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Thread: Valentine pickup swap/rewiring?

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Wait, you want to keep the same single coil in the bridge somehow? My bad. I thought you wanted to swap in a humbucker, but one that split well.
    Sorry if I was being unclear. Yes, I do want to replace the bridge pickup with a humbucker, and I have a Suhr Thornbucker+ arriving tomorrow actually. Luckily they have started to offer normal nickel covers instead of just raw nickel. Don't get me wrong, they look badass, but on the Valentine it would look a bit strange.

    Right... I didn't really think about the boost, I just assumed it would work on the output of the switch and hence would be in the circuit all the time. I definitely want to keep it. EBMM support sent me the wiring diagram, but it didn't really make things a lot clearer as it doesn't show where any of the PCB traces go. I did some beeping with my multimeter though and got a little bit wiser, and also learned that the bridge pickup measures 11k and neck 7.37k (for those who didn't know)!

  2. #17

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    Alright boys, it's done. It did exactly what I hoped it would do, removing that jangly and spiky top end while still retaining all the clarity! The only thing is that I wish I could put it a smidge closer to the strings, but it's maxed out (inside the pickup ring as well, had to get creative there). I think it's just close enough, though.

    As I'm not too happy with the performance of my soldering iron, I think I'm going to wait until I get back for Christmas with the 5 way switch project. I'm at uni in the UK at the moment, and back home in Norway I have a proper Hakko soldering station that does a much better job. But hey, the middle position with just the neck split is far from awful, so no rush really.

    Weirdly enough this forum doesn't want to accept my photos (too large), so I included a link from another forum where I posted it. The link may look a bit sketchy, but it's not!

    https://s3.eu-north-1.amazonaws.com/...9d434f1d79.JPG

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfi27 View Post
    Alright boys, it's done. It did exactly what I hoped it would do, removing that jangly and spiky top end while still retaining all the clarity! The only thing is that I wish I could put it a smidge closer to the strings, but it's maxed out (inside the pickup ring as well, had to get creative there). I think it's just close enough, though.

    As I'm not too happy with the performance of my soldering iron, I think I'm going to wait until I get back for Christmas with the 5 way switch project. I'm at uni in the UK at the moment, and back home in Norway I have a proper Hakko soldering station that does a much better job. But hey, the middle position with just the neck split is far from awful, so no rush really.

    Weirdly enough this forum doesn't want to accept my photos (too large), so I included a link from another forum where I posted it. The link may look a bit sketchy, but it's not!

    https://s3.eu-north-1.amazonaws.com/...9d434f1d79.JPG
    Did you set it up for split coil too? Just curious, since it's not very hot afaik and I wondered if it still sounds good (seems to be a cool pickup otherwise).

    Cool guitar btw.. I like the red.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Did you set it up for split coil too? Just curious, since it's not very hot afaik and I wondered if it still sounds good (seems to be a cool pickup otherwise).

    Cool guitar btw.. I like the red.
    Cheers man! I just wired it like the original bridge pickup, so no coil split at the moment. I really want to wire it up for that as well, but the way I want it requires some serious work and time to figure out the circuitry first.

    I have used this particular pickup plenty of times before though, once in a HSS Suhr Classic S with autosplit in position 2. It does sound a little different than pos. 2 in a SSS Strat, but I think I prefer the HSS sound actually. Pete himself also said that for a few purposes he preferred the split TB neck to a V60LP (singlecoil). The TBs are asymmetrically wound, so that helps quite a bit.

  5. #20

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    Nicely done! So this same project is on my list. I'm planning to pick up a Valentine and go a similar route. Good on ya.

  6. #21

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    Highly recommended, the Valentine now feels/sounds like I wished the PRS Mira did... Always thought I would need mahogany to be happy, but turns out I was wrong.

    Just a few more technical questions, although EBMM Support have been very helpful there are still a few things that are unclear and they seem a bit reluctant to answer:

    Apart from the boost pot that I managed to locate, I don't have a clue what the others do... Most importantly, which pot is for the silent circuit (for the bridge pickup)? From what I understand that one should be turned all the way down now that there is a humbucker there? And is there another pot that is balancing the output or something? I feel like there should be more output from the new humbucker, it's fairly close to the strings (should be sufficient).

  7. #22

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    Do you have a pic of the circuit board?

    For the Silent Circuit- it's wired up to ground wire of a pickup and introduces out-of-phase noise which subtracts. So just wire your humbucker to ground, rather than the point on the board where you wired the ground of the bridge single. That'll bypass it. You can then potentially use it for your coil split. (I do this by running the silent circuit output to where the coils meet, rather than wiring them to ground, assuming you want to split the top coil.)

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfi27 View Post
    Highly recommended, the Valentine now feels/sounds like I wished the PRS Mira did... Always thought I would need mahogany to be happy, but turns out I was wrong.

    Just a few more technical questions, although EBMM Support have been very helpful there are still a few things that are unclear and they seem a bit reluctant to answer:

    Apart from the boost pot that I managed to locate, I don't have a clue what the others do... Most importantly, which pot is for the silent circuit (for the bridge pickup)? From what I understand that one should be turned all the way down now that there is a humbucker there? And is there another pot that is balancing the output or something? I feel like there should be more output from the new humbucker, it's fairly close to the strings (should be sufficient).
    I'd take Ash too. Maybe not my favorite, but it's up there. I kind of started on a Tele (my second guitar, after a crappy pawnshop Strat copy). Those Miras and all mahogany PRS Standards are kind of neutral to a fault (that can be a great thing though.. it lets you focus on amp and electronics to shape your tone more). I used to think this was what I wanted, but went back more distinctive guitars. And wood has a lot to do with it... I don't care what the detractors say. Heh

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Do you have a pic of the circuit board?

    For the Silent Circuit- it's wired up to ground wire of a pickup and introduces out-of-phase noise which subtracts. So just wire your humbucker to ground, rather than the point on the board where you wired the ground of the bridge single. That'll bypass it. You can then potentially use it for your coil split. (I do this by running the silent circuit output to where the coils meet, rather than wiring them to ground, assuming you want to split the top coil.)
    EBMM support managed to send me a user manual that described all the trim pots and how to dial them in (including readings for if I ever want to put it back to stock), so it's all good! Thanks a lot for the tip though, I thought about using that for the coil split bridge but I wasn't quite sure how to implement it. Would the 'hot' wire from the humbucker still go to the same place on the PCB?

    The trim pot manual revealed that one of the pots is in fact balancing the split neck coil with the rest, which probably explains why all 6 lugs on the tone push push switch are in use. As a super switch only has four common lugs and the neck pickup alone needs two just for the switching, I'm not really sure if my 5 way switch-plan is realistic to accomplish...

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I'd take Ash too. Maybe not my favorite, but it's up there. I kind of started on a Tele (my second guitar, after a crappy pawnshop Strat copy). Those Miras and all mahogany PRS Standards are kind of neutral to a fault (that can be a great thing though.. it lets you focus on amp and electronics to shape your tone more). I used to think this was what I wanted, but went back more distinctive guitars. And wood has a lot to do with it... I don't care what the detractors say. Heh
    I find the 'tonewood discussion' very interesting, and shortly summarised I don't think there is such a thing as a neutral sounding wood. And sometimes, even two different pieces of wood from two different trees of the same species, can vary a massive lot. I remember doing a trade many years ago, a Suhr Classic S (SSS with alder body) for a Standard (HSS with basswood/maple body). Unfortunately it was done via the post service, so I didn't get to try the Standard beforehand. Honestly, I have never been so brutally disappointed by the tone of a guitar ever... Basswood, which is supposed to sound "neutral", sounded incredibly dull and muddy with no definition or character whatsoever. I kidd you not, less than two hours after I unboxed it I put it up for sale again.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfi27 View Post
    I find the 'tonewood discussion' very interesting, and shortly summarised I don't think there is such a thing as a neutral sounding wood. And sometimes, even two different pieces of wood from two different trees of the same species, can vary a massive lot. I remember doing a trade many years ago, a Suhr Classic S (SSS with alder body) for a Standard (HSS with basswood/maple body). Unfortunately it was done via the post service, so I didn't get to try the Standard beforehand. Honestly, I have never been so brutally disappointed by the tone of a guitar ever... Basswood, which is supposed to sound "neutral", sounded incredibly dull and muddy with no definition or character whatsoever. I kidd you not, less than two hours after I unboxed it I put it up for sale again.
    Well, what I mean by "neutral" is just woods that are heavier in Mids. I guess it's up for debate if that's even neutral. I'm just going with conventional wisdom here. Mids are said to be a natural fit for guitars in a band...apparently with less overlap and that better cut through.

    As for that Suhr, I think you should have messed with it more imho. But like you said, there's even variation in the same type of wood. I had a Japanese Fender Jazzmaster that was basswood. I modded everything I could about it and put in American electronics, but never really bonded with it. So I ended up selling it. But I'm also playing a Reflex now, which is mostly basswood/maple and rocks. And you won't find people hating on the Axis much.. probably a more pure example of basswood/maple (the Reflex has a mahogany block in the center).

    Alright, sorry for derailing. Enjoy the guitar

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