Pickups for Santana SE standard?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by C_corie, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. C_corie

    C_corie New Member

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    The stock pickups are I’m guessing....the 245 SE pickups? No clue.

    They sound generic, perfectly fine but sort of fake crisp and stiff.

    I’m thinking of making the guitar into either a clean/mid gain rocker and sticking my Seth Lovers in it.

    Or buying super high output pickups and making it my metal guitar.

    I can’t decide and I also don’t know what “high output” pickups are any good, besides the dragon I’s in my 97’ CE22.

    I’ve never looked into EMG pickups or anything as I’ve never really modified a guitar for “metal.”
     
  2. Xylophonetimezone

    Xylophonetimezone New Member

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    check out the fishman fluence series pickups. see them in a lot of metal modded guitars, and they sound really cool. never played them myself, but I have gotten a lot of recommendations of those pickups.
     
  3. Tahlee

    Tahlee Tollywood Rhode Island

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    Welcome to the forum, guys.

    EMGs sound very sterile to me. I had a set of SSH in a Koa topped Luke. Steve Lukather makes them sound good, but I couldn’t get them to sound like me, if that makes any sense.
     
  4. C_corie

    C_corie New Member

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    I really actually like my 59/09 and dragons in my 2014 CU24 and 1997 CE22(compared to the SE pickups), I just can’t justify spending almost as much as the guitar is worth.

    Who makes a “hot paf” that would work for maybe both things and isn’t expensive?
     
  5. Tahlee

    Tahlee Tollywood Rhode Island

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    DiMarzio, $80 each. Used pickups would be fine, too.
     
  6. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    You REALLY need to check out Suhr Doug Aldrich pickups. Hot, but crystal clear. I put a set in my KL-33 and loved them. I currently have a set in my Core Mira. Great pickups.

     
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  7. Axis39

    Axis39 New Member

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    I've been a big fan of Zhangbucker pickups. My first set was a custom wound humbucker set for an LP (a Pagey II neck and a Duanebucker bridge, both with some minor tweaks to get exactly what I wanted). I contacted David, we talked tones, I sent a few youtube videos, referenced a few artists and told him what the guitar was. It took a while (he's a busy guy), but when I got them, I couldn't believe how perfectly he had nailed the sound I described. I mean he absolutely nailed what I heard and wanted. That is easily my favorite humbucker guitar, hands down. The tone is just spectacular!

    I've bought a couple of his sale pickups for a Tele and love them too! But, they were stuff he had already built, not custom wound for me.

    I have a '17 SE Santana (the yellow one with the knobs in the Core Santana location) and describe the pickups the same as yours... Generic. Not bad, but nothing special. But, instead of regular humbucker replacements, I went with HB sized P-90's. Again, I discussed what I wanted, and he wound me some custom pickups. I have them sitting in my workshop and hope to get to popping them into the guitar as soon as work slows down a touch for me. But, I am really excited to hear them!

    I have become truly enthralled with getting custom wound pickups. Working with a custom winder who know what they're doing, and can tweak things in the right direction, is really something special. The thing about Zhangbucker is his prices aren't ridiculous. About the same price as mass produced Seymour Duncans, actually... and cheaper than most big brand name pickups, like Gibsons. But, there are a pile of guys out there who do their little magic! I just really like David and Zhangbucker.
     
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  8. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I can +1 on the ZB pickups. I had David make a Pure Wound set (Pagey 2 and Brownbucker) for a Knaggs Kenai - Doug Rappoport guitar. Fantastic pick ups. I'd buy from him again, for sure.
     
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  9. C_corie

    C_corie New Member

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    So I made a quick test video, more for my new microphone/Shure interface; but I did use the Santana and for “vague high gain” it really doesn’t sound bad. I may keep it as is and tune it even lower.

     
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  10. Eddie kim

    Eddie kim New Member

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    I bet the Seth Lovers will sound sweeet.
     
  11. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Sounds pretty damn good
     
  12. JFairweather

    JFairweather New Member

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    Swapping out pickups and other elements have been popular since third party parts appeared in the mid-70s. Swapping pups on a Paul or Strat - no big deal, but I question the idea of taking a "Santana" guitar and turning it into something else.

    I saw one video review in which the kid says they'd like to swap the pups and wiring to make it sound like a PRS Custom SE. Why not just buy the actual guitar? It costs the same, and selling a Santana model that does not sound like a Santana model doesn't help the resale value.

    I went through the whole parts-swapping phase decades ago - the brass nut / bridge thing, this and that pickup, and so-on, and like so many rockers, after adding the pedals and such, I found myself sounding like everyone else (check out the ZZ Top gear video - BG uses a range of guitars but his tech uses a switcher and assortment of gear so that they all sound the same.

    For those who all want to sound like EVH or someone else, power to you. But if you want classic sounds, some times is makes better sense to leave things alone. Tone chasers often lose sight of the goal. Some of the greatest guitar work ever recorded had imperfect tone but it was the playing that made it great.

    I'm reminded by what Santana said a while back. It doesn't matter what guitar he plays, it can always be recognized as being him who is playing it.
     
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  13. aphantomvaper

    aphantomvaper New Member

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  14. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I'd go with your Seth Lovers or go for an SD Custom-Custom/59 mix. I used to use those almost exclusively in my Hamer, Jackson and ESP guitars. I could get pretty heavy and still have nice clean tones.
     
  15. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 New Member

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    Before you go down the replacement pickup rabbit hole may I suggest a magnet swap. G&B (who make the SE pickups) do a great job but skimp on the magnet quality. I've had loads of SE's including a "13" santana, I usually swap the neck magnet with a Alnico 3 & the bridge with a Unoriented Alnico 5. Magnets are dirt cheap and super easy to swap. My main suppliers are addiction-fx.com philadelphialuthiertools.com or www.cermagmagnets.co.uk

    An Alnico 3 humbucker in the neck position typically has a flute-like woody tone with plenty of clarity and allows the guitar’s character to come through quite nicely – I’ve personally noticed a P90-ish type of tone when used in the neck position. It works excellent as a bridge humbucker magnet as well when you’re looking for that vintage PAF tone on the cleaner side. This magnet in the bridge position can beef right up with slightly overwound coils for a warm compressed rock tone with a bit less edge than an Alnico 2 yet retain some shimmer on top giving a fairly 3D quality to the tone.

    Gibson use Alnico 3 in their Custom buckers

    Unoriented A5 The snap and tightness of an A5 with less of the hard attack and very bright top end (SE245 bridge are slightly overwound pickup so that helps too). Sounds like the middle ground between an A2 and A5, warm but with a little more treble than an A2, lots of dynamics, organic tones, medium output.

    Most magnets are oriented, which means the inner 'grain's in the metal have been magnitized and aligned in one direction when the metal was being formed, which makes a stronger magnet and a more uniform magnetic field. Unoriented magnets have random 'grain' and a more complex and varied magnetic field.

    This Unoriented A5 was the magnet grade specified by Seth Lover when he produced the first humbucker prototype for gibson during their 50's heyday. (unoriented are easier to produce therefore cheaper) They were also the magnet of choice for Tim Shaw when Gibson charged him with reproducing a "59" humbucker in the early 80's (i have Tim Shaw "59" in my 82 Gibson Spirit).

    I also use the Rough cast version of the above A5 magnet is a little bright.
    Polished magnets have a sharper high end. Roughcast magnets have a slightly smoother high end. Not a huge difference.

    http://www.addiction-fx.com/gallery1.htm

    https://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/bar-magnets/

    https://www.cermagmagnets.co.uk/guitar-pickup-magnets-11-c.asp
     
    #15 Fullmoon 1971, Aug 9, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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  16. NazgulUK

    NazgulUK Oops I did it again

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    I put Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers in my SE 245 - They are smoking hot!

    [​IMG]
     
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