I know things have been really Les Paully around here lately (don’t worry: despite how much fun I’m having with this amazing Les Paul, I’m still addicted to my Ibanii, my Taylor, my Buddy Blaze 7-string and my Fender ’62 Strat reissue), but here’s something else you might dig, regardless of which two-humbucker axe you may sling: Joe Gore’s Pagey Project.
Here’s part 1, in which Gore wires up his Les Paul with the wildly flexible Jimmy Page setup.
Here’s part 2, in which things get way crazy with Triple Shot mounting rings and a germanium overdrive.
And here’s the postscript, wherein we learn what happens next!
The Fender Telecaster was the first production-line solidbody electric guitar, and Leo and co got it pretty much right the first time around. The Telecaster’s design is like a perfect storm of tone: the chunky body and the bolt-on neck joint encourage a particular kind of string energy transfer that retains a great deal of treble, and this gives the Tele its legendary ring. But there are many different approaches to the Tele tone. Some players need to tame the treble a bit, some wish to emphasise it, some require lower output, some want lower noise, and some want higher output. The DiMarzio Area T 615 is aimed at modern country players who need to retain the classic Tele tone but who need something a little more finely tuned for overdrive sounds as well as cleans. These players need the true Tele twang, but they also need solid, punchy tones for the rockier styles that have progressively crept into modern country.
The hum-cancelling DiMarzio Area T 615 is built with an Alnico 2 magnet. It has an output of 200 mV and a DC resistance of 7.93 Kohm. This puts it above the vintage-toned Area T bridge (175 Kohm) and below the heftier Area Hot T Bridge (238 Kohm).
There are plenty of benefits to be gained from using active pickups, not the least of which are low noise and high signal integrity over long cable runs. But not everyone loves the sound of typical actives. EMGs are well known for their killer metal tone – they’ve driven the tones of players like Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield, Zakk Wylde and Devin Townsend to name just a few – and their single coils were long used by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. Seymour Duncan seems to be especially good at spotting holes in the market, and there was a pretty glaring one in the active sector: players who want the benefits of active pickups but would prefer a more organic tone. The Blackouts series of pickups do a great job of this, but the Blackouts Modular Preamp is another very clever approach to the issue.
Available separately and in the Blackouts Coil Pack and Gus G FIRE Blackouts System signature set (which is featured in some of Gus’s signature ESP and LTD guitar models), the BMP-1s replaces your existing volume pot, throws in a 9v battery, and allows you to get a high gain active guitar sound from any passive four-conductor pickup. In Gus’s case, the BMP-1s is combined with a matched pair of low-out Alnico 5-loaded passive humbuckers. Gus explains: “This system combines the massive tone, kick, and distortion of Blackouts with the rich tone and expressive feel of my favorite passive pickups. It responds perfectly to all my picking techniques, and more of my personality comes through than with any active pickup I’ve tried.” Naturally Gus needs plenty of sonic versatility within the rock/metal realm, since he does double time in Firewind and as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist.
Hey, what’s this?
Something interesting from DMT (Dean Magnetic Technologies)…
The DiMarzio Dominon isn’t my only New Pickup Day: I’ve also just installed a DiMarzio Area T 615 in my Telecaster parts guitar. The Area T 615 is a Tele bridge pickup made for modern country music. It’s hum-cancelling and it offers increased dynamic range. It’s made with an Alnico 2 magnet, has a DC resistance of 7.93 Kohm and an output mV of 200, and DiMarzio puts its general tone guide at Treble 7.5, Mid 5.5 and bass 5.5.
I’ve given it a quick spin ahead sitting down to do a full review, and so far I’m really digging how nicely it ‘sits.’ The bass isn’t too big, the highs aren’t too strident and the mids aren’t too honky. It cleans up very nicely indeed when you pick softer, and it sounds great no matter where on the neck you play.
The neck pickup in my home-assembled Tele contraption is a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder, a very dark, woolly-sounding pickup which doesn’t seem to balance very nicely with the Area T 615, although it sounds great with its matching Quarter Pounder bridge pickup.
My dad and I put this Tele together when I was about 15. For a few years it was my main guitar, and it’s been through a hell of a lot with me. I don’t play it very often any more but when I do I feel right at home, even though I’m much more commonly found playing superstrats.
More info on the DiMarzio Area T 615 here.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the ’59/Custom Hybrid which Seymour Duncan announced at NAMM. Check out this new video of Seymour Duncan’s Frank Falbo demoing and discussing the pickup in comparison with a few others. The video offers a nice clear recording of the differences and ‘sames’ between the Custom, the ’59 and the ’59/Custom pickups.
What’s really super mega cool about this pickup is that it’s based on a mod developed by a member of the Seymour Duncan User Group forum. So there ya go – those of you who like to mod your gear and brag about it online (and who doesn’t?), just think – maybe the next time you perform some sweet mod on your guitar or pedal or something, it could end up as a production model.
Happy birthday to Seymour Duncan! Here’s a great interview with Seymour for Guitar Player, which features Seymour’s tasty guitar playing as the soundtrack.
Seymour Duncan introduces a new signature pickup set for one Mr Joe Bonamassa. This carefully crafted and calibrated dual-humbucker set accurately replicates the P.A.F. pickups in Joe’s beloved 1959 sunburst Gibson Les Paul. Only 1,959 sets will be made available, and each will be signed by Seymour Duncan himself as well as Bonamassa. Each set also comes with extra features such as a special USB flash drive with special interviews, features and more. More info here, and check out the video from Joe below!
Port Orchard, WA May 18, 2011 – Sheptone Guitar Pickups announced today the release of their complete assembly for strat-style pickguards. The new harness comes fully assembled with Sheptone pickups and upgraded hardware. The assemblies are hand wired in the United States and are designed to improve the performance of stock components but also provide the musician with more versatility in their pursuit of tones. The harness will fit onto most strat-style pickguards allowing the player to maintain the vintage or stock look of their instrument.
Paul Gilbert has been using DiMarzio pickups for, yikes about 25 years now, but in all that time he’s never had a signature pickup. Instead he’s preferred to use various humbuckers such as the Tone Zone, PAF Pro and PAF Classic. DiMarzio pickup designer Steve Blucher even told I Heart Guitar in 2009, “It would be difficult to do a pickup for Paul, because he goes between a large number of guitars with different pickups. I don’t think he’d care to be limited to one model.” So it came as some surprise late in 2010 when DiMarzio announced that not only was Pablo Gilberto getting a signature pickup, but that it would be a – gasp! – single coil. Gilbert uses his Injector set all over his most recent solo instrumental album, Fuzz Universe, and the new Mr. Big CD, What If. Both albums feature a more earthy, attack-laden Marshall roar than the hi-fi ADA MP1 and trebly Laney tones Gilbert has used in the past.
Gilbert had been using DiMarzio Area 67 single coils in one of his Ibanez Fireman models for the past few years, and the new Injector neck and bridge single coils are still paired with an Area 67 in the middle position in his Fireman. The bridge model (DP423) is one of DiMarzio’s hottest hum-cancelling single coils, with an output of 185mV and a DC resistance of 11.35k. It’s built with six individual Alnico 2 magnets and about 40% less magnet pull than a standard single coil. The tone chart on DiMarzio.com puts the treble at 6.5, the midrange at 7 and the bass at 6.5.
Seymour Duncan rates the pickup’s tonal response as Treble: 9; Midrange: 8; and Bass: 7, with a resonant peak at 4.46 KHz. In contrast, the famed Alnico II humbucker favoured by Slash has a DC resistance of 7.6k, and its tonal response breaks down to Treble: 8; Midrange 4; and Bass: 7, with a resonant peak at 7.1KHz, resulting in a more open, airy tone more suited to bands with multiple guitars.
Options include a nickel or gold plated cover, if you don’t like the exposed coil look, and the pickup can be ordered in standard or trembucker size (more info here), the latter spaced for Fender-style or Floyd Rose-equipped guitars. It’s important to buy the right size for your guitar, because if the pole pieces of the pickup don’t line up with the strings, you risk a cataclysmic mismatch in volume from one string to another.
This is one of those pickups that rewards the player for putting in a little more detail and finesse. Every little phrasing choice is presented loud and proud for the audience to hear, which can be either intimidating or liberating depending on your approach. But if you have the guts to take on this monster, it’s well worth the tonal payoff.