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Pickup demos and comparisons

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  • Pickup demos and comparisons

    Just curious, what are some of your favorite pickup demos and comparisons?
    And do you prefer just audio, video, or both?

    I personally prefer video demos rather than just the audio.
    And I like to hear the same riffs/song being played on the same guitar if possible.
    One thing I noticed, is that a lot of the demos never mention what kind of wood the instruments are made out of.
    Or what amp or microphone is being used.
    Which could or could not make a big difference.

    Anyways, two of my all time favorite pickup comparison videos are the ones from Keith Merrow and Seymour Duncan.
    Can't seem to find anything else online that really compares!



    I've been wanting to make my own pickup demo and comparison videos as I've been going through a pickup phase, and I'm interested in hearing what you guys and girls enjoy and expect out of these kind of comparisons.

    I have quite a few PAF style, mid output, and high gain pickups and Custom Shop pickups from Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle, Mojotone, and Wolfetone I've gone through lately and would love to hear your comments. Does the guitar and amp matter? Would you rather hear a LP style guitar or a Strat type guitar or both, or something else entirely? Does scale length and tuning matter? Thanks for you comments in advance!

  • #2
    I like to hear the pup played clean. The demo can have OD, dist, reverb, etc. in separate tracks, but there HAS to be just the clean pup or the whole demo is useless. After all, it's demoing the pup NOT the effects or other equipment! And there can be NO backing track...that just muddies up the whole mess and makes it so you can't clearly hear the pup.

    In a comparison of two or more pups, the same criteria as above should be followed and the pups should be installed in the same guitar with everything else being the same.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    • #3
      Here is the demo than made me consider the Kiesel Greg Howe bridge and the Frank Gambali set. Had a 14 Carvin DC 600 with the old C22's that sounded ok but really wasn't what I needed tone wise. The guitar itself is fantastic but the C22's were just to dark and bland plus the guitar has direct mount pickups so the Kiesels were a super easy drop in swap.
      This set has become one of my all time favorite sets of Humbuckers from any manufacturer. Just jaw dropping tones and super versatile GREAT Teli like tones in 2 and 4 on my 5 way and fantastic slightly overwound PAF tones in the other 3. Kiesel does not even list these pickups in the Pickup builder so if you know you know but otherwise these 2 gems are are hidden.
      The Demo.

       
      Guitars
      Kiesel DC 135, Carvin AE 185, DC 400, DC 127 KOA, DC 127 Quilt Purple, X220C, PRS Custom 24, Washburn USA MG 122 proto , MG 102, MG 120.
      Amps PRS Archon 50 head, MT 15, Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-5, Carvin X50B Hot Rod Mod head, Zinky 25watt Blue Velvet combo.

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      • #4
        I understand why people would want a clean tone. But for the stuff I play, I find it useless. Personally, the stuff that I HATE the most in a pickup demo is clean tones on the bridge pickup as much as chuggs on the neck. At least as far as metal pickup demos.

        I find lead playing on pickup shootouts is slightly useless as well, because lead pleaying is soooooo performance dependant.

        For me, it has to be a pickup demo with distorted gones. Palm-muting, thrashy riffs with some gallops, and maybe some open chords here and there.

        I agree, though. No backing track, preferably.
        Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 06-14-2023, 11:25 AM.

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        • #5
          I want videos because I can see the guitar and how they are playing. It's best if they give it a workout, different kinds of music, different gain levels, clean to distortion.

          Serious bonus points if they ever demo the pickup in more than one guitar, like a Floyd vs TOM type, though I haven't see that comparison yet in one video.

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          • #6
            They should be short, with no talking. A simple graphic or caption showing the signal chain is fine.
            Administrator of the SDUGF

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            • #7
              On pickup demos a few things.
              First don't drown everything with effects. If it's a clean tone then no heavy reverb don't run a chorus and delay ect. Same with crunch tones don't drown the track with effects as we need to hear the actual pickup tone not your rig.
              I like to hear a pickup in a mix over a track as you would use it live at some point. This helps me hear how the pickup sets in a overall mix and cuts through. However I absolutely have to hear that same pickup alone and without effects to be able to hear the basic tone.
              Demos need to be simple and straight forward playing to show the characteristics of the pickup not your chops.
              If it's a comparison play the exact same riff back to back with the same amp for all pickups being compared.
              Drives me nuts when a "reviewer" will be all over the place playing different riffs with different setting with several different pickups as it's super hard to have any context to compare pickups that way.
              Guitars
              Kiesel DC 135, Carvin AE 185, DC 400, DC 127 KOA, DC 127 Quilt Purple, X220C, PRS Custom 24, Washburn USA MG 122 proto , MG 102, MG 120.
              Amps PRS Archon 50 head, MT 15, Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-5, Carvin X50B Hot Rod Mod head, Zinky 25watt Blue Velvet combo.

              Comment


              • #8
                In for watching a talented guy plays guitar, yes, those videos are fun. But in order to have impression, i do like to read technical data, bode plots, frequency responses and dismantled photos of pickups.
                www.tonejourney.com
                www.instagram.com/tonejournei​

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                • #9
                  Videos with quality sound is better. But I also want to hear an actual amp and very little in the way of effects. I am always wanting to see how versatile they will be so a variety of tones and gain levels with rhythm and lead. It also it pretty important the player is good and knows how to get good things from the gear. It is of no use to me to see someone strum clean the whole time or just play chugga chugga snd nothing else.
                  I came upon this yesterday and thought it was perfect.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by beaubrummels View Post
                    I want videos because I can see the guitar and how they are playing. It's best if they give it a workout, different kinds of music, different gain levels, clean to distortion.

                    Serious bonus points if they ever demo the pickup in more than one guitar, like a Floyd vs TOM type, though I haven't see that comparison yet in one video.
                    Absolutely. Spot on. It's got to cover all the bases. And on a pick up demo we should at least be able to hear the pickup (not the overdrive, dist., fuzz, reverb, backing track, etc.)! It's great to have overdrive and distortion to hear how it sounds with those, but first and foremost it's got to have cleans. After all, it IS a pickup demo (not a stomp demo).
                    Originally Posted by IanBallard
                    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ascension View Post
                      On pickup demos a few things.
                      First don't drown everything with effects. If it's a clean tone then no heavy reverb don't run a chorus and delay ect. Same with crunch tones don't drown the track with effects as we need to hear the actual pickup tone not your rig.
                      I like to hear a pickup in a mix over a track as you would use it live at some point. This helps me hear how the pickup sets in a overall mix and cuts through. However I absolutely have to hear that same pickup alone and without effects to be able to hear the basic tone.
                      Demos need to be simple and straight forward playing to show the characteristics of the pickup not your chops.
                      If it's a comparison play the exact same riff back to back with the same amp for all pickups being compared.
                      Drives me nuts when a "reviewer" will be all over the place playing different riffs with different setting with several different pickups as it's super hard to have any context to compare pickups that way.
                      Agree absolutely!
                      Originally Posted by IanBallard
                      Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A really talented player can make damn near anything sound great. I was looking at a demo video one times of a set of PAF humbuckers and I was really impressed by the variety of tones this guy was getting. I showed my buddy, and he’s like do you know who that guy is? He was in Whitesnake, he plays with Phil Lesh in a band, and is a well known studio guitarist in Los Angeles. He convinced me that an expert level player, playing on probably a very high end amp, and us listening through laptop speakers probably isn’t a fair real world demonstration of this particular set. I never bought that set of pickups but it made me think.

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