Brighter pickups for a 'dark' guitar - Hamer Artist

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BarryJ, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. BarryJ

    BarryJ Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    640
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio!
    Yeah, yeah, yeah - another 'pickup' thread. But this is one to address a situation that maybe others have dealt with - when you have a guitar that's just naturally 'dark' sounding.

    Mine is a Hamer Artist - flame maple top with a wraptail. Currently has the stock Seth Lovers - and I'm usually a big fan of those pickups (have had them in multiple guitars). But this particular set in this specific guitar are just dark sounding - not a lot of treble presence, and no amount of height tweaking seems to take that away. I've observed over the years that occasionally some guitars are just like that - this one's resonant as hell, but very low-mid focused.

    So is this something you can overcome with different pickups? I'm thinking there may be some models that others might consider too bright in other guitars might be perfect for this one. Tempted to jump on something in the Wolfetone sale (that's a good deal, Maynard) - wide open to other suggestions as well. I'm also thinking this is a guitar that might benefit from some 'hot' PAF pickups rather than lower-wind models.

    One other experiment I might try is a magnet swap - I have a spare set of Wolfe's A5 magnets from another long ago project. That's probably blasphemy to some people ("wait, what!? - then they're not Seth Lovers anymore!"). But at this point - well, why not?
     
  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,299
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Location:
    banana republic
    What pots are in it?
     
    GuitarsFromMars and Eveningtheme like this.
  3. BarryJ

    BarryJ Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    640
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio!
    500k, from what I can tell - believe they're Hamer logoed CTS pots
     
  4. Eveningtheme

    Eveningtheme Member

    Messages:
    348
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2019
    It may be worth installing 'confirmed' 500k pots.

    Otherwise or in addition, I would highly, highly recommend trying 50's wiring.

    I loved every gibson I had playability wise, but they all sounded so insanely dark to me until I got one with 50's wiring. It really makes a big difference, even with the pots wide open.

    Most people talk about how it makes the pots more 'versatile and interactive' but personally I don't think there's a ton of variety in a passive treble cutoff. Definitely cleans up better, but a stark difference in treble and presence overall.
     
  5. big mike

    big mike David Grissom Wannabee Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,715
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Location:
    We all live in a yellow submarine
    Put the A5s in
    That should do it
     
  6. BarryJ

    BarryJ Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    640
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio!
    In this case, they're already wired 50's style - because there's no other option! With the Hamer 2 volume/master tone setup, the one control is fed from the 3-way.
     
    SnidelyWhiplash likes this.
  7. wierzbowski

    wierzbowski Supporting Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sulaco
    Hamer was generally good about putting in pots that were close to the stated values. If pickup height and wiring aren't helping, I would consider a magnet swap like @big mike recommended. Good luck!
     
  8. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

    Messages:
    2,476
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Louis XVI ville, KY.
    A super distortion can brighten up a guitar some. Or a super 2 if DiMarzio still makes that. And maybe a PAF pro for the neck.
     
    HugoLC likes this.
  9. Devin

    Devin Low Voltage Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,681
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    find some 59's, I agree something with A5 should be enough. Maybe uncovered?
     
  10. HugoLC

    HugoLC Member

    Messages:
    537
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    I use a Super 2 in the bridge of my Explorer and it's awesome
     
  11. singlecutarmy

    singlecutarmy Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    Came here to post super 2, used one to try to add some attack to a dull guitar, wasn't enough to save it but it helped a lot and I really enjoyed the sound, need to find another guitar to pop it in
     
  12. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,825
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    WI
    Gibson 57 Classics are pretty bright.
     
  13. big mike

    big mike David Grissom Wannabee Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,715
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Location:
    We all live in a yellow submarine
    Hamer pots were the absolute best taper and values. i still have 2 stashed for a project
     
    19rick52 and JKjr like this.
  14. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,452
    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Location:
    Hoggtown, KY.
    Hamer used excellent pots. I'd try the magnet swap. No harm, no foul...
     
  15. el34power

    el34power Member

    Messages:
    1,496
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal
    Bill Lawrence L500L. (Wilde pickups, Becky and Shannon)
     
  16. wevard

    wevard Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Sometimes even a confirmed 500k potentiometer will not be enough. I once installed a pot reading around 600k and that did the trick. Additionally, if you have a push/pull dpdt switch, you can wire the guitar to have a capacitor in series with the pickups’ hot signal in one of the switch positions. You can switch between two different voices since the presence of the capacitor shifts the resonance frequency of your circuit. The value of the capacitor depends of how big the shift you want. I have used 0.47 nF but others might suggest other values.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
  17. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,952
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    The Duncan Jazz neck and bridge
     
    Mincer likes this.
  18. notamisfit

    notamisfit Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    I had a Seth Lover set in a similarly "dark" sounding Les Paul, and replaced them with Fralin Pure PAFs. They're not "bright" pickups by any means, but I was pleased with the high end and note separation.
     
  19. Brian N

    Brian N Member

    Messages:
    1,620
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2015
    Trying to "tame" a guitar with different pickups is an excercise in futility. If you dont like the sound of a guitar, pickups arent going to fix it. The guitar will always shine through. Pickups can make an already good sounding guitar sound a bit better, but they wont re-equalize. Sell it and get something else.

    If you're desperate to keep the instrument, try replacing all the pots to 250k. That should take away a decent amount of brightness.
     
    Baxtercat likes this.
  20. dachuckster

    dachuckster Supporting Member

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Rio Rico, AZ
    Trying to brighten it up, use 1 meg pots.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice