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Tonerider classic blues pups - very harsh attack sibilance ... thoughts?

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by klickflip, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    hi, I’ve just put in some Tonerider trs3 classic blues in to my newish JP traditional 60s Strat.
    And it’s been really difficult gettting a nice tone out of them.
    I play cleanish funk and slight bluesish stuff.

    -has anyone else used them?

    Mainly they are they are very harsh or sensitive to pick and string / fret noise and make their own kind of sibilance , but at the same time sound Not too bright on the actual notes . They are very percussive , which I normally like but seems they emphasise the harsh bit more than a nice percussive bell like note attack.
    Finally I tried them as low as they can go , almost level with scratchplate and they are less harsh to picking up pick, string / fret noise. And this is a lot better.
    They are fairly scooped , which I don’t mind but they also seem to emphasise several EQ / tone points that give it an overtone , and they seem to pick out these harmonics / tones in every string or note , chord.
    So it can get quite tiresome.

    Also when using a compressor pedal (Keeley Compressor plus) which I do most of the time, they become really harsh and loose a ton of bass. Compared to any other pickups. Where it normally cleans up and sustains subtlety.
    I’ve got to set the compressor blend really low and turn the tone all the way down with these.

    Original pickups are ceramic , but fairly decent, but not so typical strat quack but fairly balanced , if a little flat.
    I’ve also tried tex mex in it which sound pretty good, but tex mex lack the detail I’m after.
    And cs69s sound way too bright for this guitar .
    I’m starting to thing this could be more than pickups, maybe the trem / bridge or maybe just a fairly new guitar ..

    Any thoughts
    I’ll try to post some audio tomorrow , as have all these pickups recorded for comparison.

    Cheers
     
  2. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Man, I think we are all going to be shooting in the dark trying to help you without knowing more about your setup —amp, signal chain, settings, other mods to your Strat, etc.— and without some photos showing the actual wiring job for the pickups. And photos of your Strat would of course be appreciated! :)
     
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  3. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Return of the Red Helmet Strat-Talk Supporter

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  4. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Make sure your grounds are solid. My guitar sounded terrible once after changing pickups. I reconnected them and everything was fine.
     
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  5. nadzab

    nadzab Peace & Love, my Brothers & Sisters... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Agreed. Those are really nice-sounding pickups, my first thought would be a wiring error.
     
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  6. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    What @fezz parka says. They are probably too high.
     
  7. Jigawatt

    Jigawatt Strat-Talker

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    Yeah maybe too high.
    I use tonerider alnico blues II in my main tele, my spare tele and one of my strats I like them so much. Low output rules.
    Like you most of the time I’m playing funky disco stuff with a compressor (cali76) and then onto big high gain solos. They handle everything without any brittle harshness.
     
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  8. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

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    The Classic Blues set has a reported inductance of 2.6H for the neck and middle and 3.3H for the bridge. They're getting a little close to Texas Special territory, and you might not like them for the same reasons people don't like Texas Specials.

    I think the slightly higher inductance, when paired with a 10ft guitar cable, can push the resonance down into a particular frequency range that is piercing, in part because guitar speakers can have a hump in that range , like if you take the Greenback for example https://celestion.com/product/16/g12m_greenback/

    [​IMG]

    it shows a prominent response in between 2kHz to 4kHz (most guitar amp speakers tend to be like this) and a longer cable and a higher inductance can land the resonance in there, but if you drop down to a 2.2H pickup, like 57/62's or CS 69's, the resonance will end up somewhere beyond 4kHz, where the response usually starts dropping off, so even though the pickup is technically brighter, they're not necessarily as annoying, because the resonant frequency is closer to where the speaker has a natural roll off.

    In any event, if the annoying quality relates to the Q factor, punching up a particular band of treble, rolling back on the tone knob a little can help, and then you turn up the treble on your rig to get the clarity back, and you end up with a flatter, less resonant treble. This is really the intention of 250k pots in a Strat, to sort of permanently turn down the tone control.
     
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  9. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for all the great replies guys :)
    I wil post a recording this afternoon so you all can hear , and then take it bits to check solder.
    Pickups are a low as they can be.

    I was thinking it could be a bad or dry solder earth as well (never experience one) , as It sounds metallic too.. And weirdly scooped almost like a acoustic amp sim.
    I also get loads of scratchplate static with this strat.

    Ok so amp I’m using is Roland blues cube 30 stock. Speaker , not the hot one. Or I use fender amp sim pedal - joyo American sounds - straight into soundcard / mixer as I use a DAW to make music., house / funk / electronica with guitars ..whatever!

    Signal chain is - strat - 10ft cable - fuzzface mini JImi one (run this on a lot to slightly beef up tone and guitar vol at 8 )
    - Dunlop hand wired wah- JHx univibe - joyo American sounds - delay - chorus to amp or direct to DAW.

    Will update in a bit today :)
    Thanks
     
  10. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    Ah very interesting , could be some of this. Does sound like something strange is going on. As I’ve swapped pickups / loaded scratchplate s in it a few times and never had this strange tone , harsh sibilance experience.
    Kinda like when you put a wah before fuzz face .. does that make sense..
    But the response of my compressor is baffling , could that be picky about incoming inductance ?
    Or maybe the fuzz face is not liking it either, I’ll try it straight to amp as well.

    I’ve also had to raise the action to get a less metallic sound which has tamed it a touch , which wasn’t there even with cs69s.

    One thing I did notice is the magnets are really strong in them compared to my other pickups .
     
  11. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks great to know , mine definitely don’t sound like that!
    Do yours get effected by the compressor much more than other pickups ?
     
  12. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Is your scratchplate plastic or anodized aluminum?
     
  13. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Based on your description, Id bet its the grounding.

    Plz report back. I love it when Im proven correct. :D
     
  14. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    Plastic, with original foil below the tone vol pots
     
  15. sadmoodyfrazier

    sadmoodyfrazier Strat-Talker

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    I have that pickups in my Classic 70's. They are quite fat... as much as a strat pickup should be. Anyway they are great pickups. I absolutely love them and they're keeping me to put something more expensive on both of my strats. There has to be something very wrong in the wiring.
     
  16. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    After much testing today I think it maybe a mismatch with my amp speaker , boosting certain frequencies more than other pickups. Which to my ears aren’t the nicest or colour it heavily.

    Working out how to show / hear this in video , think I’ll screenshot my DAW recordings and add the audio for everyone to listen.
    However nothing will show/ hear the sound I get from sitting in front of amp, which is where the real problem is.

    Also having had darker pickups in it originally - ceramics and last guitar - tex mex , and playing guitar on its own may have skewed my ref point.
    I find when putting guitars in a mix I had to take off bass and EQ pretty bright to get them to cut through. So these should cut through the mix much easier.

    Also found recording the emulated line out and direct with American sound amp sim pedal it’s much nicer than listening to amp speaker.

    They are fairly bright, but also have a lower mid hump , which is not pleasing with my amp speaker. And their attack has touch of an unpleasant hi end scratchy ness to it .
    I have to set now have to set amp to bass 9 o'clock , mid 8 o’clock , treble 12 o’clock, normally everything is around 12 o’clock.
    And off guitar volume goes above 8 they produce more of that hi end scratchyness, boosted by the amp starting to overdrive.

    But they don’t have the nice hi frequencies that cs`69s do. They are bright but more mids.
    Also cs69s have a certain tubelike sag on their attack which softens them.
    And the attack is really hard, normally I was using a compressor to make my pickups punchnmore and clean up detail , with these I have to do the opposite.
     
  17. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    Now the plot thickens ...

    My cat has been acting a bit mental last couple of days.
    And I think it’s these pickups .. yes really!

    As soon as I play guitar through amp or daw speakers it starts running around crazy, and it’s stump of a tail (amputee cat!) starts twitching making her uncomfortable , then she runs out outside.
    She’s been out all day which is not like her , as I’ve been playing guitar all day .

    My wife just now stopped me playing to check the cat as she thought something is up with the cat.
    As soon as I stopped playing the cat was happy and chilled and rolled around purring .
    Wife was amazed as this !

    So I tested theory, i played again.. and yes cat started running around tail stump twitching and wanting to go out.

    This does compound my thoughts that there is some strange scrachty hi end sibilance from these pickups and unpleasant overtones .
    And I Think the cat’s hearing is a lot more sensitive than mine..

    The cat doesn’t normally bother like that with me playing too much as long as it’s not really loud . And it wasn’t today.


    Anyone got this phenomenon with their cat too?!
    Seriously :)
     
  18. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    My cat hates my playing, no matter which of the 12 guitars I use. Come to think of it, so do the rest of my family. ..
     
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  19. klickflip

    klickflip Strat-Talk Member

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    Haha , i forgot to add it’s probably my crap playing.. wife hates it too!
     
  20. BobbyS

    BobbyS Strat-O-Master

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    man, cats are like women, 98% of them are crazy
     
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