Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#2494346 - 05/18/13 12:04 PM Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ?
Bartholomew Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 404
Loc: Montreal
Made by Dimarzio and the advertising states these were Eric Johnson's attempt to make a Les Paul sound like a Country Gent.

So I was thinking of putting a set into a Les Paul Studio with coil-splitting to replace the hot pickups with something more mellow - have seen a couple of good online reviews.

I already have a Country Gent so am not really trying to imitate that sound - just want to clean-up things up. The 498R + 500T in the Gibson clean-up when I back down the volume but I'd rather start with no fizz or distortion.

Mostly Blues, Classic-Rock plus a few jazz standards. Anybody have an opinion or ever try these ?

Or maybe a SD Seth Lover set would fill the bill ?
_________________________
Been round the block but am not over the hill...

http://www.bandmix.ca/jamrocker/

Top
GP Island
#2494404 - 05/18/13 05:32 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Bartholomew]
hurricane hugo Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 1146
How fast do you have to have that guitar up and running with the new pups?
_________________________
http://blip.fm/invite/WorkRelease

Top
#2494407 - 05/18/13 05:50 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Bartholomew]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5691
Loc: Hwy 49, California
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/gibson-57-classic-humbucker-neck-pickup <--- my buddy has put the Gibson 57 classic at the neck and the classic plus at the bridge on his Epi 335. A very nice and hard to beat clean running improvement. I would guess that the SD and the Dimarzio pups would do a good job as well. Are those 498 and 500's known for fizz/distortion until you back them down?

Top
#2494418 - 05/18/13 07:19 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Larryz]
Bartholomew Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 404
Loc: Montreal
Have other guitars so am not in a hurry, always have one of them on the work table it seems.

Those hot pickups are real nasty - everyone else likes the sound and I can work with it but would rather put distortion in with a foot-pedal.
_________________________
Been round the block but am not over the hill...

http://www.bandmix.ca/jamrocker/

Top
#2494431 - 05/18/13 08:37 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Bartholomew]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22422
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Bartholomew
...just want to clean-up things up. The 498R + 500T in the Gibson clean-up when I back down the volume but I'd rather start with no fizz or distortion.

Mostly Blues, Classic-Rock plus a few jazz standards.


My beloved "main squeeze" has those pickups. I've adjusted them for the best tone (to my ears), and frequently get asked by other players what expensive alnico boutique or custom-wound pickups I obviously have in that guitar... Their high output-strength and somewhat hyped EQ characteristics give them great dynnamic-range and sensitivity, too.


Before you spend money and swap out those stock Gibson 498R and 500T pickups, try:

(A) Lowering the height of the pickups under the strings.

(B) Lowering the bass-side of each pickup even more, and then raising the pole-pieces under the wound/bass-strings by a roughly equal amount; use the arc described by the strings as a radius-gauge for the poles to start, tweaking for output and clarity. The poles under the plain/trebles should be closer into the pickup than those of the wound/basses.

(C) Then tweak the heights of the individual pole-pieces, as well as the pickups, for string-to-string balance and then the overall heights of the pickups for bridge-to-neck balance and that twangy, clucky middle-position blend.


The resulting pole-piece stagger should somewhat resemble that of vintage Strat pickups, with the exception of a lowered 3rd/"G"-pole to better balance modern plain 3rd/"G"-strings (as opposed to the wound-3rds that the original Strat pickups were designed for).


Trial-and-error will reveal a 'sweet-spot' where the pickups sound warm and airy while still retaining definition and crisp attack without sounding harsh and strident. The plain/trebles should sound round and warm while the wound/basses will have that crisp, stringy twang and "low-keys-on-the-piano" harmonic-swirl.

Pure/solid nickel-wrapped wound-strings also greatly help to warm- and vintage-up these hot ceramic humbuckers, too. D R Pure Blues or GHS Nickel Rockers (which the GHS Eric Johnson signature string-sets are made from) are GREAT candidates for this.

I believe that improved pots and caps would even further enhance and improve their tone, as well.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2494454 - 05/19/13 03:07 AM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
picker Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13148
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Caevan, improved pots and caps in what way? Would you change the values?
_________________________
Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.




Top
#2494507 - 05/19/13 09:14 AM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: picker]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22422
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: picker
Caevan, improved pots and caps in what way? Would you change the values?


For me, because I actually use the Volume and Tone controls on a guitar, I'd research types of caps, pots and even wiring schemes (haven't gotten too far there yet, 'cause I wasn't at the stage of being about to buy and de-solder and re-solder). Sorry if I am too vague here! I just haven't been focusing on that in a while, but I know that better and/or different caps, pots and circuit-schematics can be like revealing the true sound of your pickups- and thus, your guitar and your fingers on its strings.

I was looking at some wiring packages for Les Pauls a while back from some company or another that were rather pricey but their various offerings seemed tailored to specific wants and needs (ie, more "vintage", more "modern", darker, brighter, etc.), including proprietary/custom tapered pots.

When I get back on track widdatt, I'll be sure to let you know!
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2494512 - 05/19/13 09:49 AM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Winston Psmith Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1977
Loc: Inside the Beltway
+1, Caevan, on turning the knobs and tweaking the pups, before swapping them out. I've gotten some very tasty tones from stock Gibson pups, by experimenting with string gauge, pickup height, etc. - I also swap out some of the hardware on my Gibsons, to add mass & sustain. Having said that, when I do look for replacement pups, I'm a big fan of Seymour Duncan, and when you combine that with Seth Lover's reputation, well, it's hard to argue.
_________________________
"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://4-4-2music.bandcamp.com/album/figures-of-speech

Top
#2494531 - 05/19/13 10:37 AM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Winston Psmith]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22422
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
+1, Caevan, on turning the knobs and tweaking the pups, before swapping them out. I've gotten some very tasty tones from stock Gibson pups, by experimenting with string gauge, pickup height, etc. - I also swap out some of the hardware on my Gibsons, to add mass & sustain. Having said that, when I do look for replacement pups, I'm a big fan of Seymour Duncan, and when you combine that with Seth Lover's reputation, well, it's hard to argue.


Also, Stewart-MacDonald has some VERY nice, VERY affordable vintage-y "Golden Age" and "Parsons Street" humbuckers; they sound GREAT!
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2494533 - 05/19/13 10:42 AM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Bartholomew Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 404
Loc: Montreal
Actually I did lower the pickups which helped but haven't done any adjusting on the pole screws yet so will do that next.

I did the same thing with an Epiphone SG and it helped a lot on the neck pickup, not so much on the bridge - wax was coming out the screw-holes on both, I guess from the potting and imagine it doesn't make any diff.
_________________________
Been round the block but am not over the hill...

http://www.bandmix.ca/jamrocker/

Top
#2494562 - 05/19/13 12:22 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Bartholomew]
Scott Fraser Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3946
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Bartholomew
Actually I did lower the pickups which helped but haven't done any adjusting on the pole screws yet so will do that next.
I did the same thing with an Epiphone SG and it helped a lot on the neck pickup, not so much on the bridge - wax was coming out the screw-holes on both, I guess from the potting and imagine it doesn't make any diff.


I had wax coming out of the Gretschbuckers on my Gretsch 5120 when I was adjusting pole pieces. It's normal & doesn't seem to have any effect.
_________________________
Scott Fraser

Top
#2494657 - 05/19/13 07:00 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22422
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: Bartholomew
Actually I did lower the pickups which helped but haven't done any adjusting on the pole screws yet so will do that next.
I did the same thing with an Epiphone SG and it helped a lot on the neck pickup, not so much on the bridge - wax was coming out the screw-holes on both, I guess from the potting and imagine it doesn't make any diff.


I had wax coming out of the Gretschbuckers on my Gretsch 5120 when I was adjusting pole pieces. It's normal & doesn't seem to have any effect.


Yhup.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2494935 - 05/20/13 02:18 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
picker Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13148
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Caevan, would you decribe the effect of raising the pole piece up and away from the p/up body as thinning or brightening the one? I read an article ages ago where Sweaty Teddy Nugent(no political comments, please, I'm just talking about his p/ups here) said he lowers the pole pieces on his guitars all the way down against the plastic bobbin, for what he feels is superior tone. Pole piece adjustment seems a bit mysterious to me. In 40+ years of playing, Ted's the only guy I ever heard really get into it with any assurance or seeming understanding of what they do.
_________________________
Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.




Top
#2494976 - 05/20/13 04:01 PM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: picker]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22422
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: picker
Caevan, would you decribe the effect of raising the pole piece up and away from the p/up body as thinning or brightening the one? I read an article ages ago where Sweaty Teddy Nugent(no political comments, please, I'm just talking about his p/ups here) said he lowers the pole pieces on his guitars all the way down against the plastic bobbin, for what he feels is superior tone. Pole piece adjustment seems a bit mysterious to me. In 40+ years of playing, Ted's the only guy I ever heard really get into it with any assurance or seeming understanding of what they do.


I'd say that, generally, raising the adjustable pole-pieces you'll get more attack and a brighter, stringier tone, especially if you also lower the overall height of the pickup by a similar amount, within a reasonable range.

I tend to raise the poles/lower the pickups on the bass-side, and lower the poles/raise the pickups on the treble-side- for brighter, twangier tones on the wound/bass-strings, and a rounder, warmer, fuller tone on the treble-strings.

Every given guitar, pickup, and string combination will have its own "sweet-spots" here, so listening by ear for your preferred tone and balance between the strings and the combinations of the pickups is essential. If the pickup's too low it'll likely sound wooly and indistinct, too high and it might sound strident and harsh. Somewhere in-between is that juuust-riiight tone...
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2495140 - 05/21/13 08:08 AM Re: Eric Johnson Humbucker Pickups or SD Seth Lover ? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Winston Psmith Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1977
Loc: Inside the Beltway
Quite a while back, GP did a big Les Paul issue (one of many, I know) but in that issue was a sidebar about adjusting your pole pieces for an 'optimal' LP sound. I have the mag somewhere on the shelf, just need to figure out which one it is. I'm talking some years ago, so that's a lot of bookshelf to sort through, and yes, I do keep ALL the magazines.

While I would still expect some variation in tone & volume, depending on string gauge, or materials, it would be interesting to have a starting point, at least. If I can find it, I'll share it here.
_________________________
"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://4-4-2music.bandcamp.com/album/figures-of-speech

Top


Moderator:  A String, Bluesape, myles_rose