Lynch Rock Tone, Vintage-Style Gear

January 28, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

George Lynch of Dokken fame tends to provoke fairly strong like/don’t like reactions from guitar-slingers. I’m a little perplexed by that, probably because I’m in the “like” camp.

Obviously George can play like a house on fire, and his work with Dokken and particularly on the first Lynch Mob disc is simply great. He has a distinctive style, killer chops, loves to experiment (two CDs with a baritone!) and is a tone-chasing addict. In short, he has all the ingredients to be a WoodyTone legend, except maybe being part of a game-changing band.

Speaking of tone, in my experience his Screamin’ Demon pickup, produced and sold by Seymour Duncan, is good for just about everything. People often get confused by the pickup’s name, like it’s supposed to be a high-output “metal” pickup, but it isn’t. It’s actually a vintage-style pickup with an A5 magnet.

Here’s what says about the pickup:
Moderate output, P.A.F.-style with added “growl.” This pickup was designed in the Custom Shop for guitar legend George Lynch. It has the big open sound of our ’59 Model with a little less bite and a little more growl. The tone is big, percussive with a defined treble response that doesn’t get harsh. It uses one row of allen screws and one row of standard slotted screws for a unique “airy” sound.

One thing to keep in mind is that George was using maple-bodied guitars when this pickup was designed, and maple is very dense and bright (just think about maple necks and fingerboards). You might think that would argue for a supposedly mellower A2 magnet, but George liked the A5.

And in keeping with the vintage-type specs of the pickup, it sounds good in a variety of guitars. For example, I have a Screamin’ Demon in an alder-bodied guitar and it sounds great.

The Super V: Altered JB?

George has a newer Seymour Duncan Custom Shop pickup called the Super V, same as his new-ish ESP Super V signature model guitar (I can’t find it on the website). The Super V is a mahogany-bodied guitar, so the pickup obviously was designed for that wood.

Here are the Super V specs from the SD website:
> D.C. Resistance: 17.0 KOhms
> Resonant Peak: 4.60 KHz
> Magnet Type: Alinco 2 bar
> Inductance: 8.3 Henry

Lots of people want to equate D.C. resistance to output, but apparently that is not valid, so could this be a low-output pickup? A user on the forum said he received this info from George himself in an email:

The 1980s were dominated by high-output pickups. The problem is these pickups are not clear and tend to overcome the tone of your guitar, as well as your playing subtleties. So I needed a pickup with a really low output, to let my playing shine, and really hear the sound qualities of my guitars (he was talking about guitars with extremely heavy – Maple and Mahogany).

Also, before that pickup was designed, George had been using low-output pickups to try to make his amps work harder.

Someone else on the forum said that George’s roadie said that George had been trying Duncan JB pickups with an A2 magnet prior to the release of the Super V. Here are the available specs on the JB:

> DC Resistance: 16.4 k
> Resonant Peak: 5.5 KHz
> Magnet Type: Alinco V [5] bar

I don’t know enough about pickups to comment, but the numbers are different!

Warren’s Pickup

Just a quick one here: Ratt guitarist Warren DeMartini, who has said he was heavily influenced by George, also has his own SD Custom Shop pickup. Here are the specs – which look very similar to the Super V pickup (maybe George was influenced by Warren this time?):

D.C. Resistance: 17.6 KOhms
Resonant Peak: 4.40 KHz
Magnet Type: Alnico 2 bar
Inductance: 8.83 Henry

Recent Videos of George

Check out this vid from the recent NAMM show. At around 5:00 George says that the tone of the amp is most important, followed by the guitar. Interesting. He also mentions that the Fane speakers he loves in the old HiWatt cabinets were cloned by Eminence for use in the new George Lynch series amps – also interesting.

In part 2 of that interview he talks about the new Lynch Mob CD, on which will be a tune called Son of Scary, a different version of his signature Mr. Scary instrumental. Also mentions the “G3” (not really) tour with him, Paul Gilbert and Ritchie Kotzen.

A decent demo of the Eminence Super V speaker by Guitar World:

<a href="">Eminence Lynch Super V12</a>

Category: Eminence speakers, George Lynch, Randall Amplifiers, Seymour Duncan, Warren DeMartini

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  1. WoodyTone! - Warren DeMartini’s 1987 Ratt Rig: Part 1 | January 4, 2010

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