Looking for Versatile Pickups

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Mungo Zen, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    The number of tones one pickup delivers per se IS NOT an universal definition of being versatile and I did not say EMGs were mostly metal mayhem... That statement was on a comparison of characteristics of both passive and active pickups. One pickup can deliver as many tones as anyone may want, depending on how one tweaks what comes after it. I've said that in my first paragraph in this thread. I also said that I also prefer passive pickups because I can get different tones from one pickup considering THE SAME amp/FXs settings setup, which I also said will make the amp/FXs react differently and so will my playing. I believe that has been clearly stated. I also said that I do my tone changes either in the guitar with different pickup combinations, as well as in the amp/FXs part of the chain. I clearly said it as a personal preference, not as a universal truth...

    ... but internet is gona be internet I guess... cheers bro, we're saying the same things from different perspectives, that's all there is to it...
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021 at 3:44 PM
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  2. Mungo Zen

    Mungo Zen SS.org Regular

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    Those Tripleshot Pickup Rings.... now we are talking, that's the one kind of 'versatile' I am thinking of.

    That they apparently can be used with any 5 wire pickup, and I can still run other mods in the pots and wiring configs, has moved this relatively cheap mod up the list. I'll be emailing SD to find out if they offer a 7 string version since I can't find one online.

    It still doesn't resolve the 'what pickup' question but it does push it to Passives, and after the last few days I am leaning towards Passives unless a strong argument can be made for Actives.

    However, it really looks like most people responding here don't think the pickup choice matters that much, and I don't get that. Like, why recommend Bareknuckle that are significantly more expensive than other brands if the player and amp are doing all the heavy lifting? Why not always just buy the cheapest pickups, or use whatever brand comes in the guitar you buy?
     
  3. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Because that doesnt earn you e-points online.

    Also if you want versatile 6-string passive, you probably want SD P-rails.
     
  4. Mungo Zen

    Mungo Zen SS.org Regular

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    Yup, those P-Rails look like fire, but, this is about 7 string pups.
     
  5. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    The tripleshot rings can be used with ANY 5 wires humbucker (4 leads + bare ground). I'v used these rings with Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios and Gorillas (from Itally) with gret success in all installs. My two 6 stringers have these rings installed and are both loaded at the moment with Gorilla pickups. One had previously DiMarzios and I've installed several Duncans in a friend's guitars (plural).

    As far as I know there are no tripleshot rings for 7 stringers (nor for arch top lefties), BUT there are plenty of schematics in the internet on how to do that wiring. I've done that myself on two 7 string guitars of my own, added 4 miniswitches, 2 per each humbucker, and these schematics work just fine. They open the tone palete a lot and the possible combinations between 2 humbuckers augment a lot, in my opinion, that is.


    Again, I'm not versed in what actives have to offer at the moment. The first and stronger argument is consistency across different guitars and low noise. Then, depending on the brand and model, you can find different voicings and specs, but the maximum I've read is some Fishman pickups delivering 3 different base tones.


    This is a YES and NO kind of reply. They matter since they're the first real filter on your tone and a "static" one (meaning it is what it is and cannot change much besides its specs, which is why I prefer passives since I can get more variations on each). They don't matter because what a pickup lacks can generally be compensated with EQ/compression in front of the amp and Post preamp to better shape the tones. It is hard, very hard to tell what pickup is being used under high gain tones. Maybe one can identify certain specs like "it's a single coil" versus "it's a humbucker", maybe one can eventually say "it's active" versus "passive", but in a blind test, I couldn't tell the difference between DiMarzios from Duncans. I could feel the different perceived EQ response, but clearly say which is which... I doubt it very much...

    The thing about cheap material versus more expensive one is about expectations, quality control and sometimes even brand hype. I have no doubt BKPs are good pickups, but I also think they're are over hyped... as are Lundgrens for example. As passive pickups concern, they're construction hasn't changed much since they first made their apearence about 80 years ago (give or take a decade). They're a magnetized bobbin of copper wire. Even the more classic actives feature the same build process (looking at Duncan's actives and EMG). What makes a pickup change it's filtering effect on tone is the specs of its construction: wire gauge and wire type quality; magnet type, strength and dimension; bobbin geometry and number of wire turns; baseplate material; covered or uncovered bobbins (specially if with metalic covers). Also remember that a pickup changes with its distance to the strings, sounding a bit more harsh, compressed and stronger when closer and open, dynamic and also weaker when further away (valid for both active or passive).

    Then there are other brands like Q-Tuner and Lace Alumitones which go on completely different constructions and concepts for pickup designs, with the first ones being a variation on the geometry/orientation of the copper bobbin and the later ones to have a totaly different approach in building and sound capturing.

    A pickup can be understood as a fixed EQ filter to begin with. Some like to mess with it, others prefer specific settings to work with. It's never the pickup that is not versatile, it's the end user that must (or not) be so. You can make heavy metal music with passive single coil pickups and and jazz with active EMGs.

    Having this said, there are no fairy dust ingredients in pickup making that make this or that brand apart from the other. That's hype and marketing playing their games. That's also why I have been focusing my replies in what is to be expected from this or that kind of pickup and not on this or that brand/model.

    I've personally moved away from super hot pickups because I like to get clean tones out of dirty amp channels and super hot pickups make that hard (if not impossible) to get. Medium/high output pickups is where I'm standing now. I like passive pickups because I can get more different tones and dirt textures for the same amp settings (which in my book is super cool). To me, versatility also means more options, because more is more, right?
     
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  6. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    SD custom shop.
     
  7. Mura

    Mura SS.org Regular

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    I recommend Lundgren's Black Heaven.
    Personally, I love Lundgren's M7 and Black Heaven because they feel like a combination of only the good points of active PU and passive PU, but Black Heaven is especially versatile.

    By combining this with a coil split, you will be able to cover from Jimi Hendrix to Meshuggah.
    (If you want more "Meshuggah", I recommend M7)

    That said, the best way to make it versatile depends more on the options on the guitar itself and the soundmaking of the effects and amps than the choice of the PU itself.
    Of course, your hands too.

    The coil split is just one example, and there is a great variety of sounds that can be produced by using the Tone pot properly with the Vol Pot with Treble Bleed Mod.
     
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  8. Mungo Zen

    Mungo Zen SS.org Regular

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    Well, SD replied the same day to my email.... They do not offer a 7 string version of the TripleShot but, they suggested it can be modded (and void the warranty) to fit a 7 pretty easily.
     
  9. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    SPAM YOURSELF OUT OF HERE
     
  10. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Easy job for specialised techs... they forgot to mention that... it's better to use miniswithes...
     

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