Author Topic: Looking for some pickup help. . .  (Read 121 times)

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Offline HarlowTheFish

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Looking for some pickup help. . .
« on: May 17, 2019, 11:29:55 pm »
Hey folks!

So I just picked up a Strandberg Classic 6 and I was kinda curious what you guys would recommend for a new pickup set. The stock units are actually really nice, but my apartment is old and has a ton of electrical noise, so they gotta go.
For the bridge, I want something that has decent output (more than the Virtual Hot PAF, as much or less than a Tone Zone), kinda warm (maybe a little more than a PAF Pro, but a little less than the Tone Zone), but mostly something transparent that lets the snappyness and resonance of the guitar shine through.
For the middle pickup, it's literally never gonna get used on it's own (position 3 is getting wired for neck+bridge split) so I'm looking for something that will make positions 2 and 4 pop a bit without losing too much output.
For the neck, I'm not really looking for a Stratty tone or a really authentic vintage single because honestly, I'm a modern prog guy and that stuff just goes  over my head :P I'm just looking for something that will work well tonally with the humbucker, so probably a darker, hotter kind of thing.

I'll be using this for clean cleans through to like Iron Maiden levels of dirt. I already have a pretty bright amp, so the pickups don't need a ton of treble, but I do want a lot of chord clarity, especially under gain. The attack doesn't have to be super pronounced, but I do want it to stay tight.

I was thinking either a Transition in the bridge with an Injector Neck in the middle and an Injector Bridge in the neck (I hear the Luke III HSS has a similar setup, and it's one of my favorite sounds) for something a little more modern, or a Norton with a Virtual Vintage 54 Pro in the middle and a V for something a little more tame. For pots, it's getting a 500k volume and a Virtual Vintage Heavy Blues 2 in the neck.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Much appreciated, guys!

Woo first post nerves let's go :D

Offline DarthPhineas

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 02:55:36 am »
What amp, speakers, and pedals are in the rig?
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Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 11:42:21 am »
I use a Grandmeister Deluxe 40 (pretty bright), and no pedals. The speaker cab is a DV Mark Neoclassic 2x12, also pretty bright. It's not a super thin or tinny rig though, the Lithiums in my Kiesel (which are basically all upper midrange and treble) can be tamed pretty easily and not sound harsh.

Offline BluesJam

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 04:29:04 pm »
It great that you want to get new electronics, but you should try to rectify the electrical issues in relation to your gear.  There is no point in buying new electronic components without taking the necessary steps to eliminate existing noise that may not be rectified with a new purchase.  You should make sure your power source is properly grounded and is of the (3) prong plug type.  I plug my gear into a power surge strip as a safety precaution.  Make sure your guitar is properly shielded and check all the guitar wiring grounds for loose wires or cold solder joints.  This will eliminate/reduce the majority of your issues, so when you install new electronics things will go much easier.  Youíre only asking for problems my soldering and unsoldering new components.  Use quality switches and pots.  As with most things, preparation is key to a great job.  I prefer single coils, like P90ís and the FS1.  I had HS3ís and HS4ís stacks which does the vintage Ď80ís sound ok, but kinda weak in output.  They just donít do the single coil dynamics that well.

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 05:09:57 pm »
It great that you want to get new electronics, but you should try to rectify the electrical issues in relation to your gear *snip*
I've done about all I can on my end as far as RF and EM interference, and I've checked the shielding, but surge protectors and shielding tape aren't going to fix 60 cycle hum. Power is grounded and has 2 surge protectors (one on the wall for the room and one specifically for music gear), all my guitars are properly shielded, and I only have issues with single-coils.
I looked at some clips of the HS3 and 4 and was seriously unimpressed with the tone, and I can see why a single-coil guy wouldn't be too happy with them. They're not going to cut it with a humbucker, I think.

Offline BluesJam

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 09:27:54 pm »
I would try the Morley HumX.  If you eliminate the electrical interference maybe your guitar electronics will have less 60 cycle/or other hum issues.  Once that is resolved, it may be a bit easier to obtain the desired tone for your guitar.  Electrical interference can alter the performance and tone of the pickups. DiMarzio pickups wonít resolve your electrical issues.  YMMV.    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HumX--ebtech-hum-by-ground-loop-hum-exterminator?mrkgcl=28&mrkgadid=3308752876&rkg_id=0&product_id=HumX&campaigntype=shopping&campaign=aaShopping%20-%20SKU%20-%20Live%20Sound%20%26%20Lighting&adgroup=Live%20Sound%20Accessories%20-%20Ebtech%20-%20humx&placement=google&adpos=1o1&creative=290335234070&device=m&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2v7mBRC1ARIsAAiw34_DrlpSeEUv5OhqVRl9FIJwW4UIRSaXflGFh8k8UaShfrSC56Ph0SUaAoapEALw_wcB
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 09:40:30 pm by BluesJam »

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 03:27:49 pm »
From your OP it is not quite clear whether your guitar has regular single coils in the neck and middle. If so, any model of the Area or Virtual Vintage series will reduce the 60 cycle hum to almost nothing.

As regards tone - I am a hotter than vintage single coil guy myself. In the neck I love the Virtual Vintage Heavy Blues 2. It is fat, yet it retains some strat quack, simply a great tone, especially if you are going to use 500k pots to suit a medium to high output humbucker in the bridge spot. I have not used one of the hotter models (Injector bridge or Virtual Solo) in the neck position but these would be the next step up in the Area series. If you want even hotter, you would have to go to a rail type such as Satch Track or Chopper. That would then be more in the humbucker land if that is what you want.

For the middle position I would choose the Injector neck. I have it in a guitar together with the VV Heavy Blues 2 in the neck, and they work very well together, and quack nicely in position 4 (neck = #5, bridge = #1).

Many bridge pickups to choose from. In the guitar I described I currently have an AT-1 but it is quite middy. If that is what you are going for, fine. A possible alternative would be the Breed bridge. No experience with the Transition bridge, however. I guess somebody will recommend the Air Zone but I have no experience with that one either.

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 HarlowTheFish

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2019, 05:45:00 pm »
From your OP it is not quite clear whether your guitar has regular single coils in the neck and middle.
Regular singles, currently, which is the issue.
Quote
As regards tone - I am a hotter than vintage single coil guy myself. In the neck I love the Virtual Vintage Heavy Blues 2. It is fat, yet it retains some strat quack, simply a great tone, especially if you are going to use 500k pots to suit a medium to high output humbucker in the bridge spot. I have not used one of the hotter models (Injector bridge or Virtual Solo) in the neck position but these would be the next step up in the Area series. If you want even hotter, you would have to go to a rail type such as Satch Track or Chopper. That would then be more in the humbucker land if that is what you want.
I think I'd probably not do a Virtual Solo in the neck because of the A5 string pull (the Injectors and VV HB2 and 54 Pro are A2). I'm leaning to the HB2 because it's what the Injector bridge is based on (or so I hear) for the neck because it's a little cheaper. As far as the rail singles, I'd probably go for a Chopper or a Fast Track 1, but tonally they seemed a little congested in the lows and kinda weird in the treble to me.
Quote
For the middle position I would choose the Injector neck. I have it in a guitar together with the VV Heavy Blues 2 in the neck, and they work very well together, and quack nicely in position 4 (neck = #5, bridge = #1).
Good to hear. Would you say it's more sparkly or woody in the attack? I don't want positions 2 and 4 (especially 2 which I use a lot for distorted rhythm) to get brash and tinny, but I also want them to brighten up a bit and be somewhat more percussive than the others.
Quote
Many bridge pickups to choose from. In the guitar I described I currently have an AT-1 but it is quite middy. If that is what you are going for, fine. A possible alternative would be the Breed bridge. No experience with the Transition bridge, however. I guess somebody will recommend the Air Zone but I have no experience with that one either.
I'm not huge on the AT1, reminds me a lot of a JB (not a fan at all). I'm not super familiar with the Breed, though I've tried the Gravity Storm (very nice, but too "leady" for this guitar) and the Evo (also good but also not for this guitar. My only concern would be that it might be too thick, if anything. Maybe a Breed Neck in the bridge?
The Air Zone is interesting too, just seems like people either love it or hate it.
I would try the Morley HumX.  If you eliminate the electrical interference maybe your guitar electronics will have less 60 cycle/or other hum issues.  Once that is resolved, it may be a bit easier to obtain the desired tone for your guitar.  Electrical interference can alter the performance and tone of the pickups. DiMarzio pickups wonít resolve your electrical issues.  YMMV.
I've had hum eliminators and they haven't really helped, and the Hum X says it's for ground loops, which isn't the issue I'm having.

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Looking for some pickup help. . .
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 03:53:33 am »
Would you say it's more sparkly or woody in the attack? I don't want positions 2 and 4 (especially 2 which I use a lot for distorted rhythm) to get brash and tinny, but I also want them to brighten up a bit and be somewhat more percussive than the others.

Injector neck is definitely more on the sparkly side but not thin at all - at least in the three different guitars I tried it in.

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