H-S-H pickup suggestions


Nerd on the Prairie
The stock pickups in my 1984 Electra Westone X189 are not wax potted and are microphonic.

What are some suggestions for replacements? From what I have read the Humbuckers are identical and are very similar to a Duncan Distortion Neck and the middle pickup is made from one of the coils from the humbuckers.

I’m eyeballing a Steve Vai Evolution set, but I’m curious if any of you know of diamonds in the rough or an oddball mix and match that sound good together.

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Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
I've had great results with Irongear pickups. I had a Blues Engine in the neck and a Dirty Torque in the bridge of my ML-2, that was a great paring for rock. The Irongear Tesla Shark set (their version of the Slash signature pickups) are really good too. I've never tried their single coils.

They also cost about half the price of Duncans etc.


Nerd on the Prairie
@Wade Garrett I was looking at those, but didn’t know which single to pair with them. I don’t think I’d go with the Slash set as I already have a couple guitars with lower output humbuckers. Looking to maybe keep this a hard rocker.

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Effervescent quality
I'll never not recommend the DiMarzio True Velvet for the middle position. As for the 'buckers, you can't go wrong with the SD JB and '59 combo. (Can't speak for the Stag Mag, having never used one - though isn't that the one that's designed more to have a better split sound, rather than a humbucker tone?)

Lower budget wise, I'd go for an IronGear Hot Slag/Rolling Mill combo, both of which sound great. As far as their single coils go, I've only tried the Pig Iron, but I really didn't like it. Very bright, brittle sound.


Subtly not giving a F*ck
I've had Evolutions in a Charvel Superstrat. They were...meh. I'll try to describe sound best I can. The neck pickup was kind of dark, too round, closed sounding. Almost like you dialed back your tone knob. For higher up lead playing it sounds great, but for everything else, clean or driven it's just meh. The bridge pickup is decent, but it lacks balls. The single coil is nothing special.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this quite the bright guitar. In my own bright hardrocker guitar I put a Bareknuckle Holy Diver. It even cleans up nice on the bridge position. Best pickup for bright superstrats ever. I'd go that way. Or something similar in specs if you want to go cheaper.

Where's Robstafarian when you need him....


Nerd on the Prairie
Well, I’ve decided to try my hand at wax potting the stock pickups. I’m suffering option paralysis and an aversion to spending $200 on pickups I might not like.

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Nerd on the Prairie
And it’s done! What a nightmare to wire and remember how to put it back with 3 push pull and each pickup has a different # of wires.

Less bright, maybe a touch less output. Nothing scientific. But it sound good enough for me.

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