Author Topic: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?  (Read 2276 times)

Offline darkbluemurder

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Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« on: May 19, 2019, 04:31:32 pm »
I have a strat (ash body, maple neck) which has a Virtual Vintage Heavy Blues 2 in the neck, an Injector neck in the middle and an AT-1 in the bridge (500k pots). Love the single coils but lately came to the conclusion that I want something with slightly less midrange and more attack, about the same output.

I am not sure about the Air Zone, even though it gets a lot of praise here. The specs indicate it would have lots of midrange as well. Same with the Transition as I have read that it is darker than the AT-1. Dito the Gravity Storm bridge.

Steve's Special is a potential candidate, as are the Breed Bridge, Imperium and Satchur8.

What do you think? Did I miss any that I should look into?

Thanks,
Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton, Injector bridge

Offline greenlion

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 09:03:02 pm »
The Air Zone is a bit more balanced, and somewhat darker than the AT-1. I don't know about having more attack though. The Breed is not going to have less midrange than the AT-1. The EVO 2 might have more attack, but it does not have less mids.

Offline Gavron

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 06:44:51 am »
Dear Stephan exact problem here with 2x injector and bridge in alder body hss. Now I'm using other brand 12k a5 hb similar to AT-1. To little attack and too midrange'y also. I've tried Trasition Neck in bridge slot. Attack is better definetely, but overall it's too bright pickup to balance well with injectors. 12k ceramic pickup might be the way, maybe you (we) should replace magnet for ceramic in at-1..Thinking about puting area t hot in humbucker housing, are maybe buying sth like humbucker with 12pcs of alnico rods. A8 is not good idea IMO. Too much compression causes lack of attack. Tried 18k A8 pickup with injectors and didn't work.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 06:49:21 am by Gavron »

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 10:11:09 am »
Both thanks for your input.

I am not limited to DiMarzio options. In fact I have thought about the Duncan C-5 as alternative.

I guess Breed bridge and Air Zone are out. I thought briefly about the EVO 2 as well so I will check that out.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton, Injector bridge

Offline greenlion

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 05:06:20 pm »
I wouldn't say that the Evo2 has less mids either. The Steve's Special does. It is sort of the opposite of what you have now.

Offline BluesJam

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 10:20:52 pm »
Would an EJ Humbucker work?  Itís a strange recommendation, itís a low output humbucker that has a single coil vibe.  It may have some nice attack and clarity if push with the right type of dirt pedal/amp.

Offline marcwormjim

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2019, 12:22:45 am »
+1 to EJ as a contender. Even a low-output pickup will generate a surprising amount of voltage in the right guitar (Such as you see with PAFs in boat anchor Les Pauls).

I had to audition weaker and weaker humbuckers in my dense Steinberger until I settled on the EJ, and it’s still “louder” than my Strandberg with an Al Di Meola (which I settled on after auditioning [you guessed it] increasingly hotter pickups in an anemic guitar.

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 04:22:06 am »
That is an interesting thought. With a low output humbucker I possibly could leave it in series mode in #2 to balance with the Injector neck. If it is too bright in #1 with a load of 500k I can add resistors to bring the load down.

Thanks,
Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton, Injector bridge

Offline marcwormjim

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 08:04:05 am »
I use a 3.9k resistor in parallel with a 0.047 ĶF cap along the shunt to ground when “splitting” the EJ. The aim is to revoice the humbucker so you get a single coil-ish sound out of it with minimal drop in signal. Different resistor and cap values will cover the spectrum between “subtly affected humbucker” to “split with less hum.” My point being that there are a few tricks one can use to balance a split lower output humbucker with a single coil.

Offline A-Bomb

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 01:29:33 am »
Have you considered a Super Distortion? To me it has a tighter attack and less upper mids, which are probably what is bothering you about the AT-1.

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2019, 03:37:02 am »
I thought about that. In fact I should have an old SD in my parts box which I could try, even though I know for sure that it is not F-spaced - but probably that is not a problem. If it is I can at least check whether it is something I like more than the current set up.

Thanks,
Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton, Injector bridge

Offline A-Bomb

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2019, 03:56:48 am »
May be worth a shot, especially if you have an SD lying around, F-spaced or not.
If you like the tone in general, you can still get yourself an F-spaced one.

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 11:46:49 am »
Meanwhile I scored a Norton, F-spaced. I probably try that first when it arrives.

Thanks for all your input.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton, Injector bridge

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2019, 05:52:44 pm »
So - the Norton is here, it is in the guitar and it rocks! It was just what I wanted for this guitar. I lost the honk and got more articulation.

The AT-1 went into the poplar tele, replacing a Steve Morse bridge. Again a significant improvement. Not that the SMB sounded bad in any way but the AT-1 has more warmth, more crunch and more harmonics, and in this guitar it has the open top end that it didn't have in the maple neck/fretboard strat. This is not the first time I noticed that maple fretboards are more picky about the pickups - the window between dull and too bright seems to be narrower than with other fretboard woods such as rosewood or pau ferro. The poplar tele has a maple neck with rosewood board.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton, Injector bridge

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Less midrangey alternative to AT-1?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2019, 10:22:38 pm »
So - the Norton is here, it is in the guitar and it rocks! It was just what I wanted for this guitar. I lost the honk and got more articulation.

The AT-1 went into the poplar tele, replacing a Steve Morse bridge. Again a significant improvement. Not that the SMB sounded bad in any way but the AT-1 has more warmth, more crunch and more harmonics, and in this guitar it has the open top end that it didn't have in the maple neck/fretboard strat. This is not the first time I noticed that maple fretboards are more picky about the pickups - the window between dull and too bright seems to be narrower than with other fretboard woods such as rosewood or pau ferro. The poplar tele has a maple neck with rosewood board.

Cheers Stephan

Hey Stephan, how do you like the Norton with the Heavy Blues 2 in the neck? I'm probably gonna pick up those two with a VV 54 Pro for the middle and was wondering how you're getting on with it.
Curious if it's any good clean and with just a bit of drive too, but most reviews are more about gainier applications.