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Most versatile pickup combo for an H-H guitar


Anyparktos

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Hello people,nice to be here,i just registered.I've been thinking of buying a new guitar and since i'm not made of money and this is my third guitar(the last one was 7 years ago)i'd like it to be as versatile as possible,from metal to blues.What i really liked for price and money was the cort kx-custom : http://www.cortguitars.com/_webapp_2726493/KX-CUSTOM

 

Unfortunately,the local cort dealer(which by the way is a great shop because of lifetime free service&set-ups)doesn't have that model in stock and they usually order new guitars like twice per year so i can't order it from them unless i want to wait for something close to 6 months.What they do,however,have is this:

 

http://www.cortguitars.com/_webapp_2726495/KX1Q#

 

This is basically the same guitar but with emg hz passives instead of seymour duncans JB/'59 set-up.I came to the conclusion that i should buy it and have them replace emg passives(which people tend to hate passionately,apparently,as i've seen in countless threads in countless forums) with seymour duncans.

 

The point is: Does a combo of a pearly gates in the neck and a JB in the bridge on a mahogany body-mahogany set-neck guiatr with push-pull coil splits make sense to you?Moreover,is it really worth the extra money?If you have any suggestion on a better pickup combo please do tell(although i should say that i didn't appreciate the Jazz that much).

 

Note: I haven't checked out dimarzios that much,it's just that i've liked every single seymour duncan i've heard so they are the ones i checked.

 

Note2:I'm thinking of "moving" the emg passives to my old guitar when i have the money and mood for repairing it(fret problems and other stuff,also has way worse pickups than anything made by emg,for sure) so it's not that i'm gonna be wasting my money by switching pickups on a brand new guitar.

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Wow,that's versatility indeed...I have some questions: Basically,if you install a triple shot you don't need a push/pull pot?

 

Also,can you name the model number for the new "hot" ones?Because i didn't find them on sd's website...

What's the difference with the old ones?More output?(as in the "hot" icon for high output on the website?)

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Wow,that's versatility indeed...I have some questions: Basically,if you install a triple shot you don't need a push/pull pot?


Also,can you name the model number for the new "hot" ones?Because i didn't find them on sd's website...
What's the difference with the old ones?More output?(as in the "hot" icon for high output on the website?)

 

 

Yes, and yes.

 

http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/prails_hot/

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They're also only for the bridge...So,i guess you recommend an shpr-1 for the neck and an shpr-2 for the bridge,both with a triple shot system?

By the way thanks a lot for the suggestions.Now i'll probably try to find them for a reasonable price,i guess.I fear that i'm overstretching the budget so i'd appreciate any slightly cheaper ideas,just to have an alternative.Although i guess for versatility p-rails would be the best choice.

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They're also only for the bridge...So,i guess you recommend an shpr-1 for the neck and an shpr-2 for the bridge,both with a triple shot system?

By the way thanks a lot for the suggestions.Now i'll probably try to find them for a reasonable price,i guess.I fear that i'm overstretching the budget so i'd appreciate any slightly cheaper ideas,just to have an alternative.Although i guess for versatility p-rails would be the best choice.

 

 

In the UK, Dangleberry sell Tonerider humbuckers for around

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I have the following in different guitars:

 

P-Rails - traditional set in a 335-ish guitar. Nice for everything from country to blues and rock.

Jazz/JB - in a LP style guitar with lots of push-pulls. Very versatile passive pickups.

Blackouts [Mick Thompson signature] - I just got these and they really surprised me. Crank them and you're into metal heaven with great low chug and searing highs. Roll them down and they cop a great jazz and even some country tonz. They are active and the most expensive of the lot.

 

If you're into metal, the Blackouts for sure - Jazz/JB if you're on a budget as they can be found used on places like Craigslist. A new set of P-Rails will cost you close to the cost of the Blackouts and probably won't do metal as well as the others, but does everything else very well.

 

That's my 2 cents.

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So...I've heard some samples of the p-rails,really liked almost all of them but a metal sample i found sounded a bit too muddy...Given that i don't have that much money to spare and apparently i can't find them in Greece(i've asked a few places) they're likely out of the question.Pity though,their tone is SO awesome in everything else except for metal!About the other suggestions:

-The jazz sounded a bit too much on the treble side,a bit thin and not warm enough...I like the JB very much though,that's why i originally thought of combining it with the pearly gates.

-The blackouts are active(which will mean extra "digging" in the body of the guitar),almost as expensive as the p-rails and too much on the "metal" side.I probably couldn't afford their cost plus installment,it would be close to the p-rails.

-@Crunchtime : Are you sure the 59s low output will work well in the bridge?I mean,i'll probably play some metal with the guitar too.I like their tone on the neck though.Smooth!

 

I haven't checked out the dangleberrys yet.

I think i'm pretty much between 59/JB or Pearly gates/JB(JBs are bridge obviously).Which combo would you guys prefer?

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The gibson 498t is the most versatile bridge pickup that I have ever come across. It excels at rock but can can handle metal quite well too. Actually, come to think of it, the 57 classic plus is like a better version of the 498t so id go with that :thu:

 

As for the neck, I have a guitar with a Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II which is splittable and amazingly versatile so id recommend that.

 

Not a fan of the JB or Jazz at all, both are too bright for my liking.

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I have two things to say.

 

Thing 1: I question your need for the triple shot. In my experience, dual humbuckers, with two push-pulls (which split the coils independently so you can mix and match, like bridge bucker and beck single, etc.) is a ridiculously versatile setup. In a mahogany set-neck you get LP tones, Tele tones, and when you've got em both split, and in the middle position on the toggle, its pretty durn Strat-quacky. That's all I would ever need at least.

 

Thing 2: Don't get a JB. It's too love/hate. It also is not good for any kind of metal other than 80s hair stuff, to me at least. Not a rich enough low end, to harsh of a hi/mid thing going on. I'm not even gonna recommend a pickup to cloud your thinking because all the recommendations are pretty decent so far. Duncans rock, Jazz sound {censored}ing killer in the neck. That is a good idea. Do get a jazz (or 59 even) for the neck. I love my jazz neckbucker. :thu: But yeah, P-Rails, 59, Toneriders, whatever... don't get the JB for the bridge. Do get someting high output though. 15k or more I would say if you wanna pull of some convincing metal/punk, there's always splitting and the volume knob for lighter gain schtuff.

 

Ok good luck, and remember, no JB! Some love it, swear by it, but it's just so damned specific... take my word for it. Hell, maybe you'd love it, but I would be wary of the thing.

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First,i'd like to thank you all for the warm welcome!

 

Second,some thoughts on the suggestions:

The guitar i've got my eye on is a 1 vol,1 tone with push/pull so i have no ability for separate splitters and/or series/parallel if i don't do any routing which makes a triple shot better for such jobs...Without it,the only thing i can do is split-both or humbucker-both.Also,as i said,i wouldn't do actives for the same reason(routing) so the emg 81 is out of the question too(they're not 4-conductor too so i can't split them!).

 

I can't find any tone charts for the gibson atm.I guess i'll search some more.Aren't they Angus' signatures?

 

So right now i'm confused.I'm thinking for the neck any one of the vintage duncans(pg,59,alnico II pro,even the seth sh-55) and i'm completely confused about the bridge...What you said about JBs makes sense,since i did a "revision" on its sound...I checked the high output duncans but haven't come to a conclusion yet.What's your opinion on the duncan custom(sh-5)?

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I have two things to say.


Thing 1: I question your need for the triple shot. In my experience, dual humbuckers, with two push-pulls (which split the coils independently so you can mix and match, like bridge bucker and beck single, etc.) is a ridiculously versatile setup. In a mahogany set-neck you get LP tones, Tele tones, and when you've got em both split, and in the middle position on the toggle, its pretty durn Strat-quacky. That's all I would ever need at least.


Thing 2: Don't get a JB. It's too love/hate. It also is not good for any kind of metal other than 80s hair stuff, to me at least. Not a rich enough low end, to harsh of a hi/mid thing going on. I'm not even gonna recommend a pickup to cloud your thinking because all the recommendations are pretty decent so far. Duncans rock, Jazz sound {censored}ing killer in the neck. That is a good idea. Do get a jazz (or 59 even) for the neck. I love my jazz neckbucker.
:thu:
But yeah, P-Rails, 59, Toneriders, whatever... don't get the JB for the bridge. Do get someting high output though. 15k or more I would say if you wanna pull of some convincing metal/punk, there's always splitting and the volume knob for lighter gain schtuff.


Ok good luck, and remember, no JB! Some love it, swear by it, but it's just so damned specific... take my word for it. Hell, maybe you'd love it, but I would be wary of the thing.

 

Wow, I'm shocked to hear ANYONE say that. Really. Because the JB is literally the highest-selling humbucker on the planet and is used by everyone from Jeff Beck to Dave Mustaine to Ty Tabor to Steve Marker. It's one of the most ubiquitous pickups in the world and I can't even imagine what you'd want a humbucker to do that it couldn't handle. The specific pairing of a JB in the bridge position and a Jazz in the neck is so universally acknowledged that SD sells it as a set. Weird that the complaint you'd have is that it's too specific to "hair metal" (??) when I think a more legitimate complaint would be that it's all over the place, to the point of being nearly generic. Also, yes, it is high-output for a passive and it gets a lot of hi's and mid's. Generally, that's what people want in a bridge position pickup, which is what makes it a bridge position pickup. If you want deeper lows or a more mellow sound, you've got the neck.

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Wow, I'm shocked to hear ANYONE say that. Really. Because the JB is literally the highest-selling humbucker on the planet and is used by everyone from Jeff Beck to Dave Mustaine to Ty Tabor to Steve Marker. It's one of the most ubiquitous pickups in the world and I can't even imagine what you'd want a humbucker to do that it couldn't handle. The specific pairing of a JB in the bridge position and a Jazz in the neck is so universally acknowledged that SD sells it as a set. Weird that the complaint you'd have is that it's too specific to "hair metal" (??) when I think a more legitimate complaint would be that it's all over the place, to the point of being nearly generic. Also, yes, it is high-output for a passive and it gets a lot of hi's and mid's. Generally, that's what people want in a bridge position pickup, which is what makes it a bridge position pickup. If you want deeper lows or a more mellow sound, you've got the neck.

 

First off, I like a disagreement with no childish remarks, and the like. So hats off. :wave:

 

Ok, to retort:

 

Critically acclaimed, and somewhat beloved the world over, as they may be, I still frown upon them. I guess maybe generic is a better term. I just don't like the thing, and I'm not alone. I find that hi/mid honk to be overbearing and harsh. I've had em in a few guitars, mostly LPs, and just finished selling them off.

 

Perhaps that mid honk is usable in many applications, but it comes off to me as a "jack of all trades, master of none." I think I called it specific, because although you could use it for anything, it really only soars in certain categories. I mentioned hair metal as an example for the type of distorted tones it lends itself to. As far as cleans, I dunno, I really didn't like it clean.

 

In my experience, something with a fuller low end is infinitely more versatile. The Alt 8 is particularly nice. I've heard it's even the JB wind with an AlNiCo 8 magnet, don't know if that's true, but if it is, that was enough to sweeten it but keep the balls. I also think the Full Shred is pretty damned nice. Ballsy, can handle metal or punk with ease, but cleans up like a champ. The neck version is tasty as well, have em in my Fernandes (visible in the link in my sig)

 

The Customs are great too, again, lots of output, but a more balanced EQ. I think it's just easier to get nice fizz-free gain tones with more balanced pickups.

 

Anyhoo, I swear I'm not just talkin sheeit to talk {censored}. I love SD, fave pickups by a mile, but I just didn't get along with the JB. Works great for some, not I. I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. This gets brought up a lot. Hopefully someone will have m'back. But yeah, if the JB worked for you then hells yeah, :thu: enjoy that little guy. It's usually a love/hate thing.

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No, no childish insults here. I appreciate friendly discussion and gentlemen may disagree so thanks to you, also. :) I'm not even saying you're wrong, I'm just saying you have an uncommon opinion and there's nothing wrong with that. I've never owned a JB but I've played one in a friend's guitar and found them to be a lot like what you're describing... you and I heard the same pickup but I suppose it's all about what you're going after. Back in my humbucker days, I did have an HSH Strat that had a Screamin' Demon in the bridge position... don't let the name fool you. It was actually warmer with a PAF-type voicing. THAT might be one to look out for if you think the JB is too shrill. :)

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No, no childish insults here. I appreciate friendly discussion and gentlemen may disagree so thanks to you, also.
:)
I'm not even saying you're wrong, I'm just saying you have an uncommon opinion and there's nothing wrong with that. I've never owned a JB but I've played one in a friend's guitar and found them to be a lot like what you're describing... you and I heard the same pickup but I suppose it's all about what you're going after. Back in my humbucker days, I did have an HSH Strat that had a Screamin' Demon in the bridge position... don't let the name fool you. It was actually warmer with a PAF-type voicing. THAT might be one to look out for if you think the JB is too shrill.
:)

 

 

Yeah, I just found that after awhile, I got sick of it.

 

I haven't tried a screamin demon, be I'd like to. SD has so many pickups that a lot of them are total sleepers that get overlooked, but really are great.

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-@Crunchtime : Are you sure the 59s low output will work well in the bridge?I mean,i'll probably play some metal with the guitar too.I like their tone on the neck though.Smooth!


 

 

Yes, Mark Morton plays the 59. There is a bridge and neck model. Some people prefer a pickup that's not super hot.

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When shopping for a bridge humbucker, IMHO, you should be looking for something that has a midrange spike and a nice, clear and crisp high end.

 

When playing in a band setting, the mid-range spike is what you need to put your solo's into the frequency slot that isn't occupied by other instruments. This is what they mean by "cutting through the mix." If you're just playing by yourself, then the mid-range can come across as unwanted, but when playing with others it's exactly what you should be looking for.

 

As far as high-end goes - you can always cut high frequencies with your tone knob, but there is no way to add them short of an outboard EQ. High-frequencies are your friend - especially for your bridge pickup.

 

I have a JB and think it is a very musical pickup. Lots of output, hits the sweet spot for soloing and not muddy.

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When shopping for a bridge humbucker, IMHO, you should be looking for something that has a midrange spike and a nice, clear and crisp high end.


When playing in a band setting, the mid-range spike is what you need to put your solo's into the frequency slot that isn't occupied by other instruments. This is what they mean by "cutting through the mix." If you're just playing by yourself, then the mid-range can come across as unwanted, but when playing with others it's exactly what you should be looking for.


As far as high-end goes - you can always cut high frequencies with your tone knob, but there is no way to add them short of an outboard EQ. High-frequencies are your friend - especially for your bridge pickup.


I have a JB and think it is a very musical pickup. Lots of output, hits the sweet spot for soloing and not muddy.

 

 

That's pretty much my feeling about the JB as well. That high-mid spike turns off a lot of people when they're playing by themselves, but in a band mix that pickup really comes alive. That's the reason why so many players use the JB and it's offered stock in so many guitars.

 

That said, I think both the Jazz and the 59 aren't the best combination with that pickup. I personally prefer the Alnico II with the JB because it's warmer; a less expensive version of the Seth Lover. It only sounds like Slash if you crank it through a Marshall Jubilee.

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First off...welcome to the board!

 

The thing about pickups is that each person can get different things out of them. Some people hate EMGs (any and all of them), JBs, 59s, and the list goes on. I love EMGs (passive and active) and your typical JB/59 set up, but that's because I can make them sing; those who don't like them, can't make them sound good to their own ears. It's really that simple.....it's all in your own ears and not necessarily in the pup. There are pup combos that people love, but I hate because I can't get a good sound out of them (you can put Hot Rails or any twinblade buckers into that camp for me....I like the idea of them, but I can't get a tone out the one guitar I have with them that I like). To use the typical example, you could put a crappy guitar with lousy pups in it and hand it to (insert your favorite guitar god here) and they will make that guitar sound great.....tone is in the hands, the amp/effects and the ability of the player. If you like the sound, then that's what matters first and foremost.

 

All that being said, if you're looking at swapping pups, the first place I would start is looking at what your favorite players use (keep in mind that amps and effects can seriously color the tone of the pups), but it's a good place to start. Incidentally, the demo on Cort's website (the Tone King...what a misnomer that is!) is awful....what a terrible guy to use as a demo of the gear.

 

A JB/59 set up will handle anything from blues to metal as you're looking for, but so will a lot of other combinations. Dimarzio has some great choices for pups as well.

 

All in all, if you dig the guitar you mentioned, get it and play round with what tones you can get out of it as is through your gear, you may be surprised and actually like the stock pups. If not, well them you're off to pup swap hell (or heaven).

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I was going to say JB/Jazz, but JB/59 works well too for a bassier, fuller pickup at the neck. Get a push-pull for coil splitting and you have a lot of sounds. I also have used a hybrid pickup with a coil from the JB and a coil from the Custom 5 and it sounded a lot more balanced.

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