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Thread: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

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    Junior Member Desmond_G_Baggins's Avatar
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    Default Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    I have wondered for quite a while if it is a bad idea to mix the smooth low output of a PAF neck pickup with a high gain cruncy metal style bridge pickup. The neck pickup is only really used in solos or melodic interludes while the bridge does most if not all of the rhythm and chugs. I have seem similar things Kirk Hammet on more Melodic Metallica songs like "Fade To Black" he tends to use the Gary Moore / Peter Green Les Paul that he owns. Alot of metal musicians have their signature models of what have you have 2 high gain humbuckers and a Split / Tap in the neck for solos. So why not a combo with a Whole Lotta Humbucker and Dinebucker, or Pearly Gates and Black Winter. Thank You.

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    Super Toneologist elelpe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Too bad you can't ask Dimebag, but fortunately Nuno is still with us and can answer your question.

    It's common set actually. Use what you need.

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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    The only problem I can think of is that the EQ of the pickups might be very different. That may or may not matter, or it might even be desirable to you.

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    I don't think that it is a problem.

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Not a bad idea at all.
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    Tone Member Big Mike Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Works great, especially if you're trying to 'drop' the gain for certain passages, etc.
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Also depends on your amp pedal setup I would think. What channel and effects are on when in the neck? What about when I’m the bridge? If you’re setup has multiple channels or pedals it’s possible imo to make it seamless. No?

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    I've always been under the impression hot bridge pickup + vintage neck pickup is the *usual* Duncan approach. So yeah, it's not unusual.

    I'm not a fan of that approach, personally, but most people seem to get along with it just fine.

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    Mojo's Minions Silence Kid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Isn't this what the JB/Jazz is?

    EDIT: Looks like others caught on while I was typing
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Not at all a bad idea. You'd be surprised the amount of sounds you'll get out of one guitar. Check out just about any Epiphone with the hotch/57 set which is an easy one to try through an amp at a guitar shop. Most Ibanez guitars tend to have it that way too. But bigger pickup brands the JB/59 set is quite common in guitars for instance. There are even guitars with two bridge pickups in it. One instance of this Seymour Duncan sells the distortion mayhem set. The biggest example of pro players I can think of is Michael Romeo of Symphony X who is a guitar shredder with a Dimarzio X2N and Tone zone combination.

    One of the weirder ones is Eddie Van Halen uses a low output bridge pickup and hotter neck pickup. I thought my peavey was wired backwards but I got a screw driver out and it sure enough was like that.

    Alright so what do you do if the bridge pickup is too loud
    or just lower the bridge pickups height to balance things out
    If the pickup is too hot use a small valued capacitor as a filter

    At the end of the day it's what works for you. I wouldn't see myself with two of the same pickups any time soon.
    Last edited by shadowfire90; 10-14-2019 at 10:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Well, I believe when the JB/Jazz combo came out, no one had mixed these 2 types of pickups. I think now, they are the most popular set. Also, most HSS guitars share these ideas, too. The single coils are noticeably weaker than the humbucker, but some people really like that boost.
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Neck PU's get much more string vibration/energy as they're closer to the middle of the strings and the biggest arc, and get an output boost from that. Bridge PU's are wound hot to offset this and balance a set's volume ('calibrated').

    PU height and pole piece heights are adjustable to set volume levels.
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    Junior Member seagulltheseagull's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    I've got a Custom (with an A8 magnet) in my bridge and a 59N (with an A4 magnet) in my neck and love the combination. I wouldn't want a higher output neck pickup. I think they balance well. Go for it.

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    Super Toneologist DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    That’s what I do. My bridge pickup is around 16k and the neck is 8k.


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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    It’s fine. Many players do this. It’s not even so much the difference in output but the difference in eq of the pickups that stands out usually on a properly set up guitar. Nuno Bettancourt uses this to good effect. A 59 and an L500XL are nearly in opposite directions tone-wise in neck and bridge positions respectively. Dimebag used the same set too if I remember.

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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    I've always been under the impression hot bridge pickup + vintage neck pickup is the *usual* Duncan approach. So yeah, it's not unusual.
    Yep, that's been my understanding too. I've got the Nazgul-Sentient combo in a guitar and there is absolutely no problem with the lower-output Sentient keeping up with the Naz. JB-Jazz or JB-'59 will do the same. So why not Pearly Gates and Black Winter bridge?

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    Ultimate Tone Member JamesPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    My first SD set back in 1983 was a Custom/Jazz. JB demand was exceeding production and my patience wasn't what it is today. The Custom worked out and this is probably my favorite combo.

    Next guitar got a Distortion/Seymourizer II. The Seymourizer II lasted about one year and was swapped for a Jazz. I'm still using that Distortion/Jazz set today.

    The Custom/Jazz are on the shelf, but only because I swapped them for an equivalent set of double creme SFC's.

    I will vote that this is not a bad idea.
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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    My first set of SDs was a JB & 59 in 2001 or so. I replaced them with a Custom / Jazz set about a year later, and that's been my favorite SD set ever since.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Mojo's Minions Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    That's the way I have most of my guitars set up. Favorite combos of High gain bridge and moderate output necks I currently have in play are.
    95 Washburn USA MG 102 JB/ 59 with a A4 mag
    92 Washburn MG 104 Custom 5/ 59
    Stock 07 PRS Custom 24 HFS/VB
    93 KOA Carvin DC 127 Alt8/ Sentient
    15 Carvin ST 300 Dimarizo Gravity Storm /PAF Joe
    06 Carvin DC 400 Hybrid/ Sentient.
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    Mojo's Minions Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It A Bad Idea To Mix Low Output Neck PAF's And High Gain Bridge Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    Neck PU's get much more string vibration/energy as they're closer to the middle of the strings and the biggest arc, and get an output boost from that. Bridge PU's are wound hot to offset this and balance a set's volume ('calibrated').

    PU height and pole piece heights are adjustable to set volume levels.
    THIS!!
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