Same set of pickups in two different guitars. What the

TheCheapGuitarist

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Okay, I understand there will be some tonal differences. One of the guitars is a Les Paul copy, and the other is a 335-ish Ibanez AS-73. The Les Paul copy is more aggressive sounding and the Ibanez sounds a bit darker, which I get. But the Ibanez also seems to have lower output when hitting the front end of the amp. More preamp overdrive from the Les Paul copy. Theoretically, could different guitar materials/construction/type actually affect signal amplitude when leaving the guitar?

One theory I have is that since the high-end seems to be tamed a bit on the Ibanez, that's less signal overall hitting the amp. I don't know. Is this how it works?

Pickup set in both guitars is the Guitar Madness '57 Alnico II Special.
 

USian Pie

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Perhaps string energy is absorbed by the hollowbody and reflected by the solidbody?

There's a reason a clean-tone solidbody typically sustains longer than a hollowbody (not counting distortion and feedback).

You may also have more signal resistance from the electronics on the AS-73.
 

Peegoo

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Some guitars are constructed in a way that they accentuate midrange frequencies, and human hearing is more sensitive to this range. It may not be a question of differences in pure volume--but of resonant frequencies.
 

arlum

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I've got two Gibson's and have tried to use the same pickups in both but it just didn't work for me. Mine are a Les Paul Traditional,, (a true solid body with no weight relief just like those made in the late '50s), and a CS-336 semi-hollow made from solid wood pieces rather than laminates. Both have a maple top and a mahogany back and sides. Using the pickups in the solid body LP creates a signal that hit's the front end of the amp quite a bit harder than when the same pair are installed in the CS-336. I figure the solid wood body, being the only thing different between the two, does something to create the stronger signal. The LP had more definition, sustain, upper mids and high end than the CS-336 while the CS-336 had a warmer, more rounded voice with more overtones but less punch. I ended up keeping the pickups in the LP and putting the original Custom Shop pickups back in the CS-336. Semi-hollow body and solid body are just not the same in what they deliver. The solid is always louder, punchier and has more definition. Note* I love the CS-336 and will never sell it. It's perfect doing what it's supposed to do. It's just different than the LP. A different tool suited for a different purpose.
 

hopdybob

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i wonder what the both guitars sound like without an amp?
i suppose the body of the 335 is bigger, will resonate different and maybe sound less bright that the LP.
maybe no good comparison.
both guitars are in a project, non of them is ready to play electric.
a L6 full maple copy with a very thin body, glued long scale neck, its light and it resonates with a lot of top end.(bridge is tune-o-matic roller type )
i have a fernades vertigo, heavy basswood body, maple rosewood like bolt on neck and adjustable wrap around bridge. sounds dull, choked.

i can imagine that this will affect the sound.
BUT, in your case, do you know the wiring of both guitars, one maybe 50'wiring the other not?
did you check the value of the pots, tolerances can cheat you big time.
one guitar with tolerance more down the other tolerances more up can add up big differences

maybe here for you some good info (his channel has more good vids of different testing)
 

Phrygian77

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There is usually variation pickups, especially hand wound pickups.

Assuming based on OP that these are two different sets of the same make/model pickups.
 

1stpitch

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If you assume the pickups were identical, which they likely are not, then my guess would be differences in pots, caps, and the schemes they are wired together. There are lots of different ways to wire 2 humbucker guitars.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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I've got two Gibson's and have tried to use the same pickups in both but it just didn't work for me. Mine are a Les Paul Traditional,, (a true solid body with no weight relief just like those made in the late '50s), and a CS-336 semi-hollow made from solid wood pieces rather than laminates. Both have a maple top and a mahogany back and sides. Using the pickups in the solid body LP creates a signal that hit's the front end of the amp quite a bit harder than when the same pair are installed in the CS-336. I figure the solid wood body, being the only thing different between the two, does something to create the stronger signal. The LP had more definition, sustain, upper mids and high end than the CS-336 while the CS-336 had a warmer, more rounded voice with more overtones but less punch. I ended up keeping the pickups in the LP and putting the original Custom Shop pickups back in the CS-336. Semi-hollow body and solid body are just not the same in what they deliver. The solid is always louder, punchier and has more definition. Note* I love the CS-336 and will never sell it. It's perfect doing what it's supposed to do. It's just different than the LP. A different tool suited for a different purpose.
This is exactly what I observed with my two guitars as well.
 

TX_Slinger

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Combination of the difference in resistance of the components in the two guitars along with variances in two different sets of pickups even those of the same model. Cheap Asian pickups should actually be more consistently wound than handwound pickups but prob has more to do with consistency of magnets..
 

Happy Enchilada

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I had a similar experience.
Seymour Duncan "Vintage Blues" pickups (hot wound '59s with A5 magnets).
Kicked wholesale a$$ in a Firefly 335 copy. Surprised the heck out of me. Sounded fantastic!
However, very underwhelming when installed in a Hamer Sunburst (solid body LP copy).
So there's a lot more to how an electric will sound than just the pickups.
Go figure.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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I had a similar experience.
Seymour Duncan "Vintage Blues" pickups (hot wound '59s with A5 magnets).
Kicked wholesale a$$ in a Firefly 335 copy. Surprised the heck out of me. Sounded fantastic!
However, very underwhelming when installed in a Hamer Sunburst (solid body LP copy).
So there's a lot more to how an electric will sound than just the pickups.
Go figure.
I just ordered a Guitar Madness overwound A5 humbucker for the Ibanez. We'll see what happens. I'm guessing the output of the guitar will increase, but it will still be mid-heavy, I guess that's okay. I don't exactly want to change the nature of the guitar itself, but I do want the output level close to what the other guitar has.
 

radiocaster

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Yes! I have experience with those guitars. In fact with the stock Ibanez pickups as well.

They are very good pickups, and are not that hot despite the ohms reading. They are also quite bright for humbuckers, especially when you put them in a Les Paul copy.

Semi-hollow guitars are quite dark by nature.

Note I also removed the covers on the pickups.
 

Controller

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Was not satisfied with the stock pickups so I put gold foils in my AS-73, nope. Then tried GFS Dream 90s, much better.

Pickups are such a crap shoot. I like the idea of buying a guitar that sounds the way I like rather than trying to make it into something I like. Good luck!
 
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Happy Enchilada

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OP: I have found that different values of capacitors will also move the needle @ tone.
I generally prefer .033s with single coils and P90s.
For humbuckers, I like .022s.
This is by far the least expensive way to start tinkering with tone.
Also, I like Bootstrap pickups because of their amazing quality and low prices.
YMMV
 




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