Author Topic: Please help me decide the right neck and middle choices for HSH config  (Read 331 times)

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Offline Virtuoso

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Hello  :D

Greetings from Norway!

Iīm replacing the stock pickups on my Ibanez S5470: Mahogany body, 24 frets rosewood, maple neck, ZR locking trem, HSH config, D standard and drop C tuning on this guitar.

I canīt decide which neck pickup to choose. Iīve used Air Nortonīs on 2 other guitars for 10 years and want to switch to something a little brighter and not so muddy on the low strings. Iīm looking at the Illuminator neck and Titan neck but canīt decide which one would translate as a brighter Air Norton (Ive tried the pole pieces towards the bridge, but still to muddy) I play leads with distortion 12 fret to 24 fret with the neck pickup and 12 fret to 1 fret with the bridge pickup.
I play cleans in position 4 (neck and middle) and 2 (bridge and middle) I donīt use position 1 and 5 on cleans.

The bridge pickup Iīll be putting is the D sonic.
Iīm wondering which middle coil would fit/match greatly with the D Sonic bridge and either Illuminator, Titan or any other neck recommendations in this HSH config. Iīve been looking at the Cruiser bridge and neck, Fast Track 1, True Velvet Middle and FS-1, but have no idea which one will hum or nut hum in position 4 and 2. Will I be needing a super switch or can I use the stock Ibanez switch.

So many questions, I would really appreciate your answers  :)

Offline buddroyce

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Personally I've always liked the LiquiFire more than the Illuminator neck as it's closer to the Air Norton that I've gotten very used to but just with a bit more brightness. It may work for you as well.

As for the middle, you really have to ask yourself how often you usually use the middle by itself. If all you want is the split sounds in positions 2 and 4 then the true velvet will work fine. You probably won't need a super switch.
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Offline Virtuoso

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Personally I've always liked the LiquiFire more than the Illuminator neck as it's closer to the Air Norton that I've gotten very used to but just with a bit more brightness. It may work for you as well.

As for the middle, you really have to ask yourself how often you usually use the middle by itself. If all you want is the split sounds in positions 2 and 4 then the true velvet will work fine. You probably won't need a super switch.
How is the Liquifire on cleans, especialy on the lower strings compared to the Air Norton ? I need something that cuts through on cleans like an Ionizer but they don’t make them in 6 string version. Don’t get me wrong I love the Air Norton I just want it to be brighter overall to cut trough better in a mix and live when doing cleans.

I forgot to mention that I am one of the strange people who uses the middle pickup by itself on distortion and cleans. I have mahog guitar with Air Norton, Fast Track 1 and Tone Zone, the darkest sounding guitar ive ever owned! The Fast Track 1, I don’t think it is split with the humbuckers as I feel it has way to much output, on its own its sounded great for snappy attacky djent riffs, it just never worked well split with the humbuckers.

I am here to ask DiMarzio enthusiasts here because DiMarzio tech recommended me D Activators, I bought them and they sounded terrible and sterile. Then Dominions, also terrible and stiff. Here in Norway you can’t swap them for free, so I don’t trust DiMarzio tech anymore.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 02:14:49 pm by Virtuoso »

Offline buddroyce

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The liquifire cleans up quite a lot nicer on the lower strings compared to the Air Norton.

I totally understand where you're coming from about not being able to do the pickup swaps. Being in Canada it's not that different than being in Norway (even our weather is similar!).

Another pickup that you might like to add some dimension would be the bluesbucker. It has some of that roundness that the Air Norton without the fat while retaining some really great cleans. Would probably work really well in a dark sounding guitar. I have mine in an Ibanez RG1880-S that's got a mahogany body and maple top, absolutely love it.
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Offline Virtuoso

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I totally understand where you're coming from about not being able to do the pickup swaps. Being in Canada it's not that different than being in Norway (even our weather is similar!).

 ;D

Do you have any experience on the Titan neck ?

Iīm going for a Titan neck and hope for the best.

Iīm going hum canceling for middle pickup, but canīt decide on The Cruiser neck, bridge or Fast Track 1, anyone with experience with these in the middle on a HSH config ?

Will they be hum canceling in position 2,3 and 4 ? Or do I need a super switch ? I donīt know if a super switch will fit in that thin slim S body, I donīt even think a hum canceling pickup will fit without being to near the strings, I can take away some inches of the wood, but I have seen someone do it on a S guitar and drilled a hole to the springs, the S body especially on the prestige lines are extremely thin :o

Offline darkbluemurder

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Iīm going hum canceling for middle pickup, but canīt decide on The Cruiser neck, bridge or Fast Track 1, anyone with experience with these in the middle on a HSH config ?

Will they be hum canceling in position 2,3 and 4 ? Or do I need a super switch ? I donīt know if a super switch will fit in that thin slim S body, I donīt even think a hum canceling pickup will fit without being to near the strings, I can take away some inches of the wood, but I have seen someone do it on a S guitar and drilled a hole to the springs, the S body especially on the prestige lines are extremely thin :o

If you don't split the humbuckers and use a hum cancelling middle pickup, all positions will be humcancelling. No special switch needed. The downside is that this set up will not give you quack in positions 2 and 4.

Of all the DiMarzio singles I am only aware of the SDS-1 requiring a deeper body route but that pickup is not hum cancelling. Both DiMarzio Rail pickups and Areas are normal sized and usually do not require any woodwork or pickguard work but best to check before buying.

As regards the Super Switch: the Eyb/Schaller Megaswitch M was designed for guitars with small cavities for the electronics. I used it successfully in two telecasters where the regular Allparts Super Switch would not fit. 

Good luck with your project.
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 Virtuoso

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If you don't split the humbuckers and use a hum cancelling middle pickup, all positions will be humcancelling. No special switch needed. The downside is that this set up will not give you quack in positions 2 and 4.

As regards the Super Switch: the Eyb/Schaller Megaswitch M was designed for guitars with small cavities for the electronics. I used it successfully in two telecasters where the regular Allparts Super Switch would not fit. 
Thanks for the answer, if I understood you correctly I will be needing a super switch or in my case the megaswitch M from Schaller if I want humcanceling in position 2, 3 and 4 ? I will be splitting the neck and bridges outer coils with the single coil. If I go with the Fast Track 1 or one of the Cruisers will I need to split the rails aswell with the outer coils of the neck and bridge ?

Offline darkbluemurder

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I will be splitting the neck and bridges outer coils with the single coil. If I go with the Fast Track 1 or one of the Cruisers will I need to split the rails aswell with the outer coils of the neck and bridge ?

Yes, otherwise you would have three coils operating which is never hum cancelling.

  if I understood you correctly I will be needing a super switch or in my case the megaswitch M from Schaller if I want humcanceling in position 2, 3 and 4 ?

Most likely yes - at least it will be the easiest way to get where you want. A standard 5 way switch with two levels would allow you to split the humbuckers in #2 and 4 but to get these positions hum cancelling with a rail humbucker in the middle you would need to split that as well. This is not possible with a standard 5 way switch. The Eyb/Schaller Megaswitch E splits both humbuckers as well but would have the outer humbucker coils in #3 instead of the middle pickup alone. For the neck humbucker, the neckside coil would be active in #3 and 4, for the bridge humbucker the neckside coil would be active in #2 but the bridge side coil in #3 but I understood that these are not the combinations you want.

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 Virtuoso

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I will be splitting the neck and bridges outer coils with the single coil. If I go with the Fast Track 1 or one of the Cruisers will I need to split the rails aswell with the outer coils of the neck and bridge ?

Yes, otherwise you would have three coils operating which is never hum cancelling.

  if I understood you correctly I will be needing a super switch or in my case the megaswitch M from Schaller if I want humcanceling in position 2, 3 and 4 ?

Most likely yes - at least it will be the easiest way to get where you want. A standard 5 way switch with two levels would allow you to split the humbuckers in #2 and 4 but to get these positions hum cancelling with a rail humbucker in the middle you would need to split that as well. This is not possible with a standard 5 way switch.

Understood, thanks for the answer  :)

The Eyb/Schaller Megaswitch E splits both humbuckers as well but would have the outer humbucker coils in #3 instead of the middle pickup alone. For the neck humbucker, the neckside coil would be active in #3 and 4, for the bridge humbucker the neckside coil would be active in #2 but the bridge side coil in #3 but I understood that these are not the combinations you want.

So what switch will I be needing to get this config:
1. Pos, Bridge only.
2. Pos, Middle coil rail closest to bridge and outer bridge coil.
3. Pos, Middle only (both rails on single coil active)
4. Pos, Middle coil rail closest to neck and outer neck coil.
5. Pos, Neck only.

Offline darkbluemurder

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So what switch will I be needing to get this config:
1. Pos, Bridge only.
2. Pos, Middle coil rail closest to bridge and outer bridge coil.
3. Pos, Middle only (both rails on single coil active)
4. Pos, Middle coil rail closest to neck and outer neck coil.
5. Pos, Neck only.

A megaswitch M or any other super switch (i.e. a 5 way switch that has 4 levels or 24 terminals in total).

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