I'm after a very different sound

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Offline Slartibartfarst

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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?

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2021, 02:45:52 AM »
Hi,

I played a Pacifica once and agree with your findings. I also have a Yamaha LD-10E as acoustic guitar and I love it. So I think the Pacifica would be a good choice and would offer more diversity from the LTD.

I have a HSS strat which currently has an Area 67 in the neck, a Virtual Vintage 54 Pro in the middle and a Breed neck in the bridge. All pots 250k audio taper. Works well tonally but I will be replacing the Virtual Vintage 54 Pro with an Area 61 as the humcancelling between the split Breed and the split VV 54 Pro is not that good. Area 67 neck is my favorite neck single coil and would do Gilmour. With the help of the tone control, the other tones should also be in the ballpark.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton

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Offline Slartibartfarst

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #2 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.

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Offline greenlion

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2021, 09:24:43 PM »
There are a couple of problems you are going to run into when you try to mix humbuckers and single coils. The biggest hurdle is that single coils sound good with 250k tone and volume pots, and most humbuckers sound good with 500k pots. The next issue is that vintage output single coils are overpowered by humbuckers, especially hot humbuckers like the Tone Zone.

If I was going for Gilmour, Clapton, SRV, Healey, etc, I might try the Area 61 in the bridge, area 67 middle and area 58 neck.

If you really want to nail the Gilmour tone, plus some great blues tones, I would go for the Seymour Duncan SSL-5 bridge with SSL-2 neck and middle.

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Offline Slartibartfarst

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #4 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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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2021, 02:12:40 AM »
ToneZone is a high output humbucker. If you go that route, Injector neck for the singles would be a better choice as the Injectors would better keep up with the ToneZone and work well with 500k pots.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton

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Offline greenlion

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2021, 10:38:43 AM »
The fact that the Dimarzio tone picker program always suggests the Tone Zone shows how out of touch they are. The Tone Zone is not a bad pickup, but it is a very 1980's "Paul Gilbert-ish" Shred pickup. The Air Zone is a more versatile pickup.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 10:45:14 AM by greenlion »

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Offline greenlion

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2021, 10:42:42 AM »
If you are going for the tones that you stated (Gilmour, Clapton, SRV, Healey, etc) the dual humbucker AR420 with 2 Ibanez humbuckers is NOT the way to go...

You could get some good classic tones out of it, with maybe a set of Seth Lover humbuckers or 36th Anniversary PAFs, but you won't get THOSE tones.

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Offline buddroyce

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2021, 01:21:50 PM »
If you go with the HSS Yamaha, I'd go with a Bluesbucker in the bridge and a Cruiser in the neck. Going with the V100, maybe dual Bluesbuckers or an EJ Custom neck with a Bluesbucker in the bridge. You're basically looking for humbuckers that sound less like a PAF and more like some single coils or soapbars.

The Tone Zone is a great pickup but I think it's going to be a tad too dark for the tones you're after.
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Offline Slartibartfarst

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Re: I'm after a very different sound
« Reply #9 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.