Warming up a bright sounding guitar for the METALS
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Thread: Warming up a bright sounding guitar for the METALS

  1. #1


    Join Date: Jul 2020
    Location: LONG ISLAND
    ME: USA FENDER STRAT HH
    Rig: BOSS KATANA 50mkII

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    Warming up a bright sounding guitar for the METALS

    So I've got a Fender American HH Stratocaster, with the usual Alder Body, Maple Neck, and Rosewood fretboard. It came equipped with these Fender branded "Sidewinder" and "Black Cobra" humbuckers, which sounds OK. I'm thinking of picking up a new set of pickups and obviously the options are vast and a wee bit confusing. What I do know is I think I would like the bridge pickup to be passive with a medium/high output but with a warmer tone. Research points me towards AlnicoV pickups for a warmer tone.

    Anyone have any recommendations? Would a ceramic magnet pickup still work for giving me the output I want or would that most likely make the guitar a bit more shrill?
    Last edited by MetalKen_isMetal; 09-22-2020 at 11:11 PM.

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ME: Jackson Soloist
    Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

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    Wolfetone Timbre Wolf for the bridge. Lots of good choices for the neck--Duncan Sentient gets good reps.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: 6's
    MB: Aerodyne
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    Have you adjusted the pickup height?
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  6. #4


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
    ME: Charvel San Dimas
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    Magnets in isolation dont hold tonal properties, it's just typical internet guitar myth 101. I would recommend just going on models as they're advertised. Dimarzio and Duncan make some great medium output balanced pickups that you can try without delving into things that are overly niche and boutique. Have a look at their websites, they're really helpful for people in your position, with "pickup pickers" etc where you put in your criteria and it will give you some suggestions.
    www.numbskullaudio.com
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  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Montreal / QC. / CAN.
    ME: Robin Medley Special
    Rig: 6505~(some pedals)~Mesa

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    Had many great advices in this thread, if it can help.

    https://www.metalguitarist.org/forum...-ash-tone.html
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  8. #6


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: London, England
    ME: ESP MI Custom
    MB: Fender Jazz custom
    Rig: Kemper

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    You could also consider some hardware changes. In my experience, a brass block can have good results warming up a bright guitar. I don't think there's an X=Y relationship though, some guitars will respond really well, others you'll hear no change.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: San Jose, CA
    ME: Rich Mahogany
    MA: Godin A6 Ultra
    Rig: Mesa/Fractal

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    Yeah, I'm not sure I buy the alnico vs ceramic warmth thing... I've got a humbucker with ceramic mag (Railhammer Chisel) and many others with Alnico's (including another Railhammer (Alnico Grande)), and I'm not sure there's a difference. Now, there's absolutely a difference between Alnico 2, 5, 8, etc. Those are rough magnetic strength units.

    Bottom line, Alnico5's (what I typically go for) are warm, in my experience.

    There are things you can do to warm-up your current pickups, maybe changing out your pots, using a different cap on your tone pot, etc. I think the "coldness" in pickups comes from poor quality components and poor solder joints, and sometimes just from your speakers.

    What's the rest of your chain look like? Pedals, amps, cabs?

  10. #8


    Join Date: Jul 2020
    Location: LONG ISLAND
    ME: USA FENDER STRAT HH
    Rig: BOSS KATANA 50mkII

    iTrader: 0

    No I haven't played with my pickups heights yet, I probably should.

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