Seven String Pickup Guide

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Digital Black, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. GiveUpGuitar

    GiveUpGuitar Give Up the Goods!

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    Dimarzio D'Activator 7 Bridge

    First let me say that I am NO WAY a fan of the D'Activator neck pickup. I feel it sounds extremely stale and brittle compared to many of the other Dimarzio choices.

    The Good:
    Extremely tight, all while retaining note clarity. I can't really get along with any pickup that isn't as tight as this, seeing as actives don't get the sound I want. I've used the term "Shark Bite" to describe D'Activators, because of how quick they attack and release. Muting in various forms seem really dynamic. I can get quiet and loud and anything in between all with a little articulation. Clear, tight, sharp, and dynamic.

    The Bad:
    Despite making them seem extremely dynamic, one thing I can say is there isn't enough smoothness on the high end. It adds a bit of bite, which is good in a lot of ways, but it's too quickly gated to make higher notes sustain. This really isn't any sort of problem to me, seeing as I get those tones from my neck pickup.

    Overall, I've purchased a bunch of these to throw in my guitars, strictly for how hard they bite. No complaints with it picking up the high end at all. You can riff on the high end no problem, but find a smooth neck pickup to retain that silky milky lead tone. I recommend the D'Activators, and I can't see myself straying away from them for a long time.
     
  2. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

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    Well here I was 2 years ago complaining about there not being enough Bare Knuckle reviews, and I've been sitting on a pair of Juggs for 9 months without giving a proper review. Let's fix that...

    Bare Knuckle Pickups
    Juggernaut set (Bridge and Neck)
    7 string, Burnt Chrome covers
    Installed in an RG7620 with a 27" scale.

    When I ordered these, I opted for the burnt chrome covers. I asked them in the comments to burn the covers as much as they could without warping them. I'd say they did an incredible job!

    [​IMG]

    Juggernaut Bridge:

    "...I can attest that the Juggs have incredible clarity. I've had other pickups where the low and high strings sound like they're fighting each other for audio bandwidth, and you lose a lot of definition or attack. Not so with the Juggs. Go as crazy as you want with chord voicings across all 7 strings and each note rings clear with great attack and articulation." ~ me in another thread.

    I love this pickup. It's tight, responsive, focussed, but still very natural sounding. It definitely avoids the "ice pick" sound high up on the fretboard, and the low end is present but not hyped-up or muddy at all. For chords and solos, it's a killer pickup. It always sounds balanced and clear to me.

    The only thing I don't like about this pickup is coil splitting. When split, it still sounds great but much more like a humbucker than a single coil. I imagine this is due to the effect of the alnico flankers that accompany the ceramic bar magnet. If you want something that can sound like a hot strat when split, this won't do it for you. But if you just need a hint of that flavor, it'll do you just fine.

    Juggernaut Neck:

    The Jugg neck, like the bridge, sounds very balanced and focussed in every circumstance I try it in. It's a little round and a little warm, but always very clear. There's no hiding sloppy picking in the flubbiness like you can on a lot of other neck pickups I've played.

    Like the bridge, I think the splitting isn't its best attribute. It sounds good, but it's not that wide-open-single sound. Unlike the bridge, this pickup doesn't have any extra magnets so it may just be the way these are designed/wound.

    While it's a great neck pickup, I like my neck pickups to sound a little less "together" and a little more "open" (whatever the hell words like that mean in a discussion like this). I think I said it a little better in another thread:

    "I actually like the Air Norton 7 a little better than the Juggernaut. The Jugg neck has a more focussed and articulate sound that pretty much any other neck pickup I've heard. I think the Air Norton is a little rounder and glassier, but still with good definition."

    Summary:

    These pickups friggin' rule. I really love them, especially for low tunings. It's got that incredible BKP clarity, and it sounds very natural through all different kinds of setups and musical contexts. I like the versatility of really open/glassy split-coil settings, so the lack of that is my only real disappointment with these. I think these would probably be best suited to Petrucci-style wiring with the inner coils connected in the middle position of a 3 way switch (sounds killer on these for cleans).
     
  3. Fiery Red XIII

    Fiery Red XIII SS.org Regular

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    DiMarzio 7 Illuminators Bridge and Neck. Passive, but very hot and work fine in a guitar w/o a pre-amp. The neck pickup sings. It is a bright sound, and very clear. Harmonics sound amazing. The bridge sounds brittle, harsh and biting when played through a high gain amp. New out of the box I had to send it in for repair, so maybe it needs more repair work. As for lower gain and volumes, I like it. The mids really come through, and even on a tuned-down 7 string, when all strings are played as a chord, you can hear every note.

    ETA: installed in a SGR C-7, Ernie Ball cobalt strings.

    Red
     
  4. Fiery Red XIII

    Fiery Red XIII SS.org Regular

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    To add, the bridge pickup only sounded that bad when the tone knob was set at it's brightest. It sounds better now that I realized what happened.

    Red
     
  5. maizorin

    maizorin SS.org Regular

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    I have a question, i have a LTD M-17 and i want to put on it a EMG 707tw can i do? because i think that the size of the pickups is diferent, can i adapt them?
     
  6. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

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    I recently ordered a Carvin DC7X. I have a set of white Ionizers ready to be installed, but I wanted to spend some time with the stock D26 pickups before I swap them.

    Spoiler alert: I am sincerely impressed with these pickups. I think they're right on par with the major 7-string aftermarket pickups like DiMarzio and Duncan.

    D26 Bridge:

    This pickup has a ton of clarity. The bottom end is appropriately tamed for a baritone guitar. I am tuned down to a low G on the 7th string and IT WILL NOT MUD, which makes it great for most super-detuned and djenty material.

    The flip side of that is if you're looking for something super thick in the low end, this isn't the pickup for you.

    The high end has a nice amount of harmonic bite to it and seems to cut through nicely without sounding brittle or abrasive. It also cleans up nicely when the volume is rolled off (though Carvin wires in a treble bleed cap, so that plays a role there).

    If I had to plot this pickup's tone on a chart, it would be about half way between the DiMarzio Blaze Custom and the Bare Knuckle Juggernaut bridge. It's got a lot of the balance and composure of the Jugg, but with a little bit hotter top end and a hair less bottom.

    D26 Neck:

    This is a really good neck pickup. It maintains clarity up and down the neck, notes sound nice and full, and pick flutter comes through nicely.

    For my tastes, I don't think it's exceptional, but it's really good. It reminds me a lot of the Juggernaut neck with its composure and clarity. I tend to prefer a little bit more of an open and single-coil-esque tone in the neck, but as an all-purpose neck humbucker, this thing is awesome.

    Splitting:

    In a split configuration, I don't think either of these pickups are particularly impressive. Splitting the bridge or the neck gives you pretty much the same tone as the humbucker - some output level + a little bit of top end noise.

    While I can't get the spanky and sparkly tone I was hoping to find from splitting the coils, putting these humbuckers together in the middle position gets me right there. It's a beautiful blend of the neck pickup's roundness with the harmonic bite of the bridge.

    Overall impressions:

    These pickups are really good. With just a 3-way switch, you've got a great sounding and versatile pallette of tones. I'll be honest that if I didn't already have a vision for the aesthetics (white bobbins) and specific split-coil tones and combinations, I wouldn't bother replacing these. I will definitely be keeping these to install in a project guitar at a later date.
     
  7. varjao

    varjao SS.org Regular

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    Isn't the liquifire very based on the Air Norton?

    I recently bought a JPX 6 strings and from the reviews I thought I would love the liquifire but I'm not falling in love to be honest, I have another guitar with a Paf Joe in the neck and man, those are amazing. It's curious that the Crunch Lab I'm enjoying more, and usually people love the liquifire and are kind of meh regarding the CL.

    I have another JP, 7 strings, with Bare Knuckle, bought it this way, I have the original dimarzios and I'm curious to listen them, Dimarzios says it's the same thing (6 and 7 string version) but in my mind they can't sound the same because the 7 string version is ceramic and the 6 uses alnico.
     
  8. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

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    So I think it's time to do another pickup review. This time it's the DiMarzio Ionizer 7's.

    Ionizer 7 Bridge:

    I love this thing. It's not a high output pickup, but it's got the midrange focus and harmonics of something really hot. It cuts very nicely. The low end is very natural and dynamic; not hyped or flubby.

    When split, this thing sounds like a Strat bridge pickup (to the ears of someone who has never owned a strat). It feels like a Blaze Custom that's traded a tiny bit of low end for a lot more harmonic content. The Ionizer bridge has a lot of personality to it.

    Ionizer 7 Neck:

    This is everything I was looking for in a 7-string neck pickup. It's clear, glassy, dynamic, and sounds wonderful when played in split or parallel configurations. I wanted an Air Norton 7 that was glassier and had more personality; this is the answer.

    Overall:

    These things are killer. Any way that I split or combine them, I love the tone. The Ionizer pickups are definitely a big part of Tosin's sound, and the 7-string version is pretty true. I really hear the similarity clearly when I compare the tone on The Joy of Motion.

    I have these in my DC7X and I'm 100% pleased with them. These pickups will be staying in this guitar.

    I think that the Blaze Custom bridge pickup paired with the Ionizer 7 neck would probably be my ultimate H-H pickup pairing.
     
  9. Unburdened

    Unburdened SS.org Regular

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    Bareknuckle Covered Warpig Ceramic (Bridge)
    Bareknuckle Covered Warpig (Neck)
    Installed in Schecter KM-7 (Swamp Ash body)

    BKP WP Bridge
    Tone Overview
    -Absolute power. The ceramic bridge Warpig has immense power and clarity, with an absolutely savage low end. Great midrange growl is present as well. Highs are cutting, with certain amp equalization providing too much treble. I've used this pickup with an Ampeg VH-140C, an AMT Stonehead, a Marshall 15W practice amp, and a Splawn Quick Rod. The tone is incredibly consistent and always crushing. Thick, powerful, low end emphasis destroyer of a pickup. The Ceramic Warpig performs well for clean tones, but the neck Warpig really has the superior clean tone.
    Pros: TRUUU POWAHHH. Very powerful pickup, excellent clarity, amazing bass tone. Very high output with little noise. Lightning in a pickup.
    Cons: Can make treble shrill if amp settings are already emphasizing treble. Expensive. Longer build time than other factory pickups.
    Would I recommend this to someone else? Yes! My goodness, go buy one now!

    BKP WP Neck
    Tone Overview
    -The thickest, smoothest, highest output neck pickup I've ever used. I'm always searching for a neck pickup that is as rowdy as the bridge, and the Warpig finally matches the bridge pickup's performance in terms of output. Excellent clarity throughout the whole frequency range, with a pronounced low end emphasis. Leads are as smooth as a sub-micron etch. Just like the bridge, the neck Warpig is immensely powerful, while remaining quiet. The clean tone is immaculate; this pickup has fat, smooth, silky clean tone. A true Jekyll and Hyde!
    Pros: Does everything, and does it well. Always stays musical. Very, very well balance tone. High output without noise. Excellent low end emphasis and clarity. Superb clean AND distortion tones. Thunder in a pickup.
    Cons: Expensive. Longer build time than other factory pickups.
    Would I recommend this to someone else? Yes x 10^12 (that's a terayes for those counting).

    The Intangibles: Long leads from pickups (really helps in installation and removal/reuse), excellent build quality, excellent finish, great mounting hardware included (namely the mounting screws...a true life saver!).
     
  10. MrEzzyE

    MrEzzyE SS.org Regular

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    LUNDGREN "Inferno 7" BRIDGE

    I just replaced Seymour Duncan Custom 7 with Lundgren "Inferno" (this is a new model
    and the name might still change before it hits the market) and it really brought my
    Jackson SL2H-7 on a new level. More punch, clarity and definition yet singing, smooth lead tones...
    all that I could ask for. I contacted Lundgren pickups directly and they suggested me this pickup
    after my explanation of what I was looking for. "Inferno" has a bit less output and low end than
    Lundgren M7 used widely on metal axes which would have been too dark sounding for my guitar.

    I was told from Lundgren that "Inferno" is pretty much the same pickup than The One
    but with ceramic magnet: Humbucker | Lundgren.se | Guitar Pickups - Stratocaster® - Telecaster® - P-90® - Humbucker - Bas

    In my experience Lundgren´s tend to bring the quality of the instrument in important
    role as they are somehow very transparent. The guitars with big sound become
    incredible but you can´t save a bad guitar with them.

    Shortly: This is the best metal pickup I have ever had. At least it works ultimately well
    in my Soloist --> 5150 III --> Mesa Boogie Road King 2x12" setup.
     
  11. JMT

    JMT SS.org Regular

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    Seymour Duncan Pegasus7 (bridge) and Sentient7 (neck)

    Guitar Ibanez RG 1527z (basswood body + maple wenge neck with rosewood fingerboard)

    Old pickups (V87 and V77) = lack of sustain and gain

    Style of music: from Hendrix to Jeff Loomis :shred:

    Seymour Duncan Pegasus7 (bridge): finally the sustain from the pickup match the acoustic from the wood :hbang: The sound is distorded but the notes are separated. I would describe it as an organic version of a Dimarzio super distortion probably due to the alnico V. The lower strings growls/purr and the higher string sings a lot with a good response to the pick attack

    Sentient7 (neck): a lot of clarity with single coils overtones without ever sounding thin (a bit like old time Iron Maiden's Dave Murray). I can play sweeping fast arpegios and never sound blurry

    My goal was to have a 7 strings version of the perpetual burn but not as much highs since I don't like a lot of fizz in my sound.
     
  12. Kryss

    Kryss Your new god!

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    how do the Dimarzio Evolution 7s compare to the BKP juggernaut. man i'm in love with the sound of the juggernaut now but not sure it's that big of a difference. was curious if anyone had both and what they think. I keep moving back to the evolutions with everything else although i'm very impressed with the SD livewire. it's like a more percussive evolution with slightly less low end. juggernauts are pretty pricy but wow everything I see online for them sounds incredible so i'm tempted to blow some coin on a set for an Ibanez RG 7.....also considering throwing a kahler 7 on same guitar if I do that.
     
  13. Lace Music Products

    Lace Music Products SS.org Regular

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    Lace Pickups is introducing the SC7 and SC8 single coil Alumitone for extended range guitars.
     

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  14. Wolfos

    Wolfos SS.org Regular

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    I just want to say I currently own an EBMM JP7 with stock DiMarzio Crunch Lab and Liquifire pickups and I'm not really that impressed.

    Both Pups don't seem to pack the punch I was expecting, this is coming from a long time DiMarzio user and lover. I'm not saying that the pickups are bad at all but they don't stand out the Crunch Lab wasn't as defined as I was expecting chords seemed a tad muddy and riffing didn't stand out during band practice etc. The Liquifire was nice a solid rhythm pup but nothing special a bit of a hollow tubey sound if that makes sense.

    Sadly what bugs me is spending all this money on a Guitar I've dreamed about for years and then wanting to swap out the pickups... I didn't expect that but I've seen online there are 2 beautiful sets of pickups I now want to buy and all reviews have been amazing of the SD - Pegasus and Sentient & BK - Juggernaut Pickups.
     
  15. oceanrose

    oceanrose Pete

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    Bare Knuckle Pickups Ceramic Nailbomb 7 & Cold Sweat 7

    Guitar: Ibanez RG2527ZA Prestige
    Amp: ENGL Special Edition 670 (6L6 tubes)

    Model: BKP C-Bomb 7
    Position: Bridge

    Tightness, aggression, clarity, musicality, responsiveness, this pickup delivers it all in spades! When it comes to hi gain tones, the c-bomb really delivers in a way that just makes me not want to put down the guitar. The bass is quite prominent, but not overwhelming and booming at all, making low end chugs and palm mutes such a joy to play on. There is a slight hairiness to the high frequencies which makes it sound very aggressive in a good way, sort of like a pleasant sizzle that is not harsh, brittle or piercing, but just lively and raw. Being a ceramic model, the mids on these are a little more scooped, however i find the overall frequencies quite balanced. I currently use them on my basswood Ibanez prestige tuned to A# standard, with a 64 gauge through to 11 on the high side, and with this setup i have no problem nailing (or getting close to) Jeff Loomis's kind of tone. I used to have Dimarzio D Activators, and while those were also really good, i find that the voicing of the nailbomb to be more aggressive and in your face and rebellious if you know what i mean, and it also feels like there is more output on the nailbomb and has an easier to play kind of feel to it. Speaking of feel, these pickups are very responsive to the touch and dynamics of your picking, and for the first time after trying these, i really understood what people meant when they say a pickup sounds and feels musical. The tone has a really distinct character that i have not found in other brand of pickups and for once in a very long time, have made me not want to put down my guitar. Cleans are also surprisingly good and bright without being too trebly and harsh.

    Model: BKP Cold Sweat 7
    Position: Neck

    I was really skeptical about having the cold sweat 7 in the neck position, as i had a hard time finding a detailed review about it in the neck position other than people simply saying that you cant go wrong them. After being able to try them out, i really understand that there really is nothing much to say about it. For some reason, it just works! But for the sake of those who may be thinking of spending their hard earned money on trying these in the neck position, here are my thoughts. I find it quite difficult to describe the characteristics of this pick up, but in terms of sound, the cold sweat really has such great single note definition emphasized by a perfect amount of treble which makes soloing, sweeping, legatos sound very distinct and articulate. It does not sound mellow or dull at all, but rather clear and ringing, and sustaining, waiting for your next move on the fretboard. Playing on the lower register also does not muddy up like some of the other pickups i have tried from other manufacturers, which makes passages and runs very fluid and pronounced. The overall output and feel matches really nicely with the nailbomb, and they feel like they stick under your fingers in a good way. Definitely worth checking them out.
     
  16. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    EMG 81-7 bridge and 707 neck
    Guitars: Jackson SAT3-7 and ESP LTD EC407BFM

    EMG 81-7
    I never though I would hear this much difference on an EMG pickup but I did. It sounded nothing like an EMG 81 in the Jackson. Quite muffled, tame and undefined with a strange bass response. Not what I expected from this pickup, having played it's 6 string counterpart. One one hand it sounded shrill but adding bass and cutting mids and treble made it sound boomy.
    When I played this pickup on the LTD however I really felt it was quite close to the EMG81 sound, crisp, clear, punchy and quite balanced. No overbearing frequencies. I'm not sure if this works better with the construction of the LTD vs the Jackson (woods, fixed bridge, baritone scale) but it's not going anywhere soon from this guitar.

    EMG 707
    Similar experience between the Jackson and the LTD but I still am not to fond of it in the LTD either. I did tried it in the bridge position on the Jackson but it was way too muddy and undefined. I can tolerate it on the LTD especially for clean sounds but the lead sound with distortion is not my thing especially in the lower register.


    Seymour Duncan Blackout Retribution set

    Guitar Jackson SLAT3-7

    SD bridge
    An improvement over the EMG81-7, increased clarity, tighter bass response and better crunch sound. I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting a sound closer to the regular Blackouts but the sound is quite close to the EMG 81-7. I didn't see much response from the tone knob as I expected and had with the EMG's. I replaced with a new one that came with the pups as well as the cap suggested by SD. Not much effect either so there might be other issues with the guitar electronics. I'm thinking of giving it a go on the LTD but I'm afraid I might not want to put the EMG back lol.

    SD neck
    A lot tighter than the EMG 707 it replaced but a bit too bright for a neck pickup. Really crunchy though and not anemic at all. It is too hot for most applications though and the clean sound is not that much better than the bridge pickup.


    Dimarzio Ionizer 7 bridge and Liquifire neck
    Guitar: ESP LTD BS-7

    Ionizer 7
    I was expecting a lot from this pickup from all the sound samples I've heard and the Dimarzio tone chart but has come to the realization that it really matters which pickup you put in which guitar. The only thing I'm getting from this thing is higher mids and treble, almost no lower mids and no bass response at all with a single sound sound. For a hot output pickup though the distortion is quite anemic. I had to get it really close to the strings for it to have some life in it. I did test both coils to be sure there wasn't any issue and even introduced a 500k resistor with a 22 uF cap to emulate the tone knob. It did help a bit but not that much. I played with the height but getting it further away from the bridge makes the sound even thinner. I raised the screws one one poll and took them down on the other which again helped a bit but not enough.
    In this guitar it's a shrill mess. It is super clear and tight but I really don't want a single coil sound from a humbucker. My favorite position so far is the Liquifire and Ionizer together as the sound is meatier and still clear and tight. I'm planning to go through the whole circuit as this doesn't really make sense but you never know.

    I can see the appeal and how it would work well with other guitars but not with this one it seems (maple neckthrough with alder wings, maple cap and maple fretboard).

    Liquifire 7
    A great neck pickup for this guitar with nice cleans. I still prefer the Airnorton 7 over this, as it's smoother and sounded better on clean sounds, but I much prefer this from the other two guitars equipped with actives in terms of a neck pickup. It's full sounding but clear at the same time for quick runs.
     
  17. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I was doing a bit of research on their seven string pickups a while back, and it does seem the soapbar EMG 81-7 is indeed different from the 6 string version. The resonant frequency, dc resistance, etc. is different on the spec sheet too.

    However, the passive-sized seven string EMG 81 (EMG 81-7H) does have the same specs on paper as the 6-string 81. I looked high and low, but I couldn't find any direct comparisons between the two in the same guitar, which I guess is understandable as they're different shapes.

    Just something to keep in mind for someone who likes the 6-string EMG 81, and wants the same in their seven string. They'll probably have to get the passive-sized one.
     
  18. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    That's what I read myself and that's what I heard on the Jackson too. However the on the baritone ESP LTD it is quite close to the sound I remember of the 6 string EMG81 I had on one of my 6 strings. It has been a few years since I had sold my 6 string with the EMG's and haven't played one with them since so I might not remember the sound all that well.

    The sure thing is that the EMG81-7 sounds great in the LTD but it didn't sound that great in the Jackson. This mostly to counter the argument that EMG's sound the same in all guitars and that only the pickups are responsible for the sound of a guitar.
     

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