Advice for Duncans on an Epiphone LP

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Rizzo, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    If the Gods are on my side, I'll be selling my Tele (failed "metalhead-goes-vintage" experiment, lol) to acquire a more modern 2ndary axe.

    Keep in mind I already have a Schecter C1 which is my go-to guitar, equipped with a BKP A-Nailbomb and SD Jazz. I'd keep this guitar for more modern stuff, even thought it's still versatile for lots of situations.

    I'd like then to keep the LP as a secondary guitar, with a still versatile but mildly aggressive mindset (still to be less aggressive than the Schec, mind), to exchange with the Schec itself depending on the active projects, tuning or situation. Most likely I'll keep one in standard tuning and the other one detuned from time to time, down to B or most likely C.

    I then was budgeting an hypothetical pickup swap already, and I was looking for Duncans since it's the company I know best and I'm already experienced with.
    I don't want to spend on boutique stuff anymore (so please don't advice BKP or similar) and I would like to stay on Duncans so please don't advice anything else but let me concentrate in choosing the right one.

    My project was to keep the LP as a sort of Tremonti tribute, so a quiet neck-hotter bridge thing, quite aggressive and rock oriented guitar that could still do dynamics and quieter stuff without being over the top.

    My neck pickup choice is firm on a SD Jazz because I love it in the Schec for its clarity, and that's it. No questioning.

    So what I am looking for as a bridge pickup?
    I generally love high output pickups for their "responsiveness\sensitivity" on leads, sort to speak, and because I'm a pinch harmonic maniac.
    Still even under high gain, I use very conservative settings to retain the most clarity (usually about 30-50% of the gain pot) so just enough gain to have harmonics ringing. Again I don't want over-the-top stuff, also cause I play a little bit of everything in styles other than hard rock\metal.

    Again: aggressive but versatile. As much clarity as possible.
    I'm still debated between ceramics and alnicos.
    I love the chug and bite of ceramics, but they often feel "harsh\ice picky" to me.
    On the other hand I love the smoothness of alnicos.
    However, having an alnico in the Schec already, I could try out a feasible ceramic.

    I'll add I play through a POD HD and FRFR, and I favor mid-heavy tones on the distorted department (think 5150 style).

    General characteristics I'm looking for:
    - medium \ high output
    - clarity \ articulation
    - aggressive \ good chugs
    - "fat" \ body on single notes
    - as smooth \ less compressed as possible
    - nice cleans and cleaning up with volume pot \ decent dynamics (= versatility)
    - balanced EQ at least, not scooped (I love "open", middy tones)

    Again I'm not searching for the holy grail. This would be just an abstract description based on my tastes.

    So far I've come down to 3 contenders for the bridge pickup, in order of ideal preference (on paper at least).
    1. Duncan Custom (seems articulate and versatile enough for a hot pickup, also not too harsh for a ceramic. Mabye too much low mids?)
    2. Duncan Custom 5 (maybe more versatile than the ceramic counterpart, but I fear it for being too scooped)
    3. Duncan Distortion (nice clarity in mids, but maybe too hot in output, harsh and over the top)

    I hope I explained myself in a well detailed way, now up to you, bring advice! :cool:
    Again remember we're dealing with an Epi LP.
    Thanks
     
  2. jarledge

    jarledge SS.org Regular

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    I'd go seymour duncan livewires then. They are active versions of the jb and jazz. They maintain dynamics, increase clarity and overall output all while still sounding similar to the passive version.

    I really dig those pickups, by far my favorite seymour duncans to date.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf_O3tKHEUw
     
  3. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    I've never been into actives, really.
    They've always sounded stale, thin and let's say "lacking character" to my ears.
    I'm much more of a passives guy.

    Thanks for the advice still, I'll get some info on them. :)
     
  4. warpedsoul

    warpedsoul SS.org Regular

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    My first thought when reading was the Custom. Custom 5 will be scooped. Also look into the Nazgul.
     
  5. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    Duncan Custom and '59 are my thoughts. I have one in a mahogany Charvel and like it a lot. It's hot enough to be real crunchy but is moderate enough to still have a raw, cutting rock tone when you dial back the gain.

    I like the Duncan Distortion a lot, but whoa buddy is that a metal monster.
     
  6. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    So it seems my instinct was right in pointing towards the Custom.
    Also, is it feasible for detuning?
    Thanks, keep opinions coming!

    I know the Nazgul aready and it is too saturated and modern-voiced for my tastes (or should I say basically too much metal-oriented).

    Adding a thought: I'm thinking of the Alnico II as a neck alternative to the Jazz for some smoother tones. Or will it be too much different from the Custom output-wise?
     
  7. Vrollin

    Vrollin SS.org Regular

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    Maybe the 59/custom? It's still one of those pups I'm really keen to try myself....
     
  8. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    I did some research on it but I think I'd rather go for the regular Custom, more aggressive.
    However it could be a reasonable "secondary tier" option too.
     
  9. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    The Alnico II pickup is a Jazz pickup with a different magnet (Jazz = Alnico V; Alnico II = (you guessed it) Alnico II). So you can easily swap between them.

    I have a Duncan Custom in a 7-string Charvel, and I think it handles to low notes very well.
     
  10. warpedsoul

    warpedsoul SS.org Regular

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    The Custom will handle drop tunings very well. Also, that is a highly popular pickup as it handles magnet swaps very well, hence the Custom 5 and Custom Custom.
     
  11. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    I would go with the Jazz/Distortion combo... not even a second of doubt...

    Jazz/Distortion combo is for me always que best SD combo for metal, specially for "thick" guitars like a Les Paul...

    Yes... when you are decided about the Custom I come here to fvck your mind!!! Hahaha!
     
  12. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys for your replies.

    Haha dude thanks for your enthusiasm in advising.
    Honestly I'm more prone to the Custom since, as I stated, I'd like to keep things a little tamed down compared to the Schecter, and the Distortion would be IMHO too much metal oriented.

    For the neck then, the Alnico II could be an option after the Jazz.
     
  13. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    The Custom! It sounds great for detuning, sounds awesome for solos, and has enough output to play heavier music. The Custom/Jazz combo is a great one.
     
  14. chassless

    chassless Don'tDeserveMyGuitar

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    everybody's overlooking the Full Shred bridge here. seriously, it ticks most of what the OP is looking for:

    - medium \ high output - X
    - clarity \ articulation - major X (no matter how much gain, string separation is superb)
    - aggressive \ good chugs - not the best, but it does the trick pretty well
    - "fat" \ body on single notes - same as above
    - as smooth \ less compressed as possible - X (it's pretty dynamic and smooth-ish in the higher end)
    - nice cleans and cleaning up with volume pot \ decent dynamics (= versatility) - X (cleans are in-between vintagey warm and modern clear, split is great)
    - balanced EQ at least, not scooped (I love "open", middy tones) - personally i find it lacks a little low end and body. but that's easy to compensate for. it should do fine in your thick LP body and thick gauge strings i'm assuming you're gonna put in.

    it's alnico V, and doesn't have as much bite and probably isn't as aggressive as ceramic based pickups. but it's very tight in the low end and digging in low tuned palm mutes is very satisfying with it. squeals are Squeaky clean and smooth, they jump right out, which is very satisfying for someone demanding articulation.

    you'll love it, i'll guarantee it. if you end up not liking it i'll buy it from you :lol: no joke!
     
  15. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    Honestly you're the first one I see around advising a FS for an LP!
    Aaargh I hate when people throw more options at me :lol:
    I'll consider it and get some info, thanks! :)
     
  16. chassless

    chassless Don'tDeserveMyGuitar

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    nobody has? it sounds great in my Washburn x-50proq, which basically made of the same woods and configuration as a LP (mahog/mahogsetneck/rosewoodboard/mapletop) but a bit thinner and double cut like a superstrat.
     
  17. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    Nope I didn't see anyone doing that, neither on Duncan forums.
    The Custom seems to get the greatest appreciations in LPs.
     
  18. chassless

    chassless Don'tDeserveMyGuitar

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    true. let us know what you pick!
     
  19. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    Certainly!
    But it will be most likely in quite some time since I intend to sell my Tele first :)
     
  20. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    The Full Shred is the same pickup was the Custom but with different pole pieces. I'd start with the Custom and you could go with the FS later if it turns out you wanted something brighter. But the Custom might be a better place to start since it's the more "classic" and tried-and-true design.
     

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