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mwh

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Hi all,

Thinking out loud here...

I recently purchased a MM Monarchy Majesty that is supposed to be tuned for (according to the spec-sheets) Sonic Ecstasy pickups. The newer model MM Majesty however is said to be "tuned" for a newer set of pups called "Neck: Rainmaker" & "Bridge: Dreamcatcher".

So my question is if both sets of pickups were specifically designed & tuned for each body they went in, shouldn't both sound really good with the body they are sitting in now? I mean, I'm asking this because if the above is true, then buying an upgraded (newer) set of pickups might not work out in being the best choice, right?
 

Mace13

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Apr 22, 2019
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Dunno. Majesties up to 2018 had the Illuminator pick-ups. In 2019 they (of JP)!made the switch to the Rainmaker/Dreamcatcher. So, not sure how tuned all these pick-ups are. You can also buy Illuminators and Rainmakers and Dream Catchers and such for other guitars. Does that mean these pick-ups aren’t quite optimal in other guitars if they are tuned for the Majesty?

I put the newer Dream Catcher and Rainmaker pick ups into the 2018 Majesty and really love the results.
 

thejone

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From my experiance with the different generations of the Majesties and PUs the difference are quite marginal and in an recording when adjusting the amp knobs without relevant effect. Within that above mentioned margin the different contructions of the guitars like 6 or 7 string, 3 piece neck and woods make a quite large subjective difference. The artisan is quite bright sounding although it has the same pus as the original majesty which sounds softer but in a great way. Furthermore, the illuminators were originally introduced with the JP13 and might have been designed for that guitar, too. Same is true for the sonic ecstasies which came out with the JP16 first. Therefore, the rainmaker and dreamcatcher are the first pus specifically designed for the Majesties as far as we know. Still the previous versions sounded great. Besides that I think you will get very similar results dialing back the volume or tone poti to compensate high output or bright sounds. Have fun. Regards, J
 

DrKev

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So my question is if both sets of pickups were specifically designed & tuned for each body they went in, shouldn't both sound really good with the body they are sitting in now? I mean, I'm asking this because if the above is true, then buying an upgraded (newer) set of pickups might not work out in being the best choice, right?

No, I think that sort of assumes that "good" or "bad" are objective things that everyone will agree on, or that everyone wants to hear the same result, which is just not true.

Experiment as you like. If the pickups you have don't fit your needs, you have three choices: live with them; change them, change the guitar. No amount of design specifications or marketing blurb changes that. :)
 

johnnyboogie

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Your criteria should be the specs on the DiMarzio we site. EQ, output and DC resistance should be enough to give you a relatively good idea of how the pickup will sound.

Don't think in terms of 'upgrade', just different sound.
 

thejone

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I found this looking for tones from these different pups, and really prefer the "Sonic Ecstasy" on this video. AS always YMMV. The least fav of mine tone-wise was the Illuminator in the video.

Hi, maybe you'll find this video helpful, too: The Evolution of the Music Man John Petrucci Majesty Guitar - YouTube
In that clip I compare the different versions of the majesty. There are sound samples of the pus. Keep in mind that the guitars themselves are partially responsible for the audible differences. To account for that I did do a recording of the guitar in the room with a condesor mic and did a frequency analysis. You might compensate for the guitars basic character by changing the pus and as suggested before the dimarzio website is a good guide for that. Have fun!
Regards, J
 

mwh

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No, I think that sort of assumes that "good" or "bad" are objective things that everyone will agree on, or that everyone wants to hear the same result, which is just not true.

Experiment as you like. If the pickups you have don't fit your needs, you have three choices: live with them; change them, change the guitar. No amount of design specifications or marketing blurb changes that. :)

So that is why I asked the question, I wanted to see if "others" thought it was really making a difference or if this was just another "sales pitch". After all, Music Man and all other businesses are in business to make money. Please don't anyone misunderstand, as I love the Majesty. And after hearing the Dream Catcher/Rain Maker & Sonic Ecstacy pickups compared to others in a Youtube video, I liked the tones from them better than the others. So Im a happy camper! :)
 
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mwh

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Hi, maybe you'll find this video helpful, too: The Evolution of the Music Man John Petrucci Majesty Guitar - YouTube
In that clip I compare the different versions of the majesty. There are sound samples of the pus. Keep in mind that the guitars themselves are partially responsible for the audible differences. To account for that I did do a recording of the guitar in the room with a condesor mic and did a frequency analysis. You might compensate for the guitars basic character by changing the pus and as suggested before the dimarzio website is a good guide for that. Have fun!
Regards, J

Thank you!!! I found this video very interesting as well! The 3rd clip ("Dream Catcher" and "Rain Maker") were a very "very" close 2nd in best tone (to my ears) to the Sonic Ecstacy set (2nd clip). Again, my ears picked up a harmonic hi-end from the Illuminators I did not care for (being very very picky here). As always YMMV and that's ok too.
 
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mwh

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Your criteria should be the specs on the DiMarzio we site. EQ, output and DC resistance should be enough to give you a relatively good idea of how the pickup will sound.

Don't think in terms of 'upgrade', just different sound.

In another thread, you stated, "The new pickups (Dream Catcher & Rain Maker) are voiced specifically for the Majesty construction". In the beginning, that's kinda where I was going with all this. Altho I didn't state it then, I was also thinking along with a bit of "marketing hype" mixed in as well. I'm starting to realize it's a bit like everything else you buy, that if "you/I" like the sound/tone of our guitars then that's good enough. BTW- I'm about to take possession of mine soon and very excited about that ; )
 

johnnyboogie

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The thing is that JP, being a tech geek/nerd, likes to work on little details; continuously =)

Although all 4 of his custom sets are basically high-output, hot-sounding pickup sets, they do have some differences. Most notable is the brighter sound of the Illuminators. The other 3 are VERY close to each other with the latest 2 being a kind of "twins".

My opinion, for a plethora of reasons that would take thousand words to elaborate, is that YouTube videos etc. cannot demonstrate the differences of SO close-sounding pickups. One could easily demonstrate the general difference between a single-coil pickup and a humbucker via this way.

In any case, were you interested to swap pickups, my opinion is that the specs on the website will give you the most accurate idea of how the pickup will sound.

PS: One thing we rarely mention but is of highest importance is how the pickup pairs, reacts to your hand/touch. That is ultra subjective and can only be explored through empirical experience.
 
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Araman

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trying them all it seems to me that with each new version the sound gets slightly darker. The latter are also a little less powerful and cleaner.
 

mwh

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I didn't notice the "less powerful" part but did the "Brighter" tone of the Illuminators Araman. In any case thanks all for your inputs on the differences. I would now like to own all of them lol...
 

Mace13

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great video, thejone! thanks. That was really informative.

I posted earlier that I installed Rain/Dream PUs in my 2018 Majesty and liked them a bit better than the Illuminators. The Rain/Dream combo seems a bit smoother, less bright/harsh. My paticular 2018 Majesty has the v2 electronics because the guitar had to be replaced in late 2019 by MM. So, I have a bit of a hybrid now with 2018 body/finish but 2019 v2 electronics with Rain/Dream PUs. I don't know if the electronics version makes any difference as MM told me it should be the same, just the v2 has a cleaner board layout (as seen in thejone's video) and the mono/stereo selector is a button on the board (not push on the piezo knob).

And I agree with boogiejohnny... the Majesty pickup variants all sound very similar on youtube videos. And in reality, they are similar when one compares them to all possible pick-ups. The best way to figure out what you like is to try it for a while!
 

mwh

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"The Rain/Dream combo seems a bit smoother, less bright/harsh."

Agreed. My preference in tone as well as the "Sonic Ecstacy" set.
 
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tbonesullivan

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Honestly, any number of pickups would work well with the Majesty. They are tuned to what PETRUCCI wants from the Majesty, for his playing, and he's a big gearhead. Look at how many different pickups were used on the very similar JP models, even the original John Petrucci model.
 
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