PAF/vintage vs High output humbuckers with Mark III

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70sstrat
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PAF/vintage vs High output humbuckers with Mark III

Post by 70sstrat » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:55 pm

Hi all,

I've looked around and I couldn't find anything on the pros and cons of using vintage or high output pickups with the Mark series amps (for the purpose of this discussion hight output is anything over 9k). I'm looking to swap out the pickups on my 97 LP studio. The stock pups get me where I want to go for the most part but I want coil-taping. If I could change anything I would like a little less muddiness in the neck and less harshness in the bridge (this seems to be the baseline no matter how much I adjust height, pole pieces, remove covers ect.).

I like the 70s hard rock and 80s hair metal sounds, for this stuff it looks like people lean toward high output pups. However, with the Mark III there is no shortage of gain and I don't think the amp needs to be "pushed". At the same time one of my favorite sounds is the John Sykes Colosseum Mark/LP with Dirty Fingers setup.

I'm open to any brand and just looking for four conductor wiring and price point under $150 for the set. I don't have the ability to trial and error this situation so I'm looking learn form others experiences. I've looked at both vintage/modern and straight up vintage setups. Duncan Jazz/JB, 59/custom and DiMarzio PAF 36th/Distortion sets and straight up duncan 59s or DiMarzio PAFs. The overall picture I'm getting is PAF= smoothness and versatility High Output= hot leads and great harmonics but most of these conversations are guys using Marshalls. I've heard that because Mesa Marks are more mid heavy they don't like certain pickups i.e. the Slash alnico 2 setup.

So what have been your experiences?
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MkIII Renegade
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Re: PAF/vintage vs High output humbuckers with Mark III

Post by MkIII Renegade » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:19 am

My experience with mega output pickups and the MkIII has been that you'll end up wishing you had more definition. For example, my 475 DX super strat has the stock Jackson J50BC, which is a slightly hot rodded PAF, and has brilliant definition, although my 475 Exotic has a Duncan Distortion PATB and it seems like overkill at times for rhythm work (although to be fair, the leads truly are fire breathing!). If I had it to do over again, I might get the standard PATB instead, which has a more moderate output, but the Mark III can easily send even my Tele into the stratosphere!

I think the time-honored tradition of a Les Paul with Dimarzio SD or Gibson Dirty Fingers applies more to period Marshalls, which had nowhere near the gain of the MkIII. I would probably try something closer to a standard PAF for what you are describing. The Mark III has a very THICK sound, especially when paired with the original metal grill panzer cabinet. :twisted: Very different in character from the shriek of a Marshall.
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70sstrat
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Re: PAF/vintage vs High output humbuckers with Mark III

Post by 70sstrat » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:17 pm

Thanks! Thats what I needed to know. I had a feeling the Mark III wouldn't necessarily jive with the classic Marshall formula :wink:. So now to find a nice articulate set of PAF's 8) .
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kdorsey
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Re: PAF/vintage vs High output humbuckers with Mark III

Post by kdorsey » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:58 am

MkIII Renegade wrote:...mega output pickups...you'll end up wishing you had more definition.
+1
There's enough gain in reserve to manage any pup out there and a medium-gain PAF (or similar) yields clarity and drive. On my PRS Cu24, I still tend to drop the guitar volume to 8-9 because of the extreme output. Rolled-off, the HFS sounds much better to me, but DGT pups and BB3s sound are awesome. Those are certainly vintage pups.
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Re: PAF/vintage vs High output humbuckers with Mark III

Post by YellowJacket » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:53 am

I want to weigh in here.

The muddy neck / thin bridge pickup problem is pretty much a problem with most production Les Pauls. You gotta shell out the $$$$$s for one of the custom shop ones to properly solve the problem.

The only real compromise here is to get a neck pickup that has a very tight and rolled off bass response while getting a bridge pickup that has a slightly phatter and thicker bottom end.

In my experience, even the high output Bare Knuckle pickups have excellent string definition even when throwing mountains of gain onto them.

I have Bare Knuckle Rebel Yell pickups in my Les Paul but I think I'd love to try an Emerald / Nailbomb combination in that guitar instead. That being said, the Rebel Yell pickups were a HUGE improvement over the stock Burstbucker Pro pickups.

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