Author Topic: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?  (Read 737 times)

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Offline jazzfromhell

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Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« on: December 31, 2018, 04:29:29 am »
I've got a swamp ash 24-fret Solar guitar with a maple neck and a Floyd. The neck is a Duncan 59 with I really like but the C5 in the bridge is a bit too scooped in the mids for my taste. Is there a HB (SD, DiMarzio or other) which is close to the C5 in output and feel but with a tad more mids?

It's been a long time since I played a JB so I'm thinking about if that would be a good fit as well as my old DiMarzio favorites Transition (too hot?) and Tone Zone (too much?).

What say yee?

Cheers and happy new year to all!

Offline Strobe

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2018, 09:30:28 am »
Either the Custom, or even more so the Custom Custom is going to have more mids. They are all the same winding but with different magnets. The Custom has a ceramic, and the Custom Custom has an Alnico 2. If you want just a little bit more mids, the ceramic Custom may do it. That said, you probably want the Alnico 2 Custom Custom. It has a whole lot of mids - kind of a brown sounding pickup to my ears. The bass is definitely a bit looser, but that makes it sound huge - and for anything besides staccato riffs, a looser bass is not really a bad thing.

There is a good video showing all of them back to back here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLfRvjjAwf0
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 09:32:10 am by Strobe »

Offline Strangeman86

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2018, 09:36:43 am »
I'm a big Custom fan, and the closest Dimarzio is supposedly the Norton, which I also really enjoy. That being said, swapping out the A5 your pickup has for an unoriented A5 will go a LONG way toward what you want. It's like a regular A5 but with more mids, sounds fantastic in a Custom (it's my favorite magnet for that pickup) and is also a much cheaper route than a whole new pickup.
Currently torturing:  My parts-caster (roasted alder, rosewood over roasted maple, one humbucker - a DiMarzio Imperium).

Offline DarthPhineas

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 09:55:15 am »
Check out the Pariah Pickups MCV model.
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Offline greenlion

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 11:57:32 pm »
Strangeman got it right. No need to start buying more pickups if you have a Custom 5. You can create several great variations just by replacing the magnet in your Custom 5. If you like the C5 but want a little less bass, rounder highs and a little more mids, the Unoriented A5 magnet will give you that. If you want aggressive mids and more relaxed bass and highs, an A2 magnet will give you that. You can also find lots of info about A8, A4, A3, and Ceramic magnets if you search the Seymour Duncan forum. I get my magnets off Ebay, and can afford about 12 magnets for the cost of one pickup.

Offline jazzfromhell

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 06:38:42 am »
Ok, thanks guys. Will experiment will magnets.

Offline corypheus

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 11:30:02 pm »
Swapping magnets is probably the easiest and cheapest mod you can do.

Also, one cheap possibility is sourcing Gibby 498T, people seem to hate on that one, but it's actually very closely voiced to the Custom line of the Duncan, in fact it's in between C5 and regular Custom, but it's closer to C5, except it's not as clean/precise and it has more mids to my ears. If you look hard enough, you can find one for a decent money - more then a magnet, sure, but still a steal for a Gibby pickup. And if you like Custom, chances are you'll like 498T as well.

Used to be a time when one could find these for 30 bucks, back when Gibby had putting them in almost every guitar they were selling...

Offline 123RnR

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 11:47:23 pm »
Put a ceramic magnet and turn it into the Duncan Custom SH-5. If not, ditch it and go with a SUPER DISTORTION.
And yes! Both of them are my favorite bridge pickups with 59' being my fav choice for the neck.

Offline Ascension

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 01:10:33 am »
Have the same issue with the Custom 5. It's a huge sounding chewie pickup for rhythm but flat gets lost in the mix for melodic stuff and solos due to the scooped mids.  The Gravity Storm bridge has that same type big overall organic tone but also cuts well and the mids are a lot more present.
 On the mag swaps the A2 Custom Custom is nice and has a singing mid , the Ceramic Custom has real heat and is aggressive but my favorite mag in a Custom is the A8.  Tight and aggressive but still has a nice smooth singing tone.   My absolute favorite Custom Variant though is the 59/ Custom Hybrid. Feels a LOT hotter than the specs show it should harmonics are down right explosive and talking about super versatile. Have 3 and running in my old KOA Carvin DC 127 with a sentient neck I have gone from solid Country Solo tone to metal without missing a beat in a set. 
 The Hybrid came from us Frankensteiners over at the Duncan forum.  Couple guys tried putting one coil from a 59 together with one coil from the Custom and then running an A5 mag.  It became popular enough on the forum that folk started ordering them from the Custom shop and the rest is history.
This is pretty dead on the hybrid in my real world experience with it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK9IVy43dqY
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 10:14:57 am by Ascension »

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 05:13:06 am »
I have the Custom 5 in three different guitars (two of them being teles) and don't hear a midscoop but there is nothing wrong with wanting more mids. I agree a magnet swap is cheap and may get there.

The Custom 5 in fact is the pickup I always wanted in the 80s but that did not exist.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, HB2, Cruisers, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T set, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, SD, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set, Super Distortion S; Norton

Offline Ascension

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Re: Duncan Custom 5 but with more mids?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 10:12:22 am »
I like a Custom 5 in the right guitar and amp combo. However in the wrong one the mid scoop is an issue. I have thought about swapping the 59 Custom Hybrid in my Modern Player Tele with a Custom 5 because with the Pine body and maple neck it's so heavy on the upper mids and bright.  Same thing you see with the JB, they can be magic in the right guitar and an absolute trainwreck in the wrong.  The combo is important with any set up but is more so with some pickups than others.  Because of what I do in a real world setting in a band situation I most of the time fight with the lack of mids with the Custom 5. The pickup that gives me a big open brown sound in the bridge yet still cuts well enough for solos is the Dimarzio Gravity Storm I have in my Carvin ST 300 BTW.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 10:28:46 am by Ascension »