I'm usually pretty good with not bugging people for pickup recommendations. It's been a long time since I've requested any input on pickups for a guitar, but here I am. I think it's because I have too many options, and because I'm going to be replacing ALL of the pickups in the guitar in question - my newly acquired Ibanez S1XXV (mahogany body). I'm far more adept at modifying, installing and tweaking pickups than choosing them, and I wanna choose good ones first time, as impossible as that is. For versatility I'd probably like to replace the middle single with a mini humbucker, and of course replace the shitty neck and bridge. Here's a rough idea of what I want the 5 way switch to be able to do:
Pos 1 - Full bridge - The most versatile distorted pickup I can find. Needs to be capable of excellent high gain metal, great at reproducing 80's hard rock tones, without sounding thin as hell on clean. Something alnico perhaps, and not ceramic?
Pos 2 - Bridge split single and middle split single - capable of very bright sparkly cleans which aren't transparent, still want body/warmth.
Pos 3 - Middle single or mini humbucker. Either should be capable of some twang, and have a bit of bite for low gain applications. Should also be a bright yet warm pickup for cleans.
Pos 4 - Middle single and neck split single. Again with the cleans, this time for much thicker bass notes and some more mellow twang.
Pos 5 - Full Neck - Want to find the warmest, smoothest clean jazz pickup with a fair amount of body to the overall sound, and still want it to handle smooth distorted leads.
I'd love to have this thing become a versatile tone monster, with something to offer in all styles of music. I believe the potential is there. I basically want this guitar to ooze different tones, and great ones at that. The guitar is loud acoustically even with the dull, shitty DR Neon strings (waiting for new strings to arrive) and has heaps of sustain so I'm willing to bet that it CAN sound how I want it to, I'm just shit at stepping outside my pickup comfort zone, which for me would probably be something as basic as a JB or Custom 5 in the bridge, and a '59 in the neck. I'm genuinely interested to see if people here on MG.org can assist me with some mind-opening of advice.
Many thanks in advance, Nick.
Oh, and Pete - blow me, I'm not going EMG's!
Wirelessly posted (Hivemind)
Super distortion is the shizzle for what you're talking about in the bridge. Have on in my s, and it is winnar.
I can't help you on the middle since I never use them except in hss situations. I'd say Texas special but I have no idea how that would fit with what you want. Also no help on the neck pickup as I am a sucker for definition and non warmyness in a neck. I love the Duncan jazz but that's sorta the exception to my "stuff a p90 in everything" rule