Author Topic: Help me select a neck pickup  (Read 270 times)

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Offline chris osborne

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Help me select a neck pickup
« on: September 04, 2019, 11:18:35 am »
Hi guys. I've been having a bit of trouble getting a tone I like in the neck position of my JP100D. It originally came with a liquifire in the neck which lacked the attack I wanted for fast picking. I replaced it with an Air Norton which is even worse, lol. It's just too smooth in the neck and the attack is not very prominent through my DC-5. I have a Pacifica with Duncan Alpha and Omega pickups in it and on the neck it just has that perfect "click" attack that makes picking fast feel effortless and I'd like to get a similar tone in my 100D. Interestingly enough I tried the Air Norton in the bridge position and it sounds extremely good to me, which is surprising considering many of the posts I've read about that pickup in the bridge. Anyways, I've been trying to decide between the HFH and PAF Pro for the neck. I do really like a neck pickup with that vocal or vowel like sound and a very clear and defined attack when single notes are picked for faster runs. What concerns me is that the Pro is a bit hotter than the Air Norton and might not match well for that reason. Does the HFH have a vocal quality to it as well? If so it might work better. Or perhaps another of the Dimarzio PAF type pickups like the Master? Paul Gilbert was getting some great neck tones from those. Any suggestions or info on either pickup would be helpful and thanks!

Chris
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 11:25:53 am by chris osborne »

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 11:41:39 am »
The Pro works in a lot of combos, so you could keep it dropped all the way (I'm not sure what the cavity clearance is like on the JP100D so YMMV). The HFH sounds like and angry single coil with a bit more heft, so if you're into that it might work. Maybe something like a Bluesbucker? It's more p90ish.

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 04:48:10 am »
As a companion to the Air Norton in the bridge, BluesBucker comes to mind. It will give you definitely more attack than the Air Norton in the neck.

My favorite DiMarzio neck humbucker is the DP240 mini humbucker as it is even clearer in the low end and still retains solid output - it should easily keep up with the Air Norton in the bridge as it has no problem in keeping up with either the AT-1 or the SD Custom 5 in the bridge. Of course you would have to get an adaptor ring to fit it to a full size humbucker cavity.

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; Norton

Offline DarthPhineas

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 09:18:07 am »
PAF Pro is a tried and true model. I like it.

And the Bluesbucker. I also like it.

Both are workable in neck or bridge. Canít lose.
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Offline chris osborne

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 01:57:51 pm »
Thanks so much for the help!

Offline chris osborne

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 08:10:14 am »
Would you guys say that the bluesbucker has a similar aww type vocal quality to the Pro? The Bluesbucker output would match well with the Air Norton I think. I AB'd the AN and a Transition last night again in the bridge and to me the Transition sounded somewhat hollow and thin compared to the AN. It was broader wheras the AN seemed more focused, thicker, and really crunchy but still tight. Ideally I would just use the Transition in the bridge and get a PAF Pro for neck but I have to go with the AN in the bridge after hearing the difference. Dang tone chasing is a sickness! lol

Chris
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 08:12:16 am by chris osborne »

Offline Guitar74

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 03:41:51 pm »
How about the Super2? It has more than a little bite.

Offline marcwormjim

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2019, 11:58:25 pm »
Would you guys say that the bluesbucker has a similar aww type vocal quality to the Pro?

I wouldn’t.

I may stand corrected, but I always attributed that mid-spike Dimarzio is known for to the phase cancellation resulting from the “tuned”/unbalanced humbucker coils Blucher seems to prefer. The Bluesbucker, on the other hand, is (essentially) a 7k ceramic singlecoil with a dummy coil mounted next to it on a humbucker baseplate.

Then again, I’ve used the BB and PAF Pro in a variety of guitars; and found what I initially considered the defining characteristics of each to be more guitar-dependent than I would have guessed. I recently A/B’d recordings of all my guitars’ neck pickups; and found the Bluesbucker-equipped ones to sound anywhere from Casino P90-ish in a Strandberg, to Les Paul PAFish in a Steinberger, and like a Tele wide-range ‘bucker in a Vigier.

And with the Bluesbucker split, I found I preferred some guitars over a legit strat, while others I felt were inferior to a split PAF Joe or Gravity Storm neck.

TL;DR: Some may have experienced a BB mated with a particular guitar to have an EQ particular to that mating. Owning too many guitars has taught me that the prescribed pickup doesn’t always jive. I just take it as an excuse to buy more gear :)
« Last Edit: September 07, 2019, 12:00:57 am by marcwormjim »

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2019, 12:03:03 am »
I'd probably agree in that it physically doesn't have the same construction as the other Dimarzio humbuckers that gives them that signature midrange.
However, you could definitely fine-tune your tone to get you that. My Strandberg Classic 6 with the stock neck single can get a snappy vocal midrange if I run my amp with the midrange gunned just as much as my Ibby with Dimarzios does, just needs a little help. The thing with the Bluesbucker (and every other single-coil or single-coil-like pickup) is that you can compensate for the pickup's voicing with the tone knob and your playing technique in ways that the average humbucker really can't.

Offline slugworth

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2019, 12:04:08 am »
I love the PAF Pro. I just decided to leave it long-term in the neck position of my latest guitar, which has an early 80s Super D in the bridge. Sometimes tried-and-true is where it's at, and the PAF Pro goes perfectly with the Super D. HOWEVER, since you are going with the AN in the bridge, I think you'll be happier with something lower output in the neck.

HFH is a pretty good idea, but I think an Air Classic might be even better for you. The AC is another tried-and-true pickup that isn't getting pushed by marketing dollars anymore, but it will give you exactly what you're looking for. Full yet clear and just enough bite.

If you want to hear the Air Classic in action, listen to Paul Gilbert's Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar album. The bulk of it was recorded with an Ibanez PGM401 with dual Air Classics, which has a neck pickup placement probably identical to your JP100D. Oh look, the instructional video for SFBDR is on Youtube now. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHdqwN_2Ga0
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 12:07:59 am by slugworth »
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Offline DarthPhineas

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 08:58:42 am »
Sometimes tried-and-true is where it's at,


^^^ this ^^^

Most of the songs that we consider benchmarks and classic and groundbreaking were made using stock gear without all the processing tricks we use today. Those guys used what they had and made the best of it with their fingers and their amps.



Also, as much as I have mad props for Pablo Gilberto, he makes anything so good. 
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Offline Guitar74

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 12:01:34 pm »
Sometimes tried-and-true is where it's at,


^^^ this ^^^

Most of the songs that we consider benchmarks and classic and groundbreaking were made using stock gear without all the processing tricks we use today. Those guys used what they had and made the best of it with their fingers and their amps.



Truer words were never spoken. So many times we go on this "quest" with gear, etc., and forget to realize that if we have a decent amp (or may not even decent), a playable guitar, etc., that so much of our tonal quest lies in our fingertips.

Offline chris osborne

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2019, 02:40:11 pm »
Thanks for all the suggestions and help guys! I did some more experimenting and discovered that by turning my Transition around in the bridge with the screws facing the neck, I got a thicker tone that I'm happy with and that makes my neck pickup choice much easier to make. PAF Pro it will be! ☺️

Offline Guitar74

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Re: Help me select a neck pickup
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 05:46:46 pm »
Cool. I like the Pro. I never tried it in the neck. I gonna stop now before I start gassing for one.