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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,518
Re: Advice on new pickups!

If you get a sufficiently strong enough humbucker, a split coil may have enough of the characteristic to make the guitar work.

My current LTD Viper 301 has two relatively strong enough ceramic, passive humbuckers (EMG HZ 1 model) and when split, they get a good single coil tone. The humbucker tone is a little oversaturated and lacks the definition of vintage passive humbuckers like the Seth Lover PAFs especially on an all mahogany guitar with rosewood fretboard.

Therefore, I only play this guitar in split coil mode and I don't find I am lacking in any power. I pretty much treat it like any strat and it works like them with high end and percussive attack.

But if you have a Seth Lover PAF, or reissue, as I had one of each in my old guitar, splitting them leaves an underpowered, weak signal too anemic for lead guitar work.

Gilmour loved the emg SA single coil and that has a lot of balls so make sure your split humbucker is at least a Duncan Distortion or DiMarzio EVO or in that medium high to high output range.

Sometimes however you can have the least Gilmour like setup with guitar and pickups yet still get his sound, so check this out: (Part of the trick around 0.38 and 1:30 is the pick attack where the very tip attack with more percussion can make the lead humbucker pickup sound quite a bit like a stratocaster). There's no mud or growl and while it's not easy to do with distortion on a humbucker, it's still possible as this master shows us. If you can get that tone with an SG, which as a model is closely associated with AC/DC, then your metal related RG can tone it down too and get that classic rock Gilmour tone. Gilmour himself uses vintage Fender pickups as well as the hot and midrange induced EMG signature set and while both very different, he still gets his certain sound.

Here's a different attack, but still the Gilmour sound, and on an RG:

I like the attack of the early part of the solo on the first video and the latter parts of the solo from the second video. Also what both players wisely employ is the deep left hand tremolo technique to get that Gilmour like expression. The secret is how both end the Gilmour phrases which lends to that signature. I don't know if you know that but sometimes those tips help more than the actual pickups themselves.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 03-01-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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