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Author Topic: Tech question - pickups and tone controls  (Read 1493 times)

Philly Q

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Tech question - pickups and tone controls
« on: August 09, 2006, 11:14:04 PM »
Here's a nice anoraky question to help you get to sleep.

I like to use my tone controls quite a lot (those little round things down near the jack socket) and I've noticed that they seem to have a much more dramatic effect with some pickups than others.  In the same guitar, that is.

Sorry to mention other pickup brands, but I don't own any BKPs (yet).  With low-output vintagey pickups like the DiMarzio PAF or the Gibson 490T, the sound just seems to get duller, more lifeless as the tone control is rolled off, until eventually it almost "dies", like the signal's not strong enough to get through any more.  But with something like a DiMarzio Fred, the tones remain useable throughout the control's range.  And Joe Barden pickups seem to do the impossible - as you turn down the control you lose treble but you can hear the sound actually get thicker.

I know there are many factors involved, and I've read lots about 250K/500K/1 Meg pots and different capacitor values, but I'm really interested in the role of the pickup itself.  Is it just the output level, or is it the type of magnet, the DC resistance, the inductance?  Can you predict how "interactive" a pickup will be with the tone (and volume) controls?

Any thoughts?
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM