Author Topic: The Tone Zone  (Read 31945 times)

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Offline slugworth

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Re: The Tone Zone
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2015, 12:28:12 pm »
Sure, the TZ can sound fabulous in the neck. I have a Paul Gilbert clinic from Vancouver 1998 where he plays his blue PGM90HAM which has the TZ in both neck and bridge and its just glorious. Some of the best tones Ive heard from him. Michael Romeo has been using a TZ in the neck for years, all the way back to Twilight In Olympus I believe. Sounds killer.

Oh that's right. The PGM90HAM came with Tone Zones stock in the neck and bridge. I completely forgot about that one.
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Offline corypheus

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Re: The Tone Zone
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2015, 05:09:09 am »
Sure, the TZ can sound fabulous in the neck. I have a Paul Gilbert clinic from Vancouver 1998 where he plays his blue PGM90HAM which has the TZ in both neck and bridge and its just glorious. Some of the best tones Ive heard from him. Michael Romeo has been using a TZ in the neck for years, all the way back to Twilight In Olympus I believe. Sounds killer.

I agree, both the ToneZone and the JB sounds killer in the neck position.

I didn't know Romeo was using TZs in neck, and imho Gilbert's best tone came from the era he used TZs and rack systems. Just my opinion of course.

Offline Schneidas

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Re: The Tone Zone
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2019, 05:01:08 am »
So, I got a Tone Zone to play with after about 11 years of having briefly owned one.

What can I say... again at first I thought: wow this is the biggest and best sound ever! How can anyone not love this?
But the more I played the more I felt overwhelmed by it... it's just too much! And the dynamics are just too compressed. Someone somewhere said that the Tone Zone feels like you have a boost pedal or compressor in there that is always on. And yes, I totally agree with this statement. While I like the basic tone, I feel there's no dynamics whatsoever and it's just pure slegde-hammer all the time.
I fiddled with height but could not come to a dynamic interaction I would love.

So I figured what the hell, and I started reading about the Half-Air mod!

Now I'm not one to fiddle with stuff - in fact I'm a bit incompetent when it comes to technical stuff, but I figured if I ruined the pickup - heck it's just a relatively small amount I wasted. So I gave it a shot!

Lonephantom's guide was easy enough so even a technically handicapped person like myself could easily follow it:
http://www.lonephantom.com/2010/07/modifying-pickups-the-half-air-mod/


So the mod felt super easy to do. Just remove the 4 screws, carefully open the brass plate, use a screwdriver to remove the magnet and the little metal plate that latches onto the screws and put the magnet back in. put the brass cover back on and you're set!

Now I know that lonephantom aired the slugs (magnet touching only the screws). So I figured, why not try it the other way around first - so airing the screws first (magnet only touching the slugs).
So I put the magnet next to the slugs, put the brass plate back on and re-strung the guitar.
Result: The ToneZone felt a touch tamed down, but much fuzzier. There was a fuzzy quality all of the sudden. So that went the opposite direction of what I wanted.

Strings back off, pickup off, opened brass plate, and put the magnet now only touching the screws. Brass plate back on, installed the pickup back, strings back on.
Again, a tamed-down ToneZone but now a brighter tone - clearer and a bit improved dynamics.
I like it much more! (plus LonePhantom had it right from the very beginning)

So the moral of this long post:
If you have a Tone Zone you like but sometimes feel overwhelmed by it, try the half air mod with the magnet touching only the screws. Opens up the Tone Zone and improves the dynamics. It's not night and day - the tone is still "Tone Zone" and the change is subtle - but just enough to be worth doing it.

Btw. I found you don't even need to put anything inbetween the small air gap as the magnet clinches on to the screws by magnetic force, thus keeping it from moving around.

Offline Guitar74

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Re: The Tone Zone
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2019, 03:48:17 pm »
I'll also say that pinch harmonics are effortless with the Tone Zone.

Agreed. I have installed more than a few of these in various guitars and even though this pickup is full and fat, harmonic squeals are pretty easy with this one. Great metal pickup, and I never found this pickup to be muddy. I also find it does a great job with Floyd trems in that it fattens up the guitar (although I have a lot of Floyd equipped axes that I would describe as anything but thin). Kind of does what the old Double Whammy was designed to do in that respect. I think this is going to be the bridge pickup in my all maple hs kahler spyder equipped axe.

Offline mertay

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Re: The Tone Zone
« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2019, 04:04:32 am »
So the moral of this long post:
If you have a Tone Zone you like but sometimes feel overwhelmed by it, try the half air mod with the magnet touching only the screws. Opens up the Tone Zone and improves the dynamics. It's not night and day - the tone is still "Tone Zone" and the change is subtle - but just enough to be worth doing it.

Personally never liked that mod. with TZ, but did like it with AN.

For those who want to try this, first try rising the screw poles noticeable. If the PU is direct mounted an angle also can be gives (screws closer to the strings, my ibanez at the time was sold like that).