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Does anyone have an opinion/feedback/suggestions on a good set of humbucking pick ups? I'm thinking about trading out the stock DiMarzio in my PRS style guitar. They can be split to single coil which i like but i find they lack any real 'personality'. any favorites out there? any feedback would be great.

also does anyone have a digtech XP-300 Space Station they want to get rid of? or maybe know of one for sale. I am looking for one.


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Dude I'm sorry to see the old thread go, I'll do my part to keep this one afloat this time. I could talk gear like a nerdly nerd all day and all of the night.

I put a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Plus bucker in an old Strat that I had, it sounds great but it certainly has bite. There are times when I think that I should have checked out the SD '59 before choosing this one, but I hear that bucker can lack personality sometimes. If you have a way of checking them out, check out the SD line. I bet a Pearly Gates in the bridge and a '59 in the neck would be a sweet combination.

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i guess the problem is I've never really switched out the pick up in any of the guitars i have. I can recognize the differences between different pick ups, in different guitars but often wonder how the guitar would sound with something different in it. It's kind of a pain to switch the pick ups and you really never know how each pick up is going to sound in that guitar until you have it in there. it makes testing different pick ups hard, if not impossible.

i too could nerd it out with guitar talk. :)

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Does anyone have an opinion/feedback/suggestions on a good set of humbucking pick ups? I'm thinking about trading out the stock DiMarzio in my PRS style guitar. They can be split to single coil which i like but i find they lack any real 'personality'. any favorites out there? any feedback would be great.

Harmony-Central has a set of pickup reviews broken down by manufacturer, which is handy if you want info on a specific model.



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PRS pickups are nice pickups for sure. I'm not really big on the HFS though. Depends what you're looking for I guess, but I find them a little over the top and a little bright. The McCarty and Dragon pickups are really really nice. Warmer less agressive sounding. Most of my humbucking pickup experience had been with Gibson 490's 57'Classic (pretty much the same pickup and hardly classic sounding imho) 498, 500 etc... and I never found that I could make them work for me. I've owned 7 Gibsons in the last 10 years and they always wound up being sold off because I couldn't make them sound "right".

I digress....

anyhow, the PRS Archtop pickups are fu©king perfect if you ask me. But I'm definitely leaning to a less gainy type of pickup. Also the new Gibson pickups called Burstbuckers are great. Really really great. They're making them with one coil intentionnally over wound or underwound to give them a similar sound to the PAFs they were making in the 50s. I guess the logic is that these used to be wound on sewing machines with the maker putting "approximately" 5000 wraps of wire on each magnet. Well of course they weren't exact, so now they're being un precise on purpose. It works, they sound great.

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boogieknight I have the same problem, swapping pickups is such a pain in the ass, and you never know how they'll sound in your guitar until they're in there. The guys at Songbird have been very helpful to me in that area. I bought an Epiphone Firebird from them, the price was so very right ($295) and I'm sure the shape of the guitar had something to do with my impulse buy (Johnny Winter, Cream-era Clapton, etc). Anyway the pickups were shite, very tinny and just sort of low-grade in general. I went upstairs to the fine fellows in Repair (who have done a bunch of work for me, they're always pleasant and do great work). Anyway after some conversation we settled on a pair of SD Vintage mini-buckers to replace the Epi mini-buckers. They look like this:


There was one that rated about 7 and one that rated close to 10 (output wise), so I chose the 7 for the neck and the 10 for the bridge. They also had a NOS SD Custom Mini-bucker that rated at 16(!), and I considered that one, but decided to go for the more tradition-range output. Anyway as I was laying in bed that night I had a change of heart and decided I wanted the 16 in the bridge and the 10 in the neck. So I stopped in on my way to work the next morning and bolted upstairs to tell them, figuring there was no way they had started the work yet. Well there was my guitar on the bench, with the new pickups already in it! Anyway, I figured "forget it" and thanked the guy, and told him I would pick it up on my way home. So I go in on my way home, and it's all stringed up, and I take it downstairs with the repair guy and plug it in. It sounds incredible, perfectly bright and very punchy. I tell the guy "I can't believe that this is the lower-rated pair!" and he says "actually, it's not. Once I had the lower-rated pair in there, I brought it down here and plugged it in, but it just didn't sound right. Sounded sort of weak, with not a lot of punch. So I brought it back up and moved the 10 to the neck and threw the 16 in the bridge!" Anyway it was real nice of the guy to take a vested interest in the guitar, and I guess it didn't hurt that we had chatted before he started the work about what kind of music I play and what sound I was looking for.

I have to confess, I've never really played a DiMarzio pickup, to my knowledge, but the three Duncans I have do the job perfectly. Good luck.

I love geeking it out. Let's talk delays. I want a delay that sounds like a classic analog delay (like the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man):


...but doesn't neccesarily need to be analog, a worthy simulator will do. But I need a little more delay time, tap tempo would be nice, and storable patches. I'm hesitant to spend a fortune on the green Line 6 job


because I hear they really suffer from poor construction. People have told me about the Boss Giga-Delay


...but I don't think the extended delay time works with the analog simulator; i.e. you can only utilize extended delay time if you are using the digital delay component of the unit. Anyway what I really want to know is, do any of you know if there is a tape-delay unit out there that will give me what I need (I figure at least 1500ms of delay will suffice), that uses tape that lasts long and will still be manufactured in 20 years, and is foot-controllable??

< /nerdliness >

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mmmmm delay..elay....lay....ay....y...y..y..y..y....y

lets see. I have a line 6. which i really like. i haven't had any problems with it in terms of constuction, but then again i am using it in a studio setting. I find it is pretty versitile and gives you pretty good bang for your buck. Canned beats swears that it is best with an expression pedal but i haven't had i chance to play with one. I have been thinking about trading it in for the echo pro(rackmount version)


I also have an ibanez AD-80. good warm analog delay in a stomp box.


but for analog delay I am currently using a Roland 501 Chorus Echo


This thing is amazing. It is broken down into 3 sections. chorus, echo, and delay. The delay can be single or sound on sound. This unit is what analog is all about. It is so warm it could melt snow and it doesn't have alot of the noise that usually comes with old analog gear. It also has a really sweet reverb. I haven't had a chance to record with it but i am really looking forward to having it in a studio. I think it would sound really good on vocals.

I was looking at getting a fulltone TTE(tube tape echo) but i'm gonna have to save my pennies for that one. maybe Pablo S. can give us the run down on it. I've heard it a couple of times and thought it sounded great.

I haven't heard too much about the giga delay, but have seen some positive reviews.

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Fulltone TTE. kick ass, best sounding echo I've ever owned. I've owned a lot of different delays: boss (here's your extra crispy digital), line6(gotta say, these things aren't built for the road and I find their tape simulation is more of a exageration but hey it is really good for the money and I still use it so I can't think its that bad), the Danelectro Dan-Echo is suprisingly great. The tone is really acceptable and its all analog. I wish I hadn't dumped that one. The Electro Harmonix memory man is very cool. Love the chorus on the repeats. I had an old tape echo but the tape kept getting jammed. fu©king sucked. I discovered that you had to use graphite coated tape so it didn't get stuck. If you ever find yourself in a bind for graphite coated tape just get an old 8-track and make a loop out of that tape because it is graphite coated. Yes 8-Tracks are still usefull for something.

But the Fulltone TTE seriously takes the cake. As soon as you play through it you have this realisation that the sound you're hearing is exactly what everything else is striving to imitate but only now you realize the imitations are not doing a very good job. You can really get the repeats to sit back perfectly so that you can have a huge delay with lots of repeats but it sits back it the mix perfectly and doesn't get overloaded. c'est manifique! Chuck and Al from moe just each bought one from me last week so look for them on moe tour this winter.


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EH just re-released the 16 second delay pedal as well....a friend just got an old tel-ray oilcan delay...holy crap does it sound stellar. I think they were rebranded as Morley or Gibson, but there is a pedal version and a head version that are stellar....That Delay of Dave's is pretty sweet too, nice to know you aren't stuck to ebay for the overpriced vintage tape delays...

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I had a standel(morley) del ray oil can delay which was really cool. I ended up selling it due to getting an offer i couldn't refuse, but i know i will come to regret it one day. I do have a morley evo-1 which is an oilcan delay with a footpedal controller. This is way i decided to part with my other oilcan delay. Oilcans are a totally different beast and have a totally unique sound


also i forgot that i have a old blue face mxr digital delay. it was one of the 1st digital delays on the market back in the day. I haven't had much of a chance to use b/c it is packed away with all my home studio gear.


ps. nice to see you around these parts again Tungsten G.

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veeeeeery interesting....

My friend uses that exact MXR rack unit with his keyboards (Wurli, MS2000, Moog) with very cool results. I have been looking for a new delay unit (curently using Boss DD5) so thanks for the nerdiness, keep it up!

question: what unit would you buy if you could only spend less than $400? (them fulltone's are over a grand I think...)

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for all around usabilty i would think about the DL4. it can do alot of different things and for the money sound pretty good. you could look at the rackmount version called the echo pro, which i just found out has been discontinued due to poor sales. it orginally listed for 699 but i've seen a couple for under 400. if you want to go vintage you can sometimes find a roland space echo (the 201 or 301) for under 400 on ebay or in stores. Also in the analog department is the ibanez AD-80 which is very nice and can be found for 100-250 and the MXR green delay also analog. this is the delay that Jerry used in the mid 70's to early eighties.

There is a blue face mxr on ebay right now, currently at $125usd. i've seen these go cheap before. I have a manual for it if you did decide to go for it.

blue face delay

a couple other cool delays are the moogerfooger MF 104 and the way huge Aqua-Puss Analog Delay both are no longer in production and usually sell for over 400 usd.

oh don't forget the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. I had one on loan for a couple of weeks and i just couldn't get into it. I found it kind of edgey and didn't really seem that warm for an analog delay. I found that with most Electro-Harmonix pedals the orginals beat out the reissues in tone. I am interested in their POG (Polyphonic octave generator)


but i'll save that discussion for another day :)

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well...if you're looking to get a bang for your buck situation, the DL4 with the expression pedal. there's no question in my mind. you have 3 presets, with 2 modes each (expression pedal goes from one setting to another setting per preset...use it to change one or more knob tweaks)

and you have a looper feature...

the crummy thing about the looper feature though are that you can't use any of the echoes on it - you're set to a delay plus mod. the sample time is kinda low for me (as a bass player, I find a good phrase can last 4 repeats of a hooky bit and deep dirty grooves can be slow so i go over all the time which ruins the previous 13.999 seconds of effort)

before you play you should make sure the buttons aren't loose either. the power supply isn't built as well as the box...and i feel that for bass the sound isn't the same going out as it is going in. all that said, it's one of the few pedals i would replace. I want to get a boss loopstation for my sampling so i can use my DL4 for its echoes.

i would love to get the POG...i use my octave pedal before my synth to get polyphony with the polyphonic voicing in the synth and the POG would seriously boost that as well...

so if i did it right i'd have 12 sympathetic tones...and if i played around with my chain (put my worm before the POG) i'd be able to get crazy textures...but i use that for mod after my synth to make the oscillator sound stand out and fatten up my synthy sound...the worm is a modulation pedal that can be notched. i don't have an EQ pedal so i tend to stick it in wah mode and accentuate the higher register, or notch the phaser to make my octave sound dirrrty, but i'm currently pissed at it cause it's distorting the signal. not the best pedal out there but definitely a cool unit if you learn how to use it as a tool for yourself. i want to put an expression pedal on THAT so i can use it like a wah or footcontrolled phaser.

i should just get all of my gear fixed before it busts even more.

that includes my amp...i have to plug into my fx-return to get a clean signal...anyhting else hisses, and it hisses when nothing's plugged in!!! (crap)

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"I am interested in their POG (Polyphonic octave generator)"

whew, you've stepped-up the nerdiness, nice! I actually need something for live performance mainly, something good for the road and doesn't require a lot of set-up or tweaking. It also needs to have a tap function and an easy way of switching the intensity and length of the delay on the fly.

ps: I have tried the Line 6 and didn't like it.

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oh yeah...if anybody's looking to get an eq pedal, try the boss eq-20 - you can store about 10 different EQs...very nice double boss pedal. out of production due to lacvk of interest.

the problem with the line 6 echo pro is that you need the midi controller to really get into it. so the rack and a good midi footrig will run you about $600 and that's before rach case for your line 6. for what it's worth, unless you're going to really really really use the features on the echo pro to tweak yourself out (spend hours understanding that gear) it's a waste of your hard earned money. great for rack gear in the studio, but for your guitar?? you might be better with something else. look around.

if you can find it used and cheeeeap then i say do'er up and find one for me.

i'm still trying to figure out how to get what i want in less or smaller pedals...but i don't even have what i want fully...i want a comp and a limiter/enhancer, I want an EQ, I want a distortion, I want a sawtooth generator (purple line 6 modeller i've been told)and a better mod pedal (or mine fixed)...

i also need to get my volume and wah pedals fixed...

and my bass...

...and i want to try to get my kramer tweaked for more output...

hey BK...have you thought about active pickups for any of your guitars?? it's something you might want to look into.

pick a nice guitar with less than ideal pickups...the prs lado??

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are you in ottawa rigth now beats?? if so I'd take a look at that amp of yours see if I can do anythign to clean it up...

I pretty much went through a phase where I figured I didn;t need effects so I sold all my pedals except for my line 6 and my boss bass eq, and my wahs... wish I hadn't sold them now.. but thats life

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when it comes to guitar rigs i like the less is more in terms of tone. if it doesn't sound good just plugged straight in, it isn't going to get any beter with a big chain of effects. for recording and studio stuff the more tools you have the better or at least the more colours you have in your palette.

as for active pick ups. i really haven't given them much thought. I have been thinking about adding a Unity-gain buffer Pre-amp, or the Strat-o-Blaster made by alembic This helps to boost the output of your signal without changing your tone.

So today I was thinking about compressors? Like, dislike?? any favorites? I have used one in my signal chain but find i keep taking it out. Just seems the the range is greater without it. It does have some good applications though.

part b to the compessor discussion is where in the chain do you use it? front or back end?

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as for compressors, BK - they make you seem louder but not as open. they're great for timbre and dynamic arrangements but not always for a 'tone'...more of a 'tool'

and as for when you want it in the chain, you have to figure how you're going to use it. do you use your comp like a distortion or effect? then since it's a voice put it before modulation and delay...maybe after some high gain effects...like as for me, i find my mini q-tron to be really hot. i'd put a comp AFTER that so as to not overload my chain AFTER the q. if you're using it as a tool to give yourself more oomph as a whole (more like a limiter) then put it at the end. so if it's for voicing or for gainstaging/presence it's all up to you.

I think you want to use a comp for your voicing if you think it sucks the life out of your signal. go into your comp around your distortions...you can really tweak out your drive with a comp if you move it all around. just make sure and use one of your muting cables between the amp and the effects...it'll make it all way simpler.

hope this helped...and if someone thinks i'm wrong please suggest with your wisdom (not trying to be fececious) what would be better. I think if anybody knows it's pablo or tungsten...

what's everybody's take on gates?

do you use them?? have you ever tried?

for me, they're ideal for when you're NOT playing...more important for hollowbody or acoustic guitars...or if you have mega loud amps...FEEDBACK!

anyhow, does anybody know how to use gates creatively? like for auto-volume or to shape envelope (an envelope filter accentuates/eq's with touch...i think a touch volume could be cool...gate/expander?)


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also, an envolope controlled phase/flange...anybody ever hear of this?

i remember somewhere seeing tap tempo/tempo mapped effects...so you could have a tremolo to a samba rhythm...

things like this excite me but make me feel ultra nerdy.

when i'm making the big bucks...i'll be spending too much money on instruments, processing, and amplification.

anybody ever play with aural enhancers and multi-band compression? to me this seems like i'd not only have the ability to tweak all of my gear and play dub-engineer, but also have the control over my overall sound and include elements of mastering into my instrument sound.

anybody know of any products that 'make you sound better'...I know there are units that change the impedance of your signal and give you more oomph, and I love EQ and what you can do with that, but I am in the same boat as BK...you can use all the perfume you want but sh!tty tone will always have that stink lying underneath. As much as I love my toys, I don't use them ALL the time. only when they're necessary.

My amp and bass aren't my ideal picks...(i think a 5 string warwick thumb through a 600 watt euphonix audio head, plugged into 2 hartke 2200's (or other cabs that have a dynamic range of 34 hz-12k...or better...ideally i'd hit 11hz and go nice and crisp...but that'll wait until I can afford to hand out attends at shows...people'll wonder 'why do they give out diapers with the Robby's face on the arse?' heh heh heh...dirty dirty dirty)))

but to finish my initial thought in that rant...i can't afford 4 grand worth of gear right now so I'll stick with my fender jazz and trace 1x12...and i also have this little kramer bass. aluminum neck...that's exactly what it sounds like. it's very thin.

does anybody have a suggestion a to what i could do with it?

where's fenderbender when we need him??

i think it has a coil tap switch...and the pickup is a double single coil (not a humbucker...i dont' think...looks like 2 jazz bass pickups stuck together...i've been told it's like 2 single coils instead of a hum...)

and it has a master volume and a tone.

I don't need more knobs...but if it's an issue of having a coil tap, or a series/parallel switch, or a phase switch...that'd be cool...i'd go with more switches (and if it was a phase switch i think I'd like a knob to control HOW MUCH i'd like to put it out of phase)

mind you, reader, i have no intention of doing this tomorrow or this upcoming week...but it's just thoughts as to what i might like to do to my instrument...i think that bass would be an ideal bass to turn midi/piezo and have blending with the magnetic pickups...but that might be better for a bass with more mass?

anyone familiar with acoustified electric instruments??

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Okay, I'm not a guitar geek at all - I can barely play three chords (A,G,D) and I have to completely stop and re-position my hands if I want to change chords. Nevertheless, I've always been impressed by John Fogerty who, to this day, still uses absolutely no gadgets or technology whatsoever. Guitar > (volume pedal) > amplifier.

Not that I'm putting down gadgets - they're cool too, and you can get some great sounds and tones - just that it's cool to see someone play so well, so purely.

And y'know what? I think he's a totally under-rated guitarist, too.


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