Advice on Pickups for Steinberger Spirit - Van Halen  
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Guitar Room

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Old 03.02.12, 10:28 AM   #1
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Default Advice on Pickups for Steinberger Spirit

Hi guys,

Anybody have suggestions for what pickups to put in a Steinberger Spirit? Before anybody starts, I already know that the Spirit is a hunk of crap compared to the original Steiny that Eddie Played on LWAN. I mainly wanted the guitar because it's really portable, and I've always wanted the little broom guitar.

Anyway, The guitar plays great, and the trem function is stellar, even though it's just an R-Trem. The main problem with the guitar is the pickups suck. It's a H-S-S, and the humbucker output is pathetic. The tone of the Humbucker is lifeless. It lacks highs and presence. Sounds like all the life is strangled out of it.

The guitar is all Maple, and the neck has a graphite "U" reinforcement. There isn't much size to the body, but it is surprisingly heavy for such a small guitar, which indicates to me that I may be able to get decent tone with Passive Pickups.

My first inclination was to get an EMG active set. I'm not traditionally a huge fan of EMG pickukps, but they may work better in this guitar than others. If I get an EMG, which would be best? An 81, an 85, or an 89?

If I go the Passive route, what would work best in this guitar? The local shop has a set of Passive Evans pickups that came out of some 80's guitar. Anyone have experience with Evans?

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Old 03.02.12, 02:02 PM   #2
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it kinda sounds like you want the Eddie type look and feel. If thats the case try the active EMGs. Thats what I have in my GL2T berger and they sound great. I am sure that spirit would sound nice with some EMGs. Plus it will be more like Edward's. However if what your looking for is pure tone you could try some duncans or even a Frank EVH. Keep us posted.

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Old 03.02.12, 02:08 PM   #3
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Just my suggestion here, but for passive pickups for this little broom of yours, I'd suggest the following:
For the single coils, go with the Dimarzio Area 51 or 61 series noiseless stackers.
I put these in a Strat and they are phenomenal pickups.
The key difference is the 51 are a little more vintage sounding, and the 61 is more aggressive, so your choice here.

For the bridge though, maybe a ToneZone. It's a nicely balanced pickup I used in an angular bodied guitar which has little meat in the bridge area, and it kept it sounding pretty fat, but smooth through the mids and highs, where as a couple other pickups I tried sounded way too bright and unpleasant.
Many guys here use the TZ in more modern style (EBMM/Wolfgang clone) EVH projects, but for versatility, it's up there with the JB in it's overall versatility.
You could also try a JB or a Pearly Gates, but they are a little more trebly,and on a small maple instrument this could be a bit much.
It's just a matter of personal preference.
I think you'll really dig those single coils though.
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Old 03.02.12, 03:32 PM   #4
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I have a Spirit with 2 unchanged stock humbuckers and ive always thought they sounded great.
And im one of the first people i know that would change pickups from a guitar from Korea.

What amp r u using?

Mine always sounded great with my pv 5150.
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Old 03.03.12, 04:21 AM   #5
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I love the sound of my Steinberger, of course it has the active EMGs .. your biggest problem would be a place for the battery wouldn't it?

I also agree with the other poster, I have heard great things about the Tone Zone.
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Old 03.03.12, 09:06 AM   #6
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I've used the tone zone before, and found it to be picky about what type of guitar its in. I'm playing through a Peavey classic 50 410 with a Tube Screamer in front of it. I have a Boss ME 70 in the effects loop pushing some slapback delay, and I'm using the units Harmonist setting, set to zero to get a really cool phasing/doubling effect that pretty much nails Eddies 5150 era tone.
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Old 03.12.12, 03:49 PM   #7
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Made my decision. EMGs, were out, mainly because of the 9v battery, so I had to pick passives. My main dilemma was trying to get a tone that I would like, while not detracting from the aesthetics of the guitar. I just think that traditional humbuckers look weird in the broom.

Anyway, after listening to many different soundclips of different pickups, I've decided on the Lace Alumitone Deathbucker. I think the look of the pickup suits the guitar perfectly, and the tone (from what I've heard on the internet) is exactly what this guitar needs.

I'm going to leave the singles in the guitar for now, because they don't sound terrible, and I hardly ever use the neck and middle position anyway.

Ordered the Deathbucker from Amazon for $99.00. Will arrive in approx. 5 days. Once I get it installed, I'll let you guys know what I think of it and post some pics.

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advice, pickups, spirit, steinberger

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