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View Poll Results: Which pickup?

Voters
28. You may not vote on this poll
  • Duncan custom/custom

    13 46.43%
  • Di Marzio Tone Zone

    3 10.71%
  • Duncan EVH

    5 17.86%
  • other (please name in a reply)

    7 25.00%
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  1. #1
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    11.06.14 @ 04:06 AM
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    Default Which pickup cops EVH tone best?

    Okay, so I bashed Eddie about his upcoming Wolfgang. I may think he's being a bit goofy with his upcoming EVH gear, but we can all agree that he gets great tone. Most of his tone comes from his hands (as I think we can all agree), but some of it is from his gear.

    I have copped EVH-esque tones from the following: Duncan custom/custom, DiMarzio Tone Zone, and a bit from the OLP Axis clone pup (albeit a bit brittle-sounding).

    What do you guys like?
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  2. #2
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Default

    Those 3 seem to be the best EVH sounding pickups for most people. None are better than the others -- it all depends on what you are after, since EVH has had some pretty different tones thoughout the years.

    Out of those 3 very good choices, here are some thoughts:

    The Duncan '78 EVH is supposed to be a copy of Ed's original Frankenstein pickup which he rewound himself, so that one is the best pick to copy of Ed's general tone from VH1 to about the 1984 album.

    The Duncan Custom/Custom is supposedly either the actual pickup that is in Ed's 5150 Kramer, or it is a copy of whatever Duncan pickup was put in that guitar. I have not been able to verify what was actually in the 5150, since there is speculation that it was a JB or a Custom, or a prototype that led to the Custom/Custom, etc., but either way, the Custom/Custom seems to nail the 5150 Kramer tone, which can be generally associated with the 1985-1990 time period.

    The DiMarzio Tone Zone is my pickup of choice, because it is almost the same pickup that was in Ed's Ernie Ball Music Man signature guitar. It sounds extremely close to Ed's 1991-1995 tone (especially on For Unlawful and Balance and those tours). The Music Man pickup (and now Axis pickup) has equally wounds coils, and the Tone Zone has slightly asymmetrically wound coils -- that is the only difference.

  3. #3
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Default

    The funniest thing is that the Tone Zone is probably my all-time favourite pickup EVER. I put it in a 335 and it rocked, I put it in an OLP and loved it, and I am certain to love it in my Wolfie Special.

    The Custom/Custom is INSANE!!! I love it in the Jamie's Crying guitar. Oddly enough, the banana peghead and the MXR knob kinda goes with the custom/Custom in that guitar.

    While the Tone Zone has been mentioned twice in this thread, nobody has voted for it. I think the Tone Zone is just too versatile to be pegged JUST as an EVH-esque pickup.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Donor

    Default

    personaly i have had great results with the duncan pearly gates, ive nailed evh tones from various era's of his career with that one pup, i dunno if anyone else has tried them but they do rock, all of my guitars exept 2 have them fitted and i cant think of a pickup i would rather use, and believe me over 26yrs of playing i've tried a lot.
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  5. #5
    Top Of The World ncbuckeye3's Avatar
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    Default

    Anyone had any luck getting good VH tones from those Kent Armstrong Lipstick Tube pickups??

  6. #6
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    Default

    I had used a DiMarzio Steve's Special for a time, and I have to say that it came really close to nailing vh tones. It doesn't share really any of the same components as his original pickups. It uses a ceramic magnet instead of an alnico, but to my ears, it was pretty close to a wide range of VHs tones from over the years.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  7. #7
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Default

    I guess it depends on the gear, but when I used to dime my old Marshalls, the good ol' Duncan '59's were great. I don't know if their made the same as before. I've seen a couple ads that say something like "improved bass response" or whatever, but they were great for that rounded tone with very even response from all strings, especially when you palm muted arppegios and they did'nt get muddy. I did'nt find them that great when I moved on to the 5150's, but now that I've gone more vintage again, I might try a couple you guys suggested in some of my old guitars. I also have a few still that I've modified or built myself that sound great on any amp, and they're staying put. I just don't have the patience to tinker to that extent anymore.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 10.17.08 at 03:44 PM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  8. #8
    Eruption hotforteacher921's Avatar
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    06.20.12 @ 10:40 PM
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    Default

    my duncan Custom sounds great...
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  9. #9
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Default

    Hmm... well all this talk about Tone Zones has gotten me fired up....

    My main guitar has been temporarily retired because the neck on it has taken about 7 months of abuse since I completed the guitar (and the neck was already used and abused on the original guitar it came off of...) so it needs a good cleaning. Also, it is not a very 'high quality' neck anyway, and I have noticed it warping unevenly lately, which has made the guitar no fun to play. So until that is all taken care of, I decided to not let the Tone Zone in it go to waste.

    I just pulled the Tone Zone out of that guitar and stuck it in the first guitar I built (which still had the decent, but not awesome no-name HB in it). That first guitar just has playability like no other -- even though I pretty much didn't know what I was doing at the time I built it. Maybe it is just me being sentimental, who knows...

    So we will see how a Tone Zone fairs in a sweet playing guitar, that has a solid MDF body and 15+ layers of sticky Krylon on it!!! If it can make that guitar sound awesome, or even good, given what it is made out of, then I think I might just start telling people that the Tone Zone is the best pickup in the world....

  10. #10
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 01:24 AM
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    Default

    I have a Bareknuckle VHII (others here have them as well) that's pretty freaking incredible if you're looking for that old VH sound. A lot of it is based on your picking, it's very responsive to that. It wasn't cheap, but very worth it.
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  11. #11
    Banned! Vicovibe's Avatar
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    05.20.09 @ 03:07 PM
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    Default Smits Pickups

    We have a guy here in Nashville that makes some great pickups. He has the EVH 78 nailed and they sound killer. His prices are excellent and he does all the work himself. A very popular pickup with the Plexi amp buildres is the Ibanez Super 70. Ed used that pickup on many cuts on the first album. Smit makes a nice version of that pickup as well.

    http://www.smitsparts.com/

  12. #12
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default

    I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the (Peavey) Wolfgang bridge pickup. I've used all the listed ones--and liked all of them--except for the Custom Custom, and from what I'm hearing it sounds like I should try it. Now I rarely go after EVH tone specifically, but I've had a lot of "accident" moments with my Wolfies through various high gain amps, including the 5150s, Soldanos, and Marshalls. I think the Wolfie bridge pup is much more similar to EVH tone than the Tone Zone is. (No dig on the Tone Zone... I love it, but it's not all that much EVH, to my ears.)

  13. #13
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Default Good point

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the (Peavey) Wolfgang bridge pickup. I've used all the listed ones--and liked all of them--except for the Custom Custom, and from what I'm hearing it sounds like I should try it. Now I rarely go after EVH tone specifically, but I've had a lot of "accident" moments with my Wolfies through various high gain amps, including the 5150s, Soldanos, and Marshalls. I think the Wolfie bridge pup is much more similar to EVH tone than the Tone Zone is. (No dig on the Tone Zone... I love it, but it's not all that much EVH, to my ears.)

    And while one can pick up a wolfgang bridge pup on e bay on occasion, it's not that easily attainable compared to the others listed. For that matter, the EBMM Van Halen bridge pickup (a.k.a. Tone Zone with symmetrically wound coils, supposedly) would cop a great EVH tone, as well.

    I bought a Mean Street guitars Intruder/Exile pickup. The claim was "similarities to the Wolfgang and Axis pickups are amazing". At $27, it's not that much of a waste of money; unfortunately, it would have needed quite a bit of modding to get it into my Wolfgang (because of the unique pickup routes in the Wolfgang), so it will go into the Doug take on the EVH Frankenstein (not red, black, and white, mind).

    I had some great "accidental" (to borrow your term) EVH moments (tone-wise) with the Tone Zone, but I think it is so much more than a EVH wannabe. I voted Duncan custom/custom, myself...
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyman View Post
    I bought a Mean Street guitars Intruder/Exile pickup. The claim was "similarities to the Wolfgang and Axis pickups are amazing". At $27, it's not that much of a waste of money; unfortunately, it would have needed quite a bit of modding to get it into my Wolfgang (because of the unique pickup routes in the Wolfgang), so it will go into the Doug take on the EVH Frankenstein (not red, black, and white, mind).
    Hey, bunnyman... Was it only the mounting ears that didn't fit into the Wolf pickup routes? If so, you can clip them into a "V" shape and they should fit. (I've done so with SD pups in Wolfies before.)

  15. #15
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Default No

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Hey, bunnyman... Was it only the mounting ears that didn't fit into the Wolf pickup routes? If so, you can clip them into a "V" shape and they should fit. (I've done so with SD pups in Wolfies before.)
    The ears are soooooo deep that there was no way to do this without major modification of the body.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

 

 

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