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Suhr BPSSC system and Don Mare's

HendrixRHCP

Member
Messages
5
So I recently received my Josie/Vaughan set and threw them in my strat last week and WOW... they sound absolutely incredible! The only downside is the dreaded 60 cycle hum. Does anyone have any experience with the Suhr BPSSC system and will it impact the amazing tone of these Don Mare's. By the way, I'm running into a Reinhardt 18 with a Timmy and a Dirty Little Secret. Thanks for the help TGP!
 

rick13

Member
Messages
769
I am running a pair of Don Mares in my Tele, with a custom 5 way super switch. I gounded everything, shielded all of the cavities including the pickguard, and it's very quiet.
I would try that first if you haven't shielded everything.
Rick
 

HendrixRHCP

Member
Messages
5
Ya I was thinking about doing that, I'll probably buy some copper foil in the near future heh. Excuse my ignorance but when you say you've grounded "everything" what do you mean, does the extra grounding help eliminate ground loops?
 

Samsun19

Member
Messages
1,196
Ahhhh, I had a luthier talk me into shielding my strat with DM's, and it killed the tone. And believe it or not, the hum/noise was worse. So I asked the luthier, "Couldn't you tell how awful it sounded after the shielding?" he said, "I didn't play the guitar before or after". I'm pretty sure he learned a good lesson there.....

I had him take out the shielding, and bam... The killer tone was back.

I talked to Don about it, and he said shielding wasn't a good idea, but he said the BPSSC was cool. YMMV

I haven't tried the BPSSC out yet....

Might be a good idea to call Don, before trying anything.

Best,
 

headstack

Member
Messages
195
Ahhhh, I had a luthier talk me into shielding my strat with DM's, and it killed the tone. And believe it or not, the hum/noise was worse. So I asked the luthier, "Couldn't you tell how awful it sounded after the shielding?" he said, "I didn't play the guitar before or after". I'm pretty sure he learned a good lesson there.....

I had him take out the shielding, and bam... The killer tone was back.

I talked to Don about it, and he said shielding wasn't a good idea, but he said the BPSSC was cool. YMMV

I haven't tried the BPSSC out yet....

Might be a good idea to call Don, before trying anything.

Best,
interesting that shielding with the D.M.s causes a tone change.

I wonder if there is some sort of inductance introduced somehow?

My guitars have Kleins, Duncans, Fralins etc. in them and I shield the entire cavity and pick plate creating a copper capsule for the electronics.

The one unusual thing I do is, to isolate the p'ups, pots and switches and then run a ground (drain) from each to the ground lug on the jack.

This is basically a typical star ground system and seems to work quite well and keeps the tone of the p'ups I use.

Don's p'ups are built differently though, so I could see something happening.

This SSC system looks extremely interesting!

Kimd of looks like you are putting a loop antenna behind the p'ups and tuning the output to shift the phase 180 or whatever.

Cool idea, brilliant in fact!
 

Lespaulsignature 74

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,664
If you install the Suhr SSCBP you will need to have the middle pickup altered. The SSCBP does not work with a RWRP middle pickup.
 

Rhomco

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,815
Contrary to popular opinion I find dirty signal chains feeding preamp designs intended for ultra clean signals are what causes the hiss and hum when old school (= tone) strat pickups are placed in the chain. My experience since 1965 shows that the same guitar that humms and hisses into some amps with pedals in the signal chain will be tolerably silent without the ped/meds. The trick is to use the right combination of guitar into the right amp for your dirt and work your volume control to bring the natural overdrive in/out. I realize those like me whom shun a gigantic pedal board are a rarity these days. Give me a good set of Mares into a great amp using a good quality cord and I am a happy boy!
Rob
 

Samsun19

Member
Messages
1,196
interesting that shielding with the D.M.s causes a tone change........
It was like some one throwing a thick heavy blanket over the speaker cab. It made the guitar sound dull and lifeless, but with more hum than before.

And trust me when I say that guitar with DM's, is the polar opposite of dull and lifeless. It sounds amazing.... Just a little more hum than I would prefer, that's hard to ignore, in low volume situations, like my teaching studio.

It's been a couple of years, but to the best of my recollection.....

Don said that shielding was the absolute wrong thing to do with his PU's. And the only good option for reducing the hum that he had heard was BPSSC.

I still think it's a good idea to give Don a call, such cool dude, see what he says now...
 

Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,379
If the guitar hummed worse after the shielding job, the shielding job was deficient. You need to be careful with grounding in an instrument. Each conductive component of the guitar must have only a single path to ground. If you stuff a guitar with copper tape etc. and through a lack of focus and care, you tie grounded things together at more than one single point, you form a loop or loops which will result in more audible hum.

The Illitch system is pretty good. I have it in one of my Strats. It quieted the instrument down pretty well, with negligible negative impact on the sound. My Illitch guitar, however, is not as quiet as two other Strats I've got, one with a set of Kinman pickups, and a second with Seymour Duncan Classic Stacks and a 53mm. full sized "Pearly Gates" pickup. The Strat with the Duncans is hands down my most noise free instrument. It's quieter than my bucker equipped Les Paul.
 

Samsun19

Member
Messages
1,196
I won't pretend to be an expert on shielding, but I've made living with my ears my entire life. The tech sounded very confident about the results before the installation.... When I heard the guitar with shielding, it only took a second for me to know it was a disaster. My first call was to Don Mare, and his reaction was very matter of fact..... shielding with his PU's, bad idea.... That's when I told the tech to remove the shielding, and it only took a second to know the guitar sounded amazing again, amazing just like before... just some hum. Maybe its the way Don makes his PU's, but so what.... His PU's are killer, and I'll live with the hum to have that amazing tone.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
11,747
Ahhhh, I had a luthier talk me into shielding my strat with DM's, and it killed the tone. And believe it or not, the hum/noise was worse. So I asked the luthier, "Couldn't you tell how awful it sounded after the shielding?" he said, "I didn't play the guitar before or after". I'm pretty sure he learned a good lesson there.....

I had him take out the shielding, and bam... The killer tone was back.

I talked to Don about it, and he said shielding wasn't a good idea, but he said the BPSSC was cool. YMMV

I haven't tried the BPSSC out yet....

Might be a good idea to call Don, before trying anything.

Best,
Shielding the cavity with Copper or Carbon paint is a must. Even with the SSC it is a good thing to do. Proper shielding will make it so there is no difference in buzz with hands on or off the strings. What kills the tone is if you directly wrap the pickup coils or cover with shielding tape so that it is in a complete loop (becomes a shorted turn) or aluminum (NG) changes the tone.
Shielding the guitar will not affect magnetically induced noise like 60 cycles coming from lights and bad club wiring etc. That is magnetically induced direct in to the coil, the only way to fix that is with Mu-Metal as a shield and yes that will also screw with your tone. The best way to get rid of that is to cancel it. If it is present in the air shielding wont help with that. Shielding will help with buzz and higher frequency trash and RF. Funny enough I couldn't demo the SSC at NAMM since the AC wiring is so far away from the guitars and the absence of close proximity to devices that would add the interference there was no noise even from single coils. It is the environment that pollutes the pickups.

Now after all that funny enough EC's famous Blackie had copper tape directly wrapped around each coil and yes it did change the tone but that is the way Eric played that guitar.
 
Last edited:

davetone

Member
Messages
440
So I recently received my Josie/Vaughan set and threw them in my strat last week and WOW... they sound absolutely incredible! The only downside is the dreaded 60 cycle hum. Does anyone have any experience with the Suhr BPSSC system and will it impact the amazing tone of these Don Mare's. By the way, I'm running into a Reinhardt 18 with a Timmy and a Dirty Little Secret. Thanks for the help TGP!
Hi. I'm not familiar with those pickups, but I do have the Suhr Backplate system. As another poster said, your middle pickup needs to be non-reverse wound. I didn't A/B my new pickups before and after the backplate, since I had them all installed all at once.

But I have to say the Suhr Backplate (though it is spendy) works great! Downstairs with its fluorescent lights is not kind as far as hum goes, but the Strat with single coils and the Suhr Backplate is basically as hum free as my humbucker guitar. I'd highly recommend it if you have the cash. YMMV, but I think you'd be happy with it.
 

Samsun19

Member
Messages
1,196
Shielding the cavity with Copper or Carbon paint is a must. Even with the SSC it is a good thing to do. Proper shielding will make it so there is no difference in buzz with hands on or off the strings. What kills the tone is if you directly wrap the pickup coils or cover with shielding tape so that it is in a complete loop (becomes a shorted turn) or aluminum (NG) changes the tone.
Shielding the guitar will not affect magnetically induced noise like 60 cycles coming from dimmers etc. That is magnetically induced direct in to the coil, the only way to fix that is with Mu-Metal as a shield and yes that will also screw with your tone. The best way to get rid of that is to cancel it. If it is present in the air shielding wont help with that. Shielding will help with buzz and higher frequency trash and RF. Funny enough I couldn't demo the SSC at NAMM since the AC wiring is so far away from the guitars and the absence of close proximity to devices that would add the interference there was no noise even from single coils. It is the environment that pollutes the pickups.

Now after all that funny enough EC's famous Blackie had copper tape directly wrapped around each coil and yes it did change the tone but that is the way Eric played that guitar.

Hi John,

Like so many things in life, there always seems to be a right way and a wrong way. I don't want to spend my time leaning all the technical details of how to do everything, that's why I hire people who are supossed to know how to do those things I don't want to.

Its a shame the luthier who shielded my strat didn't know what you do..... But that's life. Win some lose some.

My first call was to Don Mare after I heard the mess my strat had become. Interesting that he was so set against shielding with the use of his PU's? But was a fan of BPSSC?

What's a poor boy to do?

Thanks for chiming in.

Next time maybe I should call you ? :)
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,644
The SSC will not affect your pickups tone - all the top to bottom goodness you love will still be there - from what I understand though, the no RWRP middle pickup rule is still in effect, just ask to exchange your middle pickup (if it's RWRP) for a second neck pickup, the way Leo first shipped his guitars, and the BPSSC will work well for you. I have done two BPSSC guitars and now own two SSC factory intalled Suhr's a S style with 3 single coils and a chambered T w/P90's - all quiet here, and all the single coil tone is present and accounted for.
 

davetone

Member
Messages
440
The SSC will not affect your pickups tone - all the top to bottom goodness you love will still be there - from what I understand though, the no RWRP middle pickup rule is still in effect, just ask to exchange your middle pickup (if it's RWRP) for a second neck pickup, the way Leo first shipped his guitars, and the BPSSC will work well for you. I have done two BPSSC guitars and now own two SSC factory intalled Suhr's a S style with 3 single coils and a chambered T w/P90's - all quiet here, and all the single coil tone is present and accounted for.
Quick note that when I ordered my Lollar set of pickups, I specified that the middle pickup be non-reverse wound (to work with the Suhr Backplate) and they did that for no extra charge. The two neck pickup idea would also work.
 

rburkard

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,999
I just have experience with the Suhr BPSSC system. It works 100% as described. No noise when properly installed and no sonic impact that would be audible at all.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
11,747
Hi John,

Like so many things in life, there always seems to be a right way and a wrong way. I don't want to spend my time leaning all the technical details of how to do everything, that's why I hire people who are supossed to know how to do those things I don't want to.

Its a shame the luthier who shielded my strat didn't know what you do..... But that's life. Win some lose some.

My first call was to Don Mare after I heard the mess my strat had become. Interesting that he was so set against shielding with the use of his PU's? But was a fan of BPSSC?

What's a poor boy to do?

Thanks for chiming in.

Next time maybe I should call you ? :)
Well you can email for advice !
Yeah I know what you mean, why do you think I started doing my own work in the first place ? ;-) A 48th street repair guru destroyed my favorite guitar Bob Benedetto helped me make in the late 70's. That was the last time anyone touched my guitars except for me.

Basically Shielding will not change the tone unless you try and shield the cover or wrap metal tape around the coil. If it (shield) is 1/4" away form the coil or so it wont harm anything except get rid of that difference you get with hand on and hand off the strings. Feel free to do 2 coats of well stirred carbon paint and screw a ground lug in to it. Really easy to do but.... it wont help with magnetically induced hum, just high end trash, RF buzz type stuff. If done thoroughly there will be no difference in buzz hands on or off the strings.
 

Shooter Bob

Member
Messages
667
I have installed the Suhr SSC system on two of my guitars and own a third one with it factory installed.

Awesome! If works better than anything I've ever heard.
 




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