Extensive pickup testing today, surprising outcome...

Orpheo

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today I had a friend over, and we tested 8 sets of pickups, all of them in a les paul, with a peavey valveking 112 and an Engl SE.

1: JB-Jazz set. damn, this set just rocked my world. yeah, I have it for over a year, but never really 'listened' to them. They sound so open, transparant, agressive, tight, with character and punch... wow. coiltap on the JB gives me an agressive singlecoil tone. parallel jazz gives me a superclean, transparant tone, goddamn... what a shocker!

2: rio grande tx/BBQ set. kind of a bummer. the guitar sounds unplugged AWESOME. nice mid and uppermidrange hump, singing highs, tight lows, but the pickups are the weakest link. they just don't deliver the goods. bit bland, boring, not so much character as I always thought it would be. the tx is very clear, so is the BBQ, but they just don't have a lot of character to them. Compare it with a Ford Mondeo. drives nice and smooth, but doesn't have too much character to it.

3: motherbucker set. broad, complex, LOTS of mid and supertight lows, the highs are just enough to piece through, but not enough to make it a bright pickup. really a dirty rock 'n roll sound. for the neck, is FAT. maybe a bit too fat, but for leads and clean tones, like jazz, its tight, complex, transparant and hot enough.

4: prails. well, I shovled a lot of feathers in their arse, so I wont talk about them much more. they are the best pickups, with the jb-jazz, hands down, we tried today.

5: air norton. at first, BORING. hot, gritty, LOTS of mids and highs, supertransparant, but where the heck is the character I once digged so much?! then we changed the strings, and wham bam thank you ma'am, there it was! character, and lots of it. not just agression and tightness, but smoothnes and some grit on the neckpickup, which is smooth enough for jazz, and tight enough for metal leads. the bridge pickup is clean enough for funky stuff, or dirty blues riffs, and so tight that heavy metal (slayer and beyond) are very easy to play it with. (just like the JB and jazz). the jb and jazz are a bit more transparant. the air norton also has a bit more lows and lower midrange, eventhough it also has lots of upper mids.

6. 57 classic+/57 classic. wow, boring. no character, no punch, no depth, no agression, no nothing. it just sucked big time. couldn't do anything.

7: bluesbucker. in series, nice! but kinda like the air norton, though it has a touch less output, and a bit less grit and agression. Nice, but not really so supercool and character-loaded as I thought it would be. really good for blues, bluesrock and old school rock, but not tight enough for rock, hair metal, heavy metal or glamrock, and absolutely not clear or transparant or complex enough for jazz.

8: iommi pickups. tight, but because of the excessive amount of mids and lows, its not as tight as it could've been. only good for one thing: oompf oompf oompf.

9: GFS crunchy PAT/'59 pickup. really a surprise. bit like a hotrod PAF set, with a bit more highs than usual. Not really too bad, but compared with the JB/jazz, its a bit tame, lame and dull.

pickups I want to test out some day:
screamin demon in neck, alternative 8 in bridge
duncan custom 2 in neck, custom bridge

still have to figure out though in which guitars I am going to put them, if I'm going to do that at all.
 

m4rk0

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5,383
Orpheo said:
2: rio grande tx/BBQ set. kind of a bummer. the guitar sounds unplugged AWESOME. nice mid and uppermidrange hump, singing highs, tight lows, but the pickups are the weakest link. they just don't deliver the goods. bit bland, boring, not so much character as I always thought it would be. the tx is very clear, so is the BBQ, but they just don't have a lot of character to them. Compare it with a Ford Mondeo. drives nice and smooth, but doesn't have too much character to it.

Bland Boring? doesn't sound anything like my BBQ's and TX. way better than my JB (in my elan I)

oh and no mondeo's here.. maybe a taurus..
 

Orpheo

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Markoooooo said:
Orpheo said:
2: rio grande tx/BBQ set. kind of a bummer. the guitar sounds unplugged AWESOME. nice mid and uppermidrange hump, singing highs, tight lows, but the pickups are the weakest link. they just don't deliver the goods. bit bland, boring, not so much character as I always thought it would be. the tx is very clear, so is the BBQ, but they just don't have a lot of character to them. Compare it with a Ford Mondeo. drives nice and smooth, but doesn't have too much character to it.

Bland Boring? doesn't sound anything like my BBQ's and TX. way better than my JB (in my elan I)

oh and no mondeo's here.. maybe a taurus..

yeah indeed :p for some strange reason, it is just sounding bland and boring. but ey, these are just my thoughts.
 

m4rk0

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you just got a bad batch :)

or maybe it was your playing that was bland hehehehee  :icon_tongue:;)
 

GoDrex

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too bad you didn't have any magnets to play around with. A JB8 would possibly blow your mind :laughing7:

good reviews though. Surprised that you like the JB and Jazz set so much. It's such a hit or miss combo. I tried a JB in my W LP and I didn't care for it, although I loved the JB for years in other guitars.
 

Orpheo

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GoDrex said:
too bad you didn't have any magnets to play around with. A JB8 would possibly blow your mind :laughing7:

good reviews though. Surprised that you like the JB and Jazz set so much. It's such a hit or miss combo. I tried a JB in my W LP and I didn't care for it, although I loved the JB for years in other guitars.

I will do that some time, I have nice ideas for pickups in other guitars. but hey, I was as much surprised, as you are that I'm surprised, haha. but indeed, in my guitar, it works like a charm. I haven't tried it in another guitar though. I really want to try out the pickupcombo's I mentioned. alt8+scr.demn/custom+customcustom.

@marko: it wasn't just me, it was my friend too who felt it was a bit boring ;) but hey, if you wanna have them, just drop me an email.


 

DocNrock

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4,295
GoDrex said:
DocNrock said:
I didn't see any DiMarzios in your list.   :icon_biggrin:

check again

Woops, yes, he had the Air Norton.  Too bad you found it boring.  Look at some of the other DiMarzios:  Super Distortion, Tone Zone, etc.
 

Orpheo

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DocNrock said:
GoDrex said:
DocNrock said:
I didn't see any DiMarzios in your list.   :icon_biggrin:

check again

Woops, yes, he had the Air Norton.  Too bad you found it boring.  Look at some of the other DiMarzios:  Super Distortion, Tone Zone, etc.

no, it turned out to be better with the newer strings ;) the bluesbucker was 'okay'.

I already tried the superD: not my thing, really, not my thing. the tonezone; too mushy in a lester!
 

DocNrock

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Orpheo said:
DocNrock said:
GoDrex said:
DocNrock said:
I didn't see any DiMarzios in your list.   :icon_biggrin:

check again

Woops, yes, he had the Air Norton.  Too bad you found it boring.  Look at some of the other DiMarzios:  Super Distortion, Tone Zone, etc.

no, it turned out to be better with the newer strings ;) the bluesbucker was 'okay'.

I already tried the superD: not my thing, really, not my thing. the tonezone; too mushy in a lester!

I've heard good things about the Air Zone and the Norton in the LP (bridge).
 

jay4321

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1,271
I have a Jazz / JB set (with covers) about to go into my Tele Deluxe, looking forward to that. Pretty reliable set in my experience with in in an Epi LP and an agathis Tele Deluxe
 

DocNrock

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Here's a thread with the Air Zone / Air Norton combo in a Lester.

http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=292.0
 

bpmorton777

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1,651
Orpheo,

have you owned/played an early 90's LP custom? My brother has one and the pickups tone/output seems close to the SD super distortion PU's in my Hamer. Any thoughts on this?

Brian
 

T.L.

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332
You should test the Tone Zone, Evolution, and D-Sonic pickups.  Maybe a PAF Pro in the neck position as well.
I'm also a bit interested in the Duncan Custom-custom...
 

Orpheo

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2,738
I just bought new pickups... Prail-set and a duncan distortion+JB. have to slip on the gold covers though. that will make it look nice and neat on my guitar (and I still need a 2nd set for another guitar :p). I really, really dig those pickups, I have to say :)
 

bbl4ck

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1,974
DocNrock said:
Here's a thread with the Air Zone / Air Norton combo in a Lester.

http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=292.0

+1 on that Air Zone / Air Norton combo.  I listened to your suggested clip on the Dimarzio Forum website and hot dang, I love what I hear.    :hello2:
Great tone; just what I would expect and want in my Lester, if I had one.  And I will someday soon.
So many guitars; so little time...
:rock-on:
 

Orpheo

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2,738
bbl4ck said:
DocNrock said:
Here's a thread with the Air Zone / Air Norton combo in a Lester.

http://www.dimarzioforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=292.0

+1 on that Air Zone / Air Norton combo.  I listened to your suggested clip on the Dimarzio Forum website and hot dang, I love what I hear.    :hello2:
Great tone; just what I would expect and want in my Lester, if I had one.  And I will someday soon.
So many guitars; so little time...
:rock-on:

I liked the more tight and crunchy tone from the air norton over the airzone. it gave it just a bit more growl, which really worked for me.
 
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