How to brighten a muddy pickup - video tutorial

Discussion in 'Pickup Joint' started by BlueSquirrel, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-holic

    Dec 21, 2018
    France
    I thought this video tutorial by Paul Graham looked interesting :
     
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  2. Jay Jackson

    Jay Jackson Squier-Nut

    Age:
    66
    878
    Sep 1, 2018
    sanluisobispo CA (3401
    On a different Form Some one was asking what the adjustable pole piece's do and what you have in the video is exactly what I said, except I have never tried takeing the poles all the way out. This is a very good video of how to change up your sound of the pickups. Oh why Fender hasn't started using adjustable poles is a Draw back to their Design.
     
  3. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    It lost all its soul when the pole pieces came out.
     
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  4. Jay Jackson

    Jay Jackson Squier-Nut

    Age:
    66
    878
    Sep 1, 2018
    sanluisobispo CA (3401
    Yes it did sound sterile with out the poles.
     
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  5. VM51SQ

    VM51SQ Squier-Meister

    206
    Apr 14, 2017
    oregon
    I put an 0.047 capacitor in line with the output wire, and it helped get some high end back into the neck pick-up. I got the instructions from the Seymour Duncan website. It helped, but didn't quite brighten it up enough for my taste. I recently got a JHS haunting mids pedal, and that really brought the sound of that neck pick-up to life! The pickups are Dimarzio btw, so not cheap ones either. I'm really more of a single coil guy, I guess.
     
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  6. GunnyPlaysLoud

    GunnyPlaysLoud Squier Talker

    Age:
    32
    34
    Mar 13, 2020
    Wisconsin
    I’ve always just moved up to 500k pots if it wasn’t bright enough. I’ve never had a guitar that sounded dark with 500k pots, personally.
     
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  7. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    I wish I could make my neck p90 less muddy. I’ve tried messing with height and screws, helped a little bit still...dang muddy.
     
  8. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    On which guitar is this ? I have never heard of a muddy P90 before :) Can I see a photo of where it's at as height goes ?
     
  9. Matt Shevell

    Matt Shevell Squier-Nut

    Age:
    50
    764
    Feb 5, 2018
    New York
    Get a Boss Blues Driver, it’ll brighten anything and everything
     
  10. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Nut

    Age:
    23
    831
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    My first reaction was to think "the best solution for muddy pickups, you ask? Trash!" - but in reality that may not always be an option, either you or the person owning the guitar may not want to spend the money, perhaps out of convenience you'd want to optimise what you have before starting to upgrade stuff or, simply, due to an eco-friendly mindset, you don't want to unnecessarily produce extra trash, it would make sense to just keep the original parts.

    Assuming by the aforementioned reasons, you wouldn't want to *replace* parts of the guitar, from my experience, two things make wonders when it comes to improving the sound of your pickups: one, more widely known, is to obviously adjust their height in accordance to their output. More muddy pickups will sound better when lowered, but sometimes overshooting and going too low also makes them sound bad by leading to faint and liveless output.

    Another advice I don't really see mentioned around, is the way your guitar is wired. From my experience, the traditional/usual way Strats are wired sounds the best. For two times already, both with my MIJ Jackson and a friend's Aria Pro I've rewired while keeping all its stock parts, they were wired by having the volume signal then connected to the master tone, which was then connected straight to the output jack. I can't explain why so, but I swear by changing wires around and having the tones connected from the switch, and the output connected from the volume pot, it always seems to make the tone brighter and clearer, and the tone pot also more responsive. Well, go figure!
     
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  11. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Age:
    66
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    You can't have adjustable poles on a pickup where the poles are the magnets.
     
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  12. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    I’ve heard switching from an A5 to an A3 can help reduce muddiness
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  13. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
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  14. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    They prefer to be a bit further away then eh?
     
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