Peter Green & Other Magnet Mods in Humbuckers with Covers, Pic Heavy

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by jonesy, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Phostenix

    Phostenix Junior Member

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    It's all about coil splitting. When you start connecting individual coils in series or parallel (as the PRS 5-way does), if one of the coils is a north magnet & one is a south magnet, the combination will remain hum cancelling.

    So, for example, if the coils of the 2 humbuckers are like this:

    S-N N-S

    When you connect the inside or outside coils together in series or parallel, you get 2 coils with the same magnetic polarity and you lose the hum cancelling.

    Now, if the pickups are like this:

    S-N S-N

    When you connect insides or outsides, they remain hum cancelling.

    Since using inside coils together & outside coils together gives the most difference in tones, PRS went with alternating magnets. Peavey does this in some of their guitars that have humbuckers & a 5-way, too.

    With Gibson, Seymour Duncan, etc. humbuckers that are S-N N-S, you could still choose to combine coils that are opposite magnetic polarity, but the difference between the choices is less dramatic.

    Where this matters for LP guitars is if you just want to have a switch that splits the coils on a LP, I would suggest splitting to the front (neck side) coil of the neck pup AND the front (neck side) coil of the bridge pup, as well. That way, you will have a south magnet & a north magnet in parallel in the middle position & it would still be hum cancelling. I prefer the sound of the forward coil of the bridge by itself anyway, so that's a double bonus. :)
     
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  2. Phostenix

    Phostenix Junior Member

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    Do you find any difference in tone between swapping the magnet around & reversing the leads? It's certainly easier to swap the leads.

    I thought the only time people flipped the magnets was to get the proper magnetic polarity for coil splits. Or to match pickups.
     
  3. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I can't hear any difference between the magnet change or swapping the + and - leads, the Out of Phase "Oop" Tone sounds the same to me either way.
     
  4. Phostenix

    Phostenix Junior Member

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    Why would someone go to the trouble (and risk to their pickup) of switching the magnet around if switching the wires produces the same effect?
     
  5. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Changing magnets is really not that big of a deal or all that risky in most pu's, and besides the PG mod many players like to swap out A2's for A5's or maybe an A4 because it changes the Tonal characteristics of you pu. YMMV

    Switching the magnet to change the polarity eliminates grounding issues and noise associated with pu covers that you might get when just flip flopping hot to ground. Rotating the magnet is a much quieter way to get the "Oop" Tone in some cases. ;)
     
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  6. b3john

    b3john Senior Member

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    Once you know what you're doing, you'll realize it's not nearly as risky as it sounds. The guys over on the Seymour Duncan forum (including the Lieutenant) have raised this to an art form. There are some videos that walk you through the process, I'll see if I can dig up the links...
     
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  7. Phostenix

    Phostenix Junior Member

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    Ah, yes, the light bulb went on for me finally. I don't have any humbuckers with covers, so I don't tend to think about them. After looking at your pics again, it also looks like that's a 2-wire lead with the braid as the ground. If you wanted to reverse the leads, you'd not only have to run a new ground wire to the pup, you'd also have to separate that braid from the case & connect it internally, right? Or, are there 2 wires inside the braid (plus & minus leads) and the grounded braid is not connected to the minus lead?

    Changing types of magnets makes perfect sense to me as a reason to tear open a pup.
     
  8. Phostenix

    Phostenix Junior Member

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    Just in this thread, one guy sounds like he damaged his pup (Sånglöf) trying this mod.

    When people ask me if something is easy to do, I usually say, "If you know how to do it, it's easy." :)
     
  9. skynyrd67

    skynyrd67 Senior Member

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    If you wanna give your bridge pup a kick in the ass try a UnOriented A5 magnet, the dynamics will jump out of that pup, the growl and pinch harmonics will be much more lively, I swapped out the A2 in my Pearly gates bridge pup for the UOA5 and WOW, still has the same PG character just much more open and raw sounding, I wish pup makers would start useing the UOA5`s, they aren`t as mid scooped sounding as the A5 nor as Bassy, just great all around mag for the bridge.
     
  10. Robinv

    Robinv Senior Member

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    Hey, I just did the PG mod. Seems cool, very noticable. But for some reason when I have the switch in the middle position I seem to lose like half of my volume. Both humbuckers still have thier normal output, but when combined it's kinda like a coil tap going from humbucking to singlecoil (output wise)
     
  11. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Yeah there will be a drop in volume with the switch in the middle and both pu's out of phase, compared to the in phase wiring.

    Try rolling down either volume control just a little (switch in the middle) and you will hear your Tone Fatten up and your volume get just a bit louder.
     
  12. Robinv

    Robinv Senior Member

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    Cool thanks man :)
     
  13. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Your welcome bro, anytime ;)
     
  14. CC53

    CC53 Member

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    Just curious if anybody recommends tightening the 4 brass screwws or the p/u screws first when reassembling.Seems to me that the 4 bras would be best to do first as I wouldn't want to strip em but want everything tight as I don't use any wax and I don't want any microphonics.
    Any thoughts?
     
  15. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Seems like I tighten up the pu screws first and then carefully tighten the brass screws so they do not strip or break off. YMMV
     
  16. CC53

    CC53 Member

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    Thanks Jonesy....The reason I do the 4 screws first is to cinch the coils up with the maple spacer on the slug side.Maybe that's wrong to do if it causes stress on the 4 screws after tightening the p/u screws all the way down? Maybe I'm just thinking too much and don't need to worry about tightening them too much.I don't really play with much gain anyways.
     
  17. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Not sure bro, I have never had any problems with that method YMMV
     
  18. Rock City

    Rock City Senior Member

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    Thanx making it looks so easy. I've always wanted to improve my sound just sitting at home doing almost nothing. And this is the way! Only I am afraid not to screw something in my style so I will ask some professional for a help.
    Still it bugs me to take screwdriver, find compass somehow and start... uh!
     
  19. dkirwan

    dkirwan V.I.P. Member

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    What is an A8? I've never heard of that???
     
  20. Penny Dreadful

    Penny Dreadful Banned

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    The reason for the volume drop is that because your pickups are now out of phase with one another, some frequencies will cancel each other out.
    This, results in a slight volume drop.
     

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