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Author Topic: Are ragnaroks supposed to sound like this?  (Read 993 times)

Enormous

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Are ragnaroks supposed to sound like this?
« on: June 11, 2022, 05:20:13 PM »
Just got a ragnarok installed in bridge position. I was wondering if it was installed incorrectly because it's doing some weird things. Or maybe that's just how they sound.

The ragnarok and neck pup are connected to a blend knob instead of a toggle switch. Each pickup has its own vol knob.I made sure the vol was turned all the way up on the guitar and blend knob was all the way to bridge position.

1. Plugged into a 50 watt Soldano Avenger. Gain at about 5, master at 3. Guitar squeals and screeches horribly when I stop playing
2. I can put the gain as high as 8 or so which should be waaaaay too much but it still doesn't sound that saturated at all.
3. When I had the EMG in my guitar I could put the input control on my Scarlett interface on about 3 and have enough input. With this I have to turn it all the way up to 8 or so before I start to clip into the orange. I know the EMG is active but it seems like too much of a difference
4. fast palm mute playing—notes don't have that crispy crunchy attack.

What I didn't like about the EMG was that it seemed to over emphasize the unwound strings at the expense of the wound. With the Ragnarok I can play a chord that uses all 6 strings and hear all of them but other than that, this thing just sounds underpowered, like I'm playing at half volume on the guitar or something.

So, is something wrong or is this the nature of the pickup?

Excruciator

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Re: Are ragnaroks supposed to sound like this?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2022, 09:40:28 PM »
I would suggest it's definitely not normal. I replaced a stock EMG 81/85 set with Ragnaroks last year, and in my experience they have noticably higher peak output, and definitely a more aggressive pick attack. They will overload my interfaces more easily than the EMG's at equivalent settings. I really don't find EMG's to be particularly hot at all, just very compressed, but the two are often conflated. This comes with the caveat that I play 7 string with thick strings and I pick hard, so EMG headroom hard-limiting is a large factor in my case, ymmv.

It sounds to me like there's a wiring issue. The first thing I'd check is that the 25k pots were replaced by 500k/550k pots, because you're going to have a bad time with 25k pots on a passive. I'd also tentatively suggest a blend pot may be somewhat redundant on a guitar that already has two volumes, you could achieve similar results in middle position of a 3 way switch with volume knob tweaks, unless I am missing something. To be honest I've only seen it used on basses and teles. If you like that setup, all well and good, it would just be high on my list of suspicions as to where your potential wiring issue lies, since a blend setup is uncommon and more likely to get a fudged install, or an incorrect pot value or the like.

It may be worth playing with your pickup height too, since that is a very quick tweak. Ragnaroks are particularly sensitive to height in my experience, moreso even than usual for BKP's, although in your case it seems to be a more far more significant deficit in output than a simple low pickup height would cause.

One last thing that crosses my mind: The neck pickup in your guitar, is it another passive pickup or is it still an active EMG? Because I could definitely see that causing major issues with a blend setup.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2022, 09:59:12 PM by Excruciator »

Enormous

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Re: Are ragnaroks supposed to sound like this?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2022, 02:03:35 AM »
neck pup is passive. I think I'll get this blend knob replaced with a regular toggle switch. I'll look into the pots as well. Where do you recommend I get the 500K pots? i would need two volumes and tone one, correct?

Thanks for the reply, dude.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2022, 02:19:50 AM by Enormous »

Excruciator

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Re: Are ragnaroks supposed to sound like this?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2022, 01:03:59 PM »
You should be able to check if you still have the 25k pots installed, the ones EMG use are typically mini pots, with a serial number stamped on the side that ends in 25k. My guess is, if you didn't explicitly ask for new ones, they may well be in there still, although if you paid for installation, the tech should have known better and informed you.

Normally I'd say you should be fine with most quality 500k-550k guitar pots, I've always had good results with audio taper CTS pots, whether BKP OEM ones or the premium 450 series.

One caveat though; guitars with emg mini pots need the shaft holes reaming slightly to accomodate larger standard sized pots. Assuming your guitar has the mini pots with smaller shaft holes, you can either have the holes reamed (which is a simple job, but can crack/chip the finish if it's done incorrectly), or you can source some good quality mini pots like these: https://www.wdmusic.co.uk/electronics-c17/pots-c69/cts-guitar-pot-550k-mini-split-shaft-audio-taper-pot-with-9-tolerance-p365. You should be able to source these from most guitar electronics outlets. It's worth saying I've never used those myself, so can't vouch for them personally, although CTS pots in general have always served me well.

Without knowing your exact guitar and seeing inside the cavity, most of this is hypothetical, but I am trying to cover most of the potential bases.
If you are not sure, you can always post some control cavity images. As far as the configuration, two volumes and one tone is a common setup, although ultimately it's mostly a preference thing. If you are not sure, or just indifferent, I'd keep it simple and go with 2 volumes, 1 tone and a 3 way, if that is what your guitar is routed to accomodate.

Finally, I'd make sure the bridge is properly grounded, i.e. a wire from the bridge to a common ground point, typically the back of the nearest pot in the cavity. EMG pickups aren't supposed to have the strings grounded, but guitars which come stock with them almost always have at least a taped off bridge ground wire in the control cavity ready to be connected.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2022, 01:10:04 PM by Excruciator »