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J200R Rail vs aftermarket rails

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  • J200R Rail vs aftermarket rails

    I recently put a J200R in the neck of my '92 Jackson Soloist Pro (with stock JE-1200 midboost) for something different, and was shocked that the stock J200 I have in the middle seems louder (not just brighter)!

    I only bought the J200R because the Soloists of this time won't take many other rail pickups without routing, which I wanted to avoid. I know resistance alone isn't the best way to measure output, but supposedly the J200R is around 15k and the previous owner measured my J200 at 11.9k. There is no doubt the J200 dominates from the middle. I wanted the rail at the neck to be a nice, extra warm pickup for soloing that still have a somewhat single coilish tone (the 200R does), and I do like the look and distorted tone of the 200R (I believe Alex Masi used these back in the day). However, the J200 is much better for cleans and not far behind with distortion.

    If I am going to go through the trouble of routing the guitar to hold aftermarket, I guess I will go with the Duncan Hot Rails neck. Anyone have thoughts on the ideal neck rail for my Soloist Pro, perhaps a DiMarzio or something else besides the Hot Rail? :dunno:
    '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
    '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
    '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
    '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
    '90 Charvel 475 XL
    '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
    Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
    Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
    Marshall JVM410H

  • #2
    No need to route. You can order Duncans and DiMarzios without the little lip/flange on the bottom.
    I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by toejam View Post
      No need to route. You can order Duncans and DiMarzios without the little lip/flange on the bottom.
      Even then, most aftermarket have lead wires coming from the center of the pickup, while the stock Jacksons have the leads coming from one side of the pickup, which means there is no room to mount aftermarket and still have the ability to lower the pickup.
      '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
      '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
      '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
      '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
      '90 Charvel 475 XL
      '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
      Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
      Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
      Marshall JVM410H

      Comment


      • #4
        That's not necessarily true. A lot of them have wires coming from the side or you can have them ordered by a dealer or changed in their custom shop. Here's a couple of my Duncan Quarter Pounds that are standard like that.
        Screenshot_20190404-113722_Gallery.jpg
        I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

        Comment


        • #5
          I put a hot rails neck in my 5FX Fire Crackle. No way is that getting routed.

          That said, the J200R sounds great in my Fusion Deluxe and 550XL. The 550XL I wired with a Megaswitch E and all settings are great. It mixes really good with the J90C bridge.

          I do love the J200's in my M6s, but those are more stratty.

          Comment


          • #6
            My middle J200 was measured at 11.9K and the tech said my J200R was something like 8-9K!! I read that the rails were supposed to be more like 15K, which would have given me what I wanted---a toasty warm neck pickup for soloing. It is in fact a very nice tone with gain, although it's frustrating the J200 in the middle is louder even with the more traditional Strat tone.

            Has anyone mixed a Duncan Hot Rail neck with the J200 or some other ~Stratty single at the middle? Seems like Hot Rail would be too much, and the Cool Rail not enough. Maybe a rimless Dimarzio Chopper is a better choice? I am keen on the rail look, and originally planned two J200Rs, but they are very hard to find....
            Last edited by Black Shadow; 04-06-2019, 01:40 PM.
            '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
            '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
            '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
            '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
            '90 Charvel 475 XL
            '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
            Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
            Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
            Marshall JVM410H

            Comment


            • #7
              Can you lower the middle pickup and raise the neck so their outputs balance out better?
              I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by toejam View Post
                Can you lower the middle pickup and raise the neck so their outputs balance out better?
                A little, but vs 12k vs 8-9k is no contest....

                I love the J200s at neck at middle, but I guess it's going to take something aftermarket to give me the extra power for the neck....
                '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
                '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
                '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
                '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
                '90 Charvel 475 XL
                '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
                Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
                Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
                Marshall JVM410H

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think your J200R is wired incorrectly. Mine in the 550XL was wired like that when I first got it, in parallel instead of series. Wire it in series and you'll be a lot happier.

                  As to why, someone might have wanted a more clean neck tone. Parallel kills the power and the hotness. A DiMarzio X2N is there hottest bridge pickup but I want one for then neck (to match the look of the bridge). So I'll wire it in parallel.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DonP View Post
                    I think your J200R is wired incorrectly. Mine in the 550XL was wired like that when I first got it, in parallel instead of series. Wire it in series and you'll be a lot happier.

                    As to why, someone might have wanted a more clean neck tone. Parallel kills the power and the hotness.
                    Does sound like it's in parallel and not series.
                    I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In my Warrior Pro, my favorite neck pickup was the Seymour Duncan Cool Rails and the leads did come from the side of the pickup too. Very close to the sound of a Jazz Humbucker with I think just a pinch more low end.
                      Transitioning from Retired Musician from cover bands to a Full time vocalist/frontman/guitarist in an original and covers band....it's been a while and this should get NASTY!

                      Check out the new band at - https://www.facebook.com/PerfectStormMetal/?fref=nf

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DonP View Post
                        I think your J200R is wired incorrectly. Mine in the 550XL was wired like that when I first got it, in parallel instead of series. Wire it in series and you'll be a lot happier.

                        As to why, someone might have wanted a more clean neck tone. Parallel kills the power and the hotness. A DiMarzio X2N is there hottest bridge pickup but I want one for then neck (to match the look of the bridge). So I'll wire it in parallel.
                        Thanks, I'll try this first.

                        I do happen to have a pair of Cool Rails laying around that haven't found a home yet if this doesn't work out...
                        '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
                        '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
                        '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
                        '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
                        '90 Charvel 475 XL
                        '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
                        Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
                        Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
                        Marshall JVM410H

                        Comment

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