Metal pickup for SG Special '86 (3-knob)

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by kaza, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. kaza

    kaza New Member

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    Hi guys :smile:
    Finally I've bought my first gibby and it's rare in my country '86 SG Special. It has a maple neck and rosewood fretboard, and previous owner put a Duncan SH-6 in the bridge. Despite the fact that it plays like butter and i'm totally in love with the look, i'm not completely happy with the tone.
    I tune in C# standard and play mainly oldschool death metal, so I thought I would get a head crushing tone with this axe. On the one side - clarity for brutal and fast palm muted riffs is okay, but there is unpleasant shrill in the high mids, and powerchords on 5th and 4th strings sound pretty thin comparing to my another guitar (Jackson-style japanese Greco).
    I tried Duncan Invader SH-8, it has fattened the overall sound, and i guess this unpleasant shrill has gone away, but the problem is that that the top end has gone either, and It cannot be fixed by amp eq (treble and tone knobs on max, and still not enough).
    Hope you guys can help me and suggest any solutions!:bowdown: (i prefer passice pickups)
    Maybe SG is not perfect for death metal but i totally don't want to part with it cause it's extremely comfortable to play, and i hate modern metal guitars, and classic models for my purposes like b.c. rich or jackson usually have a floyd rose which i also don't like.
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  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Try a 300K volume pot with the Duncan.
     
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  3. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Or the old lower pickup raise pole pieces ploy. You can play anything on any guitar so I wouldn't worry about it being an SG. If you're going for new pots then get a 1m as well just to give it a shot. My daughter played death metal and I suggested her to just get a chainsaw instead but in retrospect I think sticking to a guitar is just safer.
     
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  4. kaza

    kaza New Member

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    Hmmm, I've checked the pots and they seem to be already 300K
     
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  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    A 300K volume pot will usually tame a pup that is too shrill. Since the Invader is lacking the top end sparkle with a 300K, try a 500K. You may have to experiment to find the right combo of pup and pots.

    Also check the cap on the tone pot to see if 0.022 or 0.047.
     
  6. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to be THAT guy but caps don't matter in this case. I took it that the gentleman wanted brighter pickups and if so, the lower/rise thing and higher value pots is the way to go.

    Edit: Ok, I get it now, there are two Duncans involved, I'm talking about the invader.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I would also always recommend adjust pup height before replacing pots / caps. I would then adjust tone controls on amp and if it that wasn't enough use a channel EQ on the guitar track in the mix to apply a low pass filter to eliminate the shrill frequencies.

    It's always easier to adjust pup height or a dial in the controls on an amp or EQ rather than changing components on the guitar.

    Ever hear of No-Load Pots?
    Fender uses them to completely remove tone control from circuit.

    Cap and pot in the tone circuit is a low pass filter.
    Remove the tone pot and cap and it gets really shrill.
    So even when tone is set at 10, higher frequencies are still cut off.
    Value of pot and cap determine cut-off frequency.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
  8. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Are you certain about this? I'm no engineer but I habitually remove the tone pots and no difference has been noticed. As far as I know the thing only matters if you turn it down. I guess it's reasonable to assume that the signal passes through less stuff but does it really make a difference? Like I said, never in my case at least.
     
  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    No engineering.
    Just basic electronics.

    The pup, tone pot, cap is a simple RLC circuit.

    R = pot (resistive load)
    L = pup (inductor)
    C = capacitor

    Change any of those values and it makes a difference.

    I played my LP Junior DC for 6 months with the tone control removed and could definitely hear it sounding brighter. As soon as I put the tone control back, set to 10, it was not as bright. My ears prefer the sound of the guitar with the tone control intact.
     
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  10. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I can see the logic in that. Funny I never noticed. Or maybe there was a slight difference and I just dialed it away on the amp then. Anyway, good to know. But how about this, I have a guitar that only has a volume control. Would you say that this means that it consistently sounds brighter than it would if I'd had a tone control too, not to mention if I had a full 2V2T wiring? Meaning the pups don't sound the way they were intended to?
     
  11. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I think the reason some folks can hear a difference and others cannot is because it depends on how the treble and/or presence control is set on their amp.

    If the treble and/or presence control on the amp is set low enough, then it would filter out the higher frequencies that would have been restored when a tone control on guitar set to 10 is removed.

    The ears would not hear a difference in that case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
  12. kaza

    kaza New Member

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    Yesterday's evening i've pulled a 500k pot out of my second guitar and tried it with Invader in SG
    All i can say is WOW!!! While I still need to raise up treble and tone knobs on the amp, now it's much and much better! The sound is thick yet brutal, and no annoying high-mid shrill at all! Thanks a lot for advice.

    The only issue is that I need to keep the Invader really far from the strings to get enough clarity for cutting palm muted riffs. Now it's like 4mm from top of pole piece to 6th string. I'm a little worried that i can miss some of Invader's tone advantages :facepalm:

    for me it's really hard engineering )) all i have are the basic soldering skills and absolutely no knowledge about how it all works
     
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  13. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Glad you're getting there! Last step then; raise the pole pieces.
     

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