neck pick up to pair with a JB?

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ReverendReverend Frets: 1734
Any ideas on what would make a good match for the JB in the bridge? Looking for something for a Les Paul and for an LTD Viper. 

Thanks 
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7217
    edited July 2
    What kind of neck tone do you like?  Do you want it brighter/glassy or do you want it deeper sounding?

    The two main classic pairings are Jazz - which will thin out the neck position, or a 59 - which has more low end weight to it and would be closer to a typical 'Gibson' type of tone, at the expense of tightness.

    If you hate low end flub the Jazz is the way to go with the JB.  I'm very picky about when I like the Jazz as sometimes I feel like it can work against the characteristic of a guitar if it's quite fat sounding naturally, but it depends on what you want.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3475
    For a Les Paul type guitar, I like either an open SHPG-1N Pearly Gates or a covered SH-1N '59 with an Alnico IV bar magnet. (The nearest Duncan production line equivalent is the Saturday Night Special. The Whole Lotta Humbucker is another interesting possibility.)

    For an SG, I would try a humbucker-sized P90 or one of Oil City Pickups' naughty Winterizer II Firebird-alikes. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • AlegreeAlegree Frets: 371
    JB in an SG was hands down the worst tone I've ever had. Keep it away from mahogany SGs at all cost.
    Alegree pickups & guitar supplies - www.alegree.co.uk
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3475
    Alegree said:
    JB in an SG was hands down the worst tone I've ever had. Keep it away from mahogany SGs at all cost.
    +1

    In fairness, the LTD Viper comes in various guises from bolt-on beginner level to an Epiphone killer and near Gibson rival. The inexpensive models probably don't have very much mahogany in them.




    DISCLAIMER
    To anyone who wonders why I have name-checked OCP but not mentioned Alegree, this is for the simple reason that I have yet to experience any of the latter's products. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 1836
    Another non-fan of the JB here. I think it's quite shrill and needs a lot of gain to smooth it out. OTOH, some people seem to like it.
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  • professorbenprofessorben Frets: 4162
    Love the JB in pretty much anything I’ve put one in. 

     I found the Dimarzio PafPro to be an outstanding neck pickup in an SG type guitar. 

    Depends if you can live with the mid match of pole piece types tho. 
    " Why does it smell of bum?" Mrs Professorben.
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  • SchnozzSchnozz Frets: 672
    I would say Jazz for a Les Paul and '59 for a Superstrat, but I probably wouldn't put a JB in a Les Paul

    I think the PAF/Super Distortion Combo that Dimarzio make is a better fit for an LP (IMO).
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3475
    Reverend said:
    JB in the bridge ... LTD Viper. 
    This combination suggests the -400 Series model. The stock neck position pickup should already be a Duncan SH-1N '59 - albeit displaced towards the bridge by the twenty four fret neck. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33929
    ‘59.

    I’ve tried the Jazz and the Pearly Gates, and both are just too thin.

    The JB is a very marmite pickup, but if you want that aggressive, slightly nasal midrange squawk it’s fantastic. For forced harmonics there’s really nothing quite as good... but it will not do more subtle tones. It’s not meant to.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 242
    A 59

    No other contenders. 
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  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3701
    ICBM said:
    ‘59.

    I’ve tried the Jazz and the Pearly Gates, and both are just too thin.

    The JB is a very marmite pickup, but if you want that aggressive, slightly nasal midrange squawk it’s fantastic. For forced harmonics there’s really nothing quite as good... but it will not do more subtle tones. It’s not meant to.
    For me the same, its somewhat of a one trick pony ... but if you like that trick ... great. 

    Interesting story: Jazz/Blues is an odd title for a pickup of this character ... the story goes it was initially built for 'Jeff Beck' but for some reason his name doesn't appear on it .... they do an EVH pickup that is apparently 'definitely' not an Edward Van Halen too!

    Perhaps I should use the name 'STTPUOTBABEC' for a popular one of my PAF style pickups: Similar To The Pickup Used On The Beano Album By EC'  :-)
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4962
    Interesting story: Jazz/Blues is an odd title for a pickup of this character ... the story goes it was initially built for 'Jeff Beck' but for some reason his name doesn't appear on it .... they do an EVH pickup that is apparently 'definitely' not an Edward Van Halen too!
    I know Jazz/Blues is the "official" story, but never in all my years have I ever heard anyone actually call it that.  For many years loads of dealers would call it the Jeff Beck pickup - still do occasionally - despite SD's protestations. 

    I don't know if SD ultimately clamped down on the "Jeff Beck" terminology, or if we all finally got used to calling it the "JB", but whatever it is it's a remarkably popular pickup.

    As for the EVH, it stands for "Evenly Voiced Harmonics".  Obviously.  Nothing to do with that Dutch bloke.  It's now called the 78 model, I don't know if it was ever officially called the EVH.
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  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3701
    Philly_Q said:
    Interesting story: Jazz/Blues is an odd title for a pickup of this character ... the story goes it was initially built for 'Jeff Beck' but for some reason his name doesn't appear on it .... they do an EVH pickup that is apparently 'definitely' not an Edward Van Halen too!
    I know Jazz/Blues is the "official" story, but never in all my years have I ever heard anyone actually call it that.  For many years loads of dealers would call it the Jeff Beck pickup - still do occasionally - despite SD's protestations. 

    I don't know if SD ultimately clamped down on the "Jeff Beck" terminology, or if we all finally got used to calling it the "JB", but whatever it is it's a remarkably popular pickup.

    As for the EVH, it stands for "Evenly Voiced Harmonics".  Obviously.  Nothing to do with that Dutch bloke.  It's now called the 78 model, I don't know if it was ever officially called the EVH.
    The early 'JB's were also seem to have been a very different formula to the modern ones ... did a some digging on this and measuring old pickups a few years ago. 

    To the OP: something PAF like for the neck ... a 59 if you are going Duncan. 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4962
    The early 'JB's were also seem to have been a very different formula to the modern ones ... did a some digging on this and measuring old pickups a few years ago. 

    That was oft-discussed in the old days on the Bare Knuckle Pickups forum - every time someone mentioned a JB someone would chirp up "Ah, do you mean the original JB, or the current one?".  I have one from around 1985, but I think it's still the "new" formula. There can't be many originals around.

    I agree about the SD '59 neck, I didn't like the Jazz, too bright.  That said, I've always been curious about the Alnico II neck, but never tried one.

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  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3701
    Philly_Q said:
    The early 'JB's were also seem to have been a very different formula to the modern ones ... did a some digging on this and measuring old pickups a few years ago. 

    That was oft-discussed in the old days on the Bare Knuckle Pickups forum - every time someone mentioned a JB someone would chirp up "Ah, do you mean the original JB, or the current one?".  I have one from around 1985, but I think it's still the "new" formula. There can't be many originals around.

    I agree about the SD '59 neck, I didn't like the Jazz, too bright.  That said, I've always been curious about the Alnico II neck, but never tried one.

    The originals were more like what we'd call now 'Custom Shop': lower output ... less scooped and nasal mids. I have all the spec from the last time I encountered one, and in fact it gave birth to my 'Dirty Secret' humbucker found here
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • professorbenprofessorben Frets: 4162
    I like the custom 5 for a bridge LP type. 
    " Why does it smell of bum?" Mrs Professorben.
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  • PhilKingPhilKing Frets: 345
    I have an original JB (the one Tim Mills at BK measured to see what the old spec was).  It's 14.7k and has asymmetrical windings, though I don't remember the split of each coil.  I have it paired with an original SD Pearly Gates in an Epiphone JB (as in Jeff Beck), limited edition Les Paul, with the wrap around bridge.
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  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3701
    PhilKing said:
    I have an original JB (the one Tim Mills at BK measured to see what the old spec was).  It's 14.7k and has asymmetrical windings, though I don't remember the split of each coil.  I have it paired with an original SD Pearly Gates in an Epiphone JB (as in Jeff Beck), limited edition Les Paul, with the wrap around bridge.
    Exactly the results I got ... it was wound with 43awg wire instead of the 44awg of later ones ... leading to less of that mid compression and a more open and less nasal tone.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 1734
    The Ltd viper I think is a 300 or something. It's very old (one of the first that came out) and has those passive emg things. I like the jb in mahogany as they have plenty of oomph with out the flat harshness of most high output pickups. I tune to c and play loud. I dont care about how things sound much when playing at home because the is mostly irrelevant. How things sound on stage is the thing really. The other guitar is an lp studio rhat plays well but sounds a bit weak compared to my others. I have a in sat around and waiting to be used. Got a Sd with a sticker that says 59bg which i presume is a 59 bridge.
    I have one that days #2 al v and has a small paf black sticker as well. It has been measure at 8k. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33929
    Reverend said:
    The Ltd viper I think is a 300 or something. It's very old (one of the first that came out) and has those passive emg things. I like the jb in mahogany as they have plenty of oomph with out the flat harshness of most high output pickups. I tune to c and play loud. I dont care about how things sound much when playing at home because the is mostly irrelevant. How things sound on stage is the thing really. The other guitar is an lp studio rhat plays well but sounds a bit weak compared to my others. I have a in sat around and waiting to be used. Got a Sd with a sticker that says 59bg which i presume is a 59 bridge.
    I have one that days #2 al v and has a small paf black sticker as well. It has been measure at 8k. 
    I think for the type of music you play and the sound you're using, anything even roughly PAF-like in the bridge is going to be too low-output and not middy enough. I find the '59 bridge a bit thin and lacking punch even though I don't use anything like that sort of sound and I love the '59 neck...

    I would be looking at 10-12K upwards (yes I know the DC resistance is only a rough indicator!) and probably not Alnico II, I find that too soft-sounding unless the winding is even bigger - the Duncan Custom Custom (14.5K) is the only Alnico II bridge pickup I like, but may also not have enough definition for you.

    I don't think the JB/'59 combination is a bad choice for what you're describing even though it is very much not in fashion now.

    [Slight thread diversion] The same is true of V30 speakers. No longer very fashionable, not good for more open, vintage-style tones with low-powered amps - but still a great choice for harder rock sounds at gig volume (especially down-tuned), they have a punch and aggression that just works for that.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 1734
    ICBM said:
    Reverend said:
    The Ltd viper I think is a 300 or something. It's very old (one of the first that came out) and has those passive emg things. I like the jb in mahogany as they have plenty of oomph with out the flat harshness of most high output pickups. I tune to c and play loud. I dont care about how things sound much when playing at home because the is mostly irrelevant. How things sound on stage is the thing really. The other guitar is an lp studio rhat plays well but sounds a bit weak compared to my others. I have a in sat around and waiting to be used. Got a Sd with a sticker that says 59bg which i presume is a 59 bridge.
    I have one that days #2 al v and has a small paf black sticker as well. It has been measure at 8k. 
    I think for the type of music you play and the sound you're using, anything even roughly PAF-like in the bridge is going to be too low-output and not middy enough. I find the '59 bridge a bit thin and lacking punch even though I don't use anything like that sort of sound and I love the '59 neck...

    I would be looking at 10-12K upwards (yes I know the DC resistance is only a rough indicator!) and probably not Alnico II, I find that too soft-sounding unless the winding is even bigger - the Duncan Custom Custom (14.5K) is the only Alnico II bridge pickup I like, but may also not have enough definition for you.

    I don't think the JB/'59 combination is a bad choice for what you're describing even though it is very much not in fashion now.

    [Slight thread diversion] The same is true of V30 speakers. No longer very fashionable, not good for more open, vintage-style tones with low-powered amps - but still a great choice for harder rock sounds at gig volume (especially down-tuned), they have a punch and aggression that just works for that.
    As you say the resistance is only a rough indication but if I have something like a in which is around 14k them would should the neck be, roughly? I.e. so that it there is n9 huge change in output when switching?
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  • AlegreeAlegree Frets: 371
    Reverend said:
    ICBM said:
    Reverend said:
    The Ltd viper I think is a 300 or something. It's very old (one of the first that came out) and has those passive emg things. I like the jb in mahogany as they have plenty of oomph with out the flat harshness of most high output pickups. I tune to c and play loud. I dont care about how things sound much when playing at home because the is mostly irrelevant. How things sound on stage is the thing really. The other guitar is an lp studio rhat plays well but sounds a bit weak compared to my others. I have a in sat around and waiting to be used. Got a Sd with a sticker that says 59bg which i presume is a 59 bridge.
    I have one that days #2 al v and has a small paf black sticker as well. It has been measure at 8k. 
    I think for the type of music you play and the sound you're using, anything even roughly PAF-like in the bridge is going to be too low-output and not middy enough. I find the '59 bridge a bit thin and lacking punch even though I don't use anything like that sort of sound and I love the '59 neck...

    I would be looking at 10-12K upwards (yes I know the DC resistance is only a rough indicator!) and probably not Alnico II, I find that too soft-sounding unless the winding is even bigger - the Duncan Custom Custom (14.5K) is the only Alnico II bridge pickup I like, but may also not have enough definition for you.

    I don't think the JB/'59 combination is a bad choice for what you're describing even though it is very much not in fashion now.

    [Slight thread diversion] The same is true of V30 speakers. No longer very fashionable, not good for more open, vintage-style tones with low-powered amps - but still a great choice for harder rock sounds at gig volume (especially down-tuned), they have a punch and aggression that just works for that.
    As you say the resistance is only a rough indication but if I have something like a in which is around 14k them would should the neck be, roughly? I.e. so that it there is n9 huge change in output when switching?
    Let's break this down for the sake of anyone who's not aware. DCR is not a definitive output level. It's connected to wind count, so as it's been said, it's a rough guide. 

    14k of 43 is about 7000 winds of each bobbin. You'll want about 5500 winds on each bobbin in the neck position to match.

    This means you want a neck humbucker of around 8.5k in 42 AWG, 11k of 43 AWG, or 13.5k of 44 AWG to match in output (give or take a little for the relative strength of the magnet)
    Alegree pickups & guitar supplies - www.alegree.co.uk
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  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3701
    Alegree said:
    Reverend said:
    ICBM said:
    Reverend said:
    The Ltd viper I think is a 300 or something. It's very old (one of the first that came out) and has those passive emg things. I like the jb in mahogany as they have plenty of oomph with out the flat harshness of most high output pickups. I tune to c and play loud. I dont care about how things sound much when playing at home because the is mostly irrelevant. How things sound on stage is the thing really. The other guitar is an lp studio rhat plays well but sounds a bit weak compared to my others. I have a in sat around and waiting to be used. Got a Sd with a sticker that says 59bg which i presume is a 59 bridge.
    I have one that days #2 al v and has a small paf black sticker as well. It has been measure at 8k. 
    I think for the type of music you play and the sound you're using, anything even roughly PAF-like in the bridge is going to be too low-output and not middy enough. I find the '59 bridge a bit thin and lacking punch even though I don't use anything like that sort of sound and I love the '59 neck...

    I would be looking at 10-12K upwards (yes I know the DC resistance is only a rough indicator!) and probably not Alnico II, I find that too soft-sounding unless the winding is even bigger - the Duncan Custom Custom (14.5K) is the only Alnico II bridge pickup I like, but may also not have enough definition for you.

    I don't think the JB/'59 combination is a bad choice for what you're describing even though it is very much not in fashion now.

    [Slight thread diversion] The same is true of V30 speakers. No longer very fashionable, not good for more open, vintage-style tones with low-powered amps - but still a great choice for harder rock sounds at gig volume (especially down-tuned), they have a punch and aggression that just works for that.
    As you say the resistance is only a rough indication but if I have something like a in which is around 14k them would should the neck be, roughly? I.e. so that it there is n9 huge change in output when switching?
    Let's break this down for the sake of anyone who's not aware. DCR is not a definitive output level. It's connected to wind count, so as it's been said, it's a rough guide. 

    14k of 43 is about 7000 winds of each bobbin. You'll want about 5500 winds on each bobbin in the neck position to match.

    This means you want a neck humbucker of around 8.5k in 42 AWG, 11k of 43 AWG, or 13.5k of 44 AWG to match in output (give or take a little for the relative strength of the magnet)
    Exactly  ... nice to have another person to take the strain of exploding the DCR myth :-)
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33929
    Also very useful to see the actual numbers given like that - I knew the theory and what tends to work from experience, but not the figures.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3475
    Just done a soldering job on a Musicman Axis SS. Its EBMM-spec DiMarzio humbuckers give some surprisingly high DCR meter readings - mainly to achieve acceptable coil split sounds.

    The basic bridge/both/neck humbucker selections do not produce the *Metal* sounds that the statistics might lead you to expect.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 1734
    How might I find out what gauge and windings a pick up might have?
    I have an old Gibson covered pickup that measures 8.5 and the guy trht measured that reckoned it was a bridge pick up. 
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  • AlegreeAlegree Frets: 371
    Reverend said:
    How might I find out what gauge and windings a pick up might have?
    I have an old Gibson covered pickup that measures 8.5 and the guy trht measured that reckoned it was a bridge pick up. 
    That sounds like it'll be 42 AWG plain enamel. Typical PAF replica specifications.
    Alegree pickups & guitar supplies - www.alegree.co.uk
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  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3701
    edited July 11
    8.5k is what you'd expect from a 42awg wound, PAF style bridge pickup ... 
    And if your pickup maker doesn't publish what wire gauge he uses ... then best guess is pretty much all you have. 
    Makers are often cagey about what gauge they use as plagiarism is rife in the pickup making world: if your wire gauge is known, and your magnet type  then it's a pretty simple thing to copy your design. 

    Of course there's nothing 'wrong' about using a bridge humbucker in the neck with a higher gain bridge pickup ... pickup manufacturers do it all the time ... many a neck pickup in a high gain set is actually a recycled bridge pickup design from a lower output set in their range.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • paulphoenixpaulphoenix Frets: 55
    edited July 11
    Just done a soldering job on a Musicman Axis SS. Its EBMM-spec DiMarzio humbuckers give some surprisingly high DCR meter readings - mainly to achieve acceptable coil split sounds.

    The basic bridge/both/neck humbucker selections do not produce the *Metal* sounds that the statistics might lead you to expect.
    @Funkfingers ;; would you be happy to reveal the DCR readings you got for the EBMM spec humbuckers (either here or by PM) please? It could possibly be a great help to me.

    Reason for why? - I am about to upgrade the pickups in one of my guitars with a view to gigging it as a back up to my #1 guitar -  EBMM Axis. 

    If I install new pickups that are in the same ball park (DCR wise) as my Axis, then there'd be little to no faff  (changing amp/pedal settings)  when swapping guitars mid gig. 
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3067
    edited July 11
    Just done a soldering job on a Musicman Axis SS. Its EBMM-spec DiMarzio humbuckers give some surprisingly high DCR meter readings - mainly to achieve acceptable coil split sounds.

    The basic bridge/both/neck humbucker selections do not produce the *Metal* sounds that the statistics might lead you to expect.
    @Funkfingers ;;;; would you be happy to reveal the DCR readings you got for the EBMM spec humbuckers (either here or by PM) please? It could possibly be a great help to me.

    Reason for why? - I am about to upgrade the pickups in one of my guitars with a view to gigging it as a back up to my #1 guitar -  EBMM Axis. 

    If I install new pickups that are in the same ball park (DCR wise) as my Axis, then there'd be little to no faff  (changing amp/pedal settings)  when swapping guitars mid gig. 
    I have a pair of these in my parts box. Too hot for my taste. Were 12-16k and I believe similar to other Dimarzios like the tone zone/Norton
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