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Thread: pickup help

  1. #1
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    04.02.10 @ 05:19 PM
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    Default pickup help

    Ok so i got a really good understanding on guitars and effects etc. One thing i never really learned about was pickups. I just played what came in it or what sounded good. Here's my question. I measured my olp pickups today and got 14.5 for the bridge and 9.5 for the neck. now these arent the same as the axis but are suppose to be made somewhat in the same specs. here is where i get confussed. I dont have my evh here (at parents i have stated that before) and i dont own a wolfgang. i know these guitars have very high output pickups in the range of 15 to 17 for both. the only set of high ouput pickups i have are the duncan blackbacks which are hot but seem to be more trebblie to me then the olp's. i just found an post that when dimarzio wouldnt sell the evh pickups to roman to use he had duncan copy them which i can believe you can do anything but i dont wanna get into that. here is my question. if the evh and wolfgang are such hot pickups how do i get such a good tone from the lower olp's? does ouput matter, what affect does it have? i guess i am trying to learn from the numbers which i have always relied on my ear. thanks for any help in advance.

    ed. i forgot these (olp) are the first pickups i have ever had with only 2 wires. having never had my control panel off on the evh i do know these are only 2 thats funny. not comparing just thought it was kinda neat lol.

  2. #2
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    08.06.08 @ 03:31 AM
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    Tone is a relative term ...

    I tend to believe that tone is a relative term and one man's "warm" tone is another man's "buzzy fuzz". Here's how I view pickups: A pickup's tone is defined by the number of turns of wire per coil, the gauge of wire used in the coil, and the magnets used. A simple example of how much, for example switching the magnets out can change the effects of a pickups EQ, check out Seymour Duncan's SH-5, SH-11, and SH-14. Each has a distinctive tone but the coils are relatively the same, its just a change in the magnets.

    Having said that, I too have found that the OLP bridge pickup on the MM-1 is seriously bright. But its not really *only* due to it's DC resistance. If you compare it to the Duncan Custom Custom, they're pretty close in DC resistance, but the Custom Custom is pretty smooth in the top end as opposed to the harsh top end of the OLP bridge (there's more to it with the MM-1 ... but I'll get to that ...)

    As for pickups with lower DC resistance sounding "better", again, I think its pretty relative to what you're searching for in tone. I have been using a DiMarzio PAF PRO in one of my Axis clones for years and even though it comes out to like 8k ohms DC resistance, its got the qualities I enjoy for playing anything from VH style rock to newer styles. I love it on my modelers. On the other hand, I've been using a Duncan Custom Custom in a Kramer Baretta for years as well and even though its not quite as happy on a modeler as I like (its a little HOT on the inputs), it can make a tube amp like a JCM 800 or Mesa Boogie Studio Pre go gonzos with tone.

    One thing about the OLP MM-1 and its pickups ... don't blame the pickups 100% for the bright tone on that particular guitar. I've replaced that bridge pickup maybe 4 times now and it finally dawned on me why it sounded so bright ... that bridge pickup is like 5mm too close to the bridge for my taste. When I built my Axis clone (using the OLP MM-1 as a guide) I had my buddy (who's better with a router than I am) move that bridge pickup about 7mm farther towards the neck. I tried a LOT of pickups in there before I decided to use an old DiMarzio PAF PRO in there and I'll say that it made a lot of difference where that pickup was situated. I'm actually still considering using like a Duncan Invader in the bridge of my OLP just to see if I can't curb that top end (but that's a project for another day).

    Hope this helps. I don't claim to be any sort of expert, but I like to tinker so hopefully this inspires you to tinker too.

  3. #3
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    05.25.18 @ 01:25 PM
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    Don't underestimate the power of wood.

    Tone also depends greatly on the shape of the body, type of hardware, and type and combinations of wood.

    If you take a pickup and put it in a Les Paul, and then take it out and put it in a Fender Strat, the same pickup will sound different in each guitar. This is attributed to many variables, not the least of which is the type of wood and the quality of the hardware. Pickup placement relative to the strings is also very important as stated in the above post.

    Another thing to consider when swapping pickups is the quaility of the other electronic components in your guitar. Are your pots any good? Are they Mighty Might pots, or are they Gibson pots? What kind of cap is on the tone circuit? Is it a cheap cap, or an Orange Drop? What kind gauge of wire is used to connect all the components? Are the solder joints professionally soldered? All of these variables shape your tone.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.



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