Best Neck Single Coil for High Gain Tones

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Najka, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Najka

    Najka SS.org Regular

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    hey all!

    I am looking for an awesome single coil to put in the neck position. I'm after an Eric Johnson lead meets modern liquid leads. I play heavy progressive styles but like those bluesy overtones to the guitar solos. (like the solo tone in Periphery's Luck as a constant meets an Eric Johnson tone) Will also use the neck for clean tones, glassy clean jazzy sounding stuff

    I have a lighter touch on the solos, like to do sweepy stuff mixed with blusey stuff. Link to an example of my leads: Fast forward to 2:20. https://soundcloud.com/najkadbs/void-new
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    Charvel
    • Basswood body
    • Bolt on maple neck
    • maple fret board
    • Floyd rose locking bridge (not recessed)
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    1. No $$ limit
    2. not opposed to humbucker sized singles.

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    Currently looking at:
    1. Bare Knuckle Mother's Milk
    2. Bare Knuckle Trilogy
    3. Bare knuckle Cobra
    4. Seymour Duncan JB Jr
    5. Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder
    6. Dimarzio Satch track
    7. Seymour Duncan SSL-5
    If anyone with experience can rule any of these out or make a new suggestion that would be awesome!
     
  2. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Sinner or cobra
     
  3. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    The Hot Rails neck, or the SSL-6 would be my choices...the SSL-6 sounds more like a single coil pickup (snap to the attack), while the Hot Rails (neck only) sounds a little more flowy and liquid.
     
  4. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    I really liked the jazzy tones from the SD quarter ponder and for high gain leads theres no problem at all... very articulate and with a lot of bite. There is also a tapped version so you can coil-tap it to get more vintage tones that could be better for cleans. Ah, and it sounds awesome in basswood.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    So, something like a JB Jr is the wrong choice here, IMO, because it's truly a humbucker, and not a singlecoil, or evenn a singlecoil-voiced humbucker.

    Eric Johnson might not be the greatest example here, because a surprising amount of his lead playing is NOT from a neck singlecoil, but the bridge.

    I didn't really love how this pickup sounded on its own, but it was hot and punchy enough to keep up with a medium output humbucker (at least in "perceived" output), and I think many of the things that I didn't really love about it make it pair well with humbuckers (for example, I'd have liked something with a little more sparkle and air to the high end). However, the Dimarzio Heavy Blues 2 was a thick, meaty singlecoil sounding pickup, and IMO it actually recorded surprisingly well. It's noiseless, too, which is a plus for high gain. I'd definitely check that out - I don't think I have any lead guitar clips with it, but here's something I did using a pair of them for bluesy clean playing (neck and middle in conjunction):



    Only other thing I'll add, is that a singlecoil and the sort of awesome bluesy overtones you can get out of a neck singlecoil are NOT consistent with a light picking attack. Single coil pickups really reward you for working your pick attack.

    EDIT - actually, I guess I did do a comparison between the HB2 and an Area 61, when I made that swap, too, but it's not the greatest recording - this was one of the first pickup comparisons I've ever shot, and I've gotten a little better since then. :lol:
     
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  6. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Dimarzio Cruiser.
     
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  7. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    This. Very much so.

    In comparison to a single coil, a humbucker, even one with low output (like a PAF), will feel compressed and lacking dynamic response.
     
  8. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    EMG Sax, add the PA-2 as a buffer for that pickup only, just to match output with the bridge, makes a killer neck pickup for lead work, but also nice & bold for clean tones too.
     
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  9. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    That's interesting; I may have to try that in my soloist.

    How does it sound after the boost? The same, just even in volume with the bridge? Or does the boost affect the tone in some way?
     
  10. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    It depends on how much you boost it. If you really push it, it can drive more, but I personally only like it loud enough to match the volume of the bridge pickup when flicking back & forth between pickups when soloing.
     
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  11. Najka

    Najka SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for such an informed response, super nice when people upload videos. Got some great suggestions, I may be trying the Quarter Pounders. They seem like a nice compromise
     
  12. Najka

    Najka SS.org Regular

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    I wish there were more demos of the bare knuckle sinners. There are a few good videos of the Cobras, which if someone told me I was listening to a humbucker I'd believe them. Not too many demo's of the Mother's Milk..
     
  13. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    the sinners sound like hum buckers with a bit more clarity. I really like them. They clean up very well with the volume knob.
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I've never tried them, but I've been told that they are pickups I might like. Could be a good answer. :yesway:
     
  15. metallifan3091

    metallifan3091 SS.org Regular

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    Sort of piggybacking on this thread, I have an old Ibanez USA Custom (basswood body, maple neck, HSS configuration w/ licensed Floyd) and I'm considering swapping out the stock single coils for DiMarzios to go along with the Evolution that came in the bridge position.

    This guitar is going to be used pretty much entirely for metal, and mostly for older stuff (thrash, early death metal, some shreddy Vai and Satch material, etc). Which DiMarzios would you guys recommend? I'd like to stay away from pickups that have rails like the Satch Track, just because of the aesthetic.
     
  16. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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  17. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    The buffer is a cool tip, I'll have to try that! But other than that, I would absolutely not recommend any active emg for singlecoil tones. The various emg singlecoils have an entirely different frequency response compared to any passive singlecoil, they really are their own thing, kind of like an extra hi-fi humbucker sound. Way more honky mids and top end compared to a regular singlecoil. I always run an EQ with mine cutting 5-600Hz and boosting 2-3kHz to give them some singlecoil shape before hitting the amp, otherwise they're very flat pickups.
     
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  18. metallifan3091

    metallifan3091 SS.org Regular

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    I haven't, only because it's an older guitar that came with a DiMarzio pickup in it when it was built, and I want to stick with DiMarzio stuff to supplement that so that the new components are as similar to the original ones as possible.
     
  19. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    I have a Trilogy Suite on the middle position of a HSH strat. I think it will give you what you want on the neck.
     
  20. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    The PA2 can work with passive pickups too. Find a neck single coil you like, and run it through it as a buffer to bring the output level up without changing the voicing. One of my buds on the Warmoth forum did this, but in reverse. He paired a Duncan Screamin Demon up with two EMG SA's, and ran the Demon through the PA2 to bring its passive level up to that of the actives.
     

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