During my vacation it suddenly dawned on me what I should do to reinvigorate my guitars – new pickups of course! Both the Cort and the Ibanez have been equipped with stock pickups all along. I started with the Cort since it presumably has the worst pickups. It’s also the one I’m tuning down so it sounds particularly dull and undistinct.
I started browsing on the Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan sites and found a few candidates. A lot of people on forums advocate Tone Zone, but I quickly realized it has too much bass for my taste. I got a lot of suggestions, the best one was to go to my guitar teacher’s and try out the pickups in his guitars.
After some testing we arrived at the conclusion that a Duncan Custom would probably be a good fit. Just to test though he lent me a D-Activator. The D-Activator is constructed to emulate an active pickup (with a battery) like and EMG 81. Pretty much as expected it felt too undynamic and scooped…
So I got a Duncan Custom and fitted into the Cort – damn it sounds good! The tone is so much more open (or what you might call it) with more defined mids and treble without being whiny, and a lot of more output than the stock pickup. A really good advantage is that with higher output I can dial down the gain on the POD, which reduces the unfortunate synthetic missounds that can come out of a POD sometimes. The sound is much more organic and “analog”.
The only drawback is that the Ibanez suddenly sounds really bad… I think I have to get another Duncan Custom. I also have to switch out the neck pickup on the Cort, it doesn’t look so good with one covered pickup and one open.