About the M22SD ....

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AJ6stringsting
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About the M22SD ....

Postby AJ6stringsting » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:49 pm

I looked for them and noticed that the M22SD was no longer being made ....pure Bummer.
Will they ever make'em again ? :(

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby helldorado » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:46 am

Nope, they're done. You can call and see if they have any remaining stock, but that's it.

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:06 am

Yeah, they were discontinued i think January 2020 as the last of the old 22-pole designs that have been on their way out (due to needing bespoke parts they were no longer going to order) since about 3 years ago.

They are still the standard pickup in the JB200C so they have kept a stash to supply those builds, but aren't selling them as parts anymore..

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:22 pm

They're officially gone now, can't be ordered new, other than on the Jason Becker guitar. The C22 series is also gone, and I imagine the AP11 will be soon. The Kiesel pickup models are the replacements. I haven't been able to try more than the Lithium humbuckers and singles, (the former I didn't care for, and the latter I love). Perhaps one day.
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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby ElfDude » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:07 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:They're officially gone now, can't be ordered new, other than on the Jason Becker guitar. The C22 series is also gone, and I imagine the AP11 will be soon. The Kiesel pickup models are the replacements. I haven't been able to try more than the Lithium humbuckers and singles, (the former I didn't care for, and the latter I love). Perhaps one day.


I like the Lithium humbuckers for certain applications (and love how well they split). The Lithium single coils are pretty good. I like them in my Aries just fine. I have discovered that I like the new generation of Holdsworth pickups even more than the old H22 models. In fact, I love them to death (as Rick Wakeman would say)! Just wonderful pickups for a lot of my needs.
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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby spudmunkey » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:11 pm

ElfDude wrote: I have discovered that I like the new generation of Holdsworth pickups even more than the old H22 models. In fact, I love them to death (as Rick Wakeman would say)! Just wonderful pickups for a lot of my needs.


I know you've experimented with both in multiple guitars. Do you find they are any noisier or more feed-back-prone than other humbuckers, due to being unpotted?

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby UnexplodedCow » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:44 pm

ElfDude wrote:I like the Lithium humbuckers for certain applications (and love how well they split). The Lithium single coils are pretty good. I like them in my Aries just fine. I have discovered that I like the new generation of Holdsworth pickups even more than the old H22 models. In fact, I love them to death (as Rick Wakeman would say)! Just wonderful pickups for a lot of my needs.


The Lithium neck I did not mind, though I prefer the M22V. The Lithium bridge had a peak I disliked, and I vastly preferred the M22SD, though both had a similar amount of output. I didn't do much splitting at the time on the Lithiums, but the singles themselves are spot-on for me. I still smile every time I hit a 2 or 4 position on the O6 - that quack is beyond any other pickups I've tried. It's so perfect.

I remember being unenthused by the original H22s, but wasn't looking for a jazz pickup in particular (not my thing). However, it didn't sound bad at all, just not what I wanted in the guitar at the time. Wasn't noisy, despite being unpotted, which was welcome.

Overall, I still can't complain about the Carvin/Kiesel pickups, and to date, anyone who's tried them, especially blind (or not noticing them) is always blown away. Every single time. I still mention to people whenever possible.
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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby helldorado » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:52 pm

I remember when I got my first Carvin. DC127 so I got the M22SD, M22N and active pre-amp. I thought it sounded amazing and it was by far my favorite guitar and pickup combo ever.

Then my active preamp died and it I had to play with the M22's in their normal passive mode. I was so disappointed in their normal sound without the pre-amp to boost and tweak it. Since then I haven't found a set of Carvin or Kiesel pickups that I have truly loved.

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:10 pm

I tried the M22SD in an AE185 style active circuit, that only had treble boost/cut. I can't imagine needing bass boost for that pickup. It's not the highest output ever, either, but it's still pretty darn loud.

What exactly do you find lacking in the pickups? What types do you prefer? Curious minds!
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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby helldorado » Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:23 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:I tried the M22SD in an AE185 style active circuit, that only had treble boost/cut. I can't imagine needing bass boost for that pickup. It's not the highest output ever, either, but it's still pretty darn loud.

What exactly do you find lacking in the pickups? What types do you prefer? Curious minds!


In general I find the Kiesel pickups to be generic and kind of flat sounding. They're far from bad, I just don't feel they have a ton of personality.

I go for pickups that some find too overwhelming. I like high output, high treble, medium mids and bass levels for my guitars. I get thickness from my string gauge and tunings. So I love the DiMarzio X2N/Super 2 combo (one of DiMarzio's most aggressive combos), Fishman Fluence Moderns, Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis Crazy 8, etc...

I usually go for Alnico 8 / ceramic powered pickups in my humbuckers. I do like getting mid output, more unique personality pickups too, so I'm starting to experiment with other pickup types too.

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:50 pm

I've always found the X2N to sound a bit tubby, owing mostly to the extremely overwound design. I kinda view it as an attempt at reinventing the L500XL (which is a top 3 passive pickup for me). As for output, both of those choices are way out there whenever I've looked at signal level and mV. The L500XL will peak as high as a 9V EMG can, but lacks the compression/sustain.

Fluence Moderns are insanely good pickups. While they kinda have the EMG 81/85 sound going in normal mode, it's not the same, and the 2nd mode (or other options) really make them far more versatile. Definitely more treble bandwidth from them, too, and perhaps a touch more output than a 9V EMG. 18V changes the game in terms of compression, but that's about it.

The M22SD, to me, sounded like a DiMarzio SD meets Evolution, and definitely does not lack treble, but it depends on the circuit. I typically paired mine with at least 500k pots, and 1M will bring out their best, IMO. They split extremely well. The M22V trades blows with the L500R pickup, and both are a favorite passive neck humbucker.

A left-field choice would be a Railhammer Anvil. They describe it as a JB, but hotter, and it is. Bright, plenty of midrange, not a huge amount of bass, but gets it just right; I used one for years and keep it around just in case.

As long as the pickup sounds good to my ears, I don't really care what magnet it runs, though ceramic and rare-earth will hold their gauss strength far better than AlNiCo will, so years later it will sound the same. Some like the aging part of pickups; I'm not one of them. After having looked at a whole bunch of pickups over the years, repaired/modified some, and having literally hand-wound my own low output designs (not even using a winder, but actual hand scatter-winding), I think Bill Lawrence got it right. His are some of the earliest designs, and stand up well to modern day. He also trained Larry DiMarzio, which I think shows in the DiMarzio pickup sound; they have similarities.

It's cool to hear different opinions and ideas, though. I kinda settled into a 6505MH head for high gain in the past year, and keep a few oddball combo amps (Gibsons and Fenders) around for cleans and light overdrive, so that may have influenced my choices, along with musical style (more rock/metal with some clean stuff mixed in). Fluence Moderns are probably the most well-rounded designs, but are active, and some people won't go for that. Indeed, the times I don't want to deal with a battery, a passive pickup will do the needful. It's all fun, and pickups are part of that.
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

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Do or do not; there is no understand.

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby AJ6stringsting » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:26 pm

Wow, the M22SD was an all time classic.
I guess their is EBay and Reverb.
Then again, Kiesel probably makes good pickups like Carvin did .... But I'll really miss the M22SD.

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby helldorado » Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:42 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:I've always found the X2N to sound a bit tubby, owing mostly to the extremely overwound design. I kinda view it as an attempt at reinventing the L500XL (which is a top 3 passive pickup for me). As for output, both of those choices are way out there whenever I've looked at signal level and mV. The L500XL will peak as high as a 9V EMG can, but lacks the compression/sustain.

Fluence Moderns are insanely good pickups. While they kinda have the EMG 81/85 sound going in normal mode, it's not the same, and the 2nd mode (or other options) really make them far more versatile. Definitely more treble bandwidth from them, too, and perhaps a touch more output than a 9V EMG. 18V changes the game in terms of compression, but that's about it.

The M22SD, to me, sounded like a DiMarzio SD meets Evolution, and definitely does not lack treble, but it depends on the circuit. I typically paired mine with at least 500k pots, and 1M will bring out their best, IMO. They split extremely well. The M22V trades blows with the L500R pickup, and both are a favorite passive neck humbucker.

A left-field choice would be a Railhammer Anvil. They describe it as a JB, but hotter, and it is. Bright, plenty of midrange, not a huge amount of bass, but gets it just right; I used one for years and keep it around just in case.

As long as the pickup sounds good to my ears, I don't really care what magnet it runs, though ceramic and rare-earth will hold their gauss strength far better than AlNiCo will, so years later it will sound the same. Some like the aging part of pickups; I'm not one of them. After having looked at a whole bunch of pickups over the years, repaired/modified some, and having literally hand-wound my own low output designs (not even using a winder, but actual hand scatter-winding), I think Bill Lawrence got it right. His are some of the earliest designs, and stand up well to modern day. He also trained Larry DiMarzio, which I think shows in the DiMarzio pickup sound; they have similarities.

It's cool to hear different opinions and ideas, though. I kinda settled into a 6505MH head for high gain in the past year, and keep a few oddball combo amps (Gibsons and Fenders) around for cleans and light overdrive, so that may have influenced my choices, along with musical style (more rock/metal with some clean stuff mixed in). Fluence Moderns are probably the most well-rounded designs, but are active, and some people won't go for that. Indeed, the times I don't want to deal with a battery, a passive pickup will do the needful. It's all fun, and pickups are part of that.


All great points! I've been gunshy on pulling the trigger on a new L500XL because I wasn't really sure who was making them, the Bill Lawrence website is a bit confusing and most of it doesn't work. But I remember playing an old Dimebag Dean, a US model and that pickup was just crazy and it was my first taste of a super high output pickup.

I'm trying to wean myself off the sledgehammer style pickups, lol. I think part of it is I came up in a time when EMG's and high output pickups were the go-to pickups. I used to play through a Fender Ultimate Chorus (solid state) so those really aggressive pickups got the sound where I wanted it to be with that amp, maybe if I had a tube amp it would've been a different story. Now that I can play with so many really good computer based amp simulators, it helps to scale back the sheer output and I'm starting to get into the subtle nuances of different pickup designs. I need to spend more time with single coils and some of the more vintage style pickups.

For whatever reason, most of the pickups I've never jelled with are A5's. I think I just like how sometimes a stronger magnets really unlock a lot of the harmonic noise. Some pickups sound amazing in other guitars, with other players, and when I pick them up, meh... I'm actually at a point where my new guitars are mostly to justify a new set of pickups for a different sound. I don't want 10 very different guitars with the same or similar pickups, I'd rather have 10 similar guitars with very different pickups for different sounds and personalities.

I looked at the Relish guitars where you can swap out pickups in minutes, but holy crap expensive. Their "cheap" model is $1800, the Swiss made models run $4500-6000, and the replacement pickups run $300 to $600. At that price, it's only marginally more expensive to keep buying new Kiesels and swap in other pickups. :lol:

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:25 pm

Oh, if you're interested in the L500 series, Bill's wife and daughter are still winding them under the name Wilde pickups. They do an absolute killer Tele "keystone" set, too. Their prices have gone up since Bill passed (I think he kept prices low on purpose), but they're still the same quality and wind. Don't go with "BLUSA" as that's the "other guy" who basically owns rights to the name, but not the patent. The Dimbucker is a reverse-engineered version, and yes, it sounds very similar.

What I like about actives is the ability to keep the same tone regardless of volume output, and I'll often employ an active volume pedal with a passive guitar to have the same option. Super high output pickups aren't really necessary anymore, especially with all the crazy gain options, however, stacking distorted gain stages is something not everyone enjoys, and there are times that I enjoy just simply driving a front end normally (virtual or otherwise). Of course clean boosts help, but that also changes the dynamics and capacitance slighlty of the circuit, which can alter the sound. We have so many options nowadays, it's super easy to be paralyzed.

With that in mind, you might really like the M22SD now in a virtual setting; they are very clear for me with high gain through a Helix, Atomic Amplifire, or Headrush (I work with all 3). You might even enjoy the C22T, which is a very bright pickup with a pretty basic sound; perhaps bland, but it can be shaped easily. The magnet structure matters, but, in an engineering mindset, it doesn't have a sound so much as a magnetic flux which the coil should be engineered/tuned for to get the desired performance. However, dropping in a different magnet type/flux strength can work better or worse with a specific coil, though that is more akin to splatter art than following the calculus of pickup design (which is surprisingly complex for such a simple device).

Love talking pickups, by the way, and totally wish I'd been able to patent my design as a teen, because the Zexcoil that exists at Lawing music is strikingly similar to what I concocted 20+ years ago (not quite the same design or wiring, but very close). There are only so many ways to skin the cat.
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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby helldorado » Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:21 pm

Yeah, it's a totally different world now with all the virtual setups. It's not the way it was where you needed massive output to crush the preamp and gain stages. It's why I'm looking to for my next couple pickups to be in the high clarity, low-to-mid output range. You can always turn up the level on your DI box. I might have to buy an actual Telecaster at some point, lol.

Thanks for the info on BL! I will have to look into Wilde pickups. The current BL's looked like they were being outsourced and the guy was just cashing in on the name.

If I still had my M22's, I'd give them a shot, but they're long gone. I had replaced them with a Tone Zone / PAF Pro combo. Which I then replaced with a set of Fishman Devin Townsend's to make better use of the battery box and all the individual on/off switches my DC127 has. So I'm moving the TZ/PAF setup with a Red Velvet middle pickup to a baritone strat I'm building to see how I feel about those, and if I'm not feeling it, will probably go back to true Strat style singles.

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Re: About the M22SD ....

Postby canon_mutant » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:21 pm

Liked them as well. When I lost an S22 on my CS6, I almost went back to M22s but decided to try those SD SNSs. Glad I did. Great pups for what I play though I suspect I would have been fine with the M22N/SD pair I still have too.


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