Pickup Advice..?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by GavQuinn, Feb 25, 2020.

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  1. GavQuinn

    GavQuinn New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Ive had my Core Starla since 2009, love the guitar, but it’s spent some time in its case lately... a few months to be honest. Played it this evening with fresh ears and took stock,

    Over the last few months I’ve tried a few different pickups in it. I’ve tried underwound PAFs, full size Firebird pickups, BK Mule, 59/09, Monty’s PAF. The firebirds and Monty’s PAF came closest to where I wanna take things, but still: the PAF was still lacking top end snarl. The FB had the snarl but was lacking punch and output.

    I realised tonight that this guitar is very mid focused, to the point of being muddy. It’s light, really light (feels like a lot less than 7lbs) and mega resonant (it vibrates like crazy when strummed)

    All this means it’s lacking in top end snap and sounds dark, to be honest.

    Can anyone relate and advise of pickups that could suit? I’ve been thinking something like a Bare Knuckle Riff Raff could give the cut..?
     
    #1 GavQuinn, Feb 25, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  2. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc Confirmed Bird Snob

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    I had a riff raff in my SC245 it’s definitely got some bite to it. The Starla pickups were a major reason of me getting my Starla.
     
  3. GavQuinn

    GavQuinn New Member

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    Yeah, I’ve had them there for years; but the same issue keeps cropping up: the neck pickup is too boomy, too mid focused. The bridge pickup lacks punch and output.
     
  4. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc Confirmed Bird Snob

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    Fair enough. I can attest that the Riff Raff has got some punch to it. I always wanted to try a full Riff Raff set in a full mahogany PRS
     
  5. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    Duncan Antiquity is what I use in that capacity. I don’t have a Starla but I do have a Vela that has a Starla pickup in the bridge. With the Antiquity, I was very happy with the results in the Vela.
     
  6. GavQuinn

    GavQuinn New Member

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    Hey, could you describe the tone? Is it bright? Scooped?
     
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  7. Callan

    Callan hack guitarist..

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    What didn't you like about the Mules?

    I do want to experiment one day and swap my Mules into a solidbody PRS.

    Currently have Riff Raff's in an SC and abraxas in cu22. Mules sound excellent in my HBii.
    Very happy with them all, but always fun to mix things up.
     
  8. GavQuinn

    GavQuinn New Member

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    They sounded great in my single cut, but in the Starla there was a lack of clarity. I think the guitar is too mid focussed and lacking in high end, so maybe something with more treble and less mid range fatness would work.

    How do you find the Riff Raff? It’s a €165 gamble, I’m not keen to order a pickup unless it’s right, but I think it or the VHII might give the boost to the high end that I need.
     
  9. pac90

    pac90 In Helix Land, the waters warm

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    You could try the bay for experiments, can resell for not much, and then get a new one.

    Ask Tim what you wrote above, he is really helpful with selection, sorted me out right away
     
  10. pac90

    pac90 In Helix Land, the waters warm

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    Whats this zombie stuff boogie
     
  11. Tim S

    Tim S King of the barre chord

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    Humbucker-sized P-90s? :shrug:
     
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  12. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    I was wondering how long it would take.
     
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  13. pac90

    pac90 In Helix Land, the waters warm

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    You've been infected too?
     
  14. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    Oh no. We are the cure.
     
  15. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    SD’s website does an accurate job of describing it. I don’t consider them bright, but the top end is defined and sweet, no harsh. Mids aren’t overly pronounced. Bottom is tighter than the DGT with a little compression when you dig in. I love ‘em.
     
  16. VHTStark

    VHTStark New Member

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    Ever try the Seymour Duncan '78 model? I have had them in a couple guitars and tight, bright and punchy is how I would describe them. They are a custom shop model, but there are quite a few kicking around, so you could likely find one at a good price to try out.
     
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  17. Callan

    Callan hack guitarist..

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    Send me your Starla and I'll tell you all about it :p

    The riff Raff is bright for sure and I wouldn't call then fat (quite the opposite). Plenty of cut in a live mix, in s good way. I don't know enough about the Starla to really comment how they might sound. Mine are in a Maple neck sc594

    Tim from BK is pretty good about getting you the right one. If you don't like the RR, you could swap it for the VH (within the time limit/return policy).
    Are you in the UK ?
     
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  18. Ovibos

    Ovibos Unsure why all necks aren't rosewood

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    Maybe a JB would help cut thru?
     
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  19. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    Before the Antiquity went in the Vela, I borrowed a buddy’s ‘78 for a few weeks. It’s fantastic! My search was for something more vintage, but would take a ‘78 right now. Damned good sounding pickup.
     
  20. GavQuinn

    GavQuinn New Member

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    Yes and it rips in a maple top guitar. It didn't bring out the twang in this one. I think this one needs boosted highs, whereas the 78 is open and bright. This needs some shrillness to get past the warmth of the superlight single piece of mahogany.
     

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