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St_G

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
148
Today's project: install one of the DiMarzio DP-168s that was previous in the neck/middle positions into the bridge position.

Small challenge to be aware of, should anyone reading this consider doing this: the 168s have square mounting tabs and ~#2 screw-sized holes, while the bridge pickup (by most accounts a DP-198, but marked "BMH02CL") has tapered tabs with ~#4 screw-sized holes. I just snipped the tabs on my middle pup and used smaller screws. They seem to be holding fine.

Compared to the other swaps I've done, this one is pretty subtle. It mayyybe drives the amp a bit less. And it's mayyyybe a bit more open sounding, but overall it's largely the same sound.

DP-198s are about 2k hotter than DP-168s, so I was expecting a bit more difference, tbh. But I've always liked the bridge pickup sound on this guitar, so no real complaints that it's stayed mostly the same.

Combined with the Firebird pickups I put in previously, it definitely feels like an HSS kind of setup.

I still find myself reaching for the tone knob when it's already full up, so Step 4 is gonna be replacing the stock pcb harness with some 500k pots. I nearly started there, but I wanted to hear these pickups with the stock (and imo wrong) electronics first.
 
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Dagnabbit

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Messages
8
Just wanted to say that I'm enjoying your updates on this! I'll be very interested to hear where you land with your setup.
 

St_G

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Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
148
That's very kind of you to say.

Step 4 is still coming; just waiting on some tone caps to get delivered.
 

Dagnabbit

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Messages
8
Any sign of your tone caps?

A Goldie finally arrived at my door last week. I'd played one in isolation in a local shop, but this was my first chance to compare it directly to my OG STV. I knew it was going to be different, but I was still surprised by *how* different the sound was side-by-side.

When it comes to the electronics & mods, I'm a total novice, which is part of the reason I've been enjoying reading about your & Nick's experiences so much. I noticed on EBMM's Goldie specs that it seems to have the same control specs as the OG -- "250kohm volume and tone - .047µF tone capacitor" -- which is interesting to me given how much brighter the Goldie is.

I guess the pickups themselves are the main factor driving the tonal change?
 

NickNihil

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
52
Yeah the pickups are the biggest factor. I believe the OG's were ceramic. Overwound as well as St_G pointed out. New ones I believe start with Alnico V magnets (maybe Alnico VI? I can't remember) and I'm sure the winding is vastly different. I was also shocked at how different the two guitars were. The brass saddles may contribute some? As perhaps the smaller pickguard? My stealth black and my Goldie are acoustically really different as well, with the Goldie being particularly bright and resonant unplugged. Maybe the unfinished neck also plays a role. If I just hold the guitar up and tap the backs of the necks there's an absurd amount of resonance and ring in that Goldie neck. It's wild.
 

Dagnabbit

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Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Messages
8
It would be really interesting to hear some Goldie pickups in an OG STV!

I'm really enjoying the Goldie, but I do kinda miss the neck + bridge switch position from the OG. Personally, I would probably sacrifice switch positions 2 & 4 to get that back.

But of course, I don't actually know what neck + bridge would sound like with these new pickups. It's entirely possible that I wouldn't like it as much with the Goldie pickups. (But it's my favorite position on the OG.)
 

NickNihil

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
52
I also miss that bridge+neck position but I don't know what position I'd lose to get it. I like having the 2 and 4 for some of those classic funk tones. On most other 3 pickup guitars I'd ditch the solo middle pickup in a heartbeat but the Goldie has a beautiful middle pickup tone (in fact I like the OG's middle as well. The only guitars I've ever liked the solo middle pickup on).
 

Dagnabbit

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Messages
8
You could always swap one of the pots for a push/pull and wire it as an 'add bridge' so you can get N&B.

That would be super cool. But I doubt I'll ever have the courage to attempt it myself. (Which is why I've been so interested in St_G's experiments.)
 

NickNihil

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
52
That would be cool, might look into it. The circuit board wiring makes me a bit hesitant.
 
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