Anyone remove the pickup covers in their SG standard? Pictures?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Ballads, May 10, 2021.

  1. Gibbo SG

    Gibbo SG Active Member

    Sep 20, 2016
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    I did this on mine. I think a lot of it is that once the covers are off, it creates a sound hole in the guitar and makes it sound a little more like a semihollowed guitar. And a lot of players have theirs done in this manner. I would give it a try, and if there's no discernable improvement, then just put them back on. Also, they need to make it so that the removal of a Humbucker pickup's cover can be completed using a screwdriver instead of with a soldering iron, which could damage the pickup if not done very gingerly.
  2. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2019
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    Clapton said that about his time in John Mayall's Bluesbreaksers. Back then he wanted his guitar to scream so he was playing an old fashioned solid body jazz guitar called a "Les Paul Model" through a cranked up amp by a new boutique company called "Marshall". He played so loud in the studio that there were complaints from neighboring buildings. He heard that removing the covers would give it more high end so he tried it, liked it. When the album came out the tones he got were like nothing people had heard before but I suspect that in general pairing a Les Paul with a cranked up Marshall had more to do with the tone than the removal of pickup covers.
    DrBGood likes this.
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2009
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    Tucson AZ
    I'll echo this... and I'll also remind the OP that the concept of taking the covers off
    to gain a tiny bit more treble is from the sixties. The NINETEEN sixties...
    More than 55 years ago. Players have a lot more
    control over tone now than they had in those early times.
    When Clapton removed the covers from his hum buckers, there was
    only one kind of humbucker... A Gibson hum bucker. Now we have
    dozens of different kinds.
    Removing the covers makes very little difference to tone now,
    so players take them off or put them on for the look.
    The look is the only difference.

    I lived through the sixties, and I remember the primitive sound equipment and amps
    of those days. In the sixties, given the abysmal state of a musician's cables, and the dreadful
    condition of electrical circuitry in the walls of just about any venue a musician might play,
    and given the lack of any controls other than the volume and tone dials on the guitar and
    the amps... and given the lack of pedals and the lack of any monitors such as we enjoy now:

    the musicians of the day were on a relentless quest for treble.

    That's it, basically. I believe that Clapton removed his covers hoping to get more treble
    in his signal. Others noticed this and removed their covers hoping to sound like Clapton.
    Vox added a "Treble Booster" their amps of the day, and guys bought those because
    they needed more treble.

    Modern amps and cables have much better tone than they had in the sixties
    in spite of the reverence people maintain for "vintage" amps and guitars.
    The simple fact is that the players of the 21st century have so many ways to
    control their tone, we don't need to remove the covers of our hum buckers.

    Me, I bought a guitar that had no covers, and later I bought a set and put
    them on. I like the look of black humbucker covers. It didn't change the tone.
  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2012
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    All subject bias. Got some of each, makes no difference. Better cables change your sound more than covers.
    "it creates a sound hole in the guitar and makes it sound a little like a semihollowed guitar."
    Wow, I'd like to try some of that strain.
    Huntroll and Col Mustard like this.
  5. SGBreadfan

    SGBreadfan Member

    Jun 3, 2010
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    Yes, removing the covers allows more treble response...players have known and been doing this for many years.
  6. MacDiarmada

    MacDiarmada New Member

    Mar 7, 2021
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    I put new gold ‘57 classics on my 91 special and took the covers off. I did that because they dont sell them uncovered with gold pole screws. And the original pickups in my special were uncovered so I had to keep the original look. As for the sound difference, I wouldn’t know how they sound covered because I never played them that way.

    JAMES E GRISSOM New Member

    Aug 29, 2018
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    As a response to ballads . Speaking of opinions and ass holes I have ran into a few ass holes that have had more than one opinion. But as far as the metal pickup covers go I believe they were added to the pickups for a purely cosmetic reason. They are fashioned from a non magnet metal and offer very little shielding effect to external magnetic and electrical fields. Back in the early 70s or so before I knew much about stuff like this I was surprised the first time I saw a Gibson Humbucking Pickup with the cover removed. I thought wow ! there are 2 pickups there. One of the 4 S G s that I have is a 1983 "The SG" . It came stock Tim Shaw open humbuckers. I installed Nickel Covers because I preferred the look . I don't think my ears were sensitive enough to hear any differences . Just my 2 cents worth.
  8. Les537

    Les537 Member

    Mar 2, 2018
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    I've removed covers countless times in my youth. I even took apart pickups and interchanged coils - just to see.

    I never noticed any real sound change with the covers off. I used to like the look. Now I prefer the covers on.

    Removing them is easy. They are held on with solder to the base plate. Melt it or cut it with a dremel and that's it. You wont damage them unless you have 10 thumbs. Don't worry about 'value'. Cut them free and see how you like it. Easy.
  9. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2016
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    Parantal Advisory: Thread contains Woodoo.

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