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Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Mr Bones, May 30, 2007.
Are they really "better" for high gain, or do they just not sound as bad when the gain goes up?
If you're using so much gain that tone isn't part of the equation then a humbucker equipped with a ceramic magnet can help to generate a higher output from the pickup. The downside is that they make for a very harsh and brittle sounding pickup. Probably the worst example of this I've heard lately is from a guy called Claude Johnson. Check the link......
3 Note Per String Scales
Oh how I want to sell this guy some decent pickups..............
I have DiMarzio DP100 Super Distortion on my Epi LP Standard Plaintop, and
it sounds great. That's a ceramic pup. Ace Frehley used 3 of them in his LP
and it sounded great, too.
I have a SH-5 in my SG and it sounds incredible. It is very clear, and not as brittle as I expected in the SG, and with some subtle volume control it can warm right up and is actually quite versitile.
With a 59 in the neck, and both humbuckers on, its an amazing sound for clean tones.
I also have a Dimarzio Evolution and it SMOKES. I've had it in my Custom and its so huge, with a very unique vocal quality I've never heard from a pickup before. I've since put it in my old skool RG 550 and its one of my favorite lead sounds in the studio.
The ceramic magnets have less mids (scooped). High gain amps + lots of mids fatigue the ear quicker IMHO. Some think They also tend to have ice-picky highs.
Mystic.... Love your quote! Too F'n funny!
I have experimented a lot with ceramics and I have used them on some low winds with great success. I have a couple of customers that have requested those specifically and they play not one ounce of hard rock... I had a guitar at the NAMM show that I was showing off... And asked everyone if they can guess the mags in it... Everyone got it wrong. They were ceramics...
Ceramic magnets have many uses. I've been using ceramics since my first guitar *Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe, with old, old Dirty Fingers in it*... and I've found it to be a big sound, clear as a bell, but controllable with a little volume/tone manipulation.
They are very high output, but that doesn't mean they can only be used for rock. In front of a dirty amp, you'll get a little more distortion out of the amp, but throw a compressor in front of a twin reverb and you'll surprise yourself at the tone coming out of those ceramic mags.
I didn't mean to imply that ceramics were bad. They are just "different". I've made a few that sounded OK and a few that sounded horrible. I'm still looking for that secret formula that works with a ceramic mag. I've got a few that were close.