1. avatar dommccann
    ok..... ihave a prs santana se. its about 5 years old and i love it, but ive neved been happy with the pickups. they are stock prs humbuckers in the neck and bridge position. i mainly play rock, classic stuff and occasionly a bit of metal. could anyone recommend some humbuckers for me. preferrably something under 120 for the pair.
  2. avatar Sadoldgit

    I`ve rodded two guitars cheaply recently , one with Kent Armstrong 15k Alnico`s [as gutsy as you will get a passive PUP] and the other with Toneriders.

    The Kents were under 50 quid delivered from an Ebay seller, Roberts Guitars, but are about 38 quid a piece from most other sellers.
    Brilliant pickups for rock and metal.

    The Toneriders are also good..not quite as thick as the Kents [the kents have huge bottom end] and a little more bluesy [they are the high output alnico`s with nickel covers.

    Both brands produce pickups that get consistently excellent reviews from users, and seem to be as good at the more expensive stuff.
  3. avatar stevie j
    Any bareknuckle pickups.

    They are probably the best pickups I've heard
  4. avatar unplugged
    played everything. from bareknuckle to dimarzio to duncan

    go to tonerider website and listen to both sound samples of their GENERATOR humbucker set. they will blow your mind.

    and at 65 for both its a steal. the greatness of their tone cannot be charted
  5. avatar The Dark One
    Have to echo the Bare Knuckle talk.

    My bro is much more of a guitar spanner than me and he swears by them.

    He put a BK Warpig in an Epiphone for me and its a flight of tonal fantasy. Awesome pickup.

    You can email them to ask for a specific sound.

    www.harmonycentral.com has top reviews of their range.
  6. avatar Sadoldgit
    Bareknuckles certainly get brilliant reviews, but they are very, very expensive and at 90 to 200 each are a wee bit out of the range of the poster.

    I have to say Kent Armstrongs are excellent , and at around 40 quid each, are great VFM.

    I have put these in two guitars, and have to say they blew me away.


    Tonerider generators are also excellent [also stuck those in a mahogany body , set neck LP copy ]

    Great rock/metal pickup, but I prefer the thicker, creamier sound of the Kents.
    The toneriders are an angrier pickup in the bridge position.
  7. avatar Sadoldgit
    here`s a thought.....you could stick a bareknuckle in whatever postion you favour - neck/bridge , and then a cheaper one like a tone rider in the other position..
  8. avatar DontPetABurningDog
    There's no BK humbucker costing 200 quid. That's just plain silly.
  9. avatar stevie j
    Its 200-ish for a matched pair of humbuckers.
  10. avatar DontPetABurningDog
    Yep. 200 quid for a pair isn't 200 each. It's half as much.
  11. avatar Cugel
    [quote:f7e35e9f52="DontPetABurningDog"]Yep. 200 quid for a pair isn't 200 each. It's half as much.[/quote:f7e35e9f52]

    It's still 80 more than the OP's budget. Even buying one BK and a cheaper pup for the other position will stretch the budget.

    In all honesty, are there any purchasers of cheaper pups who wouldn't change them out if someone offered them their choice of Bare Knuckles/Seymours/whatever?
  12. avatar unplugged

    i had Seymour JB in bridge and pearly gates neck and the generator set slays them.

    i dont care but no pickup costs that much to make. regardless of the thought that went in and materials its still a magnet with copper wire.

    60 a set if it gets you great tone is saved and tone not sacrificed.

    i do own a bareknuckle irish tour single coil set in my strat but only as i got them for 70 for 3 s/hand

    i give them their dues though they do sound great but prob no greater than the tonerider classic blues set in my other jap squier


    again tone is different to everyones ear, if that wasnt the case there would only be 1 pickup.

    however i aint saying cheap pickups are better i just personally adore what tonerider offer for half the cost. they are def top notch pickups in my book and are recieving rave reviews

    if you find generators too harsh the rock song set is prob what you are after. but the generators are alnico and still offer useable smooth clean sounds when the gain is backed off.
  13. avatar Sadoldgit
    if you look on the BK site, they are upto 230 for a matched pair with p an p.

    Pretty steep , and it does appear out of the OP`s budget, hence why I suggested replacing one with a BK.
    If you are bridge playing metal guitarist, you could stick your expensive BK in the bridge , and a nice bluesey tonerider in the neck position.
  14. avatar unplugged
    you could yes

    but my point is why would you when the toneriders sound excellent are are pair matched to each other.

    i was a pickup purist once too until i found the difference between cheap and inexpensive

    to give the guy a guide, with my les paul loaded with zebra generators thru a marshall JCM2000 all i can say is a hard edged Thin Lizzy sound.

    thats the tone i had to my ears.
  15. avatar thecomeons_2
    check the gordon-smith website. their pickups are class. or check ebay for 2nd hand seymour duncans.
  16. avatar DontPetABurningDog
    As a rule, though, I wouldn't touch DiMarzio's these days.

    Still, useful questions. What amp/pedals are you playing into, and what does the present setup lack/have too much of? Any rough idea of the sound(s) you're aiming for? Otherwise, it's kinda shooting in the dark.
  17. avatar Sadoldgit
    it is a helluva lot of fun to change pickups and enliven an old instrument.
    I suppose the better budget brands such as tonerider and Kent Armstrong have in their favour that if you do make a mistake, it hasnt cost you an arm and a leg.
  18. avatar Sadoldgit

    The WPUJB 15 k alnicos are the ones I bought - also known as HRO1A`s.

    Nice balance between high output but keeping that bluesy sound at lower gain, and creamy tone at high gain.

    This is a dscout of about 15-20 quid over the main on line seller , but they do come with no plastic surrounds .
    The seller is reliable also.
  19. avatar dommccann
    thanks for all the help guys, ive already placed an order. ive decided to buy a matching pair of Tonerider Generators (bridge and neck). just under 50 for the two delivered and all. for that price......does it really matter even if they are bad. but from the reviews theyve got, im quite hopeful.
    thanks to you all.

  20. avatar unplugged
    personally, you have just ordered the best sounding humbucker set i have heard in 20 yrs of playing.

    they DO sound like the demos
  21. avatar Setzer
    Dom Im also looking for a set of pups for my Les Paul and I have read all the opinions on here with great interest.

    I dont really want to shell out the cash for the Bareknuckles so I am very interested in the Toneriders that you have bought.

    Any chance when you get them you can post your opinion of them or even send me a pm?
  22. avatar unplugged
    i had them in a tokai std LP and they sounded ace. i doubted them but once i heard them it was night and day.different guitar.
  23. avatar dommccann
    [quote:cf341a9d53="Setzer"]Dom Im also looking for a set of pups for my Les Paul and I have read all the opinions on here with great interest.

    I dont really want to shell out the cash for the Bareknuckles so I am very interested in the Toneriders that you have bought.

    Any chance when you get them you can post your opinion of them or even send me a pm?[/quote:cf341a9d53]

    no problem. i'm looking forward to getting them stuck in there. and once they are, i'll tell the world. :smt035
  24. avatar dommccann
    ok, so, the toneriders arrived, undamaged, each marked neck and bridge (along with the most pathetic set of wiring instructions ive ever seen - 2 sentences.... one for replacing les paul style humbuckers and one for replacing those in a strat with 5 way selector switch). since i have a prs neither set was good for me. i had 2 make do with trial and error following both installation techniques (as closely as i could) along with trying to recreate the original prs humbucker wiring. needles to say i got there in the end...... and was it worth it?!?!?!

    Fecking right it was. These pups are absolutely amazing. trebles are clear and bright, bass and mid is well rounded and warm. the responsiveness from there two doozies is perfect. they are hot to trot kids.

    10/10 for value and sound. under 50 quid for the pair. if you want some knew buckers..... tonerider generators are the dogs ballicks!
  25. avatar Setzer
    Thanks for the heads up on the Toneriders.

    They really do sound like great value for money.

    I think I will order myself a set.
  26. avatar unplugged

    bare knuckle are good but overpriced. toneriders are every bit as good in fact i prefer them, always have.

    i would also check out toneriders strat and tele pickups for you fender lovers. i have a classic blues set which would stun you. set of 3 = 80

    Be aware setzer that they are also available in zebra at no extra cost :)
  27. avatar dommccann
    [quote:5ed3b8f906="Setzer"]Thanks for the heads up on the Toneriders.

    They really do sound like great value for money.

    I think I will order myself a set.[/quote:5ed3b8f906]

    i personally guarantee* that you'll love them

    [size=7:5ed3b8f906][i:5ed3b8f906]*not a guarantee :lol: [/i:5ed3b8f906][/size:5ed3b8f906]
  28. avatar Setzer
    I must admit I am looking forward to hearing them,hopefully they will add to my Les Paul what it has been missing.

    A set of zebras will look so good,I think the amber flame on my guitar was made for a set.

    I am leaning towards the generators as I play mostly instrumental stuff along the lines of Satriani,would you guys think the generators would be the set for me?
  29. avatar dommccann
    ive been playing everything from blues to metal with these generators, and as long as you have a decent amp, you could play whatever you want. satch sound will be grand i think.
  30. avatar donkeymagician
    you people are all forgetting something...

    pickups only amplify what the wood is doing. If this guy has a crap guitar, its still gonna sound crap no matter what he puts in. As well, humbuckers are gonna react compltely differently depending on the guitar they are in, so those toneriders that unplugged is raving about, or the BK's a lot of people seem to like, will prob sound different in his guitar than in yours. Basic principle ive learned is that start with the wood first and work around it. And ive tried tons of pickups.
  31. avatar Recycled Alien
    Upgrading the wood in your guitar is hardly an option though, is it?

    I'd have thought that new, better pickups for 50 is a good, value-for-money investment, particularly for a budget or medium-range guitar.
  32. avatar unplugged
    there is a cartain degree of wankery with the wood thing.

    yes its true to a degree but aidy from soundstones main guitar is a 120 westfield les paul with decent upgraded pickups in it and it sounds killer.

    i couldnt believe my eyes and ears when i seen what he was playing.

    if a guitar was made of ply or MDF maybe but generally any guitar be it budget that has a half decent tonewood then it will be fine. what is more likely to lower the quality of the new pickups is cheap electronics ie; pots and caps etc...

    i mean ibanez decided to use one of the cheapest woods around for their entire RG series - basswood. a good tonewood but its cheap as hell.
  33. avatar dommccann
    ok, so i can only go by what ive experienced. my prs is solid mahogany heavy bastard....... and sounds amazing with these pickups. my old pickups were standard prs humbuckers and sounded shite....in this case, i believe it to be the pups making the difference.
  34. avatar donkeymagician
    yeah i understand that, but if you get 2 different guitars with diff wood and put the same pickups and plug them into to the same amp with the same settings they will sound very different. To quote steve vai, guitars are very temperamental, even the pickguard changes the sound(if your ears are good enough to notice) which is why i suggest he tries pickups in HIS guitar, rather than us telling him what sounds good in our guitars
  35. avatar Sadoldgit
    Whilst most of us would love to own a high end Gibson Les Paul with all the bells and whistles, many cant simply afford or justify it.

    I had an interesting experience last night.
    My son`s band played with 3 other bands , and he was the only guitarist who brought an amp [or should I say dad was as its usually left to the old git to lug the gear]

    We had a Jackson, Tokai Les Paul copy, lovely Gibson Les Paul custom and his little LP copy with the Kent Armstrongs and some upgraded electrics in it.
    At the end, the lead guitarist from bandwagon commented on the killer tone from my sons guitar.

    What I tried to do was simple..knowing the sound he is looking for, match the guitar set up and amp set up to give him his "tone"

    Everyone`s tone is different, and whilst one pickup may suit one guitarist, it might not be the right thing for another.
    I do think however it is very useful for those on a budget to hear of good gear that can make a difference to their sound for not a lot of cash.
    His guitar is solid mahogany with a set maple neck, so isnt too far removed from the real thing.
    I did however stick a set in a cheap flying V with a bolt on neck, and TBH , it sounds nearly as good as the Les Paul copy.
    Its not about spending money, its about knowing what you want and spending wisely without worrying about badge snobbery...time for that when you make a load of money!
  36. avatar Setzer
    I asked for a bit of info as to the sound of the pups as the guitars that have the toneriders in them are very close to my guitar.

    FWIW the guitar I am interested in putting the toneriders in is a Les Paul Supreme and Im playing it through a Mesa/Boogie.I dont like the pups in the Gibson and I begrudge spending an awful lot of money on pups because as Unplugged said previously they are all made out of basically the same materials.

    Plus I dont want to get the same pups as virtually everyone else is using,I fancy trying something different and at the price of the toneriders I can afford to take a punt on them.

    I have a few other quality guitars with the usual Seymour/DiMarzio pups in them so I would like to go for something less mainstream for a change.
  37. avatar Sadoldgit

    Have a look at the descriptions on their website, plus the technical info re the pups.
    There is a difference in the alnico or ceramic magnets - the alnicos tend to be thicker - more vintage like tones, the ceramics are possibly a little brighter [some might say harsher]

    Also outputs - the higher output ones are better for high gain applications such as metal or rock, but the nickel covered high output toneriders we used are also creamy bluesy sounding beasts at low gain settings.

    If you mostly do cleans, or crunch rather than full on balls to the wall distortion, and like a thicker, more classic sound, I would strongly recommend the lower gain alnicos.

    Their matched sets are well chosen, with the bridge tending to be hotter for lead work.
  38. avatar dommccann
    the nickel covered high output toneriders we used are also creamy bluesy sounding beasts at low gain settings.

    Their matched sets are well chosen, with the bridge tending to be hotter for lead work.[/quote:15c30b96c0]

    couldn't agree more.... ive just discovered the sexiest blues tone with almost no gain, very reminiscent of clapt's "woman" tone. aural sex anyone?
  39. avatar Setzer
    What I pretty much want is a good modern lead tone with a good bit of gain on tap and a decent crunch rhythm sound.I would like good cleans too and the only way to get great cleans is to have a single coil and the Toneriders will be coil tappable so that should do the trick whereas the Gibson pups arent coil tappable since they are 2 conductor.

    The last thing I want out of a pup is for the "Metallica" type scooped sound.
    I want a lead sound with clarity and none of the muddiness that a lot of metal guitarists like so much so individual notes can be heard,nothing like the typical shredder lead sound.

    I had a listen to the clips on the Tonerider site and like the lead sound of the Rock Song more than the Generators now,as I mentioned before I also like the idea of something a bit different.

    So I think I have narrowed it down to Tonerider or Kent Armstrong.

    Anyone have any view over which would be the better pickup as I can get either for basically the same price.
  40. avatar unplugged
    the generators sound just as good with gain down. smooth sounds. ala gary mooore

    i have a set of rock songs but they are lower in output and chunk and i def think generators can so same thing when gain is backed off. go with them
  41. avatar Setzer
    That is something I had wondered about.

    I like playing with the volume rolled off a bit so I have a bit of gain to spare when I need it.

    Looks like the Generators then.

    Thanks again Ryan.
  42. avatar unplugged
    def setzer

    i used em with volume usually at about 6 on my les for a lizzy/clapton esque rythym

    when cranked to 9 or 10 youll get a blistering solo lead

    i was using a tokai les paul thru a marshall jcm2000

    using these pickups made me sell every effects pedal i was previously using.

    generators are not harsh. and can def be tamed to less gain than the sound samples still retaining warmth.
  43. avatar brazomc
    well my favs are seymore duncan alnico pro 2 pickups
    thats what slash uses in his les paul and gibson use them
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