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#1
wax humbucker pickups.
i was reading somewhere about a boutique winder who didn't wax some of the models. i think they were lower output.
but why wouldn't you wax though?
is there a tone difference?
#2
Unpotted, every time. The sound is more open and harmonically rich, IMO.

Unless you're playing super high gain growly noise metal, or being a dumbass and standing directly in front of the cab, feedback shouldn't be a problem.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#3
Too much wax can kind of choke the output of a pickup according to some very knowledgeable folks. Gibson doesn't pot the burstbuckers because it makes them sound more vintage supposedly.
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#4
but i think most HBs are wax potted, no? like SD and Dimarzio pot all of their pickups.
is there a way to de-wax them? probably not
#5
most handwinders will make a pickup non potted for you.

I don't really like them. way to much feedback.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#6
Quote by sethp
but i think most HBs are wax potted, no? like SD and Dimarzio pot all of their pickups.
is there a way to de-wax them? probably not

Not really setting the bar very high there, bro.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#7
Quote by bubb_tubbs
Not really setting the bar very high there, bro.


Because Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio are such low-quality brands...


Quote by sethp

is there a way to de-wax them? probably not



Yeah, you can take it off, but it's very dangerous and I wouldn't recommend it from personal experience. It's more than likely that you will end up siding with the majority that there is very little difference other than unnecessary feedback. Then you'll just be pissed that you removed all that wax and took all that time and now you have to either pay to have them re-potted or do it yourself. Oh, and if you even so much as scrape some copper off of one of the windings, your pickup is now ****ed.
Last edited by Blktiger0 at Mar 28, 2011,
#8
Quote by ATLstang
Too much wax can kind of choke the output of a pickup according to some very knowledgeable folks. Gibson doesn't pot the burstbuckers because it makes them sound more vintage supposedly.


The Burstbuckers I had were definitely potted.
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#9
Quote by Blktiger0
Because Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio are such low-quality brands...

Mass produced stuff should never equal the price of custom-shop quality boutique products.

If it walks like a duck...
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#11
Quote by AcousticMirror
sd's and dimarzios standard line is stanard.

note the sd custom shop:

http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/custom-shop/humbuckers/p_green_humbuck_1/

how much you say? 160 each? .


For that price you could nail a single used Throbak, or a set of Wolfetones, WCRs, BKP, etc.

Plus a lot of those manufacturers will do a rewind for you for only the shipping cost if you don't approve of how they turned out when you install them.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
Last edited by bubb_tubbs at Mar 28, 2011,
#12
The SD Custom Shop stuff is great. About on par with your average boutiquer. Seymour does them all by hand. They're definitely pricey though so I'd probably go for something with a bit more brand clout.
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#13
Quote by Blktiger0
Because Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio are such low-quality brands...



wow, they really suck that bad that they're considered low-quality brands?
that's surprising to hear
#14
Quote by sethp
wow, they really suck that bad that they're considered low-quality brands?
that's surprising to hear


No, i was being sarcastic. Anyone that thinks Seymour Duncans aren't quality enough should talk to These Guys and anyone that thinks Dimarzio is low quality should talk to These Guys.

I think I trust that at least a few of them have the money and ear to go with a custom pickup if that's what they needed or wanted.
#15
I guarantee you 90% of that list uses the custom shop pups wound my Seymour himself. I dunno if DiMarzio has a custom shop.
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#16
I had a bass with unpotted pickups. The microphoning does add a bit of warmth that is kind of neat. Over time, though it got way out of hand and it would creak as you moved the strap and feedback constantly.

So I finally caved and potted it.
#17
Matt, everyone knows that because an artist says they endorse them they're awesome.

Just because they're on an "Artist" list doesn't mean they actually use them. The classic example is a backline of a certain amp, when the real amp is actually somewhere offstage.
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#19
Quote by mmolteratx
I guarantee you 90% of that list uses the custom shop pups wound my Seymour himself. I dunno if DiMarzio has a custom shop.


The ones they sell are therefore the same thing, but they weren't wound by hand...whoopdie doo...
#20
Quote by Blktiger0
No, i was being sarcastic. Anyone that thinks Seymour Duncans aren't quality enough should talk to These Guys and anyone that thinks Dimarzio is low quality should talk to These Guys.

I think I trust that at least a few of them have the money and ear to go with a custom pickup if that's what they needed or wanted.


....

...

..

.

you win.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#21
I prefer potted pickups, yeah, sure, you loose some natural tone, but I rather loose some of that than go with actives, or a non potted pickup which if you don't know what your doing will feedback like non other.

My BKP Painkiller is defiantly potted, but I'm not so sure about my BKP Trilogy Suite, I can't say for sure, I believe they are not potted, cause I didn't see any wax when I installed them, but my brain may be working against me right now.
#22
Quote by AcousticMirror
....

...

..

.

you win.


I'm just saying that if they use them, most of those players are considered "professional" musicians. Meaning that you are getting "professional" quality pickups.

Honestly, though, I don't see the big deal when your pups produce about 5% of your tone...
#23
Quote by Blktiger0
I'm just saying that if they use them, most of those players are considered "professional" musicians. Meaning that you are getting "professional" quality pickups.

Honestly, though, I don't see the big deal when your pups produce about 5% of your tone...


It's a little bit more than that, try 15% or in that range. If you feel that way, throw in a pair of stock Squier single coils and you won't be able to tell the difference, right?

Pickups affect how the tone is transferred to your amp, it's like with interfaces, if you have a shitty interface, your tone is going to suck, if you have a nice interface, your tone is going to be much better.
#24
Quote by Blktiger0
I'm just saying that if they use them, most of those players are considered "professional" musicians. Meaning that you are getting "professional" quality pickups.

Honestly, though, I don't see the big deal when your pups produce about 5% of your tone...


pups matter a lot.

The issue is that if you were so inclined, and I'm not saying that everyone is mind you, you could tailor a set of pups to your guitar to do exactly what you wanted.

No two guitars are the same...so it seems logical that pickups should be different.

However, companies need to make a standard line of pups for all the guitars that are produced.

A lot of those endorsees use the pups live, where reliability, dependability, and easy replacability is an issue.

in the studio those pups might be one of 50 pairs in 50 guitars that are tracked.

who knows.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#25
Quote by Blktiger0
The ones they sell are therefore the same thing, but they weren't wound by hand...whoopdie doo...


No they aren't. You don't know anything about their process. The standard SDs are handwound on the old Gibson machines. As are the custom shop ones. The custom shop ones are different designs using higher quality parts. They're very different from the normal line. And who's to say that they aren't using some obscure custom wind Seymour did 10 years ago?
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#26
Quote by mmolteratx
No they aren't. You don't know anything about their process. The standard SDs are handwound on the old Gibson machines. As are the custom shop ones. The custom shop ones are different designs using higher quality parts. They're very different from the normal line. And who's to say that they aren't using some obscure custom wind Seymour did 10 years ago?


So you're telling me that Slash's pickups in his guitar (AlNiCo II Pro in both spots on his older guitars and now he has a signature AlNiCo II Pro that he supposedly uses) that were "made in the Custom shop" (probably true for his signature pup) are completely different than the ones you buy? His first guitar that he recorded Appetite with had AlNiCo II Pro's and he didn't even know it. He kept using them until he got his Signature Pickups.

Also, you are telling me that Zakk Wylde's EMG 81/85's are completely different than ones that I would order from their website?

Quote by ethan_hanus
It's a little bit more than that, try 15% or in that range. If you feel that way, throw in a pair of stock Squier single coils and you won't be able to tell the difference, right?


Agree to disagree on this one. Everyone has a somewhat different breakdown of what affects tone. If you get really nitty gritty with it, it gets pretty ridiculous. Either way, I don't honestly believe that there is that big of a difference between a SD Custom Shop pickup and one of their mass-produced ones.

Quote by AcousticMirror
pups matter a lot. The issue is that if you were so inclined, and I'm not saying that everyone is mind you, you could tailor a set of pups to your guitar to do exactly what you wanted. No two guitars are the same...so it seems logical that pickups should be different. However, companies need to make a standard line of pups for all the guitars that are produced. A lot of those endorsees use the pups live, where reliability, dependability, and easy replacability is an issue. in the studio those pups might be one of 50 pairs in 50 guitars that are tracked. who knows.


I never said they didn't matter. If I did I would be lying to your face. I'm a strong supporter of using quality pickups (especially Seymour Duncans stupid kids these days and their active EMG crap...(ok, so I plan on buying a DBZ V with EMG's...you wanna fight about it? ))

Anyway, this is pretty off-topic at this point. TS didn't ask about Custom Pups vs Standard Pups. Agree to disagree for now. Maybe my ears aren't quite good enough to tell the difference, or it could be psychosomatic and you are just hearing a quality difference because you believe there is one.

Maybe if I gave my full Tone Breakdown then my 5% would make more sense...that 5% is only bested in the breakdown by the amp you are using...meaning that pickups matter less than the amp, but somewhat more than the guitar wood/construction. It's probably not even 5% exactly, but it was an easy, off-the-top-of-my-head answer.
#27
Quote by Blktiger0
So you're telling me that Slash's pickups in his guitar (AlNiCo II Pro in both spots on his older guitars and now he has a signature AlNiCo II Pro that he supposedly uses) that were "made in the Custom shop" (probably true for his signature pup) are completely different than the ones you buy? His first guitar that he recorded Appetite with had AlNiCo II Pro's and he didn't even know it. He kept using them until he got his Signature Pickups.

Also, you are telling me that Zakk Wylde's EMG 81/85's are completely different than ones that I would order from their website?


The old ones were all done by Seymour himself and the designs have changed. SD started out as a small 'boutique' company like BKP, Lollar, etc. and most of his earlier work was all custom anyways. I don't think Slash cared all that much at the time either. The Alnico IIs aren't the worst Duncans. They're definitely usable with a good amp.

And where does Zakk Wylde and EMG come into this? Did I say anything about either? I don't see anything in my posts insinuating that EMG have anything to do with this argument. EMGs are what they are. Personally, I think Zakk's tone sounds like ass anyways but YMMV.

There is a difference between the standard and custom shop stuff because they're different designs. There's no way for them to be the same. I don't see the Allan Holdsworth sig in the regular line up. Or the DeMartini sig. Or the EVH. Or any of the custom winds that I know he's done for Eric Johnson. There's a verifiable difference.
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#28
Quote by Blktiger0
So you're telling me that Slash's pickups in his guitar (AlNiCo II Pro in both spots on his older guitars and now he has a signature AlNiCo II Pro that he supposedly uses) that were "made in the Custom shop" (probably true for his signature pup) are completely different than the ones you buy? His first guitar that he recorded Appetite with had AlNiCo II Pro's and he didn't even know it. He kept using them until he got his Signature Pickups.

Also, you are telling me that Zakk Wylde's EMG 81/85's are completely different than ones that I would order from their website?



Agree to disagree on this one. Everyone has a somewhat different breakdown of what affects tone. If you get really nitty gritty with it, it gets pretty ridiculous. Either way, I don't honestly believe that there is that big of a difference between a SD Custom Shop pickup and one of their mass-produced ones.



I never said they didn't matter. If I did I would be lying to your face. I'm a strong supporter of using quality pickups (especially Seymour Duncans stupid kids these days and their active EMG crap...(ok, so I plan on buying a DBZ V with EMG's...you wanna fight about it? ))

Anyway, this is pretty off-topic at this point. TS didn't ask about Custom Pups vs Standard Pups. Agree to disagree for now. Maybe my ears aren't quite good enough to tell the difference, or it could be psychosomatic and you are just hearing a quality difference because you believe there is one.

Maybe if I gave my full Tone Breakdown then my 5% would make more sense...that 5% is only bested in the breakdown by the amp you are using...meaning that pickups matter less than the amp, but somewhat more than the guitar wood/construction. It's probably not even 5% exactly, but it was an easy, off-the-top-of-my-head answer.


To answer your first two question about Slashes pickups and Zack Wyldes pickups, yes, they are the exact same as the mass produced pickups you can get now. It's called marketing.

Pickups make a huge difference in tone, and if you can't hear it then your deaf or just have no idea what your talking about, which I don't think you do. Pickups do matter less than the amp, but shitty pickups through a best amp in the world would still sound shitty, cause it's like with anything else, the weakest link in your chain brings down everything.

Shitty cable in your chain, your tone sucks, shitty pickup in your chain, tone sucks, shitty tubes, tone sucks, bad volume pot, tone sucks, bad pedal in the chain, tone sucks.

Pickups have such a huge massive impact on your tone that if you say other wise your just ignorant. EMG 81's sound nothing like a passive BKP Painkiller, I know, I've had both, through the same amp, same guitar, and the difference is massive.

Your entitled to your opinion, but most guys here are going to disagree with you, and they know a little bit more about these things than you think you do.
#30
Quote by ethan_hanus
To answer your first two question about Slashes pickups and Zack Wyldes pickups, yes, they are the exact same as the mass produced pickups you can get now. It's called marketing.

Pickups make a huge difference in tone, and if you can't hear it then your deaf or just have no idea what your talking about, which I don't think you do. Pickups do matter less than the amp, but shitty pickups through a best amp in the world would still sound shitty, cause it's like with anything else, the weakest link in your chain brings down everything.

Shitty cable in your chain, your tone sucks, shitty pickup in your chain, tone sucks, shitty tubes, tone sucks, bad volume pot, tone sucks, bad pedal in the chain, tone sucks.

Pickups have such a huge massive impact on your tone that if you say other wise your just ignorant. EMG 81's sound nothing like a passive BKP Painkiller, I know, I've had both, through the same amp, same guitar, and the difference is massive.

Your entitled to your opinion, but most guys here are going to disagree with you, and they know a little bit more about these things than you think you do.



Once again, I never once said that pickups didn't matter. Where are you getting that impression? I said that I don't think there is that big of a quality difference between Custom Shopped pickups and Mass Produced ones. I realize there is a difference because you get the exact specs you want. Yes, they are going to sound different. My point that I am arguing is this:

If I were to buy a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates for the bridge of my guitar (the pickup i actually have...I highly recommend it) and then order a pickup with the exact same specs as the Pearly Gates from the Custom Shop, I don't believe there is going to be that big of a difference in sound.

So, to clear this up:

I support changing the pickups in your guitar. I put a SD Pearly Gates in my bridge and AlNiCo II Pro in my neck and absolutely love them. My Next guitar will have EMG's, although it comes with the 81/85 combo, and I prefer the 81/60 combo.

My Tone Breakdown:

Amp/Effects/Cables (including speaker/cab): 70%
Pickups: 10%
Guitar Construction (including wood, set or bolt on neck, finish, weight, hardware, headstock angle, strings, and the individuality of each instrument): 8%
Where you are in relation to the speaker: 5%
Room Acoustics: 4%
Luck: 3%

Quote by mmolteratx
And where does Zakk Wylde and EMG come into this? Did I say anything about either? I don't see anything in my posts insinuating that EMG have anything to do with this argument. EMGs are what they are. Personally, I think Zakk's tone sounds like ass anyways but YMMV.


No, I wasn't saying you were trashing any pickups. It was just an example of an Artist that I know uses the pickups they endorse.
#31
Quote by Blktiger0
Amp/Effects/Cables (including speaker/cab): 70%
Pickups: 10%
Guitar Construction (including wood, set or bolt on neck, finish, weight, hardware, headstock angle, strings, and the individuality of each instrument): 8%
Where you are in relation to the speaker: 5%
Room Acoustics: 4%
Luck: 3%

You can't quantify tone, so why even try?
Pickups make a difference,
Guitars make a difference,
Amps make a difference.
Everything makes a difference. You can't put that difference into a number though, its impossible.
#35
Quote by Blktiger0
My Tone Breakdown:

Amp/Effects/Cables (including speaker/cab): 70%
Pickups: 10%
Guitar Construction (including wood, set or bolt on neck, finish, weight, hardware, headstock angle, strings, and the individuality of each instrument): 8%
Where you are in relation to the speaker: 5%
Room Acoustics: 4%
Luck: 3%

Oh please...

Guitar construction and pickups together make 18% difference? Then why does a Strat vs Les Paul into the exact same amp with the exact same other circumstances sound completely different? You can't break up tone in percentages.

Also, you didn't include mojo. Mojo easily is 30% of your sound.
Last edited by WtrPlyr at Mar 29, 2011,
#36
Quote by Blktiger0
My Tone Breakdown:

Amp/Effects/Cables (including speaker/cab): 70%
Pickups: 10%
Guitar Construction (including wood, set or bolt on neck, finish, weight, hardware, headstock angle, strings, and the individuality of each instrument): 8%
Where you are in relation to the speaker: 5%
Room Acoustics: 4%
Luck: 3%


Your forgetting one of the ultimate factors.... playing style.

You can't knock it down to numbers anyway, each factor depending edits in a different way. If I switched from a LTD with EMGS to a Schecter with EMGS it will sound very similar compared to a LTD to a strat.
I Like Orange......

Wobble Wobble Wub Wub Dakka Dakka
#37
Quote by AcousticMirror
it's a pie.

This.


So pups make a 10% difference, eh? Let's go with that for a second.

Let's say I have a nice meal for dinner. Let's say I apply sauce to everything. Let's say the sauce contributes 10% to the meal's taste. If the sauce is good and suitable, everything's alright. If it's bad or unsuitable, the whole meal is inedible. Suddenly, 10% are a pretty big deal.

Yeah, not the best metaphor maybe, but you get the idea. In terms of tone, everything affects everything. Your gear is basically a chain that is used to create your tone - a weak spot anywhere in it can ruin your sound. That's why good pups are important, and that's why assigning percentages doesn't really address the issue.


It's also a bit naive to assume that an endorsement-deal means an artist is going to use a specific piece of gear all the time. Also, designs change with time and production methods/volumes. I doubt a Duncan Hot Rail from the late '70s is identical with current production models.
#38
Quote by Blktiger0
My Tone Breakdown:

Amp/Effects/Cables (including speaker/cab): 0%
Pickups: 0%
Guitar Construction (including wood, set or bolt on neck, finish, weight, hardware, headstock angle, strings, and the individuality of each instrument): 0%
Where you are in relation to the speaker: 0%
Room Acoustics: 0%
Luck: 0%
FINGERS: 100%

phikzd!

but seriously, you can't put a percentage on what contributes towards your tone. as others have said - it's a chain. a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and a link that doesn't fit can also be considered a weak link when it comes to guitar tone.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#39
Jesus Christ you people take things to literal. Once Again, I DID NOT SAY that I knew the exact breakdown of what creates your tone and that the one I posted is exact and the only one. I wasn't even suggesting that anyone else agree with mine, because nobody can ever agree on something so subjective. I was just showing how the pickups related to everything else in my "tone breakdown" so that the 5% I posted earlier would make more sense.

For ****s sake...everyone has to shit a chicken over every little thing on here...

Oh, and WtrPlyr, 18% difference if you use the exact same settings on the amp and effects. You can still create the same tone with both guitars. People recreate Iron Maiden tones on Les Pauls, and those guys played Strats religiously.

littlephil, just don't go with a JCM2000 pie or it might be self-burning....

Anyway, it is my experience that a stock Squier HSS Strat through a Marshall AFD100 and a 4x12 with Vintage 30's is going to get you WAY closer to a Slash tone than a Gibson Slash Appetite Sig with a Fender Frontman 25 combo, or even something like a Peavey 6505.

Go try it for yourself.
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