I'm new to the forum, but I must admit that I've been reading it during breaks at work for the past few days, and can't stop! So much info!
Well guys/gals, here's my issue...a week ago I was struck with an epiphany - I've had my Mexican strat for 11 years and have never replaced the middle and neck pickups ( I replaced the bridge with a SD Hot Rails about 9 years ago and I'm still amazed by it how awesome it sounds distorted ). I stood there gaping....why has it taken me this long to realize this? I've played my share of clean guitar ( various ska bands and a little surf ), and have always winced my way through gigs with stock pickups! I shook my head - no more! But which to choose?
It was then that I eyed my 2004 Gibson Platinum SG Special and let the flood gates open, spilling my guilt that I could hold back no longer...my newer, more expensive Gibson is always on the rack....I rarely play it! This has always made me feel bad, as it looks awesome, feels awesome, but....but.... has never sounded awesome....just adequate. "Screw it!" I yelled, glaring at the stock 490T/490R pickups. "You're going to the surgeon too!".
So there I have it...2 guitars, with 4 pickups to change between them; both of my SG pickups and the top two Strat pickups.
I'm thinking that since I already have my SD Hot Rails in my strat bridge, I'll leave it there for all my punk and super-hot-phasy-slices-with-a-knife's-edge distortion needs. This being the case, I figured I'd put any "fun" or "specialized" pickups in my strat. Here's what I'm thinking so far:
Neck: SD Antiquity II Surfer ( I'm pretty sure this is what I want )
Mid: ? ( SD Antiquity II Surfer RW/RP, JB Jr., Lil' 59, Lil' Screamin' Demon, anything else? )
Bridge: SD Hot Rails ( this is staying )
- I really like what I've about the Antiquity II Surfer pickups. I've always been a fan of surf, jangle pop, and ska, and am really excited to try these. My only question is regarding pickup mixing. In your experience, are there more benefits to keeping a guitar focused on a family of pickups ( homogeneous, like surfer/surfer ), or is a mix of 3 radically different ones ( properly wired ) just as good? My mid pickup has always been crap, so I really don't know what kind of sound most players use it to get ( I go bridge for distortion, neck for clean, mid --- never... ) Therefore, I'm thinking a surfer for my mid, but am TOTALLY open to suggestions....
Gibson SG Special:
I want to turn my SG into a more Classic-Rock vintage-tone-monster ( I'm thinking 70's rock, Jimmy Page, Brian May in "Fat Bottomed Girls", George Harrison ( like in "Let it Be" solos ) ). This guitar would be a more well-rounded than my strat, not as extreme in certain areas...just a good reliable guitar.
Neck : Alnico II Pro
Bridge : ? ( SD Pearly Gates, Alnico II Pro, Seth Lover, Screamin' Demon, SH-1'59™ Model , anything else?)
- I was originally thinking of complimenting the Alnico II for the neck with an Alnico II Pro in the bridge, but have read that it's not a hot pickup, and I'm thinking that maybe I should put in something that still has great tone, but has a little more heat and growl. I don't want this one to be as crazy-hot as the Hot Rails, but more of a dirty, toney, 70's rock pickup. Any preferrences?
For the neck, I'm thinking the Alnico II Pro, because I like it's singing quality, and great tone across the board. I've read reviews on this pickup, and all of them seem to be solid for the neck. I've heard that the neck version is great for the bridge....any truth to this?
Lastly, on the SD FAQ, someone asked about Brian May's pickups, and the response included :
"We can build vintage-correct reproductions of the Burns Tri-Sonic pickups, as well as the pickups we made for Guild which were used on their Brian May Signature Model."
Anyone have any experience with these? Would it be a nice fit for my SG bridge slot?
Thanks guys/gals! I'm sorry this post is so long but I just wanted to get all the info out there I look forward to any and all opinions!
I've been playing guitar for 11 years at a self-taught, learn-as-you-go pace. I started out playing punk and moved on to ska, surf and guitar-driven emo/indie rock in the late 90's. Since then I've taken a leave from gigging and have focussed on delving deeper into theory, and trying to capture the tones of my faves from the 80's, 70's and 60's ( I go backwards because the more I listen to tone, the more I'm appreciating the older sounds! )
- Tom Scholtz - Brian May - Jimmy Page - Slash
- George Harrison - Keith Scott - Vicki Peterson