NGD: What Pickups Should I Change To From EMG

ArchEtech

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Incoming ESP Japan Custom shop.
It has active EMG and I already have a guitar with 85/81 (well I changed it out to a neck single coil EMG).

I need to try something different. I like high output as long as they respond well to volume and tone shaping and have a good well rounded sound with useable cleans.

I had a Les Paul with Steve Aldrich suhr - those were really good.

I actually like the aftermath but I have those in another guitar.

I’d consider non typical boutique stuff.

I just played an ESP with custom buckers that actually sounded really good.

This guitar has a bit of the “metal” look but it also universally simple in white with no inlays, and I don’t want to assume it’s tonal gender.

Any suggestions?
 

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flamesarewicked

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I would say fishman fluence classics would fit the bill. Classic PAF tone with the option of a slightly hotter bridge voicing.. it’s already setup for active pickups so it would work out great.
 

ErictheRed

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I really like Suhr pickups. If you liked Aldrich pickups before, I would recommend something similar but not as high output: the Suhr SSV neck and either the SSH+ or SSH bridge, depending on how high output you want. The SSH is my new favorite bridge pickup.
 

Deftone

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Congrats on the new ESP. Been drooling over those for years.

I have a Suhr Aldrich I have not installed yet. Looking forward to trying it out in something....

I recommend you get the guitar and see how it is with the EMG's before deciding to swap them. I have an 81/85 set that came in an LP. I thought I would be replacing those but it sounds freaking amazing. I tried the EMG's in another LP...meh. '57 Classics in my new LP Classic Lite, I thought I would be swapping those out too...turns out I like them. Different p'ups in all 4 of my LP's. My point is...IMHO every guitar is different.

That said: I like everything I have purchased from Wolfetone. And I like JB's in just about everything. YMMV
 

ArchEtech

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^^^^^ funny you say that.

I didn’t realize it’s a 24 fret. Gives it a very different voice. Been playing it for about an hour. Not sure what EMG it has. They are black chrome not the typical plastic. No switching for the dual active / passive. They sound less hot than what is in my Gibson Custom, and brighter, grittier.

There is some extra wiring harness stuff in the case so maybe some mods have happened. For sure it has modern wiring harness stuff in it now!

I didn’t really like the Aldrich, maybe I need to put those in my Gibson….shit.

Yes I kind of have a type for guitars lol.
 

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rich85

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I would try more Bare Knuckle sets. The Rebel Yell and Painkiller sets get endless amounts of praise.
 

ARandall

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For a different look and tone .....Duncan PATB 1 B & N set.
 
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I have Seymour Duncan Pegasus/Sentient in a LTD Viper baritone and a PRS SE Mira. They're my favorite pickups. Sparkly cleans to heavy distortion. Not too hot but hot enough. Pegasus has a lot of low end for a bridge pickup. It's not quacky or nasally like a lot of bridge pickups are. Bright but not harsh.
With the jazz/JB set in my LP I always use the 2 volumes to blend a little of the neck pickup with the bridge to thicken it up. With Pegasus I can use it on its own.
 

Mookakian

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Without knowing the wood, bridge and nut material... amp...

Im Going to suggest Zhangbucker Obucker with a neck wound to suit, almost certain you'll be happy. If you want that bridge to punch hard in the low mids ask for some hex screws
 

Mockbel

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If you still want high output but passive pickups, I would recommend Seymour Duncan Distortion set
 

ArchEtech

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Duncan Distortions are a good option that are also a factory option.

I’ve had the fluence modern in a guitar. Those were hotter than EMG if I remember. Those would look really cool in the guitar.

Not heard of the Obucker, I’ll have to look.

Pegasus and Sentient. Not familiar with those. Are those shapable or straight to ridiculous?
 

Mookakian

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The Obucker has some of the qualities of a PAF but designed to drive harder giving you note definition with great dynamics and plenty of output to help your tube amp break up naturally with ease. The clean up using your volume knob pulls you back into clean tones with the characteristic of a nice low output PAF.

Zhangs pickups arent cheap (mine are totally handwound with scatter) but ive tried 2 now and both left me impressed to the point im never selling them, they stay with me
 

Red Beard

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Another vote for Seymour Distortion’s
Im dig’n a set in a newer Charvel purchase i made
 

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