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Author Topic: Review: Irish Tour mid  (Read 4702 times)


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Review: Irish Tour mid
« on: February 07, 2014, 09:07:33 PM »
Hej guys,
finally found the momentum to write up another short review! Hurray. Only a lot more to go...
However, let me remind you that you can be better than me and write up more reviews. I would love to add more to the review collection sticky!

Anyhow, today I will say a few words about the Irish Tour middle pickup.

Where do I use it? In a Ibanez S Series, HSH style. Thatīs a thin mahogany bodied maple neck and rosewood board guitar with a floating locking trem. It is paired with a RY bridge and originally a Mule neck, but now with a RY neck.

What did I want when I got it? I wanted to create a super versatile axe. In order to do that I needed a middle SC that on one hand was classic in sound and on the other keep up with the humbuckers and applications which require gain.

The way I like to do the sound description is go through the 3 main frequency bands and then say how it comes together. So...

Low end: Well, surprisingly full for a SC in such a guitar me thinks. Not that it is really fat or anything, but I feared it would be thin and feeble. Nope. The IT delivers more bottom end than classic single coils making them fit nicely with other pickups. It of course has decidedly less than the neck and bridge, but not so much so that it is really a falloff one would notice much. As in all single coils the bottom end is defined and clear in a way I really like. Not quite to the extend of a P90 in terms of fullness and clarity under gain as a P90, but very nice. Keeps the body going switching between pickups. Coming from the other positions you get contrast, but donīt feel something lacking.

Mid: Ahhhh yes. I just love the full response of single coils. The midrange always has a certain uninhibited roar to it. Compared to most classic single coils the IT has more here. More lower mid growl, more warmth and more higher mid scream. Take a classic single coil and fill up the mids on all counts without loosing sight of what makes it great. Because of this it is less hollow but retains a great woody quality. There also is a b*ttload of rock mojo in these mids. No wonder it pairs so well with great rock pickups like the RY and the Mule.

High end: In best single coil quality the attack is present and aggressive, great twang here. Under a bit of gain the overtones shine through in a lovely way. I of course have it running on 500k pots, yet it still does not sound shrill. Can be borderline with those pots and two (!) overdrives running with proper treble boost each, but a quick touch of the tone know brings everything back to singing.
In general the high end is present, gives cut and up front feel without being nasty. Great stuff.

All in all what you get is a really, really cool pickup for low to midgain situations. It really is a old school proven design (Mothers Milk) pumped up in power, warmer, more mids and sprinkled with that amazingly nasty Rory Gallagher dust. It is still old school at heart, just a bit supercharged.
The character screams of old times and just wants you to rock it.
In clean situations it delivers warm woody mojo and twang and add some gain and it screams. Roll off the tone in just the right way and you can make it sing...oh my....woman tone is perhaps the best way to say it. This thing simply rules the single coil blues world, no question in my mind.
I can go above mid gain, hard rock works too, but at a certain level its goodness gets a bit drowned in saturation. That is absolutely to be expected though.

Working with other pickups / special wiring: I have my IT middle wired on a 5way to work with the other pickups so that on 2 and 4 they are combined with the split humbuckers. For that I use the slug coils. The RY bridge and Mule were turned around for that so that the slug coil is the outer coil. Canīt do that with the RY neck cause it is covered and would look sucky. Anyhow, the sound of the IT middle plus outer coil is something I adore. Inner coil is cool too, but outer has a bit more tele character compared to the inner and just has a lovely attack to it. I find it fantastic for clean strumming and to deliver a cool flavor for double tracking and such.
Generally: IT combined with split humbucker = great sh*te

To recap:
Want a single coil with a little more grunt and power, but still a classic voice that can keep up with most humbuckers and can rock? Take the Irish Tour...and bring me back a pint!

Gear used: MXR Supercomp → Juansolo Klone → Juansolo Boobtube → Juansolo Shhhh (ISP Decimator clone) → MXR 10band EQ → Orange Tiny Terror Hardwired (JJ V1, Tung Sol V2, TAD STR powerstage) or HTH Amps 5W Fender Tweed Champ style amp → Marshall 2061CX Handwired 2x12” Cabinet with 2x Celestion G12H30s speakers

Did I miss something? Questions? Let me know, I will gladly answer!

Oh yes....did you make it so far? Poor thing. Have drink. Go on, pour yourself a pint. You deserve it. ;)

« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 09:09:09 PM by Kiichi »
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


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Re: Review: Irish Tour mid
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2014, 11:45:08 PM »
That's a very complete and nice review. I can add that the IT will sound even more vintage(hot) in a strat, like my custommade swampash HSS-strat. I also have Mother's Milk in a ash Fender American Series HSS-strat. The ITs are more or less overwound MM's, so more bass and mids and a sligthly less bright topend. Also a little less woody. In strats with classic timbers like alder and ash it's a very satisfying pickup with a good balance and some extra chunk compared to the Mother's Milk. I can get great chimey cleans, but also roar with loads of gain. The IT handles everything with authority without loosing the vintage(hot)-character. I use the middle-IT mostly in combination with the neck or the splitted coil of the Crawler and the result is a nice Fenderish quack on the fourth position (neck + middle) and a little more scooped and glassy on the fourth positon.

The IT-middle (single use) is very useful for cleans and ligth crunchy chops. I prefer the neckpickup a little more for single use. That's the classic tones you want from a strat. Full, woody, a little hollow, yet with good bite too. Stevie Ray all the way. I have my strat wired in a way that I can use the Crawler in full humbuckingmode with the middle-IT. That gives me an interesing extra option. Where the Crawler by itself  turns your strat neary into a smokey growling Gibson, the middle-IT provides a chimey layer over that sound.

I play a lot with volumeknob on my strat and it strikes me how good IT's clean up. I can get near the Frusciante-vibe of the Mother's Milk. They're quite versatile and that is one of the reasons my Crawler/IT-loaded strat is my main gigging guitar. It serves all purposes.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.


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Re: Review: Irish Tour mid
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 09:09:16 AM »
Great review!

Many thanks,