Stephens Design Peter Green-Vintage LAB-PG Set now available...

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Dave Stephens, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    indeed!
    BTW Gabriel... any suggestions with the phase issue? :hmm:
     
  2. hillbilly

    hillbilly V.I.P. Member

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    It would be best to contact Dave concerning his pickups, but the "simple" solution is to flip ONE of the magnets to make them both in phase.

    Doing this MAY void any warranty you have, so contact him first before you do anything. :wave:
     
  3. b-squared

    b-squared Banned

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    Is it a 4-wire pickup? Maybe you have the wrong two wires connected. ;)

    If not, then the two are indeed OOP with each other.

    BB
     
  4. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    Yeah, if they're both 2 conductor's, I'm guessing they're genuinely OOP. Flip the magnet in the Seth Lover, should be an easy job.
    I actually had the same issue last year, but reversing the neck fixed it.

    You say it's not a pleasing OOP sound. Is it really thin, really bright?
     
  5. hillbilly

    hillbilly V.I.P. Member

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    How in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is that even possible? :hmm::naughty::D:cool::cheers: My favorite Les Paul sound...
     
  6. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    If the Alnico installed in the neck pickup wasn't magnetized on a full-moon night, on the original magnetization-izer that Ted McCarty acquired from Wayne Enterprises in 1954, and if the bridge pickup isn't kissed by a blonde girl named Lucy, I've heard that the tone can be less than pleasant. :D

    In all seriousness, Hilario is a big Peter Green and OPP fan, so if it sounds funky to him, there's gotta be something going on. It's probably an easy fix, but it's definitely a bit strange.

    Let us know how it goes, Hilario!
     
  7. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    that'd be the first step I'd take.
     
  8. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    indeed! I'm a big fan of the OOP sound and Peter Green too.
    I'm going to tell you a little story that can shed some light.

    I have a set of WB pickups that kepp Will busy for a long time. The problem as that the pikups by themselves sounded gorgeous but I wanted them to sound good out of phase too. That was the problem as they didn't. They sounded kind of weak when played together OOP. It took him some time and a few rewinds to get the formula right; three brilliant sounds.

    That taught me a lesson. Not all pickups wired OOP sound the same or indeed good.
    I feel a bit like a spoilt child as Will Boggs has supplied my needs for OOP tone perfectly.
    The problem I'm hearing seem to me after playing a bit with it like a less "nice" OOP sound due to two pickups that were not designed to work together having some phase cancellation.

    The good thing is I'm not leaving the VL with the Seth Lover. Anyway, experimentation pays off and sometimes your ears tell you that something might be wrong when it simply sounds "different".

    Let see what Dave has to say, anyway...
     
  9. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    You guys all get outa bed earlier than me :-(
    The VL's are wound and wired with the coil starts connected and the outer slug lead as hot and pole coil lead as ground. Some use the coil ends connected together and coil starts as hot and ground leads, so maybe the Seth is wired the other way, there is no standard and neither really affects the tone. The easiest thing is to flip the Seth magnet, opening my cover voids the warranty, but worse than that I use double clamping to hold the cover on when soldering, so if you take it off and put it back on yourself its liable to squeal from not having adequate force holding it on during soldering :) Anyway, glad the pickup is a hit, its a little hotter than the stock one in the set and in my test rig (not a real guitar) it sounded really good before I packed it up.

    I sent two sets to 2 studio musicians in the UK and down in Los Angeles and hearing pretty much the same reviews from guys who make their living playing guitar, so I'm pretty happy about that. Both are doing demos and youtube videos so should have some cool stuff to show and listen to soon. The guy in the UK has about 50 different amps and some cool vintage Marshalls, so looking forward to hear those babies!
     
  10. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    the pickup sounds great Dave... I'm telling you!!

    let us know those youtube links whenever are avaliable.
     
  11. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    I bet he'll shed some light on the subject.

    Experimentation is so important to finding "your" tone. Back in my "only Tele" days, my guitar (sadly departed,) had a '53 bridge pickup. Microphonic and noisy, but it sounded great. I had bought a set of Bardens after talking with Jay Montrose, (Danny Gatton's tech.)

    I played them, didn't like them (too clean,) and pulled them out. Left them in the box for another 6 months. I went to do some sessions for a singer friend of mine, and the buzz was terrible. I put the Bardens in, and did the record. A couple weeks later, listening to the masters I was blown away at how good the guitar sounded. I liked it better than ever. More lows, more highs, more clarity, more dynamics.
    Funny how your prejudices can "change" your hearing.

    You're absolutely right, though, getting a good OOP is not as easy as many think. Lot's of people assume it's just a thin, nasally sound, because that's what it sounds like at its worst.
    At its best, it's a crisp, vocal honk, that's very dynamic and responsive.

    I like it in almost all my Gibson-style guitars, because you can always turn the volume on one pickup down a hair, (esp. with RS pots,) and get the "normal" middle setting. All those variations on great tone are addicting, especially since there's no push/pulls, mini-toggles, or single-coil hum added.
     
  12. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Just posted my reply. Unfortunately there is no standard in the industry for how humbuckers are wired, thats the problem. I sent a four conductor wired bucker to a guy and he wrote back kinda pissed off saying his tech installed the pickup and it was weak and sounded real shrill, then he said "he used Duncan's color code diagram." I asked him why his tech didn't use the diagram I included with the pickup? DOH! Once he used my code it worked fine.....
     
  13. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    LOL!! well after all he used the SD pickup colour code :lol:

    Now seriously thanks for your insight.
     
  14. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    :laugh2::laugh2:

    Seriously though, it's kinda silly how there isn't a standard. Personally, I'd like to see polka dots, stripes, black and white cables adopted universally.
     
  15. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    HAAAAAAAAAAA, LOL, I didn't think of THAT! PRETTY FUNNY :) I'm thinking of redesigning my website, maybe on the home page I'll put up a photo of my ugly mug and say " I am not Seymour Duncan!" He has more hair than me damnit....
     
  16. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    On the PAFs vs. P90's deal, PAFs were actually supposed to be like a noiseless P90, they use the same spacer bars, magnet size and pole pieces and number of total winds. On some early blues recordings like Freddy King its hard to tell if they are playing P90s or PAFs, there are some common tones happening sometimes, especially through the cool old amp designs of the time....
     
  17. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    I know what you mean. Through a clean amp, live in the room, PAF's to me have more complexity to the sound, (good ones at least.) But on a lot of those blues recordings, it can be tricky.

    It's funny, with the jazz recordings of the period it's much easier to tell, because they were playing so clean, no overdrive.
    You can hear a big shift in Jim Hall's tone when he went from his P-90, (he used for years,) to a PAF, and then to a Rowe humbucker, (a very cool design that I love. Super clear and sweet.)

    Wes Montgomery's early recordings with P-90's are really different from his first Riverside tracks, which were a DeArmond pickups, (borrowed from Kenny Burrell.) And then later, the PAF sound.

    And Kenny himself, you can hear the big differences between Charlie Christian pickups, DeArmonds, P-90's and later, PAF's.

    BTW, Seth Lover's early classic, the Alnico V "Staple" pickup, (another great one,) was clearly going after the DeArmond sound and vibe: very clear, bright, and adjustable.

    Funny enough, you see the prototype PAF's, had no adjustable polepieces. Seth said the Gibson execs looked at that, and thought, (probably rightly,) that guitarists would probably see them as inferior, since DeArmonds, (the #1 pickup maker at the time,) touted their adjustable models as the best in the world. Gibson's P-90 had adjustable polepieces, and Seth's Staple pickup was very adjustable.

    So they asked if the PAF could be too. He said, "no problem!" and adjusted the design!
     
  18. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    there were quite a few blues guys who played pretty clean, back then electric blues and electric jazz were almost the same thing, later on jazz got away from blues. I personally prefer the early jazz blues for soul and tone. Most of the really good jazz players later one all started out bluesy and got a little too out there for me anyway, later on. Here's Barney Kessel rippin' it up on One Mint Julep, nice bluesy stuff, Charlie Christian pickup archtop, you can't beat that:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqgwVpCTAf4]YouTube - Barney Kessel Trio - One Mint Julep ( 1960s )[/ame]

    I recently read Seth Lover said when they asked for adjustable pole screws he thought it was a stupid idea and gave it to 'em and said it wasn't worth "rocking the boat" to stick to the original design. He mentions that PAFs were not really noise free because each bobbin used different pole designs so they just don't match in the way they handle incoming AC hum.
     
  19. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    I know what you mean. I was talking more about the late 50's and early 60's guys who started cranking those amps. The Texas and Chicago guys like Elmore James, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf. The 3 Kings starting to turn it up. (Of course, they're not using nearly as much gain as when the British started playing blues, and "introduced" it to white America, who then added even more distortion...)

    But some of my favorite tones are the cleaner blues tones of guys like T-Bone Walker. It's funny, even on some later recordings when he's using a 335, he still sounds almost like he's playing that big 'ol ES-5, or the earlier ES-250.

    Dave, have you heard much Grant Green? From what you've just said, sounds like you'd love his playing. Lot's of Gospel and Soul, tones of Blues and R&B, but he was a jazzer, the house guitarist for the Blue Note label for years. P-90 tone to die for. He could definitely do the "out" stuff, quartal harmonies and all that, (I love that stuff too,) but his main thing was bringing as much soul, blues and groove to the music as possible.

    If you haven't heard him, PM and I'll send you some stuff. :D
     
  20. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Never really got into Grant Green, too jazzy I think. I like weird guys like Wild Bill Jennings, Tiny Grimes, alot of the jump blues guys study those styles, its jazzy blues and has alot of Charlie Christian riffs in it.
     

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