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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I have a Steve's Special for bridge and Air Norton for neck pickups and I was wondering which would sound better, if I put it in an HH Ibanez RG or an Ibanez Destroyer which is mahogany? I'm going for a "newer" metal sound good for shredding and sweeps, I'm not too big on the older metal sounds or even the really distorted sounds. To be more specific, I'd like it to sound a lot like Sonata Arctica, just in case of any of you know of em. :)
 

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I have a SS and an AN direct mount in solid mahogany... They sound great in that combination... the SS is particularly enhanced by being direct mount as it feels to me like its more responsive...

as an aside, I personally have gone off the air norton cause you lose definition at speed, you get that petrucci esque wash/wall of sound above 10 notes/second. Of course the upside of that is your mistakes are covered up and you sound like you playing more notes!
 

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Devo said:
I have a SS and an AN direct mount in solid mahogany... They sound great in that combination... the SS is particularly enhanced by being direct mount as it feels to me like its more responsive...

as an aside, I personally have gone off the air norton cause you lose definition at speed, you get that petrucci esque wash/wall of sound above 10 notes/second. Of course the upside of that is your mistakes are covered up and you sound like you playing more notes!
i have the air norton in the neck of my rg570 and it is a nice pickup, you can get the shreder style neck sound pertty good, mine doesn't blur too much i think it depends on your settings but mahogany is a very mid resonate wood, so sometimes a pickup with alot of mids in a mahogany guitar may not be a better combination.
 

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fair point and your probably right... but to my ears the AN in my strat sounds the exactly same... where as the SS in a scratch mounted RG i had a few years back sounded not very nice at all...
 

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Any of you guys tried this same combo in an alder body? I have an RG570CT which is alder, and I'm trying to decide whether to put the Steves/AN combo in it, or else a TZ/PAF-Pro. I have those 4 pickups already, but can't decide where to use them.
Cheers,
Bert
 

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I have little bit same kind of situation. I have a Jackson Soloist copy called Seattle and it has alder or basswood body with quilted maple top and i am also thinking of Steve's Special/Air Norton or Tone Zone/PAF Pro combination. But i am pretty sure bridge pickup will be Steve's Special because i think it would suit very well for me, but not sure about neck pickup.
 

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I own an ibanez JPM guitar, with offcourse the air norton in it. and in spite a lot of critique on this forum I stay true to that pickup. I believe it's more of a preamp thing. For a rough idea of how the pickup can sound, watch the "live in tokio" dvd/video ( images and words, not the new one ). You will notice john has a very nice "round" sound that still cuts through. I for one don't like a harsh, grainy high end.
Do the fast, low notes cut as well as the higher notes ? no
for me, that's not a problem, I think above a certain speed, there is no more melody in a guitar line, it's more of an effect. A way to get to a certain note so to speak.
If you want the low riffs/licks to cut, just switch to the steve special and off you go !

Want to play jazzy clean things ? Drop your tone control and off you go with the air norton.

Want your tapping and legato to sound cool ? Crank up the gain and air norton pulls it off !

Simply said : I love the round, singing, melodic tone of the air norton on high gain melodic solo's with some fast licks.
 

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stratoskier said:
Any of you guys tried this same combo in an alder body? I have an RG570CT which is alder, and I'm trying to decide whether to put the Steves/AN combo in it, or else a TZ/PAF-Pro. I have those 4 pickups already, but can't decide where to use them.
Cheers,
Bert.
I used to have a Tone Zone in my Ibanez which had mahogany wood and found it too mid ranged for my liking, but swapped it out for a Steve's Special and my god, does it sound great. Smooth runs and great rhythms. that Ibanez now currently uses the Air Norton/Blue Velvet/Steve's Special and it's a great combination, and EL-CeeDee has just described what I feel about the Air Norton too.

Anyway, I took that Tone Zone and placed it into my Strat, which has Alder Body and It really shines. Giving you the right amount of thickness in tone, whilst sustaining some highs, as the TZ is quite mid ranged. I find it well balanced in the strat. The guitar has the CHopper in the neck, which has an Air Norton feel, with warm jazzy cleans but also gives it that round sound. I was looking into the Pro Track, which is meant to sound like a PAF, but the chopper gives a more single coil feel. But enough about that, I personally wood go for Paf Pro/Tone Zone in the Alder body, but hey, it's personal preference at the end of the day. If you don't like it in alder, change them out for the AN/SS. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
artificial infection said:
I used to have a Tone Zone in my Ibanez which had mahogany wood and found it too mid ranged for my liking, but swapped it out for a Steve's Special and my god, does it sound great. Smooth runs and great rhythms. that Ibanez now currently uses the Air Norton/Blue Velvet/Steve's Special and it's a great combination, and EL-CeeDee has just described what I feel about the Air Norton too.

Anyway, I took that Tone Zone and placed it into my Strat, which has Alder Body and It really shines. Giving you the right amount of thickness in tone, whilst sustaining some highs, as the TZ is quite mid ranged. I find it well balanced in the strat. The guitar has the CHopper in the neck, which has an Air Norton feel, with warm jazzy cleans but also gives it that round sound. I was looking into the Pro Track, which is meant to sound like a PAF, but the chopper gives a more single coil feel. But enough about that, I personally wood go for Paf Pro/Tone Zone in the Alder body, but hey, it's personal preference at the end of the day. If you don't like it in alder, change them out for the AN/SS. :)
Does the Steve's Special in a mahogany body have a strong scoop of the mids or is it suttle? Because I keep hearing from people that mahogany is midrangey, but when I read wood descriptions it says its a very low and low mid sounding wood.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm looking to have a somewhat nice scoop of the mids and wondering if I should have an Ibanez basswood or mahogany for that particular sound.
 

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the steve's special is a really clean pickup...i don't own any, but have played several jpm's. it sounded a bit scooped to my ears and has quite a bit of definition. i like a bit more dirt in my tone, whereas that pickup is tight. the air norton feels different in a basswood axe than a mahogany axe. the air norton smears better in mahogany and is a lot looser than in basswood as is with most. the air norton also is way fatter in mahogany, as is true with the same comment earlier. don't let that discourage you, though, the air norton is way fat in basswood as well.

rich
 

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I use it mostly with a lot of chorus for that 1980's arpeggiated chord clean tone. The output lowers a bit in this setting. It almost sounds digital and lacks punch. Great for backgrounds, not really suited for clean leadwork ( at least, not without a lot of EQ'ing ). It is really fun to play with a mild to medium distortion to get a twangy, but clean distortion. Nice for SRV stuff when you're too lazy to grab your strat. Even while recording I sometimes substituted my strat with the JPM, just because of the higher output and more cleannes.
 

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I've used the PAF Pro in a lot of different guitars in both neck and bridge positions, and for the most part I've been satisfied, but I've found that in Basswood it tends to exaggerate it's treble. Right now I have two in my RG 550 and I'm not satisfied with them, though they do get the job done. I've been thinking about getting an SS because it had a lot of low end and leaving the PAF pro in the neck but I think that I may check out the AN because I love the 80's clean sound and I can use it for jazzy sounds. The PAF Pro sounds too shrill for jazzy stuff to my ears anyway.
 

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EL-CeeDee said:
For a rough idea of how the pickup can sound, watch the "live in tokio" dvd/video ( images and words, not the new one ). You will notice john has a very nice "round" sound that still cuts through.
Btw, John had tone zone and humbucker from hell, on his guitar at that tour.
I remember from a guitar player magazine around '94.
Steve's special and Air Norton wasn't introduced before 1995 according to DiMarzio's website.

But back to topic. SS/AN in mahogany is great.

Just my 2c
 
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