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Resident Winger Overlord
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so, the past couple of years or so, I've been going thru different passive pickups. some I've liked, some not as much, but also, its been dependent of which guitars they're in. without going thru the list of different pickups and hunks of firewood they've gone into, ill say that my main guitar, which is my Warmoth, is the guitar I'm thinking abut going back to the 81 for.
the guitar is a hunk of swamp ash, with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard. OFR naturally.
a bit of background on the guitar... originally i had built an all maple flame body for it, and used this warmoth neck. then i decided to have warmoth build a body for me. soloist.
the first pickup to go into it was a Lundgren m6, which i loved in the original maple body, but sounded like a single coil when i put it in swamp ash. next i tried a JB. didn't like it at all. not sure what to say about that one other than...just...no.
now I'm onto an Evo, which I'm liking the best and pairs well with the yjm fury in the neck, but still, it just seems to have this roundness to it.
I'm starting to think the guitar itself just has a really loose bottom end to it that seems to just come thru with every pickup I've tried. I really like a tight staccato type low end and crushing sort of tone which i know the emg delivers, however, I'm afraid of getting that stale emg lead tone. I'm wondering tho, if this guitar would actually work well with the 81.
since its a direct mount, every pickup i try i have to drill threads and basically ruin its resale value, which is a huge turnoff to trying new stuff, and after 3 pickups I'm kind of meh about it.

any advice for me? I'm lost.
 

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Don't drill out your pickups man. I have screws that I use for direct mounting, I can hook you up with a set if you cover the postage. They're small enough to fit in the hole of any standard pickup without ruining the thread. I have them in 1/2 inch and 5/16 length, they're stainless steel so they won't corrode.

Also, I've started trying old style EMGs again as well as some of the X series models and I'm kinda digging them. I picked up an 81, 85x, 60a and 60ax and they're all pretty groovy.


 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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4,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah man could you send me a couple? 1/2 will work.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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4,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The other option is to just use a ring and tape it to the guitar to try stuff
 

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Well if you're gonna install pickups anyway, may as well just use proper screws. Took me ages to source them but I finally got a supplier who sells them to me in lots of 100 so I can use them on guitars I repair or own and also selling them as a spare. Send me a pm with your details and I'll get it sorted for you.
 

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Premium Member
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893 Posts
One can never go wrong with an 81. I didn't really like the X series EMGs tho. As far as passives go, my favorites for death metal black metal thrash etc. are the ceramic BK warpig, miracle man, and SD black winter. Back to active, SD blackouts are cool too, insane pinch harmonics. That said, this thread is reminding me that I have an old LTD loaded with invaders that I need to replace with an 81/60 combo ;)
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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4,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One can never go wrong with an 81. I didn't really like the X series EMGs tho. As far as passives go, my favorites for death metal black metal thrash etc. are the ceramic BK warpig, miracle man, and SD black winter. Back to active, SD blackouts are cool too, insane pinch harmonics. That said, this thread is reminding me that I have an old LTD loaded with invaders that I need to replace with an 81/60 combo ;)
I think the classic 81 is great. i played them for years. I guess i just wanted something that was a bit more versatile, but looking at all the available pickups on the market, its overwhelming. and i don't have the kind of money it takes to try all sorts of different shit. i know that i love the distortion pu in my homemade guitar, and won't swap that, but as far as my warmoth, i just get the feeling the 81 will kick ass. i also don't want to be stuck with a one trick pony either. i like to play lots of different stuff from DM to hair metal to whatever....
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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6,916 Posts
I think the classic 81 is great. i played them for years. I guess i just wanted something that was a bit more versatile, but looking at all the available pickups on the market, its overwhelming. and i don't have the kind of money it takes to try all sorts of different shit. i know that i love the distortion pu in my homemade guitar, and won't swap that, but as far as my warmoth, i just get the feeling the 81 will kick ass. i also don't want to be stuck with a one trick pony either. i like to play lots of different stuff from DM to hair metal to whatever....
:agreed: Versatility is the ONLY thing that stops me having EMG's in all my guitars. That and the fact that in some guitars they are super thin. These days I wanna be able to coil split, play dirty blues licks, roll the volume off for different flavours etc... none of which you can do with EMG's. But, if you just want a riff/shred machine where you're gonna be playing nothing but high gain and the occasional generic 'metal cleans', they simply can't be beat.

I'm on a huge Seymour Duncan Distortion binge at the moment, and as an ex-EMG advocate they were a smooth transition. They have the clarity and power and the slightly compressed feel (though nowhere near to the same degree), but are more versatile. I highly recommend you give one a try in that guitar before going through the rigmarole of changing it all to active.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
:agreed: Versatility is the ONLY thing that stops me having EMG's in all my guitars. That and the fact that in some guitars they are super thin. These days I wanna be able to coil split, play dirty blues licks, roll the volume off for different flavours etc... none of which you can do with EMG's. But, if you just want a riff/shred machine where you're gonna be playing nothing but high gain and the occasional generic 'metal cleans', they simply can't be beat.

I'm on a huge Seymour Duncan Distortion binge at the moment, and as an ex-EMG advocate they were a smooth transition. They have the clarity and power and the slightly compressed feel (though nowhere near to the same degree), but are more versatile. I highly recommend you give one a try in that guitar before going through the rigmarole of changing it all to active.
yeah I've thought about trying a distortion. although i hated the jb, which is basically an alnico distortion?
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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yeah I've thought about trying a distortion. although i hated the jb, which is basically an alnico distortion?
Ostensibly, yes. But it's a really different pickup in practice. It's got a bigger bottom end, but is tighter. It doesn't "flub" like the JB can, it "chunks", in that real "punch to the gut" region. It also has a more clinical, 'hi-def' top end, vs the JB's more hairy/woolly top end which can be hard to dial out. It really cuts, but isn't harsh.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ostensibly, yes. But it's a really different pickup in practice. It's got a bigger bottom end, but is tighter. It doesn't "flub" like the JB can, it "chunks", in that real "punch to the gut" region. It also has a more clinical, 'hi-def' top end, vs the JB's more hairy/woolly top end which can be hard to dial out. It really cuts, but isn't harsh.
yeah man thats what i hated about the jb! the flub... and it was over the top in this guitar which has a really loose low end to it. every pickup i try seems to have some degree of flub
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
swamp ash is a funny wood. but i think once i find the rite pickup, its really gonna sound awesome. i figured the thinness and stale behavior of the 81 would be perfect for the round low and insane liveliness of the guitar. its like, it needs to be tamed or something
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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yeah man thats what i hated about the jb! the flub... and it was over the top in this guitar which has a really loose low end to it. every pickup i try seems to have some degree of flub
Are you looking for high output specifically? For guitars like that you want to find a really clinical pickup. Something that doesn't have an awful lot of depth and is quite cut-n-dry, but without sterility. It's a tall order but the ones that come to mind are:

Seymour Duncan TB6
Seymour Duncan Full Shred (not as high output as the rest, but VERY tight, very 'rolled off' low end)
DiMarzio D'Activator (a touch bland/sterile, but makes any 'mud' disappear)
DiMarzio Crunch Lab (super clinical, tight, chunky, and clear, great note definition)
DiMarzio Evo (very hot and trebly, almost too much, but in a guitar that's being tubby it balances it out)

Also, the Entwistle HDN's are worth a mention. FWIW I've gone off mine. For the price of postage you're quite welcome to have it.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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4,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know people say the Evo can sound ice picky, but in my guitar, it doesn't at all. In fact, it sounds like it's almost a neck pickup to me. Real springy and warm. Too much imo
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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Are you installing these things upside-down? :lol:
I don't get the JB hate either. I love that pickup for practically everything. JB + assertive picking = the clearest and most ballsy tone available.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Are you installing these things upside-down? :lol:
I don't get the JB hate either. I love that pickup for practically everything. JB + assertive picking = the clearest and most ballsy tone available.
haha youde think so.. but alas no.
its just that the swamp ash is sooo resonant with the ofr, that it ends up having this really spongy low end, so everything sounds woofy. i may be interested in the entwistle, but may i ask why you aren't using it?
something is just telling me emg.
fwiw, my buddy jim absolutely loves the evo. he says its the best sounding guitar he's ever heard, but for me theres still something off in the low
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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It might just be the guitar then :shrug:

As for the Entwistle; it was giving me loads of jip live. Was way hotter than any other pickups I had so when I changed to that guitar I had to keep going over to change my settings or I'd just get squealed at for the entire time I was using it. Too hot, and in too narrow a field. It was majorly anemic, and quite pointy in an unpleasant way. That helps it be an absolutely super-focused pickup, but it had no body or soul.

An 81 would definitely remedy your troubles I think.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It might just be the guitar then :shrug:

As for the Entwistle; it was giving me loads of jip live. Was way hotter than any other pickups I had so when I changed to that guitar I had to keep going over to change my settings or I'd just get squealed at for the entire time I was using it. Too hot, and in too narrow a field. It was majorly anemic, and quite pointy in an unpleasant way. That helps it be an absolutely super-focused pickup, but it had no body or soul.

An 81 would definitely remedy your troubles I think.
thanks for the input man... appreciate it. and thank you for the offer on the entwistle, but I'm pretty sure now what i gotta do, and its 81. which unfortunately means ill have to x the yjm fury in the neck for an active single, and put a switch in, because I'm not sure if i can use a push pull with emg solder less? have you played with the emg singles by chance?
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Do it, the 81 in my Explorer is slaughtering every other guitar I have. Like, not even close. These are popular sophisticated person organic passives too. I'm going to move everything back to EMGs soon.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Do it, the 81 in my Explorer is slaughtering every other guitar I have. Like, not even close. These are popular sophisticated person organic passives too. I'm going to move everything back to EMGs soon.
i am brosef. to be honest, I've never had a guitar that was as alive as this one, so i guess all the years playing 81 in dead guitars really turned me away from them. no that i didn't love them still, but i just wanted to explore the passive genre, which is so fucking overloaded with options its kind of annoying. gimme classic 81 tone
 
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