Need help finding a pickup for my RGA121

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Decon87, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Decon87

    Decon87 SS.org Regular

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    I just picked up an RGA121 from my local Guitar Center the other day that was mint. I went in with no intention of buying anything and as the story goes I saw it hanging up in the "Used" section, took it down and played it, and then made a poor financial decision as I'm sure most of us here are all too familiar with.

    Anyways, I'm looking to throw in a proper pair of pickups into the thing and I'm coming here for guidance. I have a rough idea of what I want but I have no idea where to begin.

    - I generally play heavier styles of music (djenty prog metal and tech death) and cleaner sounding shreddy stuff (Plini, Sithu Aye, CHON).

    - I like a really liquidy, smooth sounding neck pickup that's good for legato. Something that has almost an "Ooo" quality to it where the notes just blend in together.

    - For cleans I love a really chimey tone with good note separation when chording. My ideal cleans came from a DiMarzio PAF 7 I had in an old guitar.

    - For distortion I like something nice and tight but not TOO middy. I have Aftermaths in one of my guitars right now and I find the mids a bit too nasal sounding for my tastes. It doesn't have the punch that I like when palm muting.

    I know I'm probably looking for a needle in a haystack here, but does anyone have any ideas? I've been tossing around the idea of the Seymour Duncan Alpha/Omega set, but from what I remember the neck pickup had a decent amount of pick attack and didnt have that liquidy legato quality I'm looking for. I've also been considering a JB/59' set but I don't know if the JB is tight enough for the heavier riffing that I do.

    TL;DR

    - Chimey PAF-like cleans with good note separation
    - Liquidy-smooth sounding neck pickup for legato leads
    - Tight bridge pickup for "Djenty" style riffing that doesn't have a nasally "honky" mid quality (like the Aftermath)
     
  2. jarledge

    jarledge SS.org Regular

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    I am going to suggest the Guitarmory Atlas set or maybe the foxbat set.

    the atlas is clear without over the top mids, to me it is a little like the steve's special in that it is higher output but doesn't drive the amp too hard. You get good lower mids and a nice top end that is there but not shrill. A very djenty style pickup. The neck is tight but not in a way you feel like you can't shed on it.

    The Foxbats are a true medium output set. They are very clear and articulate, very close to something like the dimarzio PAF , but the neck has more clarity.



     
  3. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    Blackhawk in the bridge will get you there, liquifire neck would be my first choice for that legato style with good cleans. They don’t really match though
     
  4. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I'd say an Air Norton or PAF Pro neck. Both will do chimey cleans, split well, and shred. The AN will do liquidy shredding a bit better, but the PAF Pro is closer to what you got from the PAF7 as far as cleans. Just depends which characteristic is more important to you.

    For the bridge, I will always vouch for the Dominion. Pretty aggressively voiced overall, super thick in the mids, punchy/tight bass, and no scratchy/clanky spikes. Absolute chug monster.
     
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  5. Decon87

    Decon87 SS.org Regular

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    I keep hearing differing opinions on pairing something like a PAF, a lower output humbucker, with a Dominion, a higher output. I've personally never tried it myself but I've heard that generally you get big volume differences that can mess you up if you're trying to switch pickup positions mid song. Do you find that to be the case?

    Yknow I've tried Blackhawks in a Jackson B7 Deluxe and I didn't mesh with them that much. The neck I was mostly okay with but to me the bridge didn't sound very tight, it had a looser sound to it. Do you think something like a Cold Sweat or Painkiller would sound a bit tighter? I'm almost looking for a bridge pickup that's not as sterile sounding as an aftermath but not quite as loose as the blackhawk (though maybe I just got a dud and blackhawks are usually insanely tight as well). I really want that low end chunk that kicks you in the chest without sacrificing too much clarity.

    I wish the videos specified if that was the Ceramic or the Alnico V set. The Atlas is ALMOST there for me but I feel like I want the bridge to be slightly more aggressive. If I knew that the demos were the Alnico V's, the ceramic option would probably get me there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only pointy guitars remain

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    As far as smooth liquidy necks:
    bkp cold sweat neck (this is the gold standard for liquidy shreddy leads imo)
    dimarzio liquifire (2nd place)
    black heaven neck

    tight/djenty bridges without the annoying honky midrange:
    bkp impulse
    dimarzio titan
    black heaven bridge
    guitarmory polaris or foxbat
     
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  7. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    the painkiller is my favorite sounding BKP of the bunch, very tight but lots of bottom end. A skinny white girl with a fat ass, if you will. It has just a bit of that snarky midrange though, but not aftermath levels, IME. Cold sweat is tight, but not as aggressive as you’re alluding your needs to.
     
  8. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I haven't had any issues with volume jumps or output matching since the Dominion isn't crazy hot to begin with, plus I tend to like it backed off the strings a bit. It's hotter than a given vintage style pickup, but definitely has less output than other modern Dimarzio models like the Crunch Lab, D-Activator, or Titan.

    I've had the Dominion bridge paired up with a handful of neck pickups of various output levels, including the PAF Pro, Air Norton, Liquifire, Breed, and Gravity Storm.
     
  9. bzhang9

    bzhang9 SS.org Regular

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    thats a lot of requirements to fill, CL LF set is like 100 bucks used and is a good middle ground for solid leads cleans rhythm
     
  10. Decon87

    Decon87 SS.org Regular

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    It's sounding like the Cold Sweat is going to need to make an appearance somewhere in this guitar, it keeps popping up in suggestions either in the neck or the bridge. The black heaven you listed has me intrigued as well. I've never had a chance to try out Lundgrens but I've always been interested.

    Best description of a pickup I've ever heard. :lol:

    So far I'm leaning towards a Cold Sweat neck and a Painkiller bridge. I may have to sacrifice those PAF sounding cleans but I figure I may get close enough with the Cold Sweat neck.

    I'm wondering if I use a Cold Sweat in the bridge though I can get closer to a nice chimey clean tone in the bridge position and then if I just tighten up with a TS808 and a noise gate in front if that will get me where I want to be? I remember trying to get heavy tones out of the PAF 7 i had and while it didn't get quite as saturated as I would have liked I remember it sounding INCREDIBLY tight in the bass range, I'm assuming because of the lower output. I'm wondering if the Cold Sweat might be a nice middle ground where I get that slight bump in output to get me where I want to be as far as saturation, but also stays very tight?
     
  11. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    The colds sweat bridge is fucking tight and is a gnarly dirty baaaad girl... I mean, anice pickup for aggressive yet clear playing. I liked it a lot but it was maybe a bit harsh for my taste, anyway, I would buy it again if I need somethin that thick, clear and big again.
     

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