A question about Mike's gear


Lord of the Strings
Jul 10, 2001
Columbia, MD USA
When I saw Opeth live in Springfield, VA, this summer I noticed that Mike was playing a PRS (built in none other than my home state of Maryland!). His pickups were exposed coil (i.e. black). I know that PRS only makes gold and nickel pickups, so he's using some sort of after market pickup. Do any of the guitar head tone freaks (like myself) out there know what kind of pickups he uses on his PRS. And for that matter, on any of his guitars (LP or strat)?

As more of a general question, what do all the guitarists out there use? I'm using a LP custom with 498T and 490R pickups, and a Peavey combo. Thinking about switching to EMG's.
I'm not sure what p/u's Mike uses. I got the impression from an interview I once read (I can't quote him exactly) that he's not extremely picky about guitar tone. He said something like just give me a loud tube amp and I'm happy. I tried EMG's in a LP I used to have. For most people EMG's are kind of a love/hate type of thing. They definitely have a lot of output, but seem kind of sterile with very little tonal character. A few months ago I got a Carvin guitar with M22SD and M22V p/u's . They're really nice and fairly cheap as well. I also like Duncan JB's and Dimarzio SuperDistortion. You can find tons of p/u reviews on www.harmonycentral.com


I'm not sure what pickups he is using either but I would also be interested in knowing. Anyways... you live in Maryland? That's rad I live in Northern VA, well Loudoun ct. to be exact but it's like 40-50 minutes drom DC. Other then that I my main axe is a RG3120TW Prestige Ibanez and I swapped out the PAF Pro in the neck for an Air Norton and I love this guitar. I play through a Peavey 5150 combo amp and I guess that's great for now. I should be saving up for new gear but each time I get a new paycheck I get a lot of new cds. Anyways that's my stuff..

I think those are the stock pickups in his PRS. Go check out www.prsguitars.com. I read somewhere he played a CE 24, and the picture of it there shows uncovered pickups on those in stock form. Besides that, PRS pickups are pretty damn good, I can't see him swapping them out, except maybe for something a bit hotter.
I play a Jackson PS4 with Dimarzio PAF Pro's through a Marshall Valvestate 100W combo. Pretty good for a rich Opeth-like distortion.

Mikael goes for PRS too? It seems soon all of my favorite guitarists choose that brand...but my wallet is not able to reach that magic. :)
I'm using a Jackson PS4 with Seymour Duncan Invaders and a Japanese Ibanez RG570 in which I'm gonna put a set of active Reflex pickups.

My main fx unit is a Roland GS6 ancient 19" processor. I'm thinking of buying a Carl Martin hot driven boost mk2 or something similar. The clean effects I get out of the Roland are good enough, but I'm tired with the shitty distortions.

Do you guys know the Carl Martin stuff? Any comments on the sound?