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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I want to put some better pickups on the new LTD EC-256 that I just bought. I want to take advantage of a Carvin M22SD pickup that I put in my first guitar 20 years ago. This is a High Output humbucker pickup. My question is: what pickup do I put in the neck that keeps a coherence of sound and volume with the Carvin? I like to play hard rock and blues rock, and I love the sound of the EMG 81/85 pickups. I have done some research and I would like your advice.

For the neck:

-Bare Knuckle Cold Sweat
-Dimarzio d activator
-Bare Knuckle Black Hawk
-Bare Knuckle Aftermath
-EMG HZ4A (I have read that this is the passive version of the 85)
-Seymour Jazz model SH2N-4C BLK
-A modern version of an old Carvin C22N

I would be leaning towards (also for the price) the EMG HZ4A. What is your opinion?

Premium Member
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I have an M22SD at the bridge with the C22N at the neck. Back in the day (1991), I thought these were the paragon of humbuckers, but nowadays, and thousands of dollars later, they seem just "good enough" and the guitar sits until I want to use the locknut whammy. This is an all koa wood guitar, I don't know what you have.

Too bad I have no experience with the other pickups on your list. But I would cross off the C22N and look at the other ones.

Just a thought. The C22N is decent especially in single coil mode. If I already owned it or came by it easily, I would not hesitate to use it. But I would not go looking for it.


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