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Thread: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

  1. #1
    Mojo's Minions Silence Kid's Avatar
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    Default Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Looking for people's experience with: Otherwise good pickup + Otherwise good amp = Bad sound.

    In specific, when other amps with that same pickup are known to sound much better.
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    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    An amp with the same EQ as the cab, with the same EQ as the pickup, with the same EQ as the guitar is always IME a recipe for disaster.
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    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    This is a deep Master Class level question!
    - Don't know that I have ever seen it
    - Bet there are combos that are a general no-go / problem....

    Example: Distortion and Fender Twin - Brutally strident ultra hi-fi sound that is harsh no matter what you do. Just a guess....
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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Invader + Polytone would be very very bad. So would a Full Shred set and a JC-120.
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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    In my experience, the Invader bridge with any amp with an inherent dark tone.

    The Invader is so insanely thick and hot it needs a bright amp. I bet it slays through a 6505.

    Also, don't even think of using it for cleans. Just don't.
    Last edited by Diego; 07-26-2018 at 08:11 PM.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    An amp with the same EQ as the cab, with the same EQ as the pickup, with the same EQ as the guitar is always IME a recipe for disaster.
    Mids on mids on mids is a classic. Sounds like a vintage radio.

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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    I can say that the Gibson 496R/500T did not work well with my Mesa amps for MY material and style. Too much output and I couldn't get the clean tones I needed. Though, on certain things, I really liked them. But I was much happier after I swapped them for a Custom Shop Seth set in one guitar and Antiquitys in another. And a big point...the lower output pickups made it easier to switch back and forth between the Les Paul Classics and my G&L Legacys. The Mesas have enough gain to rock those low output pickups.

    But the Hot Ceramics do a good job at pushing a NMV amp like a Plexi or BF Fender. Very handy.

    Some vintage solid-state amps can be really finicky with pickups. My old SUNN Solos II likes single coils and P-90s better than humbuckers, which can sound grainy. But it handled the single coils with a clean boost just fine. I've noticed similar, or reversed, situations with old tuck and roll Kustoms, Acoustic 150s, Polytone and SOME SS Peaveys.

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    Toneologist Progbusters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Dimarzio Titan neck and Oranger Rockverb. Sounds like a Big Muff, good or bad...
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Blackouts, EMG Het Set or anything extremely hot with the Peavey XXX/3120. That amp has ridiculous amounts of gain. The last thing it needs is super hot pickups to push it.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 07-27-2018 at 10:26 AM.

  10. #10
    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    You know, you don't have to use all the amp's gain....
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    You know, you don't have to use all the amp's gain....
    But, these go to eleven...

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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    You know, you don't have to use all the amp's gain....
    I've seen similar issues with guys using hot pickups into Mesa Rectos, they just can't get a really good clean sound with some of the really hot pickup sets.

  13. #13
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    I'm always confused by this. I would think that the only people who need an absolutely pristine, completely undistorted clean sound would be those who are playing old school jazz. Or acoustic. Anyone else should be able to get a clean sound, even with the hottest of pickups. What does it matter if there is a little breakup, or that you have to roll back your volume a tad?

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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic View Post
    I'm always confused by this. I would think that the only people who need an absolutely pristine, completely undistorted clean sound would be those who are playing old school jazz. Or acoustic. Anyone else should be able to get a clean sound, even with the hottest of pickups. What does it matter if there is a little breakup, or that you have to roll back your volume a tad?

    Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk
    Some people have different preferences, I've heard that complaint frequently enough to know that it's a thing, though.

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by chadd View Post
    Some people have different preferences, I've heard that complaint frequently enough to know that it's a thing, though.
    Oh, no doubt, and I acknowledge that it exists and that it's a matter of taste.
    I just don't understand it.

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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic View Post
    Oh, no doubt, and I acknowledge that it exists and that it's a matter of taste.
    I just don't understand it.

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    The super mellow verse and super heavy chorus thing has been done to death, it's not my bag either

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    In my experience, the Invader bridge with any amp with an inherent dark tone.

    The Invader is so insanely thick and hot it needs a bright amp. I bet it slays through a 6505.

    Also, don't even think of using it for cleans. Just don't.
    It absolutely kills through a 6505. YUUUUUUGE.
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  18. #18
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    I like clarity in my sound, clean or distorted. But I've been playing lately through my Jet City Picovalve. It's a single channel 5 watt tube amp. I have the pregain around 3 and the master at about 7. So even with my lower output neck pickups, I still have to back the volume off significantly to get a true clean sound. But even running it with the volume pot maxed on the guitar, it doesn't sound too distorted. More like a nice chorus like shimmer. And that's without using any reverb or chorus or delay.

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  19. #19
    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    I have ran into this too.....and is probably more likely: Bad pickup pedal combos!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
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  20. #20
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Pickup & Amp Combos

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    I have ran into this too.....and is probably more likely: Bad pickup pedal combos!
    It's probably most related to the fact that people set their controls with their eyes.

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