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Leviathus
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:35 pm
Posts: 180
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:23 pm 
 

I'm thinkin about upgrading my bridge pickup on my ESP Kamikaze for something a little hotter, just wanna know if you have any recommendations for me. I don't wanna go active, cos that would cost a fuckload to route out a piece of my guitar body to stick that 9V in there. I was thinking maybe a Dimarzio Evolution or Duncan Distortion, or maybe a passive EMG H-Z. I want something with a banshee scream and a tight punchy low end too.

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mattp
Veteran

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:57 pm
Posts: 2910
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:02 pm 
 

ESP Kamikaze is all-maple, right? I wouldn't get the Evolution OR the Distortion to be honest, those are both pretty bright pickups and the all-maple wouldn't react too well with it.

The DiMarzio X2N, D-Sonic ( if you plan on tuning down a lot ), and Tone Zone would make a good match for the guitar. The Seymour Duncan Alternative 8 which recently came out is a pretty interesting choice as well. I would avoid the passive EMGs.
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Leviathus
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:35 pm
Posts: 180
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:55 pm 
 

yeah its all maple

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accidentalholocaust
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:48 am
Posts: 91
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 pm 
 

I'd say a Dimarzio X2N or a Seymour Duncan Invader are your best bets. I have an X2N as a bridge pickup and its fucking awesome, and I've tried out an invader and the same can be said about that. If you have any questions about the tones the X2N is capable of, feel free to ask me any questions.

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3EyedGoat
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:15 am
Posts: 79
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:29 am 
 

What's your budget?

I have WCR pickups in two Les Pauls,
one has a set of IceBuckers and one
has a set of IronMan's. The IronMan
bridge is 22K! The IceBuckers were
designed for Iced Earth guitarist Jon
Schaffer and they absolutely kill. Best
bass response of any humbucker I've
ever heard. Not cheap though.

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petrichorus
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 1:01 am
Posts: 99
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:04 am 
 

a really great hot passive pickup is a dimarzio evolution. INSANE pickup. great harmonics, crunchy as hell and not muddy at all. i'd reccomend this pickup over any other pickup. if you wanna hear it check out my page. www.myspace.com/shatteredmortalityband (it is in an esp guitar)

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2122
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:18 am 
 

mattp wrote:
ESP Kamikaze is all-maple, right? I wouldn't get the Evolution OR the Distortion to be honest, those are both pretty bright pickups and the all-maple wouldn't react too well with it.

The DiMarzio X2N, D-Sonic ( if you plan on tuning down a lot ), and Tone Zone would make a good match for the guitar. The Seymour Duncan Alternative 8 which recently came out is a pretty interesting choice as well. I would avoid the passive EMGs.


Does the X2N work as well with a mahogany body guitar? If not, what hot passive bridge pickup would you recommend instead?

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thejestersgate
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:52 am
Posts: 230
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:20 am 
 

I second the icebucker bridge pickup. Got it for my birthday and it slays. It makes the big three sound like the crappy stock pickups cheap guitars come with. If your serious about your sound and want professional tone, WCR is the place to start.

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mattp
Veteran

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:57 pm
Posts: 2910
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:16 pm 
 

kingnuuuur wrote:
Does the X2N work as well with a mahogany body guitar? If not, what hot passive bridge pickup would you recommend instead?


The X2N is supposed to sound great in either bright or dark guitars, and accentuate the guitars tonality more so than impose its own sound on the guitar. It won't brighten up a dark guitar or tame a bright one, like a Humbucker from Hell or a Tone Zone would. At least, this is what I have heard from others experience and recorded clips. I don't have any personal experience with the pickup.

thejestersgate wrote:
I second the icebucker bridge pickup. Got it for my birthday and it slays. It makes the big three sound like the crappy stock pickups cheap guitars come with. If your serious about your sound and want professional tone, WCR is the place to start.


Honestly, so many professional and legendary tones were done with EMG/SD/DiMarzio, that spending that much on a pickup seems like it goes over the point of diminishing returns. The Icebucker bridge goes for $215, and probably doesn't show up on the used market often. Meanwhile a DiMarzio Evolution, X2N, EMGs, or Seymour Duncans can be had for well under $100 for a set on the used market, and $70-100 per pickup brand new. The extra $100 would probably be better spent on tubes, cables, or other mods to the guitar, before taking a professional quality pickup and upgrading to a boutique grade pickup.

That being said, a new Bareknuckle pickup only costs around $150 due to the rising USD vs the GBP. Those are supposed to be a step above the "Big 3" and at $150 is a bit more reasonable than $215.

My opinion, of course, and your experience might vary. If you've already nailed your tone with the rest of your rig, an extra $100 is not a lot to ask to take it from "great" to "orgasmic". But I would personally spend the money elsewhere first.
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blackpage
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:17 pm
Posts: 32
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:16 pm 
 

Just got a D-Activator-X and its probably my favorite right now. Imagine its a passive version of an active pickup, but mixed with an X2N (literally). I've played X2Ns for about 12 years, and they're great. PAF Pro rules too. Never liked the evolution (and I'm a big Vai fan).

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DeathFog
Temporally-Displaced Fossil

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:20 am
Posts: 2017
Location: Estonia
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:15 am 
 

Quote:
Just got a D-Activator-X and its probably my favorite right now. Imagine its a passive version of an active pickup, but mixed with an X2N (literally). I've played X2Ns for about 12 years, and they're great. PAF Pro rules too. Never liked the evolution (and I'm a big Vai fan).

According to the tone chart on DiMarzio's bridge official sound, the D-Activator X has 4 for highs, how dos it feel when it is installed into your guitar ? And how does it sound compared to X2N ?
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blackpage
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:17 pm
Posts: 32
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:06 pm 
 

DeathFog wrote:
According to the tone chart on DiMarzio's bridge official sound, the D-Activator X has 4 for highs, how dos it feel when it is installed into your guitar ? And how does it sound compared to X2N ?

First off, I replaced a stock pickup with the DAX, so I've never compared them with the same guitar. Still, I do play mostly Ibanez, so I have a pretty good idea.

Dimarzio rates the highs on an X2N as 6.5, but I don't hear that huge of a difference in the high-freq range. Seems like the D-Activator-X has slightly less mids than an X2N, slightly less highs, (seemingly) just as much output, yet somehow has a cleaner, tighter less gnarly sound. A bit more harmonic overtones from the D as well.

For what its worth, at high volumes/gain levels, the D-Act-X seems easier to control with my noise suppressor. It really does sound a lot like a combination of an EMG-81 and an X2N. I haven't played much in the way of active pickups, so I'm definitely judging mostly on the sound and not the feel.

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