Best Metal/Shredding/Pinch Harmonic Pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by SABLE, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. SABLE

    SABLE Banned

    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    What do you think is the best. I would prefer black non-covered pickups (black covers with chrome poles and slugs). Not EMGs because I have a whole bunch of them.

    And let the light that will be shed on this topic save me.
     
  2. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Likes Received:
    320
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Any of Bill Lawrence's L-500 series would be great for that. IMO they're about the best passive pickups for those technique. Home PageHe builds an incredible pickup, custom made to order, for a great price ($60 or less.) From a legendary pickup maker that's pretty incredible. Don't buy from anyone but his site though, there are some terrible copies out there that even say Bill Lawrence on them. His wife Becky is a sweetheart and they have the best customer service. Dimebag and Nuno used his pickup all the time, (as do many metal, rock, country and jazz players, it's that versatile.)

    Aside from the Blackouts, (or the soon to be released EMG X Series,) you might try the Dimarzio D-Activators, DiMarzio D Activator from zZounds.com!, which are designed to sound like actives in a passive design. Also have great harmonics and really impressive tone. Their Fred, Mo Joe, and Tone Zone are good choices too.

    From Duncan, the Pearly Gates is great, and it's lower output. The Screamin' Demon is a bit hotter, and then the Custom and Custom 5 are great for that as well. The Distortion is a bit hotter, (too hot for me,) but also does the pinch harmonic thing well. Also, the Parallel Axis buckers, (all of them,) are awesome pickups for that style. Lastly, the venerable JB is always worth a look for heavier music.

    I'm a low-output pickup kinda guy myself, and what helped me most with pinch harmonics and speed was switching to small, stiff pick, (like the Dunlop Jazztones or Jazz III,) and lots of practice. Now I can get them without any distortion easily, every time.

    Anyway, good luck!
     
  3. kevinT

    kevinT Premium Member

    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    82
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Full-On Distortion, A5 model.:thumb:



    There are many models from many makers that would fit the bill. Just gotta choose one and try it out.
     
  4. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Likes Received:
    738
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
  5. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroBling★ MLP Vendor V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    40,516
    Likes Received:
    44,712
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    if you want to go with passive, dimarzio d activator

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFY6OgKIdTo]YouTube - DiMarzio D Activator Pickups[/ame]
     
  6. oilpit

    oilpit Senior Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Go Dimarzio, D-Activator, or Tone Zone...
     
  7. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Likes Received:
    738
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    [​IMG]
     
  8. SABLE

    SABLE Banned

    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    I've heard that active pickups are better for pinch harmonics, and I've had good experiences with them.
     
  9. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

    Messages:
    27,005
    Likes Received:
    9,322
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    EMG 81's for the Pinch Harmonics. If you already have multiple sets of those, check out the Seymour Duncan Blackouts.

    (Otherwise, then you're in passive territory...and I don't even know where to begin to offer any sort of rational explanation on passive pickups because there might be something about many of them that you might not like.)
     
  10. oilpit

    oilpit Senior Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    If your only concerned with output, actives are the only way to go. the EMG 81 and the SD Blackouts are gonna have the craziest harmonics on the block.
    I would still recommend passives 10 times out of 10 though, they just sound better.
    (IMO)
     
  11. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

    Messages:
    27,005
    Likes Received:
    9,322
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Oilpit....have you ever tried a set of SD blackouts personally?
     
  12. oilpit

    oilpit Senior Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    I haven't, I do really want to, them and the EMG X series.
    I have heard nothing but good things about the SD actives and from the clips I've heard they sound much much better than other actives.
    I have tried EMGs, I even owned a guitar with a 81/85 set for a while, you can guess what I thought of them.
    But, I got no beef with blackouts, if I had a guitar to put them in I might even try a set, but I am still going to recomend passives to someone because I haven't had experience with them. After re-reading the post I realize how it sounded, my apologies if it came off badly...
    :dude::dude::dude:
     
  13. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,050
    Likes Received:
    1,510
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Bill Lawrence was a good one,,Also the SD Dime Bucker is one....
    But One that Impresses me (Both power, and price) is the Dimarzio Super Destortion...
     
  14. SABLE

    SABLE Banned

    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    I am a total metalhead. About 15 is the ballpark I want to be in.
     
  15. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Likes Received:
    320
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    It's important not to put too much stock in a pickup's DC resistance. A lot of variables affect that #, and overall it doesn't tell you very much about how a pickup will sound or respond, especially if comparing pickups from different brands. It's become pretty standard for guitarists talking pickups,
    but it's not an indicator of very much on its own. (For example there are some WCR pickups in that range that sound very vintage and not very hot. Likewise for some of Bill Lawrence's stuff.)

    Inductance is a much more objective indicator of output, but still, output and tone/response are very different issues.


    Anyway--


    If you don't want EMGs, since you have some, but want an active pickup, there aren't that many options. SD LiveWires, Blackouts and the Dave Mustaine set is about it, until EMG releases the X series. The only other thing I can think of is hunting down some old Bartolini's, or buying the little preamp from Guitar Fetish, and making your own actives, (25Db Mini Guitar Boost circuit- TINY size- HUGE Gain!.) (I've never used that, and part of me is skeptical of how turning passives into actives would sound, but another part is kind of curious. I think GF is a great shop, though, and they really care about tone and value.)

    So anyway, seems like Duncan is your main option. In case you don't know, Duncan has a 21-day exchange program, so order a set of Duncan actives, and if you don't like them, exchange for one of their other active sets.

    Good luck!
     
  16. EEF13

    EEF13 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,435
    Likes Received:
    2,196
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    I like the Dimarzio Super Distortion for pinch harmonics. Duncan ALT. 8 is really good for that kinda stuff also
     
  17. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,641
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008

    So true, if you can´t do it clean/unplugged you can´t really do it distorted either;)
     
  18. TheWellGoodShow

    TheWellGoodShow V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,131
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    i love 498's
     
  19. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,121
    Likes Received:
    1,783
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Bareknuckles.

    Tim Mills is a true MetalHead himself!!!
     
  20. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Likes Received:
    320
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    So true! Kind of surprising the guy is a masterful metalhead, who played lead for Iced Earth, when you consider how gorgeous his vintage and low-output pickups are. And he's a black belt too! Some people are just extraordinarily talented and hard working. :)

    I wasn't thinking of boutique answers to this question, but Bare Knuckles has to be the #1 in that realm.

    The Warpig, Cold Sweat, Nail Bomb, Steve Stevens Rebel Yells: any of those would have killer tone for metal.
     

Share This Page