Tone mystery - pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by cyrilMYAIM, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. cyrilMYAIM

    cyrilMYAIM SS.org Regular

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    Hi there

    I currently own an ESP Horizon NT-7B and recently bought an LTD AW-7B. The thing is, the ESP sounds A LOT thinner than the LTD. My first guess was: Well... ESP has got EMG 81-7 pickups, the LTD has D-Activators. So it's probably the pickup that's changing the tone that much. But from what I've read, the D-Activators should sound very trebly, just as the 81-7 does. So it shouldn't be a matter of pickups from what I've read. Then I guessed: maybe it's the wood choice. The ESP being alder and the LTD being swamp ash (both maple necks with ebony fretboards). But then again, from what I've read, there shouldn't be a huge difference between both. So my question is... How can I make the ESP sound fuller, just like the LTD.

    Any information is appreciated!

    Thank you in advance :metal:
     
  2. 1b4n3z

    1b4n3z SS.org Regular

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    The DA is much bigger sounding than EmG81, which is all mids (ie. has lows filtered off). It's the pickup for sure.
     
  3. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Agreed. :yesway:

    EMG 81-7 (or regular 81) is mostly mids, and high mids at that. It has a highly compressed sound which filters out most of the low end.

    The woods will have some impact on tone but from the issues you seem to be having with the tone being 'thin', is almost for certain the pickups.

    If you want to stick with Dimarzio pickups you will need to find/buy special covers because Dimarzio doesn't offer pickups with active route covers. Otherwise, you will have to look elsewhere (Duncan, BKP, etc.).
     
  4. cyrilMYAIM

    cyrilMYAIM SS.org Regular

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    I don't have to stick with the Dimarzios, as they indeed don't have these soapbar sized pickups. I really liked BKP aftermath pickups in an Ibanez guitar I played some time ago. Can't remember the model or the wood though. I don't know... what would be my best bet with an alder body, maple neck, ebony fretboard, baritone sevenstring like the ESP Horizon NT-7B? I'd like to have a huge tone. Not too muddy, but big and clear bass, normal mids, not too pronounced, not too scooped, and nice high end that's not shrill with enough pick attack and definition? I'm not a pickup master so the choice is really difficult. I have very little experience with pickups. All my previous guitars have had EMG's... Any help would greatly be appreciated :bowdown:
     
  5. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

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    BKP aftermath
    In these woods its a bad idea imho. They are already quiet bright to begin with.
    Id say go with something balanced, or even the Misha Jaggenauts to thicken things up.

    The titans can be one option. Or get the Duncann Mick Thompson actives, they should fit the EMG cavities as well.
     
  6. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    Don't worry about the wood, go with the pickups you like best.
     
  7. chassless

    chassless Don'tDeserveMyGuitar

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    What about simply an EMG 85? It's supposed to be more focused on the lower mids compared to the 81 as far as I know.
     
  8. cyrilMYAIM

    cyrilMYAIM SS.org Regular

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    I listened to some clips on the Bareknuckle website. The warpigs seem to be the thing I'm looking for. Any idea on those?
     
  9. Yodel

    Yodel Banned

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    How do they sound unplugged? Maybe you just got a dead-sounding lemon (rare when it comes to ESP, but it happens).
     
  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only pointy guitars remain

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    the ceramic warpig would probably be too bright for you. I just put a c-pig in my swamp ash/ebony 8 string and it's very bright on the high end. Kinda wish I'd gone with the alnico version. The sound is very thick and clear though. I had an aftermath in this guitar originally and the warpig still has the same clarity while being thick as fuuuk. It has this good meaty sound to it.
    I've got some clips of it if you want a better idea of how the c-pig sounds. *Disclaimer: I had the contour switch on my f30 flipped on (which adds a decent amount of bass and mids, really saturates the sound overall too) YMMV
    Sludgy/stoner riffs: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNqTdHxAUFv/?taken-by=swolepatrololo&hl=en
    Death metal/djenty stuff: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNqW3GCgeSi/?taken-by=swolepatrololo&hl=en
    shreddy stuff: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNqUzkig0zb/?taken-by=swolepatrololo&hl=en
    Doom riffs: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNqUQvsg4be/?taken-by=swolepatrololo&hl=en
     
  11. cmtd

    cmtd SS.org Regular

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    I have a Cpig set in my Horizon NTII. It's a maple neck through with mahogany wings.

    The guitar was very bright and somewhat thin with the JB/59' pickups in my opinion. I think the Cpig set was perfect for the guitar, darkened it up perfectly and it is very crushing with high gain. It is my probably my favorite guitar that I own.

    Remember with the Horizons they are maple neck through guitars, so most of the guitar is maple, which is typically a pretty bright wood.

    I didn't find the warpigs to be a bright pickup at all, and I think you would be very happy with them in the Horizon.
     
  12. cyrilMYAIM

    cyrilMYAIM SS.org Regular

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    I find it odd that someone else said the ceramic warpig was bright... I think it's one of the darkerst sounding pickups coming from bareknuckle. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm really leaning towards one of those. Gonna send a mail to bkp tonight. Your reaction really makes me want to try one of those! :metal:
     
  13. stratjacket

    stratjacket Lost in a loop

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    I agree. Warpigs are great in bright guitars to warm them up, I've used them twice for that purpose and they work great. Good overall pickups too, stay clear even though they have pronounced bass. I would think if a warpig is sounding to bright, it's an EQ setting somewhere down the chain.

    Anyway, for the original question, have you tried some troubleshooting like changing the battery, checking the soldering connections and things like that? EMG's sound thin as hell when the battery starts to drain.
     

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