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Thread: WCR Darkburst pickups

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    Super Toneologist Archer_of_Fish's Avatar
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    Default WCR Darkburst pickups

    I recently received a PRS McCarty Trem as a gift from my wife. She had the tech install a set of WCR Darkbursts.

    I AM BLOWN AWAY.

    Never heard such even, clear sounding (but still fairly hot) vintage voiced pickups in my life.


  2. #2
    Thunder
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Nice axe!

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    Toneologist Mononoaware's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
    Nice axe!
    Nice wife!

  4. #4
    theodie
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    I have personally played a set. They are NOTHING short of impressive!

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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    I have completely switched all my guitars from Seymour Duncan to WCR pickups. The difference to me regarding going from SD to WCR was as dramatic as going from stock pickups to Duncans. Jim is a really nice guy with great customer service, he will normally answer your emails/calls within a few hours. Whenever I have placed an order he has wound my pickup and shipped the next day. I have heard and tried most his pickups in person and in live situations and my favorite choice is the American Steele set with the Godwood Bridge and Crossroads Neck. A Godwood bridge is currently on its way to replace the SD Custom 5 in the bridge of XSSIVE's Clone #13 which I just purchased, maybe when he does the pickup swap he could give a quick review of his impressions before sending me the guitar. Jim's pickups are not cheap but I will not compromise on my tone if I know that there is something better, thus all my guitars in the present and future have and will have WCR's. Obviously this is all my opinion based on my experiences and YMMV.

    David
    Last edited by heavydutysg135; 12-16-2008 at 06:14 PM.
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  6. #6
    theodie
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by heavydutysg135 View Post
    I have completely switched all my guitars from Seymour Duncan to WCR pickups. The difference to me regarding going from SD to WCR was as dramatic as going from stock pickups to Duncans.
    I have to agree but, it is hard for me to bring myself to pay those prices. That is the only obstacle IMO.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker xxxplorer's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    I actually didn't see the prices that bad.... considering that Gibson Sells pickups at the same price. I have always wanted to try the WCR stuff... but I don't know how much of it is VOODOO.

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    Digitally Challenged Mr 9finger's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Nice guitar Doc! Play it in good health bro!
    Gear: More junk than I know what to do with

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    Super Toneologist Archer_of_Fish's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by heavydutysg135 View Post
    I have completely switched all my guitars from Seymour Duncan to WCR pickups. The difference to me regarding going from SD to WCR was as dramatic as going from stock pickups to Duncans. Jim is a really nice guy with great customer service, he will normally answer your emails/calls within a few hours. Whenever I have placed an order he has wound my pickup and shipped the next day. I have heard and tried most his pickups in person and in live situations and my favorite choice is the American Steele set with the Godwood Bridge and Crossroads Neck. A Godwood bridge is currently on its way to replace the SD Custom 5 in the bridge of XSSIVE's Clone #13 which I just purchased, maybe when he does the pickup swap he could give a quick review of his impressions before sending me the guitar. Jim's pickups are not cheap but I will not compromise on my tone if I know that there is something better, thus all my guitars in the present and future have and will have WCR's. Obviously this is all my opinion based on my experiences and YMMV.

    David

    B/W Suhr and WCR I may be losing a few Duncans




    sorry seymour.....

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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    I have a WCR crossroads bridge and it pretty much blows me away. Like it better than most of the other boutique stuff I have.

    However, it isn't fair to compare to regular Duncan production pickups.

    So far the humbuckers I like best, including a variety of boutique ones, as the WCR crossroads, the Duncan 78/EVH and the Duncan Antiquities. That's for PAF-class winds, high output is a different matter.

    The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop pickups just sound much better than their regular production offerings.

    The difference that causes me to like SD CS and WCR better than the other boutique makers might just be potting, I might be sensitive to even the light potting that WB puts on. I haven't investigated in enough detail.

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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
    I have a WCR crossroads bridge and it pretty much blows me away. Like it better than most of the other boutique stuff I have.

    However, it isn't fair to compare to regular Duncan production pickups.

    So far the humbuckers I like best, including a variety of boutique ones, as the WCR crossroads, the Duncan 78/EVH and the Duncan Antiquities. That's for PAF-class winds, high output is a different matter.

    The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop pickups just sound much better than their regular production offerings.

    The difference that causes me to like SD CS and WCR better than the other boutique makers might just be potting, I might be sensitive to even the light potting that WB puts on. I haven't investigated in enough detail.
    I replaced the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary Seth Lovers in my SG because I though that the WCR's absolutely blew them away in terms of clarity, power, balance, and harmonic complexity. Although I am not sure which comes closer to a "real vintage PAF", I know for certain that I and everyone elso who heard the comparison between the guitars (my SG loaded with Seths vs Jim's SG loaded with WCR's) agreed that the WCR's clearly sounded better in both positions through a variety of different amps (both guitars had the same high quality pots, caps, and wiring). This was at band level volumes with and without drums and bass at the Scumback Speaker demo at Tone Merchants. I have since replaced all my pickups and am much happier with the tone that I am getting. The only Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Pickups that I have tried have been the Seths and Antiquities; maybe something else would be better but I doubt it. I agree that the comparison between production line Seymour Duncan's and WCR's is not entirely fair because of the price difference, but the WCR's are not that much more expensive if you are paying close to retail for SD and for me the WCR's are entirely worth the extra money and even much more. Custom Shop Seymour Duncans are in the same price range (or even more expensive) but I don't feel that the tone is in the same league. Obviously this is all imo and ymmv.

    David
    Last edited by heavydutysg135; 12-18-2008 at 12:21 PM.
    Voodoo Amps 50 and 100 watt V-Plex heads
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    Longhorn Amps "The Barn Owl" 1x12 combo
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    ESP Eclipse Custom Shop '07 with WCR Cherrybucker Set
    ESP Eclipse Custom Shop '07 with EMG 81 and 60
    ESP Viper Custom Shop '07 with EMG 81 and 85
    ESP Esquire Custom Shop (Jeff Beck)
    Gibson SG Standard with WCR American Steele Set

  12. #12
    theodie
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by heavydutysg135 View Post
    I replaced the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary Seth Lovers in my SG because I though that the WCR's absolutely blew them away in terms of clarity, power, balance, and harmonic complexity. Although I am not sure which comes closer to a "real vintage PAF", I know for certain that I and everyone elso who heard the comparison between the guitars (my SG loaded with Seths vs Jim's SG loaded with WCR's) agreed that the WCR's clearly sounded better in both positions through a variety of different amps (both guitars had the same high quality pots, caps, and wiring). This was at band level volumes with and without drums and bass at the Scumback Speaker demo at Tone Merchants. I have since replaced all my pickups and am much happier with the tone that I am getting. The only Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Pickups that I have tried have been the Seths and Antiquities; maybe something else would be better but I doubt it. I agree that the comparison between production line Seymour Duncan's and WCR's is not entirely fair because of the price difference, but the WCR's are not that much more expensive if you are paying close to retail for SD and for me the WCR's are entirely worth the extra money and even much more. Custom Shop Seymour Duncans are in the same price range (or even more expensive) but I don't feel that the tone is in the same league. Obviously this is all imo and ymmv.

    David
    Curious, what Custom shop Duncans did you compare to the WCR's? The 50th Anniversary Seth Lovers are not true custom shop pieces in the pickups design. The design of the pickup is an off the shelf/production design. Beside the cosmetics, the 50th Ann. is a production Seth. Not a fair comparison IMO.

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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by theodie View Post
    Curious, what Custom shop Duncans did you compare to the WCR's? The 50th Anniversary Seth Lovers are not true custom shop pieces in the pickups design. The design of the pickup is an off the shelf/production design. Beside the cosmetics, the 50th Ann. is a production Seth. Not a fair comparison IMO.
    The boxes that they came in said that the pickups were wound by MJ in the custom shop. Both pickups were signed (I can't remember if it was by Seymour or MJ) and numbered. I guess that I don't really understand why that is not considered custom shop and what more they would need to be "custom shop" other than the fact that they were wound in the custom shop by MJ. The Anniversary Seths were wound slightly hotter than the standard Seth Lover just like the Antiquity except without the aged magnet. I paid "custom shop" prices for the Duncan pickups (the cs seths actually cost more than the WCR's that I bought in person) and had them professionally installed and set up by Fred at Guitar Zone in San Diego. What do you think I would need to compare from the SD "custom shop" to get a more fair comparison of the best that they have to offer? My guitar sounded very similar to a guitar that I tried with custom shop antiquities (the other guitar was a Les Paul and mine is an SG though) which are generally considered one of the flagship products of the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop line, so I felt that I had a fair comparison.
    Last edited by heavydutysg135; 12-18-2008 at 12:56 PM.
    Voodoo Amps 50 and 100 watt V-Plex heads
    Voodoo Amps Texas Heat 1x12 combo
    Longhorn Amps "The Barn Owl" 1x12 combo
    1981 JCM 800 2204 Head
    1984 (Bogner Modified) JCM 800 4103 2X12 Combo
    ESP Eclipse Custom Shop '07 with WCR Cherrybucker Set
    ESP Eclipse Custom Shop '07 with EMG 81 and 60
    ESP Viper Custom Shop '07 with EMG 81 and 85
    ESP Esquire Custom Shop (Jeff Beck)
    Gibson SG Standard with WCR American Steele Set

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    Senior Member Skoora's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by heavydutysg135 View Post
    and had them professionally installed and set up by Fred at Guitar Zone in San Diego.
    Oh man, I miss Fred and his shop. I used to live in SD in the late 90's and worked at Guitar Trader there. I went to Fred's shop all the time. Good guy. He used to be located in Guitar Trader and we would shoot the **** with him and his co-worker Rog all the time.

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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by heavydutysg135 View Post
    I replaced the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary Seth Lovers in my SG because I though that the WCR's absolutely blew them away in terms of clarity, power, balance, and harmonic complexity. Although I am not sure which comes closer to a "real vintage PAF", I know for certain that I and everyone elso who heard the comparison between the guitars (my SG loaded with Seths vs Jim's SG loaded with WCR's) agreed that the WCR's clearly sounded better in both positions through a variety of different amps (both guitars had the same high quality pots, caps, and wiring). This was at band level volumes with and without drums and bass at the Scumback Speaker demo at Tone Merchants. I have since replaced all my pickups and am much happier with the tone that I am getting. The only Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Pickups that I have tried have been the Seths and Antiquities; maybe something else would be better but I doubt it. I agree that the comparison between production line Seymour Duncan's and WCR's is not entirely fair because of the price difference, but the WCR's are not that much more expensive if you are paying close to retail for SD and for me the WCR's are entirely worth the extra money and even much more. Custom Shop Seymour Duncans are in the same price range (or even more expensive) but I don't feel that the tone is in the same league. Obviously this is all imo and ymmv.

    David
    The Seths are in-between regular Seymour Duncans and Custom Shop SDs.

    They really aren't as good as the Antiquities or the 78, but noticeably more open than the most comparable production pickup, the APH. In the neck in particular the Seth is better than the APH, but the Ant still blows it away. Bridge is a different matter for me.

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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by heavydutysg135 View Post
    My guitar sounded very similar to a guitar that I tried with custom shop antiquities (the other guitar was a Les Paul and mine is an SG though) which are generally considered one of the flagship products of the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop line, so I felt that I had a fair comparison.

    I said that I tried both the Antiquities and the Anniversary Seths, I just owned the Seths for some time. There was not enough of a difference for me to get very excited one way or the other. I think that if you really like the Antiquities then you would like the Anniversary Seths and vice versa because they have a very similar sound and feel imo. There is definately a huge difference going from either of these pickups (which I consider similar) to WCR, whether you like that difference is obviously a personal preference. Different people have different tastes which is why there are so many choices of pickups, I definately know that I personally prefer WCR from my first-hand experiences. YMMV
    Last edited by heavydutysg135; 12-18-2008 at 06:42 PM.
    Voodoo Amps 50 and 100 watt V-Plex heads
    Voodoo Amps Texas Heat 1x12 combo
    Longhorn Amps "The Barn Owl" 1x12 combo
    1981 JCM 800 2204 Head
    1984 (Bogner Modified) JCM 800 4103 2X12 Combo
    ESP Eclipse Custom Shop '07 with WCR Cherrybucker Set
    ESP Eclipse Custom Shop '07 with EMG 81 and 60
    ESP Viper Custom Shop '07 with EMG 81 and 85
    ESP Esquire Custom Shop (Jeff Beck)
    Gibson SG Standard with WCR American Steele Set

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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    I really don't know the answer to this, but are all of the WCR pups different for every client? If not, what's unfair about comparing them to any other company's regular offerings? I really have never understood the concept of "custom shop" pickups by any maker that sells the same "custom" pickup to anyone who wants it, and does it by a common name. I just don't get it. It wouldn't pass in the world of suits. "Here, take this custom suit of the rack and we'll see you later".

    I'm not trying to hijack, but I honestly don't get what is unfair.

    I have not tried WCRs yet, but based on the clips I've heard, they sound really good. I have always worried though, that they have so much of their own sound, that it would be hard to get them not to sound like every one else that plays them. Kind of like Dimarzios. Does anyone have any thoughts on this. One thing I like about SD, is that many of their pups are open to individual sound. Gibsons are great for this as well.

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    Krankitupologist krankguitarist's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by thunder View Post
    nice axe!
    Quote Originally Posted by mononoaware View Post
    nice wife!
    ^this!!!!

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    Super Toneologist Archer_of_Fish's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by The Usual View Post
    I really don't know the answer to this, but are all of the WCR pups different for every client? If not, what's unfair about comparing them to any other company's regular offerings? I really have never understood the concept of "custom shop" pickups by any maker that sells the same "custom" pickup to anyone who wants it, and does it by a common name. I just don't get it. It wouldn't pass in the world of suits. "Here, take this custom suit of the rack and we'll see you later".

    I'm not trying to hijack, but I honestly don't get what is unfair.

    I have not tried WCRs yet, but based on the clips I've heard, they sound really good. I have always worried though, that they have so much of their own sound, that it would be hard to get them not to sound like every one else that plays them. Kind of like Dimarzios. Does anyone have any thoughts on this. One thing I like about SD, is that many of their pups are open to individual sound. Gibsons are great for this as well.

    I dont really agree with what you are getting at. I can pick up a guitar with the same pickups you have....plug into the same amp and, after I have finished dialing in my tone settings, sound completely different.


    WCRs are more open sounding than any DUncan I have tried....they let the guitar's acoustic voice shine through. To me that is what a pickup should do. I think the formula for good tone starts with a guitar that sounds great unplugged, the pickup should make that bigger and enhace it. WCR pickups do that. When peo-ple play the guitar unplugged they are impressed at how it sounds a lot like it does plugged in. To me that is the ultimate compliment to a pickup.

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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: WCR Darkburst pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by The Usual View Post
    I really don't know the answer to this, but are all of the WCR pups different for every client? If not, what's unfair about comparing them to any other company's regular offerings? I really have never understood the concept of "custom shop" pickups by any maker that sells the same "custom" pickup to anyone who wants it, and does it by a common name. I just don't get it. It wouldn't pass in the world of suits. "Here, take this custom suit of the rack and we'll see you later".

    I'm not trying to hijack, but I honestly don't get what is unfair.

    I have not tried WCRs yet, but based on the clips I've heard, they sound really good. I have always worried though, that they have so much of their own sound, that it would be hard to get them not to sound like every one else that plays them. Kind of like Dimarzios. Does anyone have any thoughts on this. One thing I like about SD, is that many of their pups are open to individual sound. Gibsons are great for this as well.
    I don't think there's anything that special about WCRs, or any pickup for that matter.

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