A couple questions, what does the Super 3 sound like in basswood? Classic or Modern, dark or good highs?
Also what is your favorite neck pup in basswood?
even though the super3 is an older pickup, it has a very modern tone to it. probably why it was "discontinued" for a few years and was only available upon special request. the super3 is a very agressive pickup that is pretty focused. the lower mids are very evident and the high end is just agressive enough, not like an x2n or evo. both of which are very bright and fairly nasally with their highs...depending on the guitar can sound pretty shrill. the power of the mids for the super3 is not like that of the SS. keep in mind, the SS has scooped mids, the super3 is mainly mids. they cut through and sound amazing. rhythm tones are awesome, like i said, focused. lots of output and tone. the tone isn't as big as my tone zones in mahogany, but are big and bold. the best way to describe it is mean and ballsy. it's weird, its a high gain pickup with output at 435mv, but to me it doesn't feel as over the top. what i can describe only as perfect. the output and tone eq curve, imo, compensates for the lack of livelyness in basswood. i actually HATE basswood as a tonewood. i use mainly ash, alder, or mahogany guitars(another thread altogether). basswood is the most neutral(bland) tonewood of the production woods on the market. with the super3, it makes basswood sizzle. as far as wondering if the super3 is dark or good highs, the answer is it has both. the low end is very good, no mud, and the highs are enough to cut through without being shrill.
for my favorite neck pickup in basswood. it all depends if your talking 6 string or 7. in a six string, my favorite is the fred. i hated the fred as a bridge pickup, but used it for years as one. after i got my first tone zone, i was in love. so the fred sat in a parts box for a long time. i ended up putting the fred in the neck of an rg550 with an evo in the bridge. hated using that guitar for rhythm tracks because, imo, felt that the evo in basswood was just lacking balls. great for cutting leads because of how prominent the highs were. the fred, though, was incredible. nice and warm with solid note definition. it was a smooth neck pickup with really good output. it's basically the paf pro, just kicked up a notch. where as i am not a huge fan of the paf pro, i do like it and would not kick it out of bed, if you get my drift, but the fred in basswood is killer. it even gets harmonics easily from a neck pickup. i get them easily from natural to pinch, but the fred is so overtone ridden, they just want to pop out of the pickup. now, in the bridge, the fred does this, too, but almost to the extent of being falsely generated. in the neck, it fits PERFECTLY. with a fred/super3 rig with a coil tap for both, an rg in basswood can do almost any style of music. both pickups sound great as single coils. the fred really doesn't sound like a humbucker to begin with(as its based around the paf pro, which doesn't sound like a classic paf either), but sounds closer to one than a p90 or true single coil. when tapped, sounds very single coil like. the super3 sounds like a HUGE single coil, due to the tons of output. the super3 has the cut that makes for a suped up single coil strat, but without the shrill bite that is normally associated with strat singles.
i like the super3 so much that i have it in 3 out of 4 of my basswood guitars. the only deviation is my current rg550, but it's loaded with duncans:59 and distortion. the 3 others are: 540R, rg770dx, and HM strat. it was actually the hm that sold me on it. it rebuilt the hm that i own, and it originally had a crappy fender proprietary H3 dimarzio, and dimarzio actually told me that they developed that pickup for the neck, but fender dropped it into the bridge, so it sucked...the second hm that i got so that i could rebuild this one had a black lace sensor red and the super3. because i had gotten rid of the H3 and didn't have any other spares, the super3 got drafted. there it stayed and flourished. i totally recommend that you at least try it. imo, it is one of the most underrated pickups ibanez makes. just because very few "stars" are using it, doesn't make it killer. when talking with dimarzio about the super3, the tech made it a point to remind me that vivian campbell it using it now. viv used to use(endorse/designed) the duncan full shred. dimarzio didn't need to convince him to switch, the super3 in phil collen's jackson's did. it is a pickup that speaks for itself.