PAF that isn't muddy/boomy

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by james..., Apr 21, 2019.

  1. james...

    james... Supporting Member

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    Tried Burstbucker 2. Not that muddy, but has a boomy bottom I don't like. Tried a 57 classic. Way too muddy/bassy. Tried Dimarzio 36th. Not muddy, but has a thumping bottom end that I don't care for and is voiced too aggressively in general.

    Maybe it's the Les Paul that makes them muddy. IDK.

    And before someone says "get a Tele" or something along those lines, I have multiple and it can't get as tight/compressed as a humbucker guitar obviously.

    My Charvel with a JB pickup isn't boomy at all. I think maybe there's some inherent bassiness to Gibsons that I don't care for.

    EDIT: A lot of people said to lower pickups and inquired about amp/settings.

    I did lower the pickups and that did seem to help a fair amount. These are 57 classics currently in the guitar.

    The amp in question was a 50 watt plexi. 2x12 with G21H speakers. I had the eq with bass at 0 and treble/presence around 4 oclock. It was still pretty dang bassy. After lowering both pickups, it seems better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  2. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Member

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    My Duncah 59's aren't boomy or muddy at all ... Neither are Pearly Gates
     
  3. Presc

    Presc Member

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    Start by playing pickup heights, but if that doesn’t work, try some OX4 Low-Winds. Super clear and crisp for a HB - they were a huge improvement in my Heritage. And make sure you have pots that properly measure 500k.
     
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  4. Grenville

    Grenville Member

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  5. Kenny Blue

    Kenny Blue Silver Supporting Member

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  6. Marris Otter

    Marris Otter Member

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    Do you have 300k pots in your guitar? That may be the culprit.
     
  7. ant_riv

    ant_riv Supporting Member

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    I would never characterize a PAF-style pup as muddy/boomy.

    In an LP, the neck pup can be, if the pup is too close to the strings.
    I had noticed years and years ago that Paul Kossoff’s neck pup in his ‘58 or ‘59 LP was even with and a little lower than the pup ring.
    When I tried this on my LP, I suddenly realized what I had been missing.

    As for brand recommendation, Lollar Imperial pups are bright and clear and my two sets would earn the classification ‘Tele on steroids.’ Bright, clear and articulate. I actually find myself working the tone and volume controls all the time on my ‘71 LP because there are SO many usable tones!

    Best wishes to you for finding what you are looking for.
     
  8. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    How about turning the bass way down on the amp?
    I always set the bass low and mids high.
    What amp and settings?
     
  9. nl128

    nl128 Silver Supporting Member

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    I got a set of Wizz a4 that came in a les Paul I bought.
    I must of went through about 15 sets of boutique PAF types.

    The Wizz a4s were the only set that checked all the boxes for me .

    I’ve had the same set in a few different guitars now, they’ve performed well and every guitar.

    Very clear like a good p-90
     
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  10. big mike

    big mike House Plexi Staff Member

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    Duncan 59
    Jim Wagner crossroads

    Both those are fantastic, less low end on the crossroads and a little sweeter through mids
     
  11. Rockin J

    Rockin J Member

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  12. Kleio

    Kleio Supporting Member

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    I've got Seth Lovers in my Kauer Titan, great pickups. Plenty of low end but not muddy or boomy to my ears.
     
  13. aynirar27

    aynirar27 All You Need Is Rock and Roll Gold Supporting Member

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  14. JayFi

    JayFi Supporting Member

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    A4 magnets were the answer for me too. Very happy with my low-output Mojotone 59s.
     
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  15. man_mars

    man_mars Member

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    I believe the Suhr Thornbuckers address this very issue.
     
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  16. darkwaters

    darkwaters Member

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    Any humbucker can be muddy/boomy if it's height isn't adjusted properly. Pretty much any pickup can sound bad if it's not set up properly for the player's tastes.

    My 2006 SG Special Faded came with 490 pickups. I found them to be too hot, muddy and boomy. Lowered them and raised the pole pieces. Now I love'em. It's now my gold standard for what a humbucker equipped guitar should sound like.
     
  17. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Tom Holmes. A2... 7.4k Neck x 8.3 Bridge.

    They would die of embarrassment if they were muddy, or ice pick.

    Use a .015 cap in the neck, .022 Bridge, and make sure the pots are 500k. Many like a 550k Volume pot.
     
  18. mertay

    mertay Member

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    I changed all wiring on my guitar a few years ago, suspected with age it got muddy. I was right, never expected such a difference (used stewmac wiring)
     
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  19. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    Bass-cut circuit...magic
     
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  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    This is the order to approach a too muddy pickup. If you swap pickups from the start you are often spending $100 to fix a $10 problem. Pickups and their controls are a system. No, it's not nearly as sexy as telling everyone you bought a new pickup set.

    -pickup heights -- lower is often better, more clarity and cleaner
    -screw poles -- actually use them (raise poles and drop the pickup) for more clarity not just brightness
    -tone cap swap for something 'smaller', go from 0.047uF to 0.033uF, if 0.022 go to 0.01.
    -volume pot higher kohm, pots have 20% factory tolerance range and it matters. Measured 550k is brighter than 450k. Maybe you need to go to 1Meg even.
    -Use that 0.047uF tone cap you pulled to put in series with the muddy pickup hot lead. This cuts the internal capacitance of the pickup just as if you went from a factory wound to boutique hand-wound pickup.
    -Swap pickups
    -Swap guitars and/or amps and/or maybe get a banjo or a bassoon. o_O

    I used to swap pickups until I figured this list out. I've moved guitars from flippers to keepers with as little as a nickel capacitor change.

    .
     

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