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Pickups on American Professional Strat...and learning curve with Mesa Mark V 25

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by 3bolt79, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    478
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    4CD77511-3366-4577-8161-AFE161B01929.jpeg AF9C4D10-8006-4783-ABD4-D7DA939F0E5A.jpeg D6811005-C5BE-4B39-ACD7-444B7FB7513F.jpeg Last week I received my new Fender Am Pro Stratocaster. I have been setting it up, and readjusting for the last week. The pickups don’t want to play easy, to get the best, most even volume from string to string, and the best overdrive sound from my Mesa Boogie mark V 25.

    I had the pups roughed in for the last two days. I played an E major chord, and adjusted the pickup slant on each pup for best even volume between the high E and B strings and the low E and A strings today, and spent an hour or so adjusting the pickups. The G and D strings are just wherever they wound up. If you look at the pictures, you can see the uneven adjustments in pickup height. This is where they sounded best on the clean channel. They also sounded pretty darn good on the overdrive channel, in mark V mode with, and without, the EQ on.

    The Boogie doesn’t sound good with these pups, on the same settings one would use on my son’s Brian May or my ‘79 Strat, or my son’s Les Paul style guitar with Duncan Designed pickups. If you will notice in the photo of the amp, the EQ, and knob settings.

    On the dials, on the clean channel, I have it set with a little more mids, and treble. With the EQ in, the sound is rounder and fuller, and sounds more like an acoustic

    On the dirt channel, in Mark V mode, the dials are set for a crunchier Marshall like sound. With the EQ on, it’s set for a little more round and fluid sound, that I use for solos.

    I set the amp using the 10 watt mode and will likely have to up the bass and lower the mids a bit if I was using the amp at 25 watts and playing with a drummer. This amp gets as loud as my old AC30 did when it was dimed. I will try to post to this thread again, after I get the EQ and tone controls fine tuned for playing loud enough to play with drums.

    If any of you use a Mesa, please post pics of what your settings are for playing with a strat and which pickups you used to adjust the best tone from your Boogie, and photograph the pickup heights.

    I tried to post the amp picture at the end of this post, but it placed it up top.
     
    TheDuck likes this.
  2. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    478
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
  3. TN703800

    TN703800 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    48
    14
    Oct 4, 2018
    Las Vegas
    I wish I could help. I had a Mk IV but had to sell it. I'm still somewhat traumatized that I no longer have it and that was several years ago. That was before cell phones with cameras. That technology would have been helpful in dialing in the Mk IV's from guitar to guitar. Boogies are a little cantankerous but the work is worth it. Mine was a knobfest but I could get any one of several Strats, a Tele, Les Paul and SG to sound killer through that thing. Keep pushing and experimenting and you'll find the sweet spots. Probably the best money I spent playing guitar was on that Mk IV.
     
  4. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    478
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    I can get so many sounds out of it. I can get from boogie black, to a crispy Marshall golden brown. Sounds like Blackmore in the late 70”s. I can also get the red and gold of my AC30s. I can make it sound like Queen’s Flash Gordon soundtrack with my son’s Brian May Replica.
     
  5. TN703800

    TN703800 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    48
    14
    Oct 4, 2018
    Las Vegas
    It sounds like it's doing its job then. Are the pups that far off from what you were expecting or trying to get?
     
    3bolt79 likes this.
  6. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    478
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    Affirmative. The pups look weird because in order to have a balanced volume between trebles and basses, I have the treble side really high because it was noticeably quieter on the b and e strings. The bass side is really low so that the bass was balanced. They used different magnets in the same pickup. I thought that’s kind of weird.
     
  7. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    53
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    @3bolt79
    Congrats on a beautiful guitar and a killer amp.


    In the Mesa world, what works for one player probably wont work for another. Mesa controls are very sensitive, and they dont work like most other amps.
    I've been a Mesa guy since the 80s, and my best advice is to read the manual, try a few of the suggested settings, and go from there.

    The Mark Series are infinitely flexible and can achieve most any tone you can imagine, just dont expect to nail your perfect tone in a few minutes.
     
    3bolt79 and Textele like this.
  8. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 10, 2009
    Texas
    Very true.

    I REALLY like the Mark V 25.

    Listening do all the demos, I think you could conjure any tone imaginable out of it.

    With patience :)

    And Mesa's customer service may be the best in the business IMO.
     
    TheDuck likes this.
  9. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Have you adjusted the picks on the Pro?

    The pick ups in the picture look as though they could be lowered.
     
    johnnymg likes this.
  10. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Strat-O-Master

    737
    Jun 15, 2007
    CHARLOTTE, NC
    I hate to state the obvious, but I think it's the amp.
    I say that because, with the same guitar, plugged into my Vibrolux, I can't get any bad, unballanced tones to show up. And I'm very sensitive to the tones that I like.
    Looking at the one photo, I can tell you that all of your pickups are too high. These pickups were developed with different magnet sets than most of us are used to. So keep working on it, and good luck with the Mesa.
     
    Andrew Wasson likes this.
  11. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    478
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    True. True. It took me me a few days to get the best tone out of it. You can't just set it like you normally would a Marshall, that's for sure.
     
    TheDuck likes this.
  12. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Strat-Talker

    Age:
    54
    338
    Nov 6, 2018
    Vancouver, Canada
    I’d agree with that just looking at the photo. I think those v-tech pickups are a more modern and higher output than vintage pickup. Based on the vintage spec pickups and the hot pickups I have, I’d expect to have them somewhere between half and 2/3 that height.
     
  13. owenmoney

    owenmoney Strat-Talker

    Age:
    65
    309
    Jun 21, 2013
    Green Lane Pa
    Whatever you do, don’t give up on the Mesa, the sounds you want are in that amp, anywhere from tweeds to blackface, silverface, Marshall and of course Mesas . Play with your pickups, and graphic EQ on the amp and don’t think you’re gonna get EVERY guitar to sound the same.
     
  14. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    478
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    Don't worry. I found the settings for this guitar, and I remember the settings for my '79 strat and my son's Brian May. It's weird but with the Mesa, you always have to tweak the settings in order to get the optimum tone. One thing that I really like is you can get Vox like, chimney clean tones on it..
     
  15. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    478
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    I should probably add that I really do have a one amp does it all workhorse. I really like having the ability to switch the EQ in and out. It's kind of like having a four channel amp that's the size of a big lunch box or a small tool box.