Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion

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Offline Doublea1269

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Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« on: August 13, 2021, 05:19:22 PM »
New to both the forum and DiMarzio, and am looking for advice on pickups for the Epiphone Flying V that I just picked up. It's a 2020, all mahogany with Indian laurel fretboard, and has stock Epi ProBuckers. All of my guitars have pups that are on the vintage/PAF side...Gibson 57 Classics in a Epi Les Paul and ES-175, Duncan 59 Blues in a Dot, Duncan Slash signature in a PRS SE Custom 24...on the Fender side, Duncan APH1 bridge Humbucker with K Line Signature Strat singles in neck and middle, K Line 60s set (SSS) and Cavalier Pickups in a Warmoth Tele.

Mostly I've been a vintage type pickup guy, like having some good cleans and a nice CRUNCH when I drive...not into the modern, buzzsaw sounds. I decided that I want the V to be unique to me, a bit edgier but still with a nod toward vintage 70s rock, like old KISS and Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Zep, Boston, etc. I had been looking at Duncan...Saturday Night Special set, Whole Lotta Humbucker set and 59n/sh-14 Custom 5, but was having a hard time listening to online videos and trying to grasp how they each really sound. Then some people recommended T Top clones, and finally, the DiMarzio Super Distortion.

I had long known that a lot of my favorite songs had the Super's stamp all over them...KISS and Ace Frehley were pretty much the soundtrack to my childhood. But I also knew the pup was ceramic and had sworn those off since having a bad, shrill and overhot experience with a set. As such, I was not going anywhere near the Super. I just figured Ace and Al DiMeola and the like have far better hands than I do, so it works for them.

Until yesterday when a friend convinced me to take home and play one of his guitars that had a Super in the bridge. Holy shit, there it is, THE tone! Unlike my last experience, there was warmth, thickness and clarity (no small feat), and I could actually control it. Not only that, my playing approach changed a little. So now that's it, the Super Distortion will go into the bridge slot of my new V.

Which brings up a new problem...the neck.

I've seen the Super 2 as a good possibility, as it is said to have great tone and clarity and articulation, which I'd like in the neck. But I don't want lose the distinct tone that I love in necks either. So having a great powerful tone that doesn't produce mud would be awesome, I just want to make sure I don't lose the neck character (sorry, I'm not at all technical).

Or perhaps I should go to something like the Air Classic, PAF 36 or PAF Pro. Maybe those would give good neck tone with better than usual clarity, but without the power. That would certainly give good balance to the guitar, but it might be good to make this an all-in 70s style rock machine.

Basically, I ended one bit of pickup confusion and started a new one!

Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations? Thank you in advance and sorry for the long-winded post...lot of circular thought on this project!

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Offline greenlion

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2021, 10:24:31 PM »
The Super 2 matches the Super D really well, but it is so similar that I felt like I just had an extended range of one pickup tone instead of a distinct neck and bridge tone. The PAF Pro is a classic pairing with the the Super D. I thought it matched well, provided a wider range of tones, and kept up with the Super D output-wise. I would bet the 36th Anniversary would pair well, and would give more vintage neck tones, but I've never had them together in the same guitar. I don't know if the Air Classic could keep up with the Super D's output.

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Offline Doublea1269

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2021, 10:46:38 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts! I actually don't know what I'm going to do, because there is not much available in DiMarzio pups right now. Seem to be backordered everywhere.

I sent an email to the company to see if they'll be getting things out soon, which is my hope.

As far as the PAF Pro vs the 36, it's mainly the output that changes, but not so much the tone? And you haven't found the mud very much with either?

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Offline Doublea1269

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2021, 10:52:48 PM »
Actually, this brings up another question...how would you compare the Super 2 to the D Activator neck? At least spec-wise, they seem very similar.

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Offline HeyNorton!

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2021, 12:42:17 AM »
The paf 36th is just about the cutoff for neck pickups. Any lower output and there is a mismatch. 
Paf pro is a more modern sounding pickup vs the paf 36th, which is like a hot vintage pickup.

Maybe look at the Fred for the neck?

I use an air norton s with a super d.  They work great together, if you like warmer neck tones.  I also like the full shred neck. One pickup still sounds good if you turn the tone knob down for the other.

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2021, 03:22:55 AM »
The Full Shred is a Seymour Duncan. I really like the neck version for its tightness in the lows while still retaining the fat high notes. Actually I have one guitar with the Super Distortion in the bridge and the Duncan Full Shred neck in the neck. I set it up with a five way super switch that does the following combinations:

1 - bridge coils in series
2 - bridge coils in parallel
3 - both humbuckers
4 - both humbuckers split
5 - neck coils in series

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 Doublea1269

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2021, 10:18:03 AM »
I'm going for a neck pickup that has more clarity, but still has a touch of neck warmth. Nothing like modern metal, still good old-school 70s style without mud, if this makes any sense. All of my guitars have PAF style pups, so I want this to be a little bit different. I guess it would be almost like a Super D that was voiced for the neck, which I gather is the Super 2.

I've just been trying to figure out if the 2 will likely give me what I want, or if the D Activator,  PAF Pro or Duncan Full Shred or Sentient might be better. Difficult to get it nailed down, because the vast majority of videos I've found have been played on Superstrat-type guitars and playing a much more modern, aggressive style. This V is going to hopefully sound like it was used on classic KISS or Aerosmith albums.

Appreciate the thoughts,  please add to them if anyone can!

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Offline Doublea1269

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2021, 10:18:26 AM »
I'm going for a neck pickup that has more clarity, but still has a touch of neck warmth. Nothing like modern metal, still good old-school 70s style without mud, if this makes any sense. All of my guitars have PAF style pups, so I want this to be a little bit different. I guess it would be almost like a Super D that was voiced for the neck, which I gather is the Super 2.

I've just been trying to figure out if the 2 will likely give me what I want, or if the D Activator,  PAF Pro or Duncan Full Shred or Sentient might be better. Difficult to get it nailed down, because the vast majority of videos I've found have been played on Superstrat-type guitars and playing a much more modern, aggressive style. This V is going to hopefully sound like it was used on classic KISS or Aerosmith albums.

Appreciate the thoughts,  please add to them if anyone can!

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Offline Slartibartfarst

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Re: Neck pickup to pair with Super Distortion
« Reply #8 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!