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Need a “noiseless” equivalent to Fender Baja Custom Shop Broadcaster

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by xhqm4457, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. xhqm4457

    xhqm4457 TDPRI Member

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    I have a Fender Baja Tele and love the bridge pickup. It does what I need it to do which is sound like a good punchy Tele and really rocks when I need it to. We play mostly Classic Rock, but clean tones are important also. I have a DiMarzio Twang King in the neck and the middle position between the two is fantastic.

    The problem is, the 60 cycle hum I get when we play is about to send me over the edge! I realize this is what single coils do, and at home it’s not a problem. But especially where we have our standing monthly gig, it’s pretty bad. I’m getting disapproving looks from my bandmates, and I’m ready to take the plunge back into “noiseless” territory again. A few years ago I had an Dimarzio Area “Hot T” and loved it, but I was using 375K pots while matching it to a Firebird pickup in the neck, so the “Hot T” didn’t sound too thick for me. However, I missed the single coil in the neck, and went back to my regular single coils and like the Broadcaster/Twang King with 250K pots combo much better.

    So - I’m looking for a noiseless equivalent to Fender Baja Custom Shop Broadcaster. I believe they are Alnico V and have a DC resistance of about 9k (great combo for me). The noiseless pickup replacement does not have to be Alnico V or have the same specs, but I need to reproduce that same sound. I was considering a few: DiMarzio Area T (either 418 or 424), the Seymour Duncan STK-2b Hot Stack, or “Modern” version of the Barden Gatton – T (expensive!). Because of the way these noiseless pickup are made, it’s hard to look at the specs and know what you’re getting. You almost have to go by description and opinions. So -

    I’m open to suggestions and wondered if anyone has experience replacing their Custom Shop Broadcaster (or similar pickup) with a noiseless equivalent?

    Thanks all!
     
  2. christhebrit

    christhebrit Tele-Holic

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    I don't think you'll get anything to sound like that bridge pup, but have you considered rwrp for the neck?
     
  3. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    If you like the pickup (which you do), I wouldn't go down that route. Instead, I would (and have done with my Baja) shield the cavities with paint. Shielding made a huge difference for me. It is obviously cheaper than a new pup and you get to keep the pup you like with significantly less noise.
     
  4. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    Oh and rwrp only helps in the middle position. The hum will stay in positions 1 and 3.
     
  5. xhqm4457

    xhqm4457 TDPRI Member

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    Good call on the shielding Seasicksailor! I'd still like to try and find a noiseless PU though, and if it just doesn't work out, put the CS Broadcaster back in and shield the crap out of it. Hopefully Ill get some PU suggestions also. The Area Hot T was really nice but with 250k pots back in the guitar, I'm afraid it may not have that "edge". That's why I was looking at the other two DiMarzio's.
     
  6. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    i've tried a bunch of variations for noiseless pickups. like you, i can't cope with the hum. i like the area T in the neck and a super distortion in the bridge (the outputs really aren't terribly mismatched despite the impedance readings)

    i think the area T nails the neck tone... but it sounded a little flat in the bridge. others sounded very harsh. the twin-blade super distortion has the bite and cut of a good tele bridge... but it's a lot mellower on the highs. definitely not just a metal pickup
     
  7. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Since you "loved" the Hot T I would go back to that and the 375k pots, and try it with an Area T neck.. should sound good.
     
  8. xhqm4457

    xhqm4457 TDPRI Member

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    [QUOTE=joeford;6209938]i've tried a bunch of variations for noiseless pickups. like you, i can't cope with the hum. i like the area T in the neck and a super distortion in the bridge (the outputs really aren't terribly mismatched despite the impedance readings)

    i think the area T nails the neck tone... but it sounded a little flat in the bridge. others sounded very harsh. the twin-blade super distortion has the bite and cut of a good tele bridge... but it's a lot mellower on the highs. definitely not just a metal pickup[/QUOTE]



    Thanks for the input Joeford! I've had a "Chopper" in a Strat before and liked it for what it did, but that was way too much. I think the SD would be even more in this case.
     
  9. xhqm4457

    xhqm4457 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks waparker4. Hmmmm, this is actually a good possibility....but now now I have to buy a new neck pickup!
     
  10. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ruh roh! ;)

    I also want the SD vintage stack. So I'm in the same boat. I have an area T 615 already.
     
  11. xhqm4457

    xhqm4457 TDPRI Member

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    So what do you think of the Area T 615? Is it punchy and do you think it would be good for classic rock in your opinion? The description says yes, but it;s hard to tell without having one. Any description would be much appreciated.
     
  12. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    All I can tell you is it is way too bright with a 500k volume pot. I yanked it for a rails type pickup since the 500k pot worked so great with the neck humbucker I had. I have to try it out further, sorry.
     
  13. xhqm4457

    xhqm4457 TDPRI Member

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    That makes sense. I tried the CS Broadcaster with a Humbucker in the neck and 500k pots, and it sounded like Albert Collins turned the treble on his amp to 10 and bass on 0. Didn't work.
     
  14. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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  15. xhqm4457

    xhqm4457 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Tony474! I'm looking at the website now. These looks reeeeal interesting and just may be exactly what I am looking for!
     
  16. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a similar issue at a particular club I play. And this is despite having done a very thorough job of shielding the entire guitar with copper foil. The shielding makes a big difference in most venues but in this particular place the hum is horrible. I've done some research on this issue on a variety of threads, including some here on TDPRI, and here are a few thoughts I've gleaned:

    1) I saw a thread that discussed various stacked humbucker solutions. One of the posters showed frequency distributions of a big variety of stacked humbuckers vs. single coils to demonstrate that due to their inherent design there tends to be a bit of divergence from the single coil frequency distribution with a characteristic spike in the mids. However, the graph also showed that Kinmans followed the curve of typical single coils very, very well, suggesting that there is a good, science-based reason why so many folks have wonderful things to say about Kinmans. Kinmans are pretty pricey, though.

    2) Others talk about various hum canceling back plates you can buy, etc., but they are rather expensive, too.

    3) There were some threads talking about various hum canceling pedals out there-- apparently there are a few that are particularly focused on cutting out 60 Hz hum. Some folks said that these pedals really degraded their overall sound, but others swore up and down that it worked for them. I got to thinking that trying one of these pedals for exclusive use in the noisiest venues might be a fairly cheap, workable solution. You can get one of these pedals for about $50 so it might be worth the experiment.

    4) If you used some of the cheaper stacked pickups, such as those from DiMarzio and SD, there is always the option of adjusting the EQ a bit to compensate a bit. It also depends on what tone you are searching for....lots of guys really, really like the different EQ curve that naturally comes out of these pickups.

    5) I personally decided to go the cheapest route of all for me. I have a Classic Player's Jazzmaster that sounds great in the middle position and is also hum-cancelling in that position. I also have a Les Paul with PAF style humbuckers, a Les Paul Deluxe with mini-humbuckers, and a couple of Les Paul Jrs., one of which is sporting a humbucker. So my plan is to bring one of my humbucker guitars or my JM to the noisy venue. No additional cost since I already own these guitars.

    I once owned a set of Bardens, which I loved for a long time, but one day I tried true single coils (Fender Broadcaster set) and never went back. I have also had Bill Lawrence stacked humbuckers and didn't like them too much, either. It's a matter of taste. At this point I'd rather keep my Tele with the pickups I like and go with plan B in those rare situations where the 60 Hz hum is way out of control. If I were in the mood to spend more $$ I would probably try the Kinmans, but I'm trying to be a good boy. If I were feeling cheaper I might go with DiMarzios or SDs and just do my best to adjust the EQ accordingly.
     
  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    One other thought-- some folks say the S-1 switch adds a lot of noise. I looked at images of the switch and don't see why it would make any difference at all, as long as the control cavity is shielded. It's just a switch-- no magic. Maybe it's a lead dress issue-- you have more wires converging at the S-1 pot. Again, I would think good shielding in the control cavity should minimize that problem.

    Another source of excess noise is having multiple ground points-- some folks set up a single ground point and have that ground point grounded to the shielding. I.e., there are a variety of ways to lower the noise floor with single coils via shielding and lead dress that should always be exploited. But you can't avoid having the actual pickup surfaces still be a source of 60 Hz leakage.
     
  18. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Since you like the Twang King so much how about having DiMarzio do a RW/RP one for you? I just did a pickup swap for a good friend with a Twang King in the neck and a Keystone bridge and he had DiMarzio wind the neck with the opposite polarity so that it would hum cancel in parallel with the Keystone bridge.
     
  19. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    You're very welcome. As it happens I don't yet have Kinmans in any of my Teles, but four of my Strats are equipped with them in three different flavours. They more than live up to all of Chris Kinman's claims and I wouldn't now use anything else.
     
  20. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I just had an offer accepted for a vintage stack.. So i will be putting that 615 in a Tele soon! probably not real soon, but soon ish. :cool:
     
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