KOA topped T/A (hollow, too) - pickup suggestions?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Traps, May 20, 2008.

  1. Traps

    Traps Member

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    I have a beautiful hollow KOA drop top Tom Anderson. I hated the Anderson pups (too nasaly, like a blannket over the guitar). So I swapped 'em out - JB in bridge, JEM single in middle, and a FastTrack2 in the neck (HSS). It is better, but I still get a dark tone out of the guitar. I'm looking for the DSH sound out of my Suhr. I had the JB, etc.. lying around so tried them out. Used the guitar at our Saturday night show last weekend, and it did good, but man, it's dark sounding, not open/clear sparkly like the Suhr. I'm not ready to get a Suhr pup in there, as I'm thinking it's the nature of the guitar (hollow, KOA). The guitar is a wonderful instrument to play (not quite up there with the Suhr) but I'm trying to get more sparkle, less Darth Vader out of it. The guitar has the mini switches, so there's tons of sounds, which I'm still investigating.. But, there's an overall 'dark' sound to it (making me think it's due to the construction...)

    So, I wanted to see if anyone else has had this type of issue, and if they've found a solution.

    Thanks in advance guys.
     
  2. scottish

    scottish Member

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    Id try some lower output pups in there. I find with hollowbodies if you stick higher output pups in there like the JB then you tend to get a little dark. Id try something in the PAF range. Im a big fan of SD 59s or PGs in hollowbodies but im not sure of the sound you are after so that might not suit.
     
  3. Traps

    Traps Member

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    Man, I was thinking the same - maybe the Classic '57s that are in my Historic... thanks.
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    The first thing I'd try is lowering the pickups. If they are too close to the strings, you will experience an unpleasant increase in lower mids and a host of other side-effects.
     
  5. Traps

    Traps Member

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    I'll try lowering them, too.. thanks!

    I thought lowering only affected output, not 'tonal quality'
     
  6. scottish

    scottish Member

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    oh yeah....we really need pics of this one
     
  7. alivegy

    alivegy Member

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    Isn't the fasttrack2 a humbucker meant for the bridge position? That's going to sound really dark in the neck regardless of it's position.
     
  8. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's the thing: "drop tops" are laminates, which don't really effect body resonance (unless you factor the potential negative effect of the glue holding it in place). It's the core wood underneath which is really transmitting string vibration, so unless it's a koa body as well...

    Also, while you went for some very dark/hot replacements, control values can have a huge effect on total frequency output- if there are pots & bridge caps not testing to spec, or even excess solder on junction points, all of that adds capacitance and cuts high frequencies. For what you've got in there now, every pot should test 500K or higher, no exceptions. I might even go for 1Megs.

    As for replacement pickups: if you need hum-canceling "singles" with decent top end and 4-conductor leads in those first two slots, take a look at the DiMarzio HS-2s. They've been around almost 30 years for a reason. There are a lot of good options for the bridge, I think the Duncan Pearly Gates has good balance of highs & mids for a "super strat" bridge position, and whatever EBMM is getting from Dimarzio for the bridge position on the Axis models cuts through pretty well.
     
  9. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Okay, if the OP won't post his, I'll post mine...

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Happy with the Ms in mine.
     
  10. Traps

    Traps Member

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    :BEER

    The FS2 is a humbucker, perhaps meant for the bridge...but I am experimenting... It's not bad up there, actually..

    Sorry I dont have any pics..It does look a lot like the above guitar, but HSS, and maple neck w/rosewood board. And non locking trem. 3 minis and a blower. Super lightweight, wonderful neck.

    thanks guys...
     

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