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#1
All right, so I recently got my Carvin MTS tube head to go with my Genz-Benz G-flex 2x12. I've had a Schecter FR Damien for a while now and recently replaced the EMG-HZ's with Bill Lawrence pickups. Should sound pretty good, right? Not really.

Here's the deal; when I replaced the bridge pickup in my Schecter, I had my old amp (65w Rogue with a digitech Grunge ) and the pickup sounded much better than the EMG-HZ it replaced, and the EMG sounded better than the pickups in my old guitar that I don't really play (Epiphone Les Paul Special II). Then I got my new amp, and that sounded great as well, but then when I got the neck pickup and put it in, muddiness ensued. I noticed that everything just didn't sound all that good; it seemed kind of muddy and fuzzy, and it seems there isn't a whole lot of output. I went on feeling sad about it for a while, then out of interest I picked up my old guitar. Voila! It sounded awesome! The problem should be evident. My old crappy guitar that I hate playing sounds much better than my new guitar with $100 of new pickups in it.

So, finally, to the point; I put in these pickups myself, so is it possible that I messed something up with the wiring? I followed the directions exactly, and it seems to work fine, but I'm no whiz at soldering. And at the same time as the neck pickup, I changed the input jack in my guitar because the old one was kind of broken, but I didn't notice any change in sound then (it first became evident after putting in the neck pickup.)

Does anyone know what my problem might be? Any help or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance
Last edited by De Amazing Blob at Jan 18, 2007,
#2
Your best bet might be to post a few pictures of the guts so someone knowledgable can tell you whether you've botched it.

or

take it into a guitar/music show, or to a competent electrician and show them it, and ask if you've done it right/it's making the correct circuit and tell them it sounds like shyte and all that.
#4
sometimes guys mix up the input wires when soldering them back on.

ground to center lug.

check that then batteries, (got confused if emgs were going in or out there)and then it's time to look at ur connections.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#5
Well, I'm pretty sure I put them in the exact same places, but which one is which again? I have a white covered wire going to the outside thing and an uncovered wire going to the inside one (input jack.) I put in passive Bill Lawrence's, so no batteries. I'll get pics up soon, but I've gotta do my homework first
#7
What wires did you tape together? It looks like you taped the red and the green.
Red should go to the switch, green and white taped together (and soldered), and black to the ground.

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/schematics/color_codes.html

EDIT: http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/schematics/2h_1v_1t_3w.html use that diagram, but use the colour code in the link above this link.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#8
They're not SD pickups, I'm pretty sure Bill Lawrence uses the same as Gibson, but I did it the way they said. I'm more thinking it's my shoddy soldering.
#10
I've messed with the height from like 1/10th of an inch below the strings to as far away as it'll go, so I know it's not that...
#12
It's the Bill Lawrence L-500XL and L-500R which are more or less supposed to go together (basically any of the L-500 series together are fine). And it's mostly my bridge that's been muddy, and yes it was fine before I added the neck. I don't use my neck pickup all that much, so I haven't really gauged the muddiness of it, and my old guitars neck pickup doesn't work, so I can't compare.

EDIT: Oh, and just to clarify, I'm fairly certain that the issue I'm having is low output, which is causing the muddiness. For a while I was pissed at my amp because it didn't have enough gain, and everyone said the MTS had enough for metal, but with my old guitar it has plenty. At this point I think I'm going to go back and resolder everything my neck pickup is connected too, and try to do a better job, which I'm hoping will help.
Last edited by De Amazing Blob at Jan 17, 2007,
#14
Yep, 2 HBs, 1 Volume, 1 Tone, and 3-way switch. I have everything done the way they show in the schematic, though the wires are colored differently. I'm thinking I might have messed up the input jack, though; would getting it backwards cause a loss of output? I did the jack and played with it for like a minute to make sure it worked, then did the neck pickup right after, so I may not have noticed anything... I think I might try changing that back first.

EDIT: I just matched that part to the schematic and I have that right too... I'm kind of running out of options, but I'd have a hard time believing that Bill Lawrence's just suck compared to stock pups in Epi LP Special II's
Last edited by De Amazing Blob at Jan 17, 2007,
#16
All right, I'll just do that and hopefully it'll work out. I probably won't have time until Thursday or Friday though, but I'll be sure to post when I do.
#17
Check wiring...
Can you draw a diagram of what you have now? I can't tell from the pics.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#18
Theres no real trick so soldering, as long as the wire is touching the pot post, and you put a dab on there to hold it in place, your set.. Hell, the wire doesnt even technically have to touch the post, as long as its touching the sod, thats touching the post, the circut will pass. One thing you should do is have your wire diagram handy, then follow all the wires to there ends and make sure you know which wire is what, put little labels on the wires (tape works good, fold a little peice on and label it with a pen.) once you have everything identified, follow each wire one at a time on the diagram and compair it to your guitar, if everything is connected right, and it still sounds muddy, it could be the pots.. Im not sure what size pots they put in Schecters.. You'll want at least 500k pots if your gonna play metal and stuff.

Cause i mean if you wired it wrong, the pickups probably wouldent work, test your pickups by just tapping on them check make sure any toggle switches and stuff are turning the right pickups on and off, stuff like that. Cause even if your sod jobs are sloppy, as long as theres contact, it'll work fine. And make sure theres no unwanted metal contacts.. Id check on the pots, see what ohms they are.. Could be your pots are not high enough, effectivally choking your output, which is why you would lose gain (treble) and make your guitar sound muddy.
#20
White wire to respective toggle switch, red and green soldered and taped together, blue and balck soldered to volume pot, which is exactly what the Bill Lawrence instructions say. My tone pot is 500k, and I can't see what the volume is because I soldered over it, but I can see a 00K(ohms sign) so it's probably 500k. And everything works perfectly, right pickups with the switch and all that. It just sounds like crap

^I can't imagine I overheated them, seeing how I never actually touched the pickups themselves with the iron.

About soldering, the blue and black wires from my neck pickup aren't actually touching the post, I'm pretty sure they're only connected through the solder, but you say that's fine...
Last edited by De Amazing Blob at Jan 17, 2007,
#22
well just to finish my thought from before, sometimes there's a bare ground wire and a covered ground. and the bare gets soldered to the back of the pot and the bare runs to the input jack middle lug.

with that said, i never wired a BL so ill take ur word that it's just got the bare.

as far as frying the pup. it's a possiblity but only if u didnt clamp the pickup wire u were working on and then heated the wire for so long that the heat backed up the wire, back to the pup and fried it. sort of a long shot. im the worst solder-er ever and even i've never done that.

yes more likely that one of the solder connections is "dirty" not shiny like asked. and it's not "fully making contact" to the part it needs to.

i didnt see any there in ur pics. but sometimes, taking off a suspicious connection, and redoing it can help.

sorry, it's really hard to help with these little details when ur not there.

i suggest u check over each wire and double check ur color codes.
sometimes ill dry solder with a couple of alligator clips, just to make sure ive got all the wires to the right place before i add heat to it all.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011
#23
Do you have a multimeter? You should check and compare the neck pickup's resistance to that of the bridge pickup, and also to the values that might/should be on the BL website.
#25
Yeah, my neck pickup blob on the volume pot is pretty crappy, and the neck pickup blob the the toggle switch isn't real grand (I did the neck myself, but my dad helped me with the bridge, and he's a much better solderer. I'm thinking that one or the other is my problem, but wouldn't that really only explain the neck? Or could it somehow affect the bridge?

And thanks for all the help so far, guys (and girl ), this is really nice
#26
Quote by jj1565
sometimes ill dry solder with a couple of alligator clips, just to make sure ive got all the wires to the right place before i add heat to it all.
Dry solder? What exactly is that?
#27
^sorry, it's really not helpful to u now. i just meant i use...
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062622&cp=2032058.2032235.2032304&parentPage=family

clips to attach the connections, and test if it works prior to soldering it all together.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011
#28
^^Oh, ok. Well, I don't think I'll mess with those, it would be handy though.
Last edited by De Amazing Blob at Jan 17, 2007,
#29
Can you send a recording of the 'muddy' sound?
If you distort a pickup that's trying to sound vintage (ESPECIALLY Neck pickups) they can sound rather muddy.
Im curious as to how bad it is, also, Ive just put in my kent armstrong humbucker!! \o/
#30
Well, I'll see if I can, but I won't be able to for a while, plus I don't know how to upload songs off of Audaucity. And I know they're not trying to sound vintage (Dime used a BL L-500XL ), plus it's mainly the bridge pickup that's muddy.
#31
Quote by De Amazing Blob
Well, I'll see if I can, but I won't be able to for a while, plus I don't know how to upload songs off of Audaucity. And I know they're not trying to sound vintage (Dime used a BL L-500XL ), plus it's mainly the bridge pickup that's muddy.


Oh, so BOTH pickups don't sound right? I was under the impression that it was only the neck pickup.
#32
Yeah its really hard to gauge the problem without being there to look and test things out, but heres a few more things to think about..

forsaknazrael (my bro ) makes a good point about the shiny sod.. You want to make sure you use good quality sod, as believe it or not, they make different grades of sod with different grades of conductivity. I use Rosin sod #44.. Its industrial sod that big factorys use to fix electronics and things like that, so its super heavy duty stuff, with the highest conductivity.

Just to be safe, make sure all your sods are clean, and if your suspitous of one, just heat it up, clean it, and re-do it..

Also another thing to think about, is your pots. You apparently have 500k pots, but just because they are 500k pots, doesnt mean they are really 500k, or that they are good pots. I had 500k mini pots in my les paul, and when i put Gibson 57 classics in to upgrade my pickups, it sounded very muddy as well.. I know 57 classics arent as "hot" as the pickups your putting in, but they are still fine for metal, and i wasent getting that high output i wanted.. So i bought some top quality CTS 500k pots, and it made the guitar sound nearly twice as bright as it was with the mini pots.

Also another thing about the pots to think about are thier origins.. I had some cheaply made korean brand 500k mini pots in my les paul, and tried to hook up some top quality american pickups to them, and they sounded like crap.. (i dunno about Schecter, but im willing to guess they will use koren or jap electronics to save money on there guitars, pretty much everyone does, even Fender and Gibson.) So it seems in my experience that trying to mix american electronics with korean or jap electronics doesnt always work, they dont seem to compliment each other.. So since we dont know the type of pots your guitar came with, i cant say this is whats wrong, but its something you should definatly think about.
#33
^^Right, it's actually mainly the bridge I'm having the problem with.

^All right, I'll definitely look into that; where could I get CTS pots and how much would they run me? The first thing I'm going to try is resoldering, hopefully tonight or tommorow night, and it that doesn't work I'll check on the pots. Also I'm just using the solder my dad had sitting around in the garage from his stained glass projects... I'll go check what it is. It's "Canfield Quality Solder", 60/40 tin/lead. Oh, and this might be worth mentioning; when I put on the solder my dad had me put on flux to help the solder stay there. It says the flux is for stained glass projects, and when I was applying it I used a Q-tip, and some of the... uh... Q-tip fibers came off on the wires; could that affect conductivity?

EDIT: Is this this what I'm looking for? (Pots.) It says they're 6mm, not 1/4", how do I know if that's the right size (i.e., what do I have to measure?)

EDIT 2: Is this solder what I'm looking for? I don't think I'll be needing a whole lot of, so...
Last edited by De Amazing Blob at Jan 17, 2007,
#34
Bones got it about the electronics. Sometimes cheap pots will have a really bad tolerance, like they'll say they're 500, but really, they're 500K +/- like 40%. CTS pots generally have a better tolerance, like around 10%.

Those pots will do you fine, but you're gonna want 60/40 rosin core solder. The one your did has is PERFECT. You don't need the flux, honestly. If its not for electronics, don't use it. I can't imagine using something that was meant for stained glass is any good. The rosin core inside that solder should do you alright.
Just work on soldering it right, don't move the wires when you solder. Also, get some desoldering braid for removing the old solder.
#35
Flux is just a cleaning goop you put on the contacts before you sod them together, after a few minutes of using the guitar, the electric current evaporates the flux, leaving clean contacts under the sod.. Thats all.. I used it on all my sods too..

And a little cotton hair shouldent really do anything, most likely it would just burn away during use.. I mean unless you got a hugh hunk in there or something..

Pots are also super cheap.. I got 4 CTS 500k pots for about $7 each.. Mine where long shaft pots, you would probably only need short ones.. Which where like $1 cheaper.. If you end up getting new pots, you might wanna just get all new wire too, get some good quality stuff.. Stewmac has good wire..
Last edited by Bones420 at Jan 17, 2007,
#36
All right, great, hopefully this will all work out ^So where did you buy those CTS pots from? And would I need 6mm ones or 1/4"? My guitar was made overseas, so... Otherwise, I think I'll be set; I'll post when I get all this done on what happens.
#38
Bones - just for clarification, it's "solder" and "soldering".
Damn Yanks and their funny ways of pronouncing/writing words
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#39
All right, good news; last night my dad and I desoldered my neck to volume connection and redid it a few mm over, and now it's perfect! If you look at pic 5 on the first page you can kinda see how my the wires for the neck and bridge pickup were really close together, and I think they might have been touching before connecting to the pot. That and my soldering job on that one sucked, so we just moved it and everythings fine Kind of weird, I know, but I'm not complaining. Thanks for all the help though guys, this was great
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