Want to move away from EMGs, what else is awesome? What do the cool kids use now?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by wannabguitarist, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. wannabguitarist

    wannabguitarist Contributor

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    I haven't owned a guitar with passive pickups for close to 4 years now so I figured it's time to change things up. Guitar in question currently has an 89-81tw set:
    [​IMG]

    24.75in scale, mahogany body, maple neck, tuned to Drop-C. I play lots of metalcore (think KSE or AILD) and thrash through a HD500x.

    What I'm looking for:
    Something clear and articulate. Solid note definition. Thick, but bright. All those wonderful pickup words. At the moment the guitar is a little muddier than I'd prefer. Also, I'm a fairly light picker so I need a pickup that works well with that.

    I haven't kept up with the pickup game over the last couple of years so I'm really just looking for suggestions. I'd love to keep the price around $200 or less for the set so no Bareknuckles (hate the last one I tried anyways).
     
  2. rifftrauma

    rifftrauma Trapped in time... Contributor

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    Bareknuckle Alnico Black Hawks?
     
  3. Kyle01

    Kyle01 SS.org Regular

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    Wilde/Bill Lawrence L500. Super clear with distortion. Pretty bright sounding, almost single coil-like when clean.
     
  4. Yodel

    Yodel Banned

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    Screw BKP, get yourself a set of Duncans, SH6/SH1 or SH4/SH1 depending on taste
     
  5. Quiet Coil

    Quiet Coil Only obsesses over guitars when not playing them.

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    Chances are that it's not what you're looking for, but maybe try swapping the pickups (89 to bridge, 81tw to neck)? They should both have the same connector so changing should be a piece of cake.

    Only suggesting this because:
    1. It's free
    2. It's easy
    3. The 89XR is my personal favorite EMG for the bridge position


    Like I said it very well may not be anything you care for. If not, Fishmans are pretty nice and highly configurable.
     
  6. wannabguitarist

    wannabguitarist Contributor

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    Find me a set for less than $200 :lol:

    :agreed: last BKP I tried I hated, and it was expensive so this is the idea

    I'll give this a shot. Something is wrong with my wiring currently and the neck pickup makes no sound, but when I switch to the tuner on my POD with the neck pickup selected it works fine. Not sure what's going on there :scratch:
     
  7. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    Seymour Duncan Black Winters
    or
    Dimarzio D Activator
     
  8. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    The question is, if it really need to be passives, that require good shielding, that guitars, that came with actives usually don't have.

    My Schecter Hybrid came with a EMG 57/66 set and it gives me the best of both worlds ... they are noise free, which is important for recordings, and they sound pretty much passive, if I roll back guitar volume by 30%.

    So this set is, what I would recommend ... easily installed without any hassle and they might satisfy your needs.

    If you go the passive route I would recommend good shielding, not only cabling, but also the cavities. I mention this, because my Gibson Les Paul isn't shielded good enough, so that I usually use my Epiphone LP for recording, which has the same Gibson 57 Classics, but a much better shielding. So the Epi is noise free and the Gibson isn't, which requires a minimum distance to the DAW notebook of 1 meter ... annoying.

    I always was an EMG hater, but the 57/66 set convinced me even for clean tones.
     
  9. wannabguitarist

    wannabguitarist Contributor

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    Anyone have experience with the DiMarzio Titans or Dominions?

    I considered the Het Set when I was originally putting the guitar together but you can't split them. I would like to keep the single sound as an option because this is currently my most versatile guitar (yep :lol:).

    What's required for good shielding? Copper foil in the cavities or extra shielding paint? All of my guitars buzz a lot when I play next to my laptop which is annoying as hell (they all have actives too).
     
  10. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    I fear, that's the same problem with the 57/66 set, but keep in mind, that coil splitting will never sound as good as real single coils, that usually will hum a lot.

    So for a Tele like sound I use my Gretsch, that comes pretty close, but is hum free ... but astonishingly the Schecter can sound also pretty gretschy depending on the string choice and the used amp ... not much hassle with BIAS FX. My preferred strings are Gibson Brite Wires.

    But I'm not sure, if this set will sound similarly good in your Jackson. The Schecter Hybrid has a mahogany body and maple neck, which seems to be the ideal wood combo for these EMGs.

    Understandable, but though the coil splitting of my LPs is pretty good, it doesn't really satisfy me.

    Both should do the job, but ...

    ... as we see here, there can be even more to do. A guitar with good active pickups doesn't require cavity shielding. The humming issue with your laptop might be caused by the used guitar cables. I noticed that with my Gibson LP, though the cables I used weren't cheap junk. But my local shop recommended MTI cables from Switzerland and they were right ... a huge improvement. But I also read about interface issues regarding hum, which were caused by an insufficient shielded USB cable.

    For the case I need to record the Gibson I use an iPad for DAW remote control, so that I can stay away about 2 meters from the notebook.

    I use Reaper as my DAW and on the iPad I use Lemur. There is a free Reaper remote control available, which is a template for Lemure and is called Binder. Similar templates are available for Cubase and Ableton too, but many are not free. Lemur can also be used to remote control synths and some templates even allow to adjust several synth parameters at once with only one finger.
     
  11. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    PS: If going the passive route, I think it is a good idea to use shielding foil in the pickup and pot cavities and you will need to take care of good cabling and grounding inside the guitar. The current pickup cabling and pots can't be used and need to be replaced. Pretty much hassle.

    If going the 57/66 route, you only need to exchange the pickups ;) ... which is pretty easy.
     
  12. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    Sorry, I missed, that your Jackson also has the mahogany / maple wood combination, so the 57/66 set should sound similar in your Jackson as in my Schecter, though I would expect a small difference, because the Jackson has a rosewood fretboard and the Schecter has ebony.

    I once compared a Gretsch Falcon double cut and a Gretsch Panther and the only difference was the above fretboard wood choice ... the Panther sounded slightly warmer due to the rosewood fretboard.
     
  13. Blytheryn

    Blytheryn Musical Adam West

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    Cool kids use SD Black Winters these days I think... :lol:
     
  14. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    Have you considered Fishman fluence?

    I have a modern set and it's really articulate and has great clarity. If you wire it with push/pull pots you can switch between voices and gain boost too. With custom wiring you can even split them (haven't tried it though)

    Drops right in with the EMG quick connect (except for the push/pull options of course). Not sure but the 81TW has switching too so there's a chance it will work with fishman switching.

    I A/B'd the Het Set in my guitar and it had too much bass response (mahogany body, maple neck, drop C). The fishman with lower bass response remained very clear with high gain.

    Only downside for me was the price but I got a really good deal for 120 euro for a set.
     
  15. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    The cool kids use:-
    Nazgul
    Juggernauts
    Pegasus
    D activators
    Black winters

    I personally use the blackouts because they're like the emgs with a tubescreamer.
     
  16. rifftrauma

    rifftrauma Trapped in time... Contributor

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    https://reverb.com/item/3665981-bkp-bare-knuckle-blackhawk-pickup-set
    $220, and if you don't dig them, you'll have no trouble unloading them for what you paid. I've tried a couple different BKP's and I've really only liked the blackhawks so I understand your dilemma. If you want "Something clear and articulate. Solid note definition. Thick, but bright", that's pretty much the Blackhawk. I wouldn't write the brand off for having one bad experience.


    Nolly's also got a demo of the Ceramic Vs. Alnico, since you requested the cool kids. :yesway:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qacdnnbe2k
     
  17. Aymara

    Aymara SS.org Regular

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    Does that mean, I'm an uncool adult? :lol::lol::lol:
     
  18. wannabguitarist

    wannabguitarist Contributor

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    Well ...., that's quite cheap
     
  19. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire sso's unofficial pickup hoarder

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    Titans. They are perfect for metal. Clear, has a good growl. I've got a bunch of clips on my soundcloud, plus ben eller has some great demos on youtube of them as well.
     
  20. Zado

    Zado SS.org Regular

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    You sure? I though cool kids used Fishman nowadays. Or maybe those were trendy kids, not sure:scratch:
     

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