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Discussion in 'Pickups' started by DarrellV, Dec 27, 2017.
That thing is sweet, man! Nice choices, @DarrellV; nice work, @CheopisIV. Very cool.
+1 for middle position and pointers
For uploading MP3 files a lot of people use http://soundcloud.com/, but yes it is another account to maintain and keep track on
Remember, your NottaShaw is MoreaTTop but no weak ass magnets. Also, some say it's a myth but my ears tell me a pickup will settle down and open up over the course of several months so that neck may still have some tone taming coming.
Break in time maybe?
Settling together in harmony like when you first moved out of home and lived with those weird guys that were just abrasive but then you got to know them and found they weren't all bad but still couldn't wait to get your own place because they ate all your Kraft Dinner and left the stove on while you were in class and they ran out the door which was also left open in -30 degree weather and Jesse's iguana got loose and tore up the couch and when you caught it and took it back to his room you found the cage and room and whole house after opening the door smelled like a mouldy, steamy, wormy pile of rotten garbage because he never cleaned the cage but somehow he still brought hot girls (and I mean HOT) home from the bar and spent a significant amount of 'quality time' in that dank stinky dungeon with them but you still remember the fun times playing Resident Evil all night or Axis and Allies for days at a time instead of going to college...
Those were the days!
Thanks! I will look into that. I also own studio one which offers something called Nimbit which is supposed to allow for posting to the cloud and stuff. I never used it.... Maybe its time!
I do want to put up the A-B test because I have a rare opportunity for you all to hear the 2 pickups in use in the same setting.
I have that recorded TV spot we did a while back and I saved the tracks to it myself for re-mixing later.
In the first run you can hear the RioGrandes in action and I should be able to record (dub) my new Shaw and playing into the mix using the tracks as a background so you can hear the Shaw sound in the same mix. In theory....
First off, Thank you!
Second off, there is more coming! After last night we fell in love.... awwwwwz!
But the how and why almost seem like a non-sequitur to me..
Do pickups from other providers or factory OEM go through some sort of 'run in' or aging as you say?
Like a car in the old days was run on a dyno to break it in, or the engines were spun by machine at the factory to break them in before the customer got in it and dropped the pedal leaving the lot..
It would make sense, or maybe they just sit in storage a while before they are used since they are mass produced...
+1 On the stronger magnet! More copper too, IIRC...
Yeah, No loss for words on that one! It speaks very well and very clear!
At first I wasn't sure if I would like to use it clean by itself as it wasn't a warm pleasing tone to me. Very dry and mostly all midrange as i said. But I also didn't change any EQ, to be fair.
But put together with the neck it is magic!
Whatever it is doing, it is noticeably better than before in the middle position.
It could be that the lesser bottom in the Notta Shaw is what has cleaned up and accentuated the chirp in the middle position. They work really well together!
I haven't used the ashes a lot yet being home on a small amp with the wife watching TV in the next room. She's a clean freak, has no use for distortion!
Yes and yes. I won't put words in anybody else's mouth but I've seen other custom winders express the same experience. Something that sits on a shelf for months should already be pretty much where it's going to end up. I've not experienced the settling in thing with any mass market pickups, but some of those were also entombed in wax so didn't sound great to begin with!
The biggest change happens overnight after assembly. Magnet + Metal = unstable relationship until everything saturates and balances. I never test a pickup until it's sat for a day with a new magnet at least. That's when building AND when swapping mags. The rest of the change is a very gradual thing.
I first noticed it on my first set of successful pickups which I still have here. They were in a LP and I'd play it every few weeks to hear the original sound. The original voice is still there but it became more open and hollow sounding. Wire settling maybe? Could be a lot of things.
A set of pickups with a nice middle position is a thing of beauty! I know a lot of people don't use the middle and I think it's because their pickups either aren't adjusted for it or can't be adjusted for it. A long time ago before winding, I had a set of pickups that I could dial in a pure sexy neck and bridge tone but for the life of me could not get them to balance for anything but boring mush in the middle. Sold them off for that reason alone. I need all the tones in all the positions!
I have seen this too! Or rather heard it... thought it was just me as it was over the years when I was even less of a guitar player than I am now... But I would dream at the guitar stores once in a while and I was always more tech minded. So switching knobs to try the different flavors was something I could do well. More so than playing back then.
I still don't play a lot in the stores. Just run through my set of tone progressions and various random notes , just to hear and feel.
I have this one on my wall..
Where do I apply?
Your Mileage May Vary....
But my journey seemed to take a lot of time....
It could be due to my almost OCD with my guitar's set up (feelz) and intonation )toanz). Fret buzz and plink are anathema to me, but I like my action to almost play itself..
From other members posting about their new pickup days I gathered the joy was immediate and the sound was always perfect.
At first I was afraid I might be a defective or something.. However in my defense I don't play a lot of high volume rock with a lot of distortion. So what I'm looking for in a pickup are its nuances...
These can be so small others around me don't even care to notice. Tonight I ran through the solo of 'Wayfaring Stranger' several times in a row. I'm sure if i asked my wife in the next room if she heard a difference she would not have.
I did, as I was using each position on the switch and then middle with pot roll off.
Sometimes however some are so strong even the members of my band will look over wide eyed and comment how they liked a particular sound.
All anyone has to do is look at some of the works of Hank Marvin or the Shadows to understand where I'm coming from on guitar.
The man is a master, unlike me, but he plays clean with an emotive tone that speaks volumes more to me than raw distortion.
He seems to be able to do more with a few notes and a waggle of the wammy bar than others can say with a hundred notes.
There is no where to hide if he blows it, but he never does...
Les Paul was another clean tone fanatic. And obsessive tone chaser.
So maybe my Happy New Pickup Day was delayed a bit, but it was a proper delay. My guitar was still horribly out of wack from sitting disassembled for months.
All that makes the guitar my own had to be put back together and dialed in first before I could relax enough to actually listen to what i was hearing.
The final piece of the tone puzzle turned out to be the truss rod! Makes no sense to me that a neck would have to be tightened after sitting without strings for a couple months, and then strung with lighter strings than it had!
Most of the brightness i had been hearing it turns out was due to the clanging and plinking of the strings on the frets. I had adjusted the bridge height repeatedly and had the intonation set up pretty good, but it still hurt my fingers with the action where it was and yet still fretted out after the 12th!
Another check of the relief showed there wasn't even enough room to slip a piece of paper under the strings where it was now, how could it go lower?
This morning I took a leap of faith and gave the ol truss rod another snugging up and suddenly, viola`! The action was comfortable and low and the fret buzzing disappeared! It seems backward to me, but that is what happened!
Now the pure toanz of the pickups could pour forth and they did so to my bliss!
I have moved the Notta Shaw up a bit more and run the poles out on it, and sunk the neck a bit more.
The neck has opened up its soul like I had hoped it would and the haunting sound is there. Freed from the clanking shackles of the string buzz it speaks clearly now!
The 53mm sounds much more musical and majestic as a Les Paul bridge pup should. I can even use it as a rhythm pickup now as it has a nice twang and spank to it, perfect for some of the country numbers we do.
So I can't help but wonder what I do differently (or incorrectly) that I must go through the trials of the danged to get my guitar setup to achieve tonal bliss, when others simply pop their new pups in and off they go...I just don't get it!
I've found the same thing in my 2003 LP Standard.
When I first got it, the setup wasn't good and it didn't sound good at all. I went through the motions of swapping sets and adjusting the pickups first but nothing sounded inspiring so I chalked it up as a 'dead' guitar. Then I did the setup and got everything where I like; action was way too high and neck relief was non existent. Once I had the neck in proper shape, I plugged in again and it also showed the toanz!
It's now become the tried and true test guitar for all my pickups. A proper setup and good electronics goes a LOOOONG way to getting good tone.
Thanks so much for the encouraging words!
Could it be that these beasts are such a tight made unit and so solid in their construction that everything has to be just so for things to work together properly?
I dunno, but it certainly seems easier to do on a Fender and they seem to be more forgiving in a lot of ways. The neck also moves with the strings and the trem bridge absorbs and reflects differently.....
It could also be the pickup windows location on these is not optimal, as we said earlier, and best setup gets the overtones moving over them more strongly so they are heard more....
I've noticed that my bridge posts are not even in that the treble side is a bit lower than the bass side. This could be normal, what do I know, but everything works.
Last night I did some more thinking on the honk in the bridge pickup and I suddenly remembered a mod I had recommended to another user a while back, and thought I might try myself when I got the new electronics.
Mine came with 300K pots on the tonanz and now has 500K. Of course they are brighter, idiot!
So last night I scarfed a 1 meg resistor off an old Fender volume pot and put it in parallel with the bridge tone pot's resistance strip.
20180115_200823 by DarrellV posted Jan 16, 2018 at 8:14 AM
20180115_201543 by DarrellV posted Jan 16, 2018 at 8:14 AM
20180115_201551 by DarrellV posted Jan 16, 2018 at 8:14 AM
The math says I should now have a 333.3K tone pot in the bridge position! Sweet!
Seems to have mellowed it a bit, but it can still be pretty bright if you lean into the strings, so I backed the pole screws down a bit and it has helped.
IMG_9282 by DarrellV posted Jan 25, 2018 at 10:12 AM
Man you're crazy what a stunning work you did there, and I love the details
Holy crap! I'm now quite dizzy, disorientation, in a cloud of ADD, and I have to take a nap. BUT, Darrell, very interesting read and documentary. You're pictures are fantastic and the guitar looks fabulous!
Two thumbs up for this thread!
I have to admit DarrellV, a lot of this was completely over my head. I wish I had the knowledge you and many on here seem to have about the various intricacies surrounding pickups and setups down to the micro level you do — I’m sure my guitars are being wasted with subpar setups that barely reach their true potential!
That being said, I’ll make sure that in any future vids I post I’m tuned to the closest cent and that my tone is decent as I can with my very little knowledge.
However, I read through the whole journey and I’d have to say, although the pictures of that beautiful Lester were a huge favorite part of mine, I learned quite a bit and thought the documentation of this journey was incredible! Truly an amazing thread!
I can only imagine how divine that beauty must sound when set up to such a stringent degree with pickups winded to a customization level very few ever get to experience.
Would love to hear some clips of how those turned out and while I am a huge fan of T-Tops (unlike many) this thread made me regret never having a chance to try out Shaws. I guess I have to look for some with the red wire and give them a go!
Thank you kindly!
I wanted to do a detailed thread for posterity as it seems that most folks in here either like them, or could learn from them.
Thanks Frozone! It is a bit of a dense read I know. I was hoping that I could encourage others who might want to try their hand at improving their own guitars by showing them what lies under the hood. There is no mystery, just wires and parts stuck in a wood body.
By taking the reader step by step through the thought process and then actually doing it I was hoping to answer some questions or worries a future reader might have about doing this himself.
Thank you so much for your kind words! I promise I won't cry this time, LOL!!!!!
I'll tell you what... I would trade your playing abilities for my head knowledge about them any day!
I can always get someone else to fix the thing, I can't play like you for any amount of money or effort!
And really, guitars are for playing, so IMHO you got the better deal!
I'm still trying to figure out how to get some sound clips up there other than opening a sound cloud account. I don't want youtube! I'm not that interesting to watch, lOL!
@CheopisIV is a big fan of T-Tops and Shaws and obviously makes a good clone. You could always PM him for one of your own. He has the right VOS red wire for the job.
I bought the parts for the 53mm from Mojotone and provided the Shaw parts from my own, so it was just the winding cost.
If you have any old ones laying around working or otherwise that you liked, that's a good start!
God bless and best of luck in your new life together!
20180211_102905 by DarrellV posted Feb 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM
Seems that may actually be happening!
Still more setting up and tweaking has been going on, but I actually did notice that this past week the neck Shaw resembles the MIM Strat Shaw now!
20180101_140243 by DarrellV posted Jan 1, 2018 at 2:20 PM
Got things where I want them with no buzz or rattle!
20180211_102742 by DarrellV posted Feb 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM
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20180211_102842 by DarrellV posted Feb 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM
I just opened a Soundcloud account but have no idea what to do from here as far as using it or getting stuff up there.
What types of files do I need to make, etc.... Hey @DotStudio , can I please pick your brain on this?
I take it you've been using it long enough for it to make it into your sig!
Disclaimer up front! Since there are some REAL players in here I want to warn you that if i go forward with this, they will be sound clips only! Just to illustrate the sounds of these amazing pickups using a short well known riff or two. I'm no guitar god, LOL!!!
You have been warned!
Darrell, beside being stunned by your passion, patience and finesse you demonstrate on this work, I want to add: I think the majority of people here are like you, passionate players. I heard fantastic players into this site, and really tasteful licks and tones, and this isn't always related to one's ability to play as fast as Malmsteen or super technical like Petrucci. I, but I think many here won't judge your playing abilities, so just have fun and do what you love without being worried by this
Bull$hit! Anyone with the cajones to actually put up clips of their playing is a guitar god. Play on!
Thank you both!
But when you consider that @crazytrain513 train just posted above me......well,
Well, as you know Dave, I've already posted that 1 hr vid I shared with you during the tone chasing part of our project!
If I can get this sound cloud thing sorted and can find out what I have to produce in Studio One and how to get it there... whew!
Then I can also do the A-B of a couple tunes with that video soundtrack.
Then I would like to just share some really nice Hank style noodling that I really enjoy and that really illustrates the beautiful airy tones of these Shaws.
Magnet Swap and 50's Mod on a rainy Saturday Afternoon
Today I decided to do the magnet swap in the Notta Shaw..
Dave generously sent me an A2 magnet in the mail to try in place of the A5 he put in the Notta Shaw.
As I've said the Notta Shaw with that A5 is a face ripper. Just no manners at all unless it is playing with the neck Shaw. Then it is sweet!
So here is a pictorial on magnet swapping for anyone who may want to try it. It was my first time.
While in there I also ran into some wiring troubles including a coil lead break which I mended without much ado.. Couldn't get the cover to seat properly. Kept catching in the tape. So I fixed it with my razor knife!
Then I swapped over my modern wiring to 50's wiring.
By the time I'm done I'll have written a definitive work on the subject, LOL!!!
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Please! Being a good player and tone monster requires some knowledge and you have that in excess! Some of the best players ever prove that -- think EVH, Eric Johnson, Slash, Rhoads, Schenker, Page, etc. etc.
I'm just now starting to learn more about all those intricacies and hope it actually helps me some day because god knows without good tone it doesn't matter what you play
Looking forward to hearing some more of these clips
Ooops! I just went through here again (loved this project!) and noticed that magnet is going in backwards! North should be facing the slugs, not the screws. It'll give you OOP in the middle position but otherwise the individual pickups will sound the same.