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Author Topic: Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG  (Read 13850 times)

Peter Antal

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2006, 01:06:01 AM »
Does your SG have a maple cap and mahogany back? Like a DC Les Paul or an Ibanez Artist? If so, Mules will be perfect in that guitar. :)

everton_fc

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2006, 10:12:08 AM »
I have no idea I'm afraid about the maple cap. I like the idea of the Mule being a good all rounder though. Has anyone else itted a set of Mules into an SG guitar? Also, is there any difference between using pickups with covers on or not? Many thanks

Philly Q

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2006, 11:00:58 AM »
If it's a late 70s SG-1500, it will have a maple top.  It should look similar to the guitar in Ratrod's second picture above, but with chrome hardware and dot markers (I think!).  Does that sound right?

Covers are supposed to affect the tone slightly, they reduce the highs and warm up the bass.  BKP can compensate for this effect in the winding, but I'm not sure if that's done as standard or if you have to ask  :? .  In the case of the Mules, I think Tim originally "voiced" them with covers.

All my BK pickups (so far) are covered and they certainly don't lack brightness - I wouldn't worry about covered vs. uncovered except in terms of looks.
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

Peter Antal

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2006, 12:19:06 PM »
Quote from: Philly Q
BKP can compensate for this effect in the winding, but I'm not sure if that's done as standard or if you have to ask  :?

IIRC that's standard.

Peter Antal

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2006, 12:24:10 PM »
Quote from: everton_fc
Also, is there any difference between using pickups with covers on or not?

In this case, I don't think so. :) Choose the one that looks better. I prefer covered pickups because of the colour choices (I love camo and raw nickel) and the protection and shielding the covers provide.

Ratrod

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2006, 01:29:53 PM »
Mules would sound great in a Yamaha SG. It would become a serious LP killer.
BKP user since 2004: early 7K Blackguard 50

Philly Q

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2006, 01:33:54 PM »
Quote from: Peter Antal2
I prefer covered pickups because of the colour choices (I love camo and raw nickel) and the protection and shielding the covers provide.

Ditto (but I'm more conservative, boring old polished chrome or nickel for me).  

Also they sit nice and square in the pickup surrounds rather than drifting over to one side like uncovered pickups sometimes do.  I know that's a minor detail, but these things matter to me.  It's like a mild OCD.  Now must go and wash my hands again....
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

everton_fc

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2006, 10:02:25 AM »
Have to say I'm definately swayed by a set of Mules - am curious though, how do I know what pole spacing or whatever you call it to get?

Sorry for my lack of knowledge!

Thanks

Peter Antal

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2006, 10:56:27 AM »
You only need to measure the distance between the two E strings over the bridge pickup and choose the spacing (50 or 52 mm) that matches the distance. Spacing on a pickup is the distance between the center of the first and the center of the last polepiece.

everton_fc

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2006, 11:12:27 AM »
Quote from: Bird
Quote from: Ratrod
The stock pickups in the Yamaha SG aren't half bad but BKP's will make that guitar come to life beyond your imagination. You'll need some new mounting rings, though.

Here's a pic of my SG400 with crawlers.

Do you need to get new mounting rings even if you get them without covers :?:


Can anyone comment on this? I got no idea when it comes to fitting new humbuckers into a guitar - any installation advice, or link to another thread about this issue would be great.

Ratrod

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2006, 11:13:50 AM »
You'll need 50mm spacing. The Yamaha SG has a very slim neck. The pickup cavities aren't that big either. I doubt a 52mm covered pickup will even fit in there.
BKP user since 2004: early 7K Blackguard 50

everton_fc

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2006, 01:53:24 PM »
You'll need some new mounting rings, though...

Anyone shed any light on what this means? I'm totally clueless about this. I've made up my mind on getting a set of Mules. Just a bit anxious about installing them...

Thanks

Twinfan

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2006, 02:51:46 PM »
Mounting rings are the black plastic rectangular "holders" for the pickups.  If you've got the three screw mountings (like in the photo earlier) you'll need new mounting rings as BK pickups only have two mounting screws (like a Les Paul or an SG).

By the way, Phill Q is spot on when he talks about the difference between Riff Raffs and Mules.  I have both and the Riff Raffs have a flatter 'EQ' (for want of a better word) and respond well to a biting amp to give a nice sharp tone without being brittle.  When used clean they can be nice and mellow, and the neck pickup can do a great blues tone.  Using the guitar's tone pots you can thicken the sound up nicely.  This is why they work so well in SGs.

A Mule has a midrange hump in it's 'EQ' which gives a great smooth tone.  With an Alnico IV magnet the tone is really sweet.  This is why they work so well in Les Paul's as they smooth of the maple cap a touch and give a big, thick tone without being muddy.

everton_fc

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2006, 03:14:24 PM »
Cheers for the reply - I do like the sound of the Mules - as I need quite amount of versatility - like the idea of them being a bit smoother than the Riff Raffs - although I almost feel like a heathen for putting Mules in a Yamaha SG!!!! ('cause most people seem to rate the Riff Raff for an SG type) - reckon the Mules will suit my style more...

Any idea where can I get appropriate mounting rings from?

Thanks

Ratrod

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Upgrading pickups in a 1970's Yamaha SG
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2006, 05:50:19 PM »
You can get them in the BKP (online) shop.
BKP user since 2004: early 7K Blackguard 50