Using a cap or resistor to brighten a pickup?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by 12guitdown, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    I just finished a renovation on my Tele(experimental relic'ing, Bigsby, 50's bridge, new neck pickup etc.), and the neck pickup, GFS Dream 180, sounds pretty decent but is way too dark compared to the bridge. Granted I know that the neck is naturally darker, mellower- but in this case it's too much.

    So is it possible to use cap, resistor or combined to brighten it up?
     
  2. levelfrets

    levelfrets Member

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    You can brighten the pickup like this,

    1) Change to higher value pot 1 meg or 500k (on a tele it will affect the bridge pup too)
    2) Remove the brass cover from the neck pickup and replace it with a nickel silver cover (Or just do away with the cover all together)
    3) Replace the neck pickup with something else

    A capacitor will darken it more. A resistor won't have an affect on brightness only output.
     
  3. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    So in theory I could add a cap to the bridge pickup to darken it a little then just turn the treble up on the amp to compensate it. If that works, what value cap do you recommend?
     
  4. sysexguy

    sysexguy Member

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    You can place a capacitor in line with the pickup to brighten the neck, check out a Reverend or a Fender Jaguar if there's a dealer nearby. You can play with the values and/or add a bypass resistor to tune the sound.

    Andy
     
  5. jaydawg76

    jaydawg76 Supporting Member

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    You might also want to try taking the neck pup off the tone circuit. All you need to do is remove the wire that goes between the volume and tone pot from the volume pot side and connect it to where the bridge pup connects to the switch. It will brighten up the neck pup and add some life the its overall sound.
     
  6. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll fiddle around with it and see what happens. Any other ideas out there?
     
  7. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Hardwire the pup to the output jack with nothing else connected. This will give you all the pup has to offer. If it is still too dark you can put a cap in series to create a high pass effect, but output will drop.

    If it sounds OK straight out add as few other connections as possible to prevent tone loss i.e. 1 meg vol pot with bypass cap to maintain top end if that's what you need.

    Or, put in a Strat pup.:D
     
  8. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    Funny you mention that cuz that's what I had in there prior.

    Here's a photo of how it is now. Two HB's with push/pull tone pot for the inside coils in phase. This gives a nice Fender "clunk" sound when combined.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. msgdsrf

    msgdsrf Member

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    Can you update on what you've done with you guitar. I 'm looking for a similar solution.
     
  10. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    Ok. Here's my update;




    [​IMG]
     
  11. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    Actually I put a cap between the hot lead & switch of the neck pickup. But I don't know what the value is because there was no lettering on it. The cap came out of a 2007 tokai mij es130. So probably a .022u.

    Yeah, it's subtle but less woofy-that's for sure. Eventually I'm gonna swap it out.
     
  12. msgdsrf

    msgdsrf Member

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  13. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    The Dream 180 is dark?? I have a bridge position one it is definitely not dark. Maybe try using different value pots.
     

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