Am I getting old? I installed a Duncan Pearly Gates in the bridge of one of my Soloists this weekend and really love it.
For all you Axe-FX users out there, you really should consider trying low-output pickups with it. The sound quality and dynamics of the AFX really open up with the Pearly Gates, especially with some of the newer cab sims (like the V30 4x12) that Cliff has added to the thing. It's not like you need to worry about pushing the AFX to get more gain...
Just for shits & giggles, I also installed a milder Dimarzio setup in my white Soloist--PAF Pro in the bridge and Air Classic in the neck. The PAF Pro is interesting because it has about the same output as the Pearly Gate but adds a lot more 'chunk' and percussiveness. Too much, in fact. Dimarzios have way more attack and compression, which works very well with that Air Classic in the neck. Those qualities seem to help give more definition to the neck pickup, where Duncans, even the Jazz, can be a bit muffled and muddy for the neck. Plus, the Jazz in the neck has too much output for what I'm going for.
I can see why pure double-picking shredders love Dimarzios so much, since they emphasize every pick attack. Not so good for legato stuff, though. I may consider leaving the Air Classic in the neck and putting a Pearly Gates in the bridge of the white Soloist. I can always switch to a Duncan in the neck down the road. I know that Duncan/Dimarzio are reversed polarity from each other. Anyone know which wires in the Duncans get switched to reverse the polarity? Is it the black and green wires?
I'll probably swap the PAF Pro into my black '85 Soloist, since that "Dimarzio sound" does have its uses, and the '85 is a darker-sounding guitar that could a little of that punchiness.
I'm also going to have a shitload of Duncan Blackouts for sale soon, if anyone's interested.
You are old.
That's the wonderful thing about the Axe-Fx, it really does respond to things like pickups as a real piece of musical gear should. I have a BKP Rebel Yell in my Les Paul (basically a JB) and I've been wondering about putting something really lightweight in there, maybe an AlNiCo II-based sound.
How would you say the sound changed? How do high-gain sounds come off, vs. using a set of Blackouts?
As you said, there's no shortage of gain. Fuck, you can run three Tube Screamers before the amp sim if you really have to.