Author Topic: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?  (Read 351 times)

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Offline Dave J

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Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« on: January 04, 2019, 12:17:28 pm »
I currently have a Fred in the bridge of my Ibanez RG 550 and an Air Norton in the neck position. Love the Fred but for what I want to hear the AN in the neck is a bit too thick.  I'd like something brighter and with a bit more bite/snarl/harmonics in the neck.  Since I almost got a Mo Joe for the bridge of this guitar before going with the Fred I thought why not move the Fred to the neck and get a Mo Joe for the bridge. I know the Fred is liked in the neck but usually with higher output bridge pickups. so is the Mo Joe not hot enough to balance out with the Fred? This is a 24 fret guitar so the neck  pup is slightly closer than it would be on a 22 fret ( you know that)  I am ultimately looking for a brighter neck pickup that can get  harmonics as good as the neck position on a 24 fret allows. I play thru a Marshall DSL 40 and play classic rock to '80s metal, fusion, and Satriani tyoe stuff.  I don't need dirt pedals as the DSL 40 has more than enough overdrive for my wants, if that helps. I think the Dimarzios with the "duel resonance " or unbalanced coil designs are maybe what I need. I belive the humbucker from hell also could be a contender if I keep the Fred in the bridge.
Thanks !

Offline buddroyce

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 03:01:36 pm »
You could go with the HFH in the neck or a PAF Joe. If you want to throw the Fred in the neck, then a Mo' Joe could definitely work in the bridge position. Either way could work really.
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Offline greenlion

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 05:54:27 pm »
I'm biased here because I found the MoJoe to be a very boring bridge pickup. I like the Fred in the bridge, but I haven't tried it in the neck. I would guess that the Fred in the neck would overpower the MoJoe by a bit. The Paf Pro, Paf Joe, and humbucker from Hell all work well with the Fred. You could use the Fred in the neck and use a more powerful bridge like the regular Norton.

Offline DarthPhineas

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 09:00:53 am »
PAF Pro has a little more character to my ears.

PAF Joe seems like a variant of it, but maybe a little more polite, if thatís the way to put it.

If you try the MoJoe in the neck, please let everyone know how it works for you.
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Offline Dave J

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 10:33:25 am »
Thanks to all for the feedback !
Will a Dimarzio with duel resonance  always get better harmonics than a model without?  I really like the juicy harmonics of the Fred!   The Paf Pro and Paf Joe both have symmetrical coils while the HFH does do the duel resonance thing. Can I assume the HFH would have more harmonic content than the paf pro/joe ?
The idea of moving Fred to the neck with a Norton is of interest to me, will I lose some of the harmonic content the Fred gives me in the bridge?

I have the usual collection of electrics. strat, tele, LP, SG ( p90) a Gretsch Electromag, and this RG550. The Fred is the hottest pickup of all pickups in eveything I own. ( skinnerbursts in the LP and nothing in the hot category in everything else)  so part of me doesn't want to go hotter than the Fred as it makes changing guitars pretty seamless as far as amp / effects settings goes. But if the Norton can run with the Fred re: harmonics I might have to consider it. I have been tweaking on the air Norton in the neck a lot  ( height, pole pieces) and it's just not quite getting me where I want to go, which is almost a cutting blues sound out of the neck under medium gain, but still not too raunchy to play a fluid line or two.   I like the Fred enough that I considered another in the neck but not sure that would work out for a number of reasons.

Thanks !!!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 10:35:31 am by Dave J »

Offline DarthPhineas

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2019, 12:17:56 pm »

Will a Dimarzio with duel resonance  always get better harmonics than a model without?


No
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Offline Dave J

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 02:30:17 pm »
So I have learned in  the past how this stuff can  lead me down a rabbit hole, and I don't want to go there.  One last tidbit, I do have a DMZ Breed set I grabbed off a friend but never used, was gonna go in this guitar before I decided to take a different path. I think the Breed bridge might not be what I am looking for in the bridge of  this guitar, but I have read favorable reviews on the Breed neck in the bridge position. It's discontinued so other than the neck Breed being 325mv I know nothing about it, and what I did read on the internet was mostly general gushing and not specifics on harmonics available, ect when the Breed neck is in the bridge.  I think I'll either do Breed neck in bridge with Fred in neck if I get some favorable feed back  here - or just keep the Fred in the bridge and get a PAF Joe for the neck.  I was able to find out that  JS used a Fred / PAF Joe  during G3 in Denver 2003 and found a youtube of that performance. I liked it enough to say if Breed neck in bridge is not bright enough and harmonically rich enough  for me I'll give the PAF Joe a shot.
Thanks !

Offline corypheus

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2019, 12:35:08 am »
Breed neck in the bridge is really crunchy and precise. When someone tells me they can't get a crunchy tight bridge humbucker in DiMarzio line, and they want to keep the treble open and not fat and smooth like most of DMZs, I tell them to try Breed neck. It will work with everything else in the neck you mentioned since it's a bit louder then any of it, so will balance. To my ears Breed neck in the bridge shares alot of qualities with Full Shred from the Duncan line, some with Screaming Demon too, it really should be reclassified like Paf Pro - a pickup for both positions.

As for "Will a Dimarzio with duel resonance  always get better harmonics than a model without?" question, it's not a necessity, however as a rule of thumb, mismatched coils often are brighter, richer harmonically and more open sounding. However, there's much more to a pickup then the number of turns per bobbin, so it warrants to really try a pickup to exactly know how it sounds and how it feels.

Offline buddroyce

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2019, 10:04:35 pm »
Putting the Breed Neck pickup in the bridge position for something with a lot of crunch is definitely one secret a lot of people don't know about!
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Offline Dave J

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 02:23:16 pm »
Thank you all for the replies. I have been working every day since the 1st so I haven't had a chance to  really play my RG much so I can really listen to what I might want. I did lower the Air Norton in the neck all the way down to  level with the pick guard but haven't yest had a chance to really play with it.
Based on how much I like the wild side the Fred brings  to the bridge and what I have heard on the Mo Joe via youtube - and also your site Darth that shows the Mo Joe coils to be much closer together than the Fred's, I am starting to agree with you Greenlion.  Granted I have no hands on with the Mo Joe but  all things I can consider lead me to think I might be disappointed that I pulled the Fred out of the bridge for it. 
I'll be able to spend some quality time  tomorrow with the guitar and make a final call.  I am thinking that  if I move the Fred to the neck the only pickup that might be able to satisfy the wild child side would be a Norton?  Otherwise Fred stays and either I get the AN to work or go with a PAF Pro or PAF Joe in the neck
Normally I'd just get one or two and see which I liked and sell off the other, but I  need to watch the spending a bit, at least for the first few months of this year, so I am trying to be a little more certain. Also my soldering skills suck so I need to factor in my repair guys charges.  ( I need to practice the soldering, it would make all this easier LOL )
Thank you all!

Offline Dave J

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2019, 12:01:40 pm »
Played my RG with the Fred/ Air Norton for a good period of time yesterday. Playing with medium gain ( about the level Satch uses)  thru my DSL40, with and without effects. I run time based effects thru the FX loop, and don't use dirt pedals as the DSL40 has all the distortion I need.  I just love the Fred too much in the bridge to think about moving it. I dropped the AN in the neck to just a hair above the pick guard, and tried a few different variations on the pole screws.
I am not good with describing sounds, but it still has a bit more bass/thick sounding tone than I would ideally like. Id does however have what I'd call character - the notes are not bland.  Those who play/ played it I'm sure know the sound. It also is decent with harmonics.
My only other humbucker guitar is an early 90's Fuji Gen Les Paul copy with Duncan Skinnerburst pickups. A different beast than the RG, but neck pickup harmonics are pretty close. Not sure if the Duncan's are matched or mis-matched coils. 
I'm ready to try either a PAF Joe or PAF Pro.  I have read the Pro described as bland by some, and the Joe as having some not very good pick attack qualities.  Can anyone who has played the Air Norton and either or both of the Pro and Joe tell me which of the PAF's has more character?  It doesn't have to be exactly like the AN, but I think I'd regret taking out the AN for a bland pickup and would rather live with some extra heft vs no character.
Thanks !!

Offline greenlion

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2019, 08:56:33 pm »
I remember the Air Norton sounding like a mud bomb compared to the PAF Pro and Joe. The PAF Pro has more treble bite than the Joe, but the PAF Pro's bass is a little unfocused/loose. The Joe's bass is more rounded, and not as diffuse. The Humbucker from Hell has very clear highs and tight clear bass by comparison, but it is also lower output. I have the Paf Joe with a Fred, and the PAF Pro with an Air Zone. I like both combos.

Offline marcwormjim

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 12:47:05 am »
My experiences with those pickups echo Greenlionís. I would like to throw the Gravity Storm neck out there as another consideration, being as it and the PAF Joe both shoot for that Hendrix-y sound.

Offline greenlion

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 09:59:44 am »
You know, I keep looking at the EQ numbers and output of the Gravity Storm neck and thinking ...meh...  but there are SO many people singing its praises that I think I need to try it. Maybe the entire set.

Offline Dave J

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Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 11:26:13 am »
Thanks for keeping the suggestions coming. I had not really looked at the Gravity Storm neck likely because I tend to be old fashioned when it comes to magnets, but I need to get over that.  The tone guide is not that far from a AN, but I'd guess the ceramic plays a big part in the sounds.
Stupid question. Since I love the Fred would it be redundant to put one in the neck as well?  I know it was common to use a PAF Pro in both positions.
Also was looking at a PAF Master neck model.