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Replacing multiple PU's in 3 Charvels & PC1 help

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  • Replacing multiple PU's in 3 Charvels & PC1 help

    I've been on sick leave from work for about 2 months with a severely broken foot and ankle. During my time off, I've been playing a lot of guitar (as I can't leave the house to do much else) and I've been noticing what sounds I like, and what sounds I don't like so much. I have 5 Charvel San Dimas Guitars. 2 of them I'm happy with, 2 of them I'm not happy with and one is missing all its electronics. I wanted some help choosing PU's for each guitar and help to diagnose a problem with my Jackson PC1. All the the Charvels have an Alder body with a maple neck/ fingerboard.

    The first guitar is a Slime Green Charvel San Dimas. Currently its loaded with a set of AHB-3's. It the only guitar I have with active PU's. I've had the pu's in the guitar for about two years and while they're good, my ear is telling me that I want something that is less bass heavy, but something that's still good for heavier music. I'm not sure if I should keep it active, and put an EMG 85 in the bridge or give it a set of Dave Mustaine Livewires, or go a different route? I've also thought of Lace Alumitones as they have active tonal qualities with distortion, and acoustic-like clean abilities.
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    Guitar 2 is a purple Charvel San Dimas (Tele body). I've got a 59' (A2) in the neck and a Duncan Custom Custom in the bridge. It sounds nice, but can be a little too full. Also, I find the the output level's between the pu's don't match. I've done all the different magnet swaps on the Custom Custom and the A5 seems to sound the best. That said, I want something thinner in the bridge that has a lot of attack that's not piercing. I've thought of the Demon, Full Shred, JB and Bill Lawrence L500XL. I like the demon for the way I feel it gives me control over my sound, but it lacks warmth in Kamikaze's I've played and doesn't seem to have the response I'm looking for in alder guitars (ESP Lynch Wicked Sensation guitar). I can't remember what a Full Shred sounds like, but I've heard it's similar to a Demon and thought maybe if I don't like the Demon's shortcomings, I'd like the Full Shred. Next is the JB. I have it in my main Charvel and couldn't ask for a better pickup. However, I like to have different PU's in all of my guitars and want something. IS there anything like a JB that would have something like a 6DB clean boost that's built into the pickup? Something that gives it just a little extra power, but retains what a JB is. I've also thought of the Bill Lawrence/ Dimebucker/ Wylde l50XL. I've played it in Deans and it has some crazy harmonics, but it can be a bit shrill. As for the neck pickup, I can't really complain other than wanting to make the PU a little clearer sounding. Which PU would you choose? I've also thought about trying a Shur SSV+. Has anyone used that PU and liked it?
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    Guitar 3 is s Charvel So~Cal. Right now it has no electronics in it. I'm replacing the bridge PU with a Bareknuckle Holy Diver, but I'm not sure what I want to put in the neck. I want a PU that's lower output and reacts well to the amp. If the amp is at lower gain, the PU will be relatively clean and at high gain, it will be able to handle some solo oriented stuff. I have a Duncan STK-1 in my main Charvel and love how it cleans up compared with the bridge PU, a JB. Often I'll use both PU's for rhythm switching between them for open/ lower gain and compressed/ higher gain tones. I want something in vein of the STK-1 and since its not made anymore, I've thought about the SD YJM. How does it compare to the STK-1? I've also thought about the Dimarzio Eric Johnson neck, just to give me some variety in my tones. Which would you choose? Would they match up well with the BKP? Is there something else you'd recommend?
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    Finally, is my Jackson PC1. I'm not looking to change the PU's in it as I feel like the Super 3 is a great all around PU and the Sustainer is a bonus feature. I am having some trouble with the guitar because there's always a crackling sound when I use the volume pot on the Super 3. When I turn the sustainer on, the crackling seems to become less, but it's still there. Is my problem the volume pot, the pickup, or the sustainer?

    As far as the kind of music I play, its between George Lynch, Ratt and Thin Lizzy. I use a Randall MTS amp setup, and my main preamps are based on a Cameron CCV & 5150 for rhythm, a Soldano SLO for leads, & Vox AC30 for cleans.

    Thanks for all the help~

  • #2
    I'm pretty much in the same boat as far as looking for the tone. Don't know if these findings will help you.

    I have two MIJ Charvels.

    The 100% Stock Aqua #4 sounds awesome. No need to change at all.

    The MIJ San Dimas I made from parts I'm not as happy with the tone, but then I have yet to try it on my MTS rig. I've been playing it through a Marshall Artist (30w EL34 with SS pre-amp) and a Laney AOR 4x10 cab. The pickups I currently have loaded are a Screamin Demon in the neck, and an A2 JB in the bridge. Through this rig, it's great for playing old school Metallica - The neck pickup through the clean channel sounds spot on for tones like Fade to Black, and then the JB thru the lead channel is crushing for the hard parts.

    The problem is I used a 42mm big block, a real OFR, this guitar is THICK with that A2. My next move is a stock TB4.