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Thread: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

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    Default Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    Every 30 years or so I like to change the pups on my guitars, whether they need it or not. Well, it’s that time again. The guitar in question is an Aria Pro II Titan Artist TA-100. It’s a semi-hollow body ES-335 clone, with a mahogany center block, ebony fingerboard, maple top+sycamore back/sides, and a brass nut. Made about 1980 or so. I’m playing through an old Yamaha G100-212 amp.

    Anyway, I use it for everything from jazz melody/chords to fusion+rock leads, so I need it to be versatile. It currently has a DM SD in the bridge, and I think a DM Dual Sound in the neck (been 30 years, I forgot). Neither does it for me anymore. Sounds thin, no punch.

    After reading pretty much all the forum topics regarding semi-hollows, ES-335 clones, etc., I see lots of recommendations for either 59s or Seths in both positions. I was going to go with 59s, but then I also noticed a lot of posters saying an Alnico 2 in the neck might be warmer+smoother, which is what I want. I also want a 4-wire option for tapping, so I don’t know if Seths are good for that. So, I’m leaning toward a 59 in the bridge and either a PG or A2P in the neck.

    Does anyone have an opinion which one would sound best? Or can anyone suggest another combo?
    Last edited by casey570; 11-20-2010 at 12:38 PM.

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    Ultimate Tone Member PRSfan nym 1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    You should be able to get a floor shop order in for a 4 conductor Seth Lover if that's what you prefer to my knowledge those and the 59 model come with a single lead to be vintage correct.

    I'd probably swap the brass nut for a piece of bone, lighter in weight and I think they sound better. But that's probably just personal preference.

    It likely depends on the amount of output you need but judging by your description it sounds like it's probably a brighter sounding instrument acoustically so I'd definitely go with a smoother/warmer sounding pickup.

    I'd definitely suggest trying AlNiCo Pro II's or Seth Lovers in both positions as starting points.

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    Welcome aboard. Lots of good info and helpful people on this forum.

    I've got a few semi-hollows myself. Duncan makes some great PAF's. '59's have a sharp high end, are mid-scooped, and a strong tight low end, which is sometimes too bassy for some players (that can be moderated by slightly lowering the bass side of the PU. This EQ is driven my the A5 magnet. You can get '59's with 4 lead wires (all of mine have 4 leads).

    The other Duncan PAF's I have use A2's, which have a lot of mids and a rounded top. Seth's have a great open and warm sound to them due to being unpotted; feedback isn't usually an issue unless you really crank up the volume and/or OD. I don't know if they come with 4 leads though.

    PG's and A2P's are similar, but PG's are a little brighter and A2P's a little warmer. Both have a large sound from the A2's ample mids. Their treble comes from the coil windings, and the magnet smoothes that out and gives them a big, wide sound. You can get both of them with 4 leads.

    We do a lot of magnet swapping here, and modify PU EQ's with that. Also, if you want to save a few bucks, look at used PU's on eBay, they often go for around half price.

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    Default Re: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    PRSfan - thanks for the reply. Interesting that you suggest A2P in both positions, that's where I started before considering the '59 for the bridge after reading the forums. You're correct, the instrument is bright, so maybe the '59 isn't right for it. As for the brass nut, I probably won't switch it out. I'm trying to keep the guitar as original as possible - it's one of the higher-end Matsumoku guitars and I read somewhere that only about 1000 or so were made.

    blueman - thanks for the reply, the welcome, and the info. That's the best single post comparing/contrasting the SD PAFs I've read in this forum. It confirms my feeling that A2 pups are a better choice - more mid!

    Anyway, I've decided on trying an AP2 in the bridge and a PG in the neck, based on some discussions in a thread http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/s...d.php?t=191539 a while back. blueman, I think you had a +1 reply on that thread to that set up. Plus, I can always switch them around.

    Thanks again, I'll let you know how it turns out.

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    A2P/PGN sounds like what you want for that guitar. If you decide the bridge needs some smoothing and a bit less treble, you can put in a roughcast A2 (I did that to mine). I think '59's are at their best in warm-sounding guitars, as the wood adds some mids.

    We'll be waiting to hear from you once you get the PU's installed. Should be a big improvement over the DMz's that were in there (definitely the wrong PU's for that guitar).

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    Junior Member prince5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    Hi casey,..
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    Default Re: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    If you only swap out pickups every 30 years, why not go for the best? Get a pair of Antiquities in there.
    Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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    Default Re: Pickups for Aria Pro II TA-100 Semi-hollow body?

    Update: I eventually went with a PGn and a 59b, both with covers. I'm in the process of installing them now. I was going back and forth between the A2P and the 59 for the bridge, but decided on the 59 mainly because of the mahogany center block and how everyone seems to like a 59 in a semi-hollow.
    If the 59 turns out to be too bright, I'll replace the A5 mag with an A2 or try the A2P.

    For the record, the current neck pup is a DM PAF from the early 80's, not a Dual Sound like I originally thought. Still lifeless.
    I found one of the original pups: they were MMK 75s. My ohm meter reads 8.4k on it, so it might still have some life in it.

    As for the Antiquities, well, I'll save that for the next replacement. Only 29 years and 11 months to go!

    Thanks all, I'll let you know how it turns out.
    Last edited by casey570; 01-10-2011 at 02:36 PM.

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