More power/modern metal esp ltd ec-1000t alnico proii

    I have a beatiful full thickness (A basic les paul standard) ESP LTD EC-1000T, 22 jumbo frets, mahogany body and neck, flamed maple top, rosewood fretboard.

    This guitar came with SD alnico pro II set, vey good sound, balanced and nice tone, but I am into more modern metal (evergrey band as reference) and I want more power, my tuning is drop C, I was thinking in actives but I think would kill the wood capabilities and the tone of this guitar.

    My gear is a peavey 5150 scrip logo head tru a mesa 4x12 cabinet, basically the lead chanel, no boost, only guitar and amp. I appreciate recommendations for this beauty.

    • NeedsMoreBlueBell

      If you want the active sound but want your wood's tone to also shine through, DiMarzio D-activators. They're also just good sounding pickups for metal. Very powerful and tight sounding. They'll also work perfectly in your EC, since they're pretty much made for Mahogany.

      And if you don't like the sound of DiMarzio's, I'd also grab the Duncan Distortions.

    • deus ex machina

      The guitarists from Evergrey use EMG's themselves, AFAIK.

      The EC-1000 is more than likely great, but the dudes from Evergrey use custom shop Caparisons (IIRC) with probably awesome quality wood/construction, and actives don't seem to "kill the wood capabilities and the tone of those guitars" for them.

      It's alright if the EMG tone isn't your thing, but to think that EMG's don let the "wood tone to shine through" is definitely a misconception.

      If you want an Evergrey kinda tone, EMG's would seem like the way to go. That being said tho, EMG's or actives in general are not the only pickups that can get you a modern metal sound.


      • GUAMAIK

        Its funny cause I am a active fan =P, I have the regular EC-1000 VB with EMG and roars and I love it with my 5150, I have another guitar schecter C1 hellraiser Tone pros, but is the opposite to this guitar and is pretty dark and scooped, I was wondering if some passives will do something different or better than EMG 81/60 I used to have cause this guitar construction (full thickness/22frets maple top) and your expereince.

        Actives are in my choice as well but in this case I am including passives in the list beacuse this guitar came with passives SD alnico proII and I dont have to much expereince with passive pickups. I owned a pair of gibsons (explorer gothic and Fly V) with 500T, in some manner great but a little harsh, trebly and noisy some times.

        In my personal experience I think EMG especially the 81 in the bridge position suite better for mahogany guitars than alder guitars. I also have a SD AHB3 set installed in an Ibanez mahogany body and sounds awesome.

        I appreciate your recommendations based in your experience.

    • deus ex machina

      Oh! My bad, then. :P

      You might find this useful:


      • GUAMAIK

        Awesome video, I liked the custom sh5, sh6 and alt8 , I was surprised with JB in Drop Bb sounds great, I had this pickup before and I felt was gritty and without too much bottom. I wonder if I can base my chosing in this video, anyone with pasives PUp´s in a lespaul standard or EC-1000 maple top experience?

    • NeedsMoreBlueBell

      You could always try Duncan Blackouts AHB-2's or get an EMG 85X and 60X. 85's aren't scooped like 81's and the X-series would give you a bit more "passiveness" for lack of a better word. :P

      And for the Duncans, the AHB-2's are mid-heavy compared to the AHB-1's, so you may like them more. I've never tried them, but I've heard people describe them as extremely high-output passive pickups.

      • GUAMAIK

        Well I already tested the AHB2 in an alder guitar (ESP Horizon FR 1997), an was too much loud even with the jumper mode, too much loud, i tried different heights but never found equilibrium, despite any clean boost in front of the amp with the ahb2, impossible to get any clean from them. that was my experience. Because the Eq in the AHB suite better for lighter/bright woods.

        I was very pleasant with my ahb3 in a mahogany Ibanez prestige guitar.

        I also had a ahb1 in an all mahogany flying V and the sound was very tight but a little dark for my tastes, no a big deal, but to much better than 81s.

    • deus ex machina

      My Ibanez SZ has a thick mahogany body, maple top, mahogany neck and rosewood board, and TOM-style bridge, so, technically, it's not THAT different far off from the LP kinda tone.

      My experience (if you're interested): I've tried a bunch of different pickups in it. Mostly EMG's:

      EMG 85 in the bridge was cool for a while, but I always felt it lacked a little attack. Still one of my favorites. Pretty chunky yet still tighter than most passives I can think of, tho. Very nice, creamy mids too.

      EMG 85 in the neck I felt was pure fucking mud. Don't dig this at all in this guitar. MAYBE it would work if you had an 85 in the bridge as well, but otherwise, not my thing.

      EMG 81 in the bridge was cool, but since you want some variety...

      EMG 81 in the neck was cool for leads. It was very cutting yet smooth. Kinda weak cleans, tho.

      EMG 60 in the bridge I found too bright. Wasn't my thing but it was... different.

      EMG 60 in the neck is my favorite for this position. Not as smooth and focused as the 81 for leads, but still very useable voicing. Great for shimmering, almost hi-fi cleans.

      EMG 81TW in the bridge is my favorite for this position. Slightly lower output than the regular 81, slightly less highs and more lows, but not to such extremes as the 85. PERFECT for me, plus the single coil mode is very nice and bright.

      EMG 81TW in the neck is alright. Not as nice as the regular 81 for leads. The single coil mode doesn't work as well in the neck position because it's facing the bridge rather than the neck.

      I also had a DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge before switching to actives. Good pickup. Pretty saturated-feeling. More low-end and low-mids than the 85, yet still more high-end, so it wasn't really muddy... As long as you don't tune the guitar lower than E Standard or Drop D, IMO.

    • NeedsMoreBlueBell

      If all else fails, I say go for the EMGs But if I were you, I'd get BKP Black Hawks, since they go for an active sound in passive form, if you want a passive BKP.

    • deus ex machina

      I'd love to try the Miracle Mans too!

      Those are meant to sound kinda like BKP's take on the ZW set, right?

    • NeedsMoreBlueBell

      Looks like it. Has a mid scoop and a treble boost, which the EMG 81 is known for, and the neck pickup has an Alnico V magnet like the 85.

      Judging by what the EQ chart shows, it looks like it would slay in mahogany. And since Zakk Wylde used a fucking huge slab of Mahogany, sounds like it would fit well in the EC-1000T.

    • deus ex machina

      Each to his own, I guess, but you call the 81 scooped?!

      It's not exactly all honk in the mids like the JB, true, but I think ALL of the 81's power is in the high-mids and low-treble parts of the spectrum, personally.

      • GUAMAIK

        Well guys I have to share this, I regulary use my EC´s in the 5150 boosted in one of my bands, and my alder guitars with EMG-81 installed for the death metal technical stuff( My SVII will have the warpigs set installed by next week).

        For some reason I changed the other night in my death band reharsal and used my ec-1000 with 81/60 in my marshall JCM-800 2203KK to test and my felling was I was playing another guitar, too much scooped and dull sound a way different than my 5150 does, and the EMG-81 in my alder neck tru guitar reacts a way different in the JCM. In my 5150 the EC is more bassy but eq solves this easily and sounds great, the SV sounds pretty good in boot amps.

        The matter of the equation: wood, pickups, amp, cabinet shines here, I will continue testing and that makes me crazy thinking in removing the 81s in My EC-1000 VB too.

        Another proof actives doesn´t sound the same in diferent guitars.