Music Man Vault Black Friday Deal

Question: Pickup Modding

SamuelPark

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
15
Location
Southern California
So I have a pair of humbuckers that work really well for me, but lack a bit of mid range.

I know that people do little things to their pickups to change aspects about it in whatever way they desire.

Does anyone know of a tweak I can do to add a bit of mid range to these pups?
 

beej

moderator
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
11,248
Location
Toronto, Canada
Usually it's the other way around- too middy, not enough highs. If you're lacking midrange, I'd think you could dial it in with your amp, turning down treble & bass, no?
 

uOpt

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
356
Location
Boston, MA, USA
If you currently have A5 and change to A2 you will get more mids.

The over strength is comparable and there will be no difference in volume.

Don't go A8 or so as a first try.
 

DrKev

Moderator
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
6,166
Location
Paris, France
Personally, I'll always change pickups for something else rather than mod them. Swapping magnets is a waste of time IMO, the tonal differences are subtle and leave the basic frequency response and character of the pickups intact (because coil geometry, inductance, and resistance don't change). You'll get a bigger change in tone changing the pot values and I don't think that will get you what you want either.

Check out the sound samples below - obvious differences in volume but the overall tonal character doesn't change much.

Differences In Guitar Pickup Magnets | Seymour Duncan Blog

Even with my good headphones (and I do have good ears) I find tonal differences difficult to discern and I'd bet that without labels to know which was which, nobody could tell some of these apart. If the volumes were equalised, I'll bet the perception of any changes would be even more difficult. To make an appreciable tonal change, you'll need a different coil, not just a different magnet.


For me that means shopping for new pickups means less time messing around and more time playing. Of course a lot of people turn the messing around into a hobby, and I can dig that. If you enjoy messing around, go for it!
 

dnr666

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
12
I would say that your only choice is to go for new pickups. You will probably have to do a bit of research to find a pickup that suits you. It is a bit confusing as there are a wide range of good humbuckers available. From my experience House Of Tone Tru PAF, Monty's PAF Humbucker, Lollar to name a few. However, PAF pickups do tend to have a very full range sound with a fair bit of top and bottom which can sound as though there is less mid.
 

tbonesullivan

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
2,006
Location
New Jersey
Which guitar are these in, and what pickups are they? Have you tried raising or lowering the pickups to change the tonal profile?

Generally if you want more mids, more winds on the pickup would accomplish that, and most people will just get new pickups, as it's easier than trying to modify an existing pickup. Also if you mess with the pickup any resale value goes out the window.
 
2021 Ernie Ball Holiday Gift Guide
Top Bottom