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Author Topic: Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)  (Read 456 times)

NeglectedField

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Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)
« on: February 03, 2020, 09:49:35 PM »
Please excuse my scatty writing style but I hope you guys can help.

Last year I picked up an ex-demo Schecter KM-6 on the cheap. HH pickup config, single volume (push/pull coil split) and 3-way pickup selector affair. Swamp ash body, set maple neck with ebony fretboard. I use it in standard tuning.

Absolutely love the beast; best playing guitar I've ever owned but the stock Seymour Duncan 'Blackened' Black Winter set are just a bit...much. Or should I say, the wrong kind of 'much'.

I love that the bridge pickup is hot enough to drive the amp (or BIAS) and has that tight/fast tracking I need. I do actually quite enjoy it but as the name suggests, it can be treble city in a bad way. I could deal with the Duncan Distortion I had in another axe once but these blackened-y black black SDs have has this really intrusive c--ked wah tone; a very 'vowelled' sound, if you will. Kinda like a 'nang' sound is how I would describe it. Others found the same. I don't know how much the wood contributes but it would make more sense that the pickups are the main culprit. Then again I'm all ears if you think otherwise. One guy on the Sevenstring forum said he had the same issue even after replacing the pickups and ultimately had to sell it on but I'm not giving this beautiful beast up without a fight.

So anyway, if I want this in each respective pickup:

Bridge
A tight-tracking, "drives the amp" modern metal affair, so strong preference for ceramic
Cleans up nicely with enough headroom (i.e. not the Juggernaut judging by experience)
Not overly bright; that said, while I love the ceramic Warpig in my basswood Ibanez RG321, something like that a teeny notch or two brighter for a bit of contrast wouldn't go amiss (unless the swamp ash might compensate), not to rule out the Warpig completely

Neck
Suitably matched in terms of output with your bridge recommendation
Able to get those creamy soaring sustained notes but also good at handling flashy legato, with not too much scratchy treble coming through
Also cleans up nice

What would you guys suggest?

My initial thoughts would be:
- Warpig set (ceramic bridge)
- Ragnarok

The partial reason I'm thinking of those is they might be sufficiently not-overly-trebly to counteract the problems I'm having with the SDs.

Like I said, my only reservations about another Warpig set is that I might want something less bassy and with a slightly brighter 'zhuzh' (unless again the body wood is a big factor). As for the Ragnarok, does the neck pickup meet my criteria? If not, what would pair well with a Ragnarok bridge, or perhaps you'd suggest an entirely different set?

Let me know your thoughts! I hope I haven't been too weirdly specific, hard to understand or plain stupid :tongue:


Dave Sloven

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Re: Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 11:38:57 PM »
It sounds like it might be too bright a guitar for that pickup. Maple + ebony sounds like it could be a bit bright or even honky.

It might be your preference for ceramics that is your undoing here, they tend to have quite a lot of top end

Maybe look at one of the tighter sounding alnico BKPs.  Alnico versions of the Nailbomb and Black Hawk, the Juggernaut (which has a mix of alnico and ceramic magnets in the bridge), or the Impulse.  Rebel Yell is also alnico and tight but it has a reputation for being bright, as does the Emerald.  Black Dog might be another option.  I suspect though that the Impulse might be the best (the matching neck is also outstanding).

Impulse vs Juggernaut:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_LG7_5AE8U

« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 01:37:10 PM by Dave Sloven »
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one

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Re: Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 07:09:10 AM »
Agree, try to avoid alnico. Juggernaut will fix too much trebble a bit.

Dave Sloven

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Re: Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 01:31:40 PM »
Agree, try to avoid alnico. Juggernaut will fix too much trebble a bit.

Avoid ceramic?
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NeglectedField

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Re: Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 07:26:37 PM »
It sounds like it might be too bright a guitar for that pickup. Maple + ebony sounds like it could be a bit bright or even honky.

It might be your preference for ceramics that is your undoing here, they tend to have quite a lot of top end

Maybe look at one of the tighter sounding alnico BKPs.  Alnico versions of the Nailbomb and Black Hawk, the Juggernaut (which has a mix of alnico and ceramic magnets in the bridge), or the Impulse.  Rebel Yell is also alnico and tight but it has a reputation for being bright, as does the Emerald.  Black Dog might be another option.  I suspect though that the Impulse might be the best (the matching neck is also outstanding).

Impulse vs Juggernaut:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_LG7_5AE8U

I appreciate what you're saying about alnico v ceramic and agree at least that something darker to compensate for bright tonewood combos is a good idea, but then my Warpig bridge is ceramic (well, the BKP guys rebuilt it with a ceramic magnet for me) and not top-endy at all, quite dark even, so I don't make as strict a correlation between ceramic and brightness as their reputation might suggest. My only reservation about getting the Warpig set again is whether it might end up going the other way and sound too dark, unless the bright tonewoods compensate.

The idea of alnico Black Hawk or Nailbomb is interesting. I'd no idea the former came in alnico as well as ceramic so thanks for the heads up! As for Impulse and Juggernaut, isn't the Impulse more geared toward djenty down-tuners? Juggernaut can sound killer but having tried a guitar loaded with a set, they were very boomy and un-subtle - eventually the guy let me try his Painkiller-loaded guitar instead and was like "here's something with a bit more headroom".

Dave Sloven

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Re: Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 04:40:58 AM »
The Impulse was designed to have a relatively flat EQ and to be tight, with a lower output and less low mids than the Black Hawk. Northlane had been using Black Hawks but decided they needed something with a wider range considering the low baritone tunings they use and a turn toward more "accessible" tones.  There are videos of them in six strings (including the two I posted) though that suggest that they are a good alternative for guitars in a wide range of tunings where clarity and headroom are needed.

The alnico Black Hawk is a tight, aggressive pickup but with sweeter lead tones, less top end and fuller mids than the ceramic version.  Nolly made an official video comparing the two versions in the same guitar.  It gives a pretty clear idea of the tonal differences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qacdnnbe2k





BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

one

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Re: Replacement pickup set for a Schecter KM-6 (first generation)
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 07:09:44 AM »
The Impulse was designed to have a relatively flat EQ and to be tight, with a lower output and less low mids than the Black Hawk. Northlane had been using Black Hawks but decided they needed something with a wider range considering the low baritone tunings they use and a turn toward more "accessible" tones.  There are videos of them in six strings (including the two I posted) though that suggest that they are a good alternative for guitars in a wide range of tunings where clarity and headroom are needed.

The alnico Black Hawk is a tight, aggressive pickup but with sweeter lead tones, less top end and fuller mids than the ceramic version.  Nolly made an official video comparing the two versions in the same guitar.  It gives a pretty clear idea of the tonal differences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qacdnnbe2k

yeah, I meant ceramic

If I were the OP I'd go for the A-hack or impulse if the juggs are totally discarded