The best Combo for Sustain, Harmonics (Rock and Metal)

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Offline mcoletta

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The best Combo for Sustain, Harmonics (Rock and Metal)
« on: February 09, 2021, 10:09:39 am »
Hi Guys,

I'm building a custom guitar with mahogany body. I was thinking to use two PAF PRO or AirNorton and ToneZone. What do you guys think about the best HH combination to play Rock and some Metal Riffs? Also I need to have a nice clear as well. tks a lot

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: The best Combo for Sustain, Harmonics (Rock and Metal)
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 11:35:03 am »
Hi and welcome to the forum!

As you may have read elsewhere, every piece of wood is different, and mahogany in particular has a broad range. It tends to have a warm tone with lots of mids but some pieces are bright while others are dark. This is compounded by the fact that woods as Khaya and Agathis are marketed as "mahogany" even though they are not botanically. This is not to say that they are inferior, just different.

I would stay away from the Air Norton for the neck spot unless I know that the guitar it is going to go in is on the bright side. Of the ones you mentioned I would go for the PAF Pro or Bluesbucker (I mention this because I have one guitar with the Bluesbucker in the neck and the Super Distortion in the bridge, and they work very well together). I am also not a fan of the Tone Zone and prefer the AT-1, Breed bridge or the Super Distortion. In the three guitars I tried the Tone Zone it was acceptable in one guitar (a very bright one) and dark in the two mahogany bodied guitars but YMMV.

Any higher powered pickup in the bridge spot will not be the best choice for clean tones but if you get a pickup that has a four conductor wire you can set it up for the coils in parallel as an option (either through a switch or a push-pull pot) - I have two of my guitars set up with this option. You can do the same thing with the neck pickup or can split both pickups for a clean tone, depending what clean tone you are after.

Good luck
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: The best Combo for Sustain, Harmonics (Rock and Metal)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 01:47:31 pm »
Welcome!

There are quite a few combinations that would work in a mahogany body guitar. The Air Norton and Tone Zone are a tried and true combination that has been around for quite a long time. Although I do find that the Liquifire and Crunch Lab tends to do better in darker guitars.

As Stephan mentioned, the Bluesbucker and Super Distortion is also a great pickup set that's quite versatile. With what you're looking for and without any more information, I'd probably go with this or the classic PAF/Super Distortion combo. While the original DiMarzio PAF isn't really available you could go with the PAF 36th Neck
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Offline HeyNorton!

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Re: The best Combo for Sustain, Harmonics (Rock and Metal)
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 03:33:21 pm »
I can answer this one!

I have a mahogany rg520qs that I have tried just about all the above pickups in.

Stock v8 - not bad, but not metal

First change was a tone zone.  Too fat. Was muddy no matter what I did.

Next was Steve's special. Better, but lacked cahones.

Then norton.  I loved this one.  Tone zone like but not as fat. And the harmonics made high gain playing fun.

After the norton, I tried:
Lace hemi buckers. They sounded really good! Can't say that for any other guitar though.
Super d.  - Really good
Dactivator  -  not a favorite, but sounds best to me in mahogany guitars.  I have this one installed currently for something different.  It cleans up well and works great with the stock v7 neck pickup.

For neck pickups, I like the air norton and 36th Anni neck.  But I also like the v7, especially turned down with the treble bleed. Again this could be guitar specific.
I don't have many neck pickups to compare though.

I'd do a norton/36th neck set.

I'm gonna roll the hemis thru  before I ultimately norton/36th her. 

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Offline greenlion

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Re: The best Combo for Sustain, Harmonics (Rock and Metal)
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2021, 06:49:28 pm »
Air Zone bridge & 36th Anniversary neck.