DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

I'm purchasing some tester pickups for my RG550 (Three, to save on shipping) to see what tones I like, kinda tired of the Super 3 in there.

I like a bitey tone, with more treble than mid, and more mid than bass.

So far I'm looking at...

Super II
D Activator Neck
D Activator Bridge
X2N

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

The 550s are made of basswood, correct? I tried an X2N in my 560 (hss config, basswood) and thought the bass wasn't quite tight enough for my rhythm playing. Still, yes it definitely was extremely high gain and metal oriented, but seemed to lack chunky palm muting. Treble/presence seemed the be the least prominent frequency I heard out of the pickup. I've since took it out of my RG; it could have been my setup, and of course my "ears" aren't your "ears". Chuck Schulinder (Death) and Michael Romeo (Symphony X) both have used the X2N, so keep that in mind.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

I figured the X2N Would lack a lot of bass, judging mostly by the sound of Deaths cds...Thanks a bunch for your input man, very appreciated! Right now it sounds like I'll be getting a Super II, D Activator Bridge, and a Tone Zone (just to see if the tone it gives off is good enough to sacrifice my love for high / mid focused pups).

Anyone else tried any of these pups?

EDIT: Yes it is Basswood. With a maple neck/fretboard!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Ok, I ordered a Super II for my shreddy/metal stuff and a breed for my clean, slightly gainy but still might need to be metally stuff. Both F-Spaced in pink. Should turn out nice I hope!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 01:28 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Actually, I meant the X2N had a LOT of bass (maybe too much), but it wasn't the punchy kind of bass that made your palm mutes thump. It's definitely not a thin or tinny sounding pickup, it's meaty. It just lacked clarity for me, with my setup. I'm playing through a Marshall 1960A cab if that helps, which is rather scooped and strong in bass response itself.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Hmm I might order one down the line then. Thanks a bunch! If I don't like the Super 2 I'll exchange it for an X2N, unless something else catches my eye.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

I have an X2N in my 550, and it's ok...If I had it to do over again, I would probably go for something different.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 03:55 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

The Super 2 is just a Super Distortion might, give ya what you want...

ToneZone will have a booming low End think of a Nike symbol for tonal curve...

I liked the BREED Neck but not the bridge so much..

X2n will depend on your guitar
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 05:07 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Can I make something clear....

'Gain' is the amount of gained Db from the input to the output of the amp, the more gain there is the more it will distort. This means that if you use a high power pickup (like the ones you're talking about), the differential between input and output is less and there will be less Gain from the amp.

So if you want a "High Gain" pickup then you should be looking at a lower powered pickup to maximize the differential and get more gain.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 09:06 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crevis View Post
Can I make something clear....

'Gain' is the amount of gained Db from the input to the output of the amp, the more gain there is the more it will distort. This means that if you use a high power pickup (like the ones you're talking about), the differential between input and output is less and there will be less Gain from the amp.

So if you want a "High Gain" pickup then you should be looking at a lower powered pickup to maximize the differential and get more gain.
This is not how it works. High output pickups overload the first gain stage of an amp(more so with tube amps), somewhat like putting a clean boost or overdrive in front of it. It will not lower the gain/distortion of your amp.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-13-2007, 05:26 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Tone zone and EVO2!
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-13-2007, 05:42 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Quote:
Originally Posted by toshiro View Post
This is not how it works. High output pickups overload the first gain stage of an amp(more so with tube amps), somewhat like putting a clean boost or overdrive in front of it. It will not lower the gain/distortion of your amp.
A high powered pickup will overload the circuit making it distort but that is not the same as distortion from gain. Try it out, use an EMG and a mid powered passive pickup through the same rig with the same settings and the EMG will distort less than the mid powered passive, then play clean and (depending on your amp) the EMG will distort the clean channel from overloading it whereas the other won't.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-13-2007, 09:23 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crevis View Post
A high powered pickup will overload the circuit making it distort but that is not the same as distortion from gain. Try it out, use an EMG and a mid powered passive pickup through the same rig with the same settings and the EMG will distort less than the mid powered passive, then play clean and (depending on your amp) the EMG will distort the clean channel from overloading it whereas the other won't.
I have 4 guitars here, each with different level output passive pickups. More winds, hotter pickup, more compression = hits the front end of your amp harder causing more compression in the amp and more saturation in the gain. Period.

EMGs work like they do because they have a built-in preamp and compress the crap out of the tone. That tightness, or seemly clearer gain, you hear using them is why they have a strong love/hate following. I hate the things, but they don't lower the gain.

High gain pickups do not lower the gain coming out of your amp. Most, if not all, high gain tube amps use a cascading gain stage system, where one stage overdrives the next. If you increase the gain and distortion going into the amp you will compress and overdrive the input stage, there-by increasing the compression and gain throughout the whole circuit..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimarzio FAQ
What is a distortion pickup?

All magnetic pickups produce a clean signal with no distortion. Distortion is produced either in the amplifier or in effects pedals or rack effects. When a pickup is said to produce distortion, it indicates a pickup with high output, which more easily drives amplifiers into distortion. An amplifier with a totally clean channel or clean setting may not distort at all, even with a high output pickup.

Too much distortion?

It's also true that using a high-output or "distortion" pickup with the lead channel of a very high-gain amp may create an extremely distorted sound, to the point where individual notes have reduced definition and chords blur together. The best way to reduce the amount of distortion in this situation is by lowering your amp's preamp volume or first gain control.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seymour Duncan's FAQ

What is the difference between low, medium and high output pickups?


There are a couple of differences. Low output pickups drive the front end of your amp less and tend to produce a more bluesy or more vintage distortion. They have a very open feel to their tone. High output pickups drive your amp harder and can sound more compressed with a tighter feel. Also, higher output pickups with the same magnet type tend to sound darker because the resonant frequency of a larger coil is lower than that of a smaller coil. Medium output pick ups tend to fall somewhere in between depending on their magnet and wire type.
If what you say is true, that running a hotter signal into the amp lowers gain, running a boost pedal like a TS9 in front of an overdriven amp would get you less gain/distortion. That is 100% false(tube, digital, or solidstate).

Now some people prefer the tone of a high gain amp with a mid or low output pickup. That's a preference and tonal thing, not a gain issue. Others prefer the tone of a high output pickup, or boost pedal, slamming a lower gain amp, or one with the gain rolled back. Using a SuperD, X2N, or Evolution is not going to lower the gain in any amp I've ever played through.

Last edited by toshiro; 09-13-2007 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Added Duncan quote
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-13-2007, 10:51 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

I think that seymour duncan faq goes for single coils though not humbuckers. Aren't humbuckers the opposite?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-13-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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Re: DiMarzio's Three Best High Gain Pickups!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister CCJ View Post
I think that seymour duncan faq goes for single coils though not humbuckers. Aren't humbuckers the opposite?
No, but single coils can actually be louder due to the lack of frequency cancellation. Humbuckers lose certain frequencies due to being humcancelling. This is why single coil humbuckers don't sound like true single coils, and why pickup manufacturers have spent years trying to make some that do.

This is actually pretty basic stuff, but in an era where high gain amps are the norm, the original purpose of high output pickups, like the Super Distortion, has been lost.
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bass response , boost pedal , breed bridge , bridge pickup , bridge position , distorted tone , high gain amp , high output pickups , jackson dinky , magnetic pickups , maple neck , michael romeo , neck position , nuno bettencourt , output pickup , palm mute , palm muting , seymour duncan , super distortion , tone zone , tube amp , tube amps

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