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SPEEEEED HOOOOLES!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, here's the dealio.

I've been using EMG pups for YEARS now, but I'm never happy with the tone I get from my neck pickup no matter what I do. I've tried the 81, 85 and 60 in every position and both 9 and 18v, but nothing makes me happy. 85 and 81 both sound good in the bridge, but the neck is lacking. 81 in the neck is better than the 85 (for me) But I'd really like to have something that's just a little rounder than the bridge, but something that isn't just 100% flub. I just don't want "that EMG neck pickup sound"

I've always wanted to try some different pickups, since the ONLY pups I've ever used have been stock Ibanez INFs and EMGs and I've been looking around at a few of the "Tried and True" combos that people seem to swear by, and thought, "well, why not".

-JB/59'
-Crunchlab/Liquifire
-D-Activators
-Blackouts (Least appealing option, steering away form actives)

I'd be willing to try BKP's if they weren't so expensive. Same deal with Nordstrand and Lundgren. There's also the Jon Schaffer "ice buckers", but they're equally cost prohibitive, so I won't be buying any of those.

Advice and comments about these pickups is really what I'm after. Personal experience with each is a major bonus. The guitar they're gonna be going in is an Ibanez RGT42DX. Maple/Walnut Neck-thru with mahogany wings. You guys are welcome to make suggestions as well, of course. These are just a few things are are not EMG that seem to be highly praised across the board.

Thoughts?
 

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Premium Member
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4,657 Posts
You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't try out a Duncan Jazz. I always prefer the JB/Jazz combo over JB/59. I'm not a huge 59 fan.
 

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Les Paul Nut
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8,077 Posts
Duncan jazz in the neck is great, bridge, I lilke JB, Invader or the Custom
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Wirelessly posted :)metal:: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Custom + Jazz = WINNING.
 

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Serious Bedroom Guitarist
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Wirelessly posted :)metal:: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Custom + Jazz = WINNING.
+1 on custom in bridge, I'm also looking for a good match in neck. How would you compare jazz to 59?
 

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Uses more gain than you.
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Wirelessly posted (G2 The Googlinator: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_7; en-us) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Safari/530.17 Skyfire/2.0)

Depending on what you tune to, I really like the Full Shred set from Duncan for low tunings.

Dimarzios are a whole different ballgame. The Liquifire is great, not sold on the Crunchlab yet. Never liked the D-acts much.
 

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Super Moderator
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8,927 Posts
If you like the EMG-81 tone in the bridge, I wouldn't recommend going with a JB. I recommend either a Duncan Distortion or Custom paired with a Jazz. Personally, I think the Distortion is a little more "81-like", but that's just me. Either one sounds good. You might find that a JB gets a little wooly in the low mids compared to what you are used to.
 

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NSLALP
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13,286 Posts
+1 Distortion + Jazz. :agreed:

P.S.: SS.org is full of cheap Bareknuckles... I snagged a set of 7-string Cold Sweats by trading/selling two SD pickups and tossing like $20. If you go that route... lots of options.
 

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Premium Member
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3,930 Posts
+1 on not using JB for a metal guitar. Jazz neck is darn good! I'll be replacing the bridge pup in my RGA pretty soon.
 

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Registered
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The JB in my ESP is great for metal. It's got really great clarity when playing high-gain stuff (works great for thrash IMO). The 59' in the neck is great too.

Another neck pickup I'd check out is the Dimarzio Air Norton. It sounds awesome in my Ibanez S540LTD, and IMO has better cleans than the 59'. That might have to do with the other differences between the guitars, though (neck-through vs bolt-on, alder vs mahogany, 24 frets vs 22 etc).

Tone Zone/Air Norton is a good combo too.
 

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Slow Money
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14,612 Posts
I fucking hate the distortion, but i hate the 81 too. You could always try a deactivator in the bridge since its dimarzio taking a crack at a passive 81. For the neck, just, dont get that lol. Id go with like a duncan 59 (maybe a jazz if you want reaallly fluid but it sounds like that might be a bit much for you), or a dimarzio anniversary paf.
-1. :nono: JB's are metal as hell, just depends on what wood they're in and what the rest of your gear is, like always.
No, hes right. Jacksons and Ibanez have no place in rock, metal, or shred either. GTFO Poopstradamus!
 

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Premium Member
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3,930 Posts
-1. :nono: JB's are metal as hell, just depends on what wood they're in and what the rest of your gear is, like always.
Aye, noted. I figured that because my guitar was similar to the RGT (25.5, mahogany body, maple neck, rosewood board) with the only real difference being the maple cap on mine. I could never get a punishing metal sound out of the distortion but, more of a hard rock/classic rock sound. Definitely not a metal sound. :shrug: EQ issues or ymmv?
 

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Slow Money
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14,612 Posts
Aye, noted. I figured that because my guitar was similar to the RGT (25.5, mahogany body, maple neck, rosewood board) with the only real difference being the maple cap on mine. I could never get a punishing metal sound out of the distortion but, more of a hard rock/classic rock sound. Definitely not a metal sound. :shrug: EQ issues or ymmv?
Oh, that sounded a little more generalized, like for any metal guitar ever, instead of for making this axe into a metal guitar.

Whatever, primo opportunity for me to harass the shit out of soop :lol:

But yeah, you can get some very berry metal tones out of the JB, but probably not the style youre looking for. Whats his fuck from LoG uses them, and even if singerface annoys the shit out of me, they got some pretty bitchin tones early on. For his application though, youre probably right about it not being the pickup for him :agreed:
 

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Premium Member
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3,930 Posts
Oh, that sounded a little more generalized, like for any metal guitar ever, instead of for making this axe into a metal guitar.

Whatever, primo opportunity for me to harass the shit out of soop :lol:

But yeah, you can get some very berry metal tones out of the JB, but probably not the style youre looking for. Whats his fuck from LoG uses them, and even if singerface annoys the shit out of me, they got some pretty bitchin tones early on. For his application though, youre probably right about it not being the pickup for him :agreed:
Sometimes I'm just a wanker :lol: I didn't specify :(
 
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