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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member S738226's Avatar
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    What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometimes?

    Is that from playing at high volumes, they backed 'em down or what? i know these things are "subjective" , but having wrestled with a VT-22 back in the day, i remember doing that more than once just to get "a musical sound" out of the stupid levels we used to play at back then.

    Reason I bring it up is i got some of those Slash signature pickups and when i put it at the suggested settings the neck pickup is muddy/woofy and the bridge has a bad edge.

    So Old S7 gets to work and eyeballs a few pix of Skydog to jog the memory banks, and drop 'em flush neck, and just above bridge, and voila.

    but it ain't quite right, so up we go. I hit a sweet spot on the neck(the real lead pickup, amirite?) so i ain't touching that. but i can't get that back pickup to sound right at all. it's either a p-90 or telecaster.

    Is any of that a result of the construction of the pickup itself? (what are they, scatterwound, overwound,waxed,blah blah, face the east, genuflect)

    Appreciate anyone's 2 cents for sure, Thanks, and Cheers.
    Glad to be a part of the forum.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Yelly's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    I'm curious as to where you got this info from. I can't find a picture of either with pickups set low. Duane's seem to be about typical of most...just above the height of the pickup rings.
    Bear in mind old LPs (as well as Historics) have much higher rings than a modern LP.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member S738226's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    Quote Originally Posted by Yelly View Post
    I'm curious as to where you got this info from. I can't find a picture of either with pickups set low. Duane's seem to be about typical of most...just above the height of the pickup rings.
    Bear in mind old LPs (as well as Historics) have much higher rings than a modern LP.
    thanks for the reply. The reason i ask is there's that pic of Beck sweating with the oxblood lp and they are way down there, and at the allman 40th, Galadrielle relased the bursts to the boys to play, and there is a pic of all 3 lp's and the cherry are the furthest down i've seen, and the hot'lanta is about lowish normal looking.

    all the b&w pix of duane with the cherry with covers show normal looking lowish.

    the main thing that is a drag about all this are these slash pickups. trying to find the sweet spot on the bridge is *$(@!%. When i set 'em to spec, it's just ick. not sure if its i like a vintage paf sound and these are overwound or what?

    i always chalk everything up to incompetence and a cloth ear, then i go looking for qualified information. reckon any thoughts would be helpful. Cheers, mate!

  4. #4

    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    Just throwing this into the mix,


    "Alderson( Steve Morse guitar tech Tommy Alderson) was struck in particular by the pickup setup on the cherry burst. “They are set different than anything I’ve ever encountered,” he says, “dropped down a fair amount below the pickup ring. The pickup pole adjustments had the screws turned up so they would pick up the signal. Also unusual, the bridge pickup is a lot weaker than the neck pickup. I plugged it in and put it in the middle, and it was the ‘One Way Out’ sound. It was just crazy to hear.”


    https://www.guitarworld.com/magazine...llman-brothers


    Then again who knows how much..If at all, That the pickups on the CB might have been messed with in the inter-veining 46 yrs since Duane passed.
    "I can't sing,
    I ain't pretty,
    And my legs,
    Are thin."

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member S738226's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    Quote Originally Posted by chasenblues View Post
    Just throwing this into the mix,


    "Alderson( Steve Morse guitar tech Tommy Alderson) was struck in particular by the pickup setup on the cherry burst. “They are set different than anything I’ve ever encountered,” he says, “dropped down a fair amount below the pickup ring. The pickup pole adjustments had the screws turned up so they would pick up the signal. Also unusual, the bridge pickup is a lot weaker than the neck pickup. I plugged it in and put it in the middle, and it was the ‘One Way Out’ sound. It was just crazy to hear.”


    https://www.guitarworld.com/magazine...llman-brothers


    Then again who knows how much..If at all, That the pickups on the CB might have been messed with in the inter-veining 46 yrs since Duane passed.
    yes, Sir, i saw that. figured if anyone knew what was optimal for les paul with hot humbuckers, it'd be y'all fine fellows.

  6. #6

    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    I also think i remember reading somewhere that not only did the pickups from Duane's Goldtop get swapped into the CB but i think something was mentioned about the pickups may have been switched position wise also..IE bridge went into neck position and vise-versa. Which might be why the output readings(?) the tech got were "unusual/different than expected"(?).




    * Just to clarify..Not claiming moving the pickup pos changed the output,Just that the higher output pickup is usually found in the bridge pos.
    Last edited by chasenblues; 12-08-17 at 07:09 AM.
    "I can't sing,
    I ain't pretty,
    And my legs,
    Are thin."

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member S738226's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    so many stories, real and/or apocryphal, about the minutiae of set-ups out there. i just look close at every image i can find, watch the films, and try to hear instead of just listen. i know one thing and my set-up is definitely sucking hind tit @ "spec" or suggested height.

    today i am gonna try 2 other things:bury the polepiece screws see if it helps, and ratchet the height up a lil bit. then wind the polepiece screws up till they stick out and fiddle with height around where they are now.

    Pls kill me now!

    Cheers,
    Rich

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    You don't have their guitars, hands or ears. Trying to match some oddball photo in hopes of unlocking some secret tone mojo pickup setting is wishful thinking. The pickup settings have so little to do with the overall tone and there isn't a whole lot of variation to be had between them. Volume/sensitivity/balance can be fine tuned to individual tastes and the individual decides.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member S738226's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    You don't have their guitars, hands or ears. Trying to match some oddball photo in hopes of unlocking some secret tone mojo pickup setting is wishful thinking. The pickup settings have so little to do with the overall tone and there isn't a whole lot of variation to be had between them. Volume/sensitivity/balance can be fine tuned to individual tastes and the individual decides.
    thank you, Sir. it may be these stupid overwound pickups. My log sounds pretty full spectrum. Don't need no mid push. Man, that bridge Slash nails Fresh Cream Spoonful though.

  10. #10

    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    I'm just happy that this is a pickup height thread, in my browser width "the pickups so far down sometimes?" gets omitted.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    Quote Originally Posted by S738226 View Post
    thank you, Sir. it may be these stupid overwound pickups. My log sounds pretty full spectrum. Don't need no mid push. Man, that bridge Slash nails Fresh Cream Spoonful though.
    Don't be forgetin' Sleepy Time Time! Overwound pickups can be tricky to set up and dial up for more classic applications, for me anyway. Are the Slash over 10k resistance? I thought he used Duncan Pro II? A paf variation but 10k with 42ga wire is not something I'd ever consider.

    I'm really gonna sound like a dick, but I don't look to Slash for tone. I don't know how or why you made that choice, I don't want to slam your choice just 'cause it ain't mine, plenty of fans of these pickups so maybe it's more one of application? I love Duncan pickups. I have found a bunch that work for me, enough that I don't even bother to look at other brands. I've used Duncans since 77 and still love my old SH1 59's as much as my Custom Shops.

    Good thing is the wide variety makes it easy to find a suitable model. My lefty pal, Bob, uses Duncans too and though he uses different models than me, his guitars sound great.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member S738226's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Don't be forgetin' Sleepy Time Time! Overwound pickups can be tricky to set up and dial up for more classic applications, for me anyway. Are the Slash over 10k resistance? I thought he used Duncan Pro II? A paf variation but 10k with 42ga wire is not something I'd ever consider.

    I'm really gonna sound like a dick, but I don't look to Slash for tone. I don't know how or why you made that choice, I don't want to slam your choice just 'cause it ain't mine, plenty of fans of these pickups so maybe it's more one of application? I love Duncan pickups. I have found a bunch that work for me, enough that I don't even bother to look at other brands. I've used Duncans since 77 and still love my old SH1 59's as much as my Custom Shops.

    Good thing is the wide variety makes it easy to find a suitable model. My lefty pal, Bob, uses Duncans too and though he uses different models than me, his guitars sound great.
    oh no, hey, this is exactly why i posted hoping someone could "put me on some knowledge". Was talking to my luthier about how i just wanted to replace my stock pickups with some APH-1s and he says "oh you should try the Slash Signatures blahblah". THE reason i said "yes" was i had a Slash neck that i had stuck in my bridge as a stopgap. 8.3k scatterwound/overwound. omg sounded so good. 'get the set", right?

    wrong. the bridge is definitely hard to dial in. that's why i was thinking i'd do all that "i heard this, i heard that." jazz.

    Watched my luthier set up my pickups height and check balance. 30 mins later at the house many expletives were cast about.

    simple guy here, simple tastes. i like a warm sound, i like Leslie West and Duane/Dickey/Toy/CDB type sounds. Larry Carlton, B.B. King, Angus Young are my ideas of "moderns".

    i've wondered about this alnico 2 "magic" years ago before my kid was born. I had a drawer full of 57 classics and pluses, never found total satisfaction. Going on commericals from Duncan, those 59's and Jazzes sound clean and clear and full spectrum. Maybe it's the overwind? but then we're getting into "oooh those slash siggies are spec'ed like the Hot'Lanta pickups. and they should sound good??" territory

    so much magic pixie dust.

    As far as going down the rabbit hole: thinking of magnet swaps/Just get an APH-1/just get 59s/just get jazz duncans.

    my best bud, he's young enough to be my kid but he has wisdom: "Dammit, Man, put the stock pickups back in it."

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member S738226's Avatar
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    Re: What's the deal with Duane and Jeff Beck screwing the pickups so far down sometim

    screw it, i'm putting the williamsvilles back in

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