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Is is the Guitar or the Pickups?

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
I have a high end custom shop build super strat that is hum/hum and floyd rose. The use their pickups and these are the hotter wind at 8.3k. But the guitar doesnt sound great. I have to re-eq my whole setup for this guitar and it still doesnt have the drive I expect. So I tried my other guitars that have the same output paf style pickup and they sound like I expect.

The obvious thing is to swap the pickups but will that work? Will swapping a 8.3k, A5, paf wind for another low 8k, A5, paf really be the difference? How much can they vary?
 

RRfireblade

Member
Messages
4,351
I wouldn't imagine changing out like pups for like pups is going to do much. To that point I never really felt like changing pickups in general ever really changes the essence of the guitar. It's more of a fine tune or like a filter. If you done all the usual adjustments like setting the action, pickup height Etc, my suspicion is that it's not going to change that Essence dramatically.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
what do ya mean by "doesn't sound great".. there's a whole lotta sound spectrum in those 3 words...

It doesnt drive the amp the way more other guitars do. Best way to explain it is if I had EMGs, it would sound like a dead/dying battery.
 

rickt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,731
Electric guitar is a system comprised of guitar-->cable--amp in its simplest form. Each of those components can affect the guitar tone. What kind of amp are you using and are there any effects between the guitar and the amp?

One suggestion without knowing what you have would be to adjust the height of the pickups.
 

Mr.Fun

Member
Messages
112
I have a high end custom shop build super strat that is hum/hum and floyd rose. The use their pickups and these are the hotter wind at 8.3k. But the guitar doesnt sound great. I have to re-eq my whole setup for this guitar and it still doesnt have the drive I expect. So I tried my other guitars that have the same output paf style pickup and they sound like I expect.

The obvious thing is to swap the pickups but will that work? Will swapping a 8.3k, A5, paf wind for another low 8k, A5, paf really be the difference? How much can they vary?
What about the tone are you wanting to change?
Not enough output?
It would be good to know what value the pots and cap are, those effect the ton a lot.
 

Ron Kirn

Vendor
Messages
7,944
for the home "engineer". about all you can do is change the pickups... All the other things guys will mention that can alter the guitar's voice, occur at levels so subtle as to be useless, AND the specific area that would need altering is so very difficult to isolate.. that making such a change is little more than taking shots in the dark..

Call one of the pickup experts at any of the better known makers to descrive what you have, and what you want.. they will know what questions to ask to get you where ya want to be...

Guys on the forums rarely have enough experiance with enough different variations in guitars to offer any real tangible advice... talk to someone that knows...

r
 

EasTXan

Member
Messages
755
Start from scratch with configuring your signal chain before swapping what are likely some very good pickups. Maybe stacking (or changing the way you stack) light overdrives?
 

modavis99

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,762
I have a high end custom shop build super strat that is hum/hum and floyd rose. The use their pickups and these are the hotter wind at 8.3k. But the guitar doesnt sound great. I have to re-eq my whole setup for this guitar and it still doesnt have the drive I expect. So I tried my other guitars that have the same output paf style pickup and they sound like I expect.

The obvious thing is to swap the pickups but will that work? Will swapping a 8.3k, A5, paf wind for another low 8k, A5, paf really be the difference? How much can they vary?

8.3k A5 isn’t very hot for a bridge pickup. That’s lower-wind PAF territory. I’d suggest trying something closer to 9.5k like a WCR godwood. Or perhaps something even hotter like JB.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
8.3k A5 isn’t very hot for a bridge pickup. That’s lower-wind PAF territory. I’d suggest trying something closer to 9.5k like a WCR godwood. Or perhaps something even hotter like JB.


Amp is a friedman but there are many amps and the same result.

I have many guitars and a lot that are in the 8k paf a5 range that push the amps like I expect. This is why I got this guitar/pickup. I just installed marshallhead mk2 in a hum/hum tele and it drives the amp fine. Those are 8.2k. I also have bareknuckles in the low 8k that drive the amp. My JB drive the amp but differently (as expected at 16k). les paul with 57 classics drive the amp. Sheptones drive the amp. Skatterbrane drive the amp.

This guitar does not. Its strange.
 

deepcove17

Member
Messages
1,432
Amp is a friedman but there are many amps and the same result.

I have many guitars and a lot that are in the 8k paf a5 range that push the amps like I expect. This is why I got this guitar/pickup. I just installed marshallhead mk2 in a hum/hum tele and it drives the amp fine. Those are 8.2k. I also have bareknuckles in the low 8k that drive the amp. My JB drive the amp but differently (as expected at 16k). les paul with 57 classics drive the amp. Sheptones drive the amp. Skatterbrane drive the amp.

This guitar does not. Its strange.
Try a test by installing your Marshallhead or 57 Classic into your Super Strat....that will answer your question.
 

Brian N

Member
Messages
2,502
The obvious thing is to swap the pickups but will that work? Will swapping a 8.3k, A5, paf wind for another low 8k, A5, paf really be the difference? How much can they vary?

To answer your main question, no, swapping for a pickup with the same specs is NOT going to make a significant difference. There will be minor voicing differences between them, but if you don't like the sound of one, you won't like the sound of the other. If the problem is that it's not driving the amp enough, you need to use a pickup with a hotter output.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
Try a test by installing your Marshallhead or 57 Classic into your Super Strat....that will answer your question.


This is what I am asking... Before I start swapping pickups is it safe to assume that all 8K, A5, paf winds are "alike" enough that I wont notice anything crazy different? If someone tells me that they had A brand vs B brand same kind of wind and output and noticed big differences then that would make me start swapping.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
To answer your main question, no, swapping for a pickup with the same specs is NOT going to make a significant difference. There will be minor voicing differences between them, but if you don't like the sound of one, you won't like the sound of the other. If the problem is that it's not driving the amp enough, you need to use a pickup with a hotter output.

So its the guitar? If I have other low 8k pickups that do what I want, I can assume this pickups is close enough. So then its the guitar that is the issue here. Which is strange to me.
 

Brian N

Member
Messages
2,502
So its the guitar? If I have other low 8k pickups that do what I want, I can assume this pickups is close enough. So then its the guitar that is the issue here. Which is strange to me.
That's the logical conclusion. I've personally never been able to "fix" a guitar with a pickup swap. I've made great sounding guitars sound better and I've made bad sounding guitars sound bad differently.
 

ozob

Member
Messages
300
It honestly sounds like there might be an electrical issue somewhere. I have a guitar that has an issue in its wiring, somewhere from the bridge pickup to the switch. What confused me is that the pickup worked, it just sounded really, really quiet. Like the volume perpetually on 1 or 2. I'm pretty sure it's the pickup selector, which I'm going to replace here in the next couple of weeks. But I'm used to those sort of problems resulting in a complete cut-out of the signal, not merely a drastic drop in volume...

So, maybe there's an issue preventing the full signal from coming through somewhere? Just a thought...
 




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