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Author Topic: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius  (Read 2586 times)

RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2021, 08:09:42 PM »
Just an update to my ongoing saga; I really love the look and feel of my Mayones Regius but have struggled to get it to sound how I want:

After playing at full band volume a couple of times, the Holydiver neck pickup just isn't giving me what I wanted.  I liked that it's brighter and I can run the tone knob full open when switching between neck and bridge, but otherwise the neck pickup is kind of strident and, dare I say, sterile.  Not that it's bad, but it's not very interesting and I miss the throaty/woody sounds of a good Les Paul neck pickup, especially for bluesier rock.

SO, I've put the Emerald neck in with the Holydiver bridge now, as many people do.  I'm liking it more, but have only played at home since making the change.  The Holydiver bridge is still basically giving me what I want, and it's warm/dark enough that it pairs well with the warmer Emerald neck.  I've also done some tweaking to heights and pole pieces, and I think that the two pickups are playing really nicely together now.

This might be THE combo, we'll see; otherwise I don't want to keep buying more pickups and might try one or both of the True Grits that I bought again.  The Regius is an 11-ply neck-through guitar (the only neck-through I've ever owned), and I have a feeling that the guitar itself contributes a lot of "stiffness" and maybe some hi-fi or "sterile" character to the sound.  It's hard to describe.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 09:09:15 PM by RobAbrams84 »

Dave Sloven

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2021, 03:24:31 AM »
The only other pickup in the line that might be worth trying in the bridge position is the Miracle Man.

It is similar to the Holy Diver with more lows and low mids and more highs.  It is like a scooped Holy Diver and can be very good with neck through guitars, which can sometimes have a mid range honk

I'd be surprised if you found a better neck pickup for your needs than the Emerald.
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RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2021, 12:32:34 AM »
Well I just had an hour or so alone at home to crank up my old Blackface Pro Reverb, and I think that this is it!  The Emerald neck really brought the feel back to the guitar, it adds back the throaty, vocal quality that I was missing.  It obviously doesn't sound a lot like a Les Paul, but some of that character is there.  I could actually play blues on the neck and middle positions.  It feels responsive to touch again.

I'm still pretty happy with the Holydiver bridge, and I see what the fuss is all about with this combination now.  I'm never 100% sure until I've played with the band a few times, but I'm really liking how everything sounds and, more importantly, feels.  The Holydiver neck didn't have much feel to me.

It's funny, I was doubtful about the Emerald when I had it paired with the Alnico Nailbomb; the NB was just so aggressive and sharp to me.  I thought that I wanted a smoother/warmer bridge and brighter neck pickup, but it turns out that the Emerald neck works well as long as the bridge is smoothed out to match.  This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want, while being able to kick into 90s alternative, metal, grunge, prog, etc.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 03:46:35 AM by RobAbrams84 »

RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2021, 09:57:46 PM »
I realize that this thread has become like my own little obsessive blog, but this guitar is driving me a bit crazy...

The Emerald neck was definitely an improvement over the Holy Diver neck in terms of throatiness and for blues, though it was a bit too warm and slightly lacking highs for my tastes.  I probably would have kept it, but whenever I compared it to my Les Paul or Suhr Modern neck pickups, I much preferred the tones of those!  So to finally isolate whether it's this particular guitar, the woods, the neck-through construction, or what, I decided to order an uncovered Suhr SSV neck pickup, just like I have in the Suhr Modern.  They're both 25.5" scale and 24-fret guitars (actually I think that the Regius is 25.4"), so those variables are the same. 

After about 5 days with the SSV neck in the Mayones Regius, I think that this is my favorite choice yet!  It sounds very much like the SSV in the Suhr Modern, just ever so slightly different, which could be due to the slight variation from one pickup to another, or to the different construction and woods, I don't know.  Anyways it's close enough that I'm very happy with it. The SSV has a lot more "soul" than the Emerald or Holydiver in this guitar.  It's hard to describe, but when I crank my old Pro Reverb and play blues and bluesy rock, it's extremely noticeable.

My one complaint currently about the SSV is that the split coil tone by itself could use more output and beef.  The way my Modern is wired, you only ever use the split neck together with the middle single coil, but the Mayones is wired differently, and I'm not sure how usable the single split neck sound is to me.  It doesn't sound bad, however. 

I'm not quite sure what my next step is.  I like the Holydiver bridge a lot, possibly more than the Suhr SSH+ in my Modern.  I may keep the SSV and Holydiver bridge, but I ordered the SSV neck uncovered (to eliminate all variables) and the Holydivers with raw nickel covers.  I could order another SSV in raw nickel, or find a raw nickel cover that I could install myself.  I might just keep them mismatched.  I still may go back and put the True Grits in this guitar after a while, now that I've tried so many different pickups.  Perhaps I (or really Tim) had it right all along with his first recommendation of True Grits or Emeralds?

So to sum up for anyone with this same issue (I've read other threads elsewhere that call the Regius a sterile or clinical sounding guitar), the SSV neck so far seems to offer good clarity, a full EQ curve, plenty of output, and most importantly the "soul" and vocal quality that I found missing in the Holydiver (and, to a lesser extent, the Emerald).  It could also be that uncovered pickups work better with the Regius to my ears. 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 10:04:22 PM by RobAbrams84 »

b.gandt

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2021, 02:13:08 PM »
 "This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!
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RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2021, 04:09:21 PM »
"This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!

Well, check my previous post as I've revised my opinion.  The combo sounded good, but every time I cranked it up and compared it directly to either my R9 or Suhr Modern, I found the neck pickup lacking.  I realize that the Emerald is one of the most popular neck pickups, but to me in this guitar, it sounded too warm, too smooth, too polite if you will.  The Holydiver bridge is pretty warm, smooth, and polite (for a higher output pickup), but since it's in the bridge position it has some more natural higher-end sting on it, or whatever you want to call it.  The Emerald neck was pretty good, but for my tastes I'm finding the Suhr SSV better.  It's more even, not quite as warm and full as the Emerald, but it handles gain well and has more "sting" on the top, with more soul to me.  With a cranked up old Fender, you really feel it on bends. 

Anyway I realize that this Regius has become an obsession, but that's what happens when you get a guitar that looks and feels perfect to you, but you can't get to sound just right!  I'll get it there. 

Regarding your guitar, I've read that the Holydiver and Crawler are pretty similar, so it might not be worth swapping one for the other?  I've never tried a Crawler, but people say that it's even thicker, though not quite as tight.  The Holydiver is fairly tight to me, and is actually brighter than I was expecting based on most reviews.  At least in this guitar, it's a very full-sounding pickup that seems to do just about everything well, so I'm happy with it. 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 04:11:54 PM by RobAbrams84 »

ericsabbath

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2021, 09:10:48 PM »
"This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!

not sure I'd say the holy diver has a straight up 70's voicing, but it surely does the early Jeff Beck Tele-Gib thing
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RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2021, 02:18:34 AM »

not sure I'd say the holy diver has a straight up 70's voicing, but it surely does the early Jeff Beck Tele-Gib thing

Yeah I wouldn't say that the Holydiver has much of a 70s voicing at all, really.  When I initially wrote that, I meant that the Emerald brought in a lot more of that 70s sound.  I think I was in a bit of a honeymoon period with the Holydiver/Emerald pair, though, which wore off fairly quickly.  I do like the Holydiver bridge a lot, but it sounds more modern to me than 70s.  Possibly some of those big 80s hair-band guitar sounds, even though that's not what I use it for. 

I'm seriously considering putting the True Grits back in, at least in the neck...we'll see.  I'm sort of insane, I realize!  But I'm happy to have discovered that the SSV neck in the Regius sounds almost identical to the one in the Suhr Modern, so I think that all of my issues are solvable.  Whatever the woods or design are doing to influence the sound seems to be very very small (I'm never been a big believer in tonewoods in solid body electric guitars, anyway). 

RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2021, 09:51:23 PM »
I put the True Grit neck back in...and still preferred the SSV.  SO, I tried:

1. Seymour Duncan Jazz/JB
2. BKP True Grit set
3. BKP Emerald neck and Nailbomb bridge
4. BKP Holydiver set
5. BKP Emerald neck and Holydiver bridge
6. Suhr SSV neck and BKP Holydiver bridge
7. BKP True Grit neck and Holydiver bridge

The Suhr SSV neck is my favorite, and I actually like the Suhr SSH+ on my Modern a lot as well.  I do love the Holydiver bridge still though, I have no complaints there!  After all this, I think I'm going to go back to the Suhr SSV neck and BKP Holydiver bridge and call it done...at least for a while!


RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2021, 12:26:33 AM »
For anyone still reading, is there any reason that I might try a VHII neck?  It seems universally loved, though not always paired with the Holydiver bridge.  I'd only consider trying another neck pickup here if it's 1) less sterile and strident than the Holydiver, 2) brighter with more "sting" than the Emerald, 3) has more "soul" and is better for blues than the Holydiver, Emerald, and True Grit.

The only reasons I'm even remotely considering ordering another neck pickup are that I like that the split coil sound will be higher output, and that with another BKP pickup I can get an exact aesthetic match with raw nickel cover.

ericsabbath

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2021, 08:12:46 PM »
the neck vhII is probably the closest to the ssv
not sure I'd call it brighter than the emerald, but definitely less middy and smooth
it is surely bright, a lot like a bridge riff raff, but when installed in the bridge position
pretty balanced in the neck, like a punchier paf

but maybe you should just try a Mule
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Telerocker

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2021, 01:17:58 PM »
"This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!

Well, check my previous post as I've revised my opinion.  The combo sounded good, but every time I cranked it up and compared it directly to either my R9 or Suhr Modern, I found the neck pickup lacking.  I realize that the Emerald is one of the most popular neck pickups, but to me in this guitar, it sounded too warm, too smooth, too polite if you will.  The Holydiver bridge is pretty warm, smooth, and polite (for a higher output pickup), but since it's in the bridge position it has some more natural higher-end sting on it, or whatever you want to call it.  The Emerald neck was pretty good, but for my tastes I'm finding the Suhr SSV better.  It's more even, not quite as warm and full as the Emerald, but it handles gain well and has more "sting" on the top, with more soul to me.  With a cranked up old Fender, you really feel it on bends. 

Anyway I realize that this Regius has become an obsession, but that's what happens when you get a guitar that looks and feels perfect to you, but you can't get to sound just right!  I'll get it there. 

Regarding your guitar, I've read that the Holydiver and Crawler are pretty similar, so it might not be worth swapping one for the other?  I've never tried a Crawler, but people say that it's even thicker, though not quite as tight.  The Holydiver is fairly tight to me, and is actually brighter than I was expecting based on most reviews.  At least in this guitar, it's a very full-sounding pickup that seems to do just about everything well, so I'm happy with it.

Diver is brighter and tighter than the Crawler, which is tight enough for me, but maybe not if you want to play metal. The Crawler is more of an Uber-Mule.
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RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2021, 12:32:01 AM »
So here's the latest drama: I ordered a Suhr SSV neck in raw nickel, drilled the mounting holes slightly wider to 7/64" (I've changed pickups in this guitar so much that I know the routine), and...it doesn't fit.  The actual covered neck humbucker doesn't fit into the Regius cavity!

The covered BKPs have all required a bit of force, but they all fit.  Pretty annoying since I can't return the pickup now...

I guess I'll just keep an uncovered SSV in the neck or possibly try another BKP neck with the Holydiver.  Or perhaps I'll find a black uncovered Holydiver bridge so that it matches the SSV neck.  This is pretty annoying as I really thought that I'd finalized the pickups on this guitar!  The raw nickel SSV even matched close enough to the BKP raw nickel covers that the difference is hardly noticeable until you're very close.  Bummer.

Anyone know the closest BKP neck to the Suhr SSV neck?  I think I'll start a new thread asking that.

Edit: Just noticed that Eric suggested that the VHII might be closest to a Suhr SSV.  I already started another thread, though.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 08:15:35 PM by RobAbrams84 »

RobAbrams84

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Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2021, 07:14:25 PM »
The Final Chapter:

Because I couldn't fit a covered Suhr SSV into my Regius, I went ahead and ordered a VHII in raw nickel a month ago.  I had no complaints with the Suhr SSV at all, in fact I really love that pickup and thought that it paired very well with the Holydiver.  Still, I somehow wanted to give another neck pickup a try here, even though I've dropped a lot of money into this guitar already!  I mostly wanted the aesthetics of a raw nickel cover.  I also had the extremely strange experience of my high e-string getting stuck on the lip of the bobbin of my uncovered SSV in rehearsal last week when I was really spanking the strings hard.  I thought that I'd broken a string at first...anyway I've never had that happen before, and generally prefer covered pickups. 

I've only had it installed for a few days, and in the past I've had some definite honeymoon periods with Bare Knuckle pickups, so I don't want to jump to conclusions too quickly.  However my initial impression is that this is one of the most impressive neck pickups I've ever played!  It's just fantastic for what it does.  It splits very well, too.

The VHII sounds more different from the Holydiver bridge than the Suhr SSV did.  I'm not sure yet whether that means it's a better or worse match; for instance, both the SSV and VHII sound closer to the Holydiver bridge than the Holydiver neck does.  Sometimes you want your bridge and neck pickups to be similarly matched, and sometimes you want them to be able to provide more contrasting sounds.  The VHII and Holydiver combinations is somewhere in between those two extremes. 

Comparing the VHII to the SSV: the VHII definitely has more output, but still has excellent clarity.  Despite being higher output, it's a bit more polite than the SSV in some sense; the SSV has more sizzle/sting on top than the VHII, for sure.  The SSV sounds more raw.  The VHII is a bit smoother and warmer, though it's not nearly as warm or smoothed out as an Emerald, for instance.  The VHII has a great EQ for a neck pickup to my ears, despite being more polite than I was expecting. However with gain, that same quality that sounds polite at first turns into fluidity.  It's got a lot of "juice" and is very fluid and weighty, similar to the Holydiver bridge in that sense.  This is where it really shines to me, though the cleans are excellent as well.  I can definitely see why so many shredders love this pickup (I'm not much of a shredder myself). 

The real test is with the band of course, but I'm about 99.99% sure that THIS is my final pickup combination!  I'm loving the Holydiver bridge more and more as time goes by; it's got an excellent weight behind single notes and a great fullness to chords, is tight enough for me, and to my ears is incredibly versatile.  It's almost more of a medium output pickup than high output, definitely lower output than my Suhr SSH+ and the Alnico Nailbomb.  The Alnico Nailbomb is sometimes described as a do-it-all pickup than can handle hot blues, classic rock, and modern metal equally well, but that really wasn't my impression of it in this guitar at all.  It seemed to always want to explode into 90's and beyond hard rock and metal, and I didn't think that it had very good cleans.  The Holydiver is more versatile to me, and actually doesn't sound stuck in the 80s to me at all.  I actually don't like much 80s music of any type... 

So my original intention was to have the Mayones Regius be kind of a "Les Paul on steroids," and in some sense that's what I've got.  Now that I've had it for a while and tried various pickups in it, it's become a little more modern than I had originally envisioned.  It still does the older stuff pretty well, but I've definitely got a great guitar for Alice in Chains, Katatonia, Tool, Opeth type of stuff, all the way up to, say Plini and all but the most extreme modern sounds.  I'm really happy and it's become an excellent tool for my sonic arsenal, it has a different place than my R9 or Suhr Modern HSH (the other humbucker guitars that I have).

Just one last thing for anyone struggling with a Mayones Regius: after a lot of pickup changes I think that the guitar itself, with that 11-ply neck-thru design, has a quite fundamentally bright, tight, and somewhat clinical/sterile sound.  I can see why a lot of modern metal and prog guys favor them, just keep that in mind when looking for pickups.  I'd suggest warmer pickups than you might initially think of (that's what seems to be working for me, anyway).
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 07:20:04 PM by RobAbrams84 »