Pickups For A Low-Tuned 7 (8 String Range)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Bucketheadtwo, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Bucketheadtwo

    Bucketheadtwo ΔSCΞΠD BΞYΘΠD

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    I'm looking for new pickups to put in my Ibanez RGDIR7M. It's a 26.5" scale 7-string with a contoured mahogany body, maple and purple heart 3-piece neck, and birdseye maple board. My guitar happens to be pretty light. My back is thankful for this, but I'm not sure if the light weight is because of the wood combination, thin neck and scooped body, or bad luck from getting less dense or cheaper Iron Label woods. The DiMarzio Fusion Edge 7's sound okay, but they don't quite cut it for me and my configuration.

    I play in Drop F# or lower on this guitar in the styles of bands like Veil of Maya, Northlane, Erra, Monuments, Architects, etc. I really miss the unique sound my RG8's D Activators had. They didn't sound anything like the 6 or 7 string models of those pickups, had super high output, and were very aggressive. Here's an old sample of what I'm talking about (@ 1:06): https://soundcloud.com/ascend_beyond/actions-speak-louder-than-words-demo

    I've considered the Blackhawk 7's, but I'm not sure if I'd want the ceramic or alnico v options. I know Josh from Northlane's Impulse pickups are designed specifically for low 7's, but I haven't tried alnico v pickup in a 7 before. BKPs are also pretty expensive, so I want to be really sure before diving into new territory. On the other hand, I feel like DiMarzio's pickups are a bit too samey. I've only ever tried ceramic DiMarzio pickups. I liked my old PAF 7s, D Activator 7s in my first 7, and the Titan 7s (which I have in my RG752 now), but I'm not sure if those fit a guitar tuned to a low 8-string tuning range.

    Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman Nu-Metal Apologist Contributor

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    The Ionizer bridge in my TAM10 is pretty aggressive and sounds super gnarly on the F#. If the 7 sounds anything like the 8, it’d make a great aggressive pickup for sounds like you’re describing.
     

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  3. Bucketheadtwo

    Bucketheadtwo ΔSCΞΠD BΞYΘΠD

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    I completely forgot those existed in a 7 config. I might consider those, thanks. I was thinking about adding a coil-split volume pot as well, and I know split-coil sounds are important to Tosin as well, so that should be a good option.
     
  4. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman Nu-Metal Apologist Contributor

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    The split sounds are very good. I haven’t gotten my string gauges figured out yet, but once I get it right, I think I’ll be able to cop most of my old Strat tones with it.
     
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  5. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I have an Ionizer 7 set in a 7620 tuned to drop G and it handles it really well for heavy sounds as well as cleans :yesway:
     
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  6. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 Mobius Guitars

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    The Impulse set will serve you really well. I’ve tried most of the Contemporary range BKP’s & they’re basically my go-to set for aggressive styles & down tuning. Don’t be put off by the albino magnet in the bridge, it’s insanely tight for an alnico & since your guitar has no tone circuit, the high end will be just right as well.
     
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  7. Bucketheadtwo

    Bucketheadtwo ΔSCΞΠD BΞYΘΠD

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    That's good to hear. On paper, the D Activators and Blackhawks should be the same because they're both described as having high output like an active pup, but with the clarity and even string distribution or dynamics of passives. Seeing as how Jon and Josh both used the Blackhawks a lot and I'm sure Josh's Impulses were based off of the Bhawks, I really considered them. I just wasn't sure if they were a bit too focused in their tone.
     
  8. beavis2306

    beavis2306 Lusts for gear

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    I just recently got a mahogany 7 string in drop g# with impulses and am very happy with them. The first thing that struck me was it sounded like a lot of top end but i'm used to eqing for that now and i still cut some 250 and 450ish hz on the fractal despite them apparently already being carved out a bit in the low mids. Cleans sound great in all positions, the little amount of lead work that i do is very satisfying and the distorted rythms sound spot on for me. They handle the low tuning well. I go for a bright distorted sound with a tight bottom end and they do it well - no complaints yet.

    I also have a push pull tone pot that removes the tone circuit in one of the positions and i've not used it much as it gets a bit too top endy and zingy. I'm sure i could eq it out but lazy.
     
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  9. Casey MK

    Casey MK SS.org Regular

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    I have a D-Activator 7 in the bridge of my Jackson JS22-7 that I tune to F# and F, sometimes. It handles it just fine and I personally love the way the D-Activator sounds. I've heard a lot of people bash on them, but I don't understand why. They don't sound sterile at all to me and they make it very easy to achieve the tone I'm looking for.
     
  10. Casey MK

    Casey MK SS.org Regular

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    Another option I just now thought of that you should consider is the Seymour Duncan Alpha/Omega set. I have the 8 string set in my Jackson JS32-8 and they sound mean as hell, but also articulate and clear. Plus, they clean up very well and the coil tap sounds are awesome. Much like Tosin, coil tap sounds are important to Mark Holcomb, as well. So, I can't see why this would be a bad option and I know the 7 string set should play well with an F#/F tuning because the song Ragnarok is in Drop G# tuning, but with just the low G# tuned down to F#.
     

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