How do I make part of a pick-up quieter?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by 6789, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. 6789

    6789 Member

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    I have a 65' Hagstrom I with single coil pickups. The B and high E strings are too loud compared to the other strings. I've already adjusted the pick up height as low it will allow. I've tried putting different types of tape over the pick-up under those two strings but that doesn't help. Would putting a piece of lead over the pick-up work? any suggestions?
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'm assuming this is one with solid (non-adjustable) polepieces - I can't remember what they're like.

    If so, DON'T try forcing them down into the pickup - some people try this with old Strat pickups, and it often breaks the coil, down inside where it's unrepairable. (You can do it on modern Fender pickups with the plastic bobbins, since the coil is not in contact with the magnets.)

    No type of tape or metal, other than 'Mu-Metal', a special type of magnetic shielding alloy, will make any difference.

    You're really going to have to just tilt the pickup as much as possible away from the top strings, although using lighter strings for those two might help - or heavier ones for the others, these guitars were probably designed for heavy-gauge flatwounds originally.
     
  3. 6789

    6789 Member

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    Yes, they are the non adjustable pole pieces. my strings are .012 to .052. I'll try to find some Mu Metal - I've never heard of it. thanks.
     
  4. hogy

    hogy Member

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    I've done it with a tape head demagnetizer hooked up to a variac for adjustability of strength.
    If you overdo it you'll have to get the pickup remagnetized.

    Hogy
     
  5. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    ok whacky solution to try
    if you are at max tilt
    eh maybe your other pole pieces need to be re-magnitized
    move the E / B strings away from the center of the pole.
    heighten the action ... or the bridge piece for those two strings (i know it sounds whacky ... )
     
  6. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Moved to Tech area & removed crosspost.

    --chiba
     
  7. 6789

    6789 Member

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    I placed a U.S. penny over the two pole pieces and that seems to work. So I guess I'll be glueing a penny to my pickups tonight!
     
  8. unclej54

    unclej54 Guest

    try turning the pickup around. it sounds like it's just hotter on one side and if that's the case it may not pick up the lower end as easily.
     
  9. Imiss85

    Imiss85 Member

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    try raising the string hight just a tad on the B and high E strings. Just enough to make a difference, but not enough to feel the difference in playability. Not normal but it may work.

    Edited to add, Sorry r9player, I didn't see your post at first, great minds think alike!
     
  10. 6789

    6789 Member

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    The penny placed over the polepiece was making the volume quieter but also it made the tone less clear. A dime works better, but still not right yet. Hagtroms are a pain to take apart - they have a plastic top and I'd have to unscrew tons of screws and remove the tail/ whammy bar etc. in order to get inside to see if it's possible to switch the pick up around.

    Mu Metal is probably the right way to go but it looks like you have to buy a lot compared to the little bit I need, and the price gets expensive.

    maybe if i drill a hole or two in a dime, that would allow some sound through yet block enough to lessen the volume. I'll try that this weekend.
     

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