• Josh in NJ

    Anybody else find the D-Activator to be too dark/muddy in Mahogany???

    Hey guys.

    I got one of the LTD AW-7's and am having the damnedest issue with tonality from it. I find that the guitar is excessively dark, almost muddy sounding with the D-Activators in it. I have also played others' guitars (one buddy had an Ibanez S7320 he tried the DA7's in, another had a mahogany bodied RG7 with the DA7's...) and they too find the DA to be too dark in Mahogany.

    With this being said, I've tried replacing the pots with the 1 Meg ohms, and while it did brighten it up some, I am now finding it to be noisy. I'm not meaning noisy as in excess scraching/hissing/buzzing noise, but I mean that when palm muting or doing stoppy stuff like Fear Factory's "Demanufacture", there's a lot more string noise and it's not anywhere near as quiet as my other guitars with actives in them.

    So now, I'm really aggrivated and disgusted with the DA7's that are in it, and am looking for some recommendations and some insight about other possible pickups I can use in this thing to brighten it up and not be so damn noisy.
    *Considering the Duncan Distortion 7 set: but am waiting to see if Duncan winds up releasing more color options other than black - would like either a flat black like the Dimarzio's to match the pickguard, or a black and red zebra bobbins to match the black and red color scheme of the guitar. I'm also concerned about the noise issue with these as well...
    *Considering the Duncan Phase 1 EMTY Blackouts: But again, waiting to see what new stuff comes out from both Duncan and EMG for next year for new 7 and 8-string pickups before jumping into anything solid. So if EMG finally releases a passive sized 7-string pickup, I may go with these if they are close to or the same size as the Phase 1 Blackouts.

    As much as I wanted to try and keep a really good set of passives in this guitar, it looks as though I may wind up putting actives in this one also. I really wanted to try and keep the looks and appearance of a Strat 7 along with a more traditional passive humbucker equipped Strat tonality. Plus, my EC407 has the EMG 707TW's in it, so I wanted the AW-7 to rival the active equipped Eclipse 7.

    So is there anyone else who finds the DA's to be too dark in mahogany? What would be a better set of pickups to try and use is this thing? And please DO NOT recommend Bareknuckles or Lundgrens - I am not going to spend more than $200 on a set of pickups I've never heard in person and don't have any kind of warranty in the US. I'm looking to stay with passive if possible, but active is an option.

    Thanks guys!

    • Road King

      I would imagine that mahogany + 7-string would sound dark. Maybe try some brighter sounding strings until you can find some brighter pickups. Adjusting your EQ settings might help.

    • NeedsMoreBlueBell

      Try the D-activator neck in the bridge. Also look at the Duncan EMTY 7

      Or wait until NAMM. I'm hearing word they're finally announcing passive-sized EMGs for 7 and 8 strings.

    • Geetarguy70

      I've heard tone is in the hands and it doesn't matter what kind of amp or effects or pick ups you have. That's what I'm told

      • Josh in NJ

        I would imagine that mahogany + 7-string would sound dark. Maybe try some brighter sounding strings until you can find some brighter pickups. Adjusting your EQ settings might help.

        I was gonna try the D'Addario ProSteel series strings, but I don't think the strings would help when the tonality of the guitar itself is this dark. And as for trying to EQ the amp, I've tried EQ'ing everything I possibly could on my Line 6 Vetta head and no matter what I do, it's still dark.

        Try the D-activator neck in the bridge. Also look at the Duncan EMTY 7

        Or wait until NAMM. I'm hearing word they're finally announcing passive-sized EMGs for 7 and 8 strings.

        I was told to try this, putting the DA neck in the bridge. It's supposed to be a lot better. I think I'll try it tomorrow when I get home from work and see.

        And I am considering the EMTY Blackouts for it - that is, unless these supposed passive sized EMG's are colser in size to the Phase 1 Blackouts and NOT the size of a metal covered Bareknuckle... I'm trying to not modify the wood or the pickguard if I absolutely don't have to... I sent an email to James @ EMG trying to inquire about these as I'd rather have the EMG's. I may just grab a set of the EMTY Blackouts just because and try them for comparison.

        I've heard tone is in the hands and it doesn't matter what kind of amp or effects or pick ups you have. That's what I'm told

        Is that really what you believe??? I'm not a believer in that. Granted, the hands do all the work that relate the skill. But it's the guitar, pickups, strings, amp, cabinets and everything else that translates the specifics in tonality.


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