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  #1  
Old 02.04.12, 2:31 AM
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jshape is an unknown quantity at this point
Tone Zone vs. SD Custom Custom

I'm putting together a Strat, "Frankenstein"-style guitar. SSH configuration (though I'm thinking of putting a Hot Rail in the neck). I'm trying to make up my mind on the humbucker for the bridge. I've already got the Tone Zone, but have never installed it so I'm not sure what it sounds like. After reading a little about it, I'm having some second thoughts about using it for this project because some say the Tone Zone can be a little on the bass-y side and that it doesn't have the harmonic response of some of its high-output contemporaries (like the SD Custom Custom). Like a lot of players, I'm wanting to get some of that early EVH "Brown-sound" out of this guitar, so harmonics and high-gain note clarity are a must. I've heard that that sound is right up the Custom Custom's alley. So I've been thinking of picking up one of those for this guitar and throwing the Tone Zone in the bridge of my knock-off LP instead.

Per my wife, I'm on a pretty limited budget for this project. I'm not very strong with soldering, so I'll have to get them professionally installed. So I want to be happy with my first choice to avoid paying for multiple pick-up swaps and allocate those funds for other bells and whistles. So my question for y'all is, which direction should I go? Is the Tone Zone going to do the job, or is it worth it to shell out some extra for the Custom Custom and bask in Brown-sound glory? Or, I'd definitely be open to hearing ideas on cheaper, lesser known alternatives. For instance, I've heard great things about Dragonfire Screamers.

Here's what the single path will look like:
Custom Strat Guitar - Crybaby 535 - Boss ME-70 (w/amp modeling) - TS-9 - Boss Super Chorus - Tuner - Fender Blues Deluxe Amp

I might add also that I'm planning to have the humbucker coil-split, and would like to be able to combine the split tone with the middle single-coil to get the signature 2nd-position Strat twang. So if anyone is familiar with how any of these buckers sound split, that might be an influencing factor. Guitar body is alder, neck is maple w/rosewood fingerboard, and a Floyd Rose II in the trem. (Eventually I'll install Graph Tech Ghost piezo-equipped saddles and pre-amp system so I can go acoustic!)

Thanks for helping with my dream axe, dudes! Let the debate begin....
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  #2  
Old 02.04.12, 3:39 AM
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keksdose is an unknown quantity at this point
Can't help on the pick-up issue but soldering is easy to learn. Might save you some money for other things. Every know and then tips and tricks on soldering show up here. It might be worth searching the forum before deciding to spend money on having someone else doing the job.
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  #3  
Old 02.04.12, 4:09 AM
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jshape is an unknown quantity at this point
I've thought about working on my soldering skills to help with other pick-up swaps, but the wiring is going to get pretty complicated for this project. I plan to have a switch that splits both the bridge and neck humbuckers, as well as individual on/off switches for each pick-up. I think it's going to be too complicated for my soldering skills and electronics knowledge, both of which are pretty much non-existent.
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  #4  
Old 02.04.12, 11:10 AM
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id say try the tone zone and see if you cant dial a tone you like out of it. and maybe look up some reviews on youtube too.
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  #5  
Old 02.04.12, 12:52 PM
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jshape is an unknown quantity at this point
I've watched tons of youtube video for both pick-ups, which is why I started leaning toward the Custom Custom. It just seems to produce clearer highs and a more harmonic distortion. I mainly started this thread to try and see if there a lot of big fans of the Tone Zone out there who could attest to their experiences with it and make a good case for me to use it instead. And also to see what kinds of things people have to say about the Custom Custom, but also provide input about other great pick-ups out there. It's pretty tough to make judgements just from youtube videos, where there's so many other factors effecting the tone besides just the pick-up.
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  #6  
Old 02.04.12, 1:15 PM
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keksdose is an unknown quantity at this point
have you tried to "calibrate" your ears?? I always find it helpful to listen to gear I know by heart first to see how it reproduces on youtube. With that in mind it's easier for me to imagine how unknown gear sound "in reality". Hope that helps with your choice.
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  #7  
Old 02.05.12, 12:26 AM
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You've also got to bear in mind that they're using a different rig than you so the pickup may sound great in your rig but not theirs or vice versa. So try. The tone zone since you already have it and if it doesn't feel/sound right go for the custom custom
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Hamer Sat2 or Jackson JRR-94 Rhoads>Laney gc80a or hc25(practice).

Hamer(standard tuning) Ernie ball Slinkies
Alvarez Dana Scoop (standard tuning) D'adarrio 10's
LTD EC200qxm (standard tuning) EB Slinkies
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerebro911 View Post
No love for vintage strings? Let me guess, you play EMGs into a Line 6 and think Jim Root is better than Jimi Hendrix.
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