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Thread: Majesty Pickup Change

  1. #1

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    Majesty Pickup Change

    Hey All,
    I recently purchased a Majesty and was not surprised based on my preferences (vintage type output and sound) the stock illuminator pickups were to hot for me. I read some posts about changing pickups and really didn't find much except some fear based on the complex electronics in the guitar. Pulling out the boards and re-soldering. So I called Dimarzio and spoke with Eric (great help). The stock pickups are custom made and mounted on a printed circuit board (they call this a PCB base) with a 5 pin connector on the bottom. They will make just about any of their pickups with the PCB base and will directly plug into the existing wiring in the guitar. Truly Plug and Play. The down side is these are special order from Dimarzio but they're only $10 more than their Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) which is a competitive street price. I decided to try an Air Norton and Air Zone which cost me $80 each with the PCB base. Shipping was a bit high at $16, so $176 total for me. I've only had about 10 minutes to test but everything works and the sound appears to be more to my liking so far. A couple of cautions based on my experience.
    1. The neck pickup poles are backward from stock. The stock neck pickup was specially made with the adjustable poles backward from a stock Dimarzio configuration. For me it's a don't really care, there is plenty of wire to turn the pickup around so the adjustable poles are towards the neck. The split coil selection will be on the now forward adjustable poles rather than the fixed poles toward the bridge. It sounded fine to me but if you want the exact stock configuration it's $10 more to have it made with the poles reversed.
    2. The bridge pickup is not as tall as the stock (about 1/8 shorter). I put a hard rubber shim/washer under the screws and it's fine. Doesn't move at all.
    I hope this helps anyone who desires a pickup experiment with the Majesty.
    Greg

  2. #2

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    Well, this is going to turn into a pickup discussion thread.

    On your first point, I'm pretty sure that's normal for the Air Norton. I've always used (and prefer the sound of) the Air Norton in the neck with the adjustable poles toward the bridge. I've seen cases where guitar manufacturers will flip them with the pieces toward the neck. To each his own. The air norton is an amazing versatile pickup!
    Balls..... everywhere!

  3. #3

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    I did this also to one of my 3 Majesties. I currently have a Dimarzio PAF Pro in the neck and a Breed Neck in the bridge. These have hex screw pole pieces, so pole piece orientation is not an issue. The PCB base plates make swapping pickups easy. I did this primarily to access cleaner humbucking tones, but the higher gain tones sound sound great, albeit in a different way than the stock Illuminators. I love the Illuminators, but this combo rocks also.

    I had to put spacers under the bridge pickup. Not a big deal. However, some Dimarzio pickups may be too tall in the neck position. Anyone deciding to try something like this should confirm with a tech at Dimarzio that the height of the selected pickup is appropriate. You can add spacers beneath the pickup to add height, but you cannot reduce the height of a pickup.

    I have Air Zone/Air Norton combos in other EBMMs and I really like that setup. I have been wanting to try that combo in this Majesty. Good to hear it complements the Majesty!
    "The more of our stuff you have the more awesomely freaky you become." -- BP

  4. #4

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    Well done on the mod.

    IMO all pickups should be plug n play but you would find that the market narrows significantly as tonal variations are not as great as people perceive.
    Majesty 6
    Parker Maxxfly 7
    Parker Nitefly
    Ibanez UV777

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