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Messages - Dave J

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The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: March 04, 2019, 12:56:32 pm »
Thanks for the mod ideas on the AN.  I think I really want to try the Fred in the neck.  As I play it more and listen more critically to the guitar in general I think I'd like to try something else in the bridge. I really like the Fred, but at least in my guitar with my rig it's got a bit more of that cocked wah sound than I'd ideally want, if I am using the correct term for the sound I am hearing.  Hoping either the Norton or Mo Joe has less. 

The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: February 27, 2019, 11:00:10 am »
Thanks for that.  My gut was telling me when I started thinking about replacing the AN that I should maybe try the Fred in the neck with either another Fred in the bridge or a Norton. The Mo Joe was a possibility but  the Norton seems more alive vs the Mo Joe. That is where I am going at this point, Fred in the neck.

The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: February 20, 2019, 12:14:08 pm »
I worked more with this pickup. Height and pole screws, amp settings clean and dirty.  Bass notes still a little too muffled for me. Gonna change out the strings this weekend. Unplugged they don't sound all that dead so not sure what could be in play that would make them sound more undefined  ( wound strings)  amplified but we'll see.
PAF Pro.  This has been a very popular go to pickup for the neck with either a Fred or another PAF Pro in the bridge based on many reviews and posts I have read. I know this was Satch's early neck with the Fred. Somehow I got the impression that based on Dimarzio's advertised output levels that  the Pro in neck might be too strong for the Fred. Yet many swear by it as a neck , even for the same pickup also in the bridge.  This will be my next tryout if new strings don't do the trick. 

The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: February 15, 2019, 01:08:35 pm »
Okay, got the DP103F  36th and it's in the neck. 
Ibanez RG550 24 fret maple neck/basswood body/ original edge locking trem/ Fred in bridge- no middle PU/ 9-46  Dunlop strings re-used

This replaced an Air Norton that I liked by and large but felt was a bit dark for what I wanted from this guitar.
The 36th is a warm pickup, but more open sounding and a little less powerful than the AN. Notes on the wound strings are warm and a little more of a clear, cutting sounding than the AN. Unwound and higher notes are defined but not thin. Note separation under a good amount of gain is good.   I would say overall not as dark as the AN, but not even close to as bright as I "understand " the HFH to be.  Pick attack is good and while not overly so, the pickup does react to varying degrees of pick attack. Hit the string hard and it does give a little more attitude. Relative to the neck position pick harmonics are there but not quite to the level of the AN. ( I can get them easy on even an unplugged electric, guitar willing)   Volume wise,  I have the 36th somewhere between 1/16th to 1/8th inch higher than I had the AN to balance with the Fred as it is set.   As for the line between  smooth and fluid  vs more aggressive  my ear says this pickup in my guitar is about 60% aggressive and 40% smooth/fluid.  I'd say this is a good neck pickup that can do a number of things well without going overboard in one direction or another. I haven't had too much time with it yet and thus didn't play a lot of clean with it, but I will. This is a rock guitar but I do play clean so I'll get some solid time with it this weekend and post an updated report in the "Everything you wanted to know about"  section that will include some clean opinions.  From what I did play clean,  the "does everything well" likely applies.

So am I happy with the swap?  For those of us who  don't swap pickups for the purpose of doing reviews ( and thank you to those that do that for us!) I think we hope to be blown away with our new pickup.  I am not blown away.  I can't say this one is staying.  I can say this pickup moved me more in the direction I wanted to go - overall- than the AN did and that I do like it. I will give it a hearty chance.  There are more height and pole piece adjustments to try.  I do baseline "testing" with my DSL40CR and no outboard effects, but I play with a pedal board  and always have at least my Big Sky reverb  on, and various combinations of delay, chorus  ( hey its an '80s rock guitar!) flanger . etc for some bits. I'll give it the whole 9 yards.  Also, in order to be accurate I kept the same strings on. The strings are not dead by any means but are in the " these can be changed "  window.  I had 10's on this guitar and a while back wanted to try 9-46's and the only set I had were the Dunlops in that gauge.  I have no complaints but I usually stick with tried and true D'addario XL's and sometimes DR tite-fit sets.  I certainly won't make any final decisions without a fresh set on the guitar.
If someone brought a similar RG550 to my house that had the 36th in the neck and I played it thru my rig I am not 100% sure I'd have bought it. ( assuming similar wear on the strings).  I was hoping for a little more " bell like" tone on the wound strings and maybe more harmonics. At the same time I went for this because I was concerned the HFH might be too far in the other direction.  I'm gonna keep it for now and see what I can get out of it.  There are screws to be turned, knobs to be turned, maybe a new string gauge, and for sure it's almost due for new  strings of the same gauge  anyway.
Thanks for all the help you all  have provided on this thread.  Totally fine with buying the pup because ultimately ya never know until it's in the cavity and plugged in, and it's by no means a hard no even early on!

The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: January 30, 2019, 03:05:00 pm »
Thanks Cory, and everyone!  Just bought a neck 36th. I'll post my "review" once it's in and I have tweaked pickup heights and pole screws. 

The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: January 29, 2019, 02:22:36 pm »
Thanks for that info. You have indeed talked me out of the Master neck. By chance does anyone have a comparison of the 36th neck and the Air Classic neck that Dimarzio tech support suggests?
Gonna quit overthinking and get one of those two
( you and Darth! )

Thanks everyone

The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: January 26, 2019, 04:23:16 pm »
I'm not sure it will track fast/rapid notes as well as you may like. I remember everything sounded amazing while shredding with the Transition neck. Felt like a ''guitar god'' at times. The PAF Master won't do that. If you're a fast player, you may need to head in another direction.

Thank you. I do play ( try my best anyway) about as fast as Satriani, Gary Moore ish speeds , or anything Gilbert plays in his demo's on the neck. Nothing like super fast Bumblefoot sweeps. I have never paid attention to how my other pickups note track, it's a new concept to me. What does it sound like when a pickup doesn't track fast notes well? Like just undefined?

Ok. Donít get it.

LOL, stupid name for a post, I know.

The Pickup Place / Re: Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: January 25, 2019, 03:57:30 pm »
I have a PAF Master (neck) pickup installed on my V.
What would you like to know?

Well the review you posted in the PAF Master .. Everything you ever... forum was a huge help to me.  Thank you for spending the time to really put it to words! I thought you really gave a lot of details, and I liked what I read. Your V and my Ibby superstrat  are not the same beast, but I did see a couple of videos of the pickup on superstrats that swayed me. The Paul Gilbert video? Meh.  The only thing that would make me decide against it is if you told me it sucked at getting harmonics. ( as much as you can get them on a neck). 
Am I accurate in saying the Master Neck is less polite than a HFH, PAF Joe, 36th, Air Classic? 

Thanks !!

Oh, they are short leg mounts, right?

The Pickup Place / Talk me out of the PAF Master neck
« on: January 25, 2019, 02:35:45 pm »
So I have been littering the forum with questions on a neck 'bucker  for my Ibanez RG550 / basswood/ 24 fret/ Edge trem guitar with a Fred in the bridge and no middle single coil. I wanted a replacement for the Air Norton that was a little too dark for my wants. I wanted clearer wound strings, decent harmonics, and something that sits right on that line of rude and 'tude but still workable for more fluid runs. If it crosses the line slightly it should be towards rude and 'tude.

Dimarzio support was great and suggested an Air Classic neck. "Y'all " have provided some great input, and reading thru other threads has also been great ! Based on reading, youtube videos, and Dimarzio's tone charts I think I want the PAF Master neck.  I looked at the 36th neck as well but it seemed a liitle more polite but still not bad.  The PAF Master neck seemed similar to the PAF Joe but not as hot so I'd have more room to play with pickup height. The attack seemed quicker on the Master neck as well.  The Air Classic sounds great but also maybe a bit polite, and the HFH to be honest I couldn't get a great read on from  youtube. I fell back on Dimarzio's tone chart which I know might not be the end all but the Master neck had more mids per that chart. The HFH is a bit hotter so I don't know how that translates  when comparing the toe charts of the HFH and Master neck.

So I think the Master neck is my choice.  Based on what I want is the a good argument for the HFH or Air Classic? 

youse are the best !

The Pickup Place / Re: Breed pickups discontinued?
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:39:53 pm »
They are so Dimarzio doesn't list them, but I believe you can still order them as a "Custom shop" product. But there are still plenty of sets new and used online. Reverb/ebay, even some of the bigger retailers. If you decide you want a set you shouldn't have too hard a time grabbing a set or individual neck or bridge.
In case you need their specs

356 mv
16.32 ohms
T-6 M-9 B -8

325 mv
10.39 ohms
T-6 M-7.5 B - 7.5

These were from notes I made when researching them, but I think they are accurate.

The Pickup Place / Re: Alnico 3 Magnet Fred or Breed Neck
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:12:42 pm »
Interesting.  I have toyed with the idea of  a two Fred guitar. ( neck and bridge in RG550) If the A3 doesn't take from the wonderful harmonic content of the Fred it might be a winner.  To the best of my knowledge the Fred isn't air'd so the main PITA would be dealing with however much glue they used  on the magnet, and the wax. Come to think of it I have a Breed neck as well, but thinking I might sell it.  Needless to say I'll be watching to see if you do this mod and what your opinions are.  I have an A3 Mojotone tele neck pickup in my  tele and it  is superb, clean and with low-mid gain. Vintage output.

Everything you wanted to know about .... / Re: Evolution Neck
« on: January 21, 2019, 12:20:31 pm »
Hey Satch_JR,
Kind of in the boat as you were at the time you posted. I am looking to pair a Fred with a neck pickup in a RG550 that currently has an Air  Norton.  I want something that is maybe brighter than the AN with more clear/ cutting low string notes, and with solid harmonics that wouldn't over power the Fred in the bridge. I emailed the good folks at Dimarzio with my request for suggestions. I also mentioned the AN as being the pickup I want to replace. They emailed back to try an Air Classic in the neck.  Everything I have  read about Dimarzio's customer support in this regard has been very positive, with great advice and I am certainly taking it seriously. I am wondering if they didn't mention the Evo neck because I didn't like the AN and or made a point about matching the Fred in output.  I read in this thread that LuredMaul has tried the Evo neck flipped and didn't notice a difference in sound but did notice the pickup was not as loud.  This pickup was not on my radar due to the ceramic magnet and also the though that it might overpower the Fred.  Reading thru this thread and also an experience playing a friends G&L Legacy with MFD ceramics. They sounded great, got great harmonics ( I have good technique) and while turning down the guitar vol didn't make them sound like a whole new experience they did clean up pretty well. Thanks for posting your experience, as well as everyone else that contributes to this and really everything else on this site.

Everything you wanted to know about .... / Re: FRED
« on: January 18, 2019, 05:28:43 pm »
I love my Fred in the bridge of my basswood RG550 / edge locking trem/maple neck.  It is bright, but not thin to my ears. It's just waiting for you to pinch off a harmonic.  Kind of like a kid that had too much sugar.

Since it was /is not uncommon to see a guitar with PAF Pro's in both the neck and bridge, I wonder how a Fred in both spots would work.

Everything you wanted to know about .... / Re: The Bluesbucker
« on: January 14, 2019, 03:08:48 pm »
Just very recently I found that the Bluesbucker sits really well in the neck spot of 24 fret guitars.

Got me very interested. Decent harmonics?

The Pickup Place / Re: Fred in neck w/Mo Joe in bridge on basswood RG550?
« on: January 14, 2019, 11:26:13 am »
Thanks for keeping the suggestions coming. I had not really looked at the Gravity Storm neck likely because I tend to be old fashioned when it comes to magnets, but I need to get over that.  The tone guide is not that far from a AN, but I'd guess the ceramic plays a big part in the sounds.
Stupid question. Since I love the Fred would it be redundant to put one in the neck as well?  I know it was common to use a PAF Pro in both positions.
Also was looking at a PAF Master neck model.

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