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Author Topic: Trilogy Suites Review  (Read 7640 times)

Slartibartfarst42

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Trilogy Suites Review
« on: May 02, 2011, 09:38:56 AM »
I only have these in the neck and middle positions of a Jackson SL3 Soloist (maple neck-thru, alder wings and rosewood board) so unfortunately I canít comment on what the bridge model is like. As with my Nailbomb review Iíll start by looking at how my experience compares with the description on the website. I canít honestly say that I find these pickups to have a particularly Ďmuscular 'P90-esque' toneí, though I can see why such a comment is made because itís certainly possible to get that sound out of them but it doesnít have to be always present. Obviously, such a description may relate more to the bridge model. However, they certainly have a Ďdeep, resonant bass, wide mid range response and a totally modern voiceí. The tone is unquestionably modern but I think thereís more to the pickup than this, so saying that it gives Ďanything but vintage toneí may be a bit misleading.

Letís start with where this pickup is most at home and thatís for lead work. Run these pickups through an amp with some decent gain cranked into it and they really sing. The character is distinctly single coil and lacks the body of the humbuckers Iím used to but theyíre far from being particularly thin sounding. Theyíre highly articulate right across the fretboard with lower notes on the fretboard being considerably less mushy than many bridge pickups Iíve played. Iíve found them to be highly responsive to pickup height to the extent that lowering the neck pickup away from the strings more than I normally would I found them too tight even for a bridge pickup! Even with the neck pickup close enough to the strings to balance with the Holydiver at about 2mm, I had no trouble with note definition. The pickup remained well articulated long after Seymour Duncan Hotrails had given up and turned to a mushy mess.

Due to the excellent articulation, the pickups work very well when played together. Iíve had a push/pull tone knob fitted so that I can permanently engage the bridge humbucker so position 5 becomes the neck and bridge and position 4 can give me all three pickups working together. The humbucker is never split on my guitar and even with all this going on the guitar remains clear, with a full sound that gives a lovely chorus effect and is slightly phased. There are some seriously good tones to be had by using different pickup combinations when youíve got Trilogy Suites and I think I like that about them best. The tonal options are just fantastic.

I was originally after a creamy lead sound like Dave Murray when using the neck pickup and the Trilogy Suites will deliver that. OK, itís not quite the same but then Dave Murray isnít using single coils. The point is, it will give you a creamy tone as well as giving a really searing lead tone if you want it to. In this respect, Iíve found the pickups to be VERY responsive to adjustments to the tone control. In the past Iíve never really bothered using the tone control on a guitar but the Trilogy Suites are so responsive that it would be a crime not to use this facility. Stepping back on the gain, adding a touch of delay and tweaking the tone control yields a beautiful Blues tone and this is where I find the Ďanything but vintageí tag a little misleading. These are actually very versatile pickups and I can see why theyíre so popular on the forum. I donít actually think thereís a lot that canít be done with these pickups. If youíre really only wanting to play Blues, then fair enough, I daresay something like Slowhands will do it better but if you want a set of pickups that can do pretty much anything then you could do a hell of a lot worse than buy these. Theyíre undoubtedly hot pickups (my neck and middle are wound to a DC resistance of 13 if that helps) but they never feel either unduly hot or too weak for any application Iíve tried.

So, are there any weaknesses? If you want to shove the neck pickup on by itself and strum some clean(ish) chords, itís not really full enough for my tastes. Humbuckers, to my mind at least, do that a lot better. This is the only thing Iíve found so far where I prefer the Hotrails that these have replaced, which is perhaps a little surprising. In this application, the Trilogy Suites just arenít full enough or warm enough. You can get around this to a degree by using different pickup combinations as I indicated earlier but for songs where Iíd be doing more clean strumming Iíd be tempted to just use a different guitar. I donít think this is really a problem with the pickup; I just donít think this is an application where any single coil is likely to excel, at least to my ear. This is a lead pickup and itís a bloody good one. Iíve found them to be well balanced and I canít think of any woods where these wouldnít work. If you want real single coil character in a highly versatile format for great leads then I would highly recommend these.
BKP owned:

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

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

darkbluemurder

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 10:12:09 AM »
Great review and many thanks for making the effort of writing a such detailed report.

Cheers Stephan

FenderBender

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 08:50:56 AM »
Great review, thanks.  It gives me a clearer idea now what these are best for.  I'd been looking at them since I want to try something different, but they're probably not for me.

Telerocker

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 10:49:14 PM »
Great review. Very detailed. Btw, my IT in the neckposition of my strat can handle big chords though. Of course it's no hb, but it's not thin. It's proper classic strat-tone.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 06:18:09 PM »
I had originally thought of Slowhands but I remember a thread where Antag said his Slowhands didn't really balance well with a Holydiver and on reflection he thought Trilogy Suites were a better option. As Tim also suggested Trilogy Suites it seemed a reasonable option and I can't say I regret it. I have the Hotrails in my Pacifica now and in the future I plan to buy a Les Paul style guitar, probably a Michael Kelly, to give me a humbucker option in the neck so I guess it's nice also having a true single coil equipped guitar.
BKP owned:

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

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

Telerocker

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 09:09:37 PM »
It do no totally agree with this. It depends on what you're looking for tonewise. My Crawler balances great with IT's, and the Crawler has the about same dc-resistance as the Diver. Splitted will provice a balanced tone, outputwise and in my guitar also in sound. But if you want the single coils to sound more contempory TS's are a serious option.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 10:14:35 PM »
My humbucker is never splitted though so position two is the full humbucker and the middle pickup. I also have a push/pul to permanantly engage the humbucker so I also have humbucker and neck as well as all 3 pickups as an option, always with the full humbucker in operation.
BKP owned:

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

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

Lucas

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 01:22:39 AM »
My Crawler balances great with IT's, and the Crawler has the about same dc-resistance as the Diver.
Which one would be better choice to match with Crawler Bridge, IT or TS? I mean in neck position? In rather brighter guitar.
Dean Cadillac - Emerald (b), Cold Sweat (n),
Mayones Flame CS2000 - Miracle Man (b), Sinner (m), Aftermath (n)
Warmoth Custom Telecaster - Cold Sweat (b) VHII (n)
Warmoth Custom Tele - Miracle Man set

Kiichi

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 04:24:10 AM »
My Crawler balances great with IT's, and the Crawler has the about same dc-resistance as the Diver.
Which one would be better choice to match with Crawler Bridge, IT or TS? I mean in neck position? In rather brighter guitar.
Let me say SH maybe. Has that extra beef compared to the IT which I feel fits great. I have a Crawler set with SH middle and there just is that midrange fullnes and roar all around.
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

Dave Sloven

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 08:34:47 AM »
Is this the same guitar that previously had the Sinner pickups?
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

Lucas

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 08:37:59 AM »
I`ll be getting one of those superb Warmoth Teles with Swamp Ash body, spalted maple top and maple neck (so really bright one)
And trying to get pickups just right for that setup.
Crawler bridge for sure, and single coil in the neck possition but there`s a problem which one...
Like Mother`s Milk a lot, but it first of all will be too bright, too vintage and too low output.
Have 3 options then. IT, SH or TS.
I suppose that IT will be too weak for Crawler as well, am I right? And TS really shines and sings on leads on the other hand...

Cheers
Dean Cadillac - Emerald (b), Cold Sweat (n),
Mayones Flame CS2000 - Miracle Man (b), Sinner (m), Aftermath (n)
Warmoth Custom Telecaster - Cold Sweat (b) VHII (n)
Warmoth Custom Tele - Miracle Man set

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 09:37:58 AM »
Is this the same guitar that previously had the Sinner pickups?

It is the same guitar, though the Trilogy Suites were in it first. As single coils, the Trilogy Suites were superb; the best I've ever tried. I changed to the Sinners because I wanted to try something a lot hotter and sounding more like a humbucker. The Sinners did that superbly too. Both great pickups but very different so difficult to really compare. If I ever wanted great single coil tone again, I'd get Trilogy Suites in a heartbeat and if I ever wanted single coils with real balls and some of the thickness of humbuckers, I'd get those Sinners again.
BKP owned:

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

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

Dave Sloven

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 11:34:04 AM »
I think I'd like to get a standard Sinner set (maybe with base plates?) if I ever get a regular SSS Strat.  The one in this video sounds pretty ballsy.  Did your Sinners sound like that (given that they were bridge versions)? I prefer it to the C-Pig in this clip, although it might just be the guitar its in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9larPyGh8FE
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 12:01:40 PM »
Sinners just aren't like any single coils I've ever played before. The power is enormous, they're incredibly thick and really quite aggressive. They completely ridicule the idea that single coils can't do Metal. Baseplates seem to make them even hotter and thicker and darker. I always thought they'd make a really surprising guitar if you loaded an SSS set into a totally innocent looking Strat, which seems to be your basic idea. Nobody would expect what they'd hear.
BKP owned:

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

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

Dave Sloven

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Re: Trilogy Suites Review
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 12:27:03 PM »
Yeah I like to keep my guitars looking innocent but being secretly dirty ;-)
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases