Seymour Duncan Bonamassa Skinnerburst set

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Laro, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. LPtronic

    LPtronic Junior Member

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    @deadringer

    I share your view that the SD Skinnerburst set is more refined and less aggressive than Gibsons BB3/CB set. Indeed also I liked the original set a lot, where the BB3 neck allowed for thick leads and the CB even for quite heavy stuff at an aggressively set amp. Actually I found the bottom end a bit tighter on the CB bridge as apposed to the SD Skinnerburst (SB) bridge PU. Nevertheless I think I prefer now the new SD SB set. It is more open, more airy, more dynamic, and more resolving. Altogether, more organic and it feels as if the guitar has evolved to a better one.

    Moreover, with the SD PU set, it really seems to be much closer to Bonamassas real Skinnerburst (provided he did not wire the 3-way PU selector switch differently): When watching his SB performances on YT, I have noticed that he gets his thick lead tone from the bridge pickup. With Gibsons CB, that was not possible on my SB VOS. Moreover, his neck tone seems to be more Tele-like, which again matches with the SD SB neck PU much better than with Gibsons BB3. In fact, on the SB VOS, it is more the CB bridge PU that can allow for Tele-like tones.

    Now the only thing that I am not fully happy about is the significant difference in output between the SD neck and the SD bridge SB PUs for normal PU heights. Only when I lower the bridge PU such that its top is below the top of the PU ring and at the same time raise the neck PU to the highest viable position, I get a balance in volume between bridge and neck. This leads me to think that there may be a problem specific to my SD SB set. Indeed, my store has very kindly suggested to send me a new 2nd set once they have it on stock again. Will be interesting to compare.
     
  2. LPtronic

    LPtronic Junior Member

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    @framos: Good to hear that there are SD SB sets without this loudness issue. Thus there is hope that the 2nd set will be better.

    Indeed, when - after my nightly PU exchange soldering - I tried the SD SB set for the first time, I really thought that I had accidentally interchanged neck and bridge PU. I went to bed feeling really stupid ... On the next day I watched the YT video where Joe Bonamassa introduces the new PU set. There one sees that the neck PU is the one with the two slight dents close to the G- and the H-strings. Since I got the aged set, which shows the same dents at the neck PU, I had apearantly put in the PUs at the right positions. After borrowing a device for a measurement on the same day, also the measurement confirmed that my new neck PU has a smaller DC conductivity than my new bridge PU with the right difference of 0.3kOhms according to the infos on the SD SB packaging.

    I fully understand that the BB3 is very different from the new neck PU which is perfectly ok for me. In fact, last night I have played around quite a bit with the adjustments of the SD SB neck PU, the tonal results were very convincing (i.e., beautiful clarity and string separation). So both bridge PU and neck PU independently allow for great tones. Only when switching or when using both simultaneously, the loudness issue is really bothering me.
     
  3. framos

    framos Senior Member

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    I had misread your original post. At first I understood the neck PU was too loud, but now going through it again I realized that your problem is that the bridge seem to loud relative to the neck.

    My sets differ by ~0.6Kohms, so in theory the difference in output should be even larger. Perhaps you do have a problem either in the neck or the bridge pup, most likely the neck.

    In any case, it's worth checking the connection to the pots and even if your neck pickup pot was "cooked" during the installation. Been there myself...
     
  4. sws1

    sws1 V.I.P. Member

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    Mine don't have this volume difference.

    I will re-iterate an earlier comment...these pups, particularly the bridge, really required your technique to be on point. I think it's because they are more dynamic and sensitive to picking strength. I suppose I could crank up the gain, but that's not how I play. In this regard, the bridge pup is much more like one set of vintage PAFs that I have. They are certainly making me a better player. (I equate it to playing lead on an acoustic guitar. )
     
  5. LPtronic

    LPtronic Junior Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Indeed, now I think that it is very likely that it is a problem with the volume pots. There is the possibility that I have cooked the volume pots or that tin had run down one of the lugs. I have just ordered a set of new pots.

    In fact, I had already tried swapping the pots. That is I interchanged the wirings of neck and bridge PU at the pots. This way I became to know that the neck PU is quite special. Then however the bridge PU had lost some of its magic. (Still the bridge remained louder than the neck PU so that there may still be an additional problem with the PUs.) Yesterday night, I went back to the normal wiring, which led to a magic bridge PU and a thin neck PU. Looking forward to replace both pots. Keeping fingers crossed that I will not destroy the new pots as well.
     
  6. LPtronic

    LPtronic Junior Member

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    Good to know that you do not have this volume issue ... and I share your impressions about the increased dynamics and sensitivity. Quite impressive.
     
  7. RickPas

    RickPas Junior Member

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    I bought a Les Paul last year 2015 Traditional Pro 3T..I have had it a year now and have not been happy with the sound I am able to get from the guitar...I even bought a new amp a Suhr Badger..Still just can't seem to get that Les Paul sound that I love and looking for....
    Been thinking maybe time to try a different set of Pickups, and my looking around has ended up with these JB pickups....
    Anyone have any input on if these could help getting that les paul sound more than the pickups that ship in the Pro 3T....
    Just looking for some help from people that have already been down this road.
    Thanks for any info....
    Rick
     
  8. LPtronic

    LPtronic Junior Member

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    Earlier I had posted some questions wrt a neck pu that had significantly less output than the bridge pu in a SD Skinnerburst set. Appearantly, there was really a problem with that particular neck pu. By now, I have received a second SD Skinnerburst set, where the neck pu has at least as much output than the bridge pu of that set. In fact, it now tends to be even a bit louder than the bridge pu, which however can now be balanced by lowering the neck pu.

    In my first pu exchange I had also damaged the volume pots by applying too much heat with the soldering iron. Nevertheless, the neck pu problem was not related to the cooked pots. In the meantime I had tested this first set in another guitar in which both pickups shared the same proper working volume and tone pots.

    In conclusion, I have now send back the first set with issues to the dealer still within the money back guarantee. Moreover, I will keep the 2nd set, which I was able to try properly with new pots and a pair of new Luxe Bumble Bee caps yesterday. I really liked what I was hearing. It is such a highly resolving and organic sounding set of pu's. Great sustain as well. I like it so much that I am now thinking about ordering a second set for another guitar.
     
  9. framos

    framos Senior Member

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    Good to know you found the problem. Enjoy!
     
  10. RickPas

    RickPas Junior Member

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    Just got my les paul back from having the JB pickups put in....Any recommended initial setting on my amp to take advantage of these pickups....I have a Suhr Badger. And currently run the gain around o'clock. and bass, treble and mid around 12 o'clock...have power and drive around 11....
    Still not getting the sound I am looking for ......Any tips would be great..
    Rick
     
  11. BluesPlaya

    BluesPlaya Junior Member

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    Hello everybody. I'm thinking of taking the LP plunge. Being a skinflint, I want to get my hands on the Studio Faded T. Although the burstbucker pickups in this guitar sound pretty good, I really love the sound of these Skinnerburst pickups. Can anybody see any potential problems having these installed in a Studio Faded T? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  12. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    What kind of 'problems' are you anticipating? I am not sure if the Studio Faded T uses a PC board, but if it does, you'd either have to attach a molex connector, or rip all of that out and wire it traditionally.
     
  13. BluesPlaya

    BluesPlaya Junior Member

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    I'm not really anticipating any problems, Zoobiedood. I just wondered if anybody knew a little more about the Faded T to give me a little insight into any potential problems with installing a set of Skinnerbursts in a Studio Faded T.
     
  14. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    Ahh, gotcha. Look in the control cavity, and see if there is a PC board, if there is, installation will be a little more complex.
     
  15. BluesPlaya

    BluesPlaya Junior Member

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    Ah I see. Damn computers complicating things! lol! Thanks Zoob.
     
  16. darthphineas

    darthphineas Senior Member

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    finally grabbed a set last weekend.

    running it through a few amps and a few speaker configurations.

    more thoughts soon.
     
  17. hbthelegend

    hbthelegend Junior Member

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    Hey everybody, I have a set of skinnerburst in my Les Paul Std which i like a lot.

    Weird question...but do you think the skinnerburst could be great in a ES-335 ???

    I have a 335 block 63' with burstbuckers...I'm tired of the BB, find it a lil bit harsh.
     
  18. Starman

    Starman Senior Member

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    So it's been a year with the Skinnerburst set in a 2016 Trad. (Also tested in a R8). Have to say after much playing and comparing to my other LP's the bridge pickup of this set is rather disappointing. It is just weak. Somewhat thin....., not overly dynamic, and when paired alongside the neck (which is magnificent FYI) it just falls short.

    My set rings out true to box specs using my Fluke meter, 8.36n 8.66b...but the bridge is just horribly underpowered compared to the neck.

    I placed the bridge in two guitars with the same results. Thus I have now removed the bridge only pickup and will send it back to Duncan Custom Shop to see if they can find anything wrong with it.

    On another note, did anyone hear if there was a winner of the contest as advertised in the box set?
     
  19. framos

    framos Senior Member

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    My sets are close to 8.2k neck and 8.9k bridge. I currently have this set on both my LPs.

    In my experience, the bridge pickup has an upper-mids emphasis that may sound a bit thin (and `dry` , courtesy of A3 magnet) on cleaner setups, but is stellar with a bit more of gain and volume. Very aggressive. That's why I like this set so much.
     
  20. Starman

    Starman Senior Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I play with plenty of gain 75% of the time and all my other LP's sound thick, beefy, and have sizzle when vol turned up, but can clean up nicely with vol knob. The skinner bridge never really gets anywhere great... yes it sounds better than let's say a 57+ but just isn't stellar. I guess I'm spoiled by the other pickups I have that all seem to deliver.
     

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