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Thread: Axis Sport HSS: Pickups

  1. #1
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    Axis Sport HSS: Pickups

    I'm sure this has been asked (and answered) many times here, but I can't seem to find the right answers:
    Which pickups do the single coils in an Axis Sport SSH come the closest in the current Dimarzio catalogue?
    Also which noiseless pickups would come close?

    I am thinking about converting my red AS HSS back to "somewhat" stock. I bought it used a few years ago without the silent circuit and with some Bill Lawrence pickups in it.
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  2. #2
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    If they were made by Dimarzio, they don't list them on their website but you could give them a call. I hear their customer service people are very helpful. You could also call EBMM customer service and ask them.

    The stock singles in the Silhouette Special were close to the Blue Velvet singles, which were replaced by the True Velvet, which is midway between the Area 58 and Area 61 noisless singles in brightness. I happen to have Areas '58, '61, and '67 on my desk right now and planning on trying them all out in the next week (waiting on a parts delivery before I buiold a new pickguard). As far as I can see, nobody has done an A-B-C comparison of all three singles, so I will!
    An Irishman in Paris...
    2005 LE Buttercream Silhouette Special

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  3. #3
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    Hey KeV, thanks for your reply.
    Seems I can pretty much rely on any info concerning the Silo Spec since it seems the pickups and wiring are the same for AS HSS except for the Axis bridge pickup.

    I saw your post and YouTube clip about the rewiring of your rewired SS.

    I wonder why EBMM did their standard wiring the way they did. Because I'd rather have the southernmost and northernmost coils for switch position 3 and inner humbucker coil parallel middle pickup for position 2.
    Maybe you have some info on that, maybe the way they did it gives them humbucking modes in all positions, since afaik the Silent circuit is only used for the neck pickup alone.
    Do you know if the middle pickup is reverse polarity?

    Am also looking forward to your pickup comparison.
    I am thinking about using a Area 61 for neck and True Velvet for middle. The Area could be noiseless for the switch position 5, whereas for the in between positions I could switch the dummy coil off I.o. to have humbucking mode. ButnI am not sure about this, because I think maybe the remaining "main" coil may not sound too good when used alone (although I'm not picky when it comes to single coil sounds, I'm more the humbucker guy, but it's good to have a strat-like guitar at hand....).


    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    If they were made by Dimarzio, they don't list them on their website but you could give them a call. I hear their customer service people are very helpful. You could also call EBMM customer service and ask them.

    The stock singles in the Silhouette Special were close to the Blue Velvet singles, which were replaced by the True Velvet, which is midway between the Area 58 and Area 61 noisless singles in brightness. I happen to have Areas '58, '61, and '67 on my desk right now and planning on trying them all out in the next week (waiting on a parts delivery before I buiold a new pickguard). As far as I can see, nobody has done an A-B-C comparison of all three singles, so I will!
    Last edited by headcrash; 01-11-2018 at 02:31 PM.
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  4. #4
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    Found this thread, which answers pretty much all of my questions.
    Seems to be a good way to go for Area 61 neck and True Velvet reverse middle and do the splitting for the combinations.
    DiMarzio Area 67/61/58 users - are you splitting coils in positions 2 and 4? | The Gear Page
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by headcrash View Post
    maybe the way they did it gives them humbucking modes in all positions, since afaik the Silent circuit is only used for the neck pickup alone.
    Exactly.


    Quote Originally Posted by headcrash View Post
    Do you know if the middle pickup is reverse polarity?
    Yes, it is.


    Quote Originally Posted by headcrash View Post
    I am thinking about using a Area 61 for neck and True Velvet for middle. The Area could be noiseless for the switch position 5, whereas for the in between positions I could switch the dummy coil off I.o. to have humbucking mode. ButnI am not sure about this, because I think maybe the remaining "main" coil may not sound too good when used alone (although I'm not picky when it comes to single coil sounds, I'm more the humbucker guy, but it's good to have a strat-like guitar at hand....).
    Just be aware that the Area pickups are in fact stacked humbuckers designed to sound like singles. That's why they are noiseless. If you combine them with a traditional single coil, the combination will not be hum-cancelling. That means the in-between positions will not be hum-cancelling but you can of course use a dummy coil/silent circuit to reduce any noise you get from the standard single(which is what I have done on my guitar).

    With the stock Axis humbucker being quite high output, the extra output of the 61 would be a good choice. Personally, if I had a HSS Axis with the stock humbucker, I'd go for two Area '61s with my current wiring and leave the silent circuit out of it altogether (which would be unnecessary unless you split the bridge humbucker in one of the switch positions). That's why I'm replacing the stock singles with Areas. It's not that I'm unhappy with the performance silent circuit I'd just rather have truly noiseless singles as quiet as the humbucker.
    An Irishman in Paris...
    2005 LE Buttercream Silhouette Special

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info
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  6. #6
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    Which Bill Lawrence pickups are currently in it? I've had most of them ... and the various Area pickups.

    I'd take the L200s over any of the Area series.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Which Bill Lawrence pickups are currently in it? I've had most of them ... and the various Area pickups.

    I'd take the L200s over any of the Area series.
    When I bought the guitar it came with these Lawrence Pickups. I don't know which they were. I exchanged them for AT-1 - Fast Track 1 - Pro Track. But now I want to go the Strat-ish route.

    According to Dimarzios website the True Velvet and the Are 61 should be quite similar in output - those 20ish millivolts won't be heard that much, but maybe the Area is a little thicker.
    I indeed might take two Areas, but then I might switch off the dummy coils for all the combinations with either coil of the bridge humbucker. When just using one Area I would have to have a little less soldering work. Just a matter of convenience...
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  8. #8
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    On a side note, I remember the Silent Circuit working real good, but I hate having a battery in the guitar to be taken care of...
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  9. #9
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    Lots of options. For noiseless, the Areas are pretty good (so are the Lawrences, depending on what they are, and lots of other brands). But they do lack the last few percent of what a real single gets.

    Wiring the silent circuit up for just one coil is pretty simple. The nice thing about it is that it still functions if the battery dies. You'll just end up as if it wasn't in the circuit. So it's low risk.

  10. #10
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    I am going to put following pickups in my AXIS Sport
    36th anniversary Paf
    Area 67 mid
    Virtual solo neck
    Also a Push/pull on tone for coil split.


    Skickat från min iPhone med Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Coil split on bridge pickup...hmm...sounds tempting :-)
    Just got a pair of Dimarzio Axis customs (150EUR...damn). Now the plan of converting back to "somewhat" stock can be pursued. I first go for Area61 neck and True Velvet middle, but with a slightly different wiring than stock (Tele-like northernmost and southernmost coils of the guitar in switch position 3). Will report back, when I'm done.
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  12. #12
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    Beej, unfortunately I don't have neither the Silent circuit for that guitar, nor the Lawrence pickups it came with when I bought it.
    I did have some experience with the SC in my Albert Lee, which was a MM90 model, but I just couldn't get along with the sound, so I rerouted it for humbuckers and put some Dimarzio Axis Sport customs in it, but that's another story...

    The SC really works well. I remember a slight change in tone, when it is not active, which I found negligible at the time. Also I am no single coil aficionado, but it's good to have a Strat like wepon in the arsenal. That is why I want to convert that Axis Sport HSS. The Protrack in there at neck position is good, no doubt, but it just isn't a real full size humbucker.
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  13. #13
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    Just to let you know. I put Area 58 in the neck (mistake of Dimarzio: they put 58's in boxes of 61's...). And a True velvet in middle. And the original Axis Custom (zebra) in bridge.
    I first wanted to have the following pickup combinations
    Bridge
    Bridge south + middle
    Bridge south + neck split
    Middle + neck split
    Neck with dummy coil
    But there was no way I got all combinations in phase. Only after I changed polarity of the bridge humbucker (green is now hot, red goes to ground).

    How does it sound? Well just like the typical single coil sounds, at least to my ears. But I ain't a measure...:-)
    Of course there's a huge volume jump when switching to the bridge humbucker, and thus I can't see me using that guitar that much for live. But no way will I sacrifice that raw, huge and simply perfect bridge humbucker sound by exchanging it to a low output one.
    Apart from that I guess the single coil sounds are really cool and snappy especially for crunch sounds. Just different to my beaten paths.
    Attached a few before/after pics. Looks more classic and also classy.Axis Sport HSS: Pickups-img_20171231_153012049-jpgAxis Sport HSS: Pickups-img_20180120_141236988-jpg
    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
    2001 Silo Special HSS hardtail maple fretboard BlueDawn ** for sale **
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  14. #14
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    The volume jump is exactly why I modifided the wiring on my Silo Special to have the full bridge humbucker in all combinations. You still get the strat-like sounds, just thicker versions of them, and the volume drop is not a problem. I made a video...

    Music Man Silhouette Special - Pickup Wiring Modification - YouTube
    An Irishman in Paris...
    2005 LE Buttercream Silhouette Special

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info
    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
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    I do not work for EBMM. I'm just a moderator.

  15. #15
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    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I like the volume drop. Helps me get a cleaner tone without having to adjust the amp.

    Maybe look at higher-output singles? The Injectors are like higher output versions of the Areas.

    Fwiw, I have one Albert Lee set up with a sort of Andy Timmons setup- Tone Zone S in the bridge, plus two Cruisers, which are fairly high output without being too humbuckerish. Balances fairly well.

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