Question before I dive in

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Missing Link, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    Hi guys, Question before I dive into replacing my four pots on a Humbucker Tele.

    First this is an SX Tele type guitar that I have been messing with on pickgaurds and such. I had the Humbuckers off for a pickgaurd and ring change out and while dismantled I removed the HB brass covers so they would tweak a bit of highs out of the HB pickups. They were pretty dark sounding prior.
    While they were out I also noticed that the guitar came with 250K pots installed.
    Question I am betting that being HB pickups and 250K pots this would be causing the guitar when the switch is in the treble setting to sound raspy, not clean. I set the amp in every setting I could to clean up the nasty sound but still has that crappy raspy sound , but with the gain all the way off it helps but still nasty. The two other setting sound reasonably okay (three way switch).
    I have a set of four 500K pots that are intended to replace the 250ks this may help but while I have it all apart or before I take it apart should I check something else while it can still be plugged into an amp for testing. I will mention that I set the poll heights at 1.5mm (E-E), then set the radius no more than one complete turn on the two middle polls and no more than 1/2 on the A-B polls.


    Thanks
     

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  2. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not sure about the pots, but I have years of experience in removing the covers from humbuckers. It has never made a dull bucker any brighter.
     
  3. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    I understand peoples beliefs in the "to remove or not to remove" and does it make a difference, I don't want to get into that just wondering what may be making it sound raspy.

    Cheers
     
  4. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Switching from 250k to 500k pots might bring some brightness back...unless I'm wrong in my understanding on that. (If I am, I'm confident someone here will correct me).
     
  5. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Swap them. 500k makes sense for humbuckers. If you don't like it, switch back. I don't know what "raspy" means. If it means too much bass, then yes, it will help. If you still don't like it, consider changing pickups. If raspy means the strings are hitting, lower the pickups.
     
  6. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    Raspy, pretty hard to describe. The sound just does not ring out.
    PUs have two wire's, tried reversing, not the problem. Tried on two other amps and pretty much the same. I have other Telecasters with HB and none sound like this. It just maybe a cheep set and need to go. The 500ks are going in regardless.
    No big deal, I will push on just replace the HB with a better quality set than what SX had in it.

    Cheers
     
  7. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    It was the Humbucker - reads good???
    installed a new set and they sound as they should.
    ??????????????

    Cheers
     
    eclecticsynergy likes this.
  8. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm sorry, but discussions of technical issues that involve nuts and bolts and screws make my head hurt...

    I think you should be encouraged to purchase a better guitar ...
     
  9. Missing Link

    Missing Link Tele-Meister

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    Do you get out much?:)
     
  10. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I try, but I'm old ...

    It's a major effort just to get out of bed ...
     
  11. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    I'd advise getting better pickups. If they came with brass covers they are real cheapos.

    Wiring can help a lot in some cases,and it's true that humbucker generally do better with 500K pots than with 250K - but that's because 500K normally will sound brighter.

    If your pickups sound raspy and harsh, brighter tone is unlikely to help.
    It might even make things worse.

    ~

    I did notice one thing in the photo of your neck pickup: you have the pole screws raised way high. This is sometimes done to increase articulation and clarify a pickup that's muddy or lacking in definition. And it can help a lot with neck pickups in a situation like that.

    But IMO it is inadvisable on a bridge pickup.

    If your bridge is set the same way, I strongly suggest setting the pole screws level with the bobbins, then raising the entire pickup higher until you find its sweet spot.

    This will give you more output, along with sweeter highs, fatter midrange and fuller lows - especially important for bridge position,which is a naturally brighter placement than at the neck.

    You may find that this warms up your bridge tone and eases the harshness quite a bit.
    And it might improve your middle-position tone too.

    ~

    One other comment - IME adjusting humbucker poles to match the fretboard radius is seldom neccessary. IMO it should only be done when there is a genuine, noticeable volume discrepancy between adjacent strings.

    For me, that hasn't happened often in fifty years of playing. And pretty much only on guitars with a vintage radius neck.

    Humbuckers have a much more diffuse magnetic field than pickups which have rod magnets right up close to the strings. As far as string-to-string volume goes, humbuckers are virtually self-balancing.

    EDIT: Aha, I see you've already swapped in some new pickups. Glad that took care of the issue for you. :)
     
  12. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    maybe connect the pickup straight to the amp to hear if they distort without the pots and other maybe faulty solderingpoints etc.
    maybe you have problems with stringpull, so lower the pickup and poles like @eclecticsynergy writes.
    pickup height and amp tweaking with new pickups is a must , no plug and play ;-)
    maybe you inputjack is corroded ore solder joints are bad.

    there is lot to check before buying new stuff (and if, when i would live in the US i would try bootstrap)
     
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