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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK so im mainly interested in passive pickups here.
I'm a long time EMG user, and already know these are an obvious choice. But i find that Blackouts do an even better job than EMGs. The pinches on blackouts are insane...think Aeon.
But yeah, I'm curious to find out what passive pickups have the best response to pinch harmonics.
in experience, which pickups do you guys find translate pinch harmonics best?

I want specification for bridge and neck as well!
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
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As an obnoxious pinched harmonic enthusiast, I'm slightly confused by the question. In my experience, there is no pickup that does it better, you just.... do it :shrug: So long as there is enough distortion to give it some sustain, you're good to go. Get mean, pinch that shit! Pinch acoustics, hell, pinch a motherfucking bass! :flex:
 

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I suppose I'll say that a brighter pickup would tend to best reproduce the frequencies from a pinch harmonic, but it *is* largely your technique and amplifier settings that drive what you're hearing.
 

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+1, from EMG81 to Bare Knuckle Mules it's more a matter of gain and technique than choice of pickups
This. I find that higher output pickups kinda helps, but basicelly, this. With proper technique, you can do them on an acoustic.
 

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Technique aside, I generally find myself turning to d activators, but the proper technique and settings play much more importance as others have suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm, ok. Well, I'm not really looking for the technique response... I have no trouble pulling them off on any of my guitars... But after trying EMGs, EMG x series, blackouts, invaders, warpigs, nailbombs, D activators... There is an obvious difference in how easily the pinch harmonic is translated...of course gain and settings come into play, but I can get pinches on an acoustic, so thats not what I'm talking about here. Out of the pickups I mentioned above, Seymour Duncan Blackouts do the best job, seconded by dimarzio D activators....
So, any more suggestions?
 

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Funny I see this both ways.

I can pinch a nylon stringed acoustic.

But as soon as read this EMG 81 popped into my head.

Non-Active. I would say all the usual suspects Distortion, Custom, Crunchlab, etc.
 
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Proper technique is key, but sometimes certain pickups have spikes or dips in certain frequencies, which combined with harmonics on the right notes can have some pretty cool results, especially with effects that have similar spikes or dips.

I find a lot of paf variants as well as play ons and variants of the Dimarzio Paf Pro have really cool harmonic results. Both when using pinch harmonics and not. But every quality pickup does something well in quality hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Funny I see this both ways.

I can pinch a nylon stringed acoustic.

But as soon as read this EMG 81 popped into my head.

Non-Active. I would say all the usual suspects Distortion, Custom, Crunchlab, etc.
Another Geoff from Houston tx, with an answer I was looking for?
Touché sir
 

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Dream Crusher
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Dimarzio Evo.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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If anything, I'd say a LOWER output pickup would give better results. Too much magnetic string pull will choke off notes, especially some of the weaker harmonics. Maybe a Pearly Gates in the bridge? It was, after all, developed for Billy Gibbons, who is the undisputed king of pinch harmonics.
 

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Another Geoff from Houston tx, with an answer I was looking for?
Touché sir
Ha thought that was pretty funny myself.

Honestly I've been a fan of the S/D distortion since around '86.

Funny that guys like Ola and Keith Merrow have adopted it recently as well.

Well balanced and high output though some don't like the ceramic "sterility" it gives.

I've got to agree with the PAF's also. Not sure they're the best with super hi-gain. Lo-Med gain I love how they sing.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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He asked a legitimate question, I agree that it's possible on any pickup, but there are some pickups that sound better for pinch harmonics, just like there are pickups that sound better for any application. I would largely say for the style you are probably going for ceramic beats alnico. Although for hair metal style pinch harmonics Alnico is equally valid.

Evo is the most screaming beast of a pickup I have ever used, it would be the ideal pickup if it had a little less bass (perhaps it is time to try the tight control?). One of my favorites. You most often see it in basswood, but it is fucking insane in mahogany. :agreed: I find that pickups with a medium amount of resistance (17k and under) tend to do them best, since you want a somewhat dry/tight response. I'm not a big fan of the fizzy pinch harmonics you get on "squishier" feeling pickups, pickups like the Super 3 (which I kind of think sucks in general), just have obnoxiously compressed pinch harmonics. I'm a fan of the 81 in general, but I think most passives sound better for pinch harmonics. IMO, they are something that benefits from less compression.

There are a ton of pickups that do them well though. Bill Lawrence l500xl is a great choice as well.

Also, since you are from Texas, I presume you listen to Warbeast? Best pinch harmonics on a record in who knows how long.

 

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If anything, I'd say a LOWER output pickup would give better results. Too much magnetic string pull will choke off notes, especially some of the weaker harmonics. Maybe a Pearly Gates in the bridge? It was, after all, developed for Billy Gibbons, who is the undisputed king of pinch harmonics.
Interesting.

Darren what do you think of Pearly Gates as a neck pick-up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
He asked a legitimate question, I agree that it's possible on any pickup, but there are some pickups that sound better for pinch harmonics, just like there are pickups that sound better for any application. I would largely say for the style you are probably going for ceramic beats alnico. Although for hair metal style pinch harmonics Alnico is equally valid.

Evo is the most screaming beast of a pickup I have ever used, it would be the ideal pickup if it had a little less bass (perhaps it is time to try the tight control?). One of my favorites. You most often see it in basswood, but it is fucking insane in mahogany. :agreed: I find that pickups with a medium amount of resistance (17k and under) tend to do them best, since you want a somewhat dry/tight response. I'm not a big fan of the fizzy pinch harmonics you get on "squishier" feeling pickups, pickups like the Super 3 (which I kind of think sucks in general), just have obnoxiously compressed pinch harmonics. I'm a fan of the 81 in general, but I think most passives sound better for pinch harmonics. IMO, they are something that benefits from less compression.

There are a ton of pickups that do them well though. Bill Lawrence l500xl is a great choice as well.

Also, since you are from Texas, I presume you listen to Warbeast? Best pinch harmonics on a record in who knows how long.

WARBEAST - Cryogenic Thawout - YouTube
:metal: i do now! thanks for the detailed response!

If anything, I'd say a LOWER output pickup would give better results. Too much magnetic string pull will choke off notes, especially some of the weaker harmonics. Maybe a Pearly Gates in the bridge? It was, after all, developed for Billy Gibbons, who is the undisputed king of pinch harmonics.
yeah i guess that makes since with passives, just like how you get a larger/clearer pinch harmonic response when you lower the pickup from the strings
 

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Taco Six-Niner
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I've got a Full Shred and I can rip them all day, and that pickup kicks ass for everything else as well.
 

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I found using the mid boost eq on my pod made the emg in james' ibby go from awesome to full 'Adam D' squeals. It also made it cut the mix like a mother lover as James will confirm. So I'd say technique and amp settings (mids) will help greatly.
 
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