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The Pickup Place / Re: Ibanez PGM301 bridge pickup
« Last post by greenlion on Today at 03:06:14 pm »
Any bridge humbucker is going to overpower an SSL-1 single coil. If you did not like the 59/custom hybrid, I don't think you will like the AT-1 either. Those seemed similar to me, and I did not like either, although I do love what Andy Timmons does with his AT-1. Are you going to run the SSL-1 with a 500K pot? Its gonna be bright. Something like a 54pro or Area 61 would probably keep up with the humbucker better, and be hum cancelling.
The Pickup Place / Re: Ibanez PGM301 bridge pickup
« Last post by Shooweri on Today at 07:46:17 am »
It's actually a good thing that you shared your opinion, made me thinking the whole thing from middle single point of view. It being SSL1, I need to be careful that bridge HB won't overpower it in terms of volume and output.

I am currently looking for a bunch of bridge HBs used, especially AT and Breed bridge. Mainly looking for DMZ HB since PGM has triangle-shape routings and Duncans won't fit without modification.

There's many JBs in sale locally but it's not what I'm after. If I would change pot to 250k it would change the tone of other pickups. Therefore looking for used AT.

Thank you all for your help!

After a month of playing with DiMarzio Heavy Blues 2 disappointed with this pickup too. It is very weird pickup. On frets higher 12th this pickup sounds great. Very stratty and fat at the same time. With a good sustain. Below 12th fret it started sounded like wah pedal with toe rised up. Lack of highs and attack and muddy lows. So I returned to Virtual Solo for neck position. It matches better with Evo 2 than VVHeavy Blues 2 and Chopper.
The Pickup Place / Re: Mahogany body: EVO 2 vs Evolution
« Last post by Orkhan Julfa on Today at 07:02:34 am »
Evolution and Evo 2 are my favorite bridge humbuckers. I've tried them on mahogony, alder and basswood. With mahogany and alder they can sound a little bit too much in your face. Just set Evos not too close to the strings. Closer to the strings more beefier tone. Far from strings - thinner sound. Try to find a balance and they will sound perfect! They are very sensitive to height adjustment. Especially Evo 2.
With all this said, I'd first buy the guitar, and try it out, and find out if you're satisfied or you're missing something.


If you want to get rid of the single coil hum, the Injector neck would be a good replacement for the Texas Specials.

Cheers Stephan
Gear Closet / Re: Amp choices
« Last post by corypheus on June 20, 2018, 06:27:00 pm »
My first real amp was an Traynor - was late 70s model, decidedly clean and I was a shredder in my 20s and early 30s, listening to VH and trying to just nail that sound from Eruption, I remember using a nasty sounding distortion box from ibanez from that time with the amp… simply didn't know better. Then I remember the output tranny blowing up, I however don't remember why, the thick wire coils of the tranny just popped out, so I gave the amp (or the surviving parts anyway) to a buddy for free, and bought ADA Mp1, which I thought was THE sound for the time.

I was using superstrats with JBs (Charvels) since my other role model, Steve Stevens, had his loaded with JBs as well. This was beginning of the 90s, and I was one of the few "hair metal" guys around… didn't last a long time, around 94, I was all grunge. As I would usually be "late", I ended up continuing the grunge all the way to the 2000/2001... where I just quit, but luckily didn't sell my gear.

I picked up my act again in early 2008, and traded 3 of my Charvels and an ADA MP1 with the Marshall 100/100 monoblock poweramp, and an old VHT deliverence cab I had, to a local pawn shop - by this time I was out of service in the military, and I decided to stay in Europe with my now-wife, instead of going back to states -- this I state because pawn shops aren't such a big thing on this side of the pond - but I was extremely lucky, to find Lee Jackson moded 2203 head (Metaltronix), with KT88s, smaller Marshall 2x12 cab with V30 speakers instead of stock T75s, and a bog down, simplistic all-mahogany flat Les Paul Special Faded, and some cash. I quickly switched the pickups of the Gibson to DiMarzio, a SuperD and PAF Pro, and was hooked ever since.

That JCM 800 2203 is hands down the best sounding amp I currently have and that I ever tried. And in the meantime, so I can compare, I've bought a few - two other 2203, an 2205, and 2203KK which also has KT88s, but sounds nothing like my Metaltronix does! Also had DSL50 but I sold that off, and Laney VH100R suffered the same fate, couldn't bond with them.

Aside Marshalls, I have a smaller practice tube hybrid Line6 spider valve 40 112 combo, which is great for writing stuff because it has plethora of sounds mimicking other amps and alot of effects, and sounds pretty decent too. I have Roland Jazz Chorus 120, that is my main clean amp, simply best cleans solid state. I have an older Dual Rectifier solo head… and I'm in a GASS and hunt mode for a used ENGL Blackmore siggy, played one at a friend's venue and loved how it sounded.

I also do maintenance of my own amps, and repair amps that I buy for low money, and sometimes also repair amps for friends or local bands. Of the cheap amps that I got that needed repairing; Ashdown Fallen Angel 40 combo, so many cold solder joints, burnt PCB around one of the output EL84, fluctuating bias, nonworking vu-meter… made in england on the back and PCB proudly states "Made in PRC" inside... nightmare of repairing but it's repaired now and sounds decent - great modding platform that I'll probably mod to an 800 clone with EL84s, they're so crunchy!; FBT BR500 M2 an old late 60s Italian vintage copy of the Fender Bassman that needed refurbishing and had to switch to different output tubes from stock El503 to Rus EL500, sounds great for both bass and guitar; and Bugera 6262 a copy of the 5150II that had the molex connector of the OT burnt down and had all of it's fuses eating because of it constantly, simple fix direct soldering proper bias with good quality tubes and the amp sounds pretty good, not exactly like the amp it's supposed to sound like but in the ballpark. I'm probably gonna give that away to a young guy that I know father of, he's into Killswitch Engage a lot, 6262 can get that kind of sound with a good EQ in the loop.

So yeah, got a full wall of amps, but really only regularly use the 800s - I usually do cover band venues, and the Metaltronix stays home, while my other Marshalls work it out live. They rarely need any work, they used to be better made before, all of my are originals, not RI.

You Know what's funny? When I was younger, I used to hate Marshalls and thought I'd never settle on one. But I guess it's true that when you find a good one, it's a lifetime companion.

As for H&K... didn't try GM Deluxe, but did play on TubeMeister 18, and loved how versatile that thing was! So many useful and practical things in a small amp, if I just needed something for studio recording and needed that kind of sounds, TM18 would definitely be it.


It's definitely a tall order, but it's possible, with some compromises. The PG+ is basically an A5 Pearly Gates, it definitely does everything from blues to old school metal, if you don't need it for very technical and tight stuff, it's great and versatile, and if you like it's sound you have it sorted.

With a lot of gain, however, it's not a very tight pickup, it is pretty bright but sadly not the tightest, very fast playing on the lower strings can get inarticulate with high gain, although this can be slightly dealt with raising the pickup screw on the bottom string. If you need it for the more modern techie stuff, and this part of the sound has a priority to you - you could change the bridge humbucker to something else with a little bit tighter bottom end and perhaps slightly more output, and still have it super versatile.

Plenty of very versatile pickups -- Norton, AT-1 or even Evo2 from DiMarzio… Custom series from Duncan will do anything from jazz to metal, Bareknuckle the Mule(s), VHII or Rebel Yells will do as well. Pick your poison… they all sound different, but they all will do everything you can think of, provided you have the right kind of amp/simulator to back it up.

Texas Specials are awesome overwound single coils (yeah, they're reasonably loud), and they're great for everything you can throw at them (sans metal of course, they're at their core still single coils). If you ever feel the need, you could switch to a single-sized humbucker in the neck if you want the neck humbucker sound as well as singlecoil from the same position. If you feel the need, Satchtrack is great if you want both the humbucker and singlecoil sound from it, because it sounds like a real humbucker but also have an excellent split sound, Injector is great for fat powerful loud shred sounds - but like I said, if you don't plan on adding tons of gain on the middle and neck, stick with Texas Specials, because they're really great pickups, and can cover a lot of ground.

Lastly, amp has a take on it as well, a high gainer like a Dual Rec or 5150 won't have issues sounding super aggressive even if you're running 36th Anny, and I doubt anyone would comment SuperD's clean sounds bad from Fender Twin or JC120, so it should be put into perspective. If you use modelers/software/profilers, my experience is they react better to tighter and louder pickups then they do otherwise.

With all this said, I'd first buy the guitar, and try it out, and find out if you're satisfied or you're missing something.

So after spending a while analyzing how I use my guitars, and what I use in different situations, I've come to the conclusion that an HSS strat is the best for me. I am tired of maintaining multiple guitars.

I like a very wide variety of music, and noodle around with everything. Anything from chicken pickin country, to wes montgomery style jazz, to John Mayer/SRV blues, to pop from all decades, to a wide variety of high gain tones, grew up listening to Nirvana and early 2000's alternative/nu metal.

When I play anything with distortion, I ALWAYS use the bridge pickup, and I prefer that it is a humbucker.

When I play cleaner stuff I 98% of the time stick to either a neck single coil, or neck + middle.

So far for all of this I have to change guitars, but now want it all in 1.

I want a good balanced pickup set for a HSS configuration, with 5 way selector switch. Maybe I am asking for a lot, but I don't want there to be a massive volume shift between pickups, even going from single coil to humbucker.

One thing about single coils that I will mention is that I prefer them to be very loud. I have a 1988 American Standard Strat, no clue what pickups are in it but I believe it's the stock alnico 5's that I heard are pretty high output in strats from those years. I to this day have never played another strat that has sounded as full, bell like, and loud as my strat. Maybe the tone from other starts is the true strat tone, but if that is the case, I don't like them. Every single strat I have played in stores sounds extremely thin and trebly compared to mine. Even telecasters. I have a couple of american standard telecasters and when I play them side by side against my strat, same amp settings, when I plug in the strat, the tone is instantly louder and more full. I am afraid of taking my strat apart in fear of losing whatever magic it has, but I am still on the hunt for single coil that can rival it.

I am actually on the hunt for a early 2000's American Fat Strat Texas Special/Lonestar Strat, which has the 2 Texas Special pickups and the Pearly Gates Plus which was only made for that guitar.

I am hoping this model can give me what I am looking for in terms of versatility.

Perhaps there is a better pickup set? Advice is welcome.
The Pickup Place / Re: I'm so sorry...
« Last post by Strangeman86 on June 20, 2018, 01:52:47 pm »
Well, I guess I'm going to have to hit up BanjoMikez again lol.
The Pickup Place / Re: I'm so sorry...
« Last post by corypheus on June 20, 2018, 09:46:53 am »
Thanks!  I'd actually never considered the Norton, but I'll give it some serious thought.  The Custom/Pegasus (at least the coils I use) is essentially just a really refined Custom (I run mine with an A6 which makes it a bit smokey and fills out the low-mids).  More note separation, easier to control.  I've tried the other coils (Pegasus slug, Custom screw) and that combination was VERY loud and compressed.

I like to tinker the pickups myself to tweak out the finer details, so I completely understand it. Yeah, of all the DiMarzios, Norton is closest in wind to the Custom, it's just warmer and darker, changing the baseplate will open it up further, and will remove some of the mids as well. It sounds excellent with ceramic as well, albeit still smoother then a stock Custom.

Also, like Tone Zone, the coils are mismatched, not as much as TZ or D-Sonic, but there's still slightly different sounds to it, so I'd try to flip it over - installed "normally" with the wire portruding towards pots on a right-handed guitar is the bassier warmer sound, flipped over it's tigher and brighter, ever so slightly.

I would think a Norton would be definitely up your alley, and since you're not affraid to tweak it, could probably nail the sound even further.

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