First time pickup purchaser, help me decide!

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by OldMate, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. OldMate

    OldMate SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys,

    I bought a Gibson Les Paul Studio back in 2013 brand new with stock pickups. Everything was great about it at the time but after recently buying a 2014 Schecter Banshee Passive 7 I noticed how much I loved the bite of the Nazgul/Sentient combo.

    It was only recently that I decided it might be a good idea to put some new pickups in the old girl (the Gibson, not the Schecter). I don't think I want them to be as aggressive as the Nazgul/Sentient as I usually play progressive metal which isn't always super heavy... I like to play a lot of Devin Townsend and Tool so the first thing I looked at was a JB-Jazz set for a Jones tone but I'm still unsure as to what to look at as I've never done this before.

    Has anyone had some experience with different types of pickups in the same or similar guitars? Tell me what you'd recommend!
     
  2. vent187

    vent187 SS.org Regular

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    For an al mahogany bodied guitar, you'll need a bright set of pickups to get that bite that you enjoy. A lot of people enjoy the BKP Aftermaths in Mahogany. They have the attack and bite you're looking for and its aggressive high end should get tamed by your Les Paul's wood configuration. If you want to for SD pups, then check out the Black Winters. Hope that helps.
     
  3. OldMate

    OldMate SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely look into the aftermaths.
     
  4. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    JB/Jazz is a pretty versatile pickup set and will be a safe choice, especially since Jones from Tool is rumored to play this set. Devin Townsend tends to use EMG's but you may not want to make the jump over to actives unless you really think you'll like them.

    I'd recommend trying out SD Custom (SH5/TB5) with a SD 59 neck. The Custom does have a very thick tone, but has the brightness and high end bite to compensate. Plus, I've heard a lot of people like the Custom/59 combo in Les Pauls.
     
  5. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    ^second on the Custom/'59 set :yesway: super versatile without the honk that you can get from a JB
     
  6. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Instead of the JB, grab a Suhr Aldrich Bridge, it corrects some of the shrill harshness of a modern JB. Otherwise the Custom is also good for a more darker sound.

    As for Jazz vs 59, it's down to taste. The 59 is very dark and warm and the Jazz has a bit more bell like tone on the upper frequencies, ultimately making it more versative. I've got a 59 on my Epi LP but for this case grab the Jazz.

    So Jazz/Aldrich for my recommendation.
     
  7. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    The JB/Jazz combo is popular for a reason. In a modern high-gain context, the JB sounds like Satchel from Steel Panther. Thick, juicy and tight. It shines at higher volume.

    I don't feel like it's shrill or honky at all, but mine is in a mellow guitar, so there's that. :)
     
  8. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    I too think a JB/Jazz set would be a good starting point to someone new to pickups. It's really versatile.
     
  9. oneblackened

    oneblackened CROAKIES! CROAKIES!

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    Duncan Distortion/Jazz, thank me later.

    or, BKP C-Bomb/VHII.
     
  10. Itchyman

    Itchyman SS.org Regular

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    Something I'd consider is a EMG 58/58X set. It might seem kind of a strange combination, but it's pretty awesome. It isn't as hard core an option as even the 57/66 (which is great as well), but it's quite versatile. You get the natural bite of an active pickup, but not quite in your face.

    I have the combo in a LPJ, and I really like how it's kept the character of an LP, more so than when I had an 81/60 and even a 57/66 set.
     
  11. OldMate

    OldMate SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for all the recommendations guys! It's really difficult deciding what to get when you are new to this stuff... The feedback you're all giving me is really helpful in sculpting ideas for what to put in my LP.

    So far the plan is to use this link to select the best Seymour Duncan pickup and from there I'll have a look at some of the other suggestions you guys have made and compare it back to my SD choice.
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=KbRlcdNHYDM

    The JB sounds amazing as well as the custom, but I don't think the distortion is my cuppa tea. The black winter was great too however I think the Custom and the JB are gonna be the picks from SD.

    As for Bareknuckle Pickups, I took a look at a video of an aftermath in a Les Paul (custom) and it sounded great! I'll have to take another look before I make my final decision.

    EMGs aren't something I am willing to put in my LP due to the altering I would have to do in order to put a battery in. I know it's possible to power them externally but I don't think I could justify the purchase of a power box just for active pickups. I prefer passive a 9/10 times anyway.

    The Suhr Aldritch sounded pretty cool as well but I'll have to have another look at that.

    As for neck pickups, I don't think I can go wrong with the Jazz... It seems to have everything I want in a neck pickup.


    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'll keep on lookin' till I've made up my indecisive mind.
     
  12. Itchyman

    Itchyman SS.org Regular

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    Alterations for the battery? What does that mean?
    [​IMG]

    You can fit 2 9v batteries into the control cavity of a standard gibson explorer. There's plenty of room inside the cavity of a LP.
     
  13. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    My suggestion would be to really listen to the guitar you want to change pickups and find out exactly what you want to "fix" in the sound, regardless of wood combos and so on. One other thing to consider is that output isn't the only road to an aggressive sound with lots of bite. Personally I find that the Carvin C22B tends to have the clarity, bite and seemingly higher output than a SD JB, a Dimarzio D-Activator, IBZ-Dimarzio that is supposed to close to a Super Distortion and a SD Dimebucker. The only pickup that seems to rival it is a SD Blackout. So take the admitedly really good advice given by the other members with a grain of salt.
     
  14. FifthCircleSquared

    FifthCircleSquared Threadender

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    I'm gonna say start with the JB/Jazz set and go from there as well. :)

    Warning:
    Once you start swapping pickups, it's pretty hard to stop.
     
  15. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    Well the Black Winter really isn't a bad choice either.
     
  16. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    The SD Custom SH5 is pretty great. I have one in my Mayones (similar to a Les Paul I suppose, mahogany body/neck, thick maple top) and it sounds heavy and aggressive. It replaced a JB in the bridge, actually, which I found to be a bit muddy and fizzy. SH5 was brighter and clearer, yet much less fizzy sounding. Slightly less output too, which I think is good, since the JB is really hot, maybe too hot.

    Not a million miles between the two pickups, plus the sound of the guitar is still gonna play a big part, so both would probably be a good choice.

    I'm not sure how true it is, but I've read that the JB can be pretty picky about what it sounds good in. Some cuts of Mahogany will work great with it, while others just won't.

    This is also true, theres always that next thing you wanna try out.
     
  17. bzhan1

    bzhan1 Banned

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    Forget the exotic Bkps, suhrs etc and just go with a well reviewed set of duncans/dimarzios. I think you'll be happy with them and save a lot of headache and $$$, and you can even exchange them.
     
  18. OldMate

    OldMate SS.org Regular

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    I stand corrected! Obviously I should have done more research.
    However I'm not sure I wanna put actives in my LP, I'll look into it nonetheless but honestly I can't see it being something I'd pick up over passives... maybe in another guitar in the future though!
     

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