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Les Paul: make neck pickup brighter?

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,409
OK, so... long story short, I want to make the neck pickup in my LP (Epi LP) a little brighter. I simply find it too muddy to use for the sounds I want. I did swap pickups, I think it's just a LP thing.

I was going to swap out the neck pickup vol pot (500K) for a 1M, would that do the trick? (I've went the other way in single-coil guitars to warm them up, with good results.)

OR... I don't know what the tone caps are doing... instead of switching out the vol pot, could I simply replace one of the tone caps (is there one just for the neck pickup) to make the neck brighter?
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,626
The 1M pot will help brighten things some. The tone cap, if it's wire traditionally, won't really have an effect on rolling off the highs until the tone pot is turned down. You'll lose some brighness there with it on 10, but not much.

If you've swapped pups to something that isn't otherwise dark, I'd start with the 1M pots. Some sort of small bypass cap might help you further. But eventually you will just butt up against what your guitar just sounds like (which may or may not be part of your problem here).
 

d1dsj

Member
Messages
128
If the pick up is a AlnicoII (A2) then first I'd either swap the magnet to an AlnicoV (A5) or put a A5 pick up in.

Edit: I should add that I had the same problem with my Gibson '57 R.I custom... I put a S.D Jazz neck in but to be honest the I wish I had chosen the cheaper option of putting A5 magnet into the Classic '57 pick ups!
 

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,409
Lowering the pickup/raising the pp's was first thing I did.

The neck IS an Alnico 2... but I was told by GFS that their Alnico II was going to be a little brighter than their '59, which is Alnico 5.
 

d1dsj

Member
Messages
128
Well, typically an A5 is brighter than an A2 I believe. I'd swap the magnet and see, it's a cheap fix.
 

SigXer

Member
Messages
1,186
Wire a capacitor onto the volume knob. This works as a high pass filter (which counteracts the low pass filter that your guitar cables and volume pot work together to form) and it will make your sound brighter as you roll down the volume. Obviously, this won't make it sound brighter when the volume is full up, but it will help when you roll the volume back. The best part, its a cheap (probably about $2) and totally reversible mod.
 

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,409
it will make your sound brighter as you roll down the volume. Obviously, this won't make it sound brighter when the volume is full up, but it will help when you roll the volume back. .
yeah, not what I need.
 

JDW3

Member
Messages
3,637
Check the volume pot; see if it's a 250k ohm pot. If it's 250, replace it with a 500k. If it's a 500, replace with a 1meg.

I did this about 10 years after I'd been suffering with the dull tone from my mini-hum in my '73 LP Deluxe. Much improved and usable now.
 

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,409
Check the volume pot; see if it's a 250k ohm pot. If it's 250, replace it with a 500k. If it's a 500, replace with a 1meg.

I did this about 10 years after I'd been suffering with the dull tone from my mini-hum in my '73 LP Deluxe. Much improved and usable now.
yeah- that's why I asked... it's a 500K, figured I'd try a 1M...
 

frankencat

Guitarded
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,196
Try a "treble bleed" cap on the neck first. Something around 220p works for me. Go larger for more treble. Definitely use a 500k pot on the neck though.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,128
If you are using pure nickle strings try a change to nickle plated.
If you jave an ABR-1 bridge on it do the MapleFlame mod to it.
That's swapping your bridge posts to a longer and stainless post.

Results include greater clarity.
 




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