Pickup covers

Suspiciousminds

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Guys, i've seen online that Gibson do official replacement chrome covers for humbuckers - anyone know if these would fit straight over the uncovered buckers on my SG special?
 

Biddlin

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I think they'll fit ok, you'll need to solder them without damaging anything else and that is not as easy as it might sound. They will also alter the sound. Most players from the sixties were pulling the covers off, because they found a clearer, less restrained high end, uncovered.
Biddlin ;>)/
 

dbb

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I think they'll fit ok, you'll need to solder them without damaging anything else and that is not as easy as it might sound. They will also alter the sound. Most players from the sixties were pulling the covers off, because they found a clearer, less restrained high end, uncovered.
Biddlin ;>)/

They were trying to drive amps and get more clarity when doing so, the covers add a bit of capacitance that drops a tiny bit of highs.

Frankly I left all my humbuckers covered.

In addition to the need for careful soldering, there are a few variations in pole piece spacing, so make sure you get the right size covers.

Guitar Parts Resource: Genuine Gibson Covers

"Genuine Gibson neck position humbucker cover. Nickel finish. Outer pole piece spacing is 1-15/16" on center. Some vintage Gibson models use this cover on both the neck and bridge position.

PRPC-035
Genuine Gibson bridge position humbucker cover. Nickel finish. Outer pole piece spacing is 2-1/16" on center. This slightly wider spacing is used on most modern Gibson bridge humbuckers."
 

Col Mustard

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most SG specials have a wider bridge p'up than the neck p'up... which is what David was
saying above. Mine has '57 classic pickups which I installed, and these are both the same size, the neck size. just measure the distance on center from the upper to the lower pole piece on each pickup, and then you'll know what you need.

I soldered my covers on, and it wasn't difficult. clamp them together and then solder in place. the pitfall would be to allow hot solder to get into your pickup windings, which are fragile and easily broken, melted or shorted out. DON'T DO THAT. Some of the guys on this forum report that the covers fit so tightly they didn't feel a need to solder them. You might try them and see, and also check whether you have to open up the hole in the pickguard with a file, to let the cover slip through.

I don't think, in this day and age with all the amp and pedal options we have, that it will make any difference to your tone. We've got much more control now over our sound. When EC and others first yanked the covers off their humbuckers, they were going for treble treble treble in order to cut through the 'mix' they heard in the early p.a. equipment available at the time. Hence EC's 'treble booster' he played through. Now we have controls at our feet that the early pioneers of the 'woman tone' could only dream of then.

So, covers on, covers off, to me it's only aesthetics. If you want more treble for your solo, set up your EQ pedal accordingly, and step on it when it's time.
 

Biddlin

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Frankly, I mostly leave mine however they come to me. I wont go quite as far as the Col. and say it doesn't make any difference, but much less with modern pickups than 50s and 60s era, due to materials and manufacturing techniques. Nickel covers do mute the volume a tick . The covered burstbusters in my '59 Lester copy sound somewhat mild in comparison to the same models uncovered in my son in law's LP Studio . I'd need some boost to match his top end
Biddlin ;>)/

Biddlin ;>)/.
 

Col Mustard

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well, and I don't generally argue with Bid... I think we've had a thread or two on these boards... on the subject of pickup covers. and where more of us weighed in and shared some experience. I'll bet MLP has a number of similar discussions in their archives. prolly the Gibson site too. personally, I think there's more variation in individual guitars, and maybe in individual pickup sets (especially hand wound sets) than you'd hear in a blindfold test where you tried to compare as closely as possible. Speaking strictly for myself, I like a less trebly sound, and I EQ my guitars that way no matter which one I'm playing. I like the SG's legendary midrange punch as well as the low growl. so I'm happy with covers on.
 

Biddlin

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No disagreement, Col. Most of mine are covered, as well,:dude: (but you can't wrap a magnet in nickel. without interrupting its field.):laugh2:
Biddlin ;>)/
I like this explanation:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D756154qUdo"]BKP Tutorial: Covered vs. Uncovered humbuckers - YouTube[/ame]
Biddlin ;>)/
The best comparisons are at the end of the vid.
 

dbb

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I think there is a slight difference - and since I play bright enough naturally, the cover helps round out my own sound. Plus, I'm playing on a very clean amp unless I kick in a dirtbox.
 

Heket

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I want some of those plastic covers that the Js have on now, the fake EMG look. I'm fed up with dusty pickups but don't want to affect tone and not especially keen on soldering them either. I bought a cheap set once, but they didn't fit :(

The Gibson covers should fit, I imagine. Just make sure you get a set with neck and bridge and put them on the right way around as the 490s are a little different.
 

dbb

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I'm fed up with dusty pickups but don't want to affect tone and not especially keen on soldering them either. .

Use a small brush to clean dust off hard-to-reach spots....cheap artists brushes, small paint brushes with soft bristles, etc.
 

Biddlin

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"I think there is a slight difference - and since I play bright enough naturally,... "
The biggest differences I can hear are in the full goose bozo crunch settings, where the open coils are brighter, louder and grittier. Like you, that is where I need the least assistance.
"I want some of those plastic covers that the Js have on now."
I quite like them . I think they knock less high-end off, compared to the nickel/brass covers and I like the look on the SGJ . Not sure how I'd like 'em on my Specials, but maybe that's because I used to looking at the taped spools and plain pole pieces .
Biddlin ;>)/
 

dbb

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At lot of any of this stuff is just what you get used to.
 

Melmord Fjordslorn

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Here is a random question concerning this discussion: what about a sticker that is placed on a pickup cover? Will that have any effect (whether small or large) in the output/tone of that pickup?
 

Biddlin

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Here is a random question concerning this discussion: what about a sticker that is placed on a pickup cover? Will that have any effect (whether small or large) in the output/tone of that pickup?
Put a piece of packing tape over yours and let us know, but I'm betting not noticeable, under 110 db.:laugh2:
Biddlin ;>)/
 

Col Mustard

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when I was researching how to do the installation on the two guitars that I've added pickups to, I heard that if you put a piece of electrical tape under the slug side of the cover, it prevents any ground loss effect, by not allowing any contact between the cover and that part of the pickup. So I did this.

Guys on this forum informed me that the amounts of electricity are so small in the pickups that there's no shock danger or ground loop danger and the tape is not necessary. But it didn't do any harm either. It's like a sticker, I guess, but invisible. So I wouldn't worry.
 

DFLCC

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Here is a random question concerning this discussion: what about a sticker that is placed on a pickup cover? Will that have any effect (whether small or large) in the output/tone of that pickup?


In the physical properties of electronics, if the sticker is not of conductive material the answer is a simple no.
 


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