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Author Topic: Black Dog not warm enough? Advice needed  (Read 303 times)

Joshua Jimenez

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Black Dog not warm enough? Advice needed
« on: April 10, 2021, 02:50:35 PM »
Good day everyone! I recently purchased an Old Guard neck and Black Dog bridge set for my 2009 Les Paul Traditional Pro. While I have absolutely no qualms with the Old Guard (you can check my review at https://forum.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/index.php?topic=37551.0), thereís a big disparity in warmth and sweetness when I switch over to the Black Dog.

Donít get me wrong; the Black Dog is made to the highest standards and probably aces the job it was meant to do. I just don't think it's for me given its sound profile; I may have outgrown A5s. Here are some things Iím considering:

1. Get to know the pickup more.

One thing that I highlighted in my review of the pickup in https://forum.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/index.php?topic=37545.0 is how responsive the pickups are to picking style, height adjustments, and volume and tone knob changes. Maybe I should play around with the pickup for the next week.

2. Switch out the magnet.

Iíve read that that switching to an A2 or an A4 could give me the character I need. This could also help the Black Dog match the Old Guard better. My fear  is that I may be messing with the ďmagic formulaĒ that makes this pickup what it is. In that case, my next move should be to outright...

3. ...Replace the pickup

If I still donít find myself bonding with this pickup, I can replace it with the Mule bridge in my SG. I am also looking into procuring an Old Guard bridge so that all my troubles with matching the bridge will go away. Of course, the Black Dog is more suited towards harder rock, but I am looking for more sweetness and warmth in my bridge.
 
Any thoughts? Thank you everyone!
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 03:42:12 PM by Joshua Jimenez »
2009 Les Paul Traditional Pro - Old Guard/Black Dog
2011 SG Special - Mule Set
1983 Yamaha Super Axe - Stock
1987 MIJ Strat - Stock
2011 SX Telecaster - DMZ Twang King / True Velvet

Telerocker

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Re: Black Dog not warm enough? Advice needed
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 02:37:12 AM »
You can change the magnet, but you will still have the polysol wire which sets the BD apart from anything else in the vintage(hot) range. Something warmer would be the Abraxas.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

RobAbrams84

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Re: Black Dog not warm enough? Advice needed
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2021, 12:37:39 AM »
As a lifelong Les Paul player (they've always been my favorite guitar), I wonder if you just need some help getting the most out of one?

First, make sure that you have 50s wiring or this won't work.  EQ your amp to get a good clean tone with neck tone knob on 10 and volume slightly rolled off, around 8 or so.  This will sound way too bright when you switch to the bridge pickup if you're used to putting all knobs on 10 and not touching them.  Instead, roll the bridge tone knob down to 5-6, and you'll probably find that it's very nicely balanced.  This will be your rhythm bridge sound most likely, and you can roll the tone knob up for more highs on solos.

One of the best things about the Les Paul is the layout of the controls, with independent Volume and Tones.  You can get MUCH more sounds out of them than people give them credit for.  Go to the middle pickup position and mess around with changing the volume and tone knobs of each pickup and see what I mean. 

Hopefully this doesn't sound condescending, but every good Les Paul I've ever had was extremely bright in the bridge.  You can get great balanced tones from them because of the independent controls, though.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 03:59:15 AM by RobAbrams84 »

ericsabbath

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Re: Black Dog not warm enough? Advice needed
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 10:14:51 PM »
the dog has a quite middy and "modern" voicing, that's closer to late 70's hotter pickups (jb, super distortion) than to actual PAFs or post-PAF models from the 70's, despite of the dc reading

maybe you could try a bridge old guard or something less mid-focused and more open like a Mule
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

Joshua Jimenez

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Re: Black Dog not warm enough? Advice needed
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2021, 03:28:42 AM »
As a lifelong Les Paul player (they've always been my favorite guitar), I wonder if you just need some help getting the most out of one?

First, make sure that you have 50s wiring or this won't work.  EQ your amp to get a good clean tone with neck tone knob on 10 and volume slightly rolled off, around 8 or so.  This will sound way too bright when you switch to the bridge pickup if you're used to putting all knobs on 10 and not touching them.  Instead, roll the bridge tone knob down to 5-6, and you'll probably find that it's very nicely balanced.  This will be your rhythm bridge sound most likely, and you can roll the tone knob up for more highs on solos.

One of the best things about the Les Paul is the layout of the controls, with independent Volume and Tones.  You can get MUCH more sounds out of them than people give them credit for.  Go to the middle pickup position and mess around with changing the volume and tone knobs of each pickup and see what I mean. 

Hopefully this doesn't sound condescending, but every good Les Paul I've ever had was extremely bright in the bridge.  You can get great balanced tones from them because of the independent controls, though.

Thanks for this Rob. Tried your suggestion right away and I'm very glad with the results! I've always had trouble using the middle position in my Les Paul compared to with my Yamaha Super Axe (ES-335 copy) which just THRIVES in that spot. With my new pickup set in the LP, I'm getting so many great tones.
2009 Les Paul Traditional Pro - Old Guard/Black Dog
2011 SG Special - Mule Set
1983 Yamaha Super Axe - Stock
1987 MIJ Strat - Stock
2011 SX Telecaster - DMZ Twang King / True Velvet

RobAbrams84

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Re: Black Dog not warm enough? Advice needed
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2021, 03:00:54 PM »
As a lifelong Les Paul player (they've always been my favorite guitar), I wonder if you just need some help getting the most out of one?

First, make sure that you have 50s wiring or this won't work.  EQ your amp to get a good clean tone with neck tone knob on 10 and volume slightly rolled off, around 8 or so.  This will sound way too bright when you switch to the bridge pickup if you're used to putting all knobs on 10 and not touching them.  Instead, roll the bridge tone knob down to 5-6, and you'll probably find that it's very nicely balanced.  This will be your rhythm bridge sound most likely, and you can roll the tone knob up for more highs on solos.

One of the best things about the Les Paul is the layout of the controls, with independent Volume and Tones.  You can get MUCH more sounds out of them than people give them credit for.  Go to the middle pickup position and mess around with changing the volume and tone knobs of each pickup and see what I mean. 

Hopefully this doesn't sound condescending, but every good Les Paul I've ever had was extremely bright in the bridge.  You can get great balanced tones from them because of the independent controls, though.

Thanks for this Rob. Tried your suggestion right away and I'm very glad with the results! I've always had trouble using the middle position in my Les Paul compared to with my Yamaha Super Axe (ES-335 copy) which just THRIVES in that spot. With my new pickup set in the LP, I'm getting so many great tones.

Awesome, glad that I could help!