Welcome To The DULLhouse

We get asked all the time, “Why does my old pickup sound dull?”

There are many reasons the tone can suffer on vintage pickups…

These p'ups aren't just *playing* dead... They're dead!

These p’ups aren’t just *playing* dead… They’re actually dead!

 

We can’t resurrect or improve every beaten, tired, old pickup that we come across. Some of them, like the ones seen above, are just too far gone. Only a complete rebuild, with brand new parts could bring them back to life – but at that point, you may as well just replace it! You can’t shine a turd, as they say (even if you could, you’d still just have a shiny turd). But, just maybe, your dull sound isn’t the turd you thought it was, so in this edition, we’ll address the possible causes and potential solutions.

 

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CONTINUED – Tone Chasin’: The Skinny on Capacitors and Potentiometers (Or Caps and Pots) — Part 2

Tone Chasin’: The Skinny on Capacitors and Potentiometers (Or Caps and Pots) — Part 2

By Jason Lollar

Blog Pots and Caps

In my previous post, I wrote about choosing the best pots for your sound (If you haven’t done so already, you can read it HERE). In this post, I will focus on capacitors (or caps), the different types/values, and how they work to affect and influence your guitar tone.

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Tone Chasin’: The Skinny on Capacitors and Potentiometers (Or Caps and Pots) — Part 1

Tone Chasin’: The Skinny on Capacitors and Potentiometers (Or Caps and Pots) — Part 1

By Jason Lollar

Blog Pots and Caps

Finding your guitar tone involves a mix of science and voodoo. This alchemy includes the role of capacitors and potentiometers, also known as caps and pots. In this article, we focus on pots, and separate fact from fiction and explain how they are typically used to give you greater tone and volume control.

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Pickups And Steel Wool: An Amicable Separation.

Opposites Attract – Steel wool is the opposite of good for your pickups.

This picture shows how tiny ferrous pieces of steel wool (or iron shavings, in this case) are attracted to magnetic fields.

(Author’s note: As steel wool can be so harmful to pickups, we are not willing to risk the integrity of our pickups by allowing steel wool into the shop, even for photographic purposes. Because of this, I have used stock images for illustrative aides.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell our customers that their beloved pickup has gone belly up because of something that was completely avoidable – the usual suspect; STEEL WOOL! In fact, more often than not, they themselves (or even their “reputable guitar tech”) are the ones to blame. Many times when my diagnosis of, “I’m sorry, but your pickup is dead – most likely due to all the steel wool in it. Unfortunately the only way to fix it is to completely re-wind it” solicits a response along the lines of, “How could that even happen? I don’t use steel wool near my pickups.”

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Like a long tailed cat in a roadhouse full of Telecasters

Got a sqealing TeleCATster? We just might be able to help you out with that.

Got a squealing Tele-CAT-ster? We just might be able to help you out with that.

As a follow-up to our last post about pickup potting and the effect it can have on microphonics (which can be found here: http://www.lollarguitars.com/blog/2014/01/what_is_potting/), we thought we’d address the issue some players have with their Tele bridge pickup squealing like an angry cat. This can be caused by an overly microphinc pickup, the bridge plate, or both. We’re here to help you narrow down what is causing the problem and how to go about fixing it.

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