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  1. #1
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    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
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    Default Was the Frankie's neck single coil ever wired up?

    I just got a new turntable, so yesterday evening I gave Brian May's Starfleet Project a spin for the first time in years. The guitar tones are very dry and in-your-face, and at times it sounded to me like EVH was playing with a bright neck-position single coil. Does anyone know if that pickup in the Frankie was ever wired up, or was it always a dummy?

    Anyway, I always liked this odd little record, seeing as it features two of my favourite guitarists going head-to-head. And the inner sleeve has a great photo of the Frankie and Red Special - two of the most iconic guitars in the history of rock - resting side-by-side.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

    Summer 2017 UK & North America

  2. #2
    Good Enough 5150rob's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 04:04 PM
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    Default

    According to Ed that pickup was not wired (single coil) during that 83 time frame. During the recording of that album with May, Ed had the old Danelectro neck on franky that used to be on his striped Charvel Star and the wood on the headstock had been reworked a bit and sort of rounded out. That neck could have had an impact on the tone I suppose but I would imagine it was the rig Ed was playing through. Some of the old pics show Ed and Brian jamming in the living room and the equipment he was using did not look standard to what Ed normally used. However that being said, we will never really know for sure if the pickup was wired of what he was using. I guess the only thing I am pretty sure of is the danelectro neck was on it and I dont believe the single coil was hooked up.

    who really knows for sure though? I am sure Ed cant even remember.

    Rob

  3. #3
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    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5150rob View Post

    who really knows for sure though? I am sure Ed cant even remember.

    Rob
    Thanks for the response. Like you say, who knows?
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

    Summer 2017 UK & North America

  4. #4
    Eruption AFU's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:00 AM
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    Default

    Ok. I just listened and yes, it does sound like a single coil.

    I always though at times he had a single coil sound. Especially live. Then I read the Franky had a "broken" pickup in it. Fender claims a coil was shorted out. So isn't that essentially a single coil? Made sense to me. Then I saw a post, not sure where, maybe the Duncan forums, with pics claiming the pickup selector that is stuck in the middle of Franky, was connected and used.

    Like most things about Ed's tone, only he knows.

  5. #5
    Top Of The World AtomicPunk91's Avatar
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    08.16.13 @ 10:05 AM
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    Default

    The red Mighty Mite single coil that is in the neck pickup cavity on Frank to this day, originally was first seen on a white pickguard attached to an unfinished Strat body with the Charvel Star Danalectro neck (which just happens to be the neck that was installed on Frankenstrat for the Starfleet sessions in question)

    This pickguard also featured a Tele bridge pickup; the whole assembly was installed on Frank after the red coat was applied. A humbucker was placed in the bridge, with the Tele pickup now in the middle cavity, and the MM single coil in the neck. In 1980, the pickguard was removed, with the Tele bridge pickup screwed into the middle cavity and the MM screwed into the neck. Both had wires running to the electronics cavity where (at that time) a volume and a tone pot where placed, as well as the 3-way switch. These were probably functioning at that time.

    By the Starfleet sessions, the Tele bridge pickup was long gone, and the switch was in the middle cavity now. The MM neck single coil was not hooked up.

    I think the use of a rosewood fingerboard and Ed's borrowed setup produced the more bluesy tone that is featured. Ed typically picks near the bridge when he is playing; it sounds to me like he picked near the fingerboard more which can sound almost like a neck pickup.

    Ed's had several humbuckers in Frank over the years, the current one I believe is the one that has had all the testing and output levels measured. I believe the coils themselves are wound differently or damaged, with one at a lower output, which explains the funky readings it's given off...
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  6. #6
    Eruption AFU's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:00 AM
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    Just watched Romeo Delight on YouTube. I'd swear Ed slaps a toggle switch up at the beginning of both first two verses. Totally looks like it to me! He's reaching for something next to the volume knob.

  7. #7
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    10.26.15 @ 12:38 PM
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    I think there was a single coil being used on the Frankie during the '82-'83 tours. His sound is definitely more twangy and thin (but still huge and awesome )

    This is an interesting read.

    http://www.woodytone.com/2011/03/31/...pickup-combos/

 

 

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