Thoughts on Artist signature pups...
I've been reading forums lately and have seen various repetitions of the question "I have so-in-so's pup in my Ibanez and I can't get it to work with my rig" or "I have so-in-so's pup in my Jackson and it sucks" and I can't help but wonder...
IMO, people are really caught up in who uses what gear. I understand it perfectly. I really dig the sound of some artists and as such tend to gravitate towards the same amps they play. It's human nature.
What I, and everyone else sometimes forget is that those artists while endorsing a given guitar/amp/pup/pick/whatever, and in the case of Dave Mustaine, all sorts of other useless garbage, don't necessarily use that stuff.
Case in point. Artist "A" goes into the studio. He plays Mesa amps, and Ibanez guitars, and has his own Dimarzio. But once in the studio, he plugs a strat into a fender amp and records his clean sounds, then plugs a Les Paul into a Diezel and records his rhythm stuff and his signature Ibanez into a Bogner to do his lead tracks. It just makes more sense. On stage he uses a bunch of his signature guitars and there are stacks of Triple Rectifiers behind hum, but that's because nobody can really tell the difference live. Recording is another ballgame.
So I'd say to the folks who are chasing the tone they hear on their favorite artists CD to beware the tendency to chase other people's recorded tones. Chances are they used $15,000 worth of amps and guitars and much more than that in studio time and professional sound engineering to get those tones. Don't assume that by buying the stuff they endorse that you're going to replicate that in your living room.
It sounds pretty elementary but after playing nearly two decades I still catch myself listening to Dream Theater's "Sacrificed Sons" and thinking "man... I need another Dual Rec!" even though I could never get my Dual rec to sound quite like JP's stuff.
I'm not sure this is in the right spot, so if not, mods feel free to move it.