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Seymour duncan distortion

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Nuno Filipe, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    I got this pickup in my ibanez for sometime and while it´s great to play with a real amp, it´s a real pain in the ass to tweak in mix because it has some kind of compression in the high mids, it has lot of nasty shit happening from 1khz to 5khz. As I said, with a real amp it doesnt sound bad at all but for recording purposes, sounds like shit almost, it has a lot of aggression and definition with palm mute but due to that kind of fizzy/compression character in the highs frequencies makes me almost hate this pickup.

    I only notice this now because I am recording some shit and I am trying to pull a real good tone of it, instead of standard metal tone. I have a schecter with a EMG and when playing with a real amp doesnt sound so good as seymour duncan but in the mix, sounds so much better that´s not even funny and I dont have to cut even half of the shit that I use to cut with seymour duncan and the most important, the top end with the EMG it´s smooth while with seymour it´s too agressive and harsh.

    Anybody have experience with this pickup?
    I am really thinking in changing this pickup in the future. It´s the seymour duncan JB better? What pickups can you recommend? Its for a ibanez s series with mahogany body.



    This video shows that nastyness of seymour duncan distortion. Some may like, as for me, I am starting to hate it.
     
    #1 Nuno Filipe, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  2. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    This has been my experience with the pickup - really tight, aggressive, and defined, but also very scratchy/harsh/hairy in the top end/upper midrange.

    For what it's worth, the JB is the same exact pickup but with an A5 magnet (the Distortion uses an oversized ceramic, and the Invader is actually the same coils + normal sized ceramic and different pole pieces). That solves a bit of the top end harshness problem but there's still some upper midrange pokiness to it and the low end might not be tight enough for you (it isn't for me).

    I'd look into the Duncan Custom - it won't be quite as hot as the JB/DD/Invader coils are (it's like a hot-rodded PAF pickup) but with the ceramic magnet it's still aggressive and tight. I love that pickup in mahogany.
     
  3. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

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    I always thought the harsh high-end is kinda the point of the Distortion, honestly. It sounds very 90's. It's not nearly as focused as the EMG 81. It's got a familiar kind of upper-mid emphasis if you're comparing it to the 81, but it's got a lot more going on towards the bottom and top sides of the spectrum.

    The JB is kinda similar, I agree with Jeff. Owning both, I can clearly tell the JB and Distortion are related. The JB's has a bit more low mids than the Distortion and a less emphatic attack, I feel, so it does come off as looser even though its low-end doesn't go as deep as the Distortion's either. It's also got less going on towards the actual highs, but it's got its signature prominent upper-mid emphasis as well. Still more going on in the lows and highs and an 81, though.

    Yeah, there are a couple of Duncans with similar heritage to that of the Distortion (oversized ceramic magnet), JB (alnico v magnet), Invader (triple ceramic magnet and oversized polepieces), and now the Black Winter too with triple ceramic magnets.
     
  4. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    Quite relieved to see that I am not the only one with this opinion because I thought that after losing hours and hours messing with the high gain of this pickup, that my ears would be tired and fucked and I was being too picky about the sound. I guess not.

    I think I began to realize the same, after seeing a lot of videos in youtube, the JB sounds almost identical but with less high mids on it.
    After seeing and hearing a lot, if I go with a seymour duncan again, I will probably go with the custom. Seems what I am looking for. Just to be sure about it, you are talking about the SH-5 ?
    Thanks for you help man!



    When I decided to put a new pickup in my guitar, I read a lot and this forum help me in my decision, I was after a pickup with the same vibe as the EMG81 but with is own character but also a bit more dynamic than the EMG and I still think in a way this is like the EMG in a passive format.
    But with the time I started to realize that every time I did some recording, I was always struggling with the high mids/top end of this, the first time I realize it, I just thought that would be because of the wood of the guitar, and the pickup was not working too well with the wood, but now I know that this pickup has this character, a character that for me it´s unpleasant.
    This of course it´s subjective, some may like but I dont. I like a smooth top end. This pickup it´s a bit ear fatiguing after a while.
     
  5. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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    have you considered BKPs or Lundgrens?
     
  6. Spectivum

    Spectivum DisMember

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    I saw the clip before and thought the distortion sounded best, but had to now reconsider based on the concerns raised in this thread...
     
  7. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    Recently installed SD PATB-2 in my poplar neckthru guitar after SH5. For me, PATB-2 have some active vibe (I`m also used EMG 85 in this guitar), easy pinch harmonics, easy to play, tighter low end, while SH5, maybe, reminded Blackout-1 :)
    Strange thing about PATB-2 is moderate output, less than SH5, but somewhat easier to play thrashy stuff.
     
  8. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    imho the JB sounds boxy, nasal and kind of muddy compared to the über tight and defined SH-6, which can sound a bit pointy/harsh for sure.
     
  9. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    I am still open to all possibilities. I saw today some videos on youtube and both painkiller and M6 sound crushing in a good way but god damn it, they are expensive.

    Have in mind that this is some kind of subjective issue, so dont take nothing for granted here.

    Here is a clip of a project that I am working:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1457645/Hope 6.mp3

    Is this a bad tone? I dont think so but isnt great either. Those high mids kills it for me and if I remove too much, the tone starts to sound akward. As I said, there are some many that shit from 1khz to 5khz that annoys me.

    Anyway, in this clip I recorded with a toneport, so it´s not the best DI´s ever but I have some DI´s of other song recorded with a quad capture and I can send to you, for you to try with your gear. But if you like the sound in this clip, so you will love the pickup.

    Interesting, didnt knew that pickup. Must take a look.
     
  10. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

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    Yeah, when I swapped the 81 out of my guitars to try some passives, I knew the Distortion and JB were loosely in that family in terms of upper-mid emphasis, and I didn't find neither the Distortion nor JB completely alien like other passives coming from the 81. The Distortion is definitely more over-the-top than the 81 in many ways, though.

    Honestly, I dig all the 81, Distortion, and JB in different scenarios. But yeah, the Duncans definitely have more of that Arch Enemy-ish raw raspy grind to them, which may not be what you're going for.

    I like that. I think that sounds great.
     
  11. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    I've always been a DiMarzio guy. I used to have the Prestige model of the S series about 8 years ago. I really liked the DiMarzio Super Distortion in it. Also, give the guys a call over at the DiMarzio tech support. They are super helpful at getting you the right pickup for your specific needs and ears. They've never steered me wrong and they're exchange policy is awesome. Don't like the pickup? Send it to them and they'll give you a different one to try.
     
  12. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

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    Duncan has a similar exchange policy if you're buying new, AFAIK.

    Both companies make good pickups. The Dominion is worth taking a look at if you're digging the 81 and/or the Duncan Distortion.
     
  13. atoragon

    atoragon Member

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    among the passive, if you don't want to buy a bareknuckle (which cost like 2 pickups made by other manufacturers), i'd suggest a dimarzio crunchlab
     
  14. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    I`m have quick DIs comparing it to SH5 (no double tracking), will do test in mix some time soon (currently only SH5 material recorded). Not too much metal material regarding PATB-2 on youtube :)
     
  15. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    I'm 8 string blackout user and that's because I found blackouts sound EXACTLY same as EMG 81 only with improved low note top clarity. It's not working that grate for djent sound but if you like single note riffs like from Scale the Summit than EMG sound from Blackouts works amazing.
    From comparison videos distortions was in my top and I don't hear annoying scratches.


     
    #15 nezvers, Oct 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  16. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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    Well, it depends on what kind of tone you're after in particular, I can highly recommend BKPs, they are phenomenal, yet expensive. I love Lundgrens too, but I would suggest you go with BPK instead, if you're don't want to blow a fortune.

    The BKP Painkiller is quite similar to the distortion, much tighter, but has that super aggressive midrange, which I also think sounds quite harsh. If you're more into the active type of sound, then the Blackhawks are probably the best I've heard, really love them, super high output and very clean. If you're more into cleaner, sweeter sounding passives, I would say go for the Black Dogs. They absolutely destroy in mahogany, but as they are medium output, they will be a lot more dynamic, which means strong picking hand. Sound absolutely killer for low tuning.
     
  17. Mattayus

    Mattayus Sir Groove-A-Lot

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    Can I ask what model Ibanez? MOST of the time, the problem someone has with a pickup isn't the pickup, it's the guitar. Or, more accurately, it's the guitar + pickup match.

    Recently I had an RG550. I modded it, put EMG's in it. It was WAY too thin. I put a JB/59 in it, it was much better but still lacked a little body. I put a Distortion in it and it was great. Solved the lacking low end and gave it a whacking great 'thump' to the chugs. The only problem was I now had this washy upper mids and top end which was clear, but a little hazy and OTT at times.

    Anyway, fast forward a month and I bought a Jackson SLAT3-6 (one of the MIJ ones circa 2010). It came with the stock EMG 81/85 which I took out, and threw in the Distortion/59 from the RG550. Man, what a difference. Same awesome sledgehammer lows (but still tight) but the washy top was GONE. In this guitar it's a really hi-fi clear riff monster, and doesn't sound harsh or shrill with leads either. Lots of body, lots of character, and isn't as crazy hot as it felt in the RG either.

    Sometimes you gotta throw a few pickups in a guitar before you find the right match. Doesn't mean the pickup is inherently bad or trebly or woolly or whatever.

    FWIW the RG550 currently has a Crunchlab/Liquifier which sounds better than anything that was in it previously. I guess the marriage between Dimarzio and Ibanez is there for a reason huh.
     
  18. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    It´s a ibanez S270. What you say makes a lot of sense, probably same guitars with same pickups will sound a bit different. It´s like some fenders and some gibsons, 2 guitars of the same model will sound a bit different.

    Didnt knew that the Crunchlab/Liquifier is a common choice for the ibanez. I am just looking for a bridge pickup anyway because I dont use neck pickup much but for what I heard, crunchlab sounds very tight and agressive. So it´s something to look for indeed.

    Thanks a lot also to the guys who posted here to help. I think I already have some good ideas of what to look for next.
     
  19. Megin

    Megin Member

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    This. Hadn't found the right pick up för my ESP Horizon. Went thru SD Invader(hated it), SD Distortion(not perfect but close), BKP Painkiller( didn't suit the guitar ) Dimarzio D-Activator(too thin)and ended up with Lundgren M6 and voila, perfect.
     
  20. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

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    Not to say the Crunch Lab is a bad pickup at all, but sometimes I feel there's a lot of hype to the whole Ibanez+DiMarzio thing. I when I bought my Ibanez RGA121 used, it came with one. It wasn't my thing, TBH. It was tight alright, but kinda dull and low-middy tubby. It did have way more relaxed high-mids while still retaining clarity, if that is what you're looking for. I swapped it out for an EMG 81 quickly, and now I'm running the JB in that guitar. Much preferred both the 81 and the JB for their mix-friendly bite, personally. I don't think the Crunch Lab resembles the 81 or the Duncan Distortion at all, but that might not be a bad thing.
     

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