New neck pup day! (Not a Black Winter, haha)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by KailM, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    [​IMG]IMG_4581 (1) by Joe Blow, on Flickr
    Well, I was all set to order a SD Jazz neck for this Schecter C1 (Black Winter in the bridge). The stock pickups in this guitar were extremely bland, and the BW I put in the bridge kicked all sorts of ass -- but I needed a new neck pup to bring this guitar up to full-on status. I've got the full BW set in another guitar which sounds amazing. In the name of variety, I wanted something else in the neck for this guitar.

    My local store only carries Dimarzio, and since I had some gift cards there leftover from Christmas, I decided to give an Air Norton a try. Aesthetically, it looks an awful lot like a Seymour Duncan pickup with no logo, so I think it complements the Black Winter very well in that regard. In a way, I think it matches the Black Winter even better without a logo than a Jazz would have with the different Duncan logo. I may use a sharpie on the pole-pieces to match the black of the BW eventually, but it doesn't stand out being chrome as it is.

    How does it sound? I was kind of on the fence yesterday after the install, but with new strings it takes a little while for everything to settle in. I tried a new gauge (Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottoms) and in D Standard, they are decidedly too light for me. I need .011-.054s ideally. It took me a couple hours of playing to adapt and not overpower the strings on bends and even rhythms.

    Once I adapted, I saw what the fuss is all about. The AN is more dynamic than my Blk W neck, which took some getting used to. It has less output as well, which leads me to use my boost a little more often. This thing is phenomenal on soaring, slower leads on the upper frets. Just liquid silk. The highest of the high notes are cutting, but never harsh or piercing -- just magic. My BW neck, on the other hand, can get a little piercing on those notes, but sometimes that is perfect for the song. I'm still in love with the tones I get out of the BW neck, in other words, but for different applications.

    Compared to the BW neck, the Air Norton has less bass, which opens it up to techniques that I shy away from with the BW. Last night I found myself actually playing chords and octave run riffs. I had a blast playing rock riffs and more mainstream types of music. This thing sounds phenomenal for hard rock genres, but can still do shreddy lead stuff with ease.

    Cleans are excellent, but not better than my Black Winters. Just different. So far I'm really happy with this choice, and would recommend it.
     
  2. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the review!
    I think with all the choices we have for pickups nowadays it's easy to look-over the 'classics/standards/usual' aftermarket pickups like the AN. Nice to hear that you're getting along well with it!
     
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  3. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Nice! I've been a fan of the Air Norton for a few years, great all-around pickup :yesway:
     
  4. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Now the question is, what do I put in the neck position of my other Schecter? :lol: That one is a V-style/solid mahogany/ebony fretboard, and plays like a dream. I have a Nazgul in the bridge of that one, which is staying. Currently running an EMG passive in the neck, which doesn't sound too bad, but doesn't match the output of the Nazgul. Also, it looks terrible next to the Nazgul because it was made to look like an active EMG.

    I used to care about that guitar's cleans, but I don't anymore, since my other two have Black Winter/Black Winter and a BW/Air Norton. Both of those cover cleans nicely. I want this to be a shred machine on the neck.

    Sentient? Liquifire? Anything else that would look decent next to the Nazgul, and tear shit up?
     
  5. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    I have a bw paired to a liquid fire and I luv it
     
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  6. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    I have the mini humbucker version in my Jackson's neck position. I got it at the recommendation of the guitar tech I went to back when I was a complete noob. It's held up really well over the years and I love it.
     
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  7. wedge_destroyer

    wedge_destroyer SS.org Regular

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    Awesome glad the AN worked for you. I love them but for my fuck cleans guitar it's normally an Evo bridge in the neck slot backing up an X2N. Now aesthetically the Evo probobly won't match Duncan's so idk.
     
  8. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    It's a little annoying that every (almost) darn Ibanez Prestige has a Tone Zone and an Air Norton in it, but I can hear why they picked it. It really is a great pickup, for leads especially. It even sounds pretty good clean - which is weird from a higher output neck pickup.
     
  9. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Indeed—a week in and I’m becoming more and more floored by the lead tones of the Air Norton. It is without a doubt the smoothest, most liquid shred tone I’ve ever achieved. On the highest strings and frets, it really stands out. My Black Winter neck is no slouch for shred but after a week with the AN can hear a hint of graininess in the BW that is absent with the AN. Pure butter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    if you like the air norton and think it's smooth, try the liquifire or a bkp cold sweat. They both offer super smooth liquidy shred tones, and slinky warmer jazzy esque tones if need be. the bw neck is nice and all, but it pales in comparison to those two if you're looking for those qualities.
     
  11. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I’m definitely leaning heavily on getting a Liquifire for my Nazgul-equipped V. I’m aware it’s not known for awesome cleans but for that guitar I’m okay with complete dedication to metal.

    Oddly perhaps, but I still prefer my BW neck for cleans, by quite a bit. It’s got a subtle chime that seems to be missing in the Air Norton.
     
  12. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Dimarzio again? 36th anni PAF.

    Also d'addario do an 11-54.
     

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