Pickups that react well with a volume knob

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letitrock
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Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by letitrock » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:08 pm

I'm in search of pickups that clean up well with the volume knob. I usually play the yngwie, paul gilbert and van halen 1 stuff. The guitar is an Ibanez Jem7v with Evolutions and the pickups are too harsh and do not want to clean up. I want to stick with Dimarzios as I dont plan on swapping the middle pickup. I think I like pafs, my favorite pickups are the yjms and guthrie govan pickups in his sig (i think they are pafs just slightly hotter). Any ideas?

I've heard about tone zone, paf pro but have had no experience with them.

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lespauled
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by lespauled » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:37 pm

Have you tried dropping the pickup a little to see if that helps?

Those are high output pickups, with a 404 Output rating. I've never heard of a pickup that doesn't clean up, not even EMGs.
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_xxx_
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by _xxx_ » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:30 pm

I just installed a set of Injectors, which are Paul Gilbert model hum-free single coils. You could try these for neck and middle, they will work fine there. See my little review in the "Tone Talk" section. They do have extreme pick attack, so you may also consider the Area67.

If you want a real single coil, the only candidate is FS-1. Instant heavy Yngwie tone with lots of output.

Of the many DMZ humbuckers I tried, I only liked very few. I especially *disliked* the Evos, they sound as dead as can be and have really annoying highs and zero dynamics. Compressed tone with weak harmonics is what all their Alnico humbuckers (except for the original PAF) seem to have. The only usable ones were Norton or Fred, depending on the guitar. Fred is the older Satriani model, while Norton is similar but with less piercing highs and more bass. Both are nice all-round pickups. Fred should work well in your Ibby.

Their old style PAF is great but quite weak, so that won't do. Tone Zone is the opposite, way too heavy for most regular stuff even with coil tap.

That being said, I'd move on to Duncan or Gibson if you want really good Alnico pickups with big dynamics. Or boutique stuff, there are many great pickup makers out there. My favorite PAF-type pickups out there regarding dynamics and tone are Duncan Pearly Gates (medium output but extremely lively and nice tone, usable for anything and also great for cleans etc. in coil tap mode) and Gibson 498T (similar to Pearly but double the output, you know the tone from the standard Les Paul). If you want it more scooped, try the JB. If you want stronger mids and less treble, then CustomCustom.

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_xxx_
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by _xxx_ » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:47 pm

lespauled wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:37 pm
I've never heard of a pickup that doesn't clean up, not even EMGs.
Most of the very strong pickups don't clean up well, gets worse with more output. It all depends on your amp etc. of course.

letitrock
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by letitrock » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:02 pm

_xxx_ wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:47 pm
lespauled wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:37 pm
I've never heard of a pickup that doesn't clean up, not even EMGs.
Most of the very strong pickups don't clean up well, gets worse with more output. It all depends on your amp etc. of course.
The Evos on 3 with the guitars volume and very little gain is trebly and harsh. Ive played so many hours with the knobs on both the amp and guitar. The only time I am happy with the pickups is when I mess with the eqs to fit with a song or when I play in a very large room. For example, some songs like Rosanna -Toto, slightly driven and it gets clean in some areas. The distorted guitar parts are good, but doing the rest or the piano part is super annoying.

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_xxx_
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by _xxx_ » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:08 pm

Evo just sucks for anyone who doesn't use Vai's rig. It's made to be very neutral and characterless because he needed it that way, he works with boosters and pedals and whatnot and needs it that way for his multiple rigs. Most of us don't though and with a regular amp they sound as you described, simply awful.

Toto played a Les Paul there (with EMG's, but the post-production tone was right there), so the mentioned 498T will get you much closer to that for sure. Also WAY more dynamics, liveliness, harmonics and warmth compared to Evo. More perceived loudness due to the strong mids too.

JB would be comparable to Evo output-wise, it's a warm sounding pickup but with scooped lower mids and oozing harmonics, most Kramer bros here prefer them. I dislike the excessive bass and weak mids, but it is the most popular Duncan pickup overall and that will have it's reasons. As said Custom Custom has a similar character but with more mids and a slight treble-cut.

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_xxx_
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by _xxx_ » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:50 pm

Forgot another great candidate which won't ruin the look - Duncan Full Shred. It has hex pole pieces just like DiMarzio so it will fit great.

The tone is like what Evo should sound like (For the Love of God studio version) but through your normal rig. Strong, clear tone without mush, strong upper mids and not too harsh high end. Great pickup for soloing, great dynamics, loves to 'sing'.

letitrock
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by letitrock » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:56 pm

Thanks guys. I'm going to have a look at all those pickups.

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lonewolfsx
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by lonewolfsx » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:37 am

I like the Full Shred a lot too, but it is pretty high output. It is a lot thicker sounding than the tone chart would have you believe... how they rated that pickup as 4/4/8 (B/M/T) confuses me. It's the same wind as the SH-5 Custom but with the A5 magnet and hex pole pieces - I thought I would hate the Custom but I got one in a used Pacer Imperial and it has quickly become my favorite duncan pickup for versatility... any o f the custom models seem to go from clean to mean easily and smoothly, and with more thickness than something like a JB, Evo, or other lead-oriented pickup. Custom is also great for VH1 stuff - not sure about the others your mentioned though. Early Seymour Duncan catalogs actually list VH as using the Custom around '78-80 but there's a lot of dispute over that. I say who cares if he actually used one on a recording, it sounds close enough to me.

I'm a big fan of the PAF Pro if you want to stick with Dimarzio. It has a fantastic lead sound, and also is really great in the neck position too. It does a little bit of the "awww" sound, like a JB, Double Whammy, etc., and that does hurt it if you want a clean-chording type sound though. I'd stay away from the tone zone for that reason as well, though I've only played (not owned) the TZ so I can't comment as much on that.

One other super cheap thing you could try - if your volume pots have a treble bleed capacitor on them, take it off. I hate treble bleeds, they make even good sounding pickups sound tinny and thin when rolling down the volume. Just my opinion, you could try it easily by lifting one leg of the cap and putting a little tape on it (the leg) so it doesn't make contact anymore.
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Charlie Fandango
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Re: Pickups that react well with a volume knob

Post by Charlie Fandango » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:07 am

EVH Wolfgang pickups. Expensive but very responsive and articulate.


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