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    What pickups do you like/dislike?

    Rather than ask for pickups rec's i thought it might be best to ask what pickups you like and what ones you dislike. To see if we have similar tastes.

    a couple of caveats:

    1) Im a big believer in finding the right pickup for the right guitar. I love Duncan Distortions but ive had them in some guitars that just didnt work. I tend to try out a few pickups in each guitar i own until i find the perfect pickup for that guitar.

    2) Some pickup sound best in lower tunings, some really cant handle lower tunings

    Like list:
    Duncan Distortion (neck and bridge) - probably my fav set of pickups. Best suited for lower tuning
    Lollar Imperial (low wind) - Perfect for standard tuning (also good for lower tunings). Very, VERY versatile pickups. 2nd fav pickups. too.
    Air Norton/Tone Zone - Very thick, great for "thin" sounding guitars.
    JB
    59
    Jazz
    Super Distortion
    Paf Pro
    Fralin blues tele
    81/85
    Suhr classic t
    Lollar P90 - Standard, 50's and Staple (all great)
    Lollar special t


    Dislike:
    custom 5
    BN Painkiller
    500xl (ok pickup but the ice pick highs kill it for me)
    Fluence Modern

    #2
    Like:
    Suhr Aldrich
    Dimarzio AT1
    Pariah Blackheart
    Pariah Warface
    DMT Baker Act
    (Basically, 14-17k Alnico 5 pickups. )​

    Dislike (Just gonna generalize):
    Ceramic magnets
    Asymmetrical coils​​​​​​
    Actives

    Comment


      #3
      Like:
      Every DiMarzio I’ve tried (PAF Joe, Super Distortion, Andy Timmons, Area 61)

      Seymour Duncan Seth Lover

      Ibanez Super 58

      EMG 81/85

      Dislike:
      JB

      Comment


        #4
        Like:
        Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers
        Seymour Duncan Blackouts
        EMGs (just across the board, but some more than others)
        DiMarzio PAF7s
        BKP Ragnarok / Warpig / Juggernaut / Painkiller / Aftermath / etc.
        Gibson Les Paul stock pickups (oh yeah, they sound good)
        Seymour Duncan 59s

        Dislike:
        Most cheap pickups. Most of the stock pickups made by quite a few guitar manufacturers such as Ibanez, LTD, Dean, and so on - but Agile's stock pickups are actually really nice. Epiphone's are decent. Jackson's are decent too. Gibson's are awesome. PRS's are hit and miss. Fender's are mostly good, but also kind of hit and miss.

        It's also kind of difficult to say what I dislike, because there are tons of guitars I've bought that had really good pickups in them, but they didn't work for what I wanted. I play extreme metal, so even if the stock pickups sound great clean, if they sound shitty with high gain, then I need to change them to something else. I suppose I value clarity above all else in pickups, which is probably partially why I think Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers are my favorite pickups of all time.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Toshiro View Post
          Ceramic magnets
          Never met a ceramic pickup that I liked, but most of them are an overwound+ceramic mag so I tried winding a moderate wind (~14k) and it's pretty cool.

          I think I'm still more of an A5 person but the lower wind C8 makes a good 'alternative' and takes high gain especially well without being ultra compressed.

          Comment


            #6
            Like:

            DiMarzio Super Distortion (Bridge)
            I've got two of these, soon to be 3 of them, and they're by far my favorite pickup. With a Mesa amp, they just sound heavy. 90% of any music you've heard from me has been one of these.

            DiMarzio Evo 7 (Bridge)
            I
            specifically call out the 7 string variant because it is ungodly heavy in a mahogany guitar. I've had this pickup in a basswood RG where it sounded bright and high gain, and in a mahogany S series where it just sounds gutteral for dropped A tuning.

            DiMazio Air Norton (neck)
            I still love the early Petrucci percussive speed picking on the neck pickup and it was all done on these. I have a few other neck pickups, and I usually record my faster alternate picking with my guitar that has this in it.

            DiMarzio Liquifire (neck)
            Not as bassy as the Air Norton, a bit clearer, but a nice 2nd place IMO.

            Fluence Modern (set)
            I can't speak highly enough of the Fluence pickups, I have two guitars now with these and I really like how I can get a few different sounds out of them. They feel better in the passive voice, but man do they pop out of a mix in the active voice. Really smooth for cleans too, especially on the neck pickup.

            Seymour Duncan - Duncan Distortion (Bridge)
            I've had one of these in an older RG and it slayed. I love high gain pickups, if you can't already tell.

            Dislike:

            Stock Ibanez Pickups (excluding early 2000s Blaze/ New 7 pickups)
            they're just always grainy and flat. Friends don't let friends play Ibanez guitars stock. These pickups are why that phase exists.

            Stock Jackson Pickups
            See above. They're slightly better than stock Ibby's.

            Seymour Duncan Nazgul (Bridge)
            Not only is the pickup so tall you have to route your guitar to get it to fit, it sounds grainy, bassy, and undefined. If I was playing sludgy music with an Orange amp, this would be great, but that kind of music is not my cup of tea at all.

            Seymour Duncan JB (Bridge)
            i used to love this sound but I feel like I moved past it when I started using overdrives in front of amps over a decade ago. It worked really well with my old Triaxis and Rocktron Chameleon racks, but with an overdrive in front of an amp there's just something about this pickup that doesn't work for me anymore.

            EMG 81/85
            These were great for their time, but IMO the Fluence pickups do active better.

            Comment


              #7
              Like:

              Dimarzio Norton - just a very well balanced pickup. Works extremely well in my RG760

              Dimarzio Super Distortion - have one of these in my Greco. Really cool pickup.

              Air Norton in parallel, which gives it a bit more high end

              Duncan JB - worked really well in an ESP Horizon

              Dislike:
              Tone Zone 7 - mud and more mud, the stock DM New7 sounded better in my RG7620
              Tone Zone - not as bad as the TZ7, but not enough bite for me. Didn’t like it in my S540 nor my brother’s RG550

              Edit: From more boutique manufacturers, the ones in my PRS sounded really good. Think they were a set of JS Moore Black Widows.

              Last edited by Markus; 09-04-2021, 10:00 AM.

              Comment


                #8
                Like:

                Dimarzio Steve Vai signatures
                I started with the Breed set and still remains my favorite pickup set. Turns out I like all the pickups under the Vai name, right up to the new Utopias.

                Dimarzio PAF Pro and PAF 36th Anniversary
                Sort of branched from above, then when I realised I really gravitated to PAF style pickups in general.

                BKP Mule
                My recent obsession. Got these in a lawsuit Ibby LP and love them to bits.

                Duncan Antiquity 2 Surfer
                My favorite strat single coil sets, and also cemented that I like 60s style strat sounds.

                Duncan Phat Cat
                My first HSP90 experience. Very unique character and while I've tried and love other HSP90s like the BKP Blue Notes (especially for hollow bodies), I have a guitar that a Phat Cat pair I still refuse to replace. Speaking of which...

                BKP Blue Note
                These in a hollow body just sound so great.

                EMG 81/85 and 60
                Yeah, so many players have moved on, and I do have a pair of Aftermaths that can give these a run for their money, but I still like a good pair of fire breathing active EMGs.

                Wilde Bill/Becky L500s
                These aren't for everyone, but I like the unique tone every now and then.

                Duncan JB/59
                These need to be in the right guitar (and the right JB for that matter), but I really liked them in my Epi LP Gothic, which I still use in every recording. Of course when it comes to JB variants, I'm leaning more towards the Rebel Yell.



                Dislike:

                Most Dimarzios in a Les Paul
                LPs are already huge sounding monsters when cranked, but most Dimarzios have that mid spike doesn't sit well with me in an LP type instrument. Original Super Distortions are pretty good, and surprisingly so are X2Ns.

                Dimarzio Crunchlab
                I was starting to get bored with the Blaze Custom and thinking maybe the Crunchlab would be fun. It was fine... until I started really disliking it. Tried a D-Sonic and fared better, but not enough. I ended up with a Tone Zone 7, which most people hated, but turns out worked best for me.

                BKP Cold Sweat (neck)
                I've got one on my Xiphos paired with a Rebel Yell only as a placeholder at the moment. At first it was ok, but mostly feels like that obnoxious, un-adjustable tone knob all the way down kind of sound. Hell, I like the Liquifire more. I said I'll replace it with a VHII or another RY but haven't gotten around to it.

                Duncan Dimebucker
                Gave it a shot and toured with it. It served it's purpose in a thrash environment but I hated it everywhere else. Replaced it with a Wilde L500 the minute I found where to buy them.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Likes
                  SD Jazz: The only neck pickup I've ever really liked is the SD Jazz. Every other one I've tried is boomy and wooly. The jazz is clear and spanky. I tend to use neck pickups for cleans more than leads, so that suits me perfectly.

                  DiMarzio cruiser - had one, liked it but swapped it out for a jazz which I liked better. Again I liked it as it wasn't wooly or dark, and was good for cleans.

                  Oilcity blackbird - I really like this pickup, I got into A8 magnets a while back, and this is my favourite one. It's got a very tight low end. I tested it with the EQs in the kemper, and the low pass doesn't even have an effect until you get to around 250hz. Low mids are great on this, it's very clear, and the high end rolls off nicely before it gets shrill.

                  Also nice
                  Bkp alnico v nailbomb 7
                  I rally liked this pickup. It was really aggressive and had great pick attack. I found this pickup was really sensitive to finger noise, more than any I've ever used. I didn't usually play with a noise gate until I got this pickup. Not being cause it would squeal and have feedback, but it used to exaggerate every little hand movement you made, it was so unforgiving.

                  Jaden Rose custom.
                  I bought a few jaden Rose pickups from him on ebay recently. These are the ones he used to put in his series 2 guitars. He said they were clones of the d'activator but MIK and 20 quid each. So I bought a few for the guitars that are missing pickups. They are nice, do the Job etc. But nothing to write home about. I Googled the part number on them after I recieved then and it seems they are Rebranded roswell. They have the same output specs and everything. Still not bad for 20 quid each.
                  Last edited by Adam; 09-04-2021, 09:45 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Likes.
                    Emg 81/60/jh
                    Bulldog pickups (not played a bad one but he tailors then to your specific guitar and keeps revising it based on your feedback until you are 100% happy)
                    Duncan mustaine livewire

                    Dislike
                    Every dimarzio I've tried
                    Passive duncans
                    Modern bkp (post 2005)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I dont have experience with many pick ups


                      from what I have

                      I like Seymour Duncan, Emg Het set..
                      I have Dimarzzio D activator and I kind of dont like it….

                      it sounds good with leads but for chug chug its not so good…

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Like:
                        Miracle Man (basswoord)
                        Aftermath (mahogany)
                        Blazes (basswood)
                        TZ/AN
                        Breeds

                        Don't like:
                        JB/59 Set in anything
                        Most active pickups, dude to needless battery management tedium
                        CrunchLab in anything other than the trash bin.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I’ve always been a DiMarzio guy especially the Blaze series. Ever since I got my E-II ive been obsessed with the Bareknuckle Warpigs although I’m not too crazy about the looks of them, the sound of them is just unreal.

                          Never been a fan of Seymour Duncan’s or EMGs
                          Last edited by Shawn; 09-04-2021, 06:19 PM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Likes:
                            Suhr Aldrich (duh)
                            G&L CLF-100
                            JB Jazz
                            59
                            Suhr V60
                            Suhr ML
                            BKP VHII
                            DiMarzio Transition
                            EMG bass pickups
                            Jason Becker (Duncan)

                            Dislikes:
                            Duncan Custom
                            Invader
                            Most ceramic pickups
                            Crunchlab
                            D-Sonic

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Generally I like PAF's (PRS 59/09, 85/15, #7, SD 59's, Dimarzio 36th anni) for humbucker guitars. I have 60's style jazzmaster pickups and love the middle position for anything clean and/or spacey. A jazzmaster bridge pickup under fuzz is a lot of fun too. I don't have a ton of experience with strat pickups - the stock ones in my classic player LE sounded great, as do the Suhr ML's in my partscaster. I have fun with the EMG 81/85 but haven't owned a guitar with them in a while.

                              Dislikes:
                              Dimarzio Titan (bridge) - had it in a schecter C6 and the bridge pickup had a low/low-mid frequency that was overbearing. Not sure if it was the guitar or the pickup, but I couldn't get a high gain tone with it that worked.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I haven’t tried as many pickups as I should have, mainly because I can’t be bothered. 😄

                                I used to like the JB/59 set but switched to Custom/Jazz, which I like a lot more, and I’ve stuck with it. It works for me.

                                I haven’t stuck with many DiMarzios for very long. They always sound and feel a little two-dimensional to my ears. I’ve tried a couple of Bare Knuckle sets, and also didn’t stick with them. They never really did anything for me, especially considering the premium pricing over on this side of the Atlantic.

                                desertdweller Are you using the Fluence Classic or Modern set? I’ve been meaning to give them a try, but don’t really have a guitar to put them into.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Ah this thread comes at the perfect time as I've finally decided to ditch the Nazgul that the guy I bought my RGA121 from had put in the bridge. Time to do some research.

                                  Haven't tried a ton but:

                                  Like: Blazes, Tone Zone, Air Norton, P90s generally, PAFs generally, and EMG85s
                                  Dislike: Nazgul

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I also don't have a ton of experience with pickups, but I have a few.

                                    Likes:
                                    EMG 81/60/85
                                    EMG JH set
                                    Duncan SH-5
                                    Duncan SH-6
                                    Dimarzio Tone Zone

                                    Dislikes:
                                    Duncan JB (I HATE this pickup)
                                    Duncan Jazz

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Love:
                                      Suhr Aldrich
                                      Fender Texas Specials Drew is a coward
                                      Dimarzio Evo + Fred
                                      Evo 2

                                      Like:
                                      Fred in the bridge
                                      Breeds
                                      Lundgren M7

                                      dislike:
                                      tonezone 7 I mean come on that's some dogshit what were you guys thinking

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I tend to cycle around the same 4-5 bridge pickups depending on what the guitar is like. It sometimes takes a few tries to marry the right guitar/pickup combo.

                                        1. Duncan Distortion - Fits most guitars, most of the time. If it doesn't, chances are it's not a good sounding guitar.

                                        2. Bill Lawrence L500XL - Such a divisive pickup. You either absolutely love it and it works for you, or it's just too much and you hate it. Much better suited toward darker, fatter toned guitars (always sounds great in short-scale guitars) to balance them out more and give them some definition if they're a little tubby. Super super F L A T response. It's not so much that it's got "too much treble" per se, it's that the mids aren't accented like on a "normal" pickup, so the highs pop out more. For this reason, it's useless in a bright snappy guitar because it will sound like a cocked wah pedal. In the right guitar though, there's nothing else that does what it does. It's so unique sounding and feeling. The tightness and articulation of an active, but without the battery and lifeless feel.

                                        3. Suhr Aldrich - In the right guitar it's irreplaceable. In the wrong guitar it's got quite a subdued high end, which I find unpleasant. I like my definition and articulation. If it's too rolled-off I can't do my thing.

                                        4. Duncan JB - When it works, it works.

                                        DISLIKES
                                        All Dimarzios. I just cannot get on with this brand. They're all basically the same. Sooooo sterile. They somehow manage to always have tubby low-mids and ice-pick highs at the same time.

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Mattayus View Post
                                          I tend to cycle around the same 4-5 bridge pickups depending on what the guitar is like. It sometimes takes a few tries to marry the right guitar/pickup combo.

                                          1. Duncan Distortion - Fits most guitars, most of the time. If it doesn't, chances are it's not a good sounding guitar.

                                          2. Bill Lawrence L500XL - Such a divisive pickup. You either absolutely love it and it works for you, or it's just too much and you hate it. Much better suited toward darker, fatter toned guitars (always sounds great in short-scale guitars) to balance them out more and give them some definition if they're a little tubby. Super super F L A T response. It's not so much that it's got "too much treble" per se, it's that the mids aren't accented like on a "normal" pickup, so the highs pop out more. For this reason, it's useless in a bright snappy guitar because it will sound like a cocked wah pedal. In the right guitar though, there's nothing else that does what it does. It's so unique sounding and feeling. The tightness and articulation of an active, but without the battery and lifeless feel.

                                          3. Suhr Aldrich - In the right guitar it's irreplaceable. In the wrong guitar it's got quite a subdued high end, which I find unpleasant. I like my definition and articulation. If it's too rolled-off I can't do my thing.

                                          4. Duncan JB - When it works, it works.

                                          DISLIKES
                                          All Dimarzios. I just cannot get on with this brand. They're all basically the same. Sooooo sterile. They somehow manage to always have tubby low-mids and ice-pick highs at the same time.
                                          Don't forget the fizz that they all seem to have around 2khz too. That's my biggest issue with dimarzio is like a very narrow band fuzz pedal is on constantly

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            This is great, i see a few pups i havnt triied that i think id like and some that i think i need to revist. Thanks for the input!

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              Anybody here tried Lace pick ups?

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                Just to add I like the suhr ssh+ in mahogany, it's just a suhr Aldridge with a little less output.

                                                And the suhr ml is a great single coil too.

                                                Comment


                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by Megametal7 View Post
                                                  Anybody here tried Lace pick ups?
                                                  I haven't, I wanted to try the alumitone deathbuckers as they look so different, and have a sort of retro 50s scifi look about them. But I've heard some massively mixed reviews about them, so I didn't want to splash the cash for something I'd probably hate

                                                  Comment

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