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Area Hot T users

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Garage Dog, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog TDPRI Member

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    I have a SH Tele that I was going to put an Area hot T in the bridge and decided on an Air Classic in the neck.Perhaps you can help me decide on the most useful switching layout for this guitar.I was planning on using a 5 way and just splitting the neck pickup.Has any one tried splitting the Area Hot T and is it worth the trouble.Also if you have any experience with the Air Classic would you recommend splitting the humbucker or running it in parallel.Thanks for your input.
     
  2. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I had the one in the middle, the 615. I've tried a lot of noiseless over the years and every single time i find them to be much to big a loss of tone to use. The Area T was no exception other then it may have been the worse of all i have tried over the years as noiseless pickups go. I couldn't rip it out fast enough. If you want more output to compete with the neck i'd look for a a higher wind traditional single coil with A5 like a Zhangbucker paul bunyan or such. I've always been a fan of dimarzio in general but that thing was ice pick city with all high mids and little top end past that. Why anyone likes those is beyond me but this one man's opinion is look elsewhere for a bridge pickup.
    Oh....and it was not noiseless, it was maybe 30% less noise than a regular single coil, and i looked into that only to find a email response from dimarzio themselves to a user who had emailed them about the noise. They told him (paraphrasing) the way it's designed is to reduce noise but not be completely noiseless.
     
  3. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    While I don't hate the Area Hot T, I do agree with @fender4life that it is too bright and icy for my taste. Sadly it is not like the former Virtual Vintage Hot T that is arguably the best bridge pup I've ever had, noiseless or not.

    I just put in a Super Distortion T to replace the Area Hot T, and couldn't be happier. While it is definitely a "humbucker" sound, it is not the fire breathing monster they lead you to believe. I have the PAF Classic in the neck (replaced by the Air Classic) and they balance and compliment each other perfectly. But I'm not going for classic twang at all, just a balanced fat tone that does jazz to rock.

    As for splitting and wiring, can't help as I keep it simple. So in a way my post is pointless, but figured I'd chime in given what had already been said. Good luck OP!
     
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  4. S00NERMAN

    S00NERMAN Tele-Meister

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    My experience is a bit different than the last two posts. I put the Area Hot T in the bridge of my 'thinline' Esquire build and couldn't be happier. I wired it with the modified 'Eldred mod' wiring (.0033 cap in the first switch position) and LOVE the sound. I never use the Esquires' volume only (no tone cap) position and find the center switch position (full tone control) to have all the twang I will ever need. But move the switch to that 'cocked wah' (.0033 cap) position and the gates of Rock and Roll Heaven swing wide open! Absolutely glorious! I would suggest putting in a either a 4 or 5 way switch so that you can have that option as well. Almost forgot to mention that the pickup is really quiet (no hum) even though the guitar is not shielded. Can't say enough about how impressed I am with that pickup/wiring combo. :)
     
  5. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used a Hot T for an Esquire build and had similarly great results....but everyone has their own tastes. In my Strat I am running an Injector set, which is much hotter, and yet I still think it sounds very Stratty. But others would probably totally hate it. It uses Injectors in neck and bridge and Area 67 in the middle. If you listen to this YouTube review around 1:30 you can hear that the clean tones do have Strat characteristics but serious pursuers of vintage tone might find it too compromised. The trade off is you get much better tones as you crank up the gain and go for more blues rock to classic rock to hard rock tones. I think the same goes for the Area T pickups of various varieties-- you are giving up a little bit in terms of pure, vintage, cleans, but you are hopefully gaining better sounds as you crank up the gain. Of course, the other way to skin that cat is to use true vintage pickups and then just use a boost pedal of one kind or another to compensate when you want to use more gain.

     
  6. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog TDPRI Member

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    Thank you very much for your input.I was surprised to read about the ice pick tone after all the homework i have done trying to find out all i could on the Area Hot.I am curious as to what pots you were using if it would have much effect on the icy bright sound.I will do some more homework on the super distortion as jamester mentioned.I have a few other teles that do the normal tele thing.This guitar will be a heavy relic beater for fatter blues and rock tones.I did find a couple of Virtual Vintage Hot pickups in Italy NOS but an added $30 to the price for shipping.There have been numerous references to the VV Hot T through my my surfing quest.They are highly thought of and have a following.I may just bite the bullet on one of these while I have a chance.I plan on setting the controls up with a 500k audio and a 500k linear with a 5way switch(add resistor if needed for bridge).I have not found anyone mention splitting the Area hot or VV hot any where.Leaving the one question on the neck humbucker should I split it,run in parallel,or leave well enough alone,keep it simple and go with a 3way.All input is greatly appreciated.
     
  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would run a stock 3 way with 250k pots. These are supposed to be drop in replacements for original pickups and are voiced accordingly.
     
  8. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

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    I ran mine with 250k pots. If you find it too dark with an .047 tone cap, just go to an .022 cap for a bit more brightness. That was an easy fix that worked great for me.
     
  9. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog TDPRI Member

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    Well i went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered the VV Hot T.
    If I understand you correctly, use 250k pots and adjust the neck Humbucker's tone with a cap rather than the other way around and adjusting to the bridge by adding a resistor to the 500k pots so the bridge sees 250k???
     
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  10. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd do it the way you intended with 500k pots & a resistor. I've never heard a HB sound healthy with a 250k pot.

    Changing cap values on the pot only changes the sweep behavior, not the pickups tone, correct?
     
  11. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Whoops, didn't realize one pickup was a HB.
     
  12. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it was for me, I'd disconnect tone on the HB altogether, and just have tone on the bridge pickup, since I always run the HB neck tone wide open anyway. YMMV.
     
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  13. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just mod the tone pot to a no load and get the same benefit with both pickups.
     
  14. whiteop

    whiteop Tele-Afflicted

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    Humbuckers work best with 250 - 330K pots in my experience. Use both for volume and tone. 500Ks for single coils.
     
  15. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog TDPRI Member

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    That seems like a great idea.Would brighten the neck humbucker and would help add some highs to the bridge without the need of a resistor perhaps.
     
  16. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    This was what I've done for years, though just recently I've gone back to stock config (w/ treble bleed) now that I have the Super Distortion T in the bridge, which doesn't need the tone rolled down to get the sound I want. I'd rather have a bridge pickup that doesn't need to be choked down with the tone knob, although the flip side to that is perhaps less versatility from the bridge, though that is all relative...

    The Virtual Vintage Hot T had a nice mids-muscular tone with just enough brightness, so it didn't require drastic tone knob moves to go from twang to fat. The Area Hot T is much brighter, and I was having to keep the tone knob considerably rolled back just for a starting point, and rolling it way back for fatter 'bucker tones just choked it too much, losing tone and volume at that point. I play with a pretty warm sound to begin with, so the Area was just too bright a pup for me.
     
  17. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog TDPRI Member

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    Jamester,perhaps we are brothers from different mothers.You seemed to have hit the nail on the head as for my wants and needs for this guitar.i do think I will keep it simple and forget about splitting or parallel wiring.i have plenty of other guitars if i need single coil sounds.Did you use 500K pots for both positions or 500K for volume and 250k for the "No Load" pot??????
     
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  18. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Search "modding no load pot". There's a great how to step by step tutorial.

    You can buy one or mod your existing pot.

    The mod takes the pot out of the circuit when dimed. Pot comes back in when rolled down.

    There's no downside to this mod.
     
  19. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog TDPRI Member

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    Thanks For the heads up Bender greatly appreciated.The guitar I am working on has Chinese pots that will be getting replaced.It may be the way to go and mod a solid shaft pot. I am having trouble finding a 500k no load solid shaft.
    With all the parts i have left over with this guitar I may have to build a true beater to give to one of the neighborhood kids.
    By the time I get through with this guitar I am going to have way more into than I will be able to get out of it.
     
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  20. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    I hear you man! I actually have 250K pots, though I've thought about going to 500K. I'm still dialing things in, as I just installed this combo of pickups recently. I previously had a Eric Johnson neck bucker and the Area Hot T for the past year or so, definitely don't want 500K with that pair! But I've been wanting warmer, fatter tones, so I put in my old PAF Classic and took a chance on the Super D bridge. At first I was afraid it was a bit muddy in the neck and was thinking I needed 500K, but now that I'm dialed in a little better I'm not so sure.....

    This post makes me seem like quite the Dimarzio guy haha
     
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