Heritage H535 pickup advice: Voodoos or Seths?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by haslar, Apr 25, 2005.


  1. haslar

    haslar Member

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    I own a Heritage H535.

    I play with flatwound strings, and the main use for this guitar is jazz. I play clean most of the time, using the neck pickup. Think Cassandra Wilson, that sort of music.

    However, I also play electric blues, and when doing so I use the bridge pickup with light to medium overdrive. Think Warren Haynes (or even Carlos Santana), long, sustained, rich notes.

    My rig is:
    For Blues:
    Heritage bridge pup --> FDII --> RC Booster --> Rivera M60 (set up for Marshall Plexi sound) --> Marshall 4x12" w/G12Ms.

    For Jazz:
    Heritage neck pup --> Rivera M60 combo (set up for Fender blackface sound).

    For both styles, I use the volume & tone pots a lot so I like my pups to be very responsive to that.

    On my Heritage, Seymour Duncan '59s were fitted as OEM.
    While I rather liked the neck pickup for its round, smooth & warm tone, the bridge pickup was too shrill and wimpy.

    So I fitted in WCR Darkbursts (bought from fellow forum member CED777).
    These pickups, while having superior clarity and excellent articulation, did not really satisfy me. To those ears, the bridge pup is a lot better than the Duncan '59, but the neck pup sounds too "modern" (read: trebly and lacking character) for what I play and lacks the PAF-like complexity I like.
    People in my jazz band have been complaining about that sound.
    Those WCRs lack that "smokey", "silky" tone I lust after.

    A friend of mine, who also owns a Heritage H535, has fitted Voodoo pups in his guitar, and is delighted. I can't try his guitar, though.

    Fellow forum member SuperReverb2 recommended me a set of Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers for my Heritage.

    So, I hesitate between the Voodoos and the Seths...
    any idea?

    :dude
     
  2. Ced777

    Ced777 Member

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    Hi Haslar! ;-)

    I am too looking for the best pickups for me, but I play another style (more rock, classic to hard).
    I've looked at the Voodoo, but it seems they are really bright. If you think that the DB was too bright (it was the same thing for me, and I would like more mids), maybe the Voodoo 57's could do the trick, but not the 59'.

    Another way: Bare Knuckle (in UK). Tim is really nice and will answer to your needs. The price in France are close to Florance or Wagner pickups.
     
  3. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I have Duncan Seth Lovers in my 535 Classic (they were the stock pickups) and really like the sound. In fact, I liked the sound so much that I put a Seth Lover in the neck of my 575 Custom that I use with flats for jazzier stuff.

    The bridge pickup on the 535 is great for playing distorted rhythm and leads, though I'm not sure how it would be with flatwound strings for that purpose. I've never really cared for the sound of flats with overdrive. I like the clean sound of the 535 a lot, which is saying quite a bit since I used to think that single coils were the only way to go for a good clean sound.

    I don't have any experience with the Voodoo pickups. However, before you swap the pickups for new ones, I'd suggest messing around with the pickup height. You can really change the sound of the guitar by raising or lowering the pickups.

    Good luck,
    Bryan
     
  4. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a pair of Seth Lover's in my Gibson CS336.
    Perfect for the semihollow neck tones I love.
    The bridge overdrives just as sweetly, too.

    My .02,
    S.
    j
     
  5. kwaves99

    kwaves99 Member

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    have you considered Harmonic design Z-90's? They are some of the sweetest and richest sounding pickups i've ever heard but if you turn them up they will absolutely wail!

    I just had them installed in an Ibanez AS-73 ( ES 335 Copy) and now this guitar is just a tone machine!

    Jeff
     
  6. haslar

    haslar Member

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    Jeff,

    I really like P90s, but I prefer using humbuckers in this particular guitar.
    Never had the chance to try a Harmonic Design Z90, though I'd love to !

    I've just had a message from Peter Florance @ Voodoo:
    "I would suggest using the '59 set with an alnico3 in the neck @7.9k and a Bridge pickup with a alnico 5 @ 8.5k .
    I have had great results with 335 style guitars with this setup,
    The neck pickup with the alnico 3 magnet gets a great low heat sound and the bridge really works well @ 8.5k by having a little more output for a 335 style guitar."

    I am a bit surprised as I would have thought the '57 set would have been more suitable?!

    Anyone here uses the '59 Voodoo set on his guitar?
     
  7. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    I have a question about my 535. As far as I know it has stock pickups, but they are not completely humbucking.

    Let me me explain: When selecting only the neck pickup or only the bridge pickup, a small, yet noticeable amount of noise comes through. When selecting both pickups, the guitar is silent.

    I suspect that one coil of each humbucker is intentionally wound with more wire.

    Does anybody know anything about this?
     
  8. sabbath90

    sabbath90 Member

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    personally, i'd use voodoo 57's instead of 59's. they just sound better to my ears in semi-hollow/hollowbodied guitars. you really can't go wrong with any voodoo pickups though.
     
  9. KLB

    KLB Member

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    I have a Grosh Set Neck that came stock with Voodoo '59 pickups, an AL3 7.9K neck and AL5 8.0k bridge. This is my favorite 2-humbucker guitar. The pickups work very well with it.

    As for matching the hollow body tone by going with the 8.5K bridge, I'd trust Peter Florence on that.

    I also have a H535 with the Duncan '59 set. I like it just like it is, but I'd might try other pickups if I thought it could be improved (considering the potential diminishing returns).

    Please let us know what you go with.

    Cheers,
    Ken
     
  10. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Too bad it didn't come w/ the Heritage HRW pickups - they're great.
     
  11. AOguitarist

    AOguitarist Member

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    Agreed -- if you want to, you could email Rendal Wall at heritageguitar@kalamazoo.net and see if he'll do it for you. They're flat out amazing pickups, and I know that they have retrofitted old 535's with the new HRW's in the past.
     
  12. haslar

    haslar Member

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    I've just emailed Rendal. I'll keep you posted.
     
  13. bigolcasino

    bigolcasino Member

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    I'm very familiar with all the pups mentioned in this thread.
    Personally I think the first thing to explore (as with any guitar) is the primary tone coming from the fiddle itself. Is it very midrangey? Bright? Dark, bassy? One of the great things about aftermarket PAF clones is that you can accentuate the primary tone of the guitar if you know what to expect from the pup.
    For midrangey guitars, I think Voodoo 59's are excellent for this use as they can be a little scooped in the mids and have a tight bottom. The Voodoo 57 is a formvar wire, which makes it a little punchier, but loses some of the PAF tonality to me, and they are brighter and even more scooped.
    For mellower sounding guitars that need a little punch, I think the Wolfetone MH humbuckers kick freakin' butt. They have the PAF thing going on big time; the double tone, the mid honk, the cello thing on the wound strings, and are punchy as hell.
    Seth Lovers with a Alnico 3 mag in the neck, and an A5 in the bridge are quite nice for a throatier, Kossoff sound but don't have the complexity of the above mentioned.
     
  14. bluesman69

    bluesman69 Member

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    Absolutely!!! I have 4 Heritages with HRWs.
     
  15. haslar

    haslar Member

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    So you guys feel the HRW pups are as good as the Voodoos and the Seths?
     
  16. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    IMHO, better.

    A 'Guitarist' magazine review of Les Paul-style guitars from a coupla years back also felt the same.
     
  17. Shemp

    Shemp Member

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    Not for nothing, but about the best sounding Humbucker I've heard in a hollowbody or semi-hollowbody is the Gibson 57 bucker. I'd take a pair of them over everything else listed for an ES 335 type guitar.
     
  18. AOguitarist

    AOguitarist Member

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    Yup, I have a set of them in a couple of my guitars. They are fat, rich, but still have a great deal of clarity and definition to them. You can check out what some people have to say about them over at Heritage's site at www.heritageguitar.com , and clicking on the HRW link on the left hand side of the page.
     
  19. Eugene

    Eugene Supporting Member

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    I recently upgraded my H-550 with the HRW's and I couldn't be happier. Rendal is a great guy and the folks at Heritage were very responsive.

    Eugene
     
  20. haslar

    haslar Member

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    Ren has just answered my reply.

    Here is a copy of his message:


    "You might try the SD's "Antiquities"
    Please contact SD in California.
    This should get you what you are looking for.

    Thanks for considering our HRW's.

    Right now we are not sending HRW's out, retail, as we need them to much for
    our own production.

    Ren"

    :(

    I don't grasp the difference between the SD Antiquities and the Seths... anyone has an idea?

    Thanks !!
     

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