HSS Pickup Sets - Jackson SL1

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Spicypickles, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    I posted this over at the Duncan forum as I lean towards their tonality, but I would like any info on the subject, really. Feel free to ignore my initial question and just post your setups if you like. I'm new to this setup so any info is good info.

    I recently acquired a Jackson SL1 that's currently loaded with the stock JB (bridge) and classic stacks (middle and neck). For those unfamiliar, its a maple neck through poplar body with ebony board, so it's fairly bright. It became clear shortly after plugging it in that the bridge pickup was pretty noisy, which was a surprise compared to the singles that usually always have the noise. Turns out that the JB is microphonic, and I have a few choices to rectify the problem. I have a couple other guitars loaded with JB's and they aren't my favorite so I'm leaning towards replacing it. My issue is that I'm not sure if I want to replace the entire set. The classic stacks seem to be a bit underpowered, but they sound really good, and are diverse.

    My thinking:

    • Wax Pot the JB, and be done with it. Maybe swap in a different magnet?

    • Replace the JB with a Parallel Axis TB, solely on the merits of its looks. How well would they match with the classis stacks?

    • Just overhaul the whole thing, new pickups in every orifice, in which case, what would you recommend?


    I mainly play heavy stuff, metal and prog nonsense. I've been getting way more into shreddy stuff and lead lines and trebly EQ's seem to be the bane of my tone (hence my dislike of the JB and its tendency to be ice-picky). I do plan on keeping this guitar around standard tuning, maybe a half step down. That makes a pretty big difference as I have a couple BKP's hanging around, but they DO NOT like bright guitars or higher tunings IMO. I suppose I'm looking for something with a big, but tight bottom end, grinding mids, and fairly tame highs. I don't want the highs to be too glassy or round (like a D-sonic or crunch lab, those are a bit too mellow). Maybe I don't know what the hell I want, convince me.

    I would highly appreciate your help, or at the very least, discuss your own HSS setups and how you use them.
     
  2. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    You might consider something with some healthy mids, like an Alternative 8. It is powerful, but should do fine with the Classic Stacks (which I love, too). It will get rid of tha nasal JB thing that sometimes happens in bright guitars.
     
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  3. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    How do those sound? Any experience with it? I’ve listened to Merrow’s shootout vid but that isn’t really the style of tone I would dial up.
     
  4. snowblind56

    snowblind56 SS.org Regular

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    The Alt 8 is a good choice for the bridge, it's like a JB that doesn't suck. Otherwise, my go to soloist pickup is a Duncan Distortion. Also, swap the neck pickup for a Hot Rail. A Cool Rail in the neck would also be good for something slightly less obnoxious, but the classic stacks are woefully underpowered compared to the bridge pickup and there is a big volume drop.
     
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  5. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    The Alt 8 is sort of like a Distortion that is more aggressive with more mids. It works well in brighter guitars. It adds the body and grunt. I'd still keep the Clasic Stacks, though- those are great pickups.
     
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  6. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    Does anyone have experience with the PATB-1 or the PATB distortion?

    The distortion seems pretty high powered and will require I replace the classic stacks also, but still looking for some experience.
     
  7. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I don't know about the Alternative 8. I put it in a Mahogany body mae neck neckthrough replacing the stock D-Activator and it went from a dark sounding guitar to almost bassless guitar. Everything was upper mids and highs. If there were low frequencies they were so tight they were inexistent. It was by far my brightest sounding guitar then. It felt to me that it would be perfect for low tunings as it was really tight and articulate but in E standard I wasn't a fan.

    I haven't tried too many SD pickups aside from the JB, Alternative 8 and Dimebucker with the last two being quite uncoventional choices. If you go Dimarzio the D-Activator is quite dark sounding and while it's hot it's not over the top and it is tight. I do like the Tonezone but it is a more classic sounding pickup but still not extremely hot.
     
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  8. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    Duncan Custom in the bridge. It's a great pickup IMHO.

    Put a lower output mini humbucker in the neck, something like a Cool Rails, and any ol' stratty single coil in the middle (or leave as is).
     
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  9. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    How is the custom? I will playing mostly Bay Area thrash crap on this guit, but don’t want to completely gut it for EMG’s.
     
  10. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    It should do that just fine. It's like an angry overwound PAF. It's kind of scooped, but in a pleasant way. None of the mid-range honk of a JB.
     
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  11. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    For Bay Area Thrash the Custom is a very good choice but the highs might be a bit harsh, in that case, just swap the magnet for a AlnicoV (from your microphonic JB for example) and convert it in a Custom 5 for rounder highs...

    Might do the trick and pair well with the classic stacks (ignoring the volume drop).
     
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