Covers on Humbuckers

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Stonetone, May 29, 2020.

  1. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Hello all question concerning pickup covers as I’ve seen many have them many don’t do they make any difference with or without? I would think no since the scores are the pole pieces so I don’t see how it makes any difference I suspect it’s more for looks but I could be wrong

    Thanks all :thumb:
     
  2. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    To my ears they sound a bit crisper off but that's just me. Think about it, you have metal covering 6 pole pieces so exposed they sound different imho. I like them both ways though btw.
     
  3. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Ohh I thought its just the screws that are the magnetic pole pieces guess it can’t hurt to try removing them when I change strings

    Thanks
     
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  4. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sound better off. Look cooler on.
     
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  5. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Ahhh I see well my covered sound great was just curious :thumb:
     
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  6. Hanson

    Hanson Strat-O-Master

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    I have had Gibson Les Pauls with covers on and covers off, same Classic 57 pick up. I honestly don’t notice enough difference to worry about.

    For one thing, no 2 guitars same make and model, sound exactly the same.
     
  7. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    This is true, :thumb:
     
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  8. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    Up until '65/'66 I think everyone just kept them on. Eric Clapton was recording the famed 'Beano' album with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with his 1959 or 1960 Les Paul and an amp setup by a new maker, Marhsall. Almost nobody was playing Les Pauls anymore at that point (Gibson stopped making them after 1960 becuase nobody was buying them) and basically nobody was using Marshalls because it was a new company and more or less like a boutique amp house of today (although around the same time Pete Townsheld and Jimi Hendix also embraced Marshall). Clapton heard someone say that if you pull the covers off the humbuckers you get better tone so he took 'em off and liked it. That album hit the guitar playing world like a freight train. Clapton's style and tone made a ton of people take notice. Many of them wanted to emulate both (it's what we guitar players do) and so suddenly demand for of Marshall amps and Les Paul bursts skyrocketed. And of course many took it to the extreme of copying Clapton in removing the pickup covers (on the back of the album there were photos of the recording session and it was obvious that Clapton was playing uncovered pickups).

    I think with that one album Clapton brought the Les Paul back from the dead, made Marhsall a household name in the music industry, and created the curiosity and interest in uncovered humbuckers that we see to this day. Now, does it make a tonal difference? That's a sticky question, you'll have to judge for yourself I think. But there's the background story as I understand it.
     
  9. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    It's an ear experiment, give it a try and see what you think, they're real easy to put back on.
     
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  10. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It depends on what the covers are made of. Just like the Tele neck cover makes that pickup warmer. I out covers on a les Paul years ago and it made them less treble sounding.
     
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  11. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    If the covers are nickel silver there will be little to no difference but if they’re chrome plated brass then they’ll sound a lot crisper without the covers. The original telecaster neck pickups had chrome plated brass covers. Some still do but many don’t. I’m pretty sure PAF covers are nickel silver.
     
  12. EC Strat-boy

    EC Strat-boy Senior Stratmaster

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    Ant and Andrew are right IMO. With chrome covers on they’re warmer and more mellow - which I prefer.
     
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  13. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah seems covers do make a slight tonal variation but they do make them less susceptible to RF and EMI interférence. So for me they will stay on, I hate noise more than anything , I have my strat which has noiseless pickups and I even have a faraday cage yet it’s still very noisy compared to my Revstar so the covers will stay on :)
     
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  14. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The most important thing is the looks.
     
  15. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Well for sure the looks is very important :thumb::D
     
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  16. Hanson

    Hanson Strat-O-Master

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    Cool story about Clapton, one of my hero’s. However, for all we know, what changed to tone was the pickup height being different than it was before. Now if he would have stripped the paint...we all know that sounds better.
     
  17. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes! Obviously. Mind you, this one’s twice as nice with looks and a killer sounding set of Alnico 2 double cream Humbuckers.


    26018437-74E2-40D8-B571-734AB4531619.jpeg
     
  18. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Can't say I've noticed the difference with covers on/off and have never compared the same pickup with and without but I will say that I really dislike the look of LP's and 335 that have no covers on PUPs
     
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  19. Hanson

    Hanson Strat-O-Master

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    I can’t stand the look of no covers on a 335. I’ve gotten used to LPs.
     
  20. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    Why not both? Covers that are open at the poles...
     

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