Author Topic: Which neck pickup should I go for now?  (Read 391 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 123RnR

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 55
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« on: January 19, 2019, 12:02:01 am »
Hi there!
As some may know, I actually have a Gibson Flying V with a Dimarzio Super Distortion + PAF Master (neck) combination. It's the second bridge pickup I install on this guitar, and I'm going now for the 4th neck pickup installed on this guitar.

It's a long story, but this has been the situation. Guitar was bought with faulty active electronics, transformed into passive, had a APH-2 (Slash Alnico II Pro) Set installed, removed due to low output and unbalanced tone due to having one tone knob. Began a new phase with a Dimarzio Super Distortion and a Transition neck pickup. Had a love/hate relationship with both pickups, liking (and disliking) different things about them, but after some time I decided that the Super Distortion was going to stay, and the Transition had to go. Why?

Transition Neck
Pros:
Took high gain like a champ. Not a pushover!
Amazing Slash creamy tones while overdriven. Very nice output level

Cons:
I hated the clean/ceramic/lifeless tones.
Too modern hi-fi sounding compared to the hot vintage/classic high gain tone of the Super Distortion.
Too damn boomy, and dark sounding compared to the Super Distortion
Too smooth, without much ''attack''.


Then after the curiosity attacked, I decided I wanted to get the hell out (away) from ceramic neck pickups, back into Alnico V magnet pickups. Those are the ones that mostly ''work for me''. After almost deciding for the PAF36, I pulled the trigger on the PAF Master (Neck) Pickup Model.

This one has a very clear tone I like, very responsive to volume controls, and can keep up with the clarity of the Super Distortion very well (with only one tone knob). But while it's a very nice pickup, I do plan to remove it from this guitar, and store it for another project. The reason? There are some things that I do need that this pickup (or any other) haven't fulfilled yet in the neck position.

I do need more output (to overdrive/distort faster), more ''smoothness'' (the PAF Master can be on ''Full On Attack Mode''), and more bass without turning muddy, dark, and going into BOOM city. I use a Blackstar HT-40, an amp that has a ''tone knob'', but no bass, treble or mids control for the clean channel. That's why I need something to fill that void correctly.

I'm gettings lots and lots of recommendations but Dimarzio, Darth Phineas, and my former guitar tech recommended the PAF Pro for the neck position of my guitar.  My mind says PAF36th (DP103), and has the PAF Pro as second choice.   I do know about the PAF59's from Dimarzio, but I do plan to test them in the future, just not on this Super Distortion equipped guitar.

Which should be the next pickup I should go for?
I'll await your replies!

Offline greenlion

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 369
  • Karma: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2019, 11:09:19 am »
I would suggest the Humbucker from Hell, but you said you want more output. I would suggest the PAF Joe, but I don't think it meshes well with the Super D. I would suggest a PAF Pro, but you said you do not want boomy bass, and the PAF Pro can have boomy and slightly muddy bass. You say you want more output and smoothness. The obvious choice to ME would be a Super 2 in the neck.

Offline 123RnR

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 55
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2019, 07:21:06 pm »
I would suggest the Humbucker from Hell, but you said you want more output. I would suggest the PAF Joe, but I don't think it meshes well with the Super D. I would suggest a PAF Pro, but you said you do not want boomy bass, and the PAF Pro can have boomy and slightly muddy bass. You say you want more output and smoothness. The obvious choice to ME would be a Super 2 in the neck.

Thank you for the suggestions! It has definitely been a long neck pickup journey. About the PAF Pro, how boomy it is? I know 6.5 (like the Transition) is overkill, and the 4.5 bass of the PAF Master is too low for this guitar. 5.5 is the # in between. The PAF Pro is 5, the PAF36 (5.5), but those are just numbers. The real test comes from testing the pickup itself.

How will the Super 2 cleans be? I imagine a rocking machine.

Offline DarthPhineas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 604
  • Karma: 17
    • View Profile
    • Darth Phineas Guitar Gear Reviews
Re: Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2019, 06:56:55 pm »
PAF Pro isnít all that boomy.

Super 2 can get a little hairy.
Gear Reviews   |  Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

Offline darkbluemurder

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1072
  • Karma: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 03:46:49 am »
I have a Breed neck in a very bright guitar together with the Super Distortion. Keeps up easily in volume with the SD and has more output than a PAF-style pickup.

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

Offline 123RnR

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 55
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 03:35:03 pm »
I have a Breed neck in a very bright guitar together with the Super Distortion. Keeps up easily in volume with the SD and has more output than a PAF-style pickup.

Cheers Stephan
PAF Pro isnít all that boomy.

Super 2 can get a little hairy.

I highly considered the PAF Pro evolution variants like the FRED, PAF Joe, the Breed and others, but decided to place the order for the PAF Pro itself.


I really hope I nail the tone I'm looking for now. I'm a little worried really. Don't know what to expect. My mind says the PAF36th DP103 could do the trick, but I may benefit from extra output in the neck position. I did like the PAF Master in the neck, but truly needed more ''beef'' (bass), and power (output). The PAF Master seems like a pickup that's great to play with a single tube amp channel, and distort, and do everything with pedals n' stuff! I'm a man that prefers to use the clean channel for cleans and the gain channel for distortion, controlling volume, and intensity with my volume knobs. Let's see how it goes now! Really don't know what to expect. I already know I'm sacrificing the quality of the clean tones.


Offline greenlion

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 369
  • Karma: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2019, 07:51:54 pm »
Sacrificing the quality of the clean tones with the Paf Pro Neck? No man, the Paf Pro has great clean tones. One of my favorite neck pickups for clean.

Offline 123RnR

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 55
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Which neck pickup should I go for now?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2019, 10:55:21 pm »
Sacrificing the quality of the clean tones with the Paf Pro Neck? No man, the Paf Pro has great clean tones. One of my favorite neck pickups for clean.

That's good to know!
It was a PAF36 vs PAF Pro match-up.
Most people were recommending me the PAF Pro. I'll update when I get it installed next month. I play many genres, but do need the neck for clean rhythms, arpeggios, and some overdriven leads.