Budding tone seeker with a question(long)

Jonymacmadcap

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Denver Colorado
Hi!
New to these boards. I have been lurking here for a while, because I plan to buy a Glarry T-type. Specifically the semi-hollow with the humbucker in the neck.

I'm a TOTAL noob, 50yo guitar student. Currently learning on an Oscar Schmidt/Washburn OE-30 "Delta King." Seems I have something of a "semi" fetish.

Figures.

I love this 335 clone. Everything about it but the pick ups, which are Washburn 421 in the neck and 423 in the bridge. Just not quite the tone I want.

Since I have this guitar and am getting another, admittedly"budget," guitar, I feel the need to fling myself down the slippery slope of buying and modifying stupid cheap, but mod-able versions of my favorite instruments.

So, for the Delta King, I was looking at a couple of possibilities. One thing for sure is that I DO NOT want ceramic pickups. Alnico for me please.

The front runner, concept set up now is, a GFS Fat Pat in the bridge position, and a GFS Dream 90 in the neck.

I am also looking hard at a pair of Dream 90's or equivalent HB sized P90 variant.

Another possibility is a pair of zebra PAF type HB'a or one in the Bridge and a P90(P94) at the neck.

GFS seems to be out of stock for what I'm needing except for a pair of the Dream 90s.

I prevail upon ye brave slope sliders to offer up suggestions for quality Pickups priced similar to the GFS stuff.

Ideally, someone out there will be a good enabler, and help tutor me in the ways of tone hunting and pick up swapping.

The idea being that I would use the Oscar as a testbed for pickups upgrade. Then, when the T-type Glarry comes, I will have already been round this particular block, and can confidently modify the next guitar(s) I buy in my now obsessive need for tone.

So please...help give a noob a good, firm shove down this lovely slippery slope!
 

Bluego1

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Posts
2,216
Location
Spokane, Washington
Hi!
New to these boards. I have been lurking here for a while, because I plan to buy a Glarry T-type. Specifically the semi-hollow with the humbucker in the neck.

I'm a TOTAL noob, 50yo guitar student. Currently learning on an Oscar Schmidt/Washburn OE-30 "Delta King." Seems I have something of a "semi" fetish.

Figures.

I love this 335 clone. Everything about it but the pick ups, which are Washburn 421 in the neck and 423 in the bridge. Just not quite the tone I want.

Since I have this guitar and am getting another, admittedly"budget," guitar, I feel the need to fling myself down the slippery slope of buying and modifying stupid cheap, but mod-able versions of my favorite instruments.

So, for the Delta King, I was looking at a couple of possibilities. One thing for sure is that I DO NOT want ceramic pickups. Alnico for me please.

The front runner, concept set up now is, a GFS Fat Pat in the bridge position, and a GFS Dream 90 in the neck.

I am also looking hard at a pair of Dream 90's or equivalent HB sized P90 variant.

Another possibility is a pair of zebra PAF type HB'a or one in the Bridge and a P90(P94) at the neck.

GFS seems to be out of stock for what I'm needing except for a pair of the Dream 90s.

I prevail upon ye brave slope sliders to offer up suggestions for quality Pickups priced similar to the GFS stuff.

Ideally, someone out there will be a good enabler, and help tutor me in the ways of tone hunting and pick up swapping.

The idea being that I would use the Oscar as a testbed for pickups upgrade. Then, when the T-type Glarry comes, I will have already been round this particular block, and can confidently modify the next guitar(s) I buy in my now obsessive need for tone.

So please...help give a noob a good, firm shove down this lovely slippery slope!
Welcome. You seem to have a lot of preconceptions for a noob:). How about naming a couple songs/guitarists you like the tone of, then people have a place to start:).
 

Jonymacmadcap

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Denver Colorado
Welcome. You seem to have a lot of preconceptions for a noob:). How about naming a couple songs/guitarists you like the tone of, then people have a place to start:).

Excellent idea.

I think the best way I can describe it would be...in an over driven condition, think first few bars of "Tush" by Z.Z.Top. That crunchy maybe "boxy" Les Paul sound.

In a clean condition, think B.B.King's 335.

I don't know if this is even possible. Maybe if I had to choose, I tend to lean toward the clean 335 sound. So maybe I should put a pin in the P90 idea for the Oscar, and just swap out for warmer, rounder, fuller sounding HB pair?
 

Mr. St. Paul

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Posts
637
Location
Saint Paul, MN
I would give you a good, firm shove towards flipping your Oscar Schmidt for another semi-hollow. I bought one new for $129 about 10 years ago and flipped it quickly. The pickups were a big reason why--way too hot and muddy for a semi--but the bolt-on neck was the clincher. Couldn't play comfortably above the 15th fret. There's a lot of affordably priced semi-hollow options out there with set in necks.
 

Jonymacmadcap

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Denver Colorado
I would give you a good, firm shove towards flipping your Oscar Schmidt for another semi-hollow. I bought one new for $129 about 10 years ago and flipped it quickly. The pickups were a big reason why--way too hot and muddy for a semi--but the bolt-on neck was the clincher. Couldn't play comfortably above the 15th fret. There's a lot of affordably priced semi-hollow options out there with set in necks.

Sure. The Epi 335 comes to mind, maybe an Artcore? Dot.

But for now, I'm dancing with who brung me. Besides, I really like the thing. I don't mind the neck, I like the edge mounted jack, top horn mounted threeway switch, and the feel is really nice in my hands. So, I'm hankering to clean up the sound.

EDIT to add Dot
 

JL_LI

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 20, 2017
Posts
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71
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Long Island, NY
This is probably not what you want to hear. Sorry. Budget modifications to a budget guitar rarely give you anything noteworthy. You say that your tone is close to what you’re looking for and you have another budget guitar on order. Cancel the order. Shop for a good players amp. Often times an amp makes more of a difference than different pickups.

Then plug in and practice. A lot of folks here believe that the tone is in the fingers. It is. How you play makes more of a difference in how you sound than what you play.

Look at guitars while you’re learning. Learn what good humbuckers sound like. Play single coil guitars to learn what they’re about. Play a P-90 guitar or two. Feel the differences in necks and frets. Then after a year or two when you sound decent, do some serious guitar shopping. Shop new. Shop used. You don’t have to buy expensive but don’t buy cheap. You can’t turn a Ford into a Ferrari. Don’t throw your money away. Save it for something decent. I’m sorry if this isn’t what you want to hear but I’ve been through this. I’m not saying don’t modify a guitar. I’m saying know beforehand what works for you. Start with something good. Know what it is about it that doesn’t work for you and upgrade only that to the best you can afford.
 

Cosmic Cowboy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Posts
870
Location
New Mexico
Sounds to me like the tones you are chasing are more Gretchy than Tele-y.

Maybe just my interpretation of what I am reading. Nothing wrong with that though.
 

Cornelius TX

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Posts
127
Age
40
Location
Round Rock, TX
Hi!
New to these boards. I have been lurking here for a while, because I plan to buy a Glarry T-type. Specifically the semi-hollow with the humbucker in the neck.

I'm a TOTAL noob, 50yo guitar student. Currently learning on an Oscar Schmidt/Washburn OE-30 "Delta King." Seems I have something of a "semi" fetish.

Figures.

I love this 335 clone. Everything about it but the pick ups, which are Washburn 421 in the neck and 423 in the bridge. Just not quite the tone I want.

Since I have this guitar and am getting another, admittedly"budget," guitar, I feel the need to fling myself down the slippery slope of buying and modifying stupid cheap, but mod-able versions of my favorite instruments.

So, for the Delta King, I was looking at a couple of possibilities. One thing for sure is that I DO NOT want ceramic pickups. Alnico for me please.

The front runner, concept set up now is, a GFS Fat Pat in the bridge position, and a GFS Dream 90 in the neck.

I am also looking hard at a pair of Dream 90's or equivalent HB sized P90 variant.

Another possibility is a pair of zebra PAF type HB'a or one in the Bridge and a P90(P94) at the neck.

GFS seems to be out of stock for what I'm needing except for a pair of the Dream 90s.

I prevail upon ye brave slope sliders to offer up suggestions for quality Pickups priced similar to the GFS stuff.

Ideally, someone out there will be a good enabler, and help tutor me in the ways of tone hunting and pick up swapping.

The idea being that I would use the Oscar as a testbed for pickups upgrade. Then, when the T-type Glarry comes, I will have already been round this particular block, and can confidently modify the next guitar(s) I buy in my now obsessive need for tone.

So please...help give a noob a good, firm shove down this lovely slippery slope!

Maybe first try adjusting pickup height and pickup pole screw heights. Also try removing different combinations of the pole screws altogether. I removed some from my Grote 335 copy and loved the results. Best part was no money spent and no soldering.
 

Jonymacmadcap

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Denver Colorado
This is probably not what you want to hear. Sorry. Budget modifications to a budget guitar rarely give you anything noteworthy. You say that your tone is close to what you’re looking for and you have another budget guitar on order. Cancel the order. Shop for a good players amp. Often times an amp makes more of a difference than different pickups.

Then plug in and practice. A lot of folks here believe that the tone is in the fingers. It is. How you play makes more of a difference in how you sound than what you play.

Look at guitars while you’re learning. Learn what good humbuckers sound like. Play single coil guitars to learn what they’re about. Play a P-90 guitar or two. Feel the differences in necks and frets. Then after a year or two when you sound decent, do some serious guitar shopping. Shop new. Shop used. You don’t have to buy expensive but don’t buy cheap. You can’t turn a Ford into a Ferrari. Don’t throw your money away. Save it for something decent. I’m sorry if this isn’t what you want to hear but I’ve been through this. I’m not saying don’t modify a guitar. I’m saying know beforehand what works for you. Start with something good. Know what it is about it that doesn’t work for you and upgrade only that to the best you can afford.


EVERYTHING in your response is absolutely the smart and reasonable way to go about things.
TOTALLY what a responsible and mature adult would/should do.

And I do know that tone is mostly in the fingers. For sure I know this.

But I like this axe, and I wanna play around with toys for it.I wanna...I wanna...i wanna!!!
 

Jonymacmadcap

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Denver Colorado
Maybe first try adjusting pickup height and pickup pole screw heights. Also try removing different combinations of the pole screws altogether. I removed some from my Grote 335 copy and loved the results. Best part was no money spent and no soldering.


Totally forgot this is a thing. Thank you for this.
 

naveed211

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 16, 2009
Posts
3,783
Location
Iowa
Save up a little bit more and get some Duncans or DiMarzios. You can often find them used for $50.

I've played some GFS and other budget pickups. They were fine.

But most importantly, learn to play!
 

PhredE

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Posts
1,789
Location
Suburban PDX, OR
Sure. The Epi 335 comes to mind, maybe an Artcore? Dot.

But for now, I'm dancing with who brung me. Besides, I really like the thing. I don't mind the neck, I like the edge mounted jack, top horn mounted threeway switch, and the feel is really nice in my hands. So, I'm hankering to clean up the sound.

EDIT to add Dot

If you like what you have now, maybe invest in a decent (pro) setup? Sometimes, even budget guitars can be real winners with a good setup (which rarely happens straight out of the factory these days). I also have a few budget guitars (Grote, Firefly, etc) and with good setups and a few upgraded parts, they've turned out to be very nice players that sound good.

Welcome aboard. :)

Forgive me, but.. TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!
(the movie was filmed here in OR and is something of a cultural landmark)
 

beyer160

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Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Posts
5,001
Location
On Location
Understand that GFS is essentially a branding company- pretty much all of their stuff (with a couple exceptions) is just rebranded offshore stuff you can find cheaper elsewhere. Guitar Madness on eBay sells very similar stuff (most likely from the same factories) for less. I have a set of GM alnico II humbuckers, they're a drastic improvement over the stock ceramic HBs in my Ibanez AS73.

Check out this video that compares $350 Lollar pickups to $35 GM pickups:


It's not a perfect comparison because the GMs he tested are A2 and the Lollars are A5, but it's still quite informative. When it came out, everyone argued about which was which, which says something too.

Save up a little bit more and get some Duncans or DiMarzios. You can often find them used for $50.

Yeah, used pickups are always your best bet.
 

Jonymacmadcap

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Denver Colorado
If you like what you have now, maybe invest in a decent (pro) setup? Sometimes, even budget guitars can be real winners with a good setup (which rarely happens straight out of the factory these days). I also have a few budget guitars (Grote, Firefly, etc) and with good setups and a few upgraded parts, they've turned out to be very nice players that sound good.

Welcome aboard. :)

Forgive me, but.. TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!
(the movie was filmed here in OR and is something of a cultural landmark)

Best movie ever.

Thanks man. This is already in the works. There is a shop around from me that can to a good exorcism on the old Oscar. A good set up by a legit mechanic is definitely top of list. At least until I teach myself how to do it.
 

Jonymacmadcap

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
10
Location
Denver Colorado
Understand that GFS is essentially a branding company- pretty much all of their stuff (with a couple exceptions) is just rebranded offshore stuff you can find cheaper elsewhere. Guitar Madness on eBay sells very similar stuff (most likely from the same factories) for less. I have a set of GM alnico II humbuckers, they're a drastic improvement over the stock ceramic HBs in my Ibanez AS73.

Check out this video that compares $350 Lollar pickups to $35 GM pickups:


It's not a perfect comparison because the GMs he tested are A2 and the Lollars are A5, but it's still quite informative. When it came out, everyone argued about which was which, which says something too.



Yeah, used pickups are always your best bet.



GM has been toilet reading fodder for a day or so now. Thanks for reminding me.

Question:
What kind of resistance numbers should I be zeroing in on. 6k? 10k? More? Less?
 




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