Pickup similar to AT-1

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Offline LoveMyIbanez

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Pickup similar to AT-1
« on: January 18, 2023, 02:32:02 AM »
Hey all. I have an AT-1 in an Ibanez AZ, and I love it! Seriously got me loving bridge pickups again after a long period of dissatisfaction.
I'm putting together a double 'bucker tele build, and I want something similar, but maybe a bit less compressed and ...maybe "nasally" in the mids would be the right word? Something similar, but more "open". Slightly lower output would be OK, but I love how the AT-1 can do everything from blues to Van Halen.

Would the Fortitude be a good option? Not looking for a huge change at all: versatile vintage+ attitude. "Worst"-case, I'll just go for another AT-1.

Thanks!

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Offline gregr

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2023, 09:02:13 AM »
From what I gather the Air Zone seems like a good candidate.
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline LoveMyIbanez

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2023, 05:30:55 PM »
From what I gather the Air Zone seems like a good candidate.
Thanks. I think the AZ is a bit darker than the AT-1, if I remember correctly. I definitely don't want to go any darker. Is the AZ more open-sounding and less compressed?
I should have mentioned as well: will be pairing with 36th PAF neck.

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Offline gregr

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2023, 11:07:06 AM »
The AZ is an air bucker, which is supposed to have a wide dynamic range. I don’t have any experience but from what I’ve heard I think you’re right in that it is darker.

This might not be of much use and you might not be interested in chasing Timmons’s tone but he recorded a lot of his material with a Duncan JB, which is a much brighter pickup that also has a prominent midrange relative to many of Duncan’s other models. It doesn’t have the vocal cocked wah sound of many DiMarzios however. I really like the tone of a JB with an A2 magnet. Another option is a Duncan Custom Custom which is a Custom with an A2 magnet. It will cover blues to VH who used one.

But when I think of the AT-1 I think of the big low end and very warm top end. Add the cocked wah tone and dynamics and you have the AZ, though it doesn’t have the same note definition on the upper strings, from what I can tell.

Besides a prominent midrange and an increase of dynamic range I can’t tell what else you’re looking for, to be honest.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2023, 12:26:11 PM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline LoveMyIbanez

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2023, 05:03:15 AM »
Thanks for your input Gregr. To be honest, I've never once heard a Duncan bridge pickup that I liked. I found them all to be way too shrill (except for maybe the Invader or Custom Custom). I think most Duncans sound better with at least one 250k pot, which is why I initially tried the AT-1 (JB with 250k pot description).

I like Andy Timmon's tone, but I dial it in a bit different: getting a pretty classic almost LP tones out of a bright-sounding basswood superstrat. It might be a little dark and bassy, but I like it enough that I'll probably just buy another. I've been really curious about the Fortitude, as it's often described as a chunkier, less-bright 36th PAF, but pretty much every review I've seen of it, they play Gojira-like metal chugging riffs.  ;D

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Offline gregr

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2023, 09:38:38 AM »
Seeing that my favorite pickup is the Screamin’ Demon and that I prefer Duncan pickups in the bridge in general, we have entirely different tastes.

I have in the past recommended the Transition Neck as a bridge pickup and was told it worked very well. This was in an LTD single-cut, if I remember correctly.

The 36th Neck really impressed me. If I were going to do another A5 PAF set it would be a Duncan 59 in the bridge and the 36th in the neck.

I say go with your gut and try the Fortitude.
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline LoveMyIbanez

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2023, 05:19:27 PM »
Thanks Gregr. I actually like how the Screamin' Demon behaves (nice medium-output humbucker), but yeah: too much treble for me without a 250k pot.
I'll give the Fortitude a shot.

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Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2023, 03:56:11 PM »
36th Anniversary Bridge is what you want. 

Air Zone is actually darker and more compressed.  Screamin Demon is like a strat bridge pickup in the high end and about as far from an AT-1 as you can get and still be a humbucker.

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2023, 03:45:46 AM »
Very interesting discussion. I am on the fence with my AT-1 in the double hum tele  I have  -  one  day I think it is fine and the next I think it's lacking bite. I considered the Air Zone but now it's out since I also don't want darker and/or more compressed.

I probably will try the spare F-spaced Air Norton which is currently not doing anything. I also have a trembucker spaced Duncan Custom 5 that I could try as well. The only thing that is shying me away is that the pickup is mounted in the bridge so that I have to remove the bridge to change the pickup - real work :( and more work if I don't like it so I would definitely like to nail that one on the first try. Unfortunately I don't have a 36th to try.

Cheers Stephan

EDIT for a typo.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2023, 11:03:53 AM by darkbluemurder »
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, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell, Super 2

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Offline gregr

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2023, 12:34:38 PM »
I hear you on all the extra work. Do you have another similar guitar that you can use as a test-bed?

If so and you’re into magnet swapping try an A2 in that Custom 5. As an interesting exercise you could also try short hex screws and rotate the pickup so that the slugs are closer to the bridge. Try both an A5 and an A2. This is not dissimilar to a Full Shred which is a Custom 5 with two screw coils populated with short hex screws. This pickup is tight and aggressive with bite. While I haven’t done this modification to a Custom, I did do it to a Seymourizer (AKA SH-6N Distortion Neck) with the ceramic magnet swapped out for an A5. It had some nice bite and a fair amount of relative low end that was warm but not muddy. It had a nice vintage PAF thing going good on in parallel mode. The Seymourizer is basically an under-wound Custom (12k of 43GA, the custom being 14k). The Screamin’ Demon is a very under-wound Custom (10k). I can’t speak to the wind patterns, however. The guitar with the modified Seymourizer ended up with a Demon which is *the* pickup for serious bite.

If you haven’t tried it already and go with the Air Norton in the bridge, try an HFH in the neck (assuming the guitar takes a humbucker in the neck, of course).

Anyway, I really learned a lot through experimentation and found it rewarding but I t can be a lot of work. In my case I used a guitar with a Floyd where I could just remove the springs, pull the bridge and put it aside. When I was done I’d put it back together and the guitar will usually remain in tune, lol.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2023, 01:16:44 PM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2023, 05:55:38 PM »
If you've never tried air norton in the bridge, give it a go.  Really nice paf.

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Offline gregr

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2023, 07:37:52 PM »
I bought an inexpensive but good quality guitar just so that I could do that.
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline LoveMyIbanez

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2023, 06:13:56 AM »
I heard the AN is quite bright in the bridge in some guitars. It might be a bit thin and bright for my tastes in a tele. I do love it in the Nash Aged Les Paul video on Youtube (paired with a Bluesbucker).

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Offline gregr

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2023, 07:27:20 PM »
I heard the AN is quite bright in the bridge in some guitars. It might be a bit thin and bright for my tastes in a tele. I do love it in the Nash Aged Les Paul video on Youtube (paired with a Bluesbucker).
Thanks for this!

I never knew about combining a spin-o-split with a standard tone control. The Bluesbucker seems like a perfect candidate for that.

I’ve always thought the AN/BB would be a great pairing but opted for the HFH instead. I may need to revisit that.
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Pickup similar to AT-1
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2023, 05:28:10 AM »
If you've never tried air norton in the bridge, give it a go.  Really nice paf.

I actually did in several guitars. The only thing is that it may be a bit bright with 500k but I can lower the load until I like it. I 'll give it a shot.

Thanks,
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, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell, Super 2