Passive pickups for rock?

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by BatmansMarshall, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. BatmansMarshall

    BatmansMarshall Well-Known Member

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    So I have guitars with EMGs. I have single coils on a Strat. I have Gretch humbuckers. I have some Gibson USA humbuckers customs for high gain. So everything I have is either hot or classic and nothing middle ground. I am half thinking about a HSH Strat or another LP but I have no idea what LP pickups I should be aiming for. I don't want to buy a Gibson but maybe Epiphone. I want to go with passive as I have enough actives. I want to play rock or grunge type stuff. I have looked at the expensive Kurt Cobain Fender but it comes with DiMarzio® Superdistortion and I am wondering if that is too hot. Also looking at P90s but don't know if they are warm enough. I need something that isn't going to squel because it's so hot nor sound like a Strat single coil which doesn't quite pull off a full heavy crunch. I need passive humbuckers that can do crunchy distortion moderately.
     
  2. fitz288

    fitz288 Apprentice Fermi's Paradox Analyst Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd say you gonna need a reference point to decide more of this or less of that.
    If you get an Epi LP, see how you like the stock HBs.
    But off the cuff, the '57 Classics or 490s would be a good place to start.
     
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  3. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    I have a Super Distortion in a LP and love it, been in there since 1979. If you want a little less the Tone Zone is a good one too. The denser the wood the more it can take, a LP can take a lot. DiMarzio will let you try one or two so you get it right.
    For lower power but fantastic tone, Lindy Fralin all the way.
     
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  4. BatmansMarshall

    BatmansMarshall Well-Known Member

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    So Super Distortion might not be too hot then? I guess the '57 classic or 490 would be a safe way to go.

    What about Seymour Duncans? Also if I get an Epiphone what should I look for here? Also with a Fender Strat HSH what should I look for there?
     
  5. AdrianDSL

    AdrianDSL Active Member

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    Can also try a Duncan Custom.
     
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  6. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    JB/59 or SuperDistortion/PAF set
     
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  7. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for DiMarzio's 'The Tone Zone'.
    I originally bought mine in the 90's as a 'neck' pickup to stand up to an X2N in the bridge.
    But it really shone when I put it in my HSS Charvel Fusion.
    It's now my favourite 'all-rounder'.
    I think it's their lowest powered 'High Power' humbucker.
     
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  8. Vesperado

    Vesperado Active Member

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    Give Musiclily a shot, they are pretty decent believe it or not. Got two sets for my USA SC-250s in zebra. I would recommend them for just about any style, but if you set them up with a zero-taper nothing can trump these babbies for a passive set well under $100. I tried 3 different sets of IronGear before discovering these; the IG were absolutely garbage with my setup. For hard rock, even metal core, Alnico V is plenty powerful. I got the Musiclily ceramics and couldn't be happier. How? Let's just say my search for pickups ended with these: 8.3/7.6 ohms.
     
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  9. StratoMarshall

    StratoMarshall Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    As far as the DiMarzio SuperDistortion...if its a single coil, they rock! had one in a Strat in the bridge position and it was a rocker, would clean up reducing the guitar volume too! Its not as hot as you would think!
     
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  10. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Choosing replacement pickups for an unknown guitar is pretty much the definition of putting the cart before the horse, isn’t it?
     
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  11. jason_s

    jason_s New Member

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    My fat strat came stock with a SD Pearly Gate in the bridge position paired with Texas specials. They’re mid output at best, not much higher than the single coils but sound really good. They’ll do classic rock thru 80’s metal with no problems.
     
  12. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    unless you buy a guitar for purpose, like one of those varnish finished Eastmans that comes w/ Lollars. So, you could figure on getting an LP style guitar w/ Lollars & that's the way it comes... :)...

    [​IMG]

    or, if you get a guitar custom made, they'll want to know what pickups to put in it...
     
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  13. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    @Dogs of Doom Yeah, but even then, first choosing the guitar and having at least a rough idea of what you're going for helps quite a bit.
    For the guitar I'm currently purchasing parts for (and have a custom body on order), I knew from the get go I wanted DiMarzio FS-1s...but then again, I knew it was a vintagey Strat I wanted, and that I was going for the Norum/early 80s Gary Moore/Alcatrazz-era Malmsteen vibe. So the FS-1 was the obvious choice.
    So I'm with @tallcoolone, the OP should first have at least a rough idea of what he's shooting for and what type of guitar/setup he wants, then select the type of guitar, and only then start thinking about pickups.
     
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  14. lespaul339

    lespaul339 Well-Known Member

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    You can't go wrong with 57 Classics IMO. Great all around pickup for any type of music.
     
  15. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Of course, but then you know what you are buying and you can use that as a baseline. A SD Ant isn't going to sound the same in a HSH alder/maple neck strat as it does in a all mahogany set neck HH.

    Exactly!
     
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