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Author Topic: Classic Rock conversion  (Read 14522 times)

ztikmaen

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Classic Rock conversion
« on: March 28, 2011, 09:46:34 AM »
Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and it seems like the community is great here along with the pickups :D
So, I have a question. In my less mature years, I bought myself an Ibanez RG370DX (Basswood if this changes anything) and now I'm trying to convert this into a vintage classic rock machine. I want to get some nice clean sounds with good strong Mids and note definition that overdrives smoothly and clearly. I've been looking at the Black Dog and the Riff-Raff (although this one sounds quite trebley) because they have a nice rock tone. What are your thoughts on the pickups in regards to the sound and guitar?
P.S Do you guys think this guitar is decent enough to modify into a permanent workhorse or should I upgrade to a better quality sturdy mahogany guitar before upgrading pickups? If this changes anything I have a Made in America Telecaster for my single coil sounds and I promised that it would be my last workhorse but I'm a tonehead. I have a Fender Hotrod Deluxe and Hotcake overdrive xP
Lol thanks for the help guys, I'm glad I found this forum :)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 09:52:39 AM by ztikmaen »
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

Telerocker

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 09:55:07 AM »
Welcome here. BKP's will make any guitar sound better, so why not upgrade the Ibbie if you like this guitar. If your guitar is on the bright side RiffRaffs could be too bright and Black Dog chime in, cause they have strong mids. If you want more oomph but vintagecharacter, look at Crawlers.  Personally I would fav Mules, they cover anything from nice cleans, classic rock and (even) metal. Closest to a 59 PAF.
Upgrade your tele with Blackguards would really make it a versatile workhorse.  :)
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

ztikmaen

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 11:08:03 AM »
Welcome here. BKP's will make any guitar sound better, so why not upgrade the Ibbie if you like this guitar. If your guitar is on the bright side RiffRaffs could be too bright and Black Dog chime in, cause they have strong mids. If you want more oomph but vintagecharacter, look at Crawlers.  Personally I would fav Mules, they cover anything from nice cleans, classic rock and (even) metal. Closest to a 59 PAF.
Upgrade your tele with Blackguards would really make it a versatile workhorse.  :)
Okay, cool thanks :)
The Crawlers look pretty sweet (can't listen to it yet because I'm on the mobile phone in bed).  If I had to describe the sound I want it would have to be Rich, creamy, mid rangey, searing (but no icepick when clean). I want his to be my hotrod, ofcourse with some nice cleans too. I do need the "oomph" I guess. What was your opinion about the Black Dogs by the way?
The problem I have with my current pickups is they sound boring and they have cringeworthy treble peaks when played clean. So the Crawler may be something I'll look into. Also, I'm no technical guitar guy. So could I get a set of pickups (2 hummers) and install them easily if I keep the default single coil in the middle? Would that be hard to do? Thanks.
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 05:12:27 PM »
I'm no expert on these pickups but the two that leapt to my mind were Crawlers and Holydivers for the sound you described.
BKP owned:

Bridge - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; A-Bomb; Holydiver; Miracle Man; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

Neck - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; Holydiver; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

Kiichi

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 09:28:55 PM »
From my experience, the mule should be great at least in the neck for you. Bridge as well I suppose. Just has that great old school Humbucker sound with clarity and definition, warmth, great clean, great woman tone and very very versatile.
BKPs in use: 10th set / RY set / Holy Diver b, Emerald n / Crawler bridge, Slowhand mid MQ neck/ Manhattan n
On the sidelines: Stockholm b / Suppermassive n, Mule n, AM set, IT mid

ericsabbath

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 10:18:49 PM »
abraxas
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

Telerocker

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 11:58:18 PM »
Yes, Crawler, Mule, Abraxas (sort of a hotrodded Mule) deliver the tones you're after. I'm quite happy with my Crawler, but this one is in swampash, not in basswood.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

ztikmaen

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 04:54:51 AM »
Yes, Crawler, Mule, Abraxas (sort of a hotrodded Mule) deliver the tones you're after. I'm quite happy with my Crawler, but this one is in swampash, not in basswood.
Hmm that's interesting, I want a hot vintage tone but ironically there is only one "Vintage Hot" pickup lol xD
Well all the ones you guys have described seem quite popular, especially the Mule. Will it get nice overdrive tones? Which of the three is the most clear/defined? Which has the smoothest overdrive, which has the most searing? What order do they fall into when categorized into most vintage? I can't tell TOO much from the sound clips as I haven't actually played them before, but they all sound nice. Out of the 3 listed I think I have my eye on the Abraxas and Mule
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 07:37:17 AM »
The Mule is the best pickup I've ever played but I'm not convinced it's right for your guitar. I think they work great in mahogany but I think it would be a bit bright in yours. The Abraxas looks to have a better EQ, though I've never played one of those. I haven't played the Crawler either but it still seems like the best option to me as the EQ appears to suit your guitar better and while it's in the contemporary section, it does sound extremely PAF-like to me and the description I've read of a 'PAF on steroids' seems to certainly describe what I hear in clips.
BKP owned:

Bridge - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; A-Bomb; Holydiver; Miracle Man; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

Neck - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; Holydiver; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

ztikmaen

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 09:14:29 AM »
The Mule is the best pickup I've ever played but I'm not convinced it's right for your guitar. I think they work great in mahogany but I think it would be a bit bright in yours. The Abraxas looks to have a better EQ, though I've never played one of those. I haven't played the Crawler either but it still seems like the best option to me as the EQ appears to suit your guitar better and while it's in the contemporary section, it does sound extremely PAF-like to me and the description I've read of a 'PAF on steroids' seems to certainly describe what I hear in clips.
Hmm thanks for that feedback Slarti. Actually, I've now decided to put these pickups into my first guitar (which so happens to be made from Poplar :D). "Poplar is a stringy, dense, yet lightweight hardwood that is unusually resonant. Poplar, when used in solid-body electric guitars, has an exceptionally crisp sound, often described as "spirited" and "bouncy" - even "funky." Poplar guitars are ideal choices for players who favor single-coil snap and clean sound." is what a guitar buying guide said.
So it appears this guitar body has good high frequency sounds anyway, so I may go for creamier pickups. I want some nice ACDC and Led Zeppelin sounds that are rich, creamy, but still have clear note definition and attack. So at the moment the pickups that have been suggested are:
- Abraxas
- The Mule
- Crawler
Which is:
The most traditional Classic Rock voice (ACDC, Led Zep)?
The most versatile
The best cleans
Warmest etc...
Thanks for the help guys, I have so much to learn about this stuff lol so I love having opinions
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 10:31:14 AM by ztikmaen »
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

BigB

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 12:59:18 PM »
Hmm thanks for that feedback Slarti. Actually, I've now decided to put these pickups into my first guitar (which so happens to be made from Poplar :D). "Poplar is a stringy, dense, yet lightweight hardwood that is unusually resonant. Poplar, when used in solid-body electric guitars, has an exceptionally crisp sound, often described as "spirited" and "bouncy" - even "funky." Poplar guitars are ideal choices for players who favor single-coil snap and clean sound." is what a guitar buying guide said.

Ok. Now how does your own poplar guitar sounds (unplugged, that is) ? While there are generic, average trends for a given tonewood, there can be a lot of differences between two planks of the same wood - and there are other factors too (construction, neck and fretboard material etc).

Quote
So it appears this guitar body has good high frequency sounds anyway, so I may go for creamier pickups. I want some nice ACDC and Led Zeppelin sounds that are rich, creamy, but still have clear note definition and attack.

Given your above description and requirements, and given that poplar is usually described as quite close to alder,  I think you might be happy with Crawlers. FWIW, they're now listed in the contemporary section for whatever reason I can't understand, but they really have a quite vintagey feeling - think "PAFs on steroids" - and were designed to work well on strat-like guitars. They might not be "the most traditional Classic Rock" voiced of the range (nothing like, say, the Mules)  but they do indeed work JustFine for classic rock.

I'd describe them as "warm, thick yet clear and cutting" - and no it's not an oxymoron -, and they are incredibly versatile, can go anywhere from jazz to blues to reggae to rock to hard rock to almost metal, and they do it right - and that's without even splitting them, but I heard they sound great splitted too (really have to take some time and rewire these switches one day). Great clear clean tones - very sweet on the neck, more bell-like on the bridge, very nice 'quack' when both on -, great crunch tones, great overdriven tones, and the bridge is not shy when it comes to hi gain.

Oh, that's on an all-maple, going-thru neck, rosewood fretboard guitar, but from the clips and other reviews of these pups this shouldn't be too far from how they'd sound on alder or poplar or ash. They will bring some warmth and body to a bright guitar without muddying it.

FWIW, if you really want ACDC / Led Zep tones, a mahogany axe with true vintage pups is still your best option - poplar will not sounds like mahogany, period.
Have: Crawlers, BGF 50/52s, Mules, ABomb, RiffRaff
Had : Slowhands (n&m), Trilogy (b)

Telerocker

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 02:28:48 PM »
These three pu's deliver classic rock in spades. No worries about the Mule with drive/distortion. Forummember Nolly plays even metal with these. Big fat crunch tones and superb leads.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

ztikmaen

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 04:50:25 AM »
These three pu's deliver classic rock in spades. No worries about the Mule with drive/distortion. Forummember Nolly plays even metal with these. Big fat crunch tones and superb leads.
Hmm so people are leaning towards the Mule and the Crawlers. But why does nobody say anything about the Black Dogs? Are they too bright or weak or something? Just curious about that one... The description says that it's a hotrod oldschool pickup which sounds tasty when all the "muscular mids" and stuff are added in. Is it because not many people have experience with them? I'm not being biased, I just want to know :)
Also what magnet type would you guys recommend? Alnico 4 or 5?
EDIT: I have new favourite pickups lol xD I know it seems like I'm kafuffling about with my ideas, but after listening to the clean tones of the Humbuckers I've come to the decisi
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:12:43 AM by ztikmaen »
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

ztikmaen

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 09:17:45 AM »
These three pu's deliver classic rock in spades. No worries about the Mule with drive/distortion. Forummember Nolly plays even metal with these. Big fat crunch tones and superb leads.
Hmm so people are leaning towards the Mule and the Crawlers. But why does nobody say anything about the Black Dogs? Are they too bright or weak or something? Just curious about that one... The description says that it's a hotrod oldschool pickup which sounds tasty when all the "muscular mids" and stuff are added in. Is it because not many people have experience with them? I'm not being biased, I just want to know :)
Also what magnet type would you guys recommend? Alnico 4 or 5?
EDIT: I have new favourite pickups lol xD I know it seems like I'm kafuffling about with my ideas, but after listening to the clean tones of the Humbuckers I've come to the decision of getting either the Mule or the (wait for it...) ...Emerald. I haven't heard anybody mention that particular one. The cleans sound really nice on it from what I can tell from the sound clips. Also the Mule sounds so awesome and balanced. I think the Emerald sounds creamier but the Mule has better definition. So I'm really not sure now xD What are your thoughts?
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

kevinr

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Re: Classic Rock conversion
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 12:44:38 PM »
We all have different tastes, I don't like AIV much! I much prefer AV! however others choose 4 over 5! I'm sure that any of the pups that have been recommended to you will knock you out! I have most of the AV range and I swing from one to another, the Black Dog bridge is for sure a favourite as is the Emerald, VHII, HD, NB and Crawler bridge, take your pick you wont go wrong with any! you will just want more! and more...