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Thread: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

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    Default Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    My favorite bridge pickup is the DiMarzio Tone Zone. I put in a Duncan Sh11 (Custom Custom) into the bridge of an LP to go with an Alnico II Pro in the neck. Love the Alnico II Pro, but the Sh11 is just ok. Should have just gone with the tried and True Tone Zone - better clean and distorted tone. I’d like to take advantage of the Duncan exchange program, but don’t know which pickup to get. Does Duncan make something similar to the Tone Zone? Thanks!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker TheViewFromVenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    I mean, if you like the TZ, get a TZ. I would also suggest maybe an A2P or Slash in the bridge. You will have a similar eq profile and change of flavor from what you normally like.

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    I want to exchange the Sh11 through Duncan. That’s why I’m asking about a Duncan pickup that sounds similar.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker TheViewFromVenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Quote Originally Posted by NJLK View Post
    I want to exchange the Sh11 through Duncan. That’s why I’m asking about a Duncan pickup that sounds similar.
    Nothing really. You may like an Alternative 8 though. Lot of bass and mids like the TZ.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Nagisa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    I agree that there isn't really a direct TZ alternative through Duncan. The JB or Black Winter may get you in that territory in terms of output and application, but they are not all that similar.

    It's a little like getting dumped and trying to find a girl who's similar to your ex. You can surely find another girl with red hair and a nice fanny, but her personality will surely be a bit different and she may not be into that thing you used to do with your ex.


    You can easily use both duncan and dimarzio though - just check the conversion wiring color codes through Google.
    Last edited by Nagisa; 02-17-2020 at 06:45 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Try an Alternative 8.

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Thanks for everyone’s input. I spoke to a Seymour Duncan tech and asked about the Alternative 8, JB, Duncan Distortion, etc. his recommendation was to go with the Slash version of the Alnico II Pro, as it’s got more output and more mids and bass than the standard Alnico II Pro. So, that’s what I went with. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just go with the Tone Zone.

    For what it’s worth, his opinion was that the pickups mentioned above wouldn’t really have good clean tones and the Slash pickup is one of their overall most versatile. So...we’ll see.

    Thanks again!

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    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    The Slash is a far cry from the "Tone Zone" in many ways, so that's why it wasn't mentioned, but you might really like it! The Slash bridge is full sounding with a bit of that "pushed PAF" character. Very versatile and should sound great next to the regular A2Pro in the neck. Let us know how it works out!

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    The JB is quite similar to the Tone Zone flipped upside down (brighter way to run the Tone Zone).
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Mr. B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    JB with an A2 magnet in it is more similar to a Tone Zone than the regular JB, or any of the other pickups you mentioned.

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. B View Post
    JB with an A2 magnet in it is more similar to a Tone Zone than the regular JB, or any of the other pickups you mentioned.
    Hmmm, have you actually tried that combination? sound like an interesting experiment. I think the Tone Zone uses an A5 magnet. Doesn’t it? Would it make sense to try a JB with an A5?

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    The JB comes stock with an A5. An A2 lowers the output and rounds out the tone, smoothing out the JB noticeably. It's not a bad suggestion, but I would go ahead and try the Slash if you've already initiated the exchange. You may find that the Slash delivers much of what you like about the Tone Zone, but with a little different attitude and character.

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    To my ears the JB and Tone Zone sound so flat and dull played dead clean, add a little bit of grit and they liven up though. The Slash is great, and will really cover a lot of ground, if it's still not enough output, then an alternative 8 or custom 8 ( custom sh-5 with an A8 magnet) will add some power and low mids to your LP. But the good news about the Slash bridge, for an A2 type pickup it can handle a lot of gain before it mushes out!

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    A JB is often flat and boring but in the right guitar is sings, screams and howls with very decent cleans. And with right guitar I mean, a tele.

    For the TS: a JB alnico II sounds about right to me. The Tonezone has a 17K wind, which leads me to believe that (at least) one coil is 44awg, like the JB. But, the baseplate is brass. That bleeds off so much high end it's not funny anymore. In other words, an alnico II will get you in the same tonal ball park but not exactly the same.

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Tone Zone / Distortion ≠ Duncan

    Those are unique DiMarzio sounding pups. I own both. Just get a TZ if you like it.
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    mild old man perv Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Quote Originally Posted by NJLK View Post
    Thanks for everyone’s input. I spoke to a Seymour Duncan tech and asked about the Alternative 8, JB, Duncan Distortion, etc. his recommendation was to go with the Slash version of the Alnico II Pro, as it’s got more output and more mids and bass than the standard Alnico II Pro. So, that’s what I went with. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just go with the Tone Zone.

    For what it’s worth, his opinion was that the pickups mentioned above wouldn’t really have good clean tones and the Slash pickup is one of their overall most versatile. So...we’ll see.

    Thanks again!
    I'm just going to call that guy an idiot. Wait and see.
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    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    The OP might still like what the Slash brings to the table, especially if he hasn't tried that type of pickup before.

    That said, the "tech" suggesting you can't get good clean tones with the other pickups mentioned shows just how little the SD frontline knows about their own products (or its competitor's products). I suppose "good" is subjective, but there are so many ways to gleam wonderful clean tones from hotter pickups, it's not even funny

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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    I'm just going to call that guy an idiot. Wait and see.
    Gotta agree with Ace on this one...

    Me: I love bananas

    Tech: GREAT! Try brussel sprouts!
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Duke View Post
    Gotta agree with Ace on this one...

    Me: I love bananas

    Tech: GREAT! Try brussel sprouts!
    The Slash pickup is brussle sprouts? Geeze man. Harsh review.
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    Default Re: Duncan pickup that sounds like a Tone Zone

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    The Slash pickup is brussle sprouts? Geeze man. Harsh review.


    I only wanted to illustrate how different they! Maybe bananas and tomatoes? Tomatoes are still fruit!
    “That which we do for ourselves dies with us … that which we do for others lives forever.”

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