#1
Hi guys , I know this thread and others like it have been over again and again.But because im kinda newbie at guitar customizing and stuff im just here to ask some questions.

So i do have a Yamaha EG - 112, on the other hand im in love with the Custom shop 69' (neck position) pickup sound in a standard stratocaster. After a lot of research and thinking i tend to believe that wood doesn't really matter after all. But string mounting points do (for the 95% of the sound anyway...).

Some notes : I don't care about the visuals on the guitar , i don't care to switch between pickups, i just want one pickup on the neck position and a volume and tone button in the signal path cause i don't have a lot of money to spend!

So what do you think about this small project as an idea, What else you recomend me buying to achieve that tone (bridge, tuners etc etc) and as far as the electrics are concerned should i buy something from fender other than the pu ofc, like the volume button or the tone capacitor etc etc?

Thanks for your time!!!
Last edited by MichP at Mar 26, 2014,
#2
Actually I'd say that the main influences on the sound are the wood and the pickups. The bridge has an effect, the tuners less so because after the nut the strings aren't resonating. If you still want to try, then buy a '69 custom shop neck pickup, and chuck it in. That will make more difference than all other factors (bridge, pot/capacitor brands) put together. You can buy the potentiometers and capacitors from Fender if you like, but it's not that essential.
#3
All a pickup is is some magnets and a coil of wire. The CS '69 single coils are a basic A5, standard enamel wire design, wound to match a DC of 5.8k +/-5%. You can not get any more basic than that. You can buy identical pickups from other brands for less than the Fender pickups cost.

That said, becaue it's such a simple design, this makes the contruction of your guitar—especially the woods used—even more important. And they're already very, very important. It is completely wrong to say that wood doesn't matter. If anything it is the most important element other than the pickup type (but not specific pickup model, i.e. humbucker vs single coil, but not 5.8k single coil vs 6.2k single coil).

Even if you do buy the Fender pickups and put them in your guitar, it's not going to sound the same as th guitars those pickups come in normally, as those guitars have different electronics, different woods, different quality of wood, different bridge, different nut materials... nothing will match. Pacificas are good guitars, but you can't shove a Custom Shop pickup in them and have a Custom Shop sound. It simply does not work that way.

If you want to match the tone of those high-end Fenders, what you need to do is take your guitar to a luthier or boutique, custom pickup winder, so they can have a look at it, work out what its inherent tone is, and then make you a pickup to balance with that to result in the sound you want. It probably won't actually cost you much more than buying the Fender pickups would and you'll actually end up with the sound you want.
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#4
Quote by MrFlibble
(but not specific pickup model, i.e. humbucker vs single coil, but not 5.8k single coil vs 6.2k single coil)
If the specific pickup model doesn't model doesn't really matter then why go to the bother of getting one custom wound? The Pac 112s already have an Alnico single in the neck so from what you're saying there, changing it for another one isn't going to make much difference.

Surely if you're after a certain quality of tone then the first port of call should be the EQ controls on your amp?
#5
Quote by MrFlibble

Even if you do buy the Fender pickups and put them in your guitar, it's not going to sound the same as th guitars those pickups come in normally, as those guitars have different electronics, different woods, different quality of wood, different bridge, different nut materials... nothing will match. Pacificas are good guitars, but you can't shove a Custom Shop pickup in them and have a Custom Shop sound. It simply does not work that way.
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First of all thanks for your answers.

MrFlibble, let's say i want to run this as an experiment and leave wood out of the equation completely, and take all the other components and match them with fenders (this is what i mention in my first post anyway) electronics / bridge / nut / knobs etc.

For the last part of your answer concerning luthiers / boutiques , i wish i had that chance but here in Greece , there aren't any custom pickup shops available, only guitar techs etc.

One last question, are Custom shop 69' microphonic pickups?
#6
Quote by von Layzonfon

Surely if you're after a certain quality of tone then the first port of call should be the EQ controls on your amp?


well in my head tone consisnt from a lot of different things, you can't really achieve bite or twang or whatever with eq, you can tho soften / darken / mellow the sound thus tone, but the initial quack of the strat is what im looking for. How dark or muddy or bright the sound is i can take care with eq for sure
#7
Quote by MichP

MrFlibble, let's say i want to run this as an experiment and leave wood out of the equation completely, and take all the other components and match them with fenders (this is what i mention in my first post anyway) electronics / bridge / nut / knobs etc.

Then what you'll end up with is a warmer sound with much less treble. The main diffreence between the Pacifica and the Fenders is the type and quality of the body wood and the paint on it, which Fender specifically chooses to give the lightest, brightest tone possible. The Pacifica is more of a balanced instrument, so if you change everything else to match the Fender, you'll still end up with a warmer/darker/less bright sound.

That could be compensated for by choosing differet parts than the Fender uses. For example, instead of using the Fender bridge, you could use a bridge with steel saddles. This would add a little more brightness. Instead of using the Fender 250k pots, you could use Gibsons' 300k pots, which will add a little brightness and clarity.

Experimenting with parts is a great way to learn how to get the sound you want, so you should definitely give it a try. Just don't expect to be able to copy the parts from another guitar and get exactly the same sound immediately, because guitar tone just doesn't work that way.

One last question, are Custom shop 69' microphonic pickups?
All single coil pickups can be a little microphonic because it's hard to wax pot them securely, as the cover is designed to be removed easily. If you are sure you won't want to change the colour of the pickup cover, you could fully wax pot the pickup and secure the cover in place, which would stop the pickup from going microphonic and it may also help reduce other noise a tiny, tiny bit.


Quote by von Layzonfon
If the specific pickup model doesn't model doesn't really matter then why go to the bother of getting one custom wound? The Pac 112s already have an Alnico single in the neck so from what you're saying there, changing it for another one isn't going to make much difference.
I suppose I should have been more specific.

The difference between an A5 single coil with a winding of plain enamel wire to 5.8k, and the same wire and magnets but wound to 6.2k, will be virtually nothing. At least not anywhere near as big a change to compensate for a difference in woods and construction.

However, if you compare an A5, enamel wire to 5.8k single coil with one made with A2 magnets and enamel wire wound to 7.2k, now you're going to see a difference. You're changing from a low-wind, bright single coil to a high-wind, warm single coil. Those aren't just two slight variations on the same pickup, those now are two different pickups entirely, almost as much of a jump as a single coil to humbucker.
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#8
MrFibble Thank you for your time Sir! very informative! I will try everything you said out, don't expect any answers tho it will be a slow procedure I will start with the Pickup and the electrics of the guitar based on fender specs, i read somewhere that the tone knob capacitor makes difference to the tone but does that apply even when the tone is turned all the way up ?

Thanks again, cheers.
#9
Everything is going to affect the tone. The wood, hardware, paint, scale length, and (of course) the pickup will determine how the guitar sounds.

Have you played the custom shop 69' pickup through your amp?
#10
Quote by MichP
i read somewhere that the tone knob capacitor makes difference to the tone but does that apply even when the tone is turned all the way up ?
It depends on the type of pot you use for the tone control. With a 1meg pot or a 'no load' pot, the capacitor doesn't matter when the control is at maximum. With a 500k pot the capacitor affects the signal a tiny, tiny bit when the control is at full, but it's such a small change you'd never notice it. With a 250k pot the capacitor matters a litle more and does affect the sound more even when the control is at '10'. The capacitor only really matters as you roll the tone control down.

The pot value itself affects the sound more than the capacitor does (at least when the control is at maximum), so make sure you get the right pot for the sound you want first and worry about the capacitor second.
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