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Thread: A Tale of Two Angels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    A Tale of Two Angels

    Hello All,

    I'm hoping you wouldn't mind sharing your pickup opinions with me? I'm thinking of ordering two Angels. 1 with an SSH config (SC1s) for covering any territory, and another one for 80s/90s hard rock and shredding. I am concerned about the bridge pickups for these guitars. I currently have a DT with an HF3 in the bridge and it's been good for me.

    For the SSH "multipurpose" Angel with SC1s, I'm leaning towards an HF2 or HF3 in the bridge. I'm thinking the HF2 might be a bit more open, relaxed, and less aggressive than the HF3. My DT with the H3 can cover a lot of ground, but since I might order 2 guitars I think it could be beneficial to have the multipurpose Angel to be a bit more in the classic/vintage type realm. Your thoughts on the HF2 vs HF3 in this scenario???

    For the "shredding rock machine" Angel, I'm considering the H3+, HN3+, and HF3+. This Angel will be solid alder, or basswood - not sure yet. I'm leaning towards alder. For this hard rock guitar, I'm not interested in versatility; I want as much burn as I can get. I think the HN3+ would be best? Please share with me your thoughts on these 3 hottest pickups from Anderson.

    Thanks to all for your time and consideration!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    The H3+/HN3+ are great for hard rock and metal, and match brilliantly with the Mesa Boogie Mk2/Mk4 and Rectifiers for that modern distortion tone.

    The HN3+ is a super mid focused flamethrower, the H3+ is similar, but without the huge mid emphasis. Both are fairly subdued in their overtones, so aren't the best for cleans, but really shine when running lots of gain.

    The 'N' in the HN series stands for neodymium, but aurally I've always felt it should stand for nasal (in a good way) as that's the mid push you get. The HN cuts through the mix better as does anything with a 'nasal' emphasis (that includes singers and public speakers that resonate forward in the soft palate). The H3+ is powerful, but you need to bring the mids on the amp up a bit more to 'cut through'. The H3+ sounds 'heavier' than the HN3+ by default as it has a very strong bass and the mid emphasis is lower in frequency than the mids of the HN.

    To match the tone and level of the bridge flame thrower in your 'shred machine' you'll want a strong modern sounding pickup in the neck. If it's a HH guitar, then a H2 or H1+ in the neck would be a good tonal match. The H2 for a good volume match, and the H1+ for less neck mud.

    For an SSH guitar, the hotter SF2 pickups in the neck and middle would be my choice. The SA2 is also a good hum-cancelling single coil sized pickup that sounds a bit more 'modern' and a bit more '80s when distorted, if that's your thing. The SF tone is more like a classic hot single coil pickup, but with hum cancelling. The SA has more of a scooped 'clinical' tone with less overtone complexity. I'd go with the SF series just because it sounds better to me, and cuts through better.

    For your 'clean machine' SSH guitar, you might consider going for a very vintage sounding guitar, (SC1- / SC1- / HF1+) would be like a S type guitar with vintage singles in the neck/middle and a vintage (but still sparkly) PAF in the bridge. If you prefer pickups on the hotter side, you also can't go wrong with the (SC1 / SC1 / HF2) combo.

    I'm partial to vintage level sparkly cleans myself. For overdrive/distortion, just roll back the guitar tone slightly and turn up the amp gain. Modern amps have more than enough gain to compensate for a vintage pickup's lower output level.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I love an H3 in the bridge of a basswood body maple topped guitar
    Current TAGs
    Bobcat w/ HC1/HC3

    Former TAGs,
    Short Drop Top Mongrel w/ H3, SC1, SC1
    Cobra (RW Neck and board) H1- / H2+
    HDTC w/ H02, SA1, SA1 and maple board
    HTC w/ HC-1 / TM2 and maple board
    Classic w/ H3, M1, M1
    Cobra (Trem) w/ PH1- / H2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Thanks for the input. I've had very good experiences with the SC1s in a couple guitars in my local shop. So I'm going to stick with those on the multipurpose Angel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    SF2, SF2, HN3+ owner here

    I have that configuration on my Short Classic

    Bridge pickup tone, with the giant mid focus, is instant Michael Schenker tone to me. Except the output level is completely insane, so depends on whether you want your bridge pickup to absolutely hammer the front end of your amp

    My HN3+ is recorded here:

    SF2 sounds like Mark Knopfler with more warmth

    I have recorded my SF2 (middle) here:

    It really depends on what you mean by "Shredding Rock Machine" these days. If you want to run a ton of gain and pack a huge punch with some over the top "brown tone" then HN3+ is good. But if you want to retain a lot of string dynamics and clarity while using a high-gain amp setting, I think you should go for more "vintage" voiced pickups with medium output and have your amp/pedals do all the dirty work.

    Hope this helps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Thanks for sharing those clips.

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