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Seymore Duncan

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I have just spent the last hour on the Seymore Duncan website using their tone calculator and also going through their library of sound bites. I couldn't really hear much difference between the different pick-ups, so.... figuring it must be my crappy laptop sound, i went and got some good quality headphones and started over and listened to them all again, and still couldn't tell a p90 from a distortion humbucker [confused]

 

I am looking for new humbuckers for my spotlight that have a classic sound and clarity, but with more oomph than a classic?

 

what in your opinion works best in a mahogany body maple cap 25 1/5" scale guitar with a strat tremolo?

 

I know this is the sort of discussion that probably goes round and round, but i would be interested to know what pick-ups you all have chosen and what you like or dislike about them?

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BigN

 

The SD site has a lot of info, maybe too much sometimes, have a look at the tone comparison charts it will give the differences in DC resistance and peaks which goes some way to showing what will be hotter.

 

Maybe Pearly Gates or Pro Slash might be what you want.

 

Not sure where you are, but check your local supplier to see if you can get SD's with the 30 day trial period. such as, you put em in and dont like em take em back for exchange within 30 days, I know you can get this out in OZ.

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Neil, you've stumbled upon something that is true for many of us - that the differences between pickups is often negligable. There have been some recorded comparisons of major pickups in the past, and it was the same thing there - some heard differences, many didn't. I think ya gotta trust your own ears.

 

What kind of amplifier/effects do you use?

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Neil, you've stumbled upon something that is true for many of us - that the differences between pickups is often negligable. There have been some recorded comparisons of major pickups in the past, and it was the same thing there - some heard differences, many didn't. I think ya gotta trust your own ears.

 

What kind of amplifier/effects do you use?

 

maybe your right, I'm thinking that the pick ups are only one link in your chain of sound. I was listening to the who last night and Pete was getting a great organic dirty sound which I really enjoyed, I think they were p90's. If i could capture some of that sound, but in a higher output humbucker, i would be delighted.

 

I'm using a Marshal Valvestate 8080,no effects. I remember also really liking my les paul with burstbuckers pro's through it.

 

Do any of the pick-up manufacturers have a pick-up that is like a burstbucker pro? but with 4 core wires for coil splitting.

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It all comes down to personal preference, what you're trying to get; do you want to sound like Slash, Billy Gibbons, '59 Les Pauls, Toni Iommi, '80s Metal players. You'd have to listen to some for yourself and see what you like, but if your laptop's sound chip is so rubbish that you can't hear the difference between a P90 and a humbucker, you might have to try a different computer or just go on the treble/mid/bass numbers on the site or if your hearing's not that discriminatory that you can't hear the difference then there's probably no point in changing pickups. Perhaps it's the pickups you're comparing... I just had a listen to a Seymour Duncan Model '59 vs a Duncan Phat Cat and there's deffinately a big difference; try and have a listen to them again.

 

Burstbucker pro is an alnico 5 wax potted attempt at a hot later PAF copy; so they're higher on the treble and bass and lower on the mids. Normal burstbuckers are Alnico 2 so they're not as hot but have more mids, but they're not wax potted. Classic 57 are copies of earlier PAFs.

 

Seymour Duncan do a wax potted alnico 5 late PAF copy in the SH-1 Model '59 and a copy of the earlier PAFs in the SH-55 Seth Lover. Among others, they also do the Pearly Gates which is obviously supposed to sound like Billy Gibbons' les paul.

 

Dimarzio do the PAF classic/Air Classic, another late PAF clone.

 

None of these are "high output" pickups. All of the above make high output pickups such as the Duncan JB, Gibson Dirty Fingers. Higher output generally means more bass and treble, less mids. The Duncan JB is a very trebbly pickup. The list goes on and on; Duncan Jazz is often paired as a neck with a JB bridge for a hot modern sounding output les paul, Duncan Alnico II Pro has more mids because of the A2 magnet but I think it is wax potted unlike the burstbuckers, supposed to sound like Slash.

 

Quite a few of these pickups are available in different configurations; e.g. the Duncan '59 can come with or without a cover and with 1 or 4 conductor wiring. It's mainly the early PAFs and seriously "vintage" pickups that aren't available with 4 conductor wiring; The Duncan SH-55, Gibson Classic 57 etc.

 

If you want something like a burstbucker pro; the Duncan Model '59, Duncan Pearly Gates, Dimarzio PAF classic are all quite similar; If you want something hot for metal, there are like 30 different pickups from Duncan and Dimarzio all with 4 conductor wiring.

 

Pickups are indeed only part of the sound and the amp makes much more difference. Also, generally the better the amp, the more difference you can hear in the pickups. You need to know what you want to sound like and you should be able to hear to the differences in the sound clips on the websites.

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A lot of truth in what KX36 said. Rather than changing pickups, why don't you take you guitar down to your local music store and try out different amps. This is the most expensive way to change your sound, but it also makes the largest difference.

The biggest change in your sound will come from either your amp, or your effects.

Pickups will affect change in tone of course, but the other 2 will change your sound more.

If you have a nice clean sound now, maybe buy a distortion/overdrive pedal.

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Thanks for all your input guys [thumbup] well, i never really thought about the sound card, so i'll have another go with my desk top pc connected to the hifi when the family are all out. I will pay particular attention to the ones you have mentioned as sounding similar to burstbucker pros. I have no plans to change my amp as i am really really happy with it, and get great overdrive sounds with it just using the dirty channel.

 

thanks again for you comments

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I have thought exactly the same thing about those Seymour Duncan clips, Neil.

 

Next, I challenge you to browse the Thomann.de website. On there you'll find genre-based sound clips for any number of different guitars and amps and.......guess what? They all sound the same too!

 

IMO, there are two coomon denominators with these types of sample. Firstly, all the clips are of the same short section of music or riff. Secondly, they are all probably played by the same guy.

 

So, do we need any more proof than this that virtually all of a person's tone is in their fingers? I'll add to this and say most of the rest of a person's tone is in their own head. Lastly, there's a tiny proportion of the tone equation left for the equipment: guitar, amp, pickups.

 

Of course this doesn't stop me lusting after new guitars, amps and pickups one bit! #-o

 

Alan

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I can certainly hear a huge difference in sound between pickups, providing my amp isn't "modeling" all of my sound.

 

When I had nothing but a Line 6 Spider III, I couldn't tell the difference between one guitar and another.

 

Now that I've switched to some tube and solid-state non-modeling amps, I can hear the difference clearly.

 

That's been my goal, really, to find an amp that lets me control sound through my guitar's controls. I still love the modeling stuff, but that's just for fun. Tubes and some solid states let me hear what I'm doing, without "covering it up".

 

And I'm becoming a big fan of Seymour Duncan pickups.

 

My Les Paul Ultra has Gibsons. '57 classic at the neck, and burstbucker pro at the bridge. My SG has SD Phat Cats, my Schecter has coil-split Seymour Duncans, and my Traveler now has a Seymour Duncan "hot rails" pickup, which really makes it sound nice and "crunchy".

 

It's hard to choose between their lines of humbuckers, but I think there's a bigger difference than you can hear on a computer.

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I have decided to go for something classic sounding 57 or 59 or paf or something like that. I saw these online and thought they looked like a really good bargain.

 

Wilkinson zebra

 

these are usually £30 each on the wilkinson website.

 

I have just bought a used Epi' sg and i can hear a distinct difference to the spotlight i know that a portion of this is the guitar itself, but the pick ups in the sg really sound very different (powerful and punchy, but cheap and squeely at hi volume)

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I recently bought a used G-400 with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates in neck position and Seymour Duncan JB (SH4) in bridge position and I notice a huge difference in sound between the SG and my LP Standard when playing through my Vypyr 30. At first after playing the SG, I was seriously considering changing the pups in my LP also but really do like the stock pups in her and after thinking about it, I decided not to change them. At least not right now. I love having two great guitars that sound alike in some ways but so different overall.

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Cjlandry, you mentioned you had a Seymour Duncan in your Traveller. Which Traveller did you drop a pickup into? I've got a Speedster and while it's great to "travel" with I'm becoming increasingly disenchanted with it. Not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater I'm considering some changes to fix the stuff that's starting to annoy me. The tone on it quite simply ain't much, (and I doubt anybody ever bought one thinking that it would be), but was the pickup change like a night and day difference? Based on the SD you installed, were you pleased with the outcome or would you do something different if you were to do a change again? Did you change anything else at the time, caps, wiring, etc.? Have you changed the imput jack or do you know if it's possible? I cannot seem to get a cable to stay in mine at all, (It's like it's not deep enough to allow for proper engagement), and I've tried several different ones: bought the thing new too. I'm hesitant to start changing stuff out on it: since it's kinda weird I wonder if parts are specific and whether or not they'll fit right. Considering how it's behaving I don't think a replacement could be much or any worse however. Not wanting to hijack a thread here, but I've not had any luck in finding anybody that's modded a Traveller before...

 

wedgie

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Wilkinson Humbuckers pair calibrated 7.5k neck 14k bridge zebra PAF style

paid £24.99 GBP plus £2.99 postage

 

 

I Ended up buying the Wilkinson set of Zebra PAF style humbuckers. They have had a big difference on the sound of the guitar, they don't sound as dark as the old ones, with clear ringing tones and great overdrive sounds with out any mud. with the coils split i can get sounds that are approaching Fender territory on the spotlight.

 

To Summarize, these pick-ups are excellent value for money at the price i paid for them, and would sound great in any heavy bodied mahogany Les Paul or similar guitar. But, could sound a bit harsh in lighter strat type or similar guitars. [thumbup]

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Cjlandry, you mentioned you had a Seymour Duncan in your Traveller. Which Traveller did you drop a pickup into? I've got a Speedster and while it's great to "travel" with I'm becoming increasingly disenchanted with it. Not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater I'm considering some changes to fix the stuff that's starting to annoy me. The tone on it quite simply ain't much, (and I doubt anybody ever bought one thinking that it would be), but was the pickup change like a night and day difference? Based on the SD you installed, were you pleased with the outcome or would you do something different if you were to do a change again? Did you change anything else at the time, caps, wiring, etc.? Have you changed the imput jack or do you know if it's possible? I cannot seem to get a cable to stay in mine at all, (It's like it's not deep enough to allow for proper engagement), and I've tried several different ones: bought the thing new too. I'm hesitant to start changing stuff out on it: since it's kinda weird I wonder if parts are specific and whether or not they'll fit right. Considering how it's behaving I don't think a replacement could be much or any worse however. Not wanting to hijack a thread here, but I've not had any luck in finding anybody that's modded a Traveller before...

 

wedgie

 

Mine's a Speedster, too. I've never had trouble with the jack, but I ended up replacing all the electronics.

 

The SD "Hot Rails" was a "night and day" change, but I would like to compare it to some of the DiMarzio options. Simply not possible without shelling out dollars and seeing which I like better.

 

ProLine has a jack that works very well with the original spacer sleeve. It's a "deep" jack, which can be set to any depth you like, with appropriate spacing. On MF, look up "Proline Flush Mount Jack". That'll get you there.

 

Unfortunately, for the volume and tone pots, there's only room for dime-sized pots.

 

I've been considering modifying the body to facilitate better controls.

 

Meanwhile, at least I'm still able to practice when I'm out of the country on business, and I can use whichever mini or headphone amp I choose.

 

It really is nice to have a full scale guitar that fits in my Pelican case with my tools and test instruments, regardless of whether I can sound like my favorite rock stars or not.

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