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Messages - Slartibartfarst

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1
The Pickup Place / Re: Question about HSH Pickup combination
« on: September 01, 2021, 04:40:37 AM »
Stephan seems to have dealt with this very well, so I will simply say that your pickup choice is perfect. I'm putting a Super Distortion into an alder bodied guitar myself and I really can't wait for it to arrive. Sadly, due to the current supply problems, it's still a month or two away from being here.

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The Pickup Place / Re: New Guitar Pickup Conundrum
« on: August 19, 2021, 11:05:07 AM »
The UK distributor simply didn't respond to my emails so the price came from various dealers. They presumably had more luck with the distributor, though I did come across one dealer who had recently stopped stocking DiMarzio because their UK distributor was so awful.

The Emerald neck pickup is unusual one. The alnico 4 magnet helps to keep the pickup quite PAF in nature and the tone is really sweet. The 43AWG wire seems to keep things a bit tighter at the bottom end than 42AWG so it retains clarity even under a lot of gain. It's one of the few Bare Knuckle pickups I would have again, if it weren't for the extremely high cost. The Crawler bridge model is the other one. That was an awesome pickup too! Other than price, after trying loads of Bare Knuckles, I just found I could get better elsewhere for less money. The Super Distortion is better than any ceramic pickup I tried from Bare Knuckle and the Classic '83 from The Creamery is miles better than the Holydiver. On top of that, the Creamery '87 set is better than any alnico 2 pickup that BKP do and it's also better than the Seymour Duncan Slash set. Once I discovered that Jaime at The Creamery and Allan at Catswhisker will custom make anything I want for between £60 and £80, there was no point in spending Bare Knuckle money. Jaime has already made me a version of the BKP Abraxas as well as a couple of designs I came up with myself. Allan has made me a tweaked version a Gibson 498T and an Emerald with an alnico 2 magnet before. In every case, the pickups were excellent. I actually received this latest pickup from Allan in just 48 hours so now I just need the Super Distortion to arrive  :madness:

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The Pickup Place / Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« on: August 19, 2021, 03:36:37 AM »
I found a supplier that has a Super Distortion coming in next month so I ordered that. I was going to get a PAF Pro to go with it but to get silver coloured pole pieces to match the Super Distortion, it was going to have to be a special order that would cost almost twice what the Super Distortion did. Instead, I got a specialist pickup maker to make me a copy of my favourite neck pickup (Bare Knuckle Emerald) that would match the look of the Super Distortion for half the cost of the PAF Pro or an actual Bare Knuckle, and I had the pickup within 48 hours. It's almost indistinguishable in tone from an actual Bare Knuckle Emerald!

4
I think your problem is that Adrian is a Blues player at heart and likes his guitars to have variety between positions, so for the neck, you really need something like a PAF. Unfortunately, the PAF Pro is undoubtedly the best choice. If you want to try something that is similar but different, I would suggest taking a look at the Fred pickup.

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The Pickup Place / Re: New Guitar Pickup Conundrum
« on: August 06, 2021, 12:13:50 AM »
I've taken the plunge and ordered a black Super Distortion with the usual silver nickel polepiece screws for the bridge position. I'll have to wait until September/October to receive it, but I'm in no rush and I found it at a good price.

The neck position has proved to be a complete pain in the neck, if you'll excuse the pun. I was all set to get a PAF Pro, but naturally I wanted it with the same silver nickel hex screws as polepieces to match the Super Distortion. This is clearly possible if you look at the DiMarzio website, as are numerous other options. Unfortunately, it seems that the PAF Pro is only made standard with black hex screws and if I wanted the silver nickel colour, it would have to be a special order. I had no objection to the wait, but I did have a serious objection to the £120 price I was quoted when I'd bought the Super Distortion for just £66!!! That's the same price as a Bare Knuckle pickup and I even think they're too expensive. In fairness, a Bare Knuckle 'Emerald' is the best neck pickup I've ever used, and as I know that pickup is alnico 4 with 43AWG wire wound to 9.6DC, I decided to ask Allan at Catswhisker Pickups if he could make me one with flush caphead screws for polepieces to give it a very similar look to the Super Distortion while retaining the tone of the Emerald. I'll have the pickup in just a couple of weeks for just £62 and I've used him before so I know his work is excellent. If DiMarzio are going to offer all these options, they should try making sure you can get them without almost doubling the price.

6
The Pickup Place / Re: Single between a Super Distortion and a PAF Pro
« on: August 05, 2021, 11:58:52 PM »
How about a Virtual Solo? It should be hot enough to keep up reasonably well and maintains more of a proper singlecoil tone. I used it in the bridge position of a Strat and I was very impressed. I could see it working well as a middle pickup with those two humbuckers.

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The Pickup Place / Re: I'm after a very different sound
« on: August 05, 2021, 11:53:16 PM »
As much as I really rate the Yamaha Pacifica, as my main guitar is alder, I've decided to go with something that is mahogany and is simply going to offer me different and more vintage tones than I will get from my LTD. This gives me three broad possibilities in either some sort of Les Paul guitar, an SG or the Ibanez AR420. The Epiphone SG Modern looks good, but it's not exactly cheap, in the way that the Pacifica and V100 are cheap. The same goes for the Epiphone Les Paul Modern. I like the modern features on these guitars, just with PAF sounding pickups. The Ibanez just appeals for the range of tones on offer. If these guitars have pickups that are good enough, I think they'd be worth the investment, but if they're not cutting it and I'd have to look at a pickup swap, I might as well just get a V100 with the pickups of my choice.

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The Pickup Place / Re: I'm after a very different sound
« on: July 07, 2021, 10:42:48 PM »
To be honest, I'm having a bit of a rethink on this question. Buying a used guitar for £150-£200 is all very well and good, but once you add new pickups into the mix, and other possible upgrades, that cost is suddenly looking more like £400 and for £500 I could buy a new Ibanez AR420. This is a guitar I've been drawn towards for some time. It looks great, plays great, has endless tonal options and unusually for Ibanez in my experience, the stock pups are pretty decent. I'm going to have to give this further thought I think.

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The Pickup Place / Re: I'm after a very different sound
« on: July 07, 2021, 05:26:04 AM »
Thanks, that's really helpful. I've had Area pickups before, but just the 61 and 58, not the 67. I liked both of them, but preferred the 61 over the 58. I also tried a Virtual Solo and really liked that one too. The Vintage Blues was another I was considering, though I've never tried that one. I imagine they could all do a good job for what I'm after to a greater or lesser extent. When I tried the Pickup Selector on the DiMarzio website I was a bit thrown. It sent me to an Area 61 every time for the singlecoils but for the humbucker in the bridge, it seemed to want to keep suggesting the Tone Zone. I've never tried a Tone Zone myself but it always seems to sound great and I have no doubt it would sound great in a Pacifica, but it's not what I was expecting to come up as a suggestion and I would have thought that it would be too powerful compared to Area pickups. I always find that the issue with HSS is the volume drop when you change from the bridge to the neck unless you have a very powerful singlecoil. If a Tone Zone really is the best tonal option, perhaps I should consider an Air Zone as a lower output alternative. Unfortunately, I've spent so much of my guitar playing life with hot pickups that I don't really know much about the vintage end of things.

10
The Pickup Place / I'm after a very different sound
« on: July 06, 2021, 08:37:46 PM »
I now have my new main guitar sorted out with an LTD M-1000 E and I've decided that the stock EMG pickups will be replaced with a Super Distortion and a PAF Pro. That seems to be a classic combination and I think it will make the guitar a fantastic superstrat. With that decided, my attention is now turning to a second guitar. I have no real interest in getting lots of guitars, but I would like two, with my second offering me very different tonal possibilities. As the LTD will clearly be aimed at Rock and Metal, I'd like my second guitar to cover Blues/Gilmour territory. As well as Gilmour, perhaps think Jeff Healey, Clapton and SRV, but primarily Gilmour. I realise this is a range of tones, but I don't need to duplicate their sound, just get into the ballpark. The two guitars I'm considering for this role are very different and very cheap, but I've had them both before and they're great guitars for the money so I think they're worth the investment in new pickups.

The first option is a Vintage V100 that I can pick up used and in excellent condition for about £200. This is obviously an H-H configuration as it's an all-mahogany Les Paul copy and if I went this route, I'm tempted to install a set of AII Pros but I generally prefer DiMarzio over Seymour Duncan so I wondered what would be a good DiMarzio option.

The second option would be to buy a Yamaha Pacifica 112. It always amazes me how Yamaha can put out such a good guitar for so little money. They're readily available on the used market in mint condition for only about £150 and they're genuinely good guitars. If I do get the Yamaha, I want a black one and I will then fit a black pickguard with white pickups for that 'Gilmour' look. It's very like a Strat with its alder body, maple neck and vintage trem, but has an HSS layout. For the neck and middle positions, I'm inclined to think that the Area pickups would be a good place to look, but I'm unsure which ones. For the bridge position, I have absolutely no idea at all, other than the fact it will probably be from the vintage section or possibly medium output. I don't like a huge volume drop when switching from a humbucker bridge to the singlecoils.

Any ideas?

11
Guitar Lounge / NGD
« on: June 04, 2021, 11:11:11 PM »
After a great deal of thought, I've finally taken the plunge and bought a LTD M-1000 E. I've been playing a PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 for some years now but I wanted something that was closer to being a traditional superstrat with an alder body, maple neck and a rosewood or ebony fretboard. My first thought was a Charvel Pro Mod So Cal but when I tried one, I really wasn't impressed. The DK24 Charvel was lovely but I didn't want gold hardware or a maple fretboard. Although there are things I don't like about the LTD, overall it's just such a great fit for what I'm after. It has the alder body, maple neck and ebony fretboard and Floyd 1000SE bridge. It's not a bolt-on but the set-thru neck gives me tremendous upper fret access without being a full neck-thru, which I wanted to avoid. I don't like the EMG pickups so they'll be changed for passives and I really dislike the pointy reverse headstock, but at the end of the day that's just a minor cosmetic detail. So far, I'm very impressed.
 

12
The Pickup Place / Re: Santana
« on: June 04, 2021, 02:46:14 AM »
I should have been more specific about era!

I'm thinking more about his later tone, such as from the video 'Live in Mexico'. I realise that a lot of the time when he plays Samba Pa Ti, he uses the bridge pickup and rolls the tone back quite a lot, but as I'm using a Super Distortion in the bridge, I assume a suitable neck pickup might get me there better. I love that rich, warm, creamy tone he has but I don't mind if the pickup is a bit brighter as I also like the neck tones that Dave Murray gets from Iron Maiden when he was using proper humbuckers. He also has a lovely creamy and fluid tone so I was hoping I could find a pickup that could do Dave Murray and then get in the ballpark of Santana by rolling the tone back a bit. I'm not a guy who gets hung up on reproducing the exact tone, I just want to get in the ballpark.

I was thinking a softer magnet might be the way to go, like alnico 2 or 4 but DiMarzio just don't seem to offer anything like that. One option is to go with the Seymour Duncan AII Pro if DiMarzio don't make anything that will do the same job. I've also toyed with having a pickup made for me that is alnico 2 but using more modern 43AWG wire instead of 42AWG to give it a more focused tone. This basic formula works really well on the Bare Knuckle Emerald neck pickup, which is alnico 4, so I thought I'd try the same thing with alnico 2.

13
The Pickup Place / Santana
« on: June 03, 2021, 12:16:15 AM »
This is an odd sounding question given my guitar, but I'm looking for a neck humbucker to reproduce the gorgeous tone Santana has on Samba Pa Ti. Unlike his mahogany PRS, I'm using an LTD M-1000 E (alder with a maple set-thru neck) with a Floyd Rose bridge. I realise it's entirely the wrong guitar to get me that tone and I will probably end up with a tone that's a bit brighter, but is there a DiMarzio pickup that will get me close to that tone, or at least in the ballpark? I'm putting a Super Distortion in the bridge.

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The Pickup Place / Re: Single Coil Size P-90
« on: June 01, 2021, 07:11:52 PM »
Search for 'Creamery Pickups' as he makes a singlecoil sized P90 set. The guy who owns it is called Jaime and he's VERY good. I find his pickups better than Bare Knuckle, and cheaper. I used to have these in a Strat and they're beasts.

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The Pickup Place / Re: New Guitar Pickup Conundrum
« on: May 21, 2021, 08:54:23 PM »
Thanks, it sounds interesting so I'll look into that one further.

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