Further Adventures in Mad Mods... T-Armond style

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by DHart, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I saw this Fender Strat stripped-down, take-off body on Stratosphere and it really caught my eye. I didn't need another Strat (I have 3 others), but the price was right and I love the finish, so I ordered it. Then, of course, one needs a neck, so I ordered one of those... I had plenty of pickups, pick guards, and electronics to work with already (due to having done many mods in the past).

    I turned it into a "Triple Tele", which was cool, but ultimately, I just wasn't playing it. So I guess I didn't "bond" with that configuration.

    Then, last week, a lightly used set of T-Armonds showed up in the marketplace for a good price. Having one set of them in my D'Angelico, and really loving them, I decided to buy the pickups and then decide where I would put them to use.

    I installed them in a Sea Foam Pearl Tele of mine and they sounded great there, but I didn't think the bond was going to take hold there. Having seen Wes' (@BorderRadio) blue Strat, I thought what the heck... try the T-Armonds in the Strat. It happened last night, and this is the result:

    [​IMG]

    2019 Fender Player Stratocaster Plus Top, 2018 Fender Classic Player '60s neck, T-Armond pickups (8k and 12k), 1M Volume pot, 1M tone pots (made No-Load), .015uf K40Y-9 caps.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I like this set-up and can't seem to put the guitar down. Time will tell if the "bond" takes place, but I think it will. And if not, there's always my G6119T Tennessee Rose (which has Filter'trons in it now) which would be a great host for these pickups.

    Further adventures in mad mods... round and round we go... where it stops, nobody knows! :eek:
     
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  2. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's really nice looking, I've been curious about that style pickup in a Strat or Tele. And it's cool to have something "different" especially if you like it and it sounds and plays good.
     
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  3. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    looks fantastic.
     
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  4. zeedoctour

    zeedoctour Tele-Meister

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    I like your style. This is so far the best sounding partscaster I have had the pleasure to play. Neck pickup is a replica (internally, external cover is not) of a Valco VistaTone/Gretsch Hi'LoTron and the bridge is a replica of a Supro ClearTone, both are single coils but sound really big with tons of air, especially the Hi'LoTron. They go well with the Armstrong LipstickTube.

    cancercaster_2.jpg
     
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  5. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks Ringo... it's got a great sound to it, still has a slight Stratty-quality in the middle position. I do have other Strats for the conventional Strat-tone.
     
  6. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I'll bet that sounds awesome... I'm a big fan of how Hilo'trons sound. I put a pair of them in my ES-339, and have a Hilo'tron neck pickup in one of my Teles. Gretsch-style pickups are awesome!
     
  7. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can relate, I had high hopes for the 3 P90 Strat, but I just wasn't able to make myself like it. 2 P90's just do it better for me, but I had to find out.
    I'm going to mod it back to 2 P90's, but adding 2 Strat singles too with some slide switches. My version of the P Rails idea.
    The Squier with Tele bridge pup/Gold Foil/Firebird turned out fantastic for 3 pickups and I think it's because each pickup is so different from the others.
    I want to do a Jaguar with 2 Filtertrons next, maybe make it a semi-hollow too. Then again, the Dynasonics/T-Armonds also have me intrigued.
     
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  8. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Wow, zepfan, you're even more of a mad tone-scientist modder than I. We must be cut from the same cloth. :lol: What a blast it is to experiment with different tone combinations, even if we don't bond with some of them... we can just change things up, all over again. ;) I do enjoy the process almost as much as the results. :)
     
  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm very much acquainted with my inner Frankenstein.:twisted::D
     
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  10. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed you are, Doctor!
     
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    My modding and experimentation lead me to use aluminum cavity shielding and back of pickguards too. This can lessen the 60 cycle hum for single coil pickups and sometimes can eliminate it altogether if there's enough aluminum. I stumbled across that effect and then found a write up by Bill Lawrence stating the same results. Beats paying extra bucks for quiet coil pickups.
     
  12. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Are you using common aluminum foil?
     
  13. zeedoctour

    zeedoctour Tele-Meister

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    Copper conductive adhesive tape is even better.

    sheilding.jpg shieldingwork.jpg
     
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  14. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    NO, I/m using the thicker aluminum tape for HVAC applications. You can get a large roll from the hardware store for less than $4.00.

    Copper tape is great for shielding and the aluminum tape is just as good. The aluminum tape is cheaper and has that added noise reduction of 60 cycle hum that copper doesn't have an effect on or at least that I'm aware of.

    Just remember to overlap the seams and have a tab of it to fit under the bridge for ground because you can't solder to it. The ground is for the shielding, not the 60 cycle noise reduction. That's just a bonus. You may have to use 2 layers to get rid of the noise in some cases.
     
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  15. zeedoctour

    zeedoctour Tele-Meister

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    Aluminium tape is not superior to copper tape for attracting 60 cycle hum and masking it from the signal chain. I bet if we did a scientific measuring experiment it would be slightly inferior in fact. For my purpose I would consider either as probably much the same and I don't really care which is used, but I can get conductive adhesive copper tape much more easily than conductive adhesive aluminium tape ... and the conductive adhesive is much easier to work with than soldering all the seams which I'd have to do with non conductive adhesive type tape shielding work, so that's what I use.
     
  16. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well I'll tell my quiet guitars they are bad for lying to me and to start making noise again. Then We'll have to say that Bill Lawrence was wrong about this subject.;)

    I couldn't find the copper tape around here and the guitar supply places were high, so I got the aluminum tape. Try it, you'll like it.
     
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  17. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    and bill said this about it
    'An inch thick copper or brass shield cannot reduce the buzz caused by light dimmers but .003 thick aluminum foil can! This is known some thirty years and the reason why Belden introduced double shielded cable ( Copper braid plus aluminum foil). There is one problem for guitar cords -- the double shielding makes the cable too stiff . It helps quite a bit when you shield your guitar with copper and aluminum foil. "

    but because alu in the neighborhood of pickups can change its tone i use copper and alu surrounding the control cav and copper surrounding the pickups
     
  18. glenlivet

    glenlivet TDPRI Member

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    OK.....I'm drooling ..... I love DeArmond style pickups.

    (everything you wanted to know about them is here: https://www.musicpickups.com/ ....absolutely amazing site....)

    I'm thinking about getting one for the neck pickup of a Squier that fell in my lap a little bit ago....

    So care to give the rundown on the sound of these in a strat (please) ???
    Still able to get all kinds of big Duane Eddy twang ?
    Does the strat solid body calm the high end of them down a bit ??
    I bet the middle position is awesome.....

    I know it's hard to describe a sound.....but if you have any comparisons (ie; sort of sounds like xxxxx on this song...) that would be great .
     
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  19. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I've got two pairs of T-Armonds and have run them in several different guitars. For those who might be wondering about these pickups, here are my impressions of running these pickups in different guitars.

    T-ARMOND in STRAT

    I wouldn't say that the Strat is the best host for T-Armonds. Yes, they do sound excellent in a Strat, yet not significantly different sounding than a good quality Strat pickup sounds. Perhaps a bit more output, though. Strat neck/middle pickups and a T-Armond neck pickup are similar pickups, actually, in design (aside from the screw elevators) and sound.

    The Strat still sounds a fair bit like a Strat, with T-Armonds, so the extra effort and expense to go T-Armond in a Strat probably isn't really worth the scratch.

    T-ARMOND in TELE
    I also ran these in a Tele, and feel that they are a better match in the Tele. I wouldn't use them if I only had ONE Tele, but for the guy who has several or more Teles, it's a nice alternative to have for fun. I think that the combination of a T-Armond in the neck position of a Tele, with a traditional Tele bridge pickup, would be an excellent combination! I have plans to do this!

    T-ARMOND in SEMI- and HOLLOW
    Ultimately, I think the T-Armonds may be at their best in a semi-hollow and full-hollow body guitars, where the "air" in the instrument can contribute to and compliment the T-Armond tone. In my full-hollow D'Angelico EX-SS, they sound superb. And it's only a matter of time until I move my set that is presently in a Strat over to one of my ES-Les Paul semi-hollow body guitars!

    T-ARMOND NECK PICKUP
    The T-Armond neck pickup is big, bold, rich, full-bodied, detailed, articulate - delightful. Especially with a 1M volume pot. A bit of a "hi-fi" full-range quality, which I very much enjoy.

    T-ARMOND BRIDGE PICKUP
    The T-Armond bridge pickup is a different animal ALL-together, very "middy", which can be a great compliment to the neck pickup - quite different sounding than the neck pickup, almost like a different guitar entirely. Some would like that great difference. Others may not.

    T-ARMOND MIDDLE POSITION (both pickups combined)
    The middle position is delightful in richness, fullness, clarity, and sparkle.

    Hope this helps those of you who might be considering T-Armond pickups.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  20. glenlivet

    glenlivet TDPRI Member

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    "I think that the combination of a T-Armond in the neck position of a Tele, with a traditional Tele bridge pickup, would be an excellent combination! I have plans to do this!"

    --- I'm with you 110% !!!!
    In my mind this little Squier is just BEGGING for a Dynasonic of some sort in the neck.....


    squ1.png

    I'm thinking that with a big, bad, bold, pickup in the front....this thing could become a surf-monster.....

    If you look in the background you can see a silver Gretsch that has the traditional bridge (humbucker) pickup....
    I managed to mount one of the cheap "China-sonics"
    (https://www.eyguitarmusic.com/Ricke...omeBlackAlnicoNeck-and-Bridge-Set_p_1492.html)
    In the neck....and for a super cheap pickup.....it absolutely rocks....
    It has a couple issues I need to address....but....for the price !?!?? I'm willing to do some work.


    and as far as hollow semi/hollow bodies and DeArmond style pickups.
    Yep.....I'm 100% in agreement there too ...

    guild1.png
     
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