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Messages - Strangeman86

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1
Gear Closet / Re: Keeley KE-808 (Red Dirt Pro)
« on: September 14, 2019, 08:55:19 am »
I couldn't tell you how it compares unfortunately.  I've never played a fulldrive.

2
Gear Closet / Re: 1981 Inventions DRV
« on: September 10, 2019, 09:16:58 am »
A quick update. I'm bad about swapping pickups to find out what works with a given piece of gear.  I pulled out my Imperium and soldered in my Transition, shortly followed by my Duncan Custom in an effort to see if less mids from the pickup in my guitar was a positive or negative change as far as the DRV goes.  I think it's been a very positive experience and the DRV is effectively a bit more 'metal' or 'aggressive' sounding at this point.  Just FYI.

3
Gear Closet / 1981 Inventions DRV
« on: August 28, 2019, 10:06:33 pm »
I had to think about how to describe this pedal for a while.  Yes, it started out as a fancy Rat (and it harkens to its roots), but it's very much more than that.  With the drive knob all the way down it's crunchy and a bit lean. The farther up the gain range you go, richness and a bit of heft are added.  The cut knob is quite handy for those of us who value our ability to hear high frequencies, and there's probably more output on tap than most of us are likely to need. The note separation is great and it doesn't mind solid state amps (for those of us on the dark side).  The overall voicing of this box is somewhere between OD, distortion and fuzz (greatly depending on how far into the drive knob you go).  All that and some killer paint jobs (depending on which run you buy from).  If you want a reasonably unique sounding dirt box, give this one a whirl.

4
The Pickup Place / Re: Metal pickups for chambered Les Paul
« on: July 04, 2019, 05:58:19 pm »
Mojotone also makes pre-wired LP kits, and their 'vintage' pots are absolutely fantastic (in feel, taper and consistency).

5
The Pickup Place / Re: Metal pickups for chambered Les Paul
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:39:03 am »
Well, the Dominion set comes to mind (Mr. Morton's signature Jackson is spec's similarly to a chambered LP if memory serves me correctly).

6
The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzio Twang King / Area T / Virtual T
« on: June 12, 2019, 10:49:38 am »
Well, it isn't an ideal solution for some, but if you can't find a 'stock' tele-style pickup that works you could always call up either Seymour Duncan or Mojotone. They both offer custom pickups in most styles (albeit for a higher than normal price).

7
The Pickup Place / The Domperium...
« on: June 05, 2019, 08:57:06 am »
So, I was curious again.  Apparently curiosity killed some cat however long ago, silly cat.  Anyway...  I decided to take one of my Dominion's and splice in part of an Imperium (specifically, the 'northern' or neck coil is from the Dominion and the 'southern' or bridge coil is from the Imperium).  The magnet setup is the Imperium's (3/8" thick ceramic with a spacer pad to isolate it from the frame), the Dominion coil still has the keeper bar making direct contact with the magnet, but the bar doesn't touch the frame (I have no idea if that makes a difference, but I KNOW the magnet being isolated from the frame makes a world of difference in the high end based on previous endeavors).

To my ears, this particular mutation is more balanced than either of the individual designs (likely from the disparity between the coils).  There's still some compression going on, but it's more subtle.  The overall output feels like it's somewhere between the Dom. and the Imp. (I have no way to measure, sorry).  The low end is kind of punchy and not muddy, the mids are reduced from either individual pickup (and feel wider as opposed to being focused in a certain range) but in a pleasant fashion and the high end is open and smooth.  There's a good amount of bite with distortion and a great mix between the Dom's more raucous nature and the Imp's velvet-fisted control.  The cleans, are absolutely wonderful.  Not a honk in sight (like a lot of 'buckers) and a bit of chime and depth. 

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's perfect, but so far I'm digging it.

8
The Pickup Place / Re: Dimarzio D Activator-X (bridge) Review...
« on: June 04, 2019, 11:18:16 am »
I know there was a thread recently talking about how high pickups should be and I commented that I simply adjust each pickup to taste. With my setup (medium action, guitar description in my sig') I like the DAX 2.5mm from the low E and roughly 1.3mm from the high e. Just in case anyone is curious.

9
The Pickup Place / Dimarzio D Activator-X (bridge) Review...
« on: June 03, 2019, 02:32:50 pm »
Hello folks!  I hope the day finds you all well!  Just wanted to present my thoughts on a long time curiosity of mine, the D Activator-X bridge model.

Pros:
- Output for days, but not overbearing (and if it's too much for you, just lower the pickup away from the strings a bit... or a lot, the pickup won't mind).
- Great clarity and note separation (not nearly as good as some, but vastly superior to others).
- Dynamically sensitive (again, not as good as some, but for a pickup with three giant ceramic magnets it's pretty stinkin' good).
- Don't let the EQ measurements fool you, the pickup feels a bit more 'flat' which I feel makes it more adaptable to multiple situations (your amp and pedal EQ adjustments are much more important though).
- A reasonably 'big' sound.
- The dual blades have always been an appealing look for me  ;D
- The extra output means you don't have to dig in or pick as hard.
- Lots of tasty harmonics that are easy to call forth.

Cons:
- Probably the biggest one is the EQ.  I've seen some folks describe this pickup as dull or lifeless.  And given that a lot of Dimarzio's humbuckers have a more mid-boosted voicing (Dominion, Imperium, Sonic Ecstacy, Pandemonium, etc...) it's easy to see why.
- The dual blade look isn't for everyone and you can't have it with a cover of any sort (although you can get it in a large number of colored bobbin combo's).
- Some folks like their pickups to be more subtle.  While it IS possible to be so with the DAX, it is certainly not its primary strength.
- Feels a bit stiff in certain situations.

Overall, a fantastic pickup if you need something big, powerful and almost neutral.  It will likely appeal more to players who want those qualities and like their effects/preamps/amps to do more of the voicing.  For me, it's more of a pallet cleanser after years of playing pickups with boosted mids.

10
The Pickup Place / Re: Sonic Ecstacy Review...
« on: May 30, 2019, 05:50:17 am »
If I ever decide to buy that one I certainly will.

11
The Pickup Place / Re: Pickup pole adjustment tool size
« on: May 29, 2019, 08:59:55 pm »
I only ever adjust the poles to keep the volume even between each string.

12
The Pickup Place / Re: Any chance of a stickied DiMarzio Mods post?
« on: May 29, 2019, 04:59:28 pm »
A twice-aired Dominion.  Obviously the standard Dimarzio fare of a gap between the pole pieces and the magnet, but also a gap (with some sort of pad, like the Imperium's magnet setup) between the magnet and the base plate.  It really cleans up the attack, opens up the treble in a super-pleasant way and increases the dynamic sensitivity quite a bit. I should also mention that I'm using an Imperium's 3/8ths in mag for this mod (I know, sacrificing one pickup for another) which makes up for most of the power lost in the air'ing process.

13
The Pickup Place / Sonic Ecstacy Review...
« on: May 29, 2019, 09:15:34 am »
Pros:
- Punch, girth and cajones (for lack of a better term).
- Fan-tastically articulate (especially on the bottom end).
- Surprisingly dynamically responsive for a pickup of this output (in other words, it cleans up fairly well when the volume pot is turned down).
- Beautiful, singing leads; authoritative, present rhythms. 
- Less compressed feeling than one might surmise.

Cons:
- Comes in one color with a specifically styled cover and a steep asking price (I got mine $21 off sticker, thank you early Memorial Day sales).
- Will likely play nicer with brighter instruments.

Overall, a great pickup!  If you need something to add some serious size to your sound and get your instrument to people's ears, look no further.  The EQ curve was initially what peaked my interest with this one (my guitar likes p'ups with lots of mids and darker highs).  Ever since I tried the Imperium, I haven't been truly happy with any other pickup, but this one... maybe.  I think they're evenly clear/articulate (albeit in slightly different ways).  Obviously the SonEc is much higher output (I could take it or leave it personally; output is much farther down my list than feel/EQ/tone).  The Imperium is smoother... I don't know, time will tell for me (I don't have a second electric so that both have a home).  For me, it's too much like comparing a professional, velvet-gloved assassin (the Imperium) to a middle-weight MMA fighter (the SonEc).

Overall,

14
The Pickup Place / Re: Guitar Pickups Sweet Spot (your experience)
« on: May 28, 2019, 07:34:30 pm »
Same here. It depends on the guitar and the pickups. I just adjust to taste

15
Gear Closet / Earthquaker Devices Cloven Hoof
« on: May 16, 2019, 07:29:36 pm »
I really wanted to let the honeymoon period wear off before I spoke my mind on this pedal (I've had it four solid months).  I'd been looking for an articulate, aggressive, dynamically responsive and doom-ish fuzz and every one that I'd tried or listened to came up very short of what I wanted.  I actually emailed the folks at Reverb who were kind enough to recommend this little box (in fact, the gentleman I spoke to had recently been looking for something similar, purchased and fell in love with this particular fuzz).  So I found one gently used and pulled the trigger.  Now...

Pros:
- Incredibly adjustable between the shift (mid frequency), tone and fuzz knobs.  It can go from dark and roaring to thin and splatty and a bunch of flavors in between.
- It sounds great with the fuzz knob anywhere (it really depends if you want more of a 'vintage' sound or something modern/heavier).
- It responds to adjustments of the volume knob wonderfully.
- Note separation is just fantastic.
- it has inspired me to write more than a handful of riffs/licks.

Cons:
- I constantly have to convince myself NOT to buy a second one (but on the real, it could use a hair more output on the volume knob, I almost have to max it out).
- The white LED is bloody blinding!

Overall, this is my dream fuzz.  It's a grind-y, chainsaw-y, wall of a fuzz that makes me smile every time I stomp it on.

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