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Author Topic: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k  (Read 19525 times)

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Offline Butch Snyder

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Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« on: November 21, 2012, 09:43:42 am »
Hi all,

I traded one of my Teles for a Strat.  I had forgotten how much I love an HSS guitar.  I have always been influenced heavily by Steve Lukather, Larry Carlton, Neal Schon, and others.  An HSS Strat suits me well.

The guy I traded with replaced the stock Fender bridge pickup with a Duncan Pearly Gates Plus.  It's a nice pickup; but I would like something with a bit more umph and also warmer/fatter.  I believe it measures at about 8.75k DC Resistance.  I am also using 250k pots and will keep using that value.

I have an Air Zone and an Air Norton but have been hesitant to install either of them.  I'm thinking the AZ might be a little too hot and have an issue sounding good with 250k pots.  I'm afraid the AN might be a little too bright and edgy in the bridge position.  Who knows, maybe using 250k pots will make a difference.

I was looking for something in the 10k - 11k range.  The Fred fits into thaoutput-wisetputwise, but it's not as fat/warm as I am looking for.  What thoughts do you guys have?
-Butch Snyder

Offline frankfalbo

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 10:36:15 am »
The thing to remember is 10k is not an output range. That 8.5k PG+ is wound with 42 gauge wire. Most makers can only fit the equivalent of 9.5-10k of 42 onto a humbucker's bobbins. When you go down a size to 43AWG you can easily get up to around 15k. So that establishes some basic range guidelines. A 9.9k 42 gauge pickup sounds very overwound. By contrast, a 10k pickup with 43 will sound underwound.

So a Breed neck (10k) in the bridge is good, people like it. But once installed you may not perceive it as boosted vs the PG+. Many will also tell you the 59B sounds more robust than the Screamin Demon.

The Fred gets to 10k by hybridizing a 42 coil and a 43 coil, and is a bit whiney because that 43 gauge coil is thinner. The Duncan 59/Custom hybrid reads around 12k because the 43 gauge coil has many more turns. I don't like the Air Norton in a Superstrat bout some do. To me it's got some hollow spots in the mids and is too glassy, even with 250k pots. But I love the Norton. I'd recommend that, and pull the height down a bit if it's too loud. Definitely consider the Mo Joe. But anything in the 10-11k range, if it's made using 43 gauge wire is likely to sound weaker and thinner than a 9k with 42. 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 10:38:19 am by frankfalbo »

Offline Luijo

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 10:55:24 am »
Get a Norton. I installed it for a few guys with Lone Star Strats from the 90's (the original ones) and it fixed the PG+ shortcomings right away. It is warmer, louder and more punchy with those 250k pots than the PG+.
If it's too loud just back it up a bit.
BTW, I have one of those Lone Stars too but mine now has a SSS pickguard loaded with DMZ noiseless PUs.

Offline Butch Snyder

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 11:03:24 am »
Hey guys, thanks for the responses.  I think I will take my Air Norton and "de-air" it.  Then I'll have a Norton.  If I like it, maybe I'll get a zebra Norton.  Double black doesn't look as good IMO.
-Butch Snyder

Offline Luijo

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 11:09:42 am »
Good idea, but keep the polepieces in a safe place just in case you want to Air it again. That's in case you replace them with regular polepieces, of course.

Offline Butch Snyder

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 11:23:04 am »
Good idea, but keep the polepieces in a safe place just in case you want to Air it again. That's in case you replace them with regular polepieces, of course.

Ok, maybe I don't quite understand "de-airing" as well as I thought I did.  What do I do?
-Butch Snyder

Offline Luijo

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 11:59:06 am »
The "Air" slugs look like regular ones from the top but are thinner at the bottom to make room for the plastic spacers that keep the magnets and the polepieces at a stable and fixed distance. The easiest way to de-Air is to remove those slugs and put regular slugs in there, first removing the plastics spacer first of course.
You can keep the Air slugs, remove the spacers and then fill that space with some pices of metal. Just be sure it is a ferromagnetic metal.

Offline Butch Snyder

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 12:01:53 pm »
The "Air" slugs look like regular ones from the top but are thinner at the bottom to make room for the plastic spacers that keep the magnets and the polepieces at a stable and fixed distance. The easiest way to de-Air is to remove those slugs and put regular slugs in there, first removing the plastics spacer first of course.
You can keep the Air slugs, remove the spacers and then fill that space with some pices of metal. Just be sure it is a ferromagnetic metal.

Hmmm, okay....

I don't have any slugs.  I guess I better just buy a pickup. ;D
-Butch Snyder

Offline Luijo

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 12:15:24 pm »
No need to buy a new PU, just remove the plastic spacers and put some metal in there that sticks to magnets....some use people guitar strings cut to length.
Search the site for more info.
But why don't you try the Air Norton stock in there first?

Offline Butch Snyder

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 12:21:39 pm »
But why don't you try the Air Norton stock in there first?

I have thought about it but have reaad where even with 250k pots it will be too bright and edgy.
-Butch Snyder

Offline Jason Pastrana

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 12:28:28 pm »
Friends playing better, the air norton s in the neck or the chopper?

Thanks you.

Offline Luijo

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 12:31:14 pm »
Try it, let your ears be the judge of that.
Remember that one man's bright PU is another man's shrill PU. And that one man's warm PU is another man's muddy PU.

Offline Butch Snyder

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 12:33:10 pm »
Try it, let your ears be the judge of that.
Remember that one man's bright PU is another man's shrill PU. And that one man's warm PU is another man's muddy PU.

Yep, true dat...
-Butch Snyder

Offline Butch Snyder

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 09:18:50 pm »
Well, I decided to just install the Air Zone I had lying around.  Big, fat-sounding humbucker.  I was a little concerned about the 250k pots; but so far, it sounds good. We'll see in a full band situation, how it does....
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 05:31:59 pm by Butch Snyder »
-Butch Snyder

Offline Butch Snyder

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Re: Looking for a Bridge Pickup around 10k - 12k
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 08:13:58 am »
Well, the AZ is just too big and fat.  I have rewired the Strat to have a master vol and master tone.  I use the other tone just for looks.  I have connected all three pickups, PG+ in the bridge, to the circuit and the PG+ does sound better connected to a tone pots; but it's still a little too bright for my taste.

I tried to de-air my Air Norton and turn it into a regular Norton but was unsuccessful.  I accidentally threw away the plastic spacers and guitar strings cut to length just didn't work.  So regarding pickup repair, I think I'm lost.
-Butch Snyder