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Author Topic: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.  (Read 14208 times)

08sg

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 08:29:35 PM »
Much thanks for the advice guys. I think the answer is likely a different pickup, with more upper mid detail, less low end, low mids. I know it seems ridiculous to have so much power. I have a Marshall DSL-100, using pretty much only the green, crunch channel. It would make sense to try a lower wattage amp and I have, several of them.

I tried a Dr Z. Maz 8, Dr Z. Maz 18 Junior, a Marshall Class 5, Vox AC15, a Fender Supersonic 22 watt etc...

Honestly, none of these amps, even with pedals have that same Marshall EL-34 mid-range thing, and that's the only reason I have the Marshall. I've also tried the newer Marshall lower wattage DSL's, like the DSL-15, none of them seemed to have any of that midrange POWNK tone. They all had mushy low end, a sponginess to them in sound and feel. Great clean tones on some of them though.

I don't know why the DSL-100 does what it does. I know they're designed to use mostly pre-amp, but it seems that these amps even at lower volumes, having 4 EL-34's, with the pre-amp does that Marshall midrange thing very well, and none of the other amps came close, with pedals or not. They seem not as firm in the low end, lack that solid midrange edge.

So, I'm happy with the DSL, I'll keep it. But as far as a pickup goes, I think I might just need something with a bit more snap. Someone said it here (can't remember who) that SG's are darker. I agree, and it might benefit more from a brighter, or upper midrange type of higher output pickup. The same DP100 in a Dean Z sounds spankier, more crisp, not as rounded as it does in my SG.

I know I keep going back to the DP100 - but it's really just more as a tonal reference. To me it's the pickup that's almost there, but not quite - again, it's probably not the ideal pickup for my SG. Despite this, it's still a fantastic sound, and maybe I'm just being too picky. So I'll take a closer look at the pickups you've suggested.

Much thanks.

ericsabbath

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2013, 03:01:03 PM »
sounds like you're a little stuck with rules, settings and setup ideas
whatever pickup you get, you'll still be able to play the same things, as long as you adapt

there's probably only 2 or 3 bkps that have the ouput of a super distortion, and none is AC/DC voiced at all, but as I said, you can adapt

the easy and kinda obvious choices would be the riff raff and the emerald for the classic tones
if you think you'll be missing the output, there are several ways to compensate that: proper pickup height setup, clean boosters, equalizers, treble boosters, mid boosters, overdrive pedals AND new amp settings

but if you insist on wanting a super distortion type of tone, you gotta get something ceramic with a full midrange, hence my first answer regarding the aftermath, despite of its quite different feel

there's nothing wrong with your amp, by the way
a smaller amp with el84's or 6v6's wouldn't deliver the el34 tone
people tend to confuse things when it comes to volume x power rating
a cranked 5w amp in your bedroom will never sound anything like a 100w amp in any situation
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 03:06:00 PM by Eric Hellstyle »
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Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2013, 03:11:23 PM »
Eric makes some really good points here and I wouldn't disagree at all. There are various pickups that will give you that classic voicing like the Riff Raff and Emerald but you could equally sacrifice that voicing to get the push you have from the SD. Here Eric goes with the Aftermath whereas I suggested the Painkiller but I'm sure both would work well. The Cold Sweat probably sits between the two extremes of classic voicing and modern drive.

However, if you really like the Super Distortion but feel it needs tightening up a bit, just put a boost in front of the amp. The cheapest way i can think of achieving this would be to buy a Digitech Bad Monkey, which only costs about 35-40. Set the gain on zero and the level on maximum so you'd be using it like a classic Tube Screamer and you'll find that the bass will tighten up and your amp is being driven a lot harder. If you don't like it, you'll be able to sell the Bad Monkey easily enough for pretty much what you paid for it. I use an overdrive virtually all the time for just this sort of effect.
BKP owned:

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

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

BigB

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2013, 05:40:18 PM »
a smaller amp with el84's or 6v6's wouldn't deliver the el34 tone

True -  at least when you push the power amp enough.

people tend to confuse things when it comes to volume x power rating

Yes, they usually think that twice the power is twice the volume when it only makes a 3db difference xD

a cranked 5w amp in your bedroom will never sound anything like a 100w amp in any situation

A 5w tube amp will be single-ended and as such won't have exactly the same power amp distortion characteristics as a push-pull. But played thru the same cab, a cranked 5W amp will sound closer to a cranked 100W (given similar enough preamp and same kind of power amp tube) than a 100W played at very low volume where you only have preamp distortion. I've had a 100W and a 40W (which I still have BTW) and there's no way you can get cranked tones from these amps at a usable volume without an attenuator (and the you loose quite a bit of the tone). 

Now I obviously misunderstood the OP when he stated he didn't knew "about gear" - @08sg, my apologies if my post sounded a bit patronizing, you have obviously already tried what I suggested and if it didn't work for you and the DSL do then by all mean stick to it. 
Have: Crawlers, BGF 50/52s, Mules, ABomb, RiffRaff
Had : Slowhands (n&m), Trilogy (b)

HTH AMPS

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2013, 10:37:24 PM »
I've been using an old 70s Super Distortion in my Les Paul lately and I'm really liking it - I've always been a fan of Iron Maiden's tones back in the mid-80s.

Going from being an alnico humbucker guy through and through, I like the tight bass and clear top end of the SD with a decent amount of midrange grind.

The closest that springs to mind that I've tried in the BKP range is the Cold Sweat, but the CS is more scooped imo. 

Here's a video of me gigging with this one at the weekend...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LJDzbg1l2CE#!

08sg

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Re: HTH AMPS...
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2013, 11:42:41 PM »
Thanks for you input too. In a nutshell, I really love the SD - yet I'm here looking for something else. I love everything about it, accept it's lack of crispness. It sounds over thickened to me, where it could benefit from a bit more snap in the mids, maybe less lows? But what do I know about pickups.

Based on your knowledge, and since you're an owner of SD's and BKP's, where would the Emerald fit into this mix? I'm not looking for a pickup that's exactly like the SD. I love most things about it, but the things I don't like about it have brought me here to try and find something like it that's clearer, less woofy, less compress, but still very classic rock sounding. The SD is definitely a classic rock pickup, despite it's poor name and ceramic high output.

So CS, Emerald?

I just found a bookmarked tonal reference I think everyone should hear. It's probably attributed greatly to the amp, and the way it's set, and whatever pickup and guitar this guy is using. But, please give this a listen note even the entire thing unless you want to. It's all in German, it's long, but it's one of the THE best gear demos I've ever seen/heard. (sorry, can't believe I forgot the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bORy-aqiZ9k

For reference, let it load, and listen at 8:05 to 8:10 over a few times. It's only 5 seconds of chords, but it's the TONE he's getting. THAT's the tone, spank and POWNK i'm talking about. The SD is too rich for that sound. He's got that midrange, upper mid spank, and everything is crisp.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 01:31:17 AM by 08sg »

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2013, 12:06:25 AM »
Where's the link?

Anyway, the Emerald has a Classic Rock to Metal vibe but is a lot more open and PAF sounding than the Super Distortion. The Cold Sweat has a bit more drive, also does Classic Rock to Metal and is a bit less open, while still not being super compressed. The Holydiver is also a possibility.

I think the problem we're all facing (and you too) is reconciling your appreciation of the Super Distortion with your desire for AC/DC tones. The two just don't naturally fit together so when we go more in the direction of the SD you move back to AC/DC and when we suggest pickups to cover the AC/DC tone you refer back to the Super Distortion. When you're thinking AC/DC and Classic Rock, you're looking at the Riff Raff and Emerald. When you look at the Super Distortion, you're looking more at Holydiver and Painkiller etc. while in the middle is the Cold Sweat.

I play AC/DC using my Holydiver/Emerald combo and while it's hardly a duplicate of the original tone, it's my tone and I like it. When I tried an Emerald bridge, it was a lot closer to AC/DC but I missed the compression and if you love the Super Distortion, I suspect you wouldn't appreciate how open it can sound. Try the Cold Sweat. You've got to something at some point. Email Tim and see what he says.
BKP owned:

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

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

08sg

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2013, 04:06:52 AM »
Quote
I think the problem we're all facing (and you too) is reconciling your appreciation of the Super Distortion with your desire for AC/DC tones. The two just don't naturally fit together so when we go more in the direction of the SD you move back to AC/DC and when we suggest pickups to cover the AC/DC tone you refer back to the Super Distortion.

You are so correct on that. I think it's because the SD is the first pickup I heard (in a Dean Z Time Capsule through a Marshall DSL-100) that nailed some of the classic rock tones I've heard all these years on records. At first, I had no idea what to expect, and when I played with the amp controls, lowering the volume, lesser gain, etc. The thing just screamed the Back In Black album. His guitar has this SNAP, SPANK, very bright sounding guitar. When played acoustically, it even has that mid/upper mid POWNK, just naturally. You put the SD in it, despite it's thickness, fatness, it sounds like the Back In Black album's recorded tones - I shite you not. More than a few people have come over and played it, and said, OMFG, that's AC/DC in a box! And you're right, it shouldn't be, but it sounds practically recorded - with no pedals, or effects.

In my SG, it's an approximation, my guitar is a bit darker, maybe my speakers and cab aren't ideal, not sure why, but it doesn't spank like it does in the Dean. Despite Angus using vintage PAF's, (and who knows what he actually used in the studio on those recordings) the SD really does a great job of getting the feel of his tones on that album - depending on amp settings. I'll put it to you this way... I've had many friends with different guitars, amps over the years etc, and they've heard this Dean, with the SD, through the DSL-100, and even they say, "my GOD, that's Shoot To Thrill that's the sound!". It has that mean, slightly compressed mid range... PEEEOWWW tone - but thicker and beefier - through his guitar. Mine's close, but for some reason, the SD sounds more woofy in my guitar.

The main reason I keep going back to the SD is because it's the closest I've heard for those tones. I've played SG 61 reissues with the classic 57+ in the bridge - and you'd assume this is more the Angus tone. It's there, but it sounds almost too raw, too thin, in comparison to the recorded tones on Powerage, Highway To Hell, Back In Black. That compression that you hear in the SD creates that richness and bite you hear on those recordings, and I didn't find that to be the case with the 57 classic + it seemed... a little thinner, and spongier sounding. Listen to some of the chords, intro parts on back and black, for those about to rock etc... Those are crushing classic rock tones.

Example: Evil Walks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjvxA8n9rio I've played this on other SG's with "vintage" pickups through Marshall amps, and they didn't get this sound. But the SD, is right up that alley. Big, thick mids, and mean.

Yet another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-xwS5W4iuM We can literally nail this tone with the DSL-100 and the Dean - minus the eq refinements of course - but that basic KA-KOWWWNG is there.

I think I'm afraid to try something new, because I can't actually hear it first - in person, and they're not cheap. There's nothing worse than getting something, hoping it'll be a certain way, and it turns out it's not what you wanted - and you had to pay for it, and can't return it.

Quote
When I tried an Emerald bridge, it was a lot closer to AC/DC but I missed the compression and if you love the Super Distortion, I suspect you wouldn't appreciate how open it can sound. Try the Cold Sweat.


You're correct again. I hear you... it's a double edged sword. I like the thickness, and some of that compression because it's reminiscent of some of those fat sounding recorded tones, and yet I can't dial it out of the amp if it's too much. Then I'm back to square 1 give me something flavoured like the SD, but with no mush and more crispness! It's harder to do in my SG, because that SD sounds so damn spanky and tighter in the Dean Z. So, it's either a Dean Z, or a different pickup! I suspect the Dean Z would sound good with ANY pickup in it.

pagan7

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2013, 06:08:00 AM »
A ceramic Nailbomb bridge pup is worth a listen too , it can do anything an SD can , with appropriate amp and effects settings, and a whole lot more besides and much better all round . Works well in dark sounding mahogany too , and if you want a more "tubular" "fizzy" sound from it , get it fitted with nickel allan bolt poles rather than iron screw poles.
CERAMIC NAILBOMBS + Ibanez RGT42DX and PAINKILLERS + Ibanez RG321MH and A5 NAILBOMBS + Ibanez RG1550

ericsabbath

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2013, 06:58:42 AM »
I experienced what you said about that lack of "spankiness" when I had a holy diver in a SG
it was punchy, fat and aggressive enough in my les pauls, but sounded completely dull on the SG

the cold sweat should work well but it's no near as compressed as the SD and quite scooped in comparison
it has a big bass and strong top, but the low and center mids are tamed, so it sounds VERY focused
logical alternative would be the ceramic nailbomb, which is a souped up cold sweat, with more output and mids

I'd still take a riff raff or emerald or even a mule and a proper boost pedal over any ceramic for that

the black dog has a certain midrangy attack to it that seems quite fitting for this middy bark you're looking for, but I can't recommend it since it has a similar voicing to the holy diver and I don't know if it sounds good in SGs (the diver didn't)
I love it in my '78 greco les paul (maple top, mahogany back, maple neck, brazilian rosewood board), but it's a naurally brighter guitar than a gibson SG
some other forum user loves the dog for ac/dc, but he has dogs in les pauls only, I guess
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

ericsabbath

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2013, 07:35:48 AM »
don't be afraid of trying pedals
a good equalizer in front of the amp does wonders if properly set
some less bass-eating overdrives might work too
or you order a baby boobtube from user juansolo
it's small tube pedal that sounds absolutely amazing as a clean booster in front of the amp

some might argue that Angus plugged straight into the amps, but that ain't a fact
http://www.woodytone.com/2011/07/26/wireless-boost-angus-secret/
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2013, 08:03:03 AM »
The Cold Sweat is a great pickup but I'd agree with Eric that it has a lot more top end than the SD. I think that with the Cold Sweat, you really are as close as you're going to get between the drive of the SD and the openness of the AC/DC tones. Personally, I found the Nailbomb to be far too aggressive but I can see that in a dark sounding SG with all that mahogany it could work really well and it certainly isn't lacking in push. You could do a lot worse than try a Nailbomb in an SG I'd say. Other than that, I'm back to the Painkiller to give you the upper mids you want without sacrificing too much at the bottom end.
BKP owned:

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

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

nkay

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2013, 02:15:39 PM »
The Cold Sweat is a great pickup but I'd agree with Eric that it has a lot more top end than the SD. I think that with the Cold Sweat, you really are as close as you're going to get between the drive of the SD and the openness of the AC/DC tones.

Yup, this. I stick by my same recommendation too. The Cold Sweat will get you the best of both worlds. It's got the middle ground between the drive and the openness. You can pull off Iron Maiden and AC/DC with it. Mine's in a darker Les Paul though, not sure how it would be in an SG.

I've never tried it yet, but your next best bet might be the Riff Raff and then use an overdrive to get the heavier thicker tones. Might suit the SG better.

GuitarIv

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2013, 02:33:34 PM »
Having read through all this, I'll give you some of my thoughts:

First of all I disagree with Slartibartfast regarding the Painkiller. I own one and that thing, although having alot of upper mids and bite, is the total opposite of what I connect with AC/DC. You don't want a raw and grinding tone for that and trust me, the Painkiller gives you exactly that.

Regarding what others have suggested: get yourself a Boost. To be exact, get a Digitech Bad Monkey. That thing costs 40 bucks and sounds better than my 130 bucks Ibanez Tubescreamer DX. Helps a great deal and lets me even play metal when put in front of my Orange Micro Terror.

And finally here's a great video demonstrating the Riff Raff, giving you exactly the tone I suspect you're talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3_fOE-M9Xo

Maybe that helps, cheers

Slartibartfarst42

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Re: Bare Knuckles version of a DiMarzio Super Distortion.
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2013, 03:17:59 PM »
First of all I disagree with Slartibartfast regarding the Painkiller. I own one and that thing, although having alot of upper mids and bite, is the total opposite of what I connect with AC/DC. You don't want a raw and grinding tone for that and trust me, the Painkiller gives you exactly that.

Regarding what others have suggested: get yourself a Boost. To be exact, get a Digitech Bad Monkey. That thing costs 40 bucks and sounds better than my 130 bucks Ibanez Tubescreamer DX. Helps a great deal and lets me even play metal when put in front of my Orange Micro Terror.

In fairness, I never said that it would duplicate those AC/DC tones but it's awfully hard to find a pickup that does AC/DC while also sounding like a Super Distortion AND having an upper mid spike! Of course, who'd have immediately thought of a Super Distortion being perfect for AC/DC? Personally, I think the Cold Sweat is about as close to a compromise as he's going to get and I've used one of those myself so I feel like I'm on solid ground. Conversely, I've never used a Painkiller myself, I was merely trying to come up with something that has enough drive to compare to the SD and had the right EQ to suit his stated demands. The Painkiller was the only one that leapt to mind so while I personally wouldn't use it for AC/DC, it didn't seem any more outlandish than using a SD for that purpose. I'd still stick with the Cold Sweat.

I think you're dead right about the Bad Monkey and I think I mentioned this very thing in an earlier post. For the money it's absolutely unbeatable and even if he did get the Cold Sweat instead of a Riff Raff or Emerald, I'd still buy a Bad Monkey to go with it because a Cold Sweat always responded very well to overdrive when I had one.
BKP owned:

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

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