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Pickup upgrade


Fred_C
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I have been thinking about selling my Ibanez AF 125 Custom hollowbody, but decided to upgrade the neck pickup instead. Since I seldom play the bridge pickup, I'm just going to leave that stock with the "Super 58 Custom" Chinese pickup. If I need a bridge p/u sound I can play my Heritage H575 Custom which has Duncan 59's or my "Sherrie" with the "Golden Age" Parson Street humbuckers which are surprisingly good pickups for under $65 each and sound great on a semi-hollow design.

 

I will probably go with the Duncan Seth Lover (Alnico II), but am open to suggestions.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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I'm more a Rock and Country player but when I played through all the Heritage stuff to pick out what I wanted to order I came to the conclusion my favorite Heritage pickups were the 59 in the bridge and the Seth Lover in the Neck. Heritage let you choose one of each on a custom order.

 

I play semi hollows and solid bodies but my favorite neck pickup isn't all that expensive. It is a Dimarzio pickup called the Bluesbucker. It is bright and chimey. Dimarzio says it is voiced to sound like a P90. I'm not sure about that.

 

The Bluesbucker is a totally different vibe from the Seth Lover. For Jazz type stuff I'm guessing you would like the Seth Lover better.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I have been thinking about selling my Ibanez AF 125 Custom hollowbody, but decided to upgrade the neck pickup instead. Since I seldom play the bridge pickup, I'm just going to leave that stock with the "Super 58 Custom" Chinese pickup. If I need a bridge p/u sound I can play my Heritage H575 Custom which has Duncan 59's or my "Sherrie" with the "Golden Age" Parson Street humbuckers which are surprisingly good pickups for under $65 each and sound great on a semi-hollow design.

 

I will probably go with the Duncan Seth Lover (Alnico II), but am open to suggestions.

 

Based on experience with those Ibanez Super 58 Custom pickups on a hollowbody Ibanez, and reading up on that SD Seth Lover neck-pickup, I'd say you've made an excellent choice right there for this guitar, Fred.

 

Maybe if you went with the Seth Lover set, you might use the bridge-pickup on that guitar more often. I imagine that it must have a pretty 'middle-position' sound with both pickups on, as well...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Brother Fred, My favorite is the 57 US made Gibson humbuckers...like Caevan said, I would put two on her no matter which set you choose. A little expensive but worth it IMHO. I too use the neck pup for the most part, but I like having the ability to get that treble bridge vibe going when I feel like it (usually for country rock when playing a little lead or boogie). I also like blending the vibe in the middle position at times using the two volumes and two tone controls... :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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Im a fan of the RailHammer pickups in the sub-$100 range. One of their humcutters (HB-sized noiseless P90s) would probably be a good option. Perhaps the Cleancut? Its the most closely voiced to the original P90s.

 

Their HyperVintage- a HB with that classic PAF type tone- could also work.

 

 

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Although I hear what you guys are saying regarding getting both pickups, I'm just not "feeling it". I have only ever played the neck pickup on this guitar (actually on all my guitars), I like the big, mellow, "burnished", jazzy tone of the neck pickup by itself. Once again, if the musical situation warrants both pickups on I can play my Heritage or my Sheraton (my Peerless Monarch 16 is a one (neck) pickup design (as are many dedicated Jazz guitars.)
If you play cool, you are cool.
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Although I hear what you guys are saying regarding getting both pickups, I'm just not "feeling it". I have only ever played the neck pickup on this guitar (actually on all my guitars), I like the big, mellow, "burnished", jazzy tone of the neck pickup by itself. Once again, if the musical situation warrants both pickups on I can play my Heritage or my Sheraton (my Peerless Monarch 16 is a one (neck) pickup design (as are many dedicated Jazz guitars.)

 

I know what you mean, Fred. I love Gibson ES-165's and Wes Montomery-style L-5's... ! :love:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Brother Fred, what do the jazz forum guys recommend? Pick the one you really like no matter the cost...it will sound special to you! You can always save the old one and put it back or pass it on, if you ever decide to sell the guitar... :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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Brother Fred, what do the jazz forum guys recommend? Pick the one you really like no matter the cost...it will sound special to you! You can always save the old one and put it back or pass it on, if you ever decide to sell the guitar... :cool:

 

Bro. Larry,

 

Lots of love for the Seth Lover on the JGF. I am leaning that way as well. They are also enthusiastic about the Bartolini "Jazz Set". The major difference between the Seth Lovers and the Bartolinis is that the SL's are not potted while the Barto's are.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Lots of love for the Seth Lover on the JGF. I am leaning that way as well. They are also enthusiastic about the Bartolini "Jazz Set". The major difference between the Seth Lovers and the Bartolinis is that the SL's are not potted while the Barto's are.

 

If you do opt for the SD Seth Lover, fill me in on the differences you notice between it and the stock Super 58 Custom on your Ibanez. I might want to upgrade to that pickup, as well- though I'm going to stick with the stock pickups for a while and try different strings and gauges with them, starting with DR Pure Blues 12's with a wound-3rd (I currently have their 11's on there), and Thomastik-Infeld BeBop 'Jazz roundwound' 12's with a plain-3rd. Heavier or lighter strings may follow, and maybe even flatwounds- though I feel that my particular axe is a roundwound kinda sorta guitar. I may even have one or another piezo-bridge saddle pickup installed someday...

 

ANYWAYSAWUZ- I easily imagine that the SD SL's being unpotted would make them particularly open and 'acoustic' sounding in character, letting a lot of the nature of these Ibanez Artcore hollowbodies come shining through; I bet that the SL would be an excellent match for your and my guitars. I don't think that their being unpotted would ever be a problem with these guitars in most applications.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I looked up the top 4 rated jazz pickups on one site and that 57 Classic Gibson humbucker was right in there. They are a little expensive on SW for $165 bucks each... :cool:

 

Both the SL's and Barto's are $110 per. I think I'll save the additional $100,

If you play cool, you are cool.
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I looked up the top 4 rated jazz pickups on one site and that 57 Classic Gibson humbucker was right in there. They are a little expensive on SW for $165 bucks each... :cool:

 

Both the SL's and Barto's are $110 per. I think I'll save the additional $100,

 

I think you meant $55 bucks Brother Fred...($165-$110). I know you'll pick a good one! Be sure to let us know how it sounds when you get the new one installed! :thu:

Take care, Larryz
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when I played through all the Heritage stuff to pick out what I wanted to order I came to the conclusion my favorite Heritage pickups were the 59 in the bridge and the Seth Lover in the Neck. Heritage let you choose one of each on a custom order.

 

For Jazz type stuff I'm guessing you would like the Seth Lover better.

 

@CEB: Did you pull the trigger on a Heritage? If so, what did you get? Aren't they great guitars?

If you play cool, you are cool.
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I looked up the top 4 rated jazz pickups on one site and that 57 Classic Gibson humbucker was right in there. They are a little expensive on SW for $165 bucks each... :cool:

 

Both the SL's and Barto's are $110 per. I think I'll save the additional $100,

 

I think you meant $55 bucks Brother Fred...($165-$110). I know you'll pick a good one! Be sure to let us know how it sounds when you get the new one installed! :thu:

 

@Bro. Larry,

 

Yeah, a senior moment if there ever was one. Actually, I was momentarily thinking of a pair rather than the single neck p/u upgrade. Hence, the $100.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Well, the plot thickens.

 

I started a thread on the JGF regarding the Bartolini "Jazz Set" and the responses have been uniformly excellent.

 

Now, I've been doing some research on the Barto website. I expected them to be (like many other pickups) Alnico II or a combination of Alnico II neck and Alnico 5 bridge. Incredibly enough, they use ceramic magnets exclusively. This surprised the hell out of me since I think of ceramic magnets as producing a harsher, louder more aggressive tone. The Barto website says that this is not necessarily the case and that they have the technological expertise to make a ceramic pickup sound any way they want.

 

I am seriously considering them. I might even go for the pair. What the hell, it's only money.

 

I'm going to contact Musician's friend today and sort this out.

 

Addendum:

 

Here is the explanation from their website:

 

 

What type of magnets are in Bartolini pickups?

 

Modified on: Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 9:45 PM

 

 

 

We get this question a lot because a lot of people associate AlNiCo and ceramic with particular tone qualities. But these qualities are only true in very simple and similar pickups.

 

We make pickups based on the desired tone, so to me, the type of magnet is not a feature. It is just a tool we use to get the tone we are after. We use ceramic almost exclusively - here's why. AlNiCo carries a fairly weak field and is inherently unstable. Its magnetism will change over time due to changes in temperature, physical shock, and proximity to permeable materials. Ceramic magnets are very stable. Now, if you make a simple pickup and just swap AlNiCo for ceramic magnets, it will sound brittle. That is because the magnetic field is very strong within the ceramic magnet. Many have tried this approach with poor results.

 

Our pickups are designed with consideration for how we want to project the magnetic field onto the strings and how and where the changing magnetic field is going to couple to the coil. We design a magnetic circuit using materials chosen for their magnetic permeability - steel, brass, copper, tin, etc. to produce pickups using ceramic magnets that are not at all brittle. In fact because we really understand how to control the magnetic field, we can create a pickup that is very dark - like a badly aged AlNiCo. AlNiCo is generally used in very traditional, simple pickups, where there is not a lot of flexibility in how the field is controlled. As our pickups are cast in epoxy, we can make very complex structures to control the field to get the tone we are looking for.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Now, I've been doing some research on the Barto website. I expected them to be (like many other pickups) Alnico II or a combination of Alnico II neck and Alnico 5 bridge. Incredibly enough, they use ceramic magnets exclusively. This surprised the hell out of me since I think of ceramic magnets as producing a harsher, louder more aggressive tone. The Barto website says that this is not necessarily the case and that they have the technological expertise to make a ceramic pickup sound any way they want.

 

The most important ingredient in any and every recipe is ALWAYS the cook. ;)

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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when I played through all the Heritage stuff to pick out what I wanted to order I came to the conclusion my favorite Heritage pickups were the 59 in the bridge and the Seth Lover in the Neck. Heritage let you choose one of each on a custom order.

 

For Jazz type stuff I'm guessing you would like the Seth Lover better.

 

@CEB: Did you pull the trigger on a Heritage? If so, what did you get? Aren't they great guitars?

 

I jumped the shark. I was going to get 535 or 555 but I played a model called the Prospect. Sort of the answer to the ES-339. It was has sustain of a ES-335 but the small body gave it more spank. And it is more comfortable. I found it just worked better for rock stuff.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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when I played through all the Heritage stuff to pick out what I wanted to order I came to the conclusion my favorite Heritage pickups were the 59 in the bridge and the Seth Lover in the Neck. Heritage let you choose one of each on a custom order.

 

For Jazz type stuff I'm guessing you would like the Seth Lover better.

 

@CEB: Did you pull the trigger on a Heritage? If so, what did you get? Aren't they great guitars?

 

I jumped the shark. I was going to get 535 or 555 but I played a model called the Prospect. Sort of the answer to the ES-339. It was has sustain of a ES-335 but the small body gave it more spank. And it is more comfortable. I found it just worked better for rock stuff.

 

A beautiful instrument! Do you like it? What finish did you get?

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Yes I like it. It's reddish burst. I think they called it Wineburst. No pickguard. I haven't been taking it out. It too nice. :D

 

I picked a $300 pawn shop guitar not long ago. An old black Korean Sheraton II with an original case all in great shape. I thought about messing with the electronics but .... the old thing just sounds good. I take it out sometimes but have been playing the 2 Yamaha Pacificas. I bought the red one with a P90 in the neck first. The I found a blue super strat from the same series. I like the red one best. I tinker and the Yamahas are like a modders dream. I just put momentary kill switches on them last week. I mess with stuff too much but its fun.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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medical Definition of approach-approach conflict

 

: psychological conflict that results when a choice must be made between two desirable alternatives compare approach-avoidance conflict, avoidance-avoidance conflict

 

Well, I'm "flying around in an ever-decreasing concentric helix". When you do that eventually you fly up your own anal orifice.

 

I am experiencing classic "approach-approach conflict" (see definition above). The closer I get to either desirable outcome, the more it draws me in. The conflict is between the Seth Lover and Bartolini. I am now leaning toward the Bartolini due to comments by owners on the JGF. I think either of these fine pickups would suit my purpose admirably.

 

I intend to finalize my decision and place the order tomorrow.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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medical Definition of approach-approach conflict

 

: psychological conflict that results when a choice must be made between two desirable alternatives compare approach-avoidance conflict, avoidance-avoidance conflict

 

Well, I'm "flying around in an ever-decreasing concentric helix". When you do that eventually you fly up your own anal orifice.

 

I am experiencing classic "approach-approach conflict" (see definition above). The closer I get to either desirable outcome, the more it draws me in. The conflict is between the Seth Lover and Bartolini. I am now leaning toward the Bartolini due to comments by owners on the JGF. I think either of these fine pickups would suit my purpose admirably.

 

I intend to finalize my decision and place the order tomorrow.

 

I do so well know your dilemma... :crazy::D:thu:

 

Summarize what in use is different between these two pickups, then consider and weigh their pros and cons for your wants and needs. Then spin a bottle. ;)

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Yes I like it. It's reddish burst. I think they called it Wineburst. No pickguard. I haven't been taking it out. It too nice. :D

 

I picked a $300 pawn shop guitar not long ago. An old black Korean Sheraton II with an original case all in great shape. I thought about messing with the electronics but .... the old thing just sounds good.

 

If I read your previous post correctly, you did a Custom order. Correct? Lot's of luck with her. IMO, they make a very fine instrument.

 

You are fortunate to find a Korean made Sheraton II for $300. I own one as well. It's one hell of a guitar for under a grand, brand new. I'm sure I've mentioned in several previous posts about how members of the audience and even other musicians commented on the beautiful tone. One bass player walked up to me and said "the tone of your guitar is as clear as a bell". That being said, I still believe that upgrading the electronics turned out to be a good idea. It's a whole new instrument. More vibrant, responsive (it is very responsive to changes in nuance and attack). The guitar always played well and sounded good, but now plays and sounds like a multi thousand dollar instrument.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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+1 I talked my buddy into putting 57 US made Gibson humbuckers and upgraded pots on his Sheraton. That Epi really came alive and it sounds as good as any 335 for like 1/3rd the price...it's one of his favorite sounding and playing guitars! I would have considered doing the same thing then Epi came out with an ES-175 with US 57 Gibson humbuckers and upgraded 500k pots. So, I bought one instead as I love the body style. The same as the ES-295, that Epi is now putting US made P90's on the Scotty Moore model. A great way to get a great sounding and playing guitar for 1/4th the price! The upgraded pups can really make the difference IMHO! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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Just got off the phone with Musician's Friend. Placed an order for the "Bartolini Jazz Pair" (PBF55-NECK & PBF57-BRIDGE) in gold.

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/#productDetails

 

I am very excited and can't wait to get them installed. I believe that these pickups will be a vast improvement over the stock Ibanez Super 58 Customs and will take the AF-125 to the next level of performance.

 

BTW: would any forum member like to acquire a MINT pair of Super 58 Customs for dirt cheap? If so, PM me.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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