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Pickups for an SG Special? Still ooking for the sound

#1 User is offline   EADGBE 

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

The SG special is faded no more and modded to the extent it won't be sold. I've replaced the muddy stock (490T/R) pickups with JB/Jazz combo which was an improvement. The middle position is nice.

Then the standards went up. I recently got a Jeff Tweedy SG that has Maestro and Burstbucker 1 pickups. I tried it for the looks but bought it for the SOUND!!! Now, compared to the Tweedy SG, the SG special (with JB/Jazz) sounds a bit dull, soft, boringand predictable. It's such a player but it needs some pickups to make it inspiring to play (and cut through in the band mix which it never did as well as I wished).

What I'm after is crisp vintage rock sounds, as far as possible from hair metal or hard rock compressed distortion, rather like lively sounds with character of their own.

I play a Tele in the band because it fits best in the mix, but wouldn't mind getting an SG back there too.

I've been thinking about making it a real p-90 guitar, but don't want the hassle right now. P-94 might be an option? What about Pearly Gates pickups? If humbuckers, I'd like to have them 4-wire and zebra coloured.

Any ideas?

#2 User is offline   Sinner 13 

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:31 PM

I have twin Duncan SH-2 Jazz 4 wire Zebras in my special faded, thanks to Searcy, and his infinite knowledge of cool wiring it is tapped Single/Series/Parallel.

IMHO This is pretty much the best combo, I have never had an issue with lack of high end, or Mix cut through.
I guess it could be that my Marshall Super Lead has no lack of high end, or power.
Posted Image
Pups are tough, sound clips online only give you a vague idea of output tone, and it can get expensive playing the swap out game.
I went with the SH-2's simply for the fact that they are the closest thing you will get to a PAF type tone without selling a kidney for a vintage pair of PAF's

If your looking more toward a P-90 type tone, I would suggest Duncan Phat Cats.

#3 User is offline   drzing 

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

The truth is that each guitar has its own character, and the
good sound comes from wood and quality crafting.


As for the sound you're looking to obtain, I will have to agree
with Joe on the P90s, they're great from the clean sounds and
also have a nice punch and great harmonics if you put some heavy
distortion on. This is a most versatile pickup.


Still, there's another pickup that IMHO fits your use very well,
have you ever tried a diMarzio super distortion (dp100)?
This is a wonderful humbucker, made to be at the bridge.
It has a lot of output, 4 wires so you can use each coil alone
(if you care about that).


Good luck.

#4 User is offline   CookinSG 

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

View PostEADGBE, on 30 December 2012 - 01:56 PM, said:

...(and cut through in the band mix which it never did as well as I wished).

What I'm after is crisp vintage rock sounds, as far as possible from hair metal or hard rock compressed distortion, rather like lively sounds with character of their own.

...

I've been thinking about making it a real p-90 guitar, but don't want the hassle right now. P-94 might be an option? What about Pearly Gates pickups? If humbuckers, I'd like to have them 4-wire and zebra coloured.

Any ideas?


P90s are your answer (IMHO). They cut right through and give the versatility without the mud. Super vintage crisp cleans, and cutting edgy crunch when gained up. I LOVE my SG STD w/P90s. nuff said...

#5 User is offline   drzing 

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

It sounds like there's collective consensus on the P90s.

The 'soapbars' are way to go, I have never tried a P94, but if your guitar is made
for humbucker pickups, you might want to have a P94 at the neck position, as it is
quite a surgery, in order for the luthier to fit a soapbar without compromising any
aspects of your guitar (to the neck position), as for the bridge pup, it's a much simpler
'surgery' for the luthier.

Why don't you swap your guitar with someone who already has a couple of soapbars
from factory? I mean, a big fat P90 on the neck position is something that you will
enjoy to use, even if you're a 'bridge' pickup guy like I used to be.

#6 User is offline   Jimbo5924 

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

GFS has P90 pickups that fit in humbucker cut-outs or pickguards (Dream 90's), has regular sized soapbar and dogear P90s and also has some decent minihumbuckers that will fit into P90 slots. Good Luck choosing!

#7 User is offline   DiamondJig 

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:46 AM

I have a Sg with a BB1 in the neck and love it, funny it's the lowest output Gibson humbucker. The guitar has a BB3 in the bridge that I don't care for. I thing a good match is the Angus Young, I love the sound of the Alnico V in the bridge, they have more meat.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gibson Angus Young SG Ebony (57 & Angus Young)
Gibson SG Standard LTD Robot Metallic Green (490R & 498T)
Gibson SG 61 RI Heritage Cherry (57 & Angus Young)
Gibson SG 61 RI Satin Ebony (57 & BB3 with a Alnico V mag)
Gibson SG Diablo Premium Plus Ice Tea (BB pro's)
Gibson SG Standard Honey Burst Coil-Splitting (BB1 & BB3 with Alico V mag)
Gibson SG Standard 24 AMS Limited Edition Ebony (Firebird X Mini & Iommi)
Gibson 50th Anniversary Pete Townshend SG Alpine White (P90 & P90)
Gibson SG Classic P90's Heritage Cherry (P90 & P90)
Gibson Melody Maker SG Satin Blue (491T)
Gibson Les Paul Traditional PRO Wine Red (57 & 57)
Gibson Les Paul Studio LTD Robot Metallic Green (490R & 498T)
Washburn IDOL WI64
Brownsville IS700
Angelica 940 Acoustic
Brownsville BatFlame Bass
Laguna LAB5CEBUB Acoustic Bass
Marshall Vintage Modern 2 x 12 50 watt combo 2266CB
Marshall JMD:1 50 watt Head
Marshall JCM2000 TSL601 2 x 12 60 watt combo
Marshall JCM2000 DSL40C 1 x 12 40 watt combo
Marshall SL5-C 12" 5 watt combo
Marshall JMP-1C (10" 1 watt combo)
Marshall Class 5H
Marshall TSLC212 2x12 extention cab Marshall/Celestion Heritage and Vintage
Marshall 425A 4x12 G12C's (Jimi Hendrix Special Edition Greenbacks)
Marshall MF280A over sized 4 x12 with Special Edition Vintage 30MF
VHT Special 6 Ultra 12" Combo
Digitech RP1000
THD Yellow Jackets converters with EL84's (converts any Class AB amp to Class A)

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