Duncan Jazz Neck alternative ?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by TheUnknownOne, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Hi fellow sevenstringers,

    I've got a modded korean LTDMH400FR, those old series with natural binding, weights a ton, gorgeous dark blue flamed top...
    Maple neck through, rosewood fretboard, (heavy) mahogany wings.

    I switched the electronics to passive a few years ago : Duncan TB6 bridge + SH2 jazz neck with push/pull, no tone.

    I am completely satisfied with the tones I get with the TB6 bridge, It's like a bigger 81 with much more dynamics and clarity in this guitar : perfected for modern metal, metalcore...
    The middle and split positions are also damn good, think new Intervals lead/mid gain tones. Cleans are also heavenly in middle and all 3 split positions.

    However, I am not totally satisfied with the hi-gain lead tones I get from the SH2 neck. First, the output is a bit low so I need to place it really close to the strings, and back-off the TB6 a lot more to get the right volume balance (but this works well for the TB6!)
    Second, I find the attack really glassy on the higher notes, it is always kinda harsh IMO. But it softens when used in middle position with the TB6 (?!).

    Which pickup could do the job better in your opinion ? Something with a bit more output, still really articulated on low strings, but with a more "liquid" sound ?
     
  2. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    The Air Norton, but it is a DiMarzio and you might not want to mix them.
     
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  3. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    I was thinking of this or a Liquifire, but I have never ever tried to mix Duncan's and Dimarzio's, so I'm not sure about the outcome
     
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  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    mixing brands is fine so long as you follow their respective wiring codes. I've done it a bunch.
    I'd say go with the liquifire or a bkp cold sweat neck. both of those nail the super liquidy feel for soloing/shredding.
     
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  5. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    It is funny, because one of my favorite guitars has a Duncan Invader in the bridge, and a Dimarzio Evolution neck, in the neck. I have always thought Duncan had better bridge pickups, and Dimarzio had better neck pickups for that smooth, sound like I am an 80's shredder, tone.

    The best Duncan I have found to have that "Dimarzio tone" is actually the Black Winter neck. It has more mids, presence, and compression so it tends to sound good for that shredding solo liquid style.
     
  6. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, I'm probably going to try the liquifire first (because it's a bargain used)
    Btw, will the different wiring color scheme between duncan's and dimarzio make split coil harder to do right ?


    I'm feeling the same way, duncan neck pickups are generally a bit too low output/vintage sounding for my tastes. I might give that black winter neck a try though !
     
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  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    Nah doing coil splits or anything like that works exactly the same when you mix brands. Just look up pickup wiring codes and sub the appropriate colors in for the different pickups. As long as you solder everything correctly they'll work fine together.
    I use dimarzio's diagrams with everything since they have so many and they're easier to follow than other diagrams.
     
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  8. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I have the Crunch Lab / Liqufire in a 7 string guitar. It is a nice pickup also, but I always find it kind of dark. It kind of has that smooth, dark thing going on. I had an Air Norton years ago that was kind of similar. These days, I think I would prefer something like a PAF PRO. I dont have one, but just like that brighter, more mid-smooth thing these days for this style of neck pickup.

    Yes, you can split and everything just the same, you will just have to translate the color codes. They are different on the 2 brands.

    I find the Duncan neck pickups are better for cleans, but Dimarzio are better for the liquid, smooth, 80's shredder, style soloing. The Black Winter neck is the first one I found that kind of breaks the trend.
     
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  9. larsmul

    larsmul SS.org Regular

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    If it is a six strings one thing you could try is to swap the alnico 5 for a ceramic magnet , shaping is easy and cheap . This would raise the volume , add much more mids , something you are looking for .
    An other option is to put a Screaming Demon at the neck ; it is an excellent neck pickup so you would get more volume , a deep clean tone , an excellent split tone , a liquid lead tone with a lot of harmonics and attack .
     
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  10. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    I have had an Air Norton for a long time. It is definitely a good all-arounder but it has a certain chime in it. For example the guy who sold it to me, he thought it sounded almost like a single coil even though it doesn't have the harsh attack like Duncan '59. I guess liquifire is more fat and fluid if that's what you want. Currently I'm using Evolution neck which is cool otherwise but it is bass-heavy and really hot, thus slightly imbalanced with Rebel Yell bridge.
     
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  11. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    My choice is the Black Winter neck- it is hot, it isn't glassy, and has that liquid lead thing goin' on. It also sounds great at all levels of gain, and many neck pickups don't seem to do that.
     
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  12. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys !

    I'm gonna try the Liquifire and the Black Winter asap, and I'll let you know how it turns out
     
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  13. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    My original precaution about mixing pickups was not about the wiring, but the different looks - sorry I should have clarified this.
    DiMarzios usually are matte, SD glossy. You would have a mismatched look on your guitar.
     
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  14. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

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  15. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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  16. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

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    ^^Checked the desc in detail. Yes , breed is not boomy but can get a tad bit dark.
    liquifire seems like a good fit for you.
     
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  17. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Thank you anyway, maybe I'll give it a shot if the other ones don't fit my needs ;)
     
  18. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    I have that same exact combo in one of my guitars!

    LOVE it.
     
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  19. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    You can pick up a cheap magnet from addiction fx and mag swap the jazz. The jazz pickup with an alnico 5 mag and hex screws is essentially a full shred neck (SH-10n). An alnico 2 magnet would make it a Duncan Alnico II pro neck.

    Personally, I like the alnico 2 pro in the neck paired with my Duncan Distortion in the bridge. I perceive more of a timbre difference than a volume difference when switching between them.
     
  20. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    I have black winter bridge and liquid fire neck in a guitar and I like their match.
     
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