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Humbucker response is uneven

Jimmy MAck

Member
Messages
828
You guys know all about pickups, I have a plaguing problem with humbuckers. I just got a new Epiphone 335 Pro. I needed h/bers for my newest regular gig and my P90's buzz too much in the room. Besides having an itch for a 335 with h/bers and it was on sale, it has many great qualities - the p/ups puzzle me.
The plain strings are fine and sweetly bright and musical, but the wound strings are darker. The contrast is very noticeable and objectionable.

I've had this same problem with Gibson h/ber guitars in the past, so it's not new to me. My P90 equipped guitars don't have this problem.

I have raised the pole pieces to get more volume from the bottom 3 strings, but they are still dark sounding. My strings are the same that I always use, D'addario XL 110, which are nickel wound.

Any advice? Are the p/ups just inferior p/ups? If I keep the guitar, I'm not afraid to invest in good pickups, as long as I am assured that the problem will not persist with new models. And then the hunt will begin! Down the ol' rabbit hole.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
7,900
I think that those strings are nickel-plated steel, so that should be OK, though you could try something like Ernie Ball M-Steels or Cobalts for even brighter.

I'm guessing that those are covered pickups and that the covers are made of brass, which is a tone killer, so the first thing I would try is removing the covers.
 

zombiwoof

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,900
I think that those strings are nickel-plated steel, so that should be OK, though you could try something like Ernie Ball M-Steels or Cobalts for even brighter.

I'm guessing that those are covered pickups and that the covers are made of brass, which is a tone killer, so the first thing I would try is removing the covers.
Probuckers have nickel silver covers, which I assume is in his Pro model. They are PAF replicas.
Al
 
Messages
7,395
When you raised the poles under the low strings, did you lower the bass side of the pickup?
The point of raising the pole screws is to emphasize the screw coil.
Lowering the pickup on that side will help de-emphasize the slug coil.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
7,900
Are there really still humbuckers made with brass cover? I don't think so.

Yes, most if not all the inexpensive ones. For example, the GFS pickups I've bought have had brass cover, and the increase in brightness was noticeable when I took them off..
 

LikeAMotherF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,362
You guys know all about pickups, I have a plaguing problem with humbuckers. I just got a new Epiphone 335 Pro. I needed h/bers for my newest regular gig and my P90's buzz too much in the room. Besides having an itch for a 335 with h/bers and it was on sale, it has many great qualities - the p/ups puzzle me.
The plain strings are fine and sweetly bright and musical, but the wound strings are darker. The contrast is very noticeable and objectionable.

I've had this same problem with Gibson h/ber guitars in the past, so it's not new to me. My P90 equipped guitars don't have this problem.

I have raised the pole pieces to get more volume from the bottom 3 strings, but they are still dark sounding. My strings are the same that I always use, D'addario XL 110, which are nickel wound.

Any advice? Are the p/ups just inferior p/ups? If I keep the guitar, I'm not afraid to invest in good pickups, as long as I am assured that the problem will not persist with new models. And then the hunt will begin! Down the ol' rabbit hole.
Just to rule this one out- have you put a set of fresh strings on yet?


You'd be surprised....
 

Jimmy MAck

Member
Messages
828
Thanks guys, I did change to a new set of strings, but I am considering a brighter set now.
The problem is with the wound strings sounding dark and dull, the treble strings sound great, bright and alive. I will keep on this.
 

onemoretime

Member
Messages
2,862
You could try a different set of string saddles on the low strings but I think you'll find it's the pickups. How Epiphone continues to put bad pickups on their guitars just amazes me.
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
6,404
You guys know all about pickups, I have a plaguing problem with humbuckers. I just got a new Epiphone 335 Pro. I needed h/bers for my newest regular gig and my P90's buzz too much in the room. Besides having an itch for a 335 with h/bers and it was on sale, it has many great qualities - the p/ups puzzle me.
The plain strings are fine and sweetly bright and musical, but the wound strings are darker. The contrast is very noticeable and objectionable.

I've had this same problem with Gibson h/ber guitars in the past, so it's not new to me. My P90 equipped guitars don't have this problem.

I have raised the pole pieces to get more volume from the bottom 3 strings, but they are still dark sounding. My strings are the same that I always use, D'addario XL 110, which are nickel wound.

Any advice? Are the p/ups just inferior p/ups? If I keep the guitar, I'm not afraid to invest in good pickups, as long as I am assured that the problem will not persist with new models. And then the hunt will begin! Down the ol' rabbit hole.

The pickups should be good quality on that guitar. There might be a couple things going on. The first thing and probably the most obvious is that your ears are just getting used to the sound of humbuckers. I have the opposite problem with p90s and single coils. The other thing would be that your amp settings are set to single coil or P90 volumes. Because humbuckers have another coil they are going to be louder. More than likely if you just turn down the bass and volume a bit you will get the sound you are looking for.
 

johnh

Member
Messages
4,811
All of my humbuckers have this issues to a greater or lesser degree. I love the Classic 57 humbuckers, but I stopped using them in the neck position because the wound strings were too dark and woolly.

I now use a Bare Knuckle Mule in the neck position. But I’m sure that any good quality, low wind, paf type pickup would do the job.

By the way, when I coil-tap the mule, the wound strings become much, much more snappy.
 
Last edited:

Tony Done

Member
Messages
7,900
Thanks guys, I did change to a new set of strings, but I am considering a brighter set now.
The problem is with the wound strings sounding dark and dull, the treble strings sound great, bright and alive. I will keep on this.

The plains strings are pretty much the same on all of them, so a brighter set should mostly affect the wound strings.
 




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