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Thread: Hyperions thin and edgy

  1. #1
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    Default Hyperions thin and edgy

    Hello all! First time posting here.

    I recently bought an Ibanez AZ242BC and absolutely love the look and feel of it.
    I've been playing it for a few weeks, and I'm having trouble loving the Hyperion pickups and "alter" switch voicings; even after adjusting the eq on all my amp patches.

    I know the Hyperions were meant for a variety of modern styles, but I find them too bright, hard, and edgy to get classic rock-type sounds out of them, and the positions utilizing the alter switch are all painfully bright and edgy, with considerable hum.
    The neck pickup isn't completely bad (it has an almost single-coil sound that I can just about live with), but the bridge position sounds thin and almost quacky (alter switch off). There's times I could swear it was accidentally wired in parallel, but no: it's looks to be in series.

    I'm trying to decide if I should try selling the Hyperions and switches on Reverb while they are in mint condition, and try a pair of Whole Lotta's, or 59/59Hybrids. My other Ibanez has Duncan 59s with UOA5 magnets and I really like that sound a lot, though sometimes I wish the bridge had a bit more oomph, while keeping the softer highs).

    My other option (which I'm favoring a bit more) is to risk scuffing the Hyperions up a little, and drop some roughcast A4 magnets in them to get a little softer treble and fuller mids in them, and maybe soldering the switch to more conventional parallel/series combinations. There aren't many reports of magnet-swaps in Hyperions, so I'm not sure how the winds would react to different magnets.

    Opinions?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Many modern style pickups struggle with more organic tones.

    I have not had even one bit of experience with the pickups you have......but usually if the tones are only a little off what you want then some tweaks will get them to where you want. However if you make a lot of changes and you're still not there then it sounds like there is no hope.

    I had a similar issue when I had a Blackstar amp. I'd only bought it as a clean platform, but I tried out the drive channel anyhow. No matter what I did that organic vintage tone was just not there the way it was with the pedals. If I had bought it for the drive channel then I'd have returned it/sold it long before I did.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    I hear you! I bought this guitar for the light body, amazing-feeling neck, steel frets, and the really nice top. The neck pickup isn't off by 100 miles, it just needs a little treble shaved off and softened a bit. The bridge pickup is a weirdo, though.

  4. #4
    Super Toneologist elelpe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    There's nothing wrong with Hyperion. It just isn't created for what you're after. Magnets swapping is futile. You'd better replace it with the ones you mentioned.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Thanks for your thoughts! I agree there's nothing wrong with them, except that they don't suit my taste as much as I'd hoped.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Tone Member
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    If you change to a bridge pickup with more output, you can probably raise the neck pickup for a fatter tone. I'm not very confident about using a WLH in a Strat style guitar. The upper mids of the WLH bridge were intensely bright when I tried it, so you might end up back where you started.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Thanks Teleplayer: even for a strat, it seems quite bright (compared to my memory of an old Fender strat I used to have). Thanks for that tip!
    That's a good point about a hotter bridge pu. Also: I adjusted the pickup height when I first got the new Ibanez, but to be fair, I should probably try some more experimental adjustments now that I've had some time with it and made some amp settings changes. Thanks for the advice.

  8. #8
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    They are very modern-voiced pickups, and will be pretty hard, brittle, with a more focused attack than the sound you like, which is classic rock. The good news, is that if you wanted to sell them, you'd have no trouble. Replace them with a set of 59s, or a 59 & 59/Custom Hybrid and you will be back to (classic) rockin'!
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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  9. #9
    Tone Member
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    I have the 24 fret prestige version of the AZ. I can get almost any sound I want with the switching, tone, and volume controls. If you sell the pickups let me know. They are some of my favorites and I generally like PAFs.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Thanks Mincer: that does seem to be the consensus I'm hearing. Cheers!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Thanks Golem! That's interesting that you like them and are a PAF-lover.
    Teleplayer got me starting to wonder how much of the brightness/sharpness might also be due to the guitar itself (I'm coming from a 10 pound mahogany-body LP-style guitar, and haven't owned a strat for quite some time).

    I'm going to try fiddling with my amplifier/pickup height settings and give them a bit more time to see if I warm up to them for what they are.
    I'll for sure let you know if a bit more listening and fiddling doesn't change my view of them.

    Awesome how quickly I got great advice on this forum! Much thanks!

  12. #12
    Ultimate Tone Member Nagisa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Gravity storm!!! I tried a lot of pickups in my AZ but the GS bridge finally did the trick. It's the pickup you're looking for.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Nagisa, I have to say, my first thought was that you were nuts: "why would I want a Steve Vai pickup?". But I read the Dimarzio writeup and it doesnt sound bad. I'll watch some videos and check it out. I am finding that keeping the tone knob backed down just a hair takes some of the edginess away while still maintaining clarity. I dont think I've ever used the tone control for a bridge pickup before lol.
    Edit: out of curiosity, what neck pickup are you pairing with the Gravitystorm?
    Last edited by LoveMyIbanez; 05-29-2020 at 03:44 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hyperions thin and edgy

    Well, after spending a lot more time tweaking my amp settings with custom high and low filters, I got quite a bit closer to a vintagey sound with the Hyperions, but I couldn't quite get to where I wanted (especially with the bridge pickup). I very nearly pulled the trigger on a Dimarzio 36th/AT-1 pair, but during a bout of insomnia, I went against common sense and friendly suggestions, and swapped the polished A5 magnets for roughcast A4's. I've done magnet-swaps before on some cheapo humbuckers and on a pair of 59's, but to my ears, this swap took the longest to "settle-in". At first, they sounded weirdly stereophonic, like I had a tiny bit of chorus on all the time, and the bridge pickup was extremely mid-heavy and you could really get pinch-type harmonics without really trying. It was kind of neat but a bit too extreme. After about 5 days, they settled down (or my ears got used to them, or both).

    The neck Hyperion, which sounded like a hotter version of the Jazz pu to me, now sounds more like a 59. It has a beautiful PAF sound with some snarl when you pick hard.
    The bridge Hyperion sounded thin, bright, and lacked balls before. Now it has a bit more mids, a bit less treble, and strangely, it sounds a bit louder. I had to redo all my amp eq settings to calm the mids a bit, but I'm very very happy with the swap!
    It's very surprising to me that the A5 magnets sounded so dull in comparison.
    Anyways, I just wanted to add my experiences in magnet-swapping with these pickups. They take A4 magnets very well, and I'd imagine the neck would get fairly close to a Slash model with an A2 bar.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by LoveMyIbanez; 07-01-2020 at 06:23 AM.

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