Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia/NYC areas
Help choose pickups for RG550 + Mesa DC-5
OK, My first guitar gene splicing experiment in preparation for my ultimate R540 Radius experiment...
Basswood body RG550/570 of '87 or so vintage. It is ambiguous because it has a rosewood wizard neck with dot inlays, but doesn't seem to match any 570 I ever saw or heard of, so I think it's a 550 that a previous owner neck swapped - but I digress.
Have Mesa Boogie Dual Caliber DC-5 and I'm finally figuring it out (and it's the easy to dial mesa!) I also have a '65 RI Fender Deluxe Reverb on loan to me for a month or so...
My other guitars all have **** pickups, so no comparisons there.
I'm experimenting and learning different styles and tones (hence versatile amp choice) So I'm trying to avoid anything too high output. Surf-texas-punk->Horton heat, Satch, Santana, Gibbons, All the classics, Mahavishnu Fusion, Andy timmons, SRV, Hendrix, Keith Richards, Jazz-ish. Now I'm not expecting all that in one pickup but just an idea where I'm livin'.
So here goes. The RG55(7)0 in question came to me loaded with Seymour Duncan Custom (Trembukers?) TB-11 in both neck and bridge. Wholly **** they sounded awful. Absurdly, harsh, hairy all high/mids no warmth or bass at all. I couldn't EQ my way out of hell.
Now here is my confusion: I have read that TB11 pickups are good for bright guitars. Is this a bright guitar? Is my amp Dark, bright or indifferent? I don't know how to tell, it is very versatile with Gain stage tone stack and post gain stage EQ. According to SM site the TB11 is crazy high biased with ratings of 3-7-7 for low-mid-high, which fits my experience. Why would you take an already bright sounding guitar and exaggerate it more with a pickup that is so extremely high EQ shifted? What am I missing?
I've had a lot of people recommend the JB (TB-4) pickups, and since the TB11 sounds like a hotted up JB, I'm wondering if that would be better but similarly awful...
I was only looking into SD as I only have experience with Dimarzio pickups. I'm playing with a super distortion, fred, and paf pro in other guitars and plant to try the paf joe and mo' joe's if i ever find some cheap.
Thanks helping a NooB!