yet another pickup thread


New member
hello ppl, sorry to start another thread but i dont want to hijack others' threads...

anyway, i'm planning of upgrading my JEM JR pups eoy and would like to try dimarzios...

my preferences are for bridge, something wif a mean, gritty sound, suitable for power chords and metal playing. and for my neck, a warm fat tone, that sounds smth like john petrucci

so i was thinking, is norton good for bridge and PAF pro for neck? and is medium or high power better for bridge?

thanks all...
the PAF/ PAF Pro might sound lacking in the neck, i definitely find them so. many here would agree that Dimarzio's Breed is one of the best neck pickup, period.
so let's see...

the breed doesnt have that tone of john petrucci? what tone does it have?
my personal experience with the PAF/ PAF Pro humbuckers (neck): gets very undefined (muddy) under high volume levels at high gain settings. even when the volume is at bed-room level, the single note definition at the upper fret register is also muddy.

the Breed was conceived to manifest a very PAF-like quality while still being cutting edge under lots of drive. it's also very good clean.
The Breed/Breed combination is a foolproof plan. Even a complete idiot coulden't go wrong with them. Not even if he installed the pickups upside down! ;)
how about the norton bridge? is it good?

so now i'm looking at breed and norton or air norton and norton
my preferences are for bridge, something wif a mean, gritty sound, suitable for power chords and metal playing. and for my neck, a warm fat tone, that sounds smth like john petrucci

i aggree with ShredCow Air Norton for the neck, Petrucci uses that. its fat, warmth and u can put all the distortion u want, and still it won't go muddy. u can hear the notes nicely. can even play an open C chord and it don't go mushy.

he uses Steve Special in the bridge. but i find steve special lacks mids. but its got good bottom and nice highs. its got similar character like the Air Norton, it don't go muddy on high distortion settings. but if u say gritty and mean, i'd say Evolution bridge can work too. Vai uses that.
for bridge which is better? super distortion or norton? i dont want such a high output but want something clear and mean, like paul gilbert's one
A Super Distortion won't give you that kind of clarity you're looking for. i find Super Distortion particularly set in the 80s kinda tone when u play it with distortion.

if PG - Tonezone?
hmmmm... if its paul's sound, then depends on which era. mr big era would be Tone Zone, but some of his guitars do have PAF Pro in the bridge too. same with his earlier solo stuff. but then later, he uses Super Distortion too! if u r talking abt the tone he got during his Space One Concert here, those are stock ibanez p/us on his flying v's.

but then do be aware, u might not get the exact tone he got even if u uses the same pickups/guitars/amps etc. coz lots of other factors work together to get that tone.
Ah... the Tonezone is a very bass heavy pup plus it has a huge mid range bump. Now its this mid range bump that ppl have an issue with... it gives the TZ a tone that is like a wah pedal thats fixed in a position... there's an awwww sound with it. Even on Mr Big records, you can hear the awwww.

Some hate it, some love it. I love it... I'm used to having mids at 3 oclock... and i had Breeds (big mids but in a different freq) too.

A bad thing abt the TZ is that its a pup you gotta work with... due to its extreme eq settings... you have to tweak a bit.

The Tonezone has good point too of course... it has a good bite to it... as long as you don't set your amp to like bass at 3oclock, treble at 12 oclock. Its good excellent dynamics for a hi output pup. Plus its really thick! Note clarity is great too, as long as you don't use the above settings. I love it totally... esp the awwww. Oh yeah.. its GREAT for scooping the mids... it doesn't thin out easily.

I would advise you to check with Subversion on how the TZ sounds in basswood... he had bad results with it.. on the other hand, Paul Gilbert liked it in his basswood PGMs... its really a matter of taste/preference.

Or you can add me to msn, i'll demostrate the TZ's awww sound and everything else, in an S520EX guitar that is. :)
the Tone Zone was in my Ibanez RG (80s model) for about 3weeks only, i had to have it removed before i gave up playing totally. it's not the pickup's fault entirely because those 80s Ibanez RGs are rather hefty despite being basswood, so it accentuates the bass too much to my liking.

however, the TZ excels in a lighter bodied guitar of mine, an Ibanez RX (resoncast body). i totally love it there.
wow ok...hmmm i dont use such a heavy bass, but i normally use treble 3 o'clock, mid about 8 o'clock and bass 12 o'clock. i like higher trebles... :D anything wrong with that? i'm not very sure though...

what's ur msn shredcow?
there's nothing wrong with having more treble for your tone, everyone has a personal preference. as for me, i prefer more mids:

treble= 2
mids= 8
bass= 6 ;)

Wow... sub, you like a thick body with growling bass eh? :twisted:

My settings are usually (with TRI AC)

Hi Gain
treble= 3 oclock
mids= 2 oclock
bass= 12 oclock

Medium Gain
treble= 10 oclock
mids= 1230 oclock
bass= 1130 oclock

treble= 1 oclock
mids= 2 oclock
bass= 9 oclock