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more pickup questions

Crazy Carl

Banned
Joined
Jul 21, 2001
Messages
449
Ok, I'm ready to swap p/u's in my Classic. I like other folks' sound w/those monster p/u's, but they just don't work for me- too brashy & harsh.

I'm into earlier metal (old 'Priest, 'Sabbath, Scorpions), heavier classic rock & blues. I like warm, not muddy, p/u's. The '57 Classics in my BB RI are killer, but didn't like 'em in the '68 RI- TOO bright. The Duncan '59 & JB in my Explorer are schweet, but unsure how a maple top would alter the equation.

Here's what I'm considering-

'59/Custom, Seth Lovers f & r or maybe Alnico 2 Pro/Pearly Gates.

I've heard people rave about the Seths, but aren't they unpotted? I get kinda loud & don't want the p/u's squealing on me. Someone on here mentioned running a Seth in the neck w/Pearly Gates bridge. I know RICH & EdR like the Seth/DD combo. How's a combo w/such different p/u's work in the middle position?

Bah, enough silly questions. Thanks for any advice/recommendations.
 

DoobieK

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
880
Pickemups

My vote is for the '59/Custom combo.

That's my current setup in the Classic. To me, the JB is too weak and thin. Sounds pretty bad clean too.

My cousin has 3 LP's and his Custom with the '59/Custom sounds unbelievable. Although, a Classic is not a Custom.
 

Grandturk

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
775
The Duncan JB is killer in a mahagony bodied guitar... it ripped when I had one in my SG.
 

DoobieK

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
880
A lot of people do like the JB and I'm sure I've heard some killer tone with the JB/LP setup. I just can't get them to sound good in any guitars I've put them in.
 

Ed Rafalko

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
6,287
The JB's a great pickup, similar to the Duncan Distortion, but a bit more 'open' and not as focussed- and its bottom end and top end aren't as aggressive.
My R9 proudly displays a doubvle-cream Duncan Distortion in the bridge and a double cream seth lover in the neck. Great combination.
 

DoobieK

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
880
Hey Ed,

I like my Custom but am curious about the Distortion. How does it sound when playing clean, with no distortion? I've heard a lot of really high output pickups that sound pretty dull and muddy when played clean. Also, is it much louder than say a Custom or JB?
 

Ed Rafalko

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
6,287
It's not MELLOW when clean, it's stringent and clear, though. I rarely play clean through it anyway.
It's as loud as the JB, a little louder than the Custom.
If you're wanting mellow clean tones, the distortion is NOT for you.
It's a screamer, it's at home in high-gain situations.
 

Crazy Carl

Banned
Joined
Jul 21, 2001
Messages
449
pickups

I've got a JB in my Explorer & it rips. But, there's an edge to it, that while it slays in a mahogany body, I'm afraid would be shrill in a LP.

A bud of mine says he heard a pre-historic R9 w/Seths thru an old Plexi & that it was awesome. Killer blues tone & perfect for the heavier classic rock.

Anybody out there tried the Alnico 2 Pros? I know that's what Slash uses, but hey, I'm not Slash. The description sounds like they'd be pretty sweet, but am hesitant to 'go there' w/o hearing them.

Realistically speaking, the odds of my playing metal live are slim to none. Not much chance of doing Megadeth at a blues jam, ya know? When I sit in w/my friend's band, it's always classic rock or blues & I'm still a ways from starting my own band, so I don't necessarily need a 'metal' guitar. And, I'd rather play 'milder' p/u's thru a high gain amp than try to slam the preamp w/my p/u's. It's not like my Recto is exactly lacking in that department.

Anywho, thanks for the input. I'll probably end up going w/the Seths. Plus, I can put my hands on a pair of double creme Seths for $50 for the pair. Only draw back is their under gold covers. Double cremes sure would look bitchen in a flamed out cherryburst, tho....
 

EL34

New member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
16
In my old Les Paul (the one I sold to buy this PC...sheeesh!) I used a 59/Custom combination for years and loved it...until I put a pair of Seth Lovers in the guitar. I just found the Seths had a more interesting tone. They have a beautiful jangle in the attack, buttery highs, vocal mids and smooth bass response. They're also pretty versatile, sound good clean and can get pretty nasty too. I wouldn't recommend them for metal-type distortion because you'll get some impolite howls frm them - especially if you jump around a lot!
 

Ed Rafalko

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
6,287
I don't use the middle position with a Seth in the neck and a Distortion in the bridge. I rarely ever use the Seth, to be honest. I haven't found a high-gain tone I can use out of it yet- but I have NOT heard any microphonics yet either.
Carl, you won't like the Seth in the bridge. There's not enough power in it when you start cranking.

I'm surprised that Al Green finds the JB weak- it's one of the most powerful pickups Duncan makes. Contrary to popular beleif, I don't think it sounds shrill in a Paul at all- that's what it was developed for, after all.

I like the Distortion for what I'm doing NOW- going from the early '70s to the late '0s in tone. I can get almost everything in between those years with it just by setting the gain on the amp in different spots- and I'm not talking about the head, I'm talking about the little Marshall Lead 12.
Who knows what I'm going to be into in a week, , but tonight I jammed with Thin Lizzy, and with only a small back-off on gain from the amp, and a uick half-step-down tuning, I was right there.
The Alnico II will et you a really decent tone too. Not as high-gainy but stronger than a Seth or '59. Slash uses them to good effect.
 

slammintone

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2001
Messages
2,011
I tend to agree with ED R. that you may not like the Seth in the bridge. I have a set of Seths in my paul and they sound very good and paf-like but the bridge, especially with the cover on is kinda weak. I may go back to a 59 or try an Antiquity for the bridge as I have heard it's a tad louder than the Seth in the bridge position. Anyone out there able to confirm that ?
 

Stu

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
262
I thought the Seths are exactly the same as the Antiquities, but with a stronger magnet (i.e. like a "new" vs "aged" PAF)? So they are probably a bit louder and brighter... I haven't triedSeths, but I have Antiquities in my LP Std & the bridge pickup is quite low output. My '64 SG is way louder & ballsier...
 

Crazy Carl

Banned
Joined
Jul 21, 2001
Messages
449
p/u's... again

Cool, sounds like the Seth would be great for the neck. What do y'all think of a Seth/Alnico 2 Pro or a Seth/Pearly Gates combo? If I want metal gain, I've got other guitars, so it's not like I need a giant-killer bridge p/u. I just want some righteous tone.
 

Ed Rafalko

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
6,287
Define 'Righteous Tone', with a song or an artist that has something close to whatyou're looking for, then check to see when the tune was recorded. If it's prior to 1975, it's a safe bet that it was done with a pickup in the 7 to 9k range, post '75 probably brings it up over 10k, and post-1980 says you can bet it was over 14K.
The Alnico II Pro is probably what you're looking for htough. That's what Slash used. Eddie Van Halen used old PAFs that he added windings to, or somehow otherwise boosted the output to 14K. The Duncan Custom Custom is supposed to be close to Eddie's pickups, but in a Paul it will be boomy and midrangy.

Shoot, Carl, I dunno what you're going for, Give me a song or a band and I'll probaly be able to come up with a suggestion.
 

Sean

Goldie's Man in London
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
2,021
Speaking of songs, what where you jamming along to with Lizzy?

Oops, which reminds me...
 

Crazy Carl

Banned
Joined
Jul 21, 2001
Messages
449
Examples

Here ya go EdR-

ZZTop- Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers, Tush, Just Got Paid Today,
My Head's in Mississippi, Have Mercy/Jesus Just Left
Chicago

Skynyrd- Gimme Back My Bullets, Needle & Spoon

Blackfoot- Train Train

Brother Cane- Got No Shame

Foghat- Just Wanna Make Love to You

Guess I'm wantin something to nail that ballsy classic rock/heavy blues thang. This help you any, Ed?
 

Ed Rafalko

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
6,287
My Usual- the Dedication CD, and then when I got bored with it, the Live CD you gave me. I mostly justplay Jailbreak and The Boys are back in town. I've actually learned them both all the way through!
 

Ed Rafalko

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
6,287
Carl, yopu don['t want to go over 11K output on a pickup if that's the area you're looking for.
Foghat and Gibbons used Fender amps on those tunes, I think. That complicates matters somewhat. I think you're on the right track with the Alnico II though.
 

Crazy Carl

Banned
Joined
Jul 21, 2001
Messages
449
Cool

Thanks EdR. Yer all right, no matter what Kreig & Snags tell me ;)

I think I'm sittin pretty, amp wise. I can get a wide range of tones outta my Single Recto & the Rocket 440 is a killer blues amp. 4 Jensen 10's, EL84's, etc. To my ear, it sounds kinda like a hot-rodded Fender w/that Mesa snarl just waiting to be summoned.

Last stupid question- who's the best online source for SD's? I'm thinking a nickel covered neck p/u w/an open zebra in the bridge would be pretty cool. That's just me, tho.
 

Ed Rafalko

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
6,287
I think the online pickup dealer question is for BrianG, Carl. I don't think I've ever bought a new pickup online.
 
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