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Thread: Time for another pickup swap on my Axis. thoughts?

  1. #1

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    Time for another pickup swap on my Axis. thoughts?

    So feeling like I've walked into church after a long absence here. Can't remember the last time I"ve posted

    Anyhoo, I have my Axis which has been through a few pickup swaps over the years. I always regret selling the original pups--experimented with some EMG then Seymour Duncan Actives and finally settled on what is currently on my guitar: Suhr Doug Aldrich. These are pretty great but hot hot hot! My tastes have been evolving with my age. Always lovin high gain but looking for a set that still suits my styles for classic rock/hard rock (not a djenter or thumper) yet offers me more clarity. Clarity especially between strings. I suspect just a lower output pickup will help. Right now when I do legato runs or string skipping the notes seem to bleed into eachother, more than my technique can accommodate for anyhow

    I just picked up a 2014 Epiphone les paul custom pro and the probuckers in there are actually pretty close to what I like...who knew. They're not even that expensive. but the clarity is there more as they are lower output. Not bad pickup..can be a bit muddy in certain frequencies but its sort of in the ballpark for what I'm after..

    Any recommendations for my Axis, fellow ballers?
    EBMM Axis Trans Red
    EBMM JP15 Trans black quilt
    Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
    EVH R/W/B striped series
    Axe-Fx II|Atomic CLR Wedges X 2

  2. #2

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    If you're not opposed to getting a replacement set of real Dimarzio Axis pickups, maybe look for a used Sterling with the EBMM/Dimarzio Axis pickups and do a swap?
    EVH - Blue Quilt
    1995 - Luke I - Pearl Blue
    2009 - 25th Anniversary
    2011 - Luke II - True Gold BFR
    2012 - Axis Tribute - Trans Pink
    2016 - Cutlass - Vintage Sunburst
    2017 - St. Vincent - Stealth Black

    Take a break from playin' guitar and read a webcomic: nemu*nemu!

  3. #3

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    I would take a hard look at Dimarzio Transitions.
    Where's your Majesty?

  4. #4

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    Bareknuckle Crawlers sound right up your street, classic tones but can be driven hard and stay articulate.

  5. #5

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    You might also want to check out the range at David Allen pickups...his stuff mostly caters to the styles you're after.

    Ive got a set of Dirty Cats in my 25th....great tone
    Balls:

    2017 JP6 - Starry Night
    2012 JP6 BFR - Black Quilt
    25th Anniversary - Venetian Red
    2014 Albert Lee HH - White
    2001 Silhouette Special - Las Vegas Gold

  6. #6

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    They aren't so easy to find, but the PRS Dragon II pickups are a pretty great vintage hot type of sound. Lots of clarity.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxmusicman View Post
    Bareknuckle Crawlers sound right up your street, classic tones but can be driven hard and stay articulate.
    Interesting. I just listened to some sound clips. Awesome. I had a pair of Rebel yells in my old JP and those were great. The Crawlers apparently would be suited for a brighter guitar as they are voiced a bit dark. Might be what I'm looking for
    EBMM Axis Trans Red
    EBMM JP15 Trans black quilt
    Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
    EVH R/W/B striped series
    Axe-Fx II|Atomic CLR Wedges X 2

  8. #8

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    If you like the Suhr pickups, check out their Thornbuckers. If the Music Man pickups in my Stingray were made available for sale I'd suggest those. I'm really liking these pickups.

  9. #9

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    I have to 2nd the Thornbuckers for an Axis... I've been considering a pair in one of mine or the HHAL.
    Trans Gold Axis- Flame (DOB 12.13.1996)
    Trans Green Axis Sport (DOB 12.02.1997)
    Trans Green Axis- Quilt (DOB 03.14.2000)
    Black 2HB AL (DOB 12.01.2009)
    White HSS Silo Spec (DOB 3.16.2014)

  10. #10

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    Try Dimarzio AT-1 for the bridge position. That'll get you in the ballpark of the original Custom, but with a little more noble-ness and vintage-y-ness in feel. I love them and play them in all my Balls, like em even better than the customs.

    For the neck positon, you might try Air Norton which ist about same to the Custom as is the AT-1 to the Custom bridge.
    I also played a 36th anniversary bridge model in the neck for several years, which I hugely recommend. It is a little like the Air Norton, but does better in Crunch and Clean Tones because it is more balanced and not as dull.
    At the moment I have an Air Classic in the neck, which is also really cool, but I cannot decide, if the 36th was better :-)
    2001 Axis Sport HH hardtail maple fretboard burnt apple
    2001 Axis SuperSport HH hardtail maple fretboard translucent gold
    1997 Axis Sport HSS hardtail maple fretboard translucent red
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  11. #11

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    I'm beginning to see there might be no end to this rabbit hole... so many choices and permutations. Thanks for the ideas guys, I wasn't aware of some of these pickups. It's already giving me lots to research.
    EBMM Axis Trans Red
    EBMM JP15 Trans black quilt
    Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
    EVH R/W/B striped series
    Axe-Fx II|Atomic CLR Wedges X 2

  12. #12

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    It's exactly why you keep the original Axis/EVH pickup. You can always go back to the original after experimenting with other pickups and not finding a better "holy grail" combo.
    Trans Gold Axis- Flame (DOB 12.13.1996)
    Trans Green Axis Sport (DOB 12.02.1997)
    Trans Green Axis- Quilt (DOB 03.14.2000)
    Black 2HB AL (DOB 12.01.2009)
    White HSS Silo Spec (DOB 3.16.2014)

  13. #13

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    I'm leaning towards the Thornbuckers or the Transitions. From the sound clips on the thornbuckers they seem to have a certain chimey /stratty quality to them. They seem quite versatile but I also want a fat warmth for some high gain playing. Maybe it's just the clips that I'm hearing...
    EBMM Axis Trans Red
    EBMM JP15 Trans black quilt
    Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
    EVH R/W/B striped series
    Axe-Fx II|Atomic CLR Wedges X 2

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka5150 View Post
    I'm beginning to see there might be no end to this rabbit hole...
    True; especially since pickups are very subjective. The choices are almost limitless.

    I like the idea of buying a used Sterling, swapping the pickups, and reselling it. Someone looking for Aldrich pickups might jump at it. I'm confident that you'd get your money back when you resell it.

    2018 Axis - BFR - Buckeye Burl
    2017 Morse - BFR - Dark Lord - Tahitian Blue
    2017 StingRay 5 - 30th Anniversary - Buttercream
    2013 Albert Lee - BFR - Pinkburst
    2013 Luke III - PDN - emerald green sparkle with an all rosewood neck
    2012 Morse - BFR - Dark Lord
    2012 Axis - PDN - Honeyburst
    2011 Axis - BFR - Black Sugar Roasted
    2009 Axis - Pink Quilt (Oinky)
    2006 StingRay - 30th Anniversary fretless
    1996 StingRay - 20th Anniversary

  15. #15

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    I swapped the pickups in my Axis SS. Bare in mind that my Axis is a PDN and has Alder body with Maple top and no Basswood.

    I Tried a Breed set there but didn t like the Neck pickup. Too Powerfull and i couldn t lower the neck pickup as you know the pickups are body mounted. I settled with a Dimarzio 36th in the nacke and a dimarzio Virtual Hot Paf in the bridge and i am very happy with the results.

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