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Author Topic: Can't get good sound from my set of Polymaths  (Read 1244 times)

Chris K.

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Can't get good sound from my set of Polymaths
« on: April 09, 2022, 05:30:10 PM »
Hi guys, I own two sets of BKs so far with Nolly's Polymaths being one of them. They are in my  Jackson Chris Broderick signature and for the life of me, I cannot get a good sound with these pickups. I tried adjusting the pole pieces to match the radius as well as based on the output of each string, I tried adjusting them closer/further away to/from the strings but they just don't want to budge. They sound very very dry and don't respond to changes in gain very well. It's almost like they're super low output vintage pickups. Open chords sound good, with some crunch but palm mutes sound harsh and leads don't feel fluid. I don't know how else I can explain it. It basically feels like the guitar is choked or something. Like I have a frat wrap on my string that prevents each string from ringing freely. For instance, the VHIIs in my PRS don't do that. If I turn up the gain, they make for a really fluid playing experience. Palm mutes sound saturated and fat, leads sweet with lots of sustain. I've already had the Jackson refretted and plek'd. I added string saver saddles (Floyd rose bridge) and a big sustain block to knock out possible issues with sustain. None of these things changed the sound and feel of the pickups. The guitar has more sustain acoustically and vibrates a lot more (probably the big sustain block) but the tonality of the pick-ups can't be influenced by that anyway.  Both coils work in both positions including the coil-split function, which tells me that they're definitely wired correctly. Could it be an issue with the pots? I used the ones that came with the guitar, which are pretty old. Do you guys think it's worth replacing them or should I just give up on the Polys? I don't get the impression that Nolly and others have that issue. They sound pretty damn good in his mixes. Very saturated, fluid, and full of character. But that's not what I'm experiencing.

Yellowjacket

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Re: Can't get good sound from my set of Polymaths
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2022, 03:00:47 AM »
Someone who has these pickups can comment, but my generic response would be that every pickup doesn't work with every pickup and amp combination.  Assuming the pickups are operating correctly, maybe they are simply not right for what you're after?   

Nolly

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Re: Can't get good sound from my set of Polymaths
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2022, 06:05:43 AM »
That definitely sounds like something isn't right, but I'm not entirely sure initially what it could be beyond somehow signal flowing to ground due to a wiring issue somewhere in the cavity. Or potentially the coils being wired in parallel rather than series. Have you contacted BKP support?

Chris K.

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Re: Can't get good sound from my set of Polymaths
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2022, 09:46:51 PM »
Actually I have not contacted support yet. I wired them in series. The green/black wires are  solder on the push pull pot for coil split. Both coils work when in normal mode (not split that is). It could be that some juice is being taken away by a defective pot or some is flowing to ground. They sound good but they're not hot enough at all. I ordered some Fishman fluence for the sale guitar. I'll test those out to see if the sound that comes out of them is more to my liking because I do have a feeling that I just don't like the character of the Polys. Some of the videos on YT sound similar. Very dry, low gain-ish and mid focused instead of a buttery smooth tone  with that chopping sound from the pick hitting the strings. 

Charlie-AKA

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Re: Can't get good sound from my set of Polymaths
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2022, 11:19:48 AM »
The same thing basically happened to me. I wanted to love them so bad! I was literally the first person to order a set off the site when they went on sale. Tried them in a couple ash/maple strat type guitars and they just didnít work out. Iím using amp sims of Marshallís and a 5150 and they only sounded great with some other amp sims I donít use that much. I didnít want to reconfigure my whole rig for them. Iíve tried almost all the BKP bridge humbucker models and there have been a couple others that just werenít for me. Every pickup isnít for every guitar, isnít for every rig, etc. When I love a BKP bridge humbucker I know right away. It grabs me by the balls. The polymath didnít, so I just moved on. Sold my set and used the money to get a Painkiller set and a Blakchawk bridge. Loads of fun. The Painkillers did that grab me by the balls thing. If you sell your Polymath on reverb you will be one of the only people with one for sale and you can sell it for what you paid and Iím sure the next one you try will be love at first riff.
Currently: Silo, Rebel Yell, Crawler, VHII, Juggernaut, Holy Diver, Impulse, Cold Sweat neck, Impulse neck, Aftermath neck.
Formerly: C-Bomb, Piledriver, Cold Sweat, Mule, all my non-BKPs 😉