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Author Topic: Suhr Doug Aldrich  (Read 17771 times)

mkh02

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Suhr Doug Aldrich
« on: March 24, 2011, 11:38:42 AM »
Hey guys just finished listening to the new Whitesnake album and it is probalbly one of the best rock albums I have heard in years.

Did some research on Doug Aldrich as I really liked his tone on the album. He has a set of pickups made by Suhr on the market and was wondering if anyone has tried them?

I bought some nailbombs last week for my Gibson Les Paul standard after months of deliberating been having some issues with them and really don't like the tone, I think they are a bit thin and weak  sounding not beefy or sustained enough.

Any thoughts on what would be closest Bareknuckle to the Suhr pickups? The neck is 9K and the bridge 17.5K. Or would they be a better purchase?


ericsabbath

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 12:21:07 PM »
I bought some nailbombs last week for my Gibson Les Paul standard after months of deliberating been having some issues with them and really don't like the tone, I think they are a bit thin and weak  sounding not beefy or sustained enough

 :lol:

the bridge nailbomb is one of the hottest and thickest sounding pickups I ever had in a les paul
and I had dozens of pickups in les pauls
the holy diver gets pretty close to his tone, but not as hot as the nailbomb

what's the amp? boosters?
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mkh02

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 12:29:46 PM »
Playing through a Carvin Vai Legacy II.

Using POD HD 500. My Ibanez Jem and Fender Strat with a Coldsweat Bridge smokes the Les Paul with Nailbombs.

Was looking for something agressive and able to do thick lead work, legato tapping fast alternative leads etc.

Just doesnt sound right too light and trebly. The Strat and the Jem have that thick lead tone with plenty of mids.

Maybe its string gauge been using 10's on the Les Paul and usually use 9's who knows!! Just dissappointed!


darkbluemurder

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 12:36:39 PM »
Hi,

Best to do a search. There are quite a few topics about the Suhr Aldrich - I know because I have researched it myself. When you do the research you will find a mention that the Nailbomb should be the closest.

I bought a pair of Suhr Aldrich pickups off ebay a few years ago. I used them in a guitar which was originally routed for P90s because that was the only guitar I could put them in - my particular pair was for direct mounting. I must say they sounded good but I was not overwhelmed. I found the neck pickup warm and singing in the highs and mids but rather muddy in the bass. The bridge pickup was OK. It sounded like a very hot PAF with a really tight bottom end but with a quite pronounced high mid peak and subdued highs.

I also bought a Nailbomb Alnico for the bridge position of my Single Cut. In that guitar this pickup sounds anything but thin. I wanted to try the Aldrich in that guitar, too, but it did not fit, so I cannot give you a direct comparison. My feeling is that in the same guitar the Nailbomb should have a little less output, a less pronounced high mid range peak which may make it appear slightly darker, and more open highs.

The amp also affects tone. Doug Aldrich uses Marshall amps modded by Cameron, Suhr and Martin Golub. These modified amps have a lot more gain than a standard 2203, let alone a 1959 amp. Gainwise you should be pretty well there with the Legacy though.

It is likely that the Nailbomb may not be the best option to you but I doubt that you would get much closer with a Suhr Aldrich. If you really narrow it down to the pickup I would look at the Holydiver. Even though it does not have more output than the Nailbomb that should not matter given the fact that the Legacy is a high gain amp, and it has a very fat tone.

Just for curiosity: what was the original pickup configuration in the LP Standard: 500T and 496R?

Cheers Stephan

 

darkbluemurder

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 12:42:18 PM »
Was looking for something agressive and able to do thick lead work, legato tapping fast alternative leads etc.
Maybe its string gauge been using 10's on the Les Paul and usually use 9's who knows!! Just dissappointed!

As an update to my previous post: bigger strings should help for a more middy tone so I would not change them to 9s unless you feel that they play too stiffly.

"Aggressive" is not the primary characteristic of the Holydiver. You may look at the Warpig.

Cheers Stephan

BigK

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 12:46:59 PM »
I bought some nailbombs last week for my Gibson Les Paul standard after months of deliberating been having some issues with them and really don't like the tone, I think they are a bit thin and weak  sounding not beefy or sustained enough

 :lol:

the bridge nailbomb is one of the hottest and thickest sounding pickups I ever had in a les paul
and I had dozens of pickups in les pauls
the holy diver gets pretty close to his tone, but not as hot as the nailbomb

what's the amp? boosters?


+1 to what Eric said. Are they definately installed right? I've got some Nailbombs and I had them in my PRS Tremonti singlecut (a USA one) which is rather bright for a les paul guitar and in the end I took them out because they were a little too thick in anything below drop D.
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Previously owned: WP, A & C-Bomb bridge, HD, CS set,

FELINEGUITARS

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 01:21:20 PM »
One pickup worth trying for a similar tone is the neck Miracle Man but used in the bridge
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ericsabbath

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 02:10:07 PM »
Playing through a Carvin Vai Legacy II.

Using POD HD 500. My Ibanez Jem and Fender Strat with a Coldsweat Bridge smokes the Les Paul with Nailbombs.

Was looking for something agressive and able to do thick lead work, legato tapping fast alternative leads etc.

Just doesnt sound right too light and trebly. The Strat and the Jem have that thick lead tone with plenty of mids.

Maybe its string gauge been using 10's on the Les Paul and usually use 9's who knows!! Just dissappointed!

my main guitar ('73 lp custom) had a nailbomb set, motor city afwayu/2nd degree black belt (which are often compared with the aldrich set), cold sweat set, aftermath/mule and now holy diver/mule

the bridge nailbomb was quite thick, edgy and LOUD
it's the loudest passive alnico bridge pickup I ever played
it worked absolutely great with the modded '77 Marshall JMP Mk2 50w I had (some high gain variation on the Jose Arredondo mod without the diodes... it was a very bright, saturated and mid heavy amp) and also with my friends ENGL Fireball based 100w amp (it actually sounds much superior to a Fireball)
but I really wanted more upper mids at the time
the neck nailbomb is indeed thin and trebly, but it was actually waaay too hot for me
something like a heavily duncan '59, with a bill lawrence treble peak

the motor city afwayu is usually compared to the aldrich on some forums, but it's said to be more growly and slightly hotter
I enjoyed the extra midrange compared to the nailbomb, but it was a bit too bloated on the low end and the mids weren't as smooth
it was bassier and middier, but wasn't hotter than the nailbomb
thicker, but not really in a good way for a les paul

the 2nd degree black belt on the neck was pretty good and balanced
a hotter, but vintage sounding paf
no downsides on this one

the bridge cold sweat was the clearest and brightest pup, but didn't sound as thick as the previous ones
it had more upper mids than the nailbomb, but no near as much low and center mids
output was about the same as the nailbomb
neck cold sweat has a similar output to the neck motor city, but a bit more midddy and more modern sounding

the bridge aftermath delivered extra output and a TON of crunchy mids
it was hotter, tighter, less bright than the cold sweat, but still quite bright
I felt that it cut a fair amount of bass, but the extra output and mids made everything thicker
picking response was too "scratchy" for me, which was actually expected, but I really wanted to try that pickup after listening to the clips
it could clean up easily, despite of the huge output, but picking response was always very edgy

the neck mule didn't match the aftermath at all, which was obviously expected, and actually what I wanted
it's warmer, less middy than the cold sweat and has a very mild output
I liked the cold sweat much better for leads, but the mule cleans up A LOT better through high gain, and that's what I needed, since I never switch channels (I only turn the boost off and pick softly or use the volume knobs)

I ordered a black dog to replace the aftermath, but it was taking too long, so I ended up trading the aftermath with my friends holy diver, since I had a scheduled recording
I had a diver in two les paul copies and a sg, and had quite different results
since, I had a very dense and bass heavy lp custom, I was expecting it to sound constipated and bloated like the motor city afwayu did
but what I got was actually really good rock sound
balanced output (less than the nailbomb, afwayu, cold sweat, and a lot less than the aftermath), just the right amount of bass, strong midrange, plenty of upper mids and a surpringly bright top
pretty much like the aftermath sounded, but warmer and without the scratchy picking
it is noticeably less loud and gainy, but when I turn my vintage maxon 6 band equalizer as a slight mid boost, right in the same settings as I was using with the aftermath, everything becomes HUGE and just as hot and aggressive as the other pickups sounded when also boosted
like I already knew, the diver is the most sensitive model when it comes to boosting
a booster really brings life to it

I'm using mostly my modded '73 Marshall JMP 50w, which is quite high gain and much thicker and smoother sounding than the previous '77 I mentioned, and I can easily pull some Aldrich tones from the holy diver with the boost on
just which I had the fingers to record something  :lol:
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 03:06:21 PM by Eric Hellstyle »
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ericsabbath

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 02:12:35 PM »
One pickup worth trying for a similar tone is the neck Miracle Man but used in the bridge

sounds great indeed, but I think the Aldrich is brighter and more edgy than that
the miracle man neck on the bridge reminded me more of a dimarzio tone zone, but without that muddy mess on the low midrange
very fat and smooth, but a bit restrained on the top end
kinda compressed, but not really HOT
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mkh02

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 02:24:02 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys very useful!

I had some capacitor/ grounding issues with the bridge pickup which seem to have sorted themselves out for the time being. But yeah installed correctly red to volume tag black and silver to back of volume pot.

I think the pickup purchase was to really give the Les Paul some life I prefer Ibanez and Fender Strats to be honest for playability and sound but playing in a classic rock band I used to get some funny looks playing Led Zeppelin with a JEM lol so decided to get a Gibson.

I genuinely don't find the guitar comfortable to play and didn't like the sound it was too vintage sounding. Sounded like Hank Marvin half the time on solos :)

My thought was to really beef it up and get some crunching chords out of it and singing tight thick leads. I was incredibly impressed with the cold sweat in my fender as it really brought the guitar to life good thick earthy tones.

Maybe it's the guitar I am battling with however it certainly rings out acoustically I am always quite surprised when I play it unplugged. My big gripe is that the strings do feel tight especially when playing high up the register there doesnt seem to be much grip for hammer ons legato etc if that makes any sense like the frets are maybe to small.

I am rambling now though lol just frustrated as want that strong Les Paul sound that everyone talks about but with a bit more aggression and thickness in it.


darkbluemurder

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 02:41:22 PM »
I had some capacitor/ grounding issues with the bridge pickup which seem to have sorted themselves out for the time being. But yeah installed correctly red to volume tag black and silver to back of volume pot.

The installation seems to be correct.


I think the pickup purchase was to really give the Les Paul some life I prefer Ibanez and Fender Strats to be honest for playability and sound but playing in a classic rock band I used to get some funny looks playing Led Zeppelin with a JEM lol so decided to get a Gibson.

I genuinely don't find the guitar comfortable to play and didn't like the sound it was too vintage sounding. Sounded like Hank Marvin half the time on solos :)

Peer pressure can be a very bad thing, and it may take guts to withstand it. My view is if you like the JEM for its playability and your tone with it for classic rock tunes, use it no matter what anyone else says.
 
My thought was to really beef it up and get some crunching chords out of it and singing tight thick leads. I was incredibly impressed with the cold sweat in my fender as it really brought the guitar to life good thick earthy tones.
I am rambling now though lol just frustrated as want that strong Les Paul sound that everyone talks about but with a bit more aggression and thickness in it.

From the descriptions the Cold Sweat does not have a strong midrange focus. It seems like the combination "middy guitar (which the LP is) plus middy amp (which the Legacy is) plus a pickup with a midrange focus (which the A-NB is to some extent) do not provide a balanced tone but an overly middy tone. To me, an overly middy tone indeed sounds thin because it's lacking bass and treble. If you want to stick to the guitar - my gut feeling rather implies that you are not really comfortable with it except for its unplugged tone - a pickup with less midrange focus could shift the tone to a more pleasing overall balance - thus making the sound fuller.

Look to the Warpig or Miracle Man. 

Cheers Stephan

ericsabbath

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2011, 03:24:46 PM »
From the descriptions the Cold Sweat does not have a strong midrange focus. It seems like the combination "middy guitar (which the LP is) plus middy amp (which the Legacy is) plus a pickup with a midrange focus (which the A-NB is to some extent) do not provide a balanced tone but an overly middy tone. To me, an overly middy tone indeed sounds thin because it's lacking bass and treble. If you want to stick to the guitar - my gut feeling rather implies that you are not really comfortable with it except for its unplugged tone - a pickup with less midrange focus could shift the tone to a more pleasing overall balance - thus making the sound fuller.

for the first time, I gotta disagree with you
right now I have a les paul with a very middy pickup, a high output equalizer pedal boosting more mids and cutting some bass, a very middy amp, with mid knob always dialed to 10, and quite middy speakers
and I gotta tell you, it sounds THICK and quite full, even though I have the bass knob on 2 and my amp doesn't have any sort of depth circuit

but for me it's still hard to imagine a strat with a cold sweat sounding thicker than a les paul with a nailbomb  :? :? :?

the warpig is more compressed and growly, but not higher output than the nailbomb, at least in my experience
miracle man is tighter and more aggressive, but didn't feel higher output (well, just a bit)

I still recommend a good analog boost, overdrive or equalizer pedal, even though the nailbomb isn't "boost dependent" like the diver
but also have in mind that each type of booster affects the tone in a different way
clean boosters in front of the amp tend to make everything thicker and louder
tube screamer type overdrives tend to sound compressed and cut a lot of bass
sd-1 type overdrives tend to sound more aggressive and edgy and also cut some bass
equalizers vary a lot with brand and settings, but set as mid boosters, they usually can sound close to a sd-1 type drive with the drive dialed off, or, in flatter settings, close to a clean booster
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mkh02

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 03:25:35 PM »
That actually seems like a very logical good bit of advice I hadn't thought about it that way.

I would be interested to hear any other opinions on that?

My other thoughts before I plumped for the Nailbombs were:

Mule neck
Blackdog bridge

(I thought this would be too vintage for me)

Coldsweat neck
Holydiver bridge

(Almost went for this)

The miricle man sound like a good idea. In regard to the warpig is that primarily designed for detuned thrash chord work how does it solo as that is my main area.

Thanks for all the advice and help!

mkh02

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 03:28:52 PM »
Didnt see your post sorry Eric.

I hear what you are saying but my other guitars sound fantastic to me, just want a great sounding Les Paul.

Unbelievably the Strat with Coldsweat works incredible, really sings on the solos and sound very organic one of the most driven woody distortions I have ever heard

Nolly

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Re: Suhr Doug Aldrich
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 04:46:38 PM »
One pickup worth trying for a similar tone is the neck Miracle Man but used in the bridge

This is definitely true - I've spoken about the Suhr Aldrich with Tim in the past and this is what he reckons.