Neck PU Impressions: mini-hum vs FB

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Gris, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. Gris

    Gris TDPRI Member

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    Been on a neck PU quest for a while for my 60s clone. Settled on a mini-hum while back, but never was quite happy w the tone balance w bridge PU (Lollar A3). So when a Lollar Firebird neck PU fell in my lap I tried that.

    Very different sounding from the trad mini-hum. I actually liked the overall sound, and the fat-ness’ and ‘bloom’ of the mini-hum better, but the FB mates perfectly w the trad Tele bridge PU and solves the issue of a common volume and tone pot. The FB tone is brighter, cleaner, tighter bass, maybe a little ‘scooped’ seems like. It’s taking some getting used to. That Klein mini hum (now in a gold-top) is just a killer PU.

    But if anyone is wrestling w the HB in neck and SC bridge to one vol pot issue, this solves it! FYI I use 250K pots in my Tele w a resistor coming off one leg of the vol pot so each PU sees about 375K.
     
  2. Thinline casket

    Thinline casket Tele-Meister

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    I don't know anything about mini's or firebirds. But I have 2 thinlines, 1 with regals and 1 with imperials. I'll admit your ear has to adjust. They are a tad bright. But once you adjust you might want to put a statue of Jason in your front yard.

    Happy tele pickin'!
     
  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been converting rail pole mini's that are posing as Firebirds into real Firebird pickups using the A2 Firebird magnets from Stewmac. They don't offer the A5 magnets. Gibson started off using the A2 magnets and then moved to A5.

    I've been having great results with this mod so far and love the tone. I installed one in my avatar guitar which is a ES330/Casino clone with 500k pots and a small varitone type switch that gives choice of .022 cap, .033 cap or no tone circuit. I tend to like the .022 or no tone circuit best in this guitar.

    I recently modded a Squier Strat with Tele bridge pickup in bridge, DeArmond style Gold Foil in middle and a converted minibucker to FB in the neck. All the pots were 250k and had a .047 cap. The tone circuit is used for bridge and middle only and the neck is wired for volume only. This setup worked beautifully.

    Every guitar tends to be different and everyone's preference of tone is different too, so your results may vary. Always be ready to change things around with every guitar before swapping pickups or selling the guitar off is a good path to follow.
     
  4. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Deluxe style mini-buckers are great for classic tone and mild tone.

    Firebirds are for snarl and growl, but will also do mild.
     
  5. Gris

    Gris TDPRI Member

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    I’ve only tried the FB in neck position. And it really forces me to concentrate on attack because it is IMHO very ‘unforgiving.’ Not sure how it would be in bridge. It’s probably just me, but that Klein mini is just a great great sounding pickup, like the best old PAF bucker ever.

    Edit: the FB is like blackface and the mini is like tweed
     
  6. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I recently put together a telebird and have a mini hum in the neck.
    Where are you guys setting the height of a neck mini hum / firebird pickup? Pretty close to the strings or pretty far away?
     
  7. Gris

    Gris TDPRI Member

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    I put the FB (A5 6.1K) pretty close, but the mini-hum (A5 6.5K) I had further down. Really kinda depends on if you are trying to match bridge vol-wise, or just tone seeking
     
    sleazy pot pie likes this.
  8. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been thinking of doing this to a Dimarzio that has a FB-type cover but sounds more like a mini. I've wondered how well the magnets fit inside the bobbins. Are you using just the magnets or the steel plates too?
     
  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I pull out the bar magnet and remove the steel rails after recording the polarities. Then put in the Firebird magnets in the correct order for same polarity as before. I also put in a steel reflector plate because the originals had steel base as opposed to brass. Then I put in a strip of plywood the same thickness of the bar magnet I removed and solder the baseplate back in place.
    The bobbins are the same as the ones used in Firebird pickups, the steel rail poles are the same size as the A2 Firebird magnet, so everything fits right. Just have to keep the coils in the cover while doing this so you don't break any wires between the coils. this makes it easy to pot the pickup if it isn't potted.
     
    wabashslim likes this.
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