Need some advice - Jemsite
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 357
Need some advice

I built a herc swirl some time ago. In that swirl I have Air Norton neck, ISCV-2 middle, and Norton Bridge pups.

I've been busy and haven't been playing much for almost a year. You know the story, met a girl, dated a girl, engaged a girl, married the girl. So, there hasn't been much playing going on.

I recently started picking my axes back up now that things are beginning to settle down and reach what I'd call "normal" again. I just built a custom Warmoth Strat that I have fallen in love with. I've also fallen back in love with my Gibby SG. I do think that the SG is a touch bright in the bridge position, but it most certainly works in a live situation for cutting through.

So, I've been occupied playing my SG and Strat and as I'm getting ready for my once a year charity gig, I've been pressured to play my swirl JEM. So, I picked it up to play with it and it just sounds muddy as hell! Maybe my ears have become accustomed to the strattier sound. I dunno. I do seem to like the Air Norton's qualities but my Jem just sounds like it's stuck in a bucket with the lid on. I know the guy who wired it up is the local guru, ...maybe a world guru, so I trust he wired it right but I can't help that notice that on the five way switch, the 2 and 4 positions are completely unusable because they are even MUDDIER sounding. I mean crap pile muddy sounding.

He installed, per my directions, a push/pull pot on the tone knob which is supposed to throw everything into single coil mode. It may do that but it seems to darken everything just a bit more, which further compounds the problem.

I'm going to pop the back cover and examine the wiring as soon as possible, but I think I'm going to find that everything's okay there and I'm just not happy with the AN in the neck. The norton in the bridge is fine, but sounds closer to what I'd expect in the neck position. It's not bright, not too dark, ...kinda medium and warm.

I wouldn't expect my guitar to be all that warm. Played unplugged it sounds great, balanced and a touch bright. So, that brings it down to the electronics (which I thought I used to be happy with).

Assuming that I find the wiring is done properly, what do you think is a good set of pups for me to move to? I had a JEM 7vwh and liked the sound okay,'s just that it's "that" sound if you know what I mean. It's kinda hard avoiding sounding just like vai or beinvenuti or guys like that with those pups (tone wise, not chops). I'd consider going back to an evo neck/evo bridge combo, but I just want to get some advice before doing so. I remember thinking to myself that the Evo's kinda felt like a one-trick-pony and weren't really versatile, but maybe I didn't know how to make use of them at that point in my playing ability. Perhaps the Evo 2 in the bridge would allow for more variety in sound by rolling back the volume knob?

I guess I'm just venting, but I'm a little confused. I watch videos of the Air Norton on you tube all day long and it sounds great in most of the videos. I does sound muddy in some too. When I play it at home, it's "kinda okay". Perhaps I'm not playing a rig with high enough gain for the AN? My rig is a Peavey Classic 30 loaded with a Celestion Vintage 30, and a Mesa Thiele extension cab loaded with the same. I do play mostly at bedroom volumes, but a recording of the last live performance I did with the swirl 2 years ago had the rhythm guy playing the SG riding all on top of me. Perhaps the AN is not a good voicing for live use with my rig? Or based on your experience, maybe the sound shouldn't be this muddy/muffled sounding and the wiring is off.

Advice is appreciated. Sorry for the mile long post. Trying to give enough information to make the discussion profitable and not just conjecture.

Last edited by tt0511; 08-27-2009 at 10:37 AM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 357
Re: Need some advice

Would a moderator move this thread to the pickup forum area? Sorry, I missed that forum area.
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