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Neck humbucker suggestions.

Vics53

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
5
Good day to all! New guy here and I hope all are safe and doing well.

Hoping I can get some good suggestions for some neck humbucking pickups. I have 2 humbucking equipt guitars, a 2002 LP Standard and a 2019 Epiphone SG Pro. The Epi has the stock pickups while the LP has a Will Boggs (can't remember the model name) in the bridge and a DiMarzio (discontinued model) in the neck. Both guitars share the same problem in that the neck pickups sound boomy and droney to the point of making the bridge pickups sound weak . Pot values in the LP are 300K for the bridge volume and tone and 500K for the neck volume and tone. Don't know what the Epi has.

I've lowered the neck pickups on both substantially and while it takes care of some but not all of the boom it lessens the clarity. I saw a trick on You Tube where you lower the pickup a lot and then raise the adjustable pole pieces. It was a bit better but I'm still not happy with the results. With the neck pickups set to somewhat of a "correct height" I try turning the volume knob down and well, it sounds like a pickup that's been turned down.

If this helps, using a multi meter I get the following readings: LP bridge; 8.64. LP neck; 7.37. Epi bridge; 8.04 while the neck measures 7.40.

I also have a Tele and I get a great balance between the pickups. which are DiMarzio's Area T neck and Area T Hot bridge. Granted it s a different beast but at least I get no drone or boom from the neck pickup and it doesn't make the bridge pickup sound weak. That's the "effect" I want to get from my other guitars.

I love Jimmy Page's live sound. He's constantly going between the 2 pickups and I never hear that boom coming from the neck pickup. Please note that I'm not trying to copy his sound, I just want that effect when going from one pickup to the other. I'm open to any and all suggestions even if you know of some trick I haven't stumbled upon yet.

Thanks in advance for your time. Have a good day.
 

Triburst

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
4,331
Good day to all! New guy here and I hope all are safe and doing well.

Hoping I can get some good suggestions for some neck humbucking pickups. I have 2 humbucking equipt guitars, a 2002 LP Standard and a 2019 Epiphone SG Pro. The Epi has the stock pickups while the LP has a Will Boggs (can't remember the model name) in the bridge and a DiMarzio (discontinued model) in the neck. Both guitars share the same problem in that the neck pickups sound boomy and droney to the point of making the bridge pickups sound weak . Pot values in the LP are 300K for the bridge volume and tone and 500K for the neck volume and tone. Don't know what the Epi has.

I've lowered the neck pickups on both substantially and while it takes care of some but not all of the boom it lessens the clarity. I saw a trick on You Tube where you lower the pickup a lot and then raise the adjustable pole pieces. It was a bit better but I'm still not happy with the results. With the neck pickups set to somewhat of a "correct height" I try turning the volume knob down and well, it sounds like a pickup that's been turned down.

If this helps, using a multi meter I get the following readings: LP bridge; 8.64. LP neck; 7.37. Epi bridge; 8.04 while the neck measures 7.40.

I also have a Tele and I get a great balance between the pickups. which are DiMarzio's Area T neck and Area T Hot bridge. Granted it s a different beast but at least I get no drone or boom from the neck pickup and it doesn't make the bridge pickup sound weak. That's the "effect" I want to get from my other guitars.

I love Jimmy Page's live sound. He's constantly going between the 2 pickups and I never hear that boom coming from the neck pickup. Please note that I'm not trying to copy his sound, I just want that effect when going from one pickup to the other. I'm open to any and all suggestions even if you know of some trick I haven't stumbled upon yet.

Thanks in advance for your time. Have a good day.
Hi, and welcome!
I would definitely get some good 500k pots for the bridge pickup Volume and Tone so they’re on a level playing field. I’ve never seen any mixed like that unless they were trying to tame a really bright pickup.

While you’re in the pot cavity, if you’re having trouble with a dull, boomy neck pickup, a very common remedy is to replace the .022 value capacitor with a .015. Luxe sells a PIO “Woman Tone” set that does just that, but they’re a bit expensive.

Always put on fresh strings and check your setup and action before adjusting pickups.
When adjusting the neck pickup, fret at the last fret, and measure to the pickup. Most use 4/64“ on the neck, but some let the treble side be slightly higher. Bridge is 3/64”.

Then adjust your pole pieces on the neck pickup higher, carefully listening to tone - but make sure to follow the 12” radius of your strings to keep it balanced. Many advocate adjusting the screws so the slots will look like this across your pickup: / \ / \ / \ (Or the same thing the other way (v v v).
 

Vics53

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
5
Hello Triburst!

Thanks for the .015 cap suggestion. I've tried everything imaginable with the pickups heights, so hopefully that will help!
Thanks for the setup tips also.

Much appreciated!
 

jrgtr42

Active member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,890
Yeah,. first recmmendation is to switch out the pots. IMO you may not even need to worry about the cap - but that said, if you're in there soldering anyway, why not switch out to good ones. Personally, I think that changing the pot values will change - the .22 cap will be fine, but again, they're pretty cheap, so you can experiment.
If that doesn't work, then you can think about changing out the pickup itself.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,075
+1 for 500 pots.
Also, how are you dialing in your amps? Turn down the bass and crank the mids.
 

Vics53

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
5
Hello all.

The reason I went with the 300K pots for the bridge pickup in the LP was to tame the highs and it worked. Thought that would help balance things out a bit between the two pickups but of course it made to difference with the neck pickup.

Please keep this in mind: I'm 67 years old and my only "gig" is at church. Good to serve! I was using a Peavey Classic 30 through a Peavey 2X12 Classic cabinet. In an attempt to level the tones from one pickup to the other I kept the amps bass around 2, mids around 5 and kept the treble around 7. Kept the amps treble fairly high because on either guitar I turned the bridge treble down to around 4 while on the neck pickups I kept the treble control on 10 and turned the volume pot down to around 8 to try and get of the boom. But overall I've never been totally satisfied because with the bridge pickups treble being turned down I was getting that "mwa: kind of sound. I mean it worked, but.

Because of my back and knees (old injury) I got very tired of lugging all of that around and decided to buy a Line 6 Pod Go. Just got it on 1/2/21. (I can picture some folks here cringing over this). However, I took it to our church the other night, met up with our soundman to give it a test run with what I've come up with so far. He LOVED the clean, semi-crunch and Marshall sounds I came up with using the bridge and both pickups combined while adding that when both pickups were used it was a bit trebly. But with the neck pickup on it's own his reaction was the same as with my amp setup. "It's really boomy. Not clear enough."

So to me it's clear that something has to change. As said, I've done every height adjustment imaginable so I guess I'll try the .015 cap for starters. If that doesn't work then I'll probably do a pickup swap. But then, which pickup?

Thanks again for your time.
 

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
3,721
I use Throbak MXV-SLE-101 Plus pickups with A5 magnets , and they are magical . The neck pickup sounds amazing and does not have the harsh effects that you seek to tame .Also as someone else recommended the 500K pots which ThroBak also has a 50 style wiring harness . I know that you want the highs tamed also on the bridge pickup but the beauty of the the 50's style wiring harness is that it gives you so much more flexibility to get the tones that you seek . I will attach the link for ThroBak for you to check out www.throbak.com
 

Vics53

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
5
Hi El Gringo. Much appreciate your recommendations. I looked up the mentioned pickups on the Throbak site and yikes! Pricey for sure. Well, if I were to make that move I would have to try and sell a few things (things that have to go anyway) to be able to afford those pickups and the 50's style harness. With those prices I'm sure they're worth it (they better be!) but I have to be real careful with what I spend. I retired last March and while I'm making ends meet I still have to watch the monthly outgo. Gotta be prepared because you never know what unexpected emergency may be lurking right around the corner! Happens all to often!
 

jrgtr42

Active member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,890
... I came up with using the bridge and both pickups combined while adding that when both pickups were used it was a bit trebly. But with the neck pickup on it's own his reaction was the same as with my amp setup. "It's really boomy. Not clear enough."

So to me it's clear that something has to change. As said, I've done every height adjustment imaginable so I guess I'll try the .015 cap for starters. If that doesn't work then I'll probably do a pickup swap. But then, which pickup?

Thanks again for your time.
Out of curiosity, have you tried adjusting the pickup itself? Maybe lowering it down into the body itself, or tweaking the pole peices will make a difference. It could be just too close, picking up too much signal|?
 

duaneflowers

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Aug 13, 2013
Messages
2,520
Wizz and Rewind both make some killer Jimmy Page sets, both pre and post 1972... so you might want to take a peek at them. In the meantime, if you're up for some tinkering I would try mixing and matching the ones you already have to see if you can find a combination you like. For the Epiphone, try switching the neck and bridge pups so you have the higher wound one in the neck... lots of folks prefer it that way and you can always switch it back if it doesn't satisfy. I'm not a big fan of Epi pups, but some folks like them, so, whatever floats your boat. The same with your Gibson... if its a Dimarzio Super D, no matter what you do it will sound like crap in the neck. Try it in the bridge with the Boggs in the neck and see how you like that. Dimarzios are just too 70s big hair for me though, so I tend to avoid them. Once you get the pups in then you can fine tune them with better caps and pots should you decide to go the extra mile. In the meantime... Enjoy!!!
 

Vics53

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
5
Out of curiosity, have you tried adjusting the pickup itself? Maybe lowering it down into the body itself, or tweaking the pole peices will make a difference. It could be just too close, picking up too much signal|?
I've done every adjustment possible. Even went on You Tube to see if there was an adjustment trick I wasn't aware of. Found some, tried them and while they helped to some degree I'm still not totally satisfied with the results.
 
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