I need generalities please.

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by trapland, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. trapland

    trapland Silver Supporter

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    So I’m trying to get a pair of,pickups that I own rewound to sound like 57 classics. Due to my limited exposure to 57 classics of owning just three piar, I wan to make sure I get this right. I love what I have but need them to other guitars. I’ve heard 2 winders ideas of a neck pickup that has more highs and less lows and honestly I can’t see it at all. I need ver very little lows and a fat middle with sparkling highs. I need to be able to dime a 68 plexi and not have the bass fart out. I KNOW it can be done because the 57 Classic in my 59 Historic es-335 neck is light years ahead of ANY PICKUP I’ve ever heard

    I have a set that makes my neck tone so sweet and lively I can’t stop playing. Compared to a 490 or BB2 (which i like) this 57 has a radically different frequency curve. Instead of the usual excessive bass, excessive lower mids, barely audible upper mids and treble.....well My 57 Classic neck has aggressively Rolled Off bass starting at about 100-160hz and below. There’s no mud. The 57 also has A big upper midrange with lots of bright treble and sparkle. It sounds like a fatter Strat pickup but with more lower midsize much less bass and no scooped mids.

    The impedance is 7.75kohm. I think I remember the inductance being a fair amount higher than a burstbucker.
    I would like some generality like; 1.all other thing being the same, a higher imperance gives more apparent output with excess causing loss of highs and pronounce lows.
    2.All things ding equal, a higher resonant peak willl increase mids and decrease low (I don’t know if thats true)
    What causes a real decrease- in bass, while pumping up the upper mids and heights? I want to know what to ask for before wasting someone’s time and my money.

    Please talk to me about this thing. I’m trying to get my number one whipped into shape before a show in 3 weeks and I don’t want to be forced to use the 335.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Maybe you have a good/older set of 57's. Because my set was about as close to opposite of your description as was possible to be. Most likely the guitar is a fairly solid part of the equation too.

    And if you are talking to a winder about pickups......don't start talking specs. You know nothing of winding or specs, you know your tone goal. They have their individual winding style.....and practically every winder will put wire onto a bobbin differently. Hence every winder will have to do something slightly differently to get the same result.

    Edit - If you have really waited until 3 weeks before a big show to start looking for new customwound pickups then you need a few lessons on forward planning.
    First lesson - you'll be using the 335 for that gig.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  3. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Why don't you just buy another set of '57 Classics, if those are the pickups you like?

    There's far more to a pickup than just the DCR and/or inductance. Those are two ingredients in a cake. Like sugar and flower, many cakes may have the same amount. Not likely that they will taste anything like each other, however.
     
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  4. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Epic wisdom.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. trapland

    trapland Silver Supporter

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    That would seem like good advice. And I did just that. I like them. However, I, like so may here also hear with my eyes. ;). I have a set of double creams with loads of wear and aging from playing the crap outta them. I love the looks, now I just want them to SOUND like my fav 57s.

    I asked for generalities because I don’t want anyone to give up a favorite recipe, but like we all don’t have the same taste, I don’t want another set that’s supposed to be ‘less bassy’ only to find they’re as bassy as anything else.

    I was hoping if someone could tell me why my 57 neck has much less bass, big middle and lots of highs, then I could know how to ask for what I want.
     
  6. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ Simply ask for what you want. A nice neck pickup that has no bassy flub and balanced eq.

    No winder will know your ear, nor will you even know how any pickup will respond in a different guitar to the 335. That same 'godlike' 57 classic might be total trash in the next guitar - and I mean even if you removed that very pickup and re-housed it.

    People seem to fall into some mental trap that somehow buying a new pickup is a guaranteed path to tonal Nirvana - this couldn't be further from the truth. You might need a few re-do's of the wind to get where you want.....or several guitars to do the pickup 'merry-go-'round' until each set and guitar finds its perfect partner.
    I think I have probably swapped strat pickups and necks/bodies over 100 times with the guitars I have - now 6 strats with 2 or 3 sold off. Each pickup whilst sounding good has subtly different response to all others. So you have to find the chassis that matches this best.

    The benefit of a custom winder is that you can tweak the wind even before it is first attempted.....and even then there is usually a facility to re-do at no/low extra cost if its not quite there.
     
  7. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    I see. Well, you're not likely to find that answer.

    That's because it's the polar opposite of my experience and the experience of many others with those pickups. The #1 most common complaint I hear about '57 Classics, and I hear it very regularly, is that the neck pickup is dark, muddy, and inarticulate with a dampened top end and that the bridge is brittle, harsh, and has a awkward upper midrange peak, while simultaneously having no open airy, breathy very extended top end detail. I've never heard someone say the neck was particularly bright. Brittle or harsh in the upper mids, perhaps yes, but not lacking in bass or having a great deal of treble. People say they are outright muddy and dark, in fact.

    So, if you find your '57 Classic neck to be very bright and lacking in bass, there are only a few possibilities -

    Your perception of the sonic qualities of the pickup is just different form others, perhaps because of what other pickups you may be comparing it to that you also have experience with and are your reference point.

    That pickup responds unusually in your particular guitar/rig and gives a different result than the average experience.

    You have an unusual example of that pickup , which is not the norm or perhaps is failing in some way.

    Unfortunately, in any case, I think you're going to have a hard time with this one.

    Are you comparing other pickups to this pickup in the same guitar/setup/wiring/rig/room? ...or are you hearing pickups in other guitars/rigs and drawing your comparisons to that?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  8. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

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    You want the truth? A pickup's frequency response is defined by how much high end it sheds, because electrically it's a low pass filter with resonance. There is no electrical mechanism to attenuate the bass one way or another, as that would require series capacitance or paralle inductance, neither of which exists in the circuit, unless you install them yourself. The notion that one pickup has more or less bass than another is always a side effect, or the way you perceive it as being. For example, more treble can make the bass seem "tight" because if you have more treble, you hear more of that transient snap when you pluck lower strings, giving them a defined attack. It's not that the bass it more or less, it's that the treble changes how you perceive the bass as sounding. You often hear about pickups being "scooped", again, that doesn't literally ever happen. If you think you hear a pickup doing something which is physically impossible for it to do, logical says that those things must owe to other factors.
     
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  9. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    If DCR measurements were impossible, I'd say that your pickup might include a capacitive short cut. If the coil is broken somewhere while its wire stays aligned, it behaves like a series capacitor and cuts the bass.

    When it's the case, the tone pot typically behaves like a volume control (and resistance readings are absurd or undoable, while it becomes doable to take a capacitance measurement, usually impossible with typical DMM's on such coils).

    It's not a rare situation: I've repaired several humbuckers with this issue - and in each case, the owner hadn't really realized what was going on: only an electrically induced frequency response made it obvious...

    The reason behind this testimonial is that such half dead pickups can sound good, paradoxically. See the bridge transducer in Roy Buchanan's Tele nicknamed "Nancy". :)

    So, a solution for you might be to try a 4,7nF (or other low value) cap in series with a humbucker... mounted for example on a Fender TBX dual pot mimicing a PTB G&L tone control. It would have roughly the same tonal effect than a "capacitive short cut" (and would keep a useable tone control thx to the signal path in the G&L schematic).

    Anyway and to come back to your feelings with the mentioned 57: IF it's due to the PU+wiring and not to the rest of the guitar, I would intuitively correlate the tight sound perceived to a non typical low gaussed magnet (maybe assymetrically magnetized) and to high resistance pots... But it's just an hypothesis (knowing that my own experience with such Gibson stock HB's reflects what James says: they are often dark n'muddy, whatever are their resonant peak and LRC measurements... simply because this muddy darkness has partly to do with other specs IME).
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  10. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Senior Member

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    This is sonic scripture right here. Commit it to memory...
     
  11. trapland

    trapland Silver Supporter

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    Thank you @Antigua for crediting me with being able to understand how a pickup works. There are many players that truly believe pickups are magical personalities sprinkled with mojo and pixie dust instead of somewhat finicky transducers. Pickups are definable by science, even if it includes a winders artistry or some randomness.

    I understand the reluctance of many to delve into how pickups of similar design can sound so different. It requires either a fair understanding of electronics and some physics, or a LOT of hard work through trial. Arguably the latter is more important.

    I’ve wound a couple pickups They sounded fine. Not great but fine. I learned a lot. I learned that I DONT want to wind pickups, even for myself. I hate dealing with that invisible wire.

    All I wanted was a few more generalities than I know already so I could ask someone do the building for me. I find the details about what makes a pickup sound the way it does fascinating, but I’d rather play them than make em.

    Pickup winders are busy and time is money. I don’t want to waste some guys time endlessly discussing what chewy means so he can sell me a set of pickups. I also can’t be that guy that keeps sending a set back because they’re not to his taste that day.

    I had a nice conversation with someone here and bought a set of great sounding pickups. Now my tastes have changed, but I don’t know how to convey what I want. So I hope to give what construction details as I know, then trust he will understand what I’m hearing. Then if it’s not to my taste, it’s MY problem not his.

    No worries, I’ll study some more.
     
  12. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

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    I agree about winding pickups. I wound a few, I'm not inclined to wind more either. Watching the wire spool up for minutes at a time put strain on my eyes. If the pickups I could make were significantly different than what's on the market, that would be one thing, but when I can buy a fine set for as low as $60 from BYO, it's not worth winding them myself.

    Speaking of inductance and capacitance, if you really want more or less bass you can dedicate a knob as a bass cut, like G&L PTB wiring. You run a capacitor in series and use a pot to variable bypass the cap for more or less bass. Then you just raise the bass side up of the pickup closer to the strings for a maximum, and use the control to level it how you want. If is especially useful if you want a tighter overdrive, instead of the farty power chord sound you'd normally get with neck humbuckers. The people who sell pickups do a good job of selling the dream, so much so that these twenty five cent solutions go overlooked time and time again.
     
  13. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Senior Member

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    Same here, but not just about 57's -- Burstbuckers, Duncan 59 sets, pretty much any big-name vintage bucker set you can name. The neck complaint is worse when the set has covers. It was certainly my complaint as a player and the main thing that got me into winding.
     
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