Are Gold Foil Pickups Good for blues?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tigercasual, May 21, 2019.

  1. tigercasual

    tigercasual Member

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    Hey guys,

    I have a guitar in need of a new set of pickups. It's a Mid-Nineties Ibanez Talman. The one made from "Resoncast," some sort of MDF type of "wood".

    It's loaded with P90s that have grown brittle sounding with age and the Resoncast body tends to lean a little toward that brighter side as it is.

    So, I want a pickup that's present but isn't harsh. I tend to lean toward Texas Blues to aggressive ZZ Top kinds of sounds. I've been thinking of trying a set if Gold Foils, however, I don't know if they are touch sensative- I prefer as much touch sensitivity and dynamics as possible.

    I've also heard that Gold Foil tend to be a little on the high-treble side. Not sure how that would work in a brighter guitar.

    Any opinions or suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Danny
     
  2. Chandyland

    Chandyland Member

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    I have no firsthand experience with gold foils, but there a good chunk of earlier Black Keys records that are recorded on an old Harmony loaded with gold foils.

    So yes, I would say they can be great for blues.
     
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  3. JoePerkinsMusic

    JoePerkinsMusic Member

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    Gold Foils are insanely versatile for everything...I was really surprised fitting them to my SG. Occasionally have do to use the tone control to tame the highs, but....if you're somebody who uses the tone knob anyway, you'll be in your element. Even work with fuzz :p

     
  4. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Short answer is of course! But also realize that “goldfoils” is not a catch-all phrase. There are Guyatone-style foils, Dearmond foils, etc...

    I have an old Bobkat with a vintage Dearmond and a Dearmond-style Novak foil. They sound P90ish.

    I also have a Guyatone-style Novak foil in the middle position of a bastard Nashville Tele. It has more of a clear and warm Fender bell-like quality to it- a lot like a Tele neck pickup.

    I could use either to play the blooz.
     
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  5. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    I like your videos and dig the lava lamp!
     
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  6. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

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    My mid-60's Harmony Rocket with real gold foils was a good blues guitar.
     
  7. JoePerkinsMusic

    JoePerkinsMusic Member

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    Aha thanks! I haven't turned it on in a while...kicks out so much heat! It's more of a winter thing ;-) haha
     
  8. AmmoniteII

    AmmoniteII Member

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    nice to see a fellow brit - good vid on the gold foil pups keep at it man :)
     
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  9. tigercasual

    tigercasual Member

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    Great Video! How did you find the touch sensitivity?

    Thanks,
    Danny
     
  10. tigercasual

    tigercasual Member

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    Have you tried any of the newer incarnations?
     
  11. tigercasual

    tigercasual Member

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    That Bastard Tele sounds cool. I could really get into that. How's the touch sensitivity?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  12. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

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    No, Sorry.

    They should be clear and bright with tight bottom end (even with a shorter scale) and enough mids to cut. They're louder than you would think.
     
  13. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    You might check out Supro Clear-tones. They're remakes on the originals from the '50s. They're available in a mini-humbucker size (here), so they possibly could dropped into P-90 routs with an adapter. [I haven't done this, but I've seen it on LPs.]

    Here's a nice demo from Premier Guitar:



    The Westbury in the demo is is alder with a 25.5" set maple neck and rosewood board. While I haven't heard the Westbury with other pickups, I would presume that it would be somewhat to the brighter side. [I have a Westbury and love it.] Note that the bridge pickup is over-wound a bit. It retains bite, but is not harsh, at least in my guitar, rig, experience, opinion, etc. YMMV.
     
  14. JoePerkinsMusic

    JoePerkinsMusic Member

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    Really nice yeah - very dynamic pickups, so can get really expressive with them :)
     
  15. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    The question alone shows that you'll never be a real blues man. :p
     
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  16. tigercasual

    tigercasual Member

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    I know that you can play the blues on anything, and I have. When I asked if Gold Foils are good for blues, I meant are they touch sensitive. I've played a lot of pickups that compress the note way too early for my taste.
     
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  17. tigercasual

    tigercasual Member

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    Cool suggestion.

    Cool suggestion. Are they touch sensitive?
     
  18. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    No worries, mate. Have fun with it ;)
     
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  19. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    Yes, they are. The question might be just how touch-sensitive, and that's harder to answer. They're maybe a little squishier than my Tele, but closer to that than something like a PAF, maybe more like a low-wind P-90. Not that they sound like any of those. [A low-wind P-90 might be closest, but the harmonic structure is different and they overdrive differently.]
    The Clear-Tones are pretty good for keeping a sharp attack with gain. Some of that's due to harmonics, and perhaps different amounts of compression in different parts of the spectrum. They're expressive with fuzz (and sound great clean).
     
  20. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    Without specifying exactly which "goldfoil" pickups someone is considering, saying the term is akin to saying, "not Gibson or Fender style pickups". It could be almost anything.
    One of the recent Harmony companies tried to reissue the line about 15 years ago. They repro'd the look of the pickups but not so much on the guts.

    Instead of focusing on the OP's wish for "gold foils", the much better question would have been to simply describe the problem as such: Over the years, the OP finds the cheap P-90s in a Talman to be too bright, and is looking for P-90 replacements that are dynamic and a bit less shrill. I'd recommend installing an Alnico mag P-90 (I'm assuming the Talman pups are ceramic), and futzing with the volume pot values.
    Unless the OP wants to futz with getting a new pickguard made or other hassles, they're looking for P-90 sized pickups, whatever they end up being. Maybe they want the look. Hey, I got gold foil. I'll stuff it on top of whatever you want!
     

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