Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - headcrash

Pages: [1] 2
The classifieds on this Forum are very quiet so I would not place a bet on anything coming up there soon.

In the most popular German classifieds portal, Air Nortons come up consistently (regular and F-spaced, mostly black but sometimes zebra or double cream) but Nortons have become scarce for no obvious reasons.

With "here" I meant German "Kleinanzeigen" formerly run by ebay.  ;D
At the moment there are a few, but I really like the look of that double cream neck humbucker on that specific guitar, so I hope for a double cream Air Norton F-spaced to come up.
I think I could more easily make a Norton out of an Air Norton, if I needed to, than the other way round.

Thanks LPBII an Gregor for the input!

My guitars do have the 5way switches, and the wiring is outer coils in parallel in Pos. 4, and inner coils in parallel in Pos. 2.
With that "reference guitar" these sounds do quack way more, than in my problem child.

I have seen or listened to quite a few Les Paul Standard video clips. The standard pickups are 490R and 498T, which are relatively high output, especially the 498T.
These will have a significantly lower resonant peak than a PAF, which to my ears may contribute quite a lot to that 2..2.5kHz quack. This would also underline what I hear in the reference guitar with its high impedance and lower resonanz peak pickups.
It does not underline, that the problem child does not quick like the reference guitar, when I install its original high impedance lower resonant peak pickups.

I also stumbled upon that fact, that in the middle position, in a Les Paul, the paralleled pickups effectively see the load of the two volume pots paralleled, which results in a 250k load. This might lower the resonant peak a little.
So I just soldered a 470k resistor into that problem child's electronic compartment, so that there is a ~250k load for all sounds except bridge humbucker alone.
Although I have no direkt AB comparison, I think I hear a tiiiiinnyy little more quack, in all positions (except bridge humbucker of course).
But I might be biased.

Still I'm kinda stuck. I'm still waiting for a used Air Norton or Norton to come up in classified ads here, which I assume are lower resonant peak, but still PAF-ey enough...

Spend some time experiementing with the height of the 36thN in the neck position.  Also experiement with the height of the screws.  Lowrering the pickup itself and then raising the screws can help getting that bell like tone in the neck position. The 36th N can get bell tones.

I don't know if your guitar is 24 frets or 22 frets, but the position of the screw coil in relation to the scale length matters as far as getting a bell like chime out of the neck position pickup, in my experience.  Ideally, you want one of the coils under where the 24th fret harmonic would be. If its a 24 fret guitar, maybe try putting the pickup in backwards to move the screw coil closer to the bridge after the screws are adjusted higher than the slugs.

With the Duncan Designed, or even the 36thN, you could try an A3 magnet. A3 bar magnets under humbuckers give more chime. I actually learned that from somebody here.  A3 is low output but that's not really a concern in the neck position. Just adjust height to balance the bridge position, and then tweak the screw adjustement.

Did you try a BB? The BB in the neck with a Tone Zone in the bridge really worked for me on a bright superstrat. I think the screw coil is the  active coil on it. Be aware that the BB plays like it has more output than listed, at least in my experience. In parallel, it can sound almost Fender SC like.

I also built a mahogany guitar for somebody a few years ago and used the 36th N in the bridge with an Air Classic N in the neck. I was surpized how chimey the neck postion sounded. That set was perfect for that guitar

Thanks for your input!

These guitars have their pickups mounted directly to the wood, so experimenting with height is way more difficult and only possible with some restraints.
I did put some washers to get the PAF-ey pickups closer to the strings, which would push the mids a little (apart from raising the level...). But the quack just does not happen.

I figured that the frequency of the quacky ü-vowel should be somewhere around 2kHz ...2.5kHz.
So SC chime is not what I'm after and is not what I hear from that link I posted.
I think it depends from the resonant peaks of the pickups to some extent. For most SC's that peak should be in the 3kHz to 3.5kHz area.

The Pickup Place / Re: Air Norton Bridge Position
« on: November 16, 2023, 05:15:50 AM »
I have done maybe a year ago and there was something I didn't like, think it was something with the highs.
Also I think I was missing some of the high mids of the stock EvH custom DiMarzios.

I guess I'd see things a little differently now, because since a few months I am really, really digging a more PAF-ish output: I got a VHPAF, put it into one of my EBMM Axis Sports (bridge position, that is), and it is killer.

Having a PAF 36th DP103 there in the neck ATM, I could imagine an AN bridge could cure the, or some of the, lack of bass when switching from neck to bridge.

What I especially like with the VHPAF is the punch when riffing hard. I mostly play Fryette clones, and I am all about dry, stiff, punchy, jumps-outta-the-cab-at-you drop D chugs.

While I still like the stock EvH custom DiMarzios, these do compress, I can clearly feel that there is some give with my right hand. The VHPAF translates my right hand movements more accurately, if you will.
I wonder how the AN compares to the PAF 36th bridge in terms of  compression (considering VHPAF and 36th bridge feel quite the same).

To continue story: This is the sound I'm after. With ne VHPAF (which I like more and more), I am quite there as far as the bridge pickup is concerned.

Meanwhile I found a Duncan Designed HB-101n for cheap, which is supposed to be Duncan's far east clone of a SH-1n.
It sounded quite bland, but not bad or muddy at all, just not like  similar to the sound in that video clip. So on with the search, and recently I got a PAF 36th neck (DP103).
Tbh, it doesn't sound too much different from the Duncan Designed HB-101n. Of course I don't have the direct AB comparison, but at least it is still nowhere near that quack (or bell-like tone, as I like to call it), that I hear from that video, ALBEIT I now have almost the exact same pickups in my guitar.

Funny enough, in my other Axis Super Sport, still the stock pickups in it, I definitely hear a lot more of that quack in the middle position.
Even more funny enough, the stock pickups in the "experimental guitar" by far do not sound as quacky like in that Axis Super Sport.
I even compared and setup both guitars as close to each other as possible (same string gauge, type, manufacturer, same distance pickups to strings, even set distance of bridge saddles to bridge humbuckers the same). No success.
Of course the stock pickups vary a little DC resistance (don't have a LCR meter...), but I don't even get the problem child in the ballpark!

I mean, the problem child dies not sound bad, it's just not got that quack.

So I am running out of ideas...

One really positive thing I have to admit: I really start to dig that slightly-hotter-than-vintage-PAF bridge humbucker. It's really that awesome. I understand that the VHPAF is sought after.
And I am one of the biggest defenders of these stock EvH custom DiMarzios!

hey gregr, regarding output specs, here is how I meant my remark. I wanted to point out, that a difference von, say, 200mV to 250mV is quite small, expressed in dB. Doubling the voltage would be an increase of 6dB. Which would be for example a Super Distortion vs a PAF type pickup. Given that many of us won't notice much of a difference in a level increase of 1 dB, an increase of 1.93dB (which would correspond to the increase from 200mV to 250mV) ins't too much. So this is, what I meant. And I have no idea, how Dimarzio measure the voltage. They must have some apparatus which induces some voltage in the pickup...
However, 1 or 2 dB, how does this translate to the feel and sound while playing...anyway, I digress :-)

You gave me some interesting hints, when using the expression flutey vowel. When you say, the EJ neck gives you a flutey sound in the neck of a Tele (to which a Axis Sport isn't too far away construction-wise), that might be one to put on the list as well. And maybe a higher treble value of the Tone Guide may well translate into chime and flutey-ness. Which doesn't make things easier :-)

Also I may take an A2 humbucker into account, but I think you are right, Dimarzio doesn't make any, and Suhr only seems to do so with the Woodbucker (which tbh I haven't heard of before).

In the end I will have to go down the rabbit hole and just try some.

Thanks guys for your advice, especially regarding the hints on the BB.

@gregr: the custom Dimarzio's I was writing about are the ones that Music Man puts into their EvH, Axis, Axis Sport, Super Sport (and some more) guitars. They are not available as aftermarket pickups. They developped them together with Eddie van Halen.

I was just considering the BB, because in that Les Paul that P90 alone and together with that SH-1 had a certain something in the tone, which I really like. It has that vowel type quality like a German "ü", like in Mötley Crüe. It is pronounced like in "you", with an accent I hear from many British or Australians, for a lack of a better description.
In my mind I have always linked this vowel quality to a good PAF tone, both neck alone, or neck+bridge (parallel).
So it's not that I necessarily want to have a P90 (have had zero experience with P90s up to now...), but rather would like a more chimey "ü-vowel" quality in a neck pickup.
I don't know how this would translate in Dimarzio's Tone Guide: do they regard this more as "treble" or "high mid"?
I remember years ago I had an Air Classic neck and put it in one of the Axisses. I didn't like it very much, and in my mind I stored its sound as bland. Its Tone Guide high mid number is 3.5, which is rather low, compared to all other classic PAF type neck humbuckers on the Dimarzio roster. It's treble number is 6.5. In comparison, the 36th neck (DP103) has high mid 5.0 and treble 5.0....
If the high mid number would indicate that "ü-vowel" character, the 36th neck could be my choice, but its output is quite high,. which kinda makes me shy away from it (although these mV ratings should be taken with a grain of salt...).
Nevertheless, anyone has had any experiences with the DP103 in the neck together with a low output bridge humbucker?

The Pickup Place / neck humbucker (or BB) to complement PAF type bridge HB
« on: September 20, 2023, 06:39:13 AM »
I play Music Man Axis (Super) Sport guitars since like forever, and haven't played other guitars and/or pickups since. I am all into tight chuggy 90s/00s rock/metal sounds, with not too much gain (play a Fryette Deliverance clone, 60% in More mode, 40 % in Less mode). But I also like to roll back the guitar volume in Less mode to get a clean-ish sound.
The pickups work exceptionally well with the Deliverance.

I really like the Custom Dimarzios and consider them to be THE best medium to hot rock/metal pickups known to mankind (well, to me ...).
Especially the bass balance between the neck and bridge pickup is phenomenal: despite being quite beefy and warm, the neck pickup's bass balances so well with the bridge pickup's bass.

Now I recently got ahold of a Virtual Hot PAF, which I put in one of my Axis Sport guitars and kinda like it (also fancy a Fortitude for this guitar...). Now the stock Axis neck pickup is a little too hot, and so... why not try something different just for the fun of it.

Which Dimarzio (or Suhr -> triangular mounting lugs !) neck humbuckers would you recommend? It should be quite tight or even thin on bass, just to have a good bass balance with the VHPAF or Fortitude. I seldomly us the neck pickup or middle position for distortion.

Just the other day, I played a Gibson Les Paul Gary Moore, the cheap one with fake binding, no finish and P90 in the neck position. The P90 should be stock (whatever they came stock with), and in the bridge position it had a Duncan SH-1.
I really liked the P90 sound by itself, and also the middle position, but switching to the bridge SH-1, the latter got too thin in bass for my taste.
So although seriously considering a Bluesbucker as companion either to the VHPAF or Fortidue, I'm afraid that it might be too bass heavy, just going by the Tone Guide numbers for bass:
Fortitude 4.0
Bluesbucker: 4.5
(The VHPAF had bass = 6.5 with the old Tone Guide system. The PAF 36th bridge had 6.0 in the old system. PAF 36th has 4.0 in the NEW system. So I think it might be legitimate to assume, that the VHPAF would be 4-ish in the new system).
Maybe someone can share his experiences with the BB in a similar application.

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzio EBMM Music Man Axis Bridge Humbucker
« on: January 16, 2023, 04:43:12 AM »
Hi JR,

this is another helpful and interesting "disclosure" of your findings, thank you.

About the "screw zone" I've already heard either here or somewhere else (can't remember).
No, to make this perfect, I'd just have to find a creme TZ and a black or a zebra TZ (F-spaced), and some matching slugs (I meant: perfect in a sense of perfect).
Would also be interesting, what the pickup made of the two coils left may sound like... ;D

Problem is: I don't NEED one. I just have that trauma of having bought three EBMM Axis (Super) Sports throughout the years without the orignal pickups (though knowingly). I have been lucky so far to get originals for a decent price.
Lately one zebra bridge Cutsom was sold over Germen ebay  Kleinanzeigen, for 150 EUR, which is quite ok, considering its scarcety. But I didn't jump on it, since I had just bought these Reflex pickups, I also didn't NEED. Now I could kick myself, because I also have a zebra neck Custom lying around since a few years...
The specimen sold shortly was said to be made in 2022 and was ordered by German distribution. I also heard from someone different, that it is possible to get these, but it takes some time (like half a year or so...). I might check with German distribution about the possibilities here.

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzio EBMM Music Man Axis Bridge Humbucker
« on: January 10, 2023, 12:04:14 PM »
Hey JR,

Did I get you right, that you wired that 150K resistor in series to the lead to the series-wired pickup? This would be just like a roughly 1:3 voltage divider, together with the (500k) pot, when full up, Tone disconnected, and resistor in the "hot" (black) lead.
I'd assume, that it matters where the resistor is placed: between pot an hot lead, or between ground and green wire. And of course between red and white.
Hmmm.... have to think about it.

Meanwhile I was able to get a used set of 2011(?) Reflex pickups for a reasonable price. They have chrome covers, which are soldered to the base plates. The base plates are not black, btw. But they measure as expected (DC resistance of 17,60 kOhms for the bridge).
I put them in my 2002 "problem Axis Sport", and they sounded - really bad. Dull, undynamic, waaaayyyy worse than the originals in my problem guitar.
In fact, they sounded like I remember when I put really cheap, magnetically effective covers on pickups, back in my youth, and then wondering, why they sounded shitty.
Either someone put shitty covers on them, or the pickups are fake, or broken. Could also be the reason why the original owner sold them.
Unfortunately I couldn't get those covers off the pickups with my 60W soldering station...
Out they went, of course, and back in are the originals in. Still sounds like a really good guitar, but not as good as my others ...

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzio EBMM Music Man Axis Bridge Humbucker
« on: December 16, 2022, 08:57:40 AM »

Another fun thing that I found: In the DiMarzio article about EVH it is mentioned that the "original" pickup  was a JB with the damaged coil that measured at something around 160K. So, I was just wondering what happens if I put a 150K resistor in series with my A5 Rough cast JB (which then is something like total 166K obviously). Tested it and found that it is even closer to my Axis Bridge Pickup than the JB alone. It reduces Output, Treble and the upper mid Honk of the JB, and emphasizes the low mids and bass response. Replacing the 150K resistor with a linear pot to play around with the resistance got me even closer in a range between 150K and 250K. When rolling the volume down the behaviour of that JB (with A5 rough Cast magnet and the added resistance) is very close to the Axis Bridge Humbucker. It cleans up very similar in terms of Output and retaining treble when rolled down. This, of course, is highly perceptive to what I hear in a direct comparison using my rig. For me it's as close as you can get at the moment. Closer than Tone Zone, Half-Aired Tone Zone, AT-1 or whatever other alternatives you can find in many discussions.

Hey Jörg,

very intersting what you found with experimenting with that series resistance to one coil.  When reading that story about the defective JB coil, I first thought this was a typo or something. Later I thought this was a hoax  :o :D

I consider the the behaviour when rolling back the volume, that it becomes quite a bit glassier sounding, quite unique with a pickup of that high source impedance. I do happen to like this behaviour a lot.

In fact your findings might help Dimarzio EvH Customs tone chasers a LOT. Gotta find a cheap used JB to experiment with this myself  ;D
Which coil did you put that resistance in series to? Is your JB an older one? I'm not familiar with all the JB history, but kinda recall having read, that there are several versions throughout the years.
Obviously Dimarzio managed to make a "normal" pickup, that comes close enough to the master's ear. Also only that way the in beetwen pickup positions wouldn't be possible on the Axis (Super) Sport models.

In case this might be of any interest.
I have three Axis (Super) Sports (1997 AS HSS, 2001 ASS HH, 2002 AS HH), and all their bridge humbuckers sound a little different from each other. With the Sport from 2002 being the most off from the three.
The 2001 seems to be a little more tight in the bass department, maybe thus appears a little more meaty in the mids. Also it plays a little more "spritzig", how we would call it in German slightly jokingly (maybe "lively" would be a similar meaning in English).
The 1997 is very close, but a little more balanced.
The 2002 is just a little more bland than the others, so does the neck humbucker and all pickup positions.
The bridge pickup's coils measure red 8,86k, green 8,75k (forgot which one is which). I don't have an LCR bridge to measure inductance.

Of course we're talking nuances here, very subtle nuances.
Btw., I have solid saddles on all bridges (they're all hardtails), tone controls disconnected.

The Pickup Place / Re: Al Dimeola Bridge
« on: October 21, 2022, 04:03:21 PM »
So, as far as the ADM is concerned, would you say it's overall feel is warmer in the hi-mids than the AN ?

In my experience, yes. Have you tried the 36 bridge or Fortitude? As far as other offerings go, those may be more in the direction you’re describing; whereas the ADM is the opposite: A great pickup, but not aggressive in the mids in the way the Nortons or others are.

I had a 36th bridge a few years ago and remember not liking it. I think it lacked bass and low mids.
Fortitude shouldn't be too different.
I might give both a try one time.
Also I wait to get a good deal on a Bluesbucker as a companion to the AN to the neck position. Then I can take it to band practice and just work with it and see how it'll work for me.

The Pickup Place / Re: Al Dimeola Bridge
« on: October 20, 2022, 05:22:19 PM »
Hey mmmguitar, would you mind elaborating a little more about the Air Norton in the bridge vs. Al DiMeola bridge?

If you want more aggressive mids, I’d suggest de-airing or going full Norton like you were thinking. The ADM is voiced differently from the AN; and my endorsement was to do with feeling the ADM was a better fit for a particular guitar (a Strandberg) than the AN was. The AN emphasized the mids in a way that I enjoyed in other guitars, but didn’t fit so well in that one. The ADM smoothed it out and added body in a way I preferred.

In my meager opinion, I rate ADM bridge>Breed neck>Air Zone>Tone Zone as similarly voiced pickups from lowest output to hottest, according to one’s needs (e.g., if you want more output out of a PAF Pro, try the Breed Neck. If you want a warmer vintage-output PAF but don’t want to get into hotrod territory in terms of output, the ADM may be worth trying backed off from the strings a bit. Etc.).

As far as de-airing goes, I may try and first go the half-air way, since it's merely a nuance in the high-mids, that I think I miss.

I had a Norton in a very similar guitar (a EBMM Albert Lee) and remember it being too far away from the Custom DiMarzio in my (Super) Sports.
Plus, I like, that the AN is significantly quieter. Whereas the Norton is in EBMM Custom Dimarzio territory.
For example, with my SLO Clone increase the lead channel's gain from 3-ish (EBMM DiMarzio) to 4..4.5-ish (AN) to achieve similar gain levels.
Also I like the AN's punch or push, actually I was expecting it to be more "spongy" or saggy, which was my experience with the AT-1, compared to the Custom Dimarzio. With the AT-1 I thought it's the Airbucker technology.
As I am writing this, it might be, that for me the AN could just have a little more bite or presence.

So, as far as the ADM is concerned, would you say it's overall feel is warmer in the hi-mids than the AN ? Which would lead me to the conclusion, that the ADM might be the wrong pickup for me.

The Pickup Place / Re: Al Dimeola Bridge
« on: October 20, 2022, 11:17:06 AM »
The more I play this, the more I like it.  The extra tightness on the wound strings vs. a 36th and the way artificial harmonics just jump out are great.  No idea why it's discontinued, IMO it's one of their best pickups for sure.  Not thin in the bridge like a PAF Pro can be, not as middy as a Breed Neck in the bridge can be, a little more interesting harmonically than a Mo
Joe.  Really, really cool member of their PAF family.   Also, when split, the split coil sound is more robust than a 36th. 

That’s been my experience, as well. I put the DiMeola bridge in a guitar to replace an Air Norton and loved it, tried the Breed neck in another guitar and only liked it, then put a tweaked DiMeola (nickel covered, with a row of fillisters) in the next guitar and found I still prefer it to the Breed. I can see where Larry’s coming from when he said “that’s the most misunderstood pickup we ever made.”

Hey mmmguitar, would you mind elaborating a little more about the Air Norton in the bridge vs. Al DiMeola bridge?

I am a huge fan of my EBMM Axis (Super) Sport guitars and their bridge humbucker. In fact it's been years since I have played anything other than this bridge humbucker  ;D
But for the fun of it I feel the urge to experiment a little with lower output pickups.
I put an AN in the bridge of one of my Sports, and find I'm liking it quite a bit, but also think it lacks some aggressiveness in the upper mids (also thought about half de-airing it...).
So I am curious, what the Al DiMeola would make different.

Thank you!

The Pickup Place / Re: HSS - hot middle
« on: January 18, 2022, 07:50:13 AM »
I second the Injector neck for the middle position.
I have one in a Music Man Axis Sport SSH there.
On the neck I have a Pro Track.
In the two quack positions it is loud enough. Of course it appears quieter because there's less mids, naturally.
But it works quite well.

Pages: [1] 2