Magnet day! T-tops very afraid!

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
Just received some long magnets from addictionfx:
A3,
roughcast UOA5, and
A8

My t-tops are a little scared. :laugh2:

First experiment, since nobody on this forum seems to have tried it, is the A8.

My t-top sounds great in the bridge of my F-spaced home-made bolt-on, but for some reason the Gibson polepiece spread is a real problem, with the low E dropping out miserably.

I noticed that when I installed my Gibson-spaced Duncan Distortion (with its ceramic monster magnet), it was buff enuf so I could lower it some, and then the pole spacing was no longer a problem, and all 6 strings rocked hard with no dropout, due to a magnetic field strong enough to attract plastic. :laugh2:

SO, my theory (ahem), which is mine (ahem), is that a monster magnet in one of my t-tops would make a ballsacious bridge pickup, and the huge magnetic field would eliminate the pole-spacing issue just as the Duncan Distortion did.

(Yes, I am aware the t-top has about half the ohms of the DD. Fine. It'll be my answer to a Super 70. ;-) :thumb:

I am hoping I'll have the inherent caramel compression of the t-top, with the added bottom of the A8, without QUITE as much of the big cartoony mids of the Duncan Distortion, which sounds gorgeous for the first few weeks and then wears me down a bit. :hmm:

For the neck, maybe an A3, so I can pretend I have a Gibson Beano LP pickup. :cool: (I loves me some clank and some piano ring on the wound strings.)

Time to bust out my Dr Horrible lab coat and goggles, people!

I will let you all know how it turns out... depending on who cares in the first place. :D
 

LtKojak

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
4,157
Reaction score
3,018
Just received some long magnets from addictionfx:
A3,
roughcast UOA5, and
A8

My t-tops are a little scared. :laugh2:

First experiment, since nobody on this forum seems to have tried it, is the A8.

My t-top sounds great in the bridge of my F-spaced home-made bolt-on, but for some reason the Gibson polepiece spread is a real problem, with the low E dropping out miserably.

I noticed that when I installed my Gibson-spaced Duncan Distortion (with its ceramic monster magnet), it was buff enuf so I could lower it some, and then the pole spacing was no longer a problem, and all 6 strings rocked hard with no dropout, due to a magnetic field strong enough to attract plastic. :laugh2:

SO, my theory (ahem), which is mine (ahem), is that a monster magnet in one of my t-tops would make a ballsacious bridge pickup, and the huge magnetic field would eliminate the pole-spacing issue just as the Duncan Distortion did.

(Yes, I am aware the t-top has about half the ohms of the DD. Fine. It'll be my answer to a Super 70. ;-) :thumb:

I am hoping I'll have the inherent caramel compression of the t-top, with the added bottom of the A8, without QUITE as much of the big cartoony mids of the Duncan Distortion, which sounds gorgeous for the first few weeks and then wears me down a bit. :hmm:

For the neck, maybe an A3, so I can pretend I have a Gibson Beano LP pickup. :cool: (I loves me some clank and some piano ring on the wound strings.)

Time to bust out my Dr Horrible lab coat and goggles, people!

I will let you all know how it turns out... depending on who cares in the first place. :D

Your experiments may be successful on the neck p'up. On the bridge p'up... a little less, if my experiences are worth something.

The neck p'up will take almost any alnico magnet, except an A8, which is much too powerful to that position.

On the bridge p'up, the A8 may be useful, an UOA5 maybe too, all the others may not be so successful if you need to rock.

OTOH, if you play Jazz with a big box, then the A2s may work alright, or my personal favorite, the A3 neck UOA5 bridge mag combo for big Jazz boxes.

Have fun, don't forget to allow some time to the new mag to stabilize (from two days for the A8 to a whole week for the A3) before you start with the close listening test.

With every mag swap the Q changes, so the "sweet spot" of the p'up will change as well. Don't overlook this very important detail, so don't be afraid to use your tone controls.

HTH,
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
Your experiments may be successful on the neck p'up. On the bridge p'up... a little less, if my experiences are worth something.

The neck p'up will take almost any alnico magnet, except an A8, which is much too powerful to that position.

On the bridge p'up, the A8 may be useful, an UOA5 maybe too, all the others may not be so successful if you need to rock.

OTOH, if you play Jazz with a big box, then the A2s may work alright, or my personal favorite, the A3 neck UOA5 bridge mag combo for big Jazz boxes.

Have fun, don't forget to allow some time to the new mag to stabilize (from two days for the A8 to a whole week for the A3) before you start with the close listening test.

With every mag swap the Q changes, so the "sweet spot" of the p'up will change as well. Don't overlook this very important detail, so don't be afraid to use your tone controls.

HTH,

Grazi Mille! Thanks for weighing in, sir.
Your opinion carries a lot of weight indeed. :thumb:

Not a lot of jazz will be played on this teak-bodied mutant. :laugh2: But I have a Xaviere "Faux-35" for when I wanna jazz out.

I know you hate t-tops, and I think I understand why, but I find their obsessive midrange response just about right for the bridge position of a chimey bolt-on like this, while they're less and less interesting the closer you get to the neck, where I usually like to hear clarity and openness. The only drag for me is the pole misalignment, which many people say they don't notice. :hmm: That's where the big-ass magnet comes in!

I can't wait to test it out. I'm an engineer's son and I dig this stuff. In fact, I feel cheated whenever real-life impediments get in the way of my experiments. I just have to remember to practice PLAYING the darn thing as well. :lol:
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
I think with an A8 that a T-Top will sound VERY close to a Super 70!

That'd be pretty cool. I've never heard them, myself, but they are fabled in song and story, and much loved.

I just dig the chewiness and compression of t-tops, and I hope I can preserve some of that. :fingersx: At least in the bridge, they seem to be a good compromise between openness and caramel.

As for the neck, I have been hopelessly spoiled by the Humbucker From Hell and the FRED. :thumb: So I have my work cut out for me trying to get those overtones out of an old-school pickup like the t-top. I have high hopes for the A3.
 

formula73

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
1,185
Reaction score
988
I LOVE neck T Tops. In fact, the only reason my 73 has both Super 70s is because they're magnetically out of phase with the stock Pat # Gibbos and I didn't want to pop the covers on either set. I think you'll really dig the A8 in the bridge.
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
Thanks, everybody, for your comments and advice. :wave:
I hope to get to this little experiment this weekend.
Fingers crossed! :fingersx:
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
As a preamble, I managed to swap the A3 into one of the t-tops.
I didn't know I had to completely unscrew the screw coils from the base plate. (DUH, Tim!) :laugh2:

THREE THINGS I NOTICED RIGHT AWAY:
1. STANDARD (NON-PHILLIPS) SCREWS ARE A TOOL OF SATAN. :mad2:
2. A3 MAY BE THE WEAKEST MAGNET EVER! (NO GOOD FOR REFRIGERATOR) :laugh2:
3. A QUICK "HOLD OVER THE STRINGS" PICKUP TEST SOUNDED GREAT!
:thumb::thumb::thumb:

Output is way down, but what a great tone!!!! :shock:

I held this thing over the neck position and the BOING on the wound strings reminded me of the Leslied piano on the beginning of Pink Floyd's "Echoes."

When I finally install this thing, I'll have to set it really Santana-close to the strings, but I'll be rewarded with a level of detail that I never knew a t-top had inside it.

I can hardly wait to swap the A8 into the bridge t-top now. That may have to be quite a bit further away from the strings.
 

hamerfan

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
527
Reaction score
211
Def. not necessary to uncrew a coil. Just loose the brass screws, then try to lift the coil a tiny bit, then try to loose the bar magnet and then slide it out. I use a knife blade or a flat screw driver to get between the bobbin and magnet and twist the blade gently.
 

LtKojak

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
4,157
Reaction score
3,018
As a preamble, I managed to swap the A3 into one of the t-tops.
I didn't know I had to completely unscrew the screw coils from the base plate. (DUH, Tim!) :laugh2:

THREE THINGS I NOTICED RIGHT AWAY:
1. STANDARD (NON-PHILLIPS) SCREWS ARE A TOOL OF SATAN. :mad2:
2. A3 MAY BE THE WEAKEST MAGNET EVER! (NO GOOD FOR REFRIGERATOR) :laugh2:
3. A QUICK "HOLD OVER THE STRINGS" PICKUP TEST SOUNDED GREAT!
:thumb::thumb::thumb:

Output is way down, but what a great tone!!!! :shock:

I held this thing over the neck position and the BOING on the wound strings reminded me of the Leslied piano on the beginning of Pink Floyd's "Echoes."

When I finally install this thing, I'll have to set it really Santana-close to the strings, but I'll be rewarded with a level of detail that I never knew a t-top had inside it.

I can hardly wait to swap the A8 into the bridge t-top now. That may have to be quite a bit further away from the strings.

If you like the A3 T-Top, get an UOA5 for the bridge. It's a great combo, once dialed-in, the "both-on" position is to die for!

I think the A8 would be too strong...
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
If you like the A3 T-Top, get an UOA5 for the bridge. It's a great combo, once dialed-in, the "both-on" position is to die for!

I think the A8 would be too strong...

The main reason I was going to use a monster magnet was that I need to lower the pickup enough to make up for the polepiece-versus-string-spacing discrepancy. (It worked when I tried a Gibby-spaced Duncan Distortion... I set it nice and low and all 6 strings were heard!)

The stock t-top sounds good in the bridge, but only when close, and then the polepiece misalignment makes the low E inaudible.

I figured an A8 would take care of that, but you feel that a UOA5 will do the job? I'm new at this, so I appreciate your wisdom. :hmm:
 

LtKojak

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
4,157
Reaction score
3,018
The stock t-top sounds good in the bridge, but only when close, and then the polepiece misalignment makes the low E inaudible.

Can I see a picture of the misalignment?

I've never experienced the low E string being overpowered by the others, specially in the bridge position, where polepiece spread is the less important of factors. This could indicate a faulty mechanical coupling of the magnet with the screw, or even a broken or faulty screw.
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
Can I see a picture of the misalignment?

I've never experienced the low E string being overpowered by the others, specially in the bridge position, where polepiece spread is the less important of factors. This could indicate a faulty mechanical coupling of the magnet with the screw, or even a broken or faulty screw.

Thanks again for your insights. Yes, of course, I 'll get you a pic as soon as I can. :) There's a Super Distortion/FRED hybrid in the bridge position now, but I hope to take it out today and install the t-top so I can show you. The same pickup works great in its current position (middle) with no dropouts and normal string height. Maybe it's some weirdness in the Duncan TripleShot ring?
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
Can I see a picture of the misalignment?

I've never experienced the low E string being overpowered by the others, specially in the bridge position, where polepiece spread is the less important of factors. This could indicate a faulty mechanical coupling of the magnet with the screw, or even a broken or faulty screw.

Here ya go, Lieutenant. Sorry it took me so long.

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/mem...49866-pole-misalignment-my-teak-wonder-2.html


79standard-albums-my-79-les-paul-standard-picture49866-pole-misalignment-my-teak-wonder-2.html
 

formula73

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
1,185
Reaction score
988
That's pretty far off, man. There's a lot of people who poo-poo F spacing/trembuckers, but when it's that bad, you can hear it. You may want to give something else with wider spacing a shot. Duncan 59s are pretty damned close to T Tops, imho, and they do F spacing. You also may want to check your bridge placement. Something's out of whack, there, and if you got the strings at least centered over the pups, you'd probably be just fine.
 

LtKojak

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
4,157
Reaction score
3,018

You definately need a trembucker. Can I see a picture of the guitar itself? Looks like the p'up cavities are not centered in relationship with the bridge, which is the tremolo in this case.

Anyway, putting a T-Top there you may need to raise the p'up closer to the strings and maybe that would tame the string unbalance... but I wouldn't hold my breath, if I was you.
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
That's pretty far off, man. There's a lot of people who poo-poo F spacing/trembuckers, but when it's that bad, you can hear it. You may want to give something else with wider spacing a shot. Duncan 59s are pretty damned close to T Tops, imho, and they do F spacing. You also may want to check your bridge placement. Something's out of whack, there, and if you got the strings at least centered over the pups, you'd probably be just fine.

Thanks for the tip on '59s.

I've had great luck with F-spaced humbuckers in this guitar. I have a FRED and a Norton both waiting for their turn to be installed. I just wanted to go back to the vintage Gibby thing for a while, because that was what the guitar had back in '87 when it was built.

I tested it last night and the imbalance wasn't too bad if I had the bass side adjusted closer to the strings than the treble side. Now it's only bad enough for a picky guy like me to notice. ...which means I'll learn to live with it for a while and then it will slowly drive me batsh*t.

Gibson-spaced pickups work fine in the middle and neck of this guitar, but the only G-spaced pup that really excelled in the bridge and laughed at the string spacing was my Duncan Distortion, probably due to its intense magnetic field. I set it farther than usual away from the strings and it reads all 6 strings equally. It's so good, in fact, that I may just put it back in. (But wait! The Norton deserves a turn, too! :laugh2: )
 

79standard

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
12,045
Reaction score
80,963
You definately need a trembucker. Can I see a picture of the guitar itself? Looks like the p'up cavities are not centered in relationship with the bridge, which is the tremolo in this case.

Anyway, putting a T-Top there you may need to raise the p'up closer to the strings and maybe that would tame the string unbalance... but I wouldn't hold my breath, if I was you.

Thanks for weighing in.

I hear you. Gibson-spaced 'buckers work fine in the middle and neck holes but really don't work right in the bridge position of this guitar.

And yes, of course, I can take a pic of the whole guitar if you want. :thumb:
I love this thing! It's a wonderful instrument that sounds terrific even when unplugged. (Teak turns out to be a great tonewood.)

I may've done the design and picked out the wood and radiused the corners, BUT I left all the routing to the professionals.

It was a tag-team effort between two celebrated luthiers, so I'm not sure what went wrong here as far as the bridge pup alignment.

BTW, you were right about the A3 neck with the A5 bridge: in-between sound to die for. Very juicy.
 

Latest Threads



Top