorer would be the sex. :[

I'm decided on the finish then. Thanks for the info. Kisses and hugs and stuff.

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#7
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
You can still ding it though! Dings are pretty cool.


Buckle rash too.


I'll get a nice cheap strap and no strap locks. It'll look "vintage" in no time.

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#8
Quote by Checker
I'll get a nice cheap strap and no strap locks. It'll look "vintage" in no time.



Throw keys and other small things like screws and bits on it. Drag it and bump it on things. Spill stuff on it.


If you redo a cheap strat in nitro, submerge the body in icy cold water for a while and quickly take it out. It's like artificial weathering and will create insta-checking.

You could throw it in the freezer too.
#11
Quote by forsaknazrael
^Does that look genuine??

For pickups, A Custom 5 in the bridge, and a '59 in the neck is a good idea. The Custom 5 sound like a more beefy PAF.
A pair of '59's would be a good idea.

You can hear the Custom 5 in the clips in my profile.


The checking looks pretty authentic IMHO. Some dude in a Ska band who frequents the store I lurk at did it to his Telecaster.

'Course, the guitar's finish will require dulling. Exposed wood would have to be weathered as well for it to look like the real deal.
#12
Quote by injected
This is blasphemy


Haha... I typed in vintage strat and grabbed the first thing. Wasn't really that concerned about the fake aging.

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#13
I got my Explorer Pro, but I still haven't decided on pickups. I want to order them really soon to try and get it shipped before the weekend.

I changed my mind on the '59, and I've decided I want something chimy-er and more single coil like. I was thinking a Humbucker From Hell. I'm worried it might sound shrill though.
How it sound with a coil-tap?
How does the 36th anniversary P.A.F. compare to the '59?

For the bridge I was thinking an Air Norton. I want something warm with pretty good output.

I need help pretty quick here. I'd love some opinions on these or other suggestions.

k thnks guyz

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#14
I would just try the '59 with a series/parallel switch. In parallel wiring, the humbucker drops about 30% in output, cleans up, sounds brighter, but is still hum canceling. Much better than a coil split, as coil splits often sound thin, to me.

The humbucker from hell, in the neck, wouldn't be bad, though. It's a fairly bright pickup.

What's this 36th anniversary PAF you're going on about?
#15
Quote by forsaknazrael
I would just try the '59 with a series/parallel switch. In parallel wiring, the humbucker drops about 30% in output, cleans up, sounds brighter, but is still hum canceling. Much better than a coil split, as coil splits often sound thin, to me.

The humbucker from hell, in the neck, wouldn't be bad, though. It's a fairly bright pickup.

What's this 36th anniversary PAF you're going on about?


That's the point. I love single coil tone. Coil-tapping is at least close to it.

The 36th anniversary is here: http://www.dimarzio.com/site/#/pickups/
under vintage output humbuckers.

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Last edited by Checker at Sep 12, 2008,
#16
Right, that's why I recommended the parallel wiring.
Coil splits just don't sound real, to me. They're too weak, as they're half the output. Neck pickups are usually around 7-8k D.C. Resistance. Half of that is well below a vintage output single coil. Sounds thin.

Hm. Interesting. Don't really know anything about that pickup. For a great PAF, I'd check out the Silverback at rockmonkeyguitars.com. Chris builds everything vintage correct, and to your specs. 10% discount for UGers, too.
#17
Quote by forsaknazrael
Right, that's why I recommended the parallel wiring.
Coil splits just don't sound real, to me. They're too weak, as they're half the output. Neck pickups are usually around 7-8k D.C. Resistance. Half of that is well below a vintage output single coil. Sounds thin.

Hm. Interesting. Don't really know anything about that pickup. For a great PAF, I'd check out the Silverback at rockmonkeyguitars.com. Chris builds everything vintage correct, and to your specs. 10% discount for UGers, too.


o rly?

Do you still get that jangly, kind of distant sound that I can't describe?

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#19
Quote by forsaknazrael
I think so. I have a fairly warm neck humbucker (The Duncan SH-2 Jazz) but with the SH-1 it should be a lot more convincing.
Plus, still hum canceling...


The '59 sounds really good when split on my Schecter, but it's just a little too warm. Does parallel wiring usually give you a brighter sound than coil-tapping?

Also, what would you recommend pairing the '59 with? I was kind of stoked on the Air Norton...

Edit: I'm starting to think I like coil-tapping so much is because cuts the output in half. It cleans up like no ones business. I can go from a mid-gain tone to a only slightly dirty to blues tone with the poll of knob. Series/parallel wiring clean up as much?

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Last edited by Checker at Sep 12, 2008,
#20
I've never A/B-ed coil splitting (coil tapping is something different. It's when you use less/more windings on a single coil. Guitar manufacturers fail to make the distinction because people rarely make single coils with coil taps.) to be honest, so I can't say.

How many frets does your Schecter have?
Is the neck pickup RIGHT after the bridge?

See, on a Les Paul, the neck humbucker is right after the 22nd fret. It sounds really warm, and IMO, sometimes muddy. On SGs, the neck pickup is a bit after the 22nd fret, maybe after the theoretical 24th fret.

I'd also say that a 1M pot for the neck pickup's volume control will really open up the high end, and make it sound more like a single coil.

Lastly, the SH-14 Custom 5 pairs up perfectly with the SH-1.

EDIT: Parallel wiring does still clean it up a lot. I usually use it for cleans that I don't want to be too fat.
#21
Quote by forsaknazrael
I've never A/B-ed coil splitting (coil tapping is something different. It's when you use less/more windings on a single coil. Guitar manufacturers fail to make the distinction because people rarely make single coils with coil taps.) to be honest, so I can't say.

How many frets does your Schecter have?
Is the neck pickup RIGHT after the bridge?

See, on a Les Paul, the neck humbucker is right after the 22nd fret. It sounds really warm, and IMO, sometimes muddy. On SGs, the neck pickup is a bit after the 22nd fret, maybe after the theoretical 24th fret.

I'd also say that a 1M pot for the neck pickup's volume control will really open up the high end, and make it sound more like a single coil.

Lastly, the SH-14 Custom 5 pairs up perfectly with the SH-1.

EDIT: Parallel wiring does still clean it up a lot. I usually use it for cleans that I don't want to be too fat.


It's pretty much in the neck.

It's the same on the Explorer though. I was gonna ask about a 1meg volume pot.

How does the Custom 5 compare to the SH-5 Custom?

Edit: Oh noes! Second page.

Edit Again: Not the Custom Custom, just the Custom. I messed up.

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Last edited by Checker at Sep 12, 2008,
#22
The SH-11 Custom Custom is an Alnico II magnet based pickup, it's a lot warmer, and I recommend it for Strat players looking to seriously fatten up their bridge. It sounds mushy in mahogany guitars, oft times.
The Custom 5 has a good deal more bite, even though they are essentially the same wind if I'm not mistaken (the SH-5 Custom too.), but with different magnets in each case. The Custom 5 has this great upper midrange aggressive bite. You can hear it in the rhythm guitar work in the clip "guns blazing" in my profile.

EDIT: The SH-5 Custom doesn't have the same upper midrange bite, and it's a bit more harsh, due to the ceramic magnet. It also sounds a bit hotter, again, because of the ceramic. It's an okay pickup, but it doesn't clean up all too well, and isn't as suited for classic rock as the SH-14.
#23
Thanks. I'm going to make the order right now. Isn't it nerve-racking how much I'm trusting you?

Do I need 4 conductor pickups for a series/parallel switch?

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#24
Really? just off this?
I'd wait until steven seagull got here. he's my partner in crime. and by crime, i mean we both recommend pickups a lot.

And yes, you need four conductor for 'em.

I should record some series/parallel clips sometime...I always recommend them over splits, but it's not really a common mod...Most people don't even know about it.
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Sep 12, 2008,
#25
Quote by forsaknazrael
Really? just off this?
I'd wait until steven seagull got here. he's my partner in crime. and by partner in crime, i mean we both recommend pickups a lot.

And yes, you need four conductor for 'em.

I should record some series/parallel clips sometime...I always recommend them over splits, but it's not really a common mod...Most people don't even know about it.


To be honest I was really hoping seagull would show up, but I'm trying to get this order in as soon as possible. UPS doesn't ship on the weekends, but apparently if I get my order in before Friday I could still get 'em by Monday for when my tech is free on Tuesday.

I feel pretty confident in trusting you, and the SH-14 is pretty widely recommended. Besides, if it turns out I hate 'em I'll just wish cancer on you.

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Last edited by Checker at Sep 12, 2008,
#26
Hm, well, I did make an agreement with my friends that if I ever got cancer that they could unconditionally make fun of me....So I guess that works out..

Did you listen to my crappy recording, to hear the SH-14?

Are you gonna try 1M pots for the neck pickup? It has independent controls, right?
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Sep 12, 2008,
#27
I listened to your god awful disgrace of a recording. From what I can tell from it, it sounds pretty good. I'm comparing it to the JB in my Schecter, which I hate more than anything, and it doesn't sound near as thin. That's pretty much all I'm looking for in the bridge.

I'm gonna try a 1meg pot for the neck's volume control. I'm gonna talk it over with my tech first though, see what he thinks.

It's got 2 volumes, 1 tone. I would love 2 tone knobs though... but that voids the warranty. According to the guy who'll be working on it installing coil-splitting won't, since he's Gibson authorized blah blah, so I don't think series/parallel will either.

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#28
Quote by Checker
I listened to your god awful disgrace of a recording. From what I can tell from it, it sounds pretty good. I'm comparing it to the JB in my Schecter, which I hate more than anything, and it doesn't sound near as thin. That's pretty much all I'm looking for in the bridge.


in my defense, it's done with one computer mic.

And yeah, the bridge pickup sounds plenty fat. You can hear it through my Valve Junior on the "new and improved rush". The most obvious time is during the intro, i play the rhythm. the rest of the song is doubled up, for the most part.


I say to hell with warranties. The guitar's circuit is so simple, its nearly impossible to **** up. And even when you do mess up, 90% of the time, it's still very fixable.
#29
Quote by forsaknazrael

in my defense, it's done with one computer mic.

And yeah, the bridge pickup sounds plenty fat. You can hear it through my Valve Junior on the "new and improved rush". The most obvious time is during the intro, i play the rhythm. the rest of the song is doubled up, for the most part.


I say to hell with warranties. The guitar's circuit is so simple, its nearly impossible to **** up. And even when you do mess up, 90% of the time, it's still very fixable.


I'm not so worried about something going wrong with the electronics as much as something going wrong with the playability aspects. You know... like... the neck falling off... or the fretboard lighting on fire because I'm just shredding too hard...



Yeah, the warranty isn't a big decider or anything, it's just nice to keep in tact. I'll let you know how the 1meg pot turns out. Thanks for the help.

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#30
I'd go with the Custom 5 in the bridge, but for the neck my instincts would say to go with the Humbucker from Hell, or the duncan Stag Mag.

Just to put a seagull amongst the pigeons there...
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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