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Humbucker suggestions
Old 6th June 2019
  #1
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Humbucker suggestions

Hi I new to the forum and was looking for some thoughts suggestions on pups. I recently put a set on Seymour Duncan alnico pro ii in my prs singlecut hoping to sweeten the top end but they are not quite what I’m looking for. They are a little to chirpy in the 2-4K area and the bridge lacks miss which makes it sound a tad thin. If anyone could suggest a vintage to mod output humbucker with the smoothest top end on the planet I will forever be in your debt.
Old 7th June 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
Those pickups are a great starting point for experimenting with magnet swaps. Do some research on what affect different Alnico-types will have. I recommend going to the Seymour Duncan forums for your search. TONS of useful info there on magnet swaps. Swaps are easy, cheap and very effective.

For what it's worth, I found the original PRS #7 pups from my pre-lawsuit PRS Singlecut to have a very sweet top end. I wanted a little more bite so I went with Pearly Gates and love it.

A pickup that has a very nice sweet top-end is the Carvin H2 Holdsworth pickup.
Old 7th June 2019
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serius41 View Post
Hi I new to the forum and was looking for some thoughts suggestions on pups. I recently put a set on Seymour Duncan alnico pro ii in my prs singlecut hoping to sweeten the top end but they are not quite what I’m looking for. They are a little to chirpy in the 2-4K area and the bridge lacks miss which makes it sound a tad thin. If anyone could suggest a vintage to mod output humbucker with the smoothest top end on the planet I will forever be in your debt.
If the pickups sound thin you can just cut the presence or treble on you amp depening on how its voiced.
Old 7th June 2019
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
If the pickups sound thin you can just cut the presence or treble on you amp depening on how its voiced.
Or maybe just put them on a fatter guitar? : )


Best,

audioforce
Old 7th June 2019
  #5
Gear Nut
 

This guy makes great pickups and will build something custom for you.

https://www.shorelineie.com
Old 7th June 2019
  #6
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Well, the Alnico II Pro is a pretty sweet neck pickup, the only alternative I can think of is the Seth Lover. For the bridge, you might like the Custom Custom, which shaves off the highs and has nice buttery mids.
Old 7th June 2019
  #7
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Depends on what you are going for, but it is hard to beat Lollar. I personally prefer a slightly underwound neck combined with a slightly overwound bridge. I'm not a fan of high output pickups as you tend to get more expression and tone from less output, but style can dictate a different approach. With your quest for a smoother high frequency response I would check out Lollar and go just below vintage spec for neck and just above for bridge.
Old 8th June 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Or maybe just put them on a fatter guitar? : )


Best,

audioforce
Yeah you could do that. A FAT Les Paul or explorer will do the trick. But the easiest thing to do is just turn the presence knob down on the amp, and problem solved. The rule of thumb is, if you like response of your pickups, then any minor issues with them can be solved by simple adjustment of Eq and gain settings on the amp.
Old 8th June 2019
  #9
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Your current PU's are good reference to ask SD service for other options. For a smoother top-end on the neck, usually going for a bit higher-output PU does the trick.

As for bridge, its a common complaint of being thin on a PAF-set on any brand. Likely they'll suggest you one of the custom HB's.
Old 8th June 2019
  #10
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Gibson makes good pickups. Why not try the obvious? : )


Best,

audioforce
Old 8th June 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serius41 View Post
Hi I new to the forum and was looking for some thoughts suggestions on pups. I recently put a set on Seymour Duncan alnico pro ii in my prs singlecut hoping to sweeten the top end but they are not quite what I’m looking for. They are a little to chirpy in the 2-4K area and the bridge lacks miss which makes it sound a tad thin. If anyone could suggest a vintage to mod output humbucker with the smoothest top end on the planet I will forever be in your debt.
I suggest you do a search of low output models from
https://www.sheptone.com/
https://amalfitanopickups.com/
https://www.dallenpickups.com/
http://www.arcaneinc.com/
https://www.wolfetone.com/
https://www.fralinpickups.com/
https://www.kleinpickups.com/

All are very good quality, easy to find and are reasonably affordable. There are some british makers also, and 2 russian dudes, but I cant remember off hand.
Old 8th June 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Gibson makes good pickups. Why not try the obvious? : )


Best,

audioforce
Gibson?
Old 8th June 2019
  #13
Gear Addict
Before changing pickups, try a resistor from each pickup hot to ground, somewhere between 160k-470k. Or temporarily wire a 500k pot, adjust to taste, measure and replace with a fixed resistor. A 160k will load the pickup as if the vol and tone pots were both 250k, a 470k as if one was 250k and the other 500k. This will tame the 2-4k resonant peak. If you still think the bridge pickup lacks mids, I really like the DiMarzio Air Norton, moderately hot and much less scooped than your typical PAF.
Old 8th June 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
the easiest thing to do is just turn the presence knob down on the amp, and problem solved.
Usually, this is not the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
The rule of thumb is, if you like response of your pickups, then any minor issues with them can be solved by simple adjustment of Eq and gain settings on the amp.
Actually, the rule of thumb is that, with some exception, Eq and gain settings on the amp do not resolve issues w/pick ups. Simple fact is that the amp circuits are not built with fixing pick up issues in mind.

To the op - it's all about experimentation. What would work for one person in that guitar, would not work for another, and v/v. Get in touch with Arcane:

http://www.arcaneinc.com/

and send some audio exs of what you have, and what you are looking for, and they should be able to recommend something to you.

Cheers.

Last edited by Jeff Hayat; 8th June 2019 at 08:11 PM..
Old 8th June 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Usually, this is not the case.



Actually, the rule of thumb is that, with some exception, Eq and gain settings on the amp do not resolve issues w/pick ups. Simple fact is that the amp circuits are not built with fixing pick up issues in mind.

To the op - it's all about experimentation. What would work for one person in that guitar, would not work for another, and v/v. Get in touch with Arcane:

http://www.arcaneinc.com/

and send some audio exs of what you have, and what you are looking for, and they should be able to recommend something to you.

Cheers.
You noobs over think everything, this is no exception
Old 9th June 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
You noobs over think everything, this is no exception
Well, ain't that the pot calling the kettle black.

I am not a noob, dude. Don't be rude unless you have to.
Old 9th June 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post

I am not a noob, dude. Don't be rude unless you have to.
sorry that was not my intention, TBH I thought you being rude to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Well, ain't that the pot calling the kettle black.
Sure I may be a noob on many topics but I know enough about pickups to realize if they have too much high end, the presence on the amp needs to backed off. It's not rocket surgery. It's common sense. If the OP didn't like the response of his pups, only then should he take drastic measures and buy new ones. If it a simple eq curve issue then, tweak the amp. There is no other rational approach to solve the issue.

Pups have 3 main attributes: gain/output, eq curve/voicing and response/dynamics. All three of these attributes can can be adjusted by either adjusting the amp or by using a pedal. If it's eq or gain you tweak the amp or use an Eq or overdrive pedal. If it is response/dynamics you use a compressor pedal or you can change the tubes to models that compress more and have different response detail, or re-bias the amp accordingly. It's pretty basic stuff. This is the fundamentals of amplification. It's amplification 101. It does not get any more basic.

So either you are over thinking it, or you don't understand how pickups and amps work. It is one or the other. If the op said his guitar tone had too much highend and he didn't mention pickups, what would you recommend to him?? You would have told him to turn down the high end on his amp probably. Hopefully you would not tell him to buy a new guitar.
Old 9th June 2019
  #18
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Blanket statements like "turn the presence knob down" are not very helpful.

First, many amps don't have a presence knob. And a treble knob is different from a presence knob in both filter slope and center frequency in most circuits. Which presence knob on which amp is going to target 2-4kHz? Probably none of them, but at the very least there will be very little consistency between different manufacturers.

Add in the different methods of implementing filter design for amplifiers and it just isn't a practical suggestion. Sure, it might work. Chances are you are going to lose frequencies above 2-4kHz and still have your problems.

Bottom line - fix it at the source. Not in the mix. If you don't like the sound of your guitar either change the guitar or the source of the guitar's sound to get where you want to go. Changing pickups, in that respect, is much more likely to bring about the desired result than expecting every amplifier in the world to have a tone knob at the exact filter type and slope that will address the issues. Especially considering most humbucker's tendencies to be hotter than they should be resulting in higher output but less tone and exactly the type of peak at the frequency range mentioned to be problematic.

That's what I like about the Lollars. Dude has it figured out. They are done the right way...
Old 9th June 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Blanket statements like "turn the presence knob down" are not very helpful.

First, many amps don't have a presence knob. And a treble knob is different from a presence knob in both filter slope and center frequency in most circuits. Which presence knob on which amp is going to target 2-4kHz? Probably none of them, but at the very least there will be very little consistency between different manufacturers.

Add in the different methods of implementing filter design for amplifiers and it just isn't a practical suggestion. Sure, it might work. Chances are you are going to lose frequencies above 2-4kHz and still have your problems.

Bottom line - fix it at the source. Not in the mix. If you don't like the sound of your guitar either change the guitar or the source of the guitar's sound to get where you want to go. Changing pickups, in that respect, is much more likely to bring about the desired result than expecting every amplifier in the world to have a tone knob at the exact filter type and slope that will address the issues. Especially considering most humbucker's tendencies to be hotter than they should be resulting in higher output but less tone and exactly the type of peak at the frequency range mentioned to be problematic.

That's what I like about the Lollars. Dude has it figured out. They are done the right way...
Agree totally. Except on the Lollar humbuckers. They always sound bloated to me. As are his strat pickups. But like his p90s, tele PUs and lap-steel pickup (the way overpriced one )
Old 9th June 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Gibson?
Yeah, Gibson. They make pickups that a lot of people like.

Don't know if they will fit in the OPs guitar, tbh, but they do make pickups that people like.



cheers,


audioforce
Old 9th June 2019
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Agree totally. Except on the Lollar humbuckers. They always sound bloated to me. As are his strat pickups. But like his p90s, tele PUs and lap-steel pickup (the way overpriced one )
I can see that. The Lollar hums are a bit "weighty" so depending on the guitar there are probably alternatives that may be more appropriate. I've been burned so many times on the pickup exploration trail that I don't recommend anything I haven't personally used and been happy with in a guitar. And experimenting with pickups is pricey and time consuming so that admittedly has me at stock pickups, the typical manufacturer sets, and just a few boutiques such as Rio Grande and Lollar.

I have a guitar I build out of Copper that I want to modify for that overpiced lap steel pickup. Having had a few of the old Rickenbacker horseshoe pickups flow through my hands over the years I've always wanted to build a resonator guitar around that pickup. The Lollar starts looking rather affordable when exploring that route. As the guitar construction is a hobby of mine it took me four years to finish the last copper guitar (that's the back of it in my profile pic) so it isn't lucrative and is a passion of love that is on the back burner for now.

Cheers,
Brock
Old 9th June 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Yeah, Gibson. They make pickups that a lot of people like.

Don't know if they will fit in the OPs guitar, tbh, but they do make pickups that people like.



cheers,


audioforce
Hmmm. Well i guess. They did give a whole industry of pickup replacement a reason for being
Old 9th June 2019
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
I can see that. The Lollar hums are a bit "weighty" so depending on the guitar there are probably alternatives that may be more appropriate. I've been burned so many times on the pickup exploration trail that I don't recommend anything I haven't personally used and been happy with in a guitar. And experimenting with pickups is pricey and time consuming so that admittedly has me at stock pickups, the typical manufacturer sets, and just a few boutiques such as Rio Grande and Lollar.

I have a guitar I build out of Copper that I want to modify for that overpiced lap steel pickup. Having had a few of the old Rickenbacker horseshoe pickups flow through my hands over the years I've always wanted to build a resonator guitar around that pickup. The Lollar starts looking rather affordable when exploring that route. As the guitar construction is a hobby of mine it took me four years to finish the last copper guitar (that's the back of it in my profile pic) so it isn't lucrative and is a passion of love that is on the back burner for now.

Cheers,
Brock
Copper? That would look great (as long as you don't let it turn green). I had an aluminium chambered body strat built for me with a solid rosewood neck/ebony fingerboard. Nice warm sound. I love the look of the copper body - seen one on either a Tribe guitar or Alumisonic. Don't know if the companies still exist. How heavy is yours? Would love something along these lines. Can you share some pics?
Attached Thumbnails
Humbucker suggestions-copper.jpg  
Old 9th June 2019
  #24
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I'll try and dig up some pics. This was a prototype just for proof of concept and the intent was to make a little rock and roll Les Paul size guitar with the depth of a hollow-body. Made the neck out of some interior furniture from an old motorboat that was in a junkyard. The intent was to make it out of only found materials so the pickup is a Lil '59 I had laying around. Not really the right mojo.

The prototype is heavy, but that's due to experimenting with a wood truss structure inside that was over-built on account of fear. Second time around will be a different body design focused around that Lollar lap steel pickup with a different resonator setup. Just wanted to see if I could do it first. Built the thing in an apartment parking lot so had to tear down the shop every evening and pull it into my living room. Now I have an old building out in the country and just getting the tools setup - but it should be quicker. Maybe three years instead of four. I've also drawn up some tooling to build to be able to stamp out the parts instead of grinding them all out by hand with a dremel and fiberglass reinforced cutting wheels. It was a pretty ridiculous project all in all. ;~)
Old 9th June 2019
  #25
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Found some from when I was building it, including plans for some concentric knobs for it that I never made. Got so frustrated with lack of options for concentric knobs that fit CTS pots that I finally just drew some up for this guitar. One of these days I'll go into the very lucrative concentric knob business...

This brings back memories. Hours hammering out that resonator on an old oak stump with a bowl cut out of it. The whole neighborhood watching this take place over a couple of years and stopping by to offer all kinds of advice.
Attached Thumbnails
Humbucker suggestions-coppertone.jpg   Humbucker suggestions-gtr1.jpg   Humbucker suggestions-gtr5.jpg   Humbucker suggestions-coppertone-neck.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CopperTone-Knobs.pdf (35.4 KB, 2 views)
Old 9th June 2019
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I love the look of the copper body - seen one on either a Tribe guitar or Alumisonic. Don't know if the companies still exist. How heavy is yours? Would love something along these lines. Can you share some pics?
There's a great guitarist in Austin (by way of New York) named Matt Smith that has one, but that's the only copper one I've seen. It's a Tele but not a thinline. It is a really nice instrument for certain things, but it is pretty heavy.

He is like you in the respect he has a nice studio with some of the most incredible instruments in the collection. From pre-1800's harp guitars to the present day as well as being on a lot of prototype lists for product development for various manufacturers. I can't remember what brand his copper tele is, though.

https://6stringranch.com/matt-smith
Old 9th June 2019
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
I'll try and dig up some pics. This was a prototype just for proof of concept and the intent was to make a little rock and roll Les Paul size guitar with the depth of a hollow-body. Made the neck out of some interior furniture from an old motorboat that was in a junkyard. The intent was to make it out of only found materials so the pickup is a Lil '59 I had laying around. Not really the right mojo.

The prototype is heavy, but that's due to experimenting with a wood truss structure inside that was over-built on account of fear. Second time around will be a different body design focused around that Lollar lap steel pickup with a different resonator setup. Just wanted to see if I could do it first. Built the thing in an apartment parking lot so had to tear down the shop every evening and pull it into my living room. Now I have an old building out in the country and just getting the tools setup - but it should be quicker. Maybe three years instead of four. I've also drawn up some tooling to build to be able to stamp out the parts instead of grinding them all out by hand with a dremel and fiberglass reinforced cutting wheels. It was a pretty ridiculous project all in all. ;~)
I recon 6 months with the new design. You know all the pitfalls already. If the wood is resonant you just need same thickness as a LP or maybe a touch less. If its a hollow, Gretsch Jet may be a beginning of a new template for the body, snake head roasted maple neck. The lapsteel pickup and maybe a goldfoil in the neck (all the rage now) and your golden (if you like that color :-) )
Old 9th June 2019
  #28
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As posted above, if you can change out the magnets(that's a cool option, if it's there!) you can get some different flavors. Being a non HIGH GAIN kinda guy, I have a 72' LP Custom that I always thought was a better boat anchor, or wall hanger, that an actual player. I swapped pickups in that thing, a bunch of times, to no avail. Always sounded thin trebly.
I had this friend who kept offering this high output Bartolini pickup. I tell him,"what am I going to do with that? I don't play that style of music. Finally, one day he just puts in my hand & says "take it". So, just for fun, I decide to put it in the LP. What can it hurt? Right? I didn't even bother soldering it in. I knew I would pull it in a couple days, anyway. After playing it for a few minutes. I went out to the shop to get the soldering iron. That old Les Paul has never sounded so sweet. That pickup buried all of the bad sound & brought out all of the Sweet LP goodness.
The moral of the Story is....Sometimes a guitar is in need of something that the normal GO TO pickups aren't going to give.
Old 9th June 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Found some from when I was building it, including plans for some concentric knobs for it that I never made. Got so frustrated with lack of options for concentric knobs that fit CTS pots that I finally just drew some up for this guitar. One of these days I'll go into the very lucrative concentric knob business...

This brings back memories. Hours hammering out that resonator on an old oak stump with a bowl cut out of it. The whole neighborhood watching this take place over a couple of years and stopping by to offer all kinds of advice.
I like that. Kinda Gretsch Jet meets a reso. Nice. You should finish it.
Old 9th June 2019
  #30
Gear Maniac
I'm surely a PU beginner, but adore the stock gibson burstbucker in the neck on my LP. The bridge burstbucker was like an icepick. i replaced with a gibson with less windings- much better.
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