Seth Lovers & High Gain Amps

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Classicplayer, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    I just recently bought an Orange Dark Terror. I like the sound of this amp and not for it's noted
    high gain capabilities. It is 15 watts Class A and all tube. For those of you who like playing Seths, how do you set your neck pickup in relation to the neck Seth to achieve a decent Classic Rock tone?

    My Seth bridge pup is about a nickel's width from both e strings when each is depressed at the highest fret. My neck pup is set a hair above its ring. Seths are not people's usual choice when talking Rock and high gain Rock; I know. I like to get a thinner and brighter tone (my preference) with plenty of chime coming from the Dark Terror. I also want my middle position tone to be that way; not unlike what is heard from Page's style.

    I'm just not sure I have the Seth set as good as I can get them for this goal. Anyone been down this path beforehand with some hints?


    Classicplayer
     
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  2. Jymbopalyse

    Jymbopalyse Senior Member

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    Sounds like something I was doing a short while ago.

    Instead of Seths I have the Gibson 57/57+ set. Plus I use a Mark V amp, but I think similar enough environment to comment on your dilemma.

    I put in a new harness, to 50's wiring
    New Tusqu nut
    Added the 57's (played with pickup heights)
    Tried different string gauges

    - In the end -

    Check what the SD specs are for the pickup you have and use it.
    Then set your amp for the best clean.
    Then set your LP volume/tone for best clean.
    Then push the gain on the amp and play with the LP vol at the same time (ish)
    Use this as your base and experiment from there.

    Once you are done and find the best "tonez" for the Seth's

    Do yourself a favour. Go get your self a set of T-Top clones.

    I got a set 6070 Pickups at Vineham Pickups. $80 per pup.
    I don't struggle to get the tone (I think you are looking for) anymore.
    In fact, it's not a chore anymore to look for that specific Classic Rock tone with these puppies.
    The right tool for the right job.

    I still love the 57's. But not for getting the more aggressive classic rock sounds.
     
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  3. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    What he said may apply if this is the sound you are after.

    I have Shaw pickups which are similar to yours in that they are both PAF clones. This means low output by design.

    That is why you have to crank up your bridge pup to within a hairs breadth of the strings to get a decent signal, I had to do the same.

    My neck pup is sunk in to almost the ring as well.

    Sounds normal for your setup.

    How do the 2 pickups balance on your guitar?

    If you strike a chord and flip the selector back and forth with all pots open, do they sound near the same volume?

    If so, that's as close as you can get to optimum height.

    What I did to my bridge pickup to boost the output a little was to stack a couple ceramic magnet I had laying around under the OEM magnet. This has given me the boost I needed in the bridge pickup and made it very usable.

    But to the point, that is how a low output PAF style is going to work, nature of the beast.

    You could always change out just the bridge hummer for something hotter if you like the neck tones.

    Lower output can help in the neck anyway since the string signal is stronger there than at the bridge.

    This is why later on manufacturers started over-winding the bridge pups in relation to the neck. To balance the weaker bridge signal with the stronger neck one.
     
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  4. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

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    The Seths are fine pickups for low to moderate gain. I have no trouble unless I start stacking OD's and have crazy metal-like clipping going on. Adjusting the pickup heights doesn't make a ton of difference when it comes to chime or clarity. The Seths are low'ish output though, so they're a good place to start. You might need a low capacitance guitar cable, and while most players don't care for 1 meg tone and volume pots due to their brightness, they might be your thing. Be sure to plug into your amp directly to rule out pedals as sources of tone suck.
     
  5. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    In the past I came close to getting Vineham's T-Top for the bridge. I decided on the Seths instead; the reason: I wanted a good lower output (mine are N @ 7.2 B @8.2) pickup set and let my amp do the grunt work.

    My pickups now set to my latest tweaking show all three switch positions with about equal volume as recommended in the previous post. I'll have to re-listen a few times to be sure. I put am gain and volume up quite a bit to test on a "quiet" modeling amp, and using guitar volumes....I'm liking what I'm hearing...Classic Rock tones. Here's the question: when I look down at where my Lesters volumes end up, the neck is around "4" and the bridge pup somewhere around "8". I was expecting to see the neck number almost equal to the bridge number? Normal? I guess I'll let my ears dial in everything instead my eyes and my own preconceived
    notions.

    I'll go over this again with my Dark Terror to see if I can duplicate what I hear on my Micro Cube; only an all tube gain, which the Dark Terror has tons of.


    Classicplayer
     
  6. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    That's what I'm aiming for, a good low to moderate grind with good note definition in chords and real horn-
    like single notes from the bridge Seth. I hear them using the Seth bridge with my Dark Terror. So, I'm close, but the goal is to get that moderate grind going in all three switch positions; yet, I want the neck Seth to get that vocal like tone up around the 12th. to 15th. fret area. I'm not an OD or Fuzz pedal user. I just look to get these tones using just my amp and Les Paul, or get as close as I can to reaching this goal.


    Classicplayer
     
  7. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    To the volume and balance questions.

    The middle selector position can be a little lower volume due to some minor phase cancellations going on between the 2 pickups.

    On clean this can be pretty cool. Roll back the neck volume a notch and get more clarity from the bridge or vice versa!

    The volume difference is because they are not balanced pickups, but matched. Each has the same number of windings and magnet strength.

    The neck pup being closer to the string's center of travel sees more string movement and thus generates a louder signal.

    The bridge pup near the ends of the strings see much less movement and more overtones than the neck, and generate a weaker signal.
     
  8. El Pablo

    El Pablo Senior Member

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    Like Seth's, I like my pickups to be low-to-moderate output, regardless of the amp. To my ears, it gives your amp a chance to stretch it's legs and find it's own sweet spot.
     
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  9. darthphineas

    darthphineas Senior Member

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    have put a Seth set in a few guitars. one of my main dirty tones if full-on 80s high-octane high gain. I run all my pickups into that setting. the Seth set has done fine with regard to no microphonic issues and it can hold it's own with harder-edged rock style.
     
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  10. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    All the comments posted here lead me to believe that I made the right choice with the Seths. Most of my Lester is involved with "clean" styled tones. They work like a charm for this. The Dark Terror, when dialed in for the Seths, gets that chime and edge of breakup without sounding Metalish, yet when and if I need it, that Classic Rock tone is available also.

    Thanks too, for the advice on balancing pickup heights and working the sound with just guitar volume and tone controls; it's a big help.


    Classicplayer
     

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