Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Hoping the collective wisdom of the forum can point me in the right direction.

    About me: I'm an obsessive researcher. Before I make a purchase of any kind (only slight exaggeration), I scour the internet, looking for as many articles and reviews that I can find. I once spent a month researching multivitamins and fish oil.

    Coming to the point, I've spent the last few weeks digging through the forums here, DiMarzio, BKP, TDPRI, EverythingSG, TGP, and probably more. Listened to so many clips on soundcloud and YouTube (Which I know is not a great reference of a p/u's true sound). Now I need your help.

    I'm looking for recommendations for 2 guitars. The sounds tones I'm looking for are similar, but still within their own realm. For example:

    Guitar 1 is an Aerodyne Tele from the early 2000's. Basswood body, maple neck with rosewood board. This is my first guitar with a P90 in the neck and I'm not impressed. It actually sounds like I always thought it would, just kinda raunchy and a bit too much for my taste. The bridge is...okay. Not unusable by any means and much better than the P90 from where I'm standing. The neck has to go and if someone can recommend a nice matching bridge, I'll swap it too. I looked a lot at the DiMarzio P90-sized humbuckers, but still wonder if there is a better P90 out there. I had looked at the BKP Supermassive, but BKPs always have a high buy-in, even though I have enjoyed most of their offerings that I've tried.

    Guitar 2 is an '05 SG Special. The stock 490T was terrible. Like starting out, it was great because it was all I had. Over the years though, as I've owned more and more guitars with all kinds of different pickups, I've noticed how lacking the bridge really was. The 490R in the neck was actually much better and had a nice, thick, gong like quality even with the thin bodied SG. Fast forward, I took the repeated advice from across this forum and bought a Custom 5 and put an A8 magnet in it. Truth be told, I thought the A5 magnet sounded better. Neck is now a 59 I think. Or a Jazz. I cant remember right now. Either way, it's ok. Not quite as gong-like as the 490R but still pretty good.

    So like I said, the range of tones for both is similar, but still different. For the Tele, I want a pop-punk kind of sound (mid-2k Fallout Boy and Paramore) when the knobs are at 10. But I want to be able to still pull a decent twang out of it with the knobs backed off a little. Not a super clean, piercing twang. More of a low to mid gain twang like Brad Paisley or Keith Urban, with an early Eagles country-rock vibe. I know it can be done, Teles are versatile af. I've seen the video of Rodney Gene demoing the Quarter Pound doing a decent twang, but I also read that he ended up removing them. As for the neck P90, I don't know. Something that will compliment the bridge tone im looking for. Make me not hate P90s if you can.

    For the SG, I'm also looking for the same thing, but heavier. Like less Eagles country-rock and more Eagles "Life in the Fast Lane on the way to Hotel California with my Witchy Woman". Still pop-punk, but with a little bit of Coheed and Cambria "not quite as heavy as Welcome Home because they have other songs" thrown into the mix. Wondering if I should put the A5 back in the Custom and give it a better chance, also wondering if an overwound A2 would get me there.

    God I hope someone can offer some opinions and insight. My obsessiveness is going to drive me insane.

  2. #2
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Posts
    25,964

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Welcome to the forum!

    For the Tele, the only higher output pickup that still twangs is the Jerry Donahue. It sounds good with distortion, and works for clean, too. For the neck, you might just not like P90s. Have you considered just a humbucker in the neck? I'd say either a Jazz or a 59.

    For the SG, certainly consider putting that A5 back in the Custom, as the Custom was the first thing I thought of. An A2 pickup might sound a little mushy on the heavy stuff. For the neck, any A5 based vintage-output pickup would work.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    For the Tele, the only higher output pickup that still twangs is the Jerry Donahue. It sounds good with distortion, and works for clean, too. For the neck, you might just not like P90s. Have you considered just a humbucker in the neck? I'd say either a Jazz or a 59.

    For the SG, certainly consider putting that A5 back in the Custom, as the Custom was the first thing I thought of. An A2 pickup might sound a little mushy on the heavy stuff. For the neck, any A5 based vintage-output pickup would work.
    Man seeing my post on my phone...it looks like an essay. Sorry if it's needlessly wordy. Habit, I guess.

    But hey thanks for responding. You're actually one I was hoping to hear from.

    So on the tele side, the JD is one I've only glanced at because it's hard to find any clips of it being used with any significant gain. But outside of 2 outliers, it seems to be a very highly regarded pickup. I'll definitely consider it. As for the neck, do they make a P90 sized version of those p'ups? Or is that a custom shop thing? If that's the case, do you have any opinions about the P90 sized HB's from DiMarzio?

    For the SG, I will certainly consider swapping the magnets back. The A8 wasn't bad, but I just didn't get the hype, at least as far as I was using it.

  4. #4
    Super Toneologist allbutromeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,439

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    For the Tele either a Donahue or Hot Tele in the bridge, and a Firebird mini humbucker in the neck. For the SG, I personally like the Screamin Demon with a Jazz in the neck, but the Custom 5 (with the A5) and 59 or WLH would be a good suggestion.

    Gibson LP Trad Pro II->Various pedals->MEsa Boogie MkV->Owensby/219 Guitar Works Vertical Slant 2x12 w/WGS ET-65 and Veteran 30.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by allbutromeo View Post
    For the Tele either a Donahue or Hot Tele in the bridge, and a Firebird mini humbucker in the neck. For the SG, I personally like the Screamin Demon with a Jazz in the neck, but the Custom 5 (with the A5) and 59 or WLH would be a good suggestion.
    I've never looked at the mini HB's or the screamin demon. I will definitely do some more research on both. Thank you

  6. #6
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Pennsyltucky
    Posts
    2,147

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    If you don't like the P90, go with a mini-humbucker. I prefer the non-firebird type, but that's just my taste. For the SG, grab a ceramic, an A5 and an A2 and try them all in the Custom you already have. Worst case, you will have a lot more information on what you liked and didn't like to figure out what you want and you're only out $10 or so.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    That's a good idea. I already know the A5 was pretty good. I have some ceramics in other guitars used for much heavier stuff, but I wasnt sure how they would be on the less gainy end of the spectrum.

  8. #8
    Super Toneologist allbutromeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,439

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadd View Post
    If you don't like the P90, go with a mini-humbucker. I prefer the non-firebird type, but that's just my taste. For the SG, grab a ceramic, an A5 and an A2 and try them all in the Custom you already have. Worst case, you will have a lot more information on what you liked and didn't like to figure out what you want and you're only out $10 or so.
    I do like the Epiphone/LP Deluxe minis better in the bridge position, but for the neck spot I like the extra brightness of the Firebird pickups, and they go really well with Tele bridge pickups.

    Gibson LP Trad Pro II->Various pedals->MEsa Boogie MkV->Owensby/219 Guitar Works Vertical Slant 2x12 w/WGS ET-65 and Veteran 30.

  9. #9
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Posts
    25,964

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Well, I know there is a Custom Shop version of a P90 that is really a humbucker. You can have it wound to sound like any humbucker you want. Other companies might make something similar. You could also route for a full size HB if you just hate the P90 thing. But every stock production SD P90 is designed to sound like a P90. At least with production Duncans, if you don't dig the P90 sound, getting any of those won't help.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Well, I know there is a Custom Shop version of a P90 that is really a humbucker. You can have it wound to sound like any humbucker you want. Other companies might make something similar. You could also route for a full size HB if you just hate the P90 thing. But every stock production SD P90 is designed to sound like a P90. At least with production Duncans, if you don't dig the P90 sound, getting any of those won't help.
    I appreciate your honesty. It would have been easy to hock any SD P90 as "the one" to solve my problems. I'm not looking to route this guitar, at least not until I can find another spare body on reverb. And I'm not quite at the point of dropping custom shop money, even though it's certainly another option I had not considered. I'll continue looking for now for the P90.

  11. #11
    Super Toneologist allbutromeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,439

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    The nice thing about mini humbuckers is the mounting ring is literally just a P90 cover with a hole cut in it for the pickup.

    Gibson LP Trad Pro II->Various pedals->MEsa Boogie MkV->Owensby/219 Guitar Works Vertical Slant 2x12 w/WGS ET-65 and Veteran 30.

  12. #12
    Mojo's Minions dr.barlo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Istanbul
    Age
    48
    Posts
    3,675

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Tastes...

    I don't like Firebird minis in the neck. To trebly for my tastes. Dlx minis on the other hand sound right to me. Like a cleaner PAF, somewhere in between a PAF and a tele neck without that uppermid bark of the p90. I did the following recording yesterday on a backtrack with my 76 deluxe neck, amp is a Vox clone with 2 EL34's and an EF86 in the preamp (the speaker is a WGS ET65):



    If you are into mag swaps, make sure to check an a4 in your Custom. It might be exactly what you want. It is almost like a a5 but sounding a bit "weaker" in the highs and bass. I'd say try it, also in the neck. I have an a4 59 that I think is at par with the most pricey and fancy PAF clones out there.

    B

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.barlo View Post

    If you are into mag swaps, make sure to check an a4 in your Custom. It might be exactly what you want. It is almost like a a5 but sounding a bit "weaker" in the highs and bass. I'd say try it, also in the neck. I have an a4 59 that I think is at par with the most pricey and fancy PAF clones out there.

    B
    It's funny you bring up the A4. When I started out on this journey, the first pickup that really caught by attention was the Saturday Night Special, due in no small part D-Raps demo video. Knowing I can't trust one video from an expert player, I listened to more clips of the A4 and found that it can come off as flat sounding, which I then found was a characteristic of the magnet. Not that"even" is a bad quality, I just didn't have enough information to make a decision on it. I wonder now what a Custom 4 sounds like and how different it is from the SNS.

  14. #14
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    12,327

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    I've owned one of those Aerodyne Teles since I bought it new in 2004. I love the stock bridge pickup. It's shrill, nasty, aggressive, twangy, which is the perfect base for building a grungier tone. It can be dialed back in treble with the onboard tone knob. The neck pickup is dog ****, but you can just ignore it and stay on your bridge pickup. I would leave the Aerodyne alone and simply play it harder and/or use more volume and/or gain. Better to take an inherently thin pickup and stack it with dirt than to start out with a dirty pickup, which can never be cleaned up.

    For the SG, I'd continue to use the C5 in the bridge position (whichever magnet you want), but go back to the stock neck pickup.

    What is your amp and effects situation? The amp and its settings are going to make these tones far more than the pickups will.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    I've owned one of those Aerodyne Teles since I bought it new in 2004. I love the stock bridge pickup. It's shrill, nasty, aggressive, twangy, which is the perfect base for building a grungier tone. It can be dialed back in treble with the onboard tone knob. The neck pickup is dog ****, but you can just ignore it and stay on your bridge pickup. I would leave the Aerodyne alone and simply play it harder and/or use more volume and/or gain. Better to take an inherently thin pickup and stack it with dirt than to start out with a dirty pickup, which can never be cleaned up.

    For the SG, I'd continue to use the C5 in the bridge position (whichever magnet you want), but go back to the stock neck pickup.

    What is your amp and effects situation? The amp and its settings are going to make these tones far more than the pickups will.
    The thought of leaving the tele alone has crossed my mind more than once. I even have saved searches on reverb and eBay in case the occasional aerodyne tele body shows up for a decent price. I'm not above keeping mine stock, but having a 2nd one to mod. I really like the carved top look on a tele, wish fender had more.

    But I do agree, the bridge isn't the problem. That P90 blows. That's what started this whole thing, I was trying to figure out if the one in the aerodyne was a shining example of all P90s or just an uninspired throwaway in an otherwise great guitar. I don't really want to just live with it like it is, I'd at least like it to be something I don't hate.
    The idea behind the bridge was mostly "if you get this neck pickup, this bridge pickup compliments it really well", but also an opportunity to see what people recommended if I do decide to pull the trigger on a new bridge. One less thread I gotta make later.

    Amp and fx? My current amp is a tiny terror and matching 212 I got in a trade. It's not sticking around. All of my recording setup is direct in. Helix, neural dsp, etc.

  16. #16
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Posts
    25,964

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrashPanda View Post
    The thought of leaving the tele alone has crossed my mind more than once. I even have saved searches on reverb and eBay in case the occasional aerodyne tele body shows up for a decent price. I'm not above keeping mine stock, but having a 2nd one to mod. I really like the carved top look on a tele, wish fender had more.

    But I do agree, the bridge isn't the problem. That P90 blows. That's what started this whole thing, I was trying to figure out if the one in the aerodyne was a shining example of all P90s or just an uninspired throwaway in an otherwise great guitar. I don't really want to just live with it like it is, I'd at least like it to be something I don't hate.
    The idea behind the bridge was mostly "if you get this neck pickup, this bridge pickup compliments it really well", but also an opportunity to see what people recommended if I do decide to pull the trigger on a new bridge. One less thread I gotta make later.

    Amp and fx? My current amp is a tiny terror and matching 212 I got in a trade. It's not sticking around. All of my recording setup is direct in. Helix, neural dsp, etc.
    I've played that guitar, and the P90 is pretty much what all P90s sound like. I mean, you look at an Antiquity, it is just a better, more refined version of that sound you don't like.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    ...it is just a better, more refined version of that sound you don't like.
    This made me laugh more than you probably intended.

  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    12,327

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrashPanda View Post
    The thought of leaving the tele alone has crossed my mind more than once. I even have saved searches on reverb and eBay in case the occasional aerodyne tele body shows up for a decent price. I'm not above keeping mine stock, but having a 2nd one to mod. I really like the carved top look on a tele, wish fender had more.

    But I do agree, the bridge isn't the problem. That P90 blows. That's what started this whole thing, I was trying to figure out if the one in the aerodyne was a shining example of all P90s or just an uninspired throwaway in an otherwise great guitar. I don't really want to just live with it like it is, I'd at least like it to be something I don't hate.
    The idea behind the bridge was mostly "if you get this neck pickup, this bridge pickup compliments it really well", but also an opportunity to see what people recommended if I do decide to pull the trigger on a new bridge. One less thread I gotta make later.

    Amp and fx? My current amp is a tiny terror and matching 212 I got in a trade. It's not sticking around. All of my recording setup is direct in. Helix, neural dsp, etc.
    I am a big time P90 lover. That P90 is among the worst I have ever heard. It is atypically bad, and not representative of what P90s sound like IME. It's muddy and indistinct in tone, and a terrible match for the bridge pickup in that guitar.

    A Firebird pickup (neck wind) is a better match to that bridge pickup, IMO.

    Or you could just crank it down low and ignore it, or unhook it. For the music/tones you're talking about, you can easily survive without using a neck pickup.

    Do you like the middle switch position?
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 04-06-2020 at 12:49 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    Or you could just crank it down low and ignore it, or unhook it. For the music/tones you're talking about, you can easily survive without using a neck pickup.

    Do you like the middle switch position?
    It's a utility thing. The pickup is there, there is a spot for it, I'd like to have it and for it to be usable.

    And I have never used the middle position. It's honestly not a position I use a whole bunch on any 2 pickup guitar. Usually front or back.

  20. #20
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    12,327

    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrashPanda View Post
    It's a utility thing. The pickup is there, there is a spot for it, I'd like to have it and for it to be usable.

    And I have never used the middle position. It's honestly not a position I use a whole bunch on any 2 pickup guitar. Usually front or back.
    Same here. I practically never use middle positions on three-way guitars, or the notch positions on five-way guitars.

    I would go for a Duncan mini humbucker, SM-1n. This is an original-style Firebird pickup, but underwound. It's bright and aggressive, but clear. Very good match for a Tele bridge pickup.

    In order to do this, you need to convert to Les Paul Deluxe style mounting. That involves installing a threaded metal strip on the bottom of the pickup cavity. Then you need to purchase the right pickup ring. It has the outline of a P-90 pickup cover, but it is drilled and cut out differently (to accept a mini humbucker or Firebird pickup and its adjustment screws). Then you need spacers, springs, and retainers. Stew-Mac has almost all of this in a kit: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...g_Bracket.html. You just need to purchase the mounting ring in addition: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...ting_Ring.html.

    Be aware that the SM-2s and SM-3s use a different construction – not original-style Firebird construction. They are hotter.

    Also be aware that your can special order the SM-1, 2, and 3 pickups with Firebird style smooth covers, instead of the covers with the hideous Duncan logo stamp.
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 04-06-2020 at 04:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •