Inexpensive humbucker, unpotted

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Telepirate86, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    710
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area
    Well, music has changed a lot since then. And many amps are capable of a ton of compressed preamp gain along with high volumes, which is the recipe that doesn't work with unpotted pickups.
     
    DADGAD likes this.
  2. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    302
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2018
    Location:
    amherst
    Fair enough, may get some cool feedback effects with it
     
  3. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,462
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    ...and many players use a distortion box up front if not the built in preamp. Those also produce extreme compression.
     
    Mincer likes this.
  4. Mr Manch

    Mr Manch NEW MEMBER!

    Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2020
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    Hi, just joined.
    Im in the same place as Telepirate86. I want to try an unpotted pickup in a semi, (as some people report) unpotted pickups sound more open and airy. I'm after a Freddie King sound, woody is the word that comes to mind.
    It could work on a tele thin line. But as some here are saying it could be a microphonic feedback disaster. So I would like to find a cheaper pickup and upgrade if it works out.
     
  5. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,462
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    Potting is standard now, even on $5 pickups. You will almost always pay extra for anything non-standard.
     
  6. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,156
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    I know that sound, I love it

    try a P90 neck in a fully hollow body, and keep the volume under control

    ; )
     
  7. reactor99

    reactor99 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2017
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Bootstrap pickups get good reviews, are made in USA, will do unpotted for no extra charge (message them, potting is standard). They sell a pair of humbuckers for 80, so a single would probably be around 45. I think a single p90 is 25
     
    preactor, rigatele and BB like this.
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    11,790
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    the OP seems to suggest he thinks all unpotted Humbuckers sound the same.. despite the price... that's much like saying all cars that have low profile performance tires perform the same...

    call a pickup maker. oh wait, you said you want a cheep Humbucker.. ya can't call the guys that import that kind of pup.. you're shooting in the dark.. with a bent barrel...

    r
     
  9. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,733
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    west coast
    I read all his posts and saw nothing to suggest that.
     
  10. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,443
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Horn Lake, MS
    Seymour Duncan offers some un-potted pickups. If your going to put them in a semi-hollow or hollow body guitar, you WILL have feedback issues. That can be good or bad depending on how well you can control it. If you wrap the bottom and bottom sides of the pickup under the mounting ring with thin foam, it will curb or eliminate the feedback.
     
  11. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    523
    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    The upsidedown
    You could always get a cheap potted one and melt the wax out with a hair dryer or heat gun...that might work??
     
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    11,790
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Some people just have a perception quotient of zero. Some make no attempt to extrapolate the underlying rationale. Some think it's wrong to do so in a Forum.. and Some think not.. I'm in the Not camp.. I always have been..

    The title, "Inexpensive Humbucker, Unpotted" lays a basis... and admittedly, as a stand alone comment, it could be taken many ways, but his opening post, "Is there a not so expensive maker that offers them? The only one I've ever noticed offers them is Bare knuckle." Sets the stage. He's looking for something. When looking for pickups, usually the "something" is a sound... the only "modifier" he presents that is often thought to impact tone is "unpotted" .. thus I deduced he is looking for an unpotted sound that is not as expensive as the better known pickups.

    While in two pickups of similar design, one potted and one not so, the tone would be different.. that difference perceived from the unpotted one would not carry over into any other pickup of different makeup resulting in a similar tone... each design would yield two different sounds as a product of the potting process or the elimination thereof. Or, an unpotted SD Seth Lover will sound different from an Unpotted SD Antiquity, despite that both are constructed similarly, and trend toward a vintage Humbucker sound..


    It prompts the question, Why is he asking? For me, the answer was/is, he's looking for a certain sound, but at a reduced cost. I'm sure he's not looking for a pair to screw to wood to make bookends from.. And the presentation of specific physical properties in a pickup generally is also prompted by the assumption that those properties are responsible for a specific sound. That is incorrect.

    Thus, the inference is IMO, he's looking for any Unpotted humbucker, as long as it's inexpensive that would produce the sound he expects from unpotted humbuckers. Further extrapolation would suggest he's looking for a sound from such a pickup with those features, of which the Unpotted component has, in the past, been accused of being responsible for a specific tonal character, the one he is seeking and feels that deleting the presence of the wax component will produce.. again.. incorrect..


    In the few years you've been frequenting the forum I'm confident you have noticed that many, not all, but many new guys begin posting, laboring under the erroneous preconceptions propagated in the guitar community and the media they consume. One of those misconceptions may well have been, unpotted pickup produces a specific tone. Again, that's incorrect... Thus without additional information in the OP, and considering the tread title... I recognized his quandary.

    Now I may have been wrong.. but my answer would be useful to anyone else laboring under such an assumption. I have spent almost 20 years in these forums following that model .. i.e. trying to extrapolate any misconception that could be derived from the dialogue that might steer a novice into the "black hole" of internet myths, and at the very least "nudge" them on to the "straight and narrow." Funny thing is, guys hate me for it... :cry: seems like guys want ya to tell 'em what they want to hear, right or wrong.

    Now I know you're better than your "cheep shot" reply.. Your dissertation on pickups a few months ago was excellent... But the lame "jab" of a comment above contributes absolutely nothing to the discourse... It's like the High School Bully that intentionally trips someone in the hall simply because he can, and for no other reason than to make 'im look bad... Know what.. It says a hellova lot more about the Bully than the person picking up his books..

    Now I don't know what your problem is, your a smart guy, but whenever you have something to say that interfaces with something I've posted, it's not uncommon to see it punctuated with some derogatory component... With your positive contributions I'm sure we would be friends, if we knew each other, I mean, we're on the same band, if not the same frequency, but damn man.. what's up? Did I run over your puppy or something? OH wait . . You're not a FSU Seminole are ya? :p


    r
     
    Bristlehound, TC73 and CFFF like this.
  13. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,733
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    west coast
    If a person says "I want to try polarized sunglasses", the cheapest pair of polarized sunglasses is not a bad place to start, so as to not waste a lot of money. They might be inferior to expensive polarized sunglasses, but they're still polarized sunglasses. Wanting to try the cheapest ones available doesn't imply that all polarized sunglasses are the same, regardless of price.
     
    CFFF likes this.
  14. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    11,790
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Antigua.. wrong again.. that's just the plain wrong reply.. the correct one is, "I apologize." and actually your reply is incorrect in the context I submitted earlier ... It's just with that PQ of zero it would be hard to see... and of course, potted sunglasses all present the same visual acuity despite who made them or the wax used. :p

    like I said, Some people just have a perception quotient of zero. Why not give it up and go help someone, you have the ability.

    r
     
  15. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,733
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    west coast
    Aren't you trying to talk OP out of seeking out a cheap unpotted pickup? How is that helpful?
     
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    11,790
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    you may interpret it anyway you like... but, why not focus your energies on helping someone.
     
  17. Syrinx

    Syrinx Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    471
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2016
    Location:
    Champaign illinois
    Gibson MHS pickups- used on semi hollow and hollow bodied guitars are unpotted- and to me sound way better than 57s or burstbuckers in a 335
     
    old wrench likes this.
  18. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk


    Yes, the SD Lover pickups (SH-55) are unpotted.

    And, they have a great sound too :).

    I like the old humbucker sound I grew up listening to, and these SH-55's work as good as any I've tried, even the really expensive boutique ones I've tried.

    Not "real cheap", but not too bad of deal. Look around a bit - ~ $165 bucks new.
     
    DADGAD likes this.
  19. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    710
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area
    You could order the Seth Lovers potted if you wanted to, but I think that takes away from the touch-sensitivity of these pickups.
     
    DADGAD likes this.
  20. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,733
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    west coast
    There's no relationship between wax potting and sensitivity, unless you hit the pickup with a drum stick.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.