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your pickups and your sound description


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alot of discussion usually happens when someone posts a question about pickups.

so why not take the time here and post about your pickups..

brand, type, guitar they reside in, style they suit, sonic impression, likes and dislikes, string guages used (as reference) and your setup (PU height).

you only need to rave on your fave axe, or if you are real talkative do several posts.

this would be a great learning tool for anyone looking to understand the options out there for modding or maximizing thier tone.

let 'er rip

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I'll be honest...I never much got too focused on pickup minutia like some guys do.

I just plug in, and work with the amp 'til I get what I want.


I'm mostly a humbucker player...but I like the raw sound of P90 pickups on some stuff...and once in awhile, I'll even go for the Strat/Tele single coils...though not too often, as I find their tones too bright/brittle for my tastes.


Lately...I'm really diggin' the tones out of the stock Ibanez Artcore pickups!

Very vintage...not too hot (I hate the sound real hot/hyped pickups).


Other than that...I don't get too deep into how many windings there are...the type of wax...the color of the wireetc...etc...etc :D

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com


"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Same here pretty much Miro. I pick the correct guitar and it's stock characteristics to do a certain job or style of music. I think I have only one guitar that has ever even had a pickup change! So I can't contribute much to this kind of thread, although I do think it could be a good resource for guys the like to change pickups for what ever reason.
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Well, this is really subjective. I can see someone with the exact same guitar/pickup configuration feeling entirely different about the tones achieved.


But, my two cents:


I've bought and sold a number of guitars seeking the illusive tones I love (as we probably all have). The pickups I want have to be able to produce some very clean cleans and still hold clarity when getting down and dirty. I don't like mud. I'll get into everything from country to hard rock. I'll play for vocal backup or just sit and solo and try to make the pickups sing.

The Gretsch filtertrons are shockingly great at delivering. I am really amazed at how that big fat hollowbody can sound like it does. Great county style cleans, gritty blues and rockabilly, and surprising sustain and clarity with some dirt. I bought my Gretsch without having played one. I figured I'd risk the $$ buttkicking if I decided to sell it right away. Well, it's a keeper, in spite of that freakin pain in the ass bridge.

The PRS is another great surprise. The PRS #7 pups are a little hotter than the filtertrons but not shrill. They have the right amount of bite. I'm please with the clarity with the distortion dialed up. Very pleasing. A rocknblues guitar to the max. I haven't played much with the cleans yet on that one, but at this point, who cares. Another keeper.

Not to slam anything, because as I said, it's all subjective, but after spending a bunch of $ on three different USA Custom Hamers with a variety of Duncan pickups, I won't go back to them. I found them bland, especially the custom and custom customs. Just not for me I guess. I was never able to coax the tones I wanted out of them and on top of that, the Hamers did not hold their value well even in mint condition. I took a pretty good kicking on those.

Carvin pickups are a value. Carvins are a value in general. You get a lot of bang for the buck. You can beat them with a nice Gretsch, PRS, Les Paul, et al, but you have a tough time beating the value. Someone once told me that they found the Carvin pickups to be flat. I find them to rock. You can go deep into the distortion field with them and pull back for some decent cleans.


This could be an interesting thread. I'd love to hear about the tones of the all the pickup combinations you guys play. By guys I mean guys and gals. You ladies realize that right? You are just one of the guys.



Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Gibson SG: stock pups


The neck (490R) has a really thick tone and sounds great when you roll back the tone. It's my blues pickup


I have mixed opinions about my bridge (498T). It sounds tremendous down low on the neck (power chords), but anything else is thin and lacking. So i see it as a rythm pup and nothing more. I am thinking about swapping it for a '57 Classic plus.

Never argue with an idiot. They'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.





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though discussing pickups can be a subjective affair.

some of that can be cleared up with the added info of setup, guitar and amp or playing style.

that is why i started this thread.

most pickup reviews on HC leave out info that has an effect on the perceptions of the sound.

and the accoustic principle of a guitar has a big influence in the final tone. that is usually left out. but it shouldn't be.

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I love the SD '59 in my Schecter PT Blackjack, esp. with the tone rolled off (also one of the most responsive tone pots I've seen). Its a set neck, solid mahogany body. I like this through our VOX Valvetronix or Peavey Classic 30 amps. Thick and creamy.
Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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I generally like to use the stock PUs of a guitar. I just try to make sure I buy a decent guitar.


After market PUs are too mysterious to me. You can't just swap them in/out of your guitar to determine whether or not you like them.


Once you buy them and fit them into your own axe, you have to trust that they'll make you happy.

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Well, basically, I play Seymour Duncans. I've tried other types, but they don't do it for me. I even tried the nicer Fender stock pickups and then tried some SD Vintage staggered single coils, and wow, was I impressed with the latter.


Right now, though, I'd best describe my sound (using a SD Alnico II Pro in neck and a JB in the bridge) as a cross between Slash/E. Johnson, which is exactly what I was going for, with some metal sounds thrown in. However, this pickup is so weak (7.56k) that I can use it for anything and make it sing. Works well for blues, rock, metal, and even jazzier stuff.


The bridge is more of a bite, sort of a cross with Jeff Beck (gee, I wonder why), Satriani's lead tone, and a nice crunchy metal tone as well. That pickup is also very versatile and depending on the amp, could sound like a charming young lady or a vicious guard dog.

Shut up and play.
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Pick ups mmmmhhh, yes not one i get into in a big way either but the Filterons on my Gretsch are excellent across the board and the SD customs on my Godin LGXT are superb also, amazing clean and good crunch too.

But I would admit to being ignorant on a lot of pups.


Love life, some twists and turns are more painful than others, but love life.....



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Well, I really love the Seymour Duncan lipsticks on my Danelectro baritone (it's one of the Korean ones).


The sound from the Seymour Duncans is, predictably, a lot stronger than the original pups and is quite warm and rich, in a lovely, dark way. If I had a strat type guitar, I'd definitely consider changing the stock single coils to lipsticks, that's how nice these things are.

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here i go.

Gibson burstbucker pro alnico V's

solid mahogany body

10's with average action 2mm at 12th fret

pickups at least 2mm from strings pressed at last fret.

pole pieces fairly level with cover.



chewy tone with no mud.

plenty of attack, you definately can hear the high notes cut through.

no problem with funky cleans, they cut.

all mahogany body is brighter IMHO than maple top.

neck pickup is nice and sweet, it sounds better with the 2mm distance than higher as set from factory.

all of this may have to do with my amp (Digital yammy DG100).

a tube amp may very well respond better with the extra juice from raising the pickups.

in fact i think i will go down and try the Traynor out for a minute.

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Originally posted by Bbach1:

Carvin pickups are a value. Carvins are a value in general. You get a lot of bang for the buck. You can beat them with a nice Gretsch, PRS, Les Paul, et al, but you have a tough time beating the value. Someone once told me that they found the Carvin pickups to be flat. I find them to rock. You can go deep into the distortion field with them and pull back for some decent cleans.

I have Carvin buckers in my Ibanez Destroyer. For me they are just right. Very nice cleans with enough power to rock. And as you said, the price is right. My Strat has their single coils, and there again, they have the right amount of power to really rock, but still sound good clean. I really prefer a single coil sound (a little more trebly with alot of bite), and the Carvin buckers get the bite that I like. I want a note to really just jump out when I hit it just right, and have found that good, quality pickups will do just that. For the $, you can't beat the Carvins, I'm sold on them.

Avoid playing the amplifier at a volume setting high enough to produce a distorted sound through the speaker-Fender Guitar Course-1966



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