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Musicians! Good humbuckers for heavy blues rock? Mixing with P90's?

Alex Rocker

Paranormal Novice
I've had this Eastwood Guitars Airline 3P DLX for a while now which has it's stock 3 humbuckers... they sound alright, but the middle humbucker has started to crackle and has lost a lot of it's signal, probably just a wiring problem but either way I was considering changing the pickups in the guitar.

I play blues rock in a two-piece band with myself and a drummer... our style is like a mixture of old Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, Ash Grunwald, and Seasick Steve... with a bit of White Stripes somewhere in there too. I use this guitar in standard tuning and another Eastwood Guitars Airline Map with Seymour Duncan P-Rails humbuckers in half open G for slide work. I run these through a few effects (distortion, fuzz, delay, etc) into my Marshall 1959SLP plexi head and 4x12 cab.

I was considering putting some kind of blues humbuckers (Seymour Duncan SH-1 Vintage Blues?) in bridge and neck, mixed with a humbucker-sized P90 for the middle... Would this combination work well together for what I do? I'm after a warm tone, that can handle heavier distortions without sounding too muddy...
 

stonehart

Paranormal Adept
I've had this Eastwood Guitars Airline 3P DLX for a while now which has it's stock 3 humbuckers... they sound alright, but the middle humbucker has started to crackle and has lost a lot of it's signal, probably just a wiring problem but either way I was considering changing the pickups in the guitar.

I play blues rock in a two-piece band with myself and a drummer... our style is like a mixture of old Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, Ash Grunwald, and Seasick Steve... with a bit of White Stripes somewhere in there too. I use this guitar in standard tuning and another Eastwood Guitars Airline Map with Seymour Duncan P-Rails humbuckers in half open G for slide work. I run these through a few effects (distortion, fuzz, delay, etc) into my Marshall 1959SLP plexi head and 4x12 cab.

I was considering putting some kind of blues humbuckers (Seymour Duncan SH-1 Vintage Blues?) in bridge and neck, mixed with a humbucker-sized P90 for the middle... Would this combination work well together for what I do? I'm after a warm tone, that can handle heavier distortions without sounding too muddy...

Honestly the crackle in your pups will be dirty pots or just a lose wire and an easy fix, having said that this is what I am rolling these days.

For the show projects I play in I have a number of setups with the P90 being one of them (Les Paul setup), I also have a Les Paul with a DP100 in Bridge and a PAF DP103 in the Neck position, these are nice and gritty pups (use it on Pink Floyd Dogs) I got them a number of years ago and the 100 dates from the 1980s I think but I will need to ask my guitar tech to be a 100% sure... Anyway getting off the ramble these are great for lower or altered turnings as they seem to hold the tone well without getting all soggy.

The SH-1 pups are nice but you will want to match that with a good amp and the Marshall 1959SLP fits that well enough, I used to use a JCM800 but these days I am rolling with a 1959 Bassman combo (4x10).. just more easy on the road when I have to tour but you need to tame the tops as a typical Fender amp it has way more top than any human would ever need.

My other work horse guitars are all stratocasters and all but one have Active EMG looms in them because I need the guitar to be as 100% hum free during shows as possible (SA EMG).

Often I have found that it is not so much the pups that are the issue when trying to get a sound but the amp/pedal config so maybe play with that a bit before making the change... well it costs less that way.

My Gold Top Les Paul (59 custom shop reissue) I am not 100% sure as to what is in it but Gibson say they are historically accurate PAF, anyway I really should find out but it sounds really warm with that bite you expect from a 59 without the price tag as I am in no way rich enough to own an original 59 Gold Top LOL! They are very hot sounding pups so very much a 60's - 70's rock sound.
 

stonehart

Paranormal Adept
I was considering putting some kind of blues humbuckers (Seymour Duncan SH-1 Vintage Blues?) in bridge and neck, mixed with a humbucker-sized P90 for the middle... Would this combination work well together for what I do? I'm after a warm tone, that can handle heavier distortions without sounding too muddy...

Sorry I did not answer this, Muddy? yeah maybe but that all depends on how you sort your amp/pedal config as well and not just the pups.. SH-1 Vintage Blues are going to be in keeping with a 50's warm sound so if that is what you are after then go for it... Why I was saying you want a good amp to be driven by it.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I've had this Eastwood Guitars Airline 3P DLX for a while now which has it's stock 3 humbuckers... they sound alright, but the middle humbucker has started to crackle and has lost a lot of it's signal, probably just a wiring problem but either way I was considering changing the pickups in the guitar.

I play blues rock in a two-piece band with myself and a drummer... our style is like a mixture of old Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, Ash Grunwald, and Seasick Steve... with a bit of White Stripes somewhere in there too. I use this guitar in standard tuning and another Eastwood Guitars Airline Map with Seymour Duncan P-Rails humbuckers in half open G for slide work. I run these through a few effects (distortion, fuzz, delay, etc) into my Marshall 1959SLP plexi head and 4x12 cab.

I was considering putting some kind of blues humbuckers (Seymour Duncan SH-1 Vintage Blues?) in bridge and neck, mixed with a humbucker-sized P90 for the middle... Would this combination work well together for what I do? I'm after a warm tone, that can handle heavier distortions without sounding too muddy...
Got any YouTube videos? Post a link and I'll give them a like :cool:
For pickups: Home | DiMarzio | Guitar Pickups, Bass Pickups, Pedalboard Cables, Straps and more.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
@Alex Rocker to add: A stock 80s Era Gibson Les Paul / Marshall combination works really well as a foundation for "heavy blues rock". I know it's just basic, and that there are lots of other combinations that sound great too. Before that it was a modified solid maple Les Paul copy with DiMarzio dual sounds plugged into stereo Roland JC-120s. Everyone has a resonance of their own that works in harmony with their instrument of choice. That is what becomes their "signature sound". Hey, upload a song or two for us if you want. There are a couple of other musicians straggling around here too, right @stonehart ??☀️
 
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stonehart

Paranormal Adept
@Alex Rocker to add: A stock 80s Era Gibson Les Paul / Marshall combination works really well as a foundation for "heavy blues rock". I know it's just basic, and that there are lots of other combinations that sound great too. Before that it was a modified solid maple Les Paul copy with DiMarzio dual sounds plugged into stereo Roland JC-120s. Everyone has a resonance of their own that works in harmony with their instrument of choice. That is what becomes their "signature sound". Hey, upload a song or two for us if you want. There are a couple of other musicians straggling around here too, right @stonehart ??☀️

Roland JC-120 Jazz chorus, classic combo just there and man it has been a long time since I messed around with one... honestly I think the last time would be over ten years ago and it was for a crazy short film we were doing a psychedelic sort of thing for.

The rig these days is a Helix and a Fender Bassman 59 plus some other gear in the send return loop.. vintage cry baby, Rolland D3000 and a few other tricks mainly for the Pink Floyd show.

Really if I am just going to jam I use an old 90's Big Muff and maybe a turbo over drive and that would be about it.
 

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