Van Halen pickup review

dreyn77

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Finally solved a few mysteries with VH pickups.
The Seymour duncan 78 pickup is like the 84 kramer pickup and the jap kramer focus 84 kramer pickup.. they need to have the original amp and speakers to make the sound. period.

the amp needs to be set to full power to make the sound.

these pickups are actually reduced signal pickups when compared to most pickups. the sound is less than a gibson traditional pickup because that sound with the amp at max is really terrible to stand near the cabs and hear the sound. This reduced sound is also the reason for VH to say years ago, that his pickup sounded like one coil wasn't working properly. Yeah the sound is less and when you hear the sound at a 'usual' amp setting for other pickups, the VH pickup sounds like what he discribes.

Seymour realised most guys don't have the 68 marshall or set the amp to max so he made the CUstom Custom. A pickup with the intention of makeing the full blown VH sound but for 'usual' amp settings and other 'lower' volume levels.

The 84 kramer Carreera is just a hot humbucker pickup guitar with stock bass heavy tone on the low strings. It's not warm or VH like.

I don't have the peavey's or the wolfgang's or the frankenstien pickups.
I recon they're for the new gear.

It's been a blast! ;)
 

dreyn77

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That would be good! ;) It's never happening with me though.

It makes sense why he's floggin the fifty watters these days. why have a hundred watter and cut the pickup power just so you can have the amp set real loud.

the modern amps don't need to worry about the old pickup design anymore.
gain is gain. I'm more disappointed in the old VH tone now. :(
 

dreyn77

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I suppose you could say the 1959RR amp is the total opposite of what the VH sound is. powerful bass sound. more than ever! ;)
 

Tone Slinger

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I really like my Duncan '78. It is a 9k pu, but sounds as hot as a 12k pu I have. The '78 is voiced sort of like a cross between a 'Custom Custom' and a JB , except it has a clearer more defined quality.... a bit cleaner/clearer. Obviously the bottom and low mids are a tad less pronounced than say a 'CC' but that is sort of typical with pu's with a lower 'K' rating. I would definately get this pu for all of my hb'er guitars.
 

hbucker

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I would say the Frankenstein Pickup is similar to how you describe the Duncan '78. It is surprisingly thin with low output compared what people might expect. Lots of room there to let the amp do some heavy lifting on its own.

Thx for the input.
 

Tone Slinger

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A pu to me is simply a way to make your guitar sound, through the amp, the way it sounds (and feels) to you when playing it unplugged. Too much push in any one direction, gain/eq-wise, and you get a very 'synthetic' type sound imo. For a Hb'er I definately prefer an A2 magnet cause the strings vibrations seem to more properly match the acoustic type thing when amplified.
 

wakjob

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A pu to me is simply a way to make your guitar sound, through the amp, the way it sounds (and feels) to you when playing it unplugged. Too much push in any one direction, gain/eq-wise, and you get a very 'synthetic' type sound imo. For a Hb'er I definately prefer an A2 magnet cause the strings vibrations seem to more properly match the acoustic type thing when amplified.

I agree. I don't know if 'synthetic' is the word I'd use.
Maybe 'colored' might be how I perceive it. Too colored and I can see 'synthetic' being appropriate.

I just found out that one of my favorite guitarist Bill Steer from the band Carcass uses stock T-tops and a '59 in the bridge positions of his LP's drop tuned to B standard for Death-n-Roll metal.:hbang:
 

6StringMoFo

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A pu to me is simply a way to make your guitar sound, through the amp, the way it sounds (and feels) to you when playing it unplugged. Too much push in any one direction, gain/eq-wise, and you get a very 'synthetic' type sound imo. For a Hb'er I definately prefer an A2 magnet cause the strings vibrations seem to more properly match the acoustic type thing when amplified.

For me, my PU choice is based on the PU that get's the best out of my amp!
 

dreyn77

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You say and I agree that the pickup has a 'cleaner', 'clearer', noiseless quality to the sound.
Well these are tell tail signs of a signal which is low output passive. It's kinda solid state sound to me. :(
I can understand how it works and there's lots of pickups with this type of signal changing technique used in their construction.

Mr Sageborn's clip of the SG bass guitars has a 70's stagg bass and he points out the different sound those pickups make too. I have a stagg SG 71 gibson copy and it has 3 pickups and I have a sound from that guitar which also has a solid state/ distortion sound from that pickup design.
I've plugged that SG guitar in to amps 9 different ways. 8 ways there's a slight 'wah' tone added to the sound, so those sounds are not good and are in my book, wrong sounds. But there's 1 input sound which is all good and the guitars controls all have the right tones happening across the full dial turn. BUT all those sounds have distortion added to the sound. something an original gibson pickup wouldn't do.

THose pickups have to have some kinda 'Lo Fi' signal from them.
So there's 8 other distorted sounds which are wrong and 1 which is the original distorted sound. Which has a tone like the gibson but the sound is very distorted.
 

dreyn77

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I use the master volume 800 style amp for the VH pickup testing.
I set the vol to where I want to hear the sound, so it's not loud. then I put the gain dial where it replicates the JMP amp's distorted sound. so it's on max.
All I do now is set the EQ dials to where I know VH set's his dials, but after years of experimenting and demoing products I realise I'm not matching sounds from the VH original, I know what that is, I'm just comparing and I know how much range the products have.

SO I just set the EQ's to halfway. and use presence to brighten if needed.

at that setting you can just plug in whatever pickup you like and compare the sound out of the speakers. It's the scaled down version of the monster sound. Sure the original big sound is slightly different in character, but that's not worth worrying about.

I trust marshall has made the small combo amp as close as they can make it. The principles are the same. It tells you what's happening. and you can hear what's happening to the sound.

This demoing product techniqu should be told to you by the guy selling the products but they just stay behind the counter at the front of the shop or they walk past and talk about trivial matters.
 

keennay

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How much different is a JB compared to a Custom Custom, besides the fact the JB has an Alnico V vs. an Alnico II magnet (even then I don't know what exactly the differences are)?

They seem to have a similar EQ, with a slightly lower bass on the Custom Custom. My Jackson hardtail currently has a Seymour Duncan Screamin' Demon & I'm looking to replace it with something other than a JB.
 

dreyn77

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6string mofo, when My Wylde says that sound from the 1959RR is unique you can 'take that to the bank'. ;)
I realised after I hear the amp, that I needed to know what all my gear actually does and where it sounds the best. So I'm still demoing gear and have left the 1959RR untouched for a long while.
Once I learn all the principles/ basics, then I'll apply the knowledge to the monster amp.

I really think Randy was going through a massive experimenting stage when he was with ozzy. We know that from what the guys a jackson have said about their guitars they gave to him.

So if you get an RR amp, you have a bit of trial and error to do before you find a sound you like, cause the original sounds which are recorded are/were 'in the process of' becomming something really great. ;) something which wasn't heard before.

From paul gilbert's namm 2009 and Mustain's 'end game' tones you can get an idea for other sounds which the 1959RR makes.

Dave knows as soon as you turn the volume dial down (cause marshall hasn't made a small combo yet) the difference between the RR cascaded amp sound and the standard marshall sound isn't worth worrying about.

You might even like Dave's JVM endgame sound more than the RR's sound on the album. thanks to dave, we can compare.
Head crusher- Jvm. 44minutes- 1959RR. (imo)
 

dreyn77

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The JB's going to give you what the amp size tone is. 100 watts tone or 50 watts tone.

the CC isn't going to do that. it's making the warm sound regardless of amp.
It's very different product.

George liked the sound of the JMP with that pickup but he was WRONG and now he knows why and just uses the amp as the maker intended now. that's why he plays all sorts of amps now.

I have the Scream n deamon too.

I'd replace it with a gibson original. your duncan's are going to give you added distortion. do you want that?
if not, go back to the valve amp sound with the gibson original pickup design.

From what I know about Jeff is he likes abit of something extra in the sound. but the JB DOES do what it claims. the gibson is making a unique EQ sound. that's why the P90 doesn't have the tone of the humbucker. The P90 sound is more correct.
When guys complain about the 100watter sounding too dark, that's the fault of the gibson humbucking pickup and NOT the amp.

SO, the JB pickup has a more 'true' amp tone from the sound. You'll notice the bass notes being warm and NOT dark like the gibson.
the question is, does the JB pickup have more gain?... if so it's not like the gibson in the 'original sound' department. ;)
 

keennay

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Gibson original? I was initially leaning towards DiMarzio, specifically the Super Distortion, but I wouldn't want two guitars with hot/similar pickups (JB & Super Distortion). The Tone Zone is also a possibility especially after hearing MichaelRT's clips.
 

dreyn77

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The super distortion is shifting the sound up into the treble region.
you just sold the treble region speakers, the 75's.

You've already got the 'gain' from your amps.
you only by aftermarket pickups if you want more gain.
and you only buy them if you don't have pedals.
If you're going to buy pickups and pedals you should just by the modern marshall amp. ;)

THey have the best sound of the pickups and pedals built right into the amp design.

You get a pickup which matches your amp and you start there.

So you start with the P90/94 or the vintage fender.
that tone is only being slightly 'tweeked' (changed) when you use a humbucker pickup. the gibson original humbucker.

the sound is only slightly different.

guys need to learn this fact!

it's only that the amps were on MAX power that you think there's a really BIG difference to the sounds from different gear.

If you add a pedal to this perfect original sound you've changed the tone to a BAD sound. and a LOWER sound. you know this because you've LOST the BASS sound tone from the amp.
but that 'bass' sound is only made from big volume/voltage power.

It's NOT actually there! you've turned the amp up and stood in the wrong place to hear the amps' sound.

You buy the pickup which matches your amp you set the volume to where you are listening to the sound and that's all you need to do.

If you want the high gain solo sound you buy the pickup which matches the high gain amp design.
the amp maker is RIGHT!
the 80's celebrity was WRONG!

the amp makers haven't changed the amp design for the 80's celebrity way of playing.

the amp still has the OLD guitar playing and tone makeing technique incorperated in the amp design.

The guitar electronics controlling design hasn't changed either. ;)
the guitar for the modern amp has the same controls as the vintage guitar.
The gibson vintage original guitar has the same controls as the modern gibson guitar with the modern amp design pickups.

they BOTH make the SAME sound and they are controlled the SAME way.
the amps make THE SAME sound but the modern amp has MORE features for the guitar player.

you guys need to realise the sounds you're thinking are totally unique are actually 'slightly' different. and what makes them different is more often a BAD sound VERSION.
Vh's sound is from his perspective while he's standing next to the amp on max power.
In his mind the amp is sounding the way he likes to hear the sound. but from the amp makers perspective that sound is BAD sound and is WRONG guitar sound adjusting technique.

He's finally worked out that
he was 'wrong' and now he's off tone chasing again.
so if you're using 80's guitar tone chaseing techniques, you need to realise those guys were WRONG and the amp makers were NOT swayed into radically changing the amp design.

You must learn to make tone the old way and apply that technique to the amps.
That's the only method which works and produces good sound from every pickup and dial setting.

Do you want one bad sound or 30 awesome sounds?

They played the notes but they had NO clue what sounds they were makeing back then.
 

dreyn77

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The JB pickup is NOT a simple pickup. it's making a complex sound thoughtout by years of guitar playing with the original pickup designs which worked perfectly.

The JB pickup is not to be taken lightly or underestimated.
the original sound for the JMP amp is a P90/94.
this pickup has to be your beginners class, where you learn about tone and tone shapeing. Then you graduate to the humbucker. followed by the master class JB humbucker. and if you need to experiment in science class then you try the super distortion pickup.
 

dreyn77

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But the new amps have made the old science class pickups USELESS.
guys don't need them anymore ;)

the amps do a much better job of what those pickups did.
SO the new class is the computer class and that's dealing with the complex amps of today.
 

dreyn77

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Its the same thing as the difference between old and new cars. they do the same original task, the user has the same options to be out of the weather and have somewhere to sitdown but the modern car has lots of user features. but it requires a different fuel.

:) thanks.
 

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