Bad pickups

Blaoskaak

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Hi all,

I wind ny own pickups for my strat.

Alnico 5
Heavy formvar
Bridge 6.7k middle 6.3k neck 6.3

But i cant get it in overdrive. The problem is my pickups, or my amp. I took my amp to a tech and he says everything is fine, so i think it is the pickups. But i don't know if it is possible to have a pickup that can't go in overdrive if the resistance is good.

My amp is a vox ac30 custom classic head and a cab 212. Whith creamback 65 and vintage 30.

Also i play through a attenuator which i build from marshallforum.

I can turn all volume levels up and matservolume down for more overdrive but is still sounds clean.

I'm a bit lost and don't know where too look anymore.

Edit: i sold my marshall sv20 because i thought it has no overdrive. Now i still have the same problem.
 

beyer160

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Given that:

-Your tech said your amp is fine
-You couldn't get dirt out of an SV20

The problem is most likely the guitar. You can play a different guitar through the amp to be sure, though.

Do you have any other Strat pickups lying around? If not, you can pick up a cheap set from Amazon for about $20 US (not sure about your part of the world, but I'm sure cheap stuff from China is ubiquitous). Try those- if that solves your problem, you know it's the pickups.

Resistance isn't a universal measure of output in pickups, if this was your first try you may have done something wrong. Good luck!
 

Blaoskaak

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Given that:

-Your tech said your amp is fine
-You couldn't get dirt out of an SV20

The problem is most likely the guitar. You can play a different guitar through the amp to be sure, though.

Do you have any other Strat pickups lying around? If not, you can pick up a cheap set from Amazon for about $20 US (not sure about your part of the world, but I'm sure cheap stuff from China is ubiquitous). Try those- if that solves your problem, you know it's the pickups.

Resistance isn't a universal measure of output in pickups, if this was your first try you may have done something wrong. Good luck!

Yeah i think it is the guitar too. I don't have another guitar. But what is weird that not all 3 pickups can be bad.

I have a spare pickup from rumpelstiltskin pickups. I can try them.
 

Blaoskaak

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Have you tried a boost pedal? (Or an overdrive with gain low and volume set to boost)?

Yes i have. Then i get some dirt, but i have to set level and drive knobs all the way up on my boss sd1 for overdrive. That can't be good too.
 

Blaoskaak

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While you're in there, double check your guitar wiring too.

Where should i look? I solder it myself and all the solders are shiney. Maybe it is the volume pot, but i don't hear cracking sound or somehting. Maybe i can't turn it full open. If i take the potmeter out and connect the wires together, then i should get it at full sound right?

You should be able to get a killer overdriven sound with your rig.

You have to be methodical in your diagnosis of the cause.

Try a different cable. Go direct from your guitar to your amp. No pedals, no attenuator.

I think it's a defective cable.

Yeah right! I thought i was gonna be in iverdrive heaven but.. i am gonna buy a new cable righy now. Never thought the cable could cause this problem.

Thanks!

What gauge wire are you using? The thinner the wire for a given resistance, the lower the output.

I used awg 42 wire.
 

Peegoo

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i am gonna buy a new cable righy now. Never thought the cable could cause this problem.

Even if it's not the cable that's causing the problem, it's always good to have at least two, so you have one as a working backup.

Do a tap test first. Plug the guitar into an amp, and make sure the volume and tone controls are all the way up to 10.

Tap-Test-Pickups.jpg


Next, connect one of the pickups directly to the output jack, and do another tap test without changing the amp's settings. See of it's louder. If it is louder, then the problem is with the switch or one of the controls, or the connections (conductors and solder joints) between them.
 

jvin248

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.

Assuming you do the Peegoo checks above and all is working ...

Alnico 5 magnets are 'kind of weak' for output. If you need more output you want ceramic magnets. Or add a steel plate at the back side of the magnet poles just like a Tele bridge pickup to reflect magnetic flux at the wires.

If you are chasing the 'Hendrix Clean Tone' then you want a Fuzz pedal where you roll back the guitar volume knob 'to clean up'. There are a few youtube videos on how to do this.


.
 

LightningPhil

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42 gauge sounds pretty normal. So it's probably not that.

Jvin's suggestion about magnets might be worth exploring. Have played with enhancing field by putting tiny neo magnets on the back of Alnico pole pieces. Went for the same diameter and 1 to 2 mm thick disks. Going too far bends the strings down towards the pickups and makes them ocasionally stick to them! Increases output lots though.
 

Blaoskaak

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Even if it's not the cable that's causing the problem, it's always good to have at least two, so you have one as a working backup.

Do a tap test first. Plug the guitar into an amp, and make sure the volume and tone controls are all the way up to 10.

Tap-Test-Pickups.jpg


Next, connect one of the pickups directly to the output jack, and do another tap test without changing the amp's settings. See of it's louder. If it is louder, then the problem is with the switch or one of the controls, or the connections (conductors and solder joints) between them.

Thanks! Will try this as soon as possible!
Have to get some new strings first.

The tapping test is only to check if the pickup works right?

.

Assuming you do the Peegoo checks above and all is working ...

Alnico 5 magnets are 'kind of weak' for output. If you need more output you want ceramic magnets. Or add a steel plate at the back side of the magnet poles just like a Tele bridge pickup to reflect magnetic flux at the wires.

If you are chasing the 'Hendrix Clean Tone' then you want a Fuzz pedal where you roll back the guitar volume knob 'to clean up'. There are a few youtube videos on how to do this.


.

Thanks! This is interesting. Never thought that would work. Do i cut a steel plate in the shape of a pickup and glue it on the back of the pickup or will it stick on the magnet?

Will defenitly try it out.

Are the magnets pre-charged?

Yes they are. I didn't knew that too. So a few where north up and a few south up. I remagnetized them again. All 3 pickups.

There is a good reason why all Fender single coil players have a boost/overdrive pedal.

Yes, you are right. I agree, but my boss sd1 is turned full open en then i have overdrive. I don't think that is normal too.
 

Dacious

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How did you remagnetize the magnets?

Can you borrow a guitar to try?

There's so it could be.

You said you dropped Master? You need more master volume. Not less.
 

Blaoskaak

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How did you remagnetize the magnets?

Can you borrow a guitar to try?

There's so it could be.

You said you dropped Master? You need more master volume. Not less.

I bought 2 neodymium magnets and put it in a vice. Then i pulled the magnet from right to left for about 10 times.

I don't know anyone with a guitar.

There is a demo video on youtube and he says that volume levels up qnd master down for overdrive. Volume levels down and master up for cleaner sound.

I tried it with everything all the way up, but didn't helped much
 




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