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  1. #41
    Les Paul Forum Member John B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I prefer unpotted pups, more raw wooly complexity & 3-D detail. But then I'm not a high-gain guy in a cookie monster band. If it squeels, you can always put a strip of double sided tape between the pup and the cover.

    "Don't trust any guitarist that can't play Chuck Berry music." Cub Coda

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    "I saw John Mayall in America, and we jammed... Mick Taylor is very good - frightening." Eric Clapton, Melody Maker, Nov. 1969

    "He has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He's the only one who gave me the cold sweats." B.B.King on Peter Green

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  2. #42
    Les Paul Forum Member StSpider's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by beck-ola View Post
    Most people including the majority, if not all members of guitar gear forums can't even say for sure when someone is using a tele or a les paul on recordings, so a potted pickup isn't all that important.
    I don't think that's true. I live in a building with many appartments, and I was pretty sure, hearing my neighbour from the appartment beneath mine play, that he was playing on a strat through a Marshall. When I get to meet him I asked, and it turned out I was right.

    Fender or Gibson scale lenght, single coils vs humbuckers are not too difficult to tell apart if there's not excessive processing.

    I do agree on the potted versus unpotted debate tough. It's not THAT that makes a difference between good tone or "meh" tone (or even between great and good)
    - 2006 Les Paul Historic R4 Oxblood
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    There is NO substitute for Loudness.

  3. #43
    Les Paul Froum Member beck-ola's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    A quick search through any forum will reveal people arguing endlessly about what guitar and amp is being used on such and such a recording.

    ''that's definitely a les paul''

    ''sounds like a tele to me''

    etc etc.

    Did Jimmy Page use a tele or a les paul for the main riff to heartbreaker? Noone can say for sure just based on listening to the recording.

    There are many examples where people have heard a les paul and it's been something else and vice versa.

  4. #44
    Les Paul Forum Member Black58's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by beck-ola View Post
    A quick search through any forum will reveal people arguing endlessly about what guitar and amp is being used on such and such a recording.

    ''that's definitely a les paul''

    ''sounds like a tele to me''

    etc etc.

    Did Jimmy Page use a tele or a les paul for the main riff to heartbreaker? Noone can say for sure just based on listening to the recording.

    There are many examples where people have heard a les paul and it's been something else and vice versa.
    ... as I stated before, ain't about the listener.

  5. #45
    Les Paul Froum Member beck-ola's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Black58 View Post
    ... as I stated before, ain't about the listener.
    I wasn't replying to you.

  6. #46
    Les Paul Forum Member Humbuck's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulSG View Post
    I think ear wax affects tone more.
    I agree.

  7. #47
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I have to figure if Gibson could skip the potting without complaints they would. Most companies are real whores when it comes to saving a few cents on their products. How do you know the 60's guys with all the great tone weren't wax potting too? They were all freaking out over upping the real-deal-blues-rock guy (Jimi) and would do anything to steal back the spotlight. Seymour Duncan was winding special pickups for that generation too.

    D

  8. #48
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    No, wax potting does not destroy PAF tone. It just makes it sounds less PAF-like.

    What sounds like devastating gain-volume live from PA is not as loud on stage today as it was in late 60s.

    If it's feeding back then you're way too loud to hear anyone but yourself on stage. It's not that it can't be interesting - playing while NOT hearing and NOT listening to other players you're playing WITH ( as playing AGAINST ) - e.g. Cream did it that way most of the time live, or some forms of jazz - but most of important/loved/memorable music ever to be recorded has been made the other way round - people playing together listening/reacting to each other.

    So, if you're not listening to other players you're playing with, no one is listening to you either, so you can wax pot it and don't worry if anyone will notice it at all. They won't, 'cause they can't. You're way too loud.

    If in doubt, find someone playing live from 60s 'till now and ask him/her if and how his/her STAGE VOLUME changed since then. And then ask why it changed THAT way.

  9. #49
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Right on Korus, thats a great explanation. Since you dont need to play that loud now days, you can get a real vintage tone out of unpotted pickups and not worrying about being out of control. The reason for unpotted pickups is to recreate the 40yr old PAF vibe the way it was played through unpotted pickups. Potted pickups are ok for modern tones and guitars that easily feed back. But if you A/B the two, you would have to be deaf not to be able to hear the difference. One sounds smooth and modern and the other sounds 3-D and more alive. I think part of the magic is the unpotted pickups and wood selction to go with it.

  10. #50
    Les Paul Forum Member In The Light's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Anyone doubting the tonal impact of wax potting simply need listen to the Tele clip below - unpotted until 00:17 and potted from 00:18 on. That said, in my experience there are varying degrees of wax potting tonal effects, dependent on how the potting process is done.

    http://www.soundclick.com/player/sin...d=6341226&q=hi
    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

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  11. #51
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_007 View Post
    Right on Korus, thats a great explanation. Since you dont need to play that loud now days, you can get a real vintage tone out of unpotted pickups and not worrying about being out of control. The reason for unpotted pickups is to recreate the 40yr old PAF vibe the way it was played through unpotted pickups. Potted pickups are ok for modern tones and guitars that easily feed back. But if you A/B the two, you would have to be deaf not to be able to hear the difference. One sounds smooth and modern and the other sounds 3-D and more alive. I think part of the magic is the unpotted pickups and wood selction to go with it.
    Sorry if my irony did not come through. I actually would not use wax potted pickup unless forced to e.g. being payed for.

    And non-potted hand wound HB pickups I'm using are even with mismatched coils which even brings some of noise back in for the sake of having what - 4th dimension?! (like going back in time? lol) They do not squeal and they do feed back, just as they're supposed to, both in R9 and in cheap copy. And everything in 3D or 4D, HDTV. No wax in sight.

    But, hey - a man got to do what a man got to do. Even if it's wax potting. I guess there must be some applications where nothing else would do.

    Me, I'll just pass, both wax and such applications. Anyone else's mileage might,should and will vary, and that at the end makes music interesting/life grand.

    Quote Originally Posted by In The Light View Post
    That said, in my experience there are varying degrees of wax potting tonal effects, dependent on how the potting process is done.
    +1.

    If only some more humans were able to comprehend there are other values than just 0 and 1. In this case both techs and players. IIRC Zhang wrote on SD forum some time ago ~ "... very thin wax and only 6-7 minutes ... " but I do not have a link, sorry.

  12. #52
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I don't know about a tonal difference, that's a subjective thing, but that nice bloom feedback thing is definately more difficult to attain with the potted Voodoos I presently have. That said, it would have to be something really special for me to consider changing as I quite like the sound of these 59s.

  13. #53

    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    it's really interesting to hear how the tele pu's sound after beeing potted.
    it seems to take away some of the clarity.
    they seem to breath less.

  14. #54
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Aren't all of Angus's guitars carrying *unpotted* mid/late 60s T-tops?

    Ride On = spectacular! I'll second that w/ the solo on 'The Jack'

  15. #55
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Again it all depends on how thick the wax and how long in the pot. All potting is not the same.
    "Only if there is a God who created man is man worth anything beyond the chemicals of which he is composed."

    -- Dennis Prager

  16. #56
    AndrewSimon
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by In The Light View Post
    Anyone doubting the tonal impact of wax potting simply need listen to the Tele clip below - unpotted until 00:17 and potted from 00:18 on. That said, in my experience there are varying degrees of wax potting tonal effects, dependent on how the potting process is done.

    http://www.soundclick.com/player/sin...d=6341226&q=hi
    Wow, thank you for that example.

    Question:
    Can you un-pot a potted pup?


  17. #57
    Les Paul Forum Member In The Light's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewSimon View Post
    Wow, thank you for that example.

    Question:
    Can you un-pot a potted pup?

    Glad that clip was helpful.

    Though I've never done this, I believe you can remove excess wax from a pickup by scraping or by applying the heat of a hair drier to melt some off the pup (carefully!), which may enhance vibration and treble overtones. Keep in mind, though, that those overtones are what can cause squeal and feedback too, so it is a fine line between balancing the added responsiveness of unwaxed pickups and not getting squeal, etc. That said, many players experience no problems at all with unpotted pickups, yet some do report extreme squeal that practically renders their pups unusable. It depends a lot on your gain levels, playing volume and amp.

    I believe that it's not so much how much wax is used to stop unwanted noise, but rather, how well the wax is placed in crucial points on the pickup. The best potting jobs use the least possible amount wax required to prevent noise. Hope that helps.
    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

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  18. #58
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    You can't unpot a potted pickup. The excess wax described above is external to the coil only. The wax penetrates all the way through the coil so the wax that's solidifying the coil and preventing the squeal is still very much there.

    Which means that even though you could 'place' wax strategically on the outside of the coil to dampen a cover or below it to dampen magnet/baseplate, there is no way of strategically placing the wax in the coil. Light potting may leave the innermost turns untouched but otherwise it's through-and-through. The difference is in how long you leave it in the pot and how thick/thin the wax is mixed. Too thick or too long dulls the tone.

    You may notice a sound difference from removing the extra wax on a covered pu but such a pickup is not the same thing as an unpotted pu.
    "Only if there is a God who created man is man worth anything beyond the chemicals of which he is composed."

    -- Dennis Prager

  19. #59
    AndrewSimon
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Thanks....
    I just ordered unpotted Tom Holmes.... so there is no need to unpot my BB's.

    Yeah

  20. #60

    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    bare knuckle pickups, hand wound in the uk. awesome paf clones, and contemporary as well. tim has found a way to wind his pickups unpotted, tested in front of a 100w marshall stack, and no squeel at all. that's what's up. and the tone...

  21. #61

    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    oh and his potted pups... wound to sound amazing WITH the wax. not amazing and then the wax f*cks it all up

  22. #62
    Les Paul Forum Member Mars Hall's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I had the PU's in 63 345 potted way back when I first heard about it. One of those choices I wish I could take back.
    "What's that man movin' cross the stage?
    It looks a lot like the one used by Jimmy Page..." Paul McCartney

  23. #63
    Les Paul Forum Member Maxmc's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mars Hall View Post
    I had the PU's in 63 345 potted way back when I first heard about it. One of those choices I wish I could take back.
    Yes, I know the feeling. I have a set of Tim Shaw humbuckers out of a Heritage 80 I used to own. They used to squeal so I had them wax potted. Then I replaced them with a set of Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers. These were not the sound I was after so for this and a few other reasons, I sold the guitar. This was years ago but I've still got the Shaws and it seems that to some people they're the closest thing to a PAF Gibson or anyone else has ever got. I'd love to hear these pickups now with the wisdom of the years and make up my own mind but of course they've been "modified" from factory spec.

  24. #64
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Unless it is squealing like a pig in rut you can't tell. Despite all the religious fervour and dogmatic testimonial, you cannot hear a difference. I've done it so many times and no one has ever been able to tell. EVER. Lot's of bullshit, but in the real world there is no audible difference.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  25. #65
    Les Paul Forum Member musekatcher's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I appreciate the discussion. The recordings offered do suggest a different sound. But there's no way to compare the same pickup waxed and unwaxed, without disturbing other important factors. For the same reason, there's no way to compare two sets of pickups, waxed and unwaxed without disturbing other important features. So, from my unbiased view, neither the nays nor the yeas have a definitive case. And that would support the controversy and its perpetual nature.

    Related, but can you unwax a pot, like put it in the oven on 220F on a drip tray? Or blanche it in simmering water?

  26. #66
    Les Paul Forum Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Nobody noticed it's an eleven years old thread?

    Necrothreading galore!!!!!!! (BTW, the lacking of basic human emotion emojies like the "wink" and "facepalm" in this board is outrageous)
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  27. #67
    Les Paul Forum Member musekatcher's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    Nobody noticed it's an eleven years old thread?

    Necrothreading galore!!!!!!! (BTW, the lacking of basic human emotion emojies like the "wink" and "facepalm" in this board is outrageous)
    I tend to look at recent activity, look at the OP, and read further if its interesting. Then I decide to contribute or participate, or not. I suspect many folks do this. I see no folly, except in the awkward situation where someone has started a conversation with the OP, that has been dormant a long time. Even then, I've seen the OP come right back, a re-stimulated conversation ensues, and such is the day in the life of the modern forum.

  28. #68
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I use high gain Marshall's 2555X , and my Les Paul's are all loaded with Throbak MXV-SLE-101 Plus pickups which of course are wax potted and I have plenty of highs and the mid range is where these pickups shine along with the volume and the gain and the Vintage 30's speakers and it really works for me . I had a negative experience with Unpotted Burstbucker 1& 3 pickups that squealed so bad and never again !

  29. #69
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I bought a set of Burstbuckers 1 & 3 when they first came out, they were unpotted and had squeal issues at hi gain. But it was on here someone suggested just potting the magnet not the whole pick up. I did just magnet and perfect, no squeal, and no difference in tone. They have been in my Paul ever since I love the chime I get from the neck pup They have been the most satisfying PAFish pup I have had.
    1959 Burst's & Bassman's
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  30. #70
    Les Paul Forum Member au_rick's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by musekatcher View Post
    I appreciate the discussion. The recordings offered do suggest a different sound. But there's no way to compare the same pickup waxed and unwaxed, without disturbing other important factors. For the same reason, there's no way to compare two sets of pickups, waxed and unwaxed without disturbing other important features. So, from my unbiased view, neither the nays nor the yeas have a definitive case. And that would support the controversy and its perpetual nature.

    Related, but can you unwax a pot, like put it in the oven on 220F on a drip tray? Or blanche it in simmering water?

    I beg to differ.
    I recently pulled the pickups from an Epiphone and pulled the cover off the bridge an scraped out all of the wax, then replaced the cover.
    Although I did not remove all the wax from the windings as suggested above, the pickup does sound very different now.
    Any facts stated above questionable, and opinions are not necessarily to be taken seriously

  31. #71
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by au_rick View Post
    I beg to differ.
    I recently pulled the pickups from an Epiphone and pulled the cover off the bridge an scraped out all of the wax, then replaced the cover.
    Although I did not remove all the wax from the windings as suggested above, the pickup does sound very different now.
    I find this hard to believe.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  32. #72
    Les Paul Forum Member Dave P's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    I never heard much of a difference in tone after dunking a pickup in wax, but I have noticed a change in the harmonic content. In most cases, it's the metal bits like the magnet, keeper bar, screw poles or cover that vibrates that cause the squealing. Usually not the coils unless the winds are super loose or something. I've carefully removed the keeper bar, magnet and screws and applied wax to them and reassembled the pickup. I've used tape under the cover to keep it from vibrating against the slugs. If it's a vintage pickup like a PAF, I wouldn't mess with it at all.
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  33. #73
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by musekatcher View Post
    I tend to look at recent activity, look at the OP, and read further if its interesting. Then I decide to contribute or participate, or not. I suspect many folks do this. I see no folly, except in the awkward situation where someone has started a conversation with the OP, that has been dormant a long time. Even then, I've seen the OP come right back, a re-stimulated conversation ensues, and such is the day in the life of the modern forum.
    I go by texture...


  34. #74
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    I go by texture...
    I thought it was smell...
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  35. #75
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Does wax potting destroy PAF tone ??

    Quote Originally Posted by thejaf View Post
    I thought it was smell...
    Only if it has a greasy texture.


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