Username: Password:

Author Topic: High output vs low output  (Read 21981 times)

Doadman

  • Guest
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2010, 06:47:28 PM »
This thread has really got me thinking about my own preferences in pickups. I play Rock based covers from Free to Black Sabbath and Metallica and I generally push the gain further than on the original song so typically I'd play Thin Lizzy with more Metallica like gain levels.

As a result, I've only ever looked at pickups from the contemporary section and always gravitated towards ceramics because I like a very articulated sound and no mush, however, I used to own a Richie Sambora Strat that I loved the tone from and I'd always assumed it was a Super Distortion in the bridge (hot ceramic) but in actual fact, it was a DiMarzio PAF Pro (low output Alnico V). It seemed to play some great distorted tones that were rich, warm and defined, even through an amp significantly worse than the one I have now. This got me thinking about guitarists whose tone I like. Sure, I like the tight distortion of bands like Bullet for my Valentine, but the core tone they have is a little too generic and sterile for me. Conversely, I love the tone of Santana, Orianthi, Slash, Gary Moore and John Sykes, even though I'd want to use that tone with more gain while keeping it tight. These artists would seem to suggest something slightly more vintage so now I have no idea what to look at in pickups; contemporary or Vintage Hot? Ceramic or Alnico V? Is there a pickup that does everything I've just mentioned? The Miracle Man seems a popular choice in my guitar but perhaps it's not for me. Maybe Holy Diver or is that too bassy to remain articulate? Crawler? Emerald? I have absolutely no idea anymore so I think I'll have to go away and give it some careful thought  :(
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 06:49:01 PM by Doadman »

MDV

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 6945
  • If it sounds good it IS good
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2010, 07:10:01 PM »
Paragraphs, dude, paragraphs.

If I were in your boat would actually go with the lower output pickup through high gain amp thing. Then you have the more open and lush sounds of the lighter stuff youre after, but you can still get the "Woahh, lots of clipping!" off the gain of the amp, even if the lower output pickups dont have a voicing/dynamics thats well suited to metal.

I'd be looking at Mules at the bottom end of the power to nailbombs at the top. I'd keep it A5, too. Doesnt do precision metal as well, but is better at keeping things a bit more open and smooth while still having the cut and grunt to metal up.

Doadman

  • Guest
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2010, 08:34:31 PM »
Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. It sounds like I'm looking for something that has a bit of a vintage PAF feel to it but with the most cut and definition I can get from a non-ceramic pickup. The Mule seems to be Alnico IV and I don't think the Riff Raff is what I'm after but clips I've heard from the Emerald sound tasty, the Crawler seems pretty sweet and I know Antag raves about a Holy Diver in an SL3 too. I thought I'd read a thread somewhere that suggested a Nailbomb wouldn't be ideal in an SL3 but I may be wrong in that.

MDV

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 6945
  • If it sounds good it IS good
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2010, 11:22:28 PM »
I havent used mules.

I've used nailbombs and crawlers pretty extensively though. Both are versatile enough as hot-pafs. The nailbomb is much more of a metal pickup that 'can also do....' where the crawler sounds more authentic on old-school bluesy rock but can also do metal.

I'd beware its REALLY mid heavy and somewhat tailed off top end voicing though. I dont imagine its to all tastes.

HD looks like a fair bet on paper and from descriptions, but I've never tried one in the bridge. Certainly the neck fits the bill.

Doadman

  • Guest
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2010, 11:27:23 PM »
Any ideas what the Emerald would sound like in the bridge of a maple thru-neck with alder body wings? The clips I've heard sound fantastic but they're invariably in a Les Paul. I love the sound of a Les Paul (Slash, Gary Moore, John Sykes) but I just don't like playing them.

MDV

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 6945
  • If it sounds good it IS good
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2010, 11:30:21 PM »
Not a clue, sorry.

gwEm

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7452
    • http://www.preromanbritain.com/gwem
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2010, 11:57:34 PM »
I used to own a Richie Sambora Strat that I loved the tone from and I'd always assumed it was a Super Distortion in the bridge (hot ceramic) but in actual fact, it was a DiMarzio PAF Pro (low output Alnico V).

i find the paf pro pretty sterile clean though, surprisingly.
Quote from: AndyR
you wouldn't use the meat knife on crusty bread but, equally, the serrated knife and straight edge knife aren't going to go through raw meat as quickly

_tom_

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 8842
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2010, 12:04:38 AM »
I am finding myself gravitating to slightly higher output pickups now. Seems to work better with my amp - the gainier output seems to give a better feel than lower output pickups. I compensate with the gain levels on the amp so they sound around the same, it's just that the preamp is being driven a little harder by one set which seems to make a difference. Or maybe I'm imagining it.

gwEm

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7452
    • http://www.preromanbritain.com/gwem
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2010, 12:11:48 AM »
I am finding myself gravitating to slightly higher output pickups now. Seems to work better with my amp - the gainier output seems to give a better feel than lower output pickups. I compensate with the gain levels on the amp so they sound around the same, it's just that the preamp is being driven a little harder by one set which seems to make a difference. Or maybe I'm imagining it.

maybe you aren't - i really like the sound of miracle men with mid levels of gain for example
Quote from: AndyR
you wouldn't use the meat knife on crusty bread but, equally, the serrated knife and straight edge knife aren't going to go through raw meat as quickly

Doadman

  • Guest
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2010, 07:18:57 AM »
I certainly think that I need something more powerful than a PAF Pro these days but possibly not as hot as a contemporary ceramic. I guess I'm looking for a pickup that has the best of both worlds so I can get that lovely vintage PAF-type tone but still retain a cutting bass response so it stays articulate. Reading about the possible candidates on this forum, and I've read loads of threads, I'm inclined towards either the Emerald or Crawler but I'm also looking at a Holy Diver based on Antag's enthusiasm for that pickup in an SL3. The problem of course is that maple neck-thru guitars with an alder body and OFR with either Emeralds or Crawlers are pretty thin on the ground here  :( so when the time comes it will have to be down to Tim's opinion. Fortunately I have 100% faith in him  :D

Pale Rider

  • Bantamweight
  • **
  • Posts: 200
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2010, 11:02:14 AM »
The Holy Diver can give you John Sykes tone, like in 1987. Think of Children of the Night etc. For Slash it might be a bit tight but then again if you like a rocking sound with tightness, that's what it is.

I was in the exact same situation as you are now about the tone of PAFs and the feel of contemporaries. I can totally hear you there. Testing Duncans, DiMarzios and Bill Lawrences back and forth. High output, low output. PAFs, Hot PAFs, Virtual PAF Hots, the Duncan Custom, Custom 5.....................I finally found BKPs which are contemporaries that sound and feel f___ing incredible. ;)

I thought I was after the PAF sound but in fact I was after the scatterwound/mismatched coil sound...it took me 7 years to find out.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 11:05:59 AM by Nuke »
Painkiller :: Miracle Man :: Holydiver :: Trilogies

::::::::::::::: ME(N)TAL DISTORTION ::::::::::::::

BigB

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Let's rock !
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2010, 12:41:34 PM »
Any ideas what the Emerald would sound like in the bridge of a maple thru-neck with alder body wings?

Not the slightest clue - but I know how a Crawler bridge sounds like on a maple thru-neck (rosewood fretboard) with maple wings, and I find the "mid-heavy" and "somewhat tailed off top end" actually helps on this guitar - at least if you like thick (yet still sharp) crunchy riffs and warm singing leads.

My 2 cents...
Have: Crawlers, BGF 50/52s, Mules, ABomb, RiffRaff
Had : Slowhands (n&m), Trilogy (b)

Doadman

  • Guest
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #42 on: November 24, 2010, 03:49:19 PM »
That sounds very encouraging  :D

So that's both Nuke and Antag rate the Holy Divers very well and clearly the Crawler will also work well so it would appear that my interpretation of the threads I've read are accurate. I can only imagine that the Emerald would also be a good choice in that case. I'm really grateful that this thread has made me question my own preconceived ideas about pickups and the sound I want. I was recently going to pull the trigger on a Miracle Man and Trilogy Suites but had to postpone the purchase due to the inevitable pressures of Xmas. I was gutted at the time but now it feels like it's the best thing that could have happened. Now all I need is to start saving again and email Tim as soon as I have the money and see what he thinks.

Telerocker

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7404
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #43 on: November 24, 2010, 10:02:43 PM »
Crawler works very well in my swampash-strat. Thick, warm, emphasis on the lower mids, smooth topend, but not dull. I guess a Holy Diver would do fine too.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

Alex

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2004
Re: High output vs low output
« Reply #44 on: November 24, 2010, 11:25:24 PM »
I feel the Holy Diver has a very hot signal, but also quite clear. It sounds powerful because it is fat and has many mids, driving the preamp, but really isn't that hot.
Current BKPs: Miracle Man, Nailbomb, Juggernaut, VHII
Past BKPS: Holy Diver, Trilogy Suite, Sinner, Black Dog