Hey guys! I have my eyes set on a 'Jackson DK2M Pro Series Dinky' (check link at the bottom) and I really want to make some improvements on it once I get it. Okay, so the guitar comes with Seymour Duncan pickups (TB4 and SH2N). I was thinking of replacing them with DiMarzio pups. I play for a progressive metal band and I want to have that crazy, heavy rhythm and a good lead-ish pickup that also has a beautiful/smooth clean. I’m pretty convinced that the X2N is the right bridge pup that can give me that heavy sound. But, I’m having a hard time finding a good PASSIVE neck pup that can complement the X2N and give me that clean sound. Basically, I want a versatile pickup combo that has very little downside and that produces a good overall sound (I don’t want a one-trick pony).
I was browsing on the DiMarzio site and I found Tone Guides for every single pickup that they had to offer. Should I try to equalize the two pickups? Like, get a bridge pup that has high gain and a neck pup with high treble? Anyway, I hope to hear from you guys soon and I would like to thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.
Here’s the link to the guitar: http://www.activemusician.com/item--...Guitar+-+Black
Besides changing the pickups, I might put in an Original Floyd Rose Tremolo to add the icing to the cake. Oh, and I play on a tube amp (if that changes anything).
PS. I plan on dropping every string one whole step.
Here are some things to consider. These are all based upon what I know and the opinions I've formed based upon that.:
Default output levels
Your neck pickup needs to be lower output than your bridge, since the neck position has higher output by default. Yet, the bridge can't have an output too much at variance with the neck pickup's output or else you end up with a significant volume drop when you switch to the neck positions. Likewise, if you think you're "balancing" by getting the same output neck pickup as the bridge, you'll probably end up with a jump in volume when you switch to the neck pickup.
Another mistake people often make is to think "Hmmm, the neck pickup is a bass position, so I'll get a bassy pickup". Wrong. If you do that, since the neck position is a "bass" position, you'll muddy it up by getting a fat bassy pickup. For clarity and more articulated attack go with something that leans on the treble a little bit.
What I usually do is get a bridge position pickup that has a good fat tone with decent mid's and bass and I get a neck position pickup that brightens up a little bit. An example of this is the Tone Zone in the bridge and the PAF Pro in the neck. Yet, there are about a zillion different possibilities.
The importance of your guitar's wood and what amp you're using
problem in my opinion is people not realizing how much you should
be relying on wood selection and amp for your sound as opposed to pickups. That goes without mentioning that much of the sound is also in your fingers. You've got an alder body and a maple neck on that thing so it's already going to be a little bright. Hence, you can get away with some more bassy/mid'ish pickups as opposed to if you had a mahogany bodied guitar.
You mention that you play on a tube amp. Which amp?
I would strongly recommend against
the X2N because it is a very dirty and muddy sounding pickup that doesn't mix well with any other pickup. The Duncans that come with the guitar are probably going to be better than anything you could replace them with. They knew what they were doing when they designed it with those pickups.
If you want to go Dimarzio, a set of Breeds would go fantastic in that guitar and give you the exact sound you're looking for. The reason why I recommend both the Breed bridge and
neck is because of the Alder and Maple composition of that guitar. The bass and mids of those pickups will balance out nicely in that guitar, IMHO.
Best of luck.