Overly bright guitar/pickups. Something's wrong

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by sws1, Feb 2, 2005.


  1. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I just finished my Warmoth alder body, maple neck guitar. It has an original floyd tremelo, a Duncan EVH bridge, and a Dimarzio Virtual Vintage blues in the neck. Volume and toggle only. No tone control.

    I understand that the tremelo and maple neck might have a tendency to make the guitar bright, but this guitar is absurdly bright. Both pickups pickup every hand movement on the strings. To make sure it wasn't the bridge, I muted the strings to keep bridge from causing the high-end. Yet sliding my left hand up and down the neck almost overpowers the notes.

    Plus, it's doing with with both pickups, even the somewhat darker neck pickup.

    Almost makes me think something is not wired correctly, although with 1 vol pot, how could I have done it wrong.

    Could having too much excess wire cause a problem? Should I put in the tone pot afterall? Could i have a wiring problem between the two pickups that is causing the vol pot to behave like it's a 1 Meg pot?

    I refuse to blame it on the wood and bridge.
     
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree, not the wood. No chance that you've inadvertently tapped the pickups (or used wiring that only brings one coil into play, or wired the two coils out of phase)? Failing that, I'd wonder about damaged pickups. Not sure how a volume pot could result in a guitar that's too bright unless you wired a cap into the circuit so it's acting like a tone control?
     
  3. Joe

    Joe Senior Member

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    Process of elimination, wire the pup directly to the guitar and bypass the toggle and volume. You can cut the pick-up wire near the solder joint and cut the end off a guitar wire and tape it together for the experiment. If it is still a problem, then it is the guitar.
     
  4. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    From the sound of it as you describe it I would guess it is the wiring.
     
  5. Pappy

    Pappy Member

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    I personally feel that your problem is caused by not having a tone pot. Not having a tone pot produces a tone that is *brighter* than using a 1 meg tone pot (per discussions with my guitar tech).
     
  6. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    +1. I bet it's a 500k pot. Either replace with a 250k pot or leave that one and simply put a 470k resistor accross the two outer lugs to make it look like a 250k load to the pickups.
     
  7. Pappy

    Pappy Member

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    Actually, it doesn't sound like he's using a tone pot at all. Either a 500k or a 250k tone pot will do the trick - especially compared to none at all.
     
  8. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    You can easily fit a 'stealth tone control' if you don't want to drill another hole for a knob you never use.

    Wire a .022uF cap and a 470K resistor in series from the volume pot hot terminal to ground. That's electrically identical to a tone control left fully up.

    Or, like Clorenzo says, use a 250K volume pot, and possibly even the stealth tone pot idea but with a 220K resistor.


    Either that or use a really long, non-esoteric-brand cord... that will kill the top end nicely :).
     
  9. angelo

    angelo Member

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    I am going to jump on the the "try it again with a 250 K pot" train.

    It seems like the cheapest and neatest way to start --- plus, you'll get a "do over" with the wiring.




    BTW, do the highs roll off a bit as you turn down the volume?
     
  10. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    The volume pot, I mean.
     
  11. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    I built a VH clone guitar (he says sheepishly) Alder body, maple neck..EVH pickup and no tone control. It is very bright with no tone control. The EVH is pretty bright anyway. I had to back the pickup down a bit to get it to work right. I could never get that guitar to sound good until I plugged it into a NMV Marshalll, then it was really great.
     
  12. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    Yes - the highs do roll off when turning it down. In fact, I tried playing it with the volume on about 9.5 and it was a bit better, but it's kind of a pain to set it there.
     
  13. angelo

    angelo Member

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    Well, if the highs roll off, I'd say you have it wired correctly with NO cap.

    So, now I am REALLY thinking go with a 250 K pot!!!!
     

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