Pickup Trick- SO surprised

vindibona1

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Last night I was convinced I needed new pickups for my Epi LP.
But this morning in scouring YouTube for pickup sound samples I came across a vid "How to brighten dark or muddy pickups". One suggestion was to LOWER the pickup and raise the pole pieces. I had always been taught to raise the pickups to brighten the sound. But in a way, the former made sense.

OMG... I cannot believe the difference. There was a chime to the sound that I had not heard before. Lowering the neck pickup brought it more into balance with the bridge.

And as I was all set to find a new set of pickups to order today, I'm going to hold off for a bit. I want to see if I'm still hearing the difference in a day or two when I get to play it in a couple different situations.

Just thought I'd share the experience. It only takes seconds to do. Give it a shot if you're not happy with the sound. FYI, I only did it with the neck pickup. YMMV.
 

gitmohair

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I prefer my pickups on the low side as I find the sound rather more open. I'd not considered also raising the pole pieces. I'll have to give it a shot. Do you have a link to that video, by the way?
 

ScottMarlowe

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Try it with the bridge too. First just lower all the pole pieces level with the top of the pickup, then lower the pickup to be even with the ring. Adjust from there. Having the pickup too close to the strings is a pretty common mistake.
 

vindibona1

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I prefer my pickups on the low side as I find the sound rather more open. I'd not considered also raising the pole pieces. I'll have to give it a shot. Do you have a link to that video, by the way?

I'll have to play with my bridge pickups. I've been playing with this pickup all morning. I have another LP Custom with Porter Smooth/Classic pickups in it. While the Epiphone pickups isn't *quite* as clear as the Porter, it is a vast improvement over what it was... and didn't cost $100.

I've got my Epi LP wired for modern, but think I'm going to install a treble bleed circuit to retain the highs when rolling off the volume.

The link is already posted, but since I've copied it, here it is again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXIggQxlAhc
 

ScottMarlowe

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I'll have to play with my bridge pickups. I've been playing with this pickup all morning. I have another LP Custom with Porter Smooth/Classic pickups in it. While the Epiphone pickups isn't *quite* as clear as the Porter, it is a vast improvement over what it was... and didn't cost $100.

I've got my Epi LP wired for modern, but think I'm going to install a treble bleed circuit to retain the highs when rolling off the volume.

The link is already posted, but since I've copied it, here it is again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXIggQxlAhc
I just put a 1000pf / 220k mod in my SG and I'm thinking of trying a 330k or 470k resistor or an audio taper pot as the volume rolloff isn't quite what I want. Basically a 220k / 1000pf bleed makes an audio taper roll off at close to a linear and apparently it makes a linear the opposite of audio taper in the other direction. I'm thinking a higher value resistor will reduce that effect.

OTOH, I LOVE the fact that my treble now doesn't roll off right away at 8.5 or so like it used to.
 

Frogfur

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Not only lowering the pickups, raising the pole pieces but radius them to match
the fret board which should also match your bridge radius.
Best of luck! don't be afraid to adjust your guitar. It was made to do so.

Assume! good job
 

vindibona1

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UPDATE...

After declaring my neck pickup adjustment a success I started messing with the bridge. The first shot I lowered the bridge on each side 8 hand-turns (about 1/3 turn per hand turn) and raised the pole pieces. Not quite what I was looking for. So I put it back... and nah... Needed something inbetween.

Went back and did 6 hand turns on both sides and raised pole pieces (yet, matching the radius, of course). BINGO. A guitar with a whole different personality.

I'll have to go try this out Friday night to see how it works out outside of my bedroom practice area. The pickups are still quite microphonic so will need to be torture tested. But otherwise I won't be ordering new pickups quite yet.
 

arc anjil

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Quick Q (I may have missed it): What pickups are you using?
 

vindibona1

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Nice - pictures please!
Your wish is my command. Here is what they look like. Note that the bridge pickup is not lowered as much as the neck. Hope they meet your expectations.

The difference in sound is SIGNIFICANT. Now I have to test them outside. Lesson this afternoon and jam session tomorrow night. Next Tuesday I will take it to the store where I did the A/B/C against the other Epis and Gibsons.

 

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scooter500

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Your wish is my command. Here is what they look like. Note that the bridge pickup is not lowered as much as the neck. Hope they meet your expectations.

The difference in sound is SIGNIFICANT. Now I have to test them outside. Lesson this afternoon and jam session tomorrow night. Next Tuesday I will take it to the store where I did the A/B/C against the other Epis and Gibsons.

Thanks Man - you just hit the easy button for me - hope your jams are hot! :slash: :applause:

If I ever get time been meaning to take my epi lp back to the store too just to compare and talk... like the folks there a lot but am still amazed they make very little if any effort to set up their guitars... somehow they sell :wow:
 

vindibona1

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UPDATE...
Had to go to GC today and played it against new Epi Standard and a Gibson Traditional Pro II. The Epi had ProBuckers and the Gibson had 57 classic neck and burst bucker III bridge. The Gibson was clearer and hotter but my adjusted Epi was the clear winner over the Probuckers. I would be willing to bet I could clean up the Probuckers sound with my new magic trick.

A couple people played my Epi today and all say its a keeper. And to think last week I was almost ready to return it.
 

KP11520

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Great Topic!

Old dogs can learn new tricks and others can be reminded. LOL :applause:
 

LPofBorg

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Went through my pickups (4 in total between the LP and the Dot) today, total time spent was a beautifully painstaking 6 hours of adjusting, listening, adjusting again, grab a coffee, adjust, listen, coffee, adjust, listen, beer, adjust, listen, beer, adjust, listen, go to jam with wife's coworkers at company BBQ. Gotta say, I hit the sweet spot on all fronts... and sorry to burst some bubbles... it has nothing to do with matching the radius. It really is fairly random. But DAMN, these things sound sweeeeeeeeeeeet!
 

vindibona1

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Went through my pickups (4 in total between the LP and the Dot) today, total time spent was a beautifully painstaking 6 hours of adjusting, listening, adjusting again, grab a coffee, adjust, listen, coffee, adjust, listen, beer, adjust, listen, beer, adjust, listen, go to jam with wife's coworkers at company BBQ. Gotta say, I hit the sweet spot on all fronts... and sorry to burst some bubbles... it has nothing to do with matching the radius. It really is fairly random. But DAMN, these things sound sweeeeeeeeeeeet!
You made my day. Who cares about radius if it works. I stumbled on this almost randomly and can't believe there aren't more people jumping up and down screaming "ya gotta try this!!!".

FWIW, I have Porter Smooth/Classic pickups in my other LP. What I'm finding, at least with these, is that they are much more difficult to tweak. Perhaps they are so good starting out that too much adjustment is just as likely to disrupt them as to help them. I've got them tweaked now after several trials and the are lowered slightly and poles are raised slightly.
 

JMV

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And now you have figured out why pickup reviews aren't worth a damn AT ALL because you don't know if the reviewer just slapped the pickups in at a random height and with no adjustments. :laugh2:
 


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