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Thread: Good passive metalcore pickups?

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    Default Good passive metalcore pickups?

    I'm looking for a good passive pickup to put into an Ibanez S420 (ZR2 locking trem, mahogany body, locking nut, thin maple neck with rosewood fretboard.)

    My setup is Guitar > Ibanez TS9 > Boss NS2 > Peavey Valveking tube halfstack. (and then delay and verb in the fx loop).

    I play mostly modern metal (like As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red, Destroy the Runner, The Human Abstract, Mastodon, Parkway Drive, Silent Civilian, Unearth, etc.) and really liked the sound I got from my RG with EMG 81/85 combo, but can't fit the battery into the ibanez s series control cavity, so I'm looking for something similar, but passive.

    I like the fast attack, and high output of the EMGs, articulate and powerful sounding. I've heard good things about Barenuckle pickups, as well as Dimarzio X2N, Super Distortion, and D-Activators, but have no experience with them (and don't want to spend the money trying them out). If anyone has experience with what I'm looking for, please let me know what you think. I don't have a brand preference, so lets hear some opinions!

    Oh, and my Duncan JB almost cuts it, but just doesn't attack quite as fast as I want. What about a Dimebucker, or Polar Axis Trembucker Distortion PATB-2? Duncan Distortion, Full Shred? I don't know much about any of them really.

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    My friend mostly plays hardcore in C wtih his SG and a dual rec. The SG is loaded w/ a Duncan Distortion set and he can still get a pretty good metalcore tone of them when he wants to.

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    Mojo's Minions dominus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Sticking a thick ceramic magnet in your JB would make it a Distortion and probably get you what you want.

    Duncan Custom would work well, as would a Dimarzio D-Activator. Full Shred would work too.
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    Imperator of Indignation idsnowdog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwmax View Post
    really liked the sound I got from my RG with EMG 81/85 combo, but can't fit the battery into the ibanez s series control cavity, so I'm looking for something similar, but passive.

    I like the fast attack, and high output of the EMGs, articulate and powerful sounding.
    You don't have to have the battery in the guitar. You can build a phantom power box and run a stereo cable to your guitar. One side of the cable would be power and the other half power.

    Schematic & Instructions:
    http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/s...d.php?t=158422

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by idsnowdog View Post
    You don't have to have the battery in the guitar. You can build a phantom power box and run a stereo cable to your guitar. One side of the cable would be power and the other half power.

    Schematic & Instructions:
    http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/s...d.php?t=158422
    That's a neat idea. Does it sound any different from having the battery on-board, in terms of noise and whatnot?

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Dimebucker is hot and scoopy, but it does numetal very well.
    Can't go wrong with a Duncan distortion, IMHO the best pup ever made.

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    Imperator of Indignation idsnowdog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessie's ghost View Post
    That's a neat idea. Does it sound any different from having the battery on-board, in terms of noise and whatnot?
    No difference in terms of sound. I had to do it because I didn't have room for two 9V batteries for my Livewires. By removing the clips from the circuit I was able to create a much neater install.

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    I'd recommend the PATB-2 (Parallel, not Polar, btw, refers to the polepiece pairs being parallel to each string). A bit less harsh in the high frequencies than the standard Distortion, but can still do those tearing tones if wanted, just up the presence a bit at the amp to get there.

    I love the Distortion for thrash rhythms, but prefer the PATB-2 for riffs and leads, and I like it's thrash tone equally well. It growls a bit like an Invader, without giving up high frequency response or flexibility.

    In case you haven't run across my PATB rants, they basically beef up a thin superstrat with a floating vibrato bridge to sound like a thick Les Paul. Except they also improve articulation. Better sustain, reduced string pull, sweeter upper mids, enhanced harmonic response and better string balance.

    The Full Shred is an interesting pickup, very articulate with huge mids, but it might be a bit thin in your guitar.

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by idsnowdog View Post
    No difference in terms of sound. I had to do it because I didn't have room for two 9V batteries for my Livewires. By removing the clips from the circuit I was able to create a much neater install.
    That is just about the coolest damn thing I've ever seen. Way to think outside the box!
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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by formula73 View Post
    That is just about the coolest damn thing I've ever seen. Way to think outside the box!
    Agreed. Very cool!
    To the OP - As has been suggested, I'd swap out the mag in the JB. Or if you're not confident in yourself - get the SH-6 Mayhem set.
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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by Despair View Post
    I'd recommend the PATB-2 (Parallel, not Polar, btw, refers to the polepiece pairs being parallel to each string). A bit less harsh in the high frequencies than the standard Distortion, but can still do those tearing tones if wanted, just up the presence a bit at the amp to get there.

    I love the Distortion for thrash rhythms, but prefer the PATB-2 for riffs and leads, and I like it's thrash tone equally well. It growls a bit like an Invader, without giving up high frequency response or flexibility.

    In case you haven't run across my PATB rants, they basically beef up a thin superstrat with a floating vibrato bridge to sound like a thick Les Paul. Except they also improve articulation. Better sustain, reduced string pull, sweeter upper mids, enhanced harmonic response and better string balance.

    The Full Shred is an interesting pickup, very articulate with huge mids, but it might be a bit thin in your guitar.
    When you put it like that, I really have to try one soon.... meaning like NOW!

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    I have a PATB-1b in my basswood RG570 and it's not going anywhere. I do want other guitars to put the rest of the PATB series in, though...

    If you want some idea of what it sounds like (through a POD), daemon barbeque has a bunch of songs & samples on both his myspace and another page, search for him on the forum for links. He had his mounted in a fixed bridge mahogany Peavey, IIRC. One of the samples has PATB-2 vs conventional Distortion playing same part, each panned to different sides. Remarkably similar for rhythm parts, aside from one having slightly more bite and the other being thicker.

    He gave me a ton of useful advice on the PATB series, I almost went for the PATB-2, but am happy with the PATB-1b for what I do with this guitar.

    The PATB-2 is crazy output, massively compressed awesomeness. All out metal pickup. (It can do cool cold cleans, though, as daemon barbeque demonstrates on one of his songs... but it's not a typical humbucker clean)

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    If you want 81 or JB high mid crunch, then the D activator will do it.

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Sounds like a lot of nice ideas. I wish there was somewhere I could find guitars with these assorted pickups in them to try out. I've spent way too much money on music stuff lately as it is. Are there any common guitars that guitar center might have that come standard with a Duncan Distortion, Custom, Full Shred, PATB series, or D-activator? Also, what is the difference between the different PATBs in terms of sound?

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    I have a mahogony Parker with a maple neck and ebony board with the Dimarzio Petrucci set and I can nail those type of tones all day long. The Crunch lab is a real bad ass pickup.

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    I don't know of any guitars using the PATB series, other than an old Tony MacAlpine model, and numerous Blues Saraceno models. Unless you stumble across one of those used, I doubt you are likely to find one to try.

    PATB-2 is an all out metal pickup, with it's high resistance 44AWG wind and thick ceramic magnet. Describing it as a Parallel Axis take on the TB-6 Distortion is a fair start, but incomplete. Compressed but articulate, awesome for extremely saturated tones.

    PATB-1b is an all around hot rocker, can do clean and low gain reasonably well, but particularly sings with medium to high gain. It's similar to basically everything out of the standard Custom line, great moderate gain crunch with singing leads. Ridiculously responsive.

    PATB-3 is pretty much the Parallel Axis PAF equivalent. Higher output available than an original PAF, but open and airy due to polepiece/coil structure changes. Amazing for anything you'd use a hot PAF, with a bit more controllable output on tap (roll off the volume to around 80% and it responds like a '59). Also extremely responsive.

    PATB-1n is the neck pickup out of the line (though I've heard of people using the PATB-3 as the neck with a PATB-2 bridge). It gets compared to the '59, Jazz and Full Shred neck, what I've heard has sounded most like the '59n out of the 3, but it's more articulate and tighter.

    [summary of general Parallel Axis advantages: reduced string pull, improved sustain and articulation, sweet upper mids, enhanced harmonic response, higher output yet open feel, and they are recommended (with justification!) for beefing up a thin superstrat with a floating vibrato bridge to sound like a thick Les Paul]

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwmax View Post
    Sounds like a lot of nice ideas. I wish there was somewhere I could find guitars with these assorted pickups in them to try out. I've spent way too much money on music stuff lately as it is. Are there any common guitars that guitar center might have that come standard with a Duncan Distortion, Custom, Full Shred, PATB series, or D-activator? Also, what is the difference between the different PATBs in terms of sound?
    That is a lost cause my friend, you won't be able to try out pickups in a guitar shop, especially those pickups that you mentioned, I can't think of a single, readily available, guitar that has them stock.

    Your absolute best move is to start researching (here on the forum first) about magnet swapping. As other mentioned you've got your self a duncan distortion if you buy a ceramic magnet ($5) and have a philips screwdriver. If you intend to quest your perfect pickup tone this skill will save you TONS of money and time. An A8 magnet is also a nice improvement on the stock JB.

    I installed a Dimarzio Crunch Lab in one of my guitars and then almost immediately sold my other emg equipped guitar. The Crunchlab is beefy and modern and really puts out some great heavy metal tone, it is a great option for a locking trem guitar as well.
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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwmax View Post
    Sounds like a lot of nice ideas. I wish there was somewhere I could find guitars with these assorted pickups in them to try out. I've spent way too much money on music stuff lately as it is. Are there any common guitars that guitar center might have that come standard with a Duncan Distortion, Custom, Full Shred, PATB series, or D-activator? Also, what is the difference between the different PATBs in terms of sound?
    I can't think of any guitar company that puts the PATB and Duncan Custom stock on their guitars.

    However the Dimarzio D-Activators come stock on the Ibanez Iceman ICT700... I've had mine for almost 2 years. Also the Ibanez RG2610E comes stock with the Full Shred Bridge. Check out your local Ibanez Dealer.

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Schecter used to use the Custom and Custom Custom in various models, but has switched to either EMGs or JB/59 in everything, last I looked.

    Hamer still has models in the Monaco line with Custom in both neck & bridge, or some models that swap the bridge out to a Custom Custom.

    Anyone know what the "S. Duncan Ultimate" pickup is, in the Hamer Artist Ultimate?

    Also, the Duncan Distortion has a thick ceramic magnet, the Distortion- (or JB+) with the thinner magnet isn't quite as high output. Still, close enough to let you know if you like the conventional Distortion or would prefer something with a hair less raspy presence.

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    Default Re: Good passive metalcore pickups?

    Another vote for the Duncan Distortion. I used to have a JB but never tried the magnet swap, judging from opinions here on the forum it is worth a shot.

    Also, I've really enjoyed the Steve's Special in my Schecter for the last year and a half. Between the Buried and Me used them for awhile, I believe you can hear it on Colors. It's got a scoop in the mids, so it will give a slightly different sound from most humbuckers. But it's very articulate and responsive to your picking, has big bass and treble without being harsh (IMO) and can easily handle a ton of gain. I feel that it's a good match for my Mark IV, but it's a bit picky with amps because of its EQ.
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