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Tips for getting more fretboard harmonics out of pickups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Gutterguy, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Gutterguy

    Gutterguy Tele-Meister

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    I raised my Seymour lil' 59. Any tips please? Gain is raised but not where it muds out.
    Or am I needing a Humbucker to do so?


    Thanks.
     
  2. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    A more powerful wind tends to make pick harmonics jump out more easily - the Lil 59 isn't considered a hot pickup, especially compared to other humbuckers.

    Still, you can probably coax a little more brightness out of yours by raising one row of the pole screws a bit higher.

    This creates some offset between the coils and often helps clarify the highs.
     
  3. Gutterguy

    Gutterguy Tele-Meister

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    Thank you.


    The neck or bridge row?
     
  4. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got an inexpensive superstrat H-S-H that squeals harmonics like a passel of pigs at the slightest opportunity on the bridge pickup. My 2015 Les Paul Junior PAF was nowhere near as lively. Does the SD give an authentic PAF sound?
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’d say the amp (and maybe pedal) circuit is part of it too.
    Marshall crunch has presence and bright mids which brings it out more than I suppose what’s often considered bluesy tone.

    Is your lil 59 the Tele bridge version Billy Gibbons used to use?
    He got plenty of squeals with it, using Marshall type amps.
     
  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gain helps, but technique is everything when it comes to coaxing harmonics out of a string.

    Flamenco players can do it with Nylon strings on a classical guitar. Gain? What's THAT? ;)

    Watch a guy like Eddie Van H play harmonics--especially false harmonics--and you'll see how he alters his picking location for every note he's going for.
     
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  7. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep, gotta make sure you're in the right spot to pull a harmonic out. On a short-scale guitar, I can pull that Zakk Wylde whoopie noise off the 3rd Fret of the Low E string like it was falling out of my pocket, but doing it with a 25.5" neck is hit-or-miss at best.
     
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  8. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Boost the front of the amp with something thats got a lot of mids. A good way is a reverse V on a graphic EQ and the level boosted to drive the amp harder. Mids PRE distortion stage will help you get pick harmonics easily tho the voicing of the particular amp could go either way. A marshall with a average amount of distortion then hitting the front end with a tube screamer with the distortion all the way down and level all the way up will make pick harmonics happen just thinking about it. Any pickup will work if the rig is right for it. I can get tons with vintage single coils with the right rig for it.
     
  9. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    Generally raising the bridge side of a humbucker will give you a brighter tone and raising the neck side will give you more body and power.

    In this case - given the narrow size of the pickup plus angled placement on a Tele - there might not be a whole lot of difference. I'd still choose the neck side myself.

    _

    The Lil'59 doesn't really sound and feel a lot like the full-sized Duncan 59 to me. More like a sort of midpoint between that and a Fender pickup. Single-sized humbuckers have a more tightly focused magnetic field and sense a narrower section of string.

    That's not a bad thing - vintage PAFs are bright pickups and the best of 'em sometimes have been described as sounding, "like a Tele on stearoids."

    Actually, the full size SH-1B doesn't sound a whole lot like most of the original PAFs I've heard, either. IME it seems less textured in the mids and maybe a bit stiffer with gain.

    Of course, most of the original PAFs sound rather different from each other, thanks to random coil pairings and at least four different kinds of magnet. Likely there are some that sound and feel more like the SH-1 than the handful I've played.
     
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