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Heavier "Midrange" Pickup for Neck Position...???

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  • Heavier "Midrange" Pickup for Neck Position...???

    Hey guys,. I have a new Jackson MJ Soloist that came with a JB/Jazz combo OEM. I've got the JB Dialed in very well for most of my stuff - 80's Hard Rock / Instrumental Stuff.

    However, the Jazz in the neck of this thing sounds thin and very "Single-Coil'ish" to me. I've tried: 59, SH-6n, and a Planet Tone Blues Heratige in there with varying results, but still not the "Sound" I'm looking for. Seemingly there's just not enough mid-range(??) .... I have lots of pickups around so in an act of desperation I put a TB-12 in their! ------- And that has actually sounded the best to me thus far!!! (It was a VERY tight fit! ) .... I'm still looking for something even "better"... I think the Custom Custom seems to have a lot of midrange and I think that is what I'm needing "more" of on this set up.

    Details on the Guitar: Jackson MJ Soloist - Alder w/Maple neck through and ebony FB. Gotoh floyd with oversized brass block, brass claw, noisless springs, only running a single 500k volume pot (Haven't confirmed Ohm value yet), no tone pot.

    Any thoughts?

    Here's a bit of a rough phone recording right after the TB-12 swap...

    https://youtu.be/6zeOMEaVZR4

  • #2
    I think you could try a JB/JB setup as well. Thought, that might be a bit extreme.

    The thing is 60% of the Duncan neck pickup line-up is based around the Jazz. The A2 stuff does come out more midrange-oriented. But they also have less output, making them balance worse (IMO) with the hot JB.

    What I would do is maybe try one of the hotter Duncan PAF-y bridge offereings but with an A2 or even A4 magnet in there.

    Or maybe try an SH-6N with an A2, A4, or even A5 magnet.
    Rex_Rocker
    Mojo's Minions
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 09-18-2023, 03:20 PM.

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    • #3
      If you want a powerful pickup in there, use the Custom Custom. If you want more dynamics, go with a lower output pickup like the Alnico II Pro.
      Administrator of the SDUGF

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
        I think you could try a JB/JB setup as well. Thought, that might be a bit extreme.

        The thing is 60% of the Duncan neck pickup line-up is based around the Jazz. The A2 stuff does come out more midrange-oriented. But they also have less output, making them balance worse (IMO) with the hot JB.

        What I would do is maybe try one of the hotter Duncan PAF-y bridge offereings but with an A2 or even A4 magnet in there.

        Or maybe try an SH-6N with an A2, A4, or even A5 magnet.
        I thought about the JB in the neck thing,.. and I have a few here to try,.. I also have several of the SH-6n's here I could try some mag swapping on... (Reminds me I still want to build/try a JB8)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mincer View Post
          If you want a powerful pickup in there, use the Custom Custom. If you want more dynamics, go with a lower output pickup like the Alnico II Pro.
          Sounds like the Custom Custom has a decent amount of Mid's... I've never had/tried one so I guess I need to beat the bushes for a good used one at a decent price.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by WERNER 1 View Post

            I thought about the JB in the neck thing,.. and I have a few here to try,.. I also have several of the SH-6n's here I could try some mag swapping on... (Reminds me I still want to build/try a JB8)
            I did try a JB in the neck once with a Black Winter in the bridge, and I was kinda disappointed. I mean... I like hot pickups that are not scooped. I hightly dislike the '59N and Jazz N because of that. But the JB kinda takes it to an extreme. It's EXTREMELY dark in the neck. Its redeeming quality is it's not scooped nor is it weak and plinky.

            If you have them around, it's worth a try. You could also try it in parallel if series is too much.

            But at that point, if you have the SH-6N already, an A5 SH-6N should be very close to what an SH-4N would be if it existed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
              I did try a JB in the neck once with a Black Winter in the bridge, and I was kinda disappointed. I mean... I like hot pickups that are not scooped. I hightly dislike the '59N and Jazz N because of that. But the JB kinda takes it to an extreme. It's EXTREMELY dark in the neck. Its redeeming quality is it's not scooped nor is it weak and plinky.

              If you have them around, it's worth a try. You could also try it in parallel if series is too much.

              But at that point, if you have the SH-6N already, an A5 SH-6N should be very close to what an SH-4N would be if it existed.
              Interesting,... I actually just installed a SH-6n in the neck of one of my customers new Wolfgangs as he wanted something that he could coil tap and the EVH pups are only 2-wire... it actually sounded really good in there and matched up with the Wolfie bridge pup pretty well also... hmmm...

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              • #8
                The delux middy neck pup in the Duncan line is the WLH. It also pairs great with the JB. Similar tone. If you want to get crazy middy with it - order it shop floor custom double screw and keep 1 row of filisters and add a row of hexz.
                The things that you wanted
                I bought them for you

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
                  The thing is 60% of the Duncan neck pickup line-up is based around the Jazz. .
                  i have no idea what you mean by that

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WERNER 1 View Post

                    Sounds like the Custom Custom has a decent amount of Mid's... I've never had/tried one so I guess I need to beat the bushes for a good used one at a decent price.
                    It does, but it would be a very powerful neck pickup. You certainly wouldn't have any dynamics.
                    Administrator of the SDUGF

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jeremy View Post

                      i have no idea what you mean by that
                      The A2P, Full Shred Neck, Invader Neck, and (I think) Sentient and SNS Neck are more or less variations on the Jazz as far I understand, no? Of course, I'm exaggerating by saying 60%, but what I mean, even if the other neck humbuckers aren't directly based on the Jazz, most of them are more or less 7K-ish low-output winds that are scooped to varying degrees (if you compare them to the JB).

                      Don't take me too seriously, though. You know me. I'm the guy that's salty because he doesn't feel the Jazz matches well with the JB... or anything, really, that's higher output than the Jazz Bridge, LOL.
                      Rex_Rocker
                      Mojo's Minions
                      Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 09-18-2023, 10:28 PM.

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                      • #12
                        A thing to keep in mind IMHO is that higher DCR = higher inductance and that higher inductance = more perceived mids but also more bass... Not too noticeable in bridge position, less easy to tame in the neck slot.

                        That's why most neck humbuckers are underwound, in fact. :-)

                        Of course, it's possible to reEQ a powerful neck PU thx to a ceramic magnet but the result might vary because of other factors (like the magnetic poles used) and it might favor string pull, with annoying potential effects.

                        Now, as a Floyd spontaneously "carves" the acoustic resonance, a Custom in neck position might work here, who knows?

                        If ever it's not the case, there always the old capacitor trick (cheap and easy to try with alligator clips if needed): as Rickenbacker did with 4,7nF components in their guitars, it's possible to put a cap in series with a powerful neck PU if it's too bassy. Shouldn't have negative effects in an instrument without regular tone control and if circuits like a Fuzz Face are not used. It's also doable to put a cap from hot to ground of an underwound "scooped" neck humbucker: it would focus its output in the mids while keeping its tight bass. I'd start with a 1nF cap for that.
                        Duncan user since the 80's...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by freefrog View Post
                          That's why most neck humbuckers are underwound, in fact. :-)
                          I've always wondered why passives are like that when actives can pull it off more or less more seamlessly.

                          My one experience where I went "yeah, this is not working" is the JB in the neck. I think a JB/JB setup would sound so unbalanced.

                          Yet, it's also easy to go the other way around, and have the neck pickup so underwound and low output to the point where not even raising super close to the strings balances it out (kinda like, to an extent, the JB/Jazz or '59 or, to an even greater extent Distorton/Jazz or '59). I think that's what Seymour and most other people prefer.

                          I'd rather have a fat overwound bridge pickup like the Distortion or BW, combined with something brighter, more open, and lower output like an SH-6N or BW-N, but not a completely different league of pickup altogether, and have it balance better.

                          But then, if you're using EMG's, for example, 81/81 works way better. Hell, even 81/85 where the 85 is actually darker and hotter than the 81, kinda sorta works for most people. At least way better than the JB in the neck does with like almost anything.
                          Rex_Rocker
                          Mojo's Minions
                          Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 09-18-2023, 11:26 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I think i'd go for Dimarzio line like Air Norton, evolution neck, fred, gravity storm or sonic ecstasy (which i have very limited experience).
                            Official Author of Guitarism Section of SOUND Magazine, TR

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                            "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." Frank Zappa

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                            • #15
                              I agree - when I think heavy mids DiMarzio immediately comes to mind. Air Norton makes a great neck pickup with a strong bridge.
                              Extra mids for liquid lead lines, but still enough cut to sound like a normal neck when rolled back a bit for rhythm.
                              .
                              "You should know better by now than to introduce science into a discussion of voodoo."
                              .

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