Dirty Pickups = Tone?!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by BluesGuitarMart, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    I was reading this Guardian article earlier about musicians and the bond they have with their instruments and I read what I thought was a rather odd quote by Brittany Howard:

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2...-musicians-on-the-bond-with-their-instruments

    "My number one thing for my guitar techs is: do not clean the pickups. I like the sound of pickups that are worn down and kind of degraded – it’s just more interesting sounding. That is why my SG is so unique, because of how the pickups were wound, and how long it has been since they were cleaned up."

    I've never heard of people wanting dirty pickups to add tone? Surely this is made up?
     
  2. MattyK-USA

    MattyK-USA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Never heard of it, but I suppose a tone change could result, if you got the pickups so dirty that it affected the magnetic field. After all, putting the ashtray on a Tele has an effect on the tone since it affects the field (albeit in a different way).
     
  3. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

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    It seems to me that any impact grime has on your pickups could be better and more reliably achieved in the pickup construction process.
     
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  4. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

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    Have to call B.S. on that one. Still, good name for a pickup maker: Dirty Pickups.
     
  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I always bury any new pickups I get in 8-10 inches of a good potting soil for 3-6 months.

    T-O-N-E
     
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  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Typical musician superstition
     
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  7. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Tele-Afflicted

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    Dirt/corrosion between the magnet/slugs/keeper/screw area could have an effect on the performance of the pickup.

    With a stretch of the imagination one could argue that dirt could change the mechanical relationships of the pickup in the mounting to the guitar, microphonics of the cover and/or winding.

    But I'll agree with @Guitarteach... superstition.
     
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