Holy grail pickup- help me choose my endgame bridge pickup

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by ekulggats, May 15, 2018.

  1. ekulggats

    ekulggats SS.org Regular

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    I have a guitar I have just completed heavy modifications to.

    I am super fucking stoked on this thing, it turned out great. Now I need a pickup for it.

    I have been torn between the Duncan Omega and Nazgul. I considered the fishmans, but found their sound to be too 'perfect'. Kind of so clear they fall flat for me somehow... havent tried the Merrow set, but anyway..

    I love the Omega. I have it in my 7 string Ibanez, it slays. I absolutely love its note clarity, basically perfect EQ. It sounds fucking massive. But it's not 'angry' or evil enough.

    I love the Nazgul. My friend has it, I love the responsiveness, the crazy way it cuts through and notes sort of 'jump out' and somehow sound evil as fuck. But it's a little too 'top heavy' if that makes sense.

    What I like about both of them is that they both handle low tunings very well, maintaining note clarity and definition- they both sort of 'pop' and respond very actively, without smeared notes- you can play octave skipping riffs with alot of syncopation and hear exactly what's going on.

    My guitar is Mahogany body, maple neck.

    Is there something out there in the same ballpark as these two? Something that does what they do even better? Should I trust Duncan's custom shop to literally make a hybrid of the two and have it sound good? Are there other options? I would like to keep it passive, nothing over $150 or so, has to be tremspaced.

    Thanks-
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  2. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I love my Nazgul as well. Mine is in an all mahogany Schecter V with an ebony fretboard. That pickup has brutal chugs, screaming highs, and mids that grind right through with authority. The leads I've gotten out of it -- I have never heard better.

    The other one to check out would be the Black Winter. It is similar to the Nazgul, but has a more balanced EQ and even more aggression. The low-mid growl blooms into an ultra gnarly chug that needs to be experienced to truly appreciate. I like it even more than the Nazgul, but it's a close call.
     
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  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    Omega but meaner= Elysian Goliath. It's quite an aggressive sounding pickup and adam is awesome to work with. It has more snarl than the omega and has a percussive/tight low end that's killer for chugs/trem picking, plus it has ridiculous clarity. It also cleans up and splits quite nicely. I think it's probably the best ERG metal pickup out there besides the sfty3 or m8.
    Black winters are awesome, but I find they're better suited to 6 strings than 7/8 strings as they start to get a bit dark/muddy due to the pickup voicing/extra low end that ERGs provide. They're relatively high output and start to lose some overall clarity because of that. They have an excellent percussive aspect that makes chugs/trem picking feel meaty, yet responsive. They have some of the snarl that the omega has, but it's not quite as dramatic. It's definitely a bit more of a grinding midrange like Kail said.
    If you were going to go for a duncan custom wind I'd say get a slightly underwound black winter with an alnico v magnet, as it still rips faces off, but tames some of the low end clarity issues. A nazgul/omega hybrid would be interesting though..

    some clips/vids I made of the goliath:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7im4qa5boc0no5p/AADLqnv4KbXXcBoCsEB-Q2LPa?dl=0

    clips I made of the black winters:
    https://soundcloud.com/skwisgaar-sandervaal/sets/seymour-duncan-black-winter-8-string-bridge-pickup
     
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  4. ekulggats

    ekulggats SS.org Regular

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    @KnightBrolaire I looked for the model 'Goliath' by Elysian and came up empty.

    The black winter indeed sounds gnarly but it doesn' have the chord clarity down low that I need. I think it's also too high in output.

    What about the BareKnuckle Black hawk? Painkiller? Aftermath? I'm not overly familiar with bareknuckle models. Or the SFTY3

    Basically I am looking for something that does alot of the gnarly thick grind of the Nazgul with a bit more bloom and balance. Chordal clarity is important too.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  5. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    The Goliath is a custom order from elysian. You'd have to contact adam and ask him to build you some. Hellfires may be too dark on the low end for you.
    Honestly, it's hard to get a mean sounding pickup without compromising on output/clarity. The blackhawk would probably be too dark on the low end for you, though it is thick and mean sounding. The painkiller is verrry bright and really works better in darker sounding guitars, plus it has this kind of greasiness to chords so it's not really a very clear pickup as far as chord clarity goes. It does kick serious ass for rhythm work (ie chugs/trem picking) or screaming high gain solos though. The aftermath is very clear and very very dry/tight but it has a metallic clanky midrange that's really hard to work around or eq out. It's a pickup that excels at djenty sounds or super tight technical riffing, but I wouldn't recommend it.
    The SFTY3 is basically a painkiller but clearer. It's a responsive/percussive snarly pickup with a fair amount of upper mids/treble to make it pretty cutting. It has good cleans with meh split sounds. I highly recommend this pickup if you want a killer metal pickup that can clean up relatively well (not quite as well as the goliath imo).
     
  6. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    A used Lundgren might be what you want.
    I hate suggesting such an expensive pickup (and still wonder how i ever brought myself to spend that much) but, the M8 sounds great.

    Grinding mean midrange character, very clear, balanced, tight, not weak/anemic. I think it has enough low end to keep anyone happy (except maybe doom guys)

    If you are really trying to end your search i permanently, i suggest checking them out.

    I’ll probably keep trying different pickups in other guitars just because there are so many options but, If someone forced me to stop on the Lundgren, I’d be okay with that (at least for the bridge pickup. The neck is kinda bland)
     
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  7. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    The Lundgren M7 is a great pickup, I have one in my mahogany body / maple neck Schecter A7+ and its amazing. I echo what kindsage said.

    It’s one pickup I think I could probably load in all my (metal oriented) guitars and be happy with.
     
  8. Ebony

    Ebony Drums

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    +1. I've actually considered doing this for some time (with Heaven 57 in the necks).

    Another vote for the Lundgren M here.
     
  9. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    Yeah, another vote for Lundgrens. Everybody say they are expensive, but is that so? They're roughly the same than BKPs. A soapbar sized set will cost you 310€, and a Seymour Duncan one will cost 280€. I've yet to hear something that sounds like an M7. So brutal.
     
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  10. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    I sometimes get the impression that you guys are susceptible to marketing.
     
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  11. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    What are you playing the guitar through? A change of speakers will change the tone much more dramatically and will be even cheaper.
     
  12. ekulggats

    ekulggats SS.org Regular

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    @Emperoff I'm playing through a Hughes and Kettner Grandmeister 40, Cab is a custom oversize 1x12 with V30. t's a great sounding setup, keeps up with my friends' ENGL/Uberkab at all but the most extreme volumes. My Ibanez w/Omega pickup sounds huge through it.

    Lots of Lundgren love I see, I will certainly look into them further.
     
  13. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    To be honest your description of what you're looking for is a bit vague. What is "angry sounding"? A high peak over 3Khz? Or angry as if "low end angry"? What style of music do you play? Do you favour ultra tight ceramic pickups or enjoy the liveliness of alnico?

    I hated the BKP Aftermath with a passion, so I won't reccommend you that one. I like massive sounding guitar sounds, which no one seems to like anymore. The Lundgren will give you that, with a lot of low and high end agression. It has a scooped character with good clarity for a passive. Kinda like a more bassy EMG81.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  14. ekulggats

    ekulggats SS.org Regular

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    I have a tendency to use abstract terms in description a bit much. I suppose the *angriness* I was referring to is sort of grind that authoritatively cuts through with alot of note presence. In the case of the nazgul I feel it does that without being too much so. I'm not a fan of fizzy high end.

    Your reference to 'liveliness' of alnico intrigues me. Lively sounds good
     
  15. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    Might I tempt you with a thundering cloud of ice cream?
     
  16. The906

    The906 Hella rad Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. Mike

    Mike The Traveler

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    I vote an Instrumental SFTY. It's more aggressive than an Omega, but not overly shrill or picky like a nazgul or painkiller can be in the wrong guitar. Yet it is still up there with the Nazgul in terms of aggressiveness and output. I love the SFTY3-8 set I have in my Ibanez S5528LW (mahogany body, maple/wenge neck).

    edit: Plus its nice and quiet and can handle as much gain as you want to throw at it. The nazgul seems to always get the squeals fairly quickly when you're pushing the gain(the one thing I can't stand about that pickup).
     

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