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  • New guy needs pickup suggestions.

    Greetings and I hope all is well with everybody. I have a 2019 Epiphone SG Pro that I love playing but would like to try some different pickups. I'm also an older guy (turned 68 last month!) and I play at church. My guitar goes through a Line 6 Pod Go that I bought in January of this year. Great unit! Easy on the back! The tones I use are generally clean with a mild breakup and overdriven tones. Once in a while I'll use a Marshall flavored sound.

    My biggest complaint with all dual humbucking equipt guitars is the neck pickup. There's always this element of low end boom/drone that I can't get rid of. I even tried Seymour's suggestion of wiring in a .047 cap at the toggle switch on my guitar and the effect was very marginal. I've also tried every imaginable adjustment to the pickup itself. Seems like the boom is so much that it overpowers the bridge pickup making it sound thin when compared to the neck pickup. Then of course when I lower the pickup enough to get rid of the boom I have no clarity. Sounds like there's a blanket in front of everything.

    Offhand I'm looking at the Seth Lover neck model because of it's low output, which I believe was somewhere around 7.2 or 7.4. I'd like to hear some feedback from those who use this pickup. It I did go with the Seth Lover neck model I'm not sure which bridge pickup would be best. I tend to think the Seth Lover bridge model may be to bright for my particular guitar and may not have enough "umph." Again, I don't want a neck pickup that overpowers the bridge pickup. So I'm open to suggestions.

    I was also checking out the Saturday Night Special pickup set. The slightly overwound bridge and the under wound neck pickups may be what I'm looking for with my guitar. Sounds pretty good going by the clips I've been hearing. I'd like to get some feedback from those who use this set as well.

    Any and all suggestions are more than welcome.

    Thanks in advance and have a good day.

  • #2
    Greetings new guy and welcome! Boomy neck you say? It happens....

    The remnant peak is not going to be a good indicator of hotness necessarily, or of where the 'boom' is coming from. More likely a function of the wood in that particular guitar. What you need is a pickup that has lower bass response and/or more tightness.

    In the Duncan lineup, Bass on neck pickups goes sort of like this, with each pickup tilting the EQ a little brighter, and less baser:

    59 - Most bass
    Pearly Gates
    Screaming' Demon (May be exactly what you need, name aside LOL)
    Full Shred

    Here is why I say the demon; Not only is it a PAF style, but it has a row of hex nuts noted for tightening the tone. The Full Shred is a super-articulate pickup, but may be a bit much in the bright department, same as the Jazz, IMO.

    There are obviously others, like the Seth, and the Saturday Nights - but not enough experience with those to really comment.
    Last edited by Aceman; 04-19-2021, 06:34 AM.
    Originally posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...


    • #3
      Custom Custom and Jazz might work.


      • #4
        Thanks for the suggestions so far. Just so you know, years ago I did try the Jazz neck model in another guitar. You guessed it. Too boomey.

        To emphasize what I'm looking tor in my SG; I also have a Telecaster equipt with DiMarzio's. Got the Area T neck and the Area T Hot bridge. I realize there are a lot of variables involved that will make a difference in sound, but the effect from that guitar is what I want from my Epiphone. No boom from the neck pickup and the bridge pickup sounds stronger than the neck pickup. Neither pickup overpowers the other when switching from one to the other. To me, that is what I call a "balanced set" of pickups. Now if I can find the magic combination of humbuckers I'll be all set!


        • #5
          Try the Sentient in the neck. Articulate but not super-bright. Not a boomy pickup at all.


          • #6
            59 bridge / Jazz neck
            Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), Epiphone Les Paul Special (SP90-1 set), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (TB-15/Lil59n), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:L6 Helix Floor, Digitech Drop & FreqOut, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal;


            • #7
              If the Jazz was too boomy, it wasn't adjusted to the correct height. Even Pearly Gates, adjusted right, can solve the boomy a 59 or factory Gibson pickup exhibits.


              • #8
                My suggestions mirror everyone elses...a Jazz in the neck (it won't be boomy at all) or Pearly Gates. A Seth Lover is a good choice, too, but Seths do have mids- more mids than a lot of the other pickups suggested here. I love the Seths, especially in the neck.
                That being said, for the bridge, I'd go with something a little more powerful: either a Whole Lotta Humbucker, or a 59/Custom Hybrid. If you go too hot, it will start compressing the signal a bit.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan


                • #9
                  I’m going to agree with Mincer on this one. First thing that came to mind was Jazz neck and 59/Custom Hybrid bridge. Regarding the tone cap, a .022 is usually standard when dealing with humbuckers. Also, when lowering the pickup to reduce boominess, you can try simultaneously raising the pole pieces to regain clarity. This approach works wonders for me with OEM Gibson pickups that I find dull sounding.


                  • #10
                    I have both the Pearly Gates (Strat) and Jazz (Iceman) neck pickups. Neither are boomy I also tend to set my neck pickups a bit lower than most.

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                    • #11
                      Some of this may be due to your guitar and the way you set up the amp for your bridge guitar tones. I generally use warm/thick bridge tones and have had a lot of trouble finding a neck pickup that works well for me.

                      I had a lot of trouble with my PRS S2 semi-single cut being "muddy" in the neck position, no matter what I used, including the Sentient and Jazz. Full shred works well for me. It also worked well in my Kauer that was mushy with every other pickup that went into it. Despite the name, it does a better job copping PAF type tones that you would think, too.

                      As for what to pair it with; Screamin Demon in the bridge is a great, articulate pickup that works for a good variety of music. The 59/Custom hybrid is what I have in the S2 with the Full Shred neck right now and they balance pretty well.

                      As for the Saturday Night Special set, I'm a reluctant believer in the set. I wasn't a fan of either pickup when practicing, but it sits in a mix really well. I used them on the S2 before I put them back in another guitar to sell it. I used it as my drop D guitar and would absolutely use them again for that in a heartbeat, but that's a very different than how you will use it.

                      Have you tried raising the pole pieces after you lower the pickup? You might be surprised at how much clarity and articulation comes back.


                      • #12
                        Yep, set up your guitar for a good neck tone, then use the tone control to take the shrillness out of the bridge slot.
                        You can also disconnect the neck tone pot from its volume pot, which will also add in more treble content.


                        • #13
                          Jazz boomy?

                          Now I'm really worried about the guitar itself.

                          EQ pedal maybe?!?!?!?
                          Originally posted by Bad City
                          He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...


                          • #14
                            Thanks for all of your suggestions. You've all given me a lot to consider and to research.

                            Some have suggested lowering the neck pickup and raising the pole pieces. I did try that from one extreme to another but I couldn't quite nail what I was looking for. But I have heard of folks doing that with great success so maybe I just haven't found the correct ratio of how low the pickup is versus how high the pole pieces are.

                            Never considered eliminating the tone control for the neck pickup.

                            Another suggestion elsewhere was to use a 1 meg pot for the volume instead of the standard 500 K pot to let more highs in. Could be a cheap fix for all I know.

                            I have also tried adjusting the settings on my amp (now on my Pod Go) for the neck pickup, but the downside is that the bridge pickup has no "umph" to it.
                            But what I have done with success is: after getting a good sound for the bridge pickup on the Pod Go, I then copy that sound into another preset and make adjustments for the neck pickup. I end up taking a good amount of bass out, tailoring the mids and raising the highs.

                            Lets be honest. There's always the possibility that I just don't know what the heck I'm doing!

                            I'm going to be pretty involved with church for the next few weeks, so trying something new won't happen right away. But at least I can again go over all of your suggestions and find as many sound clips as I can to make a determination.

                            Again, thank you all and any other suggestions are more than welcome.


                            • #15
                              Did I understand right: you wired the .047 in series with the neck pickup and there is still too much bass?
                              I get the feeling the A8 will blow your skirt up more so - Edgecrusher

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