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 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.
Tone Chasin’: The Skinny on Capacitors and Potentiometers (Or Caps and Pots) — Part 2
By Jason Lollar
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.
This ES 300 reproduction pickup was hand built from raw materials in-house at Lollar Pickups.
At Lollar, we’re one of the few places that actually makes pickups completely from scratch – we always have, always will. Whether it’s for a custom application or a vintage restoration, we have the tools and knowledge to fabricate almost anything in-house, from small repair/replacement parts to complete pickups.
This is a copy of a later version of the Gibson ES 300 pickup that we built recently for a restoration. The old tortoiseshell material Gibson used degrades over time and after decades it just crumbles to dust, so these solid tortoise pickups made from celluloid are often missing from the vintage instruments.
As seen in the picture below. two versions of the ES 300 pickups were made; a long and short. This one is the short of course, but we’ve made the long version too.