#1
Hello! I know that regular pickup covers affect the tone, and even those with all 12 pole holes still do. But what about those with bigger holes?
1) what about those "H type" and double line covers? Do they still affect the tone? http://www.vakind.info/img/smttrade05/ft/sm105079-1de.jpg
2) and what about those open covers? http://www.guitarpartsworldwide.com/s2g/pguitarparts/P5_G.jpg

I have that kind of black flying v with golden bridge and tuning pegs and humbucker covers, and i want to install heavier pickups without covers to affect the tone, but still want them to fit the look! So those covers i listed could be an option. Do they still affect the tone like regular pickup covers? Thank you!
Last edited by nicholasradchikov at Aug 6, 2016,
#4
Well, anything ferromagnetic between the magnet and the strings is going to alter the flux there. So even if the pole pieces are uncovered you could still change the sound a bit with the right material. Keep in mind that these are tiny, tiny alterations even in worst-case scenarios, and aren't necessarily worse. Just different. I wouldn't bend over backwards to "preserve the tonal purity" or whatever marketing nonsense you may be reading on some other sites (cough TGP cough)

You can use a non-magnetizable cover (chrome, etc) and it will make no difference to the field. I also imagine that by the time the covers get that small and out of the way of the magnet that you'd never notice the difference.

I've only heard about nickel covers making any difference, which makes sense to me, they're the only ones with any notable magnetic characteristics. Other cover types are probably not going to have any magnetic effect. So your standard golden pickups are probably just fine. I wouldn't worry about it.
#5
Quote by Roc8995
Well, anything ferromagnetic between the magnet and the strings is going to alter the flux there. So even if the pole pieces are uncovered you could still change the sound a bit with the right material. Keep in mind that these are tiny, tiny alterations even in worst-case scenarios, and aren't necessarily worse. Just different. I wouldn't bend over backwards to "preserve the tonal purity" or whatever marketing nonsense you may be reading on some other sites (cough TGP cough)

You can use a non-magnetizable cover (chrome, etc) and it will make no difference to the field. I also imagine that by the time the covers get that small and out of the way of the magnet that you'd never notice the difference.

I've only heard about nickel covers making any difference, which makes sense to me, they're the only ones with any notable magnetic characteristics. Other cover types are probably not going to have any magnetic effect. So your standard golden pickups are probably just fine. I wouldn't worry about it.


I agree with everything here, as the man said the effects are going to be minimal if any, and only then with resonate materials.
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#6
Roc8995

I've read all sorts of conflicting things about the effect of different materials. For example, the adverse effects of covers that I have experienced have been with (non-ferromagnetic) chrome-plated brass, and I've seen frequency response graphs (by antigua tele on tdpri) that suggest that nickel silver has less effect than chrome/brass. That seems completely counter-intuitive to me, because of the frerromagnetic effect, but it gets reported often enough. I play safe and won't use any kind of metal cover on Gibson-style humbuckers.

Nicholas, I have to admit I have only use that style of cover on pickups that came with them - GFS Memphis and GFS Brooklyn, and the didn't sound as if they had lost any top end, compared to the effect of full chrome/brass covers on a set of SD jazz.
#7
That's interesting, and I agree that it's counter-intuitive. I wonder how pronounced this effect is. My suspicion is that it's something you could counteract by simply raising the pickups a bit.

On the other hand, I prefer the look of uncovered pickups so I don't have much in the way of personal experience on this one. If someone were very determined to find out they could cut up an old pickup cover so it was flat and then experiment with slipping it between the pickup and strings while playing. That would be a neat test.
#8
Roc8995

I might try it. I don't think it would even have to be a cover, a small sheet of metal might do he trick, provided it was earthed.

Here's the graph I was thinking of:



And here's the thread it came from:

http://www.tdpri.com/threads/why-are-tele-neck-pups-usually-covered.626654/page-3#post-7039284
Last edited by Tony Done at Aug 7, 2016,
#9
I assume the idea is to do it with the exact material used for the cover, though. A piece of metal might tell you that there's an effect but not necessarily be informative about what the pickup cover is doing.

Grounding is interesting, I wonder if some of the treble loss that gets talked about might be coming from capacitance and nothing to do with magnetism.

Wish that graph had y-axis labels and some competent explanation behind it.
#10
Roc8995

I'm guessing that the y-axis is dB or somethingequivalent.

The explanations in that thread and similar ones are a bit opaque for non-technical types such as myself, but I think it has to do with capacitance and eddy currents.
Last edited by Tony Done at Aug 7, 2016,
#11
Well thank you guys, but i still don't know the answer, which is about open covers... Is an open cover, or a cover with large holes still an obstacle? I mean, even if the covers are made of ferromagnetic material but the pickup poles are not covered at all because of large holes in the covers, so nothing really stands between the strings and pickup poles, while that ferromagnetic material IS STILL PRESENT, BUT AROUND THE PICKUP POLES, NOT COVERING THEM, SO NOT STANDING BETWEEN POLES AND STRINGS, will that still affect the magnetic field? That's what i actually mean. Thank you!
#14
I believe the difference is sound will be so minimal that you would be hard pressed to notice a graph is one thing but actually hearing a difference is another.

I think the covered/uncovered thing is more about asthetics and preference than it is about an actual change in sound.
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Last edited by Evilnine at Aug 8, 2016,
#17
Quote by Tony Done
Evilnine

I could hear the difference very distinctly in SD Jazz, but it likely varies among pickups, and you might not notice it with warm amps.


Interesting I've never noticed a difference but I've never had a covered SD Jazz and I usually have a fair amount of gain, were you playing clean tones?
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
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#18
Quote by nicholasradchikov
Well thank you guys, but i still don't know the answer, which is about open covers... Is an open cover, or a cover with large holes still an obstacle?


Sorry we can't give you a straight answer, here, but the only answer available is, "maybe, maybe not." Since the largest difference is going to be with a complete metal cover, and since the differences there range from very small to nearly non-existent, it's likely that the more skeletal covers will reduce those differences even more.