I want to replace pickups in Bigsby equipped guitar - Jemsite
Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
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I want to replace pickups in Bigsby equipped guitar

I had an LTD/ESP Viper 301 with hot, passive EMG-HZ H1s with tune-o-matic and stop tailpiece and it sounded great with Marshalls and also small 15 watt transistor practice amp. The sound is in between a tame PAF and that of a hotter Duncan JB model.

However, when I removed the tailpiece and added a Bigsby B5/B50, it lost a lot of its sustain and depth of tone. I love the Bigsby to death and wanted to get that full humbucker tone with Bigsby and was wondering what one would suggest? When I split the pickup with coil tap, the single coil tone is great, but when back to humbucker mode, the Bigsby is too noticeable.

I previously had the same Bigsby bridge on a tele and it didn't sound any different than the standard setup teles I had. The Fender single coil tone was still the same on all fronts and maybe there was a tad bit less sustain. But for the EMG passive humbuckers, it took the life out of them. My guess is that the high frequency tones cut through whatever bridge is there but somehow the midrange punch and growl of a humbucker is negatively affected by the Bigsby. The only humbucker I know that sounds the same Bigsby or not is the Gretsch humbucker. The same tone sucking effect happened in the past with me with ANY pickup and the addition of a Kahler locking tremolo system, save EMG active pickups.

What to do?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:46 PM
 
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Re: I want to replace pickups in Bigsby equipped guitar

Try a fat sounding pickup like a Seymour Duncan Custom or a DiMarzio Tone Zone and see if they help maybe.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I want to replace pickups in Bigsby equipped guitar

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Try a fat sounding pickup like a Seymour Duncan Custom or a DiMarzio Tone Zone and see if they help maybe.
While I love the single coil tone, I could keep the neck pickup as is and play in single coil mode as I do anyway all the time and get a more midrange filled bridge pickup.

The Tone Zone's description seems to show it has a lot of output and can thicken things up. The EMG passives seem so weak even though their active pickups are so well known for output and clarity. I haven't heard that much of the Duncan Custom and I wonder if it is as hot, or hotter, than the JB and can keep up the middle.

With the Bigsby, the middle gets sucked out of the humbucker and thus the note definition on many riffs. I could move the Bigsby closer and get back some sustain but I like the B5 way back like on the Rick 325 and the overall slinky feel that all that string allows for behind the bridge.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 03:31 AM
 
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Re: I want to replace pickups in Bigsby equipped guitar

I'm wondering if something hot with a spike in the mids, like a Super 3, Gravity Storm, or Evo would bring your midrange back to the front.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I want to replace pickups in Bigsby equipped guitar

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverctr View Post
I'm wondering if something hot with a spike in the mids, like a Super 3, Gravity Storm, or Evo would bring your midrange back to the front.
I hope to get that midrange power back, which is most lacking in my practice/jazz amp, but with drummer's 3 Marshalls there has to be a way to dial sustain and midrange back in.

While a scooped mid sound, done by the Bigsby, is not perfect for jazz I would like to get back those traditional humbucker mids with one of those midrange heavy pickups you mentioned.

I realize one guitar can't get it all, thus the many players who won't do Bigsbys and Kahlers, or any other part that cuts out sustain.

The only guitar I have seen that can do jazz, traditional rock, heavy metal, and even amplified acoustic is actually the high end Parker Fly. You can get every subtle tone out of that thing and dial in anything almost as if the thing were a digital keyboard. I can't afford one though and I will try and make my LTD Viper be the closest thing to my everything guitar. What would be cool, but I didn't know of, are the Ibanez Artist 300 and 400 Series reissues and the coil tap is a nice addition. An aftermarket Bigsby would be amazing on one of those and unaltered with the Vibramate mounting bracket.
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