Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty

  • 13 Replies
  • 9597 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Hugo77

  • Guest
Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« on: December 03, 2014, 05:09:11 AM »
New to this forum and looking for some input.

I own a MusicMan Majesty guitar (6-string) that came with stock DiMarzio Illuminator pickups.
I really love the guitar, but can't get along with the pups. I find them too thin, sterile and there's something going on in the (high) mids that I really don't like.
After months of research my pickup of choice was narrowed down to 1; a Suhr Doug Aldrich set (2 humbuckers). Unfortunately they wouldn't fit cause they're too high. About 4mms each. And since they are mounted directly onto the body.. Bad luck.

Seymour Duncan's are a no go either, since they use square legs and the routing is for DiMarzio style thin legs (if you know what I mean).
Safest replacement would be a Liquifire/Crunchlab combo, so essentially I would have a JP series guitar. However, even though JP seems to be a very sympathetic guy and is a wonderful gitarist, I don't particularly like his sound for the stuff I usually play.
I'd like a more paf-style sound, but beefy and tight and definitely not hars or overly bright. The guitar sounds wonderful unplugged but somewhat bright and high middy. The Illuminators seem to accent these features, which might be a good thing for some, but not for me.

I also looked at Bare Knuckles, but they might not fit either. Plus their sound is a complete unknown to me.
My DiMarzio options now contain:
- Liquifire/Crunchlab
- Transitions
- Paf Master (but only because of Paul's demo:-) They might be too low output for what I want)

O...I mainly play Rock, but that varies from Mike Stern, via Black Crowes all the way to Mark Tremonti.
Any advise and/or suggestions are welcome.
Thanks!

*

Offline DarthPhineas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 699
  • 19
    • View Profile
    • Darth Phineas Guitar Gear Reviews
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2014, 09:10:07 AM »
Are you certain you want to replace one set of JP pickups with another set of JP pickups?

Suhr makes some good stuff. Are you totally sure they are too tall?  Could help to call in to the, and get a confirmation. They have always been super helpful when I've talked to them. Along those lines, there are a few Suhr models that could handle what you are talking about. They admit their website could use a little help, but they are great at nailing selection via the phone.

I believe BKP has an option you can ask for to mount on baseplates with the triangle tab. Email TIm and ask. The general vibe of BKP is open and transparent. The guy playing the Titan was previously playing the BKP Aftermath. They also have several options in the range of voicings you are considering. When you email them, Tim is pretty good at pairing up a pickup with a customer.
Gear Reviews   |  Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

*

Offline darkbluemurder

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1370
  • 44
    • View Profile
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2014, 12:17:12 PM »
I believe BKP has an option you can ask for to mount on baseplates with the triangle tab.

That's correct - you will need to put that into the comments box when you order, then they will do it that way.

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

*

Hugo77

  • Guest
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 04:53:27 AM »
Thank you guys. I measured the Suhr's carefully at the local dealership and they're definitely too high and cutting into the guitar itself is no option for me.
And you're right, I dunno if it's helpful to replace one set of JP pu's with the other. Only thing is that the Crunchlab sounds more beefy and darker, which should suit the wood of this guitar better (to my ears).
But I must admit, at present I'm inclined to try Transitions. Steve Lukather has been an example of good tone  to me in the past, plus these pickups go well together with an active boost (which is also on my guitar, since they're both MusicMans).
Bare Knuckles are still in the race, but looking at their dimensions I doubt they will fit either. I also have been researching their pu's for months. For instance I really dig Rick Graham's sound with a pair of Juggernauths. But I don't think they'll be too flexible. Last time my pu's of choice were Crawler's and Holy Divers. But I think the latter is not beefy enough.

Actually already had contact with BK via email, but it didn't get me anything solid. I find it difficult to describe my 'perfect' sound. I know it when I hear and feel it, but to actually choose through demo's and reviews online.
Btw, I live in the Netherlands, so any contact with companies has to be through mail I'm afraid.

Thanks for the input so far!

*

Offline DarthPhineas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 699
  • 19
    • View Profile
    • Darth Phineas Guitar Gear Reviews
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 07:49:07 AM »
Through the mail? As in the post?  I mean, you clearly have access to the Internet, so are you referring to email?  Even if it's just email, if they have a website, the company should have a means of contact. And it does come down to how you feel about the interaction. I might be interested in a pickup and some people might claim it's the best thing out there, but I've gotten in touch with them and the exchange just didn't feel right so I didn't do business with them.


Sometimes it can drive you nuts trying to go over all the available information.  And that's why I always do what I can to contact the company. Chances are that a company like BKP (or whoever) will know enough about what pickup will fit in what guitar. If not, they can find out if they want to. Ask them. And if they are wrong, you have the email and can get a return or an exchange based on the paper trail.

Lukather is great player and a guy who has thrown down many memorable riffs. But he is Lukather just like Eddie is Eddie and so on. A Transition isn't going to make me sound like Lukather any more than a Wolfgang is going to make me sound like Eddie. However, the approach of being interested because a player is known for a history of tone is a good approach.

The Holy Diver is beefier than BKP players like to admit. There are models they carry that are much beefier, but the HD isn't a thin or shrill pickup.  When you mention the Juggernaut, it also makes me thing of the Aftermath and that leads me to the DiMarzio Titan. A pal of mine just got a Titan and likes it a lot, finding it more versatile than he expected. I've read similar things about the versatility of the Juggernaut.

I have a EBMM and understand what you are dealing with when it comes to issues with dimensions. If find that very restrictive and not the best move on the part of a guitar company. It's also one of the examples that has led me away from wanting to go with direct mount pickups on a guitar in the future.

Just be patient and keep doing the research and getting in touch with the companies. It will work out.
Gear Reviews   |  Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

*

Offline jazzfromhell

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 388
  • 9
    • View Profile
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 02:07:55 PM »
Given your description of the tone you want I'd go Tone Zone/PAF Pro or a pair of Breeds myself.

Disclaimer: ok, the TZ is not the tightest pickup in the universe but when you get it dialed in right its AWESOME. After all, Petrucci used it on Images & Words which is arguably his finest moment, both playing and tonewise.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 02:52:46 PM by jazzfromhell »

*

Offline buddroyce

  • *Fake VIP*
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 2862
  • 95
  • Founder
    • View Profile
    • BRL Guitarworks
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2014, 02:37:58 AM »
What kind of rig are you running? I had a Doug Aldrich bridge and I just remember it having big thunderous bass which was awesome when playing alone but seemed to get lost when playing in a live band.

I really love the Transitions, the same way I love the Tone Zone. Some folks don't like the fuzz on the top end but I don't mind it. Especially when you're playing in a band with a singer and you need something that isn't super aggressive sounding. If you pull up the DiMarzio demo Steve Lukather did when the pickups were released, even if you don't have Luke's fingers, you'll get 80% of that sound pretty easily. Covers A LOT of ground much like the TZ and the Norton.

The Titans are are a great set of pickups that don't get enough love. It still has that PAF sound just a hell of a lot beefier. Definitely more metal and progressive rock in tone though.

The PAF Master is a fantastic set that I can say enough good thigns about. I recently has a review set installed in my ESP Potbelly and for the spread of stuff that you're looking to cover, it might actually do the trick.

Bare Knuckle does offer triangular ears. You just gotta custom order it. If you decide to go with the BKP's, I'd probably look at the Cold Sweat, the Holy Diver or the Steve Steven signature pickups. If you do go with them, tell them Budd from BRL Guitarworks sent you. I used to be the distributor for them here in Canada.

PS. There's also the Lundgren "The One" but that's if you really want to go for the high end boutique pickup.
Founder - DiMarzioForum.Com
Follow me on Twitter

*

Hugo77

  • Guest
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2014, 07:43:04 AM »
Thanks again for your time and input fellows. It is appreciated!
@Adampone; good to know I'm not the only one struggling with the EBMM being somewhat restrictive
when you want to replace pickups.
I know there are great pu's out there. For me is it really hard to describe my favourite sound. And I do not have the desire (or illusion) to sound like anybody else but myself. As we all know tone comes from the player for most part. I didn't buy the Majesty cause I'm a Petrucci fan. Far from it, though I like his solo album a lot.

But back to the pickups. BKP pu's are going to be too high as well. I've contacted them and got send (yes, through email :D) a link to their dimensions-chart. It's not going to work.
Still expecting a mail from Suhr, but I doubt they have anything positive to say.
I also have to debate this matter with a friend of mine who is a seasoned luthier, but he mostly works with Seymour Duncan, EMG and Kinmann pu's.
Somehow it feels that this guitar restricts me to choosing DiMarzio pu's and I must admit I have only  few (though not very positive)experience with their pu's. Hence the research and joining this forum :-)
There is always something with the high-mids I cannot get used to. I sound a bit cheap, without depth or 'soul'. But of course I'm only talking about those pu's I know and heard. Like the AT-1 for example. I really like AT his playing ans sound on HIS records. It al fits, but the sound of his pu in another context just sounds off to me.
I also feel like a lot of DM pu's (and sorry if I offend anyone) have a Satriani-esque vibe on them. Again those mids that sound like how I feel when I'm really thirsty. uh....makes any sense?

By the way, DiMarzio got back to me and stated that Transitions would probably NOT be to my liking, cause they are brighter than the Illuminators.
Damn, this is getting harder and harder :-)

O, as far as my rig is concerned, I mainly play on a Kemper PowerRack which I bought only a few months back, so I'm still fiddling with sounds and amps. I also own a Mesa Roadster, but I'm gonna sell it off.

I will look into your suggestions on TZ, Titan and Norton. Also the Paf Master (@buddroyce; I did read your positive review on those), though I fear they might be to shrill and thin for this kind of axe (it only weighs 3 kg's).

Thanks again for time and input!

*

Offline DarthPhineas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 699
  • 19
    • View Profile
    • Darth Phineas Guitar Gear Reviews
Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2014, 10:50:51 AM »
I put an AT-1 in the bridge of my EBMM axis. Also tried a Suhr Aldrige in there, which didn't work out.  I think the AT-1 sounds better outside of the realm of what you hear with Timmons, as it is capable of a very wide range.
Gear Reviews   |  Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

*

Hugo77

  • Guest
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 11:57:46 AM »
Well..for better or for worse I sort of pulled the trigger on DiMarzio Transitions. Regretfully the uncovered versions, since the covers wouldn't fit into the sockets. Surprise surprise  >:(
I also need to get the edges of the pickup plate rounded more or else...yep; they would not fit.
After months I'm done with all the research leading to nothing. I'm sure there are better pups out there, but I like the demo's and what people say about the Transitions. So I'm taking a leap of faith and hope for the best.
At least, they will go together with the onboard pre-amp, which is more or less the same one that's on the Luke 3.
I have until tuesday to change my mind, so if anybody wants to contribute to my ever growing madness...  :madness:

*

Offline jazzfromhell

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 388
  • 9
    • View Profile
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2014, 04:39:04 PM »
I think you did the right thing. You can never truly know what a pickup sounds and feels like unless you try it in your guitar, and since you´ve been eyeing the Transitions for a while you might as well try em. Otherwise you´d be left wondering...."maybe they were the perfect match for my guitar?"  :madness:

Good luck, hope they work out.

*

Hugo77

  • Guest
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 05:02:05 AM »
Thanks, I hope so too. Now it's waiting till we can actually do it. Which is a pain.. :D
But at least I'll have some peace of mind now. And nothing but good things on those Transitions.
At the EBMM forum as well. So that's good.

*

Offline DarthPhineas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 699
  • 19
    • View Profile
    • Darth Phineas Guitar Gear Reviews
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 02:01:40 PM »
Very interested in you opinion on the Transitions.
Gear Reviews   |  Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

*

cjb

  • Guest
Re: Want to replace Illuminators on MusicMan Majesty
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2015, 10:48:28 AM »
Hi Hugo,

I also share your feelings about the Illuminators.
Were you able to replace them with the Transitions? did you find them pleasing?

Thanks!