Super Distortion Question

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Offline Charvelman

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Super Distortion Question
« on: January 26, 2021, 03:27:00 am »
Thanks for the add. I have been here before but for some reason my sign-in wouldn't work and the authorisation email never turned up so I've had to join again.

After years with PRS and custom made pickups, I'm now looking to go in a slightly different direction. I've been looking at getting a Charvel So Cal and loading it with a Super Distortion, largely because I really like Adrian Smith's tone and his guitar is very similar.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/charvel_pro_mod_so_cal_style1_2h_fr_sw.htm

The compromise of course is it only has 22 frets and the upper fret access isn't as good as on my PRS. However, I have since come to think that a Charvel DK24 HH Floyd would be a better fit for me as it has the 24 frets and upper fret access is better.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/charvel_pro_mod_dk24_hh_fr_dark_amber.htm

The problem with this one is that this particular model is mahogany so my questions are, if I still install a Super Distortion in the bridge, will it sound very different to the alder bodied So Cal and will the Super Distortion still work well in a mahogany DK24?

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2021, 07:33:00 am »
Hi and welcome back!

Both mahogany and alder have a tendency to be warm sounding and having a mid-focus. However, every piece of wood is different, and in particular mahogany is all over the place, not counting the fact that many woods are marketed as "mahogany" but really are not (such as Khaya Ivoriensis or Agathis - the "real" mahogany is the species "Svietenia Macrophylla"). Short story - nobody can answer your question.

Will the Super Distortion work with a mahogany bodied guitar? Looking at the many players who use it in mahogany guitars (Tom Scholz of Boston, Mickey Moody of Whitesnake in the early 80s, Al di Meola, Ace Frehley of Kiss, Jeff Carlisi of 38 Special) I would say yes but whether you will like it is an entirely different question. 

I would select the guitar according to whether it suits your personal playing style and then decide whether or not to go with a different pickup.

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 Charvelman

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2021, 02:16:22 am »
Thanks for the reply. I've been researching this a lot more and I was surprised to find how many players had used a Super Distortion in a guitar like a Les Paul. I had assumed the pickup would be too dark in that sort of guitar based on the EQ chart on the DiMarzio website. Apparently not! It also strikes me that other factors would also be going in my favour. The DK24 may be mahogany but it will have a lot less wood in it than a Les Paul so presumably, the less wood is there, the less it will impact the tone. The neck and fingerboard are also maple, which should certainly be brighter than a mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Finally, it's a bolt-on neck so again, that should make it brighter than the set-neck guitars I'm used to. I'm hopeful that all of this together will mean the guitar ends up relatively bright and not that far away from the tone I'd get in a So Cal.

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2021, 02:45:01 am »
Too bright is always better than too dark. It is easier to remove excessive highs by wiring tricks than to add them (while there are also tricks that would achieve that to some extent they come at an expense).

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 buddroyce

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2021, 06:00:35 pm »
Hello and welcome back! What was your username on the forum before? I'll have to look into why your login wasn't working. We did a minor purge not too long ago to remove some very dormant accounts as this place is now well over 10 years old with accounts that have been dormant since the economic crash from 2008.

With regards to the Super Distortion though, it's hard to say how different it'll sound but for the most part, the large majority of the tone will stay the same so I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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Offline HeyNorton!

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 03:42:21 pm »
I have/had one in  2 basswood and 1 mahogany RGs.  They sound different between the two different. They even sound different between the two basswood ones.
Only one way to find out!
But if it sounds good in strats and les pauls, then there is a very good chance a 'hog strat type will be fine.

Overall, they are fat screamers in all 3 of my RGs

Such a great classic rock/hard rock/classic metal pickup

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Offline Charvelman

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2021, 11:31:38 pm »
It's so long ago I was on this forum I'm not sure when it was but my username would have been either Slartibartfarst or Slartibartfarst42. Either way, I'm in now so all is good.

As much as everything sensible in me tells me to go for the DK24, I remain unconvinced. It has the extra frets, better upper fret access and it looks beautiful so on every practical level, that's the one I should buy. However, I really want to have an unassuming, understated guitar that doesn't scream 'Metal' or 'here's a guy who can really shred' because I'm just not that good and what could be more unassuming than a guitar that at first glance, just looks like a Stratocaster. You don't even notice it has a Floyd on it very easily because the black trem blends in with the black pickguard so well. I love that about the white So Cal. The fact that it looks so much like Adrian Smith's guitar is just a bit of a cool bonus. At this point, although I haven't actually ordered it yet, I'm just hoping I'll get used to the thick neck joint and it won't hinder me too much.

So, it's probably 75% certain I'll go with the So Cal and I'll put a Super Distortion in the bridge so my next question is what do I put in the neck position to go with the SD? I tend to prefer more of a PAF feel in the neck but I don't like there to be a volume drop when I move from the bridge to the neck mid-solo. Historically, I've also tended to prefer alnico 2 magnets in the neck position, though I have used alnico 4 once with good results. DiMarzio seems to be primarily alnico 5 and ceramic so I'm unsure what to do. I could get one custom made for me at The Creamery as their Classic '87 is just incredible or I could go to Seymour Duncan but if at all possible, I'd rather stick with DiMarzio.

What options do I have for a PAF neck tone that will produce a smooth, creamy Bluesy sound like Dave Murray and virtually no volume drop when switching from the Super Distortion?

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2021, 02:27:32 am »
If it helps I have a guitar set up with a Super Distortion and a Bluesbucker, and I cannot hear any volume drop after I set the height on both pickups. So virtually any of the PAF models should pair well with the Super Distortion.

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 Charvelman

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Re: Super Distortion Question
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2021, 06:44:56 pm »
Well that's encouraging as it opens up more possibilities. There seems to be a number of PAF options for what I want so I'll need to investigate a bit further but the PAF Pro seems to be a popular option.