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Mutes the Meat
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10,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I come back to the world of guitar gear and suddenly there's too many pickup options and I'm confused because I haven't kept up. Has the Djent-Effect just led to everyone having a signature pickup or something?

I'm looking for a different flavor. I've been using DiMarzio Nortons as my go to for a long time. I'm thinking of maybe switching back over to Duncans.

I just want a nice focused, articulate, CHUNK in the bridge position and a nice full smooth sound in the neck position. Marketing words on pickup websites don't tell me much and clips usually suck.

Am I just looking for a JB/Jazz or Custom/Jazz or Distorion/Jazz set? You know, the standard pickups that have existed forever...

Is there something new I should be looking at? Is BKP still the darling of the internet?

My current guitars are all basswood.
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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6,916 Posts
It's no secret I swap pickups a lot. And compare them a lot. I've also had a million different guitars and try to objectively match pickups to the guitars inherent voicing.

So my two years of constant pickup swapping have boiled down to this - Suhr Aldrich in the bridge, Duncan 59 neck.

In a 25.5" superstrat that's it, there is no better for me.

Aldrich is the most toneful high output pickup going, there just isnt anything else that sounds as nice whilst ripping your face off.

59, in a 25.5 guitar, has got such awesome articulation and response to pick attack, doesnt bloat up like it can in a Les Paul neck, and matches the output of any hot bridge pickup perfectly.

I've always found Dimarzios just have a sound. They all sound so... dimarzio. Nasal upper mids, tubby low mids, cocked-wah high end, stiff feel...

Duncan are more open, natural sounding.

I'd totally just be using a JB/Distortion too btw as they're also unbeatable all-rounders, but Aldrich just has a certain special something I just cant get from any other pickups. Do it.
 

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Mutes the Meat
Joined
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10,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's no secret I swap pickups a lot. And compare them a lot. I've also had a million different guitars and try to objectively match pickups to the guitars inherent voicing.

So my two years of constant pickup swapping have boiled down to this - Suhr Aldrich in the bridge, Duncan 59 neck.

In a 25.5" superstrat that's it, there is no better for me.

Aldrich is the most toneful high output pickup going, there just isnt anything else that sounds as nice whilst ripping your face off.

59, in a 25.5 guitar, has got such awesome articulation and response to pick attack, doesnt bloat up like it can in a Les Paul neck, and matches the output of any hot bridge pickup perfectly.

I've always found Dimarzios just have a sound. They all sound so... dimarzio. Nasal upper mids, tubby low mids, cocked-wah high end, stiff feel...

Duncan are more open, natural sounding.

I'd totally just be using a JB/Distortion too btw as they're also unbeatable all-rounders, but Aldrich just has a certain special something I just cant get from any other pickups. Do it.
I've noticed the same thing about DiMarzios and is why I am looking for something new. There's a lot of Aldrich love on here... Is there a 7 string version of that?
 

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Mutes the Meat
Joined
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10,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also, in your testing, did you find that the wood made a dramatic difference? Did you test these in basswood guitars?
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
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14,248 Posts
6 or 7 string? Is there any specific kinda tones you go for as a reference? There's literally no hiding what my favourite pickups are, since they're literally the only pickups I own in any of my guitars now :lol: The only time you'd make Blackbirds sound shitty is if your guitar is shitty. I'll smash some MF raw clips together if you give me a reference tone you want.
 

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Mutes the Meat
Joined
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10,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
6 or 7 string? Is there any specific kinda tones you go for as a reference? There's literally no hiding what my favourite pickups are, since they're literally the only pickups I own in any of my guitars now :lol: The only time you'd make Blackbirds sound shitty is if your guitar is shitty. I'll smash some MF raw clips together if you give me a reference tone you want.
6 and 7 string. Good question on reference tone... uhh... Tyr's tone has stood out to me lately. I've started to have trouble telling the difference between one ultra high gain, gated, and produced tone over another. A lot of shit just sounds the same once it gets to the record :shrug:

The tone in your latest clip is 100% not what I go for :lol:
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
Joined
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14,248 Posts
6 and 7 string. Good question on reference tone... uhh... Tyr's tone has stood out to me lately. I've started to have trouble telling the difference between one ultra high gain, gated, and produced tone over another. A lot of shit just sounds the same once it gets to the record :shrug:

The tone in your latest clip is 100% not what I go for :lol:
That's why I asked, as I imagine it wouldn't have been :lol: I'll see what I can do. These things are mega fucking versatile, is all. Like, with the right patch, I can pull of convincing Scorpions style tones, Neil Young, or Clutch. Then on the polar opposite side I can pull Whitechapel and Slipknot out of it :lol: Plus they're fucking gorgeous when clean, especially with the coil splits.
 

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Señor Member
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12,297 Posts
Depends a lot on how you use your 6s and 7s, tbh. As much as I wanted to be an exclusively 7-string player (since it's just a 6-string guitar with another low string added), I can't get around the fact I want to chug that fucker and if I want to play leads, I pickup my guitars that have a thinner neck (meaning 6s). So in my case, I'm more inclined to put my more versatile pickups in the 6-string and something that's chug friendly in the 7-string.

Also worth noting that Dimarzio insists on putting ceramic mags in all their ERG pickups, including 7-string versions of popular AlNiCo pickups. Hence why the 7-string Tone Zone sounds like ass. I'm still a Dimarzio guy but if you want anything besides high output as far as 7-strings go, I'd definitely go with someone else. I've had some luck with using a D-Activator neck in the bridge position, as well as the Abasi neck pickup for more moderate output on a 7 or 8 string, but they still have some of that ceramic bite and compression you can't get around.

The Nortons are a good pickup but I always felt they were a little 'middle of the road'. 'Jack of all trades, master of none' kinda thing. If I was shopping 6-string and wanted something versatile that did metal to hard rock, I'd consider starting at the PAF Pro as my lower output choice, to maybe an Andy Timmons in the middle and either a TZ or an Evo on the high end. Basically overwound Alnico or medium wound ceramic.

As far as SDs, I'm not a JB hater but I've had meh experience with it. EQ and output-wise it's ranked similar to a Tone Zone but everyone I've had sounded like a super overwound ceramic pickup, and it only "worked" in maybe one of a half dozen guitars I tried it in. I've always had great luck with the Distortion though, but that's a grindier, wouldn't say HIGH output pickup but 3/4 of the way there. I've always had good luck with the '59 in the bridge if you want a good clean tone and to let the amp or OD handle pushing the amp into compressing.

Back specifically to 7s, obviously the Blaze or similar set I mentioned before. If you want something that's not "All metal, all the time", the SD Pegasus is a nice overwound Alnico 5 pickup. The Distortion 7-string is pretty mean, you're not gonna get the best clean tones out of it but it's a 10/10 metal pickup and also sounds good through a classic rock/crunch setting as well.

I joked about the Fluences but they're honestly worth a look, if you haven't checked them out before. They're expensive and flavor of the week, but the technology is legit and if you're looking for "versatile" they have two or three 'modes' per pickup that legit turn them into a different pickup.
 

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Premium Member
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13,448 Posts
I think you'll find most people on this site will disagree with you.

If anything, there aren't ENOUGH pickup options. And I say that as someone who absolutely loves his pickups: the Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers.
 
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