Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders - Jemsite
Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

I've recently really gotten into some retro shred stuff, Petrucci, Gilbert, Vai, Becker, Johnson etc. I'm trying to set up one guitar dedicated to shred. My problem is the neck pickup. If I am using moderately high gain on my Marshalls, Fenders or even my Vox modeler, switching to the neck pickup when playing up higher on the fretboard is very unpleasant. Specifically, when playing on the high E, B and G strings up around the 10th to 15th fret, I get a clangy, brittle, glassy, icepick sound when playing single notes and bends. Its sounds microphonic, nonmusical, harsh.

At first I thought it was the Ibanez S470 guitar with the ZR bridge, and I DO think this accentuated it, but I also hear it with my Prestige RG with an Edge trem, and with my hardtail PRS. It happens with every amp when using higher gain settings. I've used the PAF pro, Air Norton, 59, Screaming Demon, Full Shred, and Pearly Gates Neck pickups and they all do it to a lesser or greater extent.

This does not occur when using the bridge pickup on the same settings. I know that with a single coil strat, you can't throw as much gain at the neck pickup as you do the bridge, but I don't see these Shred guys turning down the gain when they switch to the neck pickup. I don't get it. What am I doing wrong??
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 02:13 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

I guess your problem is the amp EQ. If you have the problem w/ several guitar and various pickups (I've tested the air norton and paf pro on the same position (neck) of a guitar and there is no way you get a glassy wound with the air norton in the neck slot.

Try to adjust the EQ while keeping the neck pickup until you find a setting that make you happy. Then swith to the bridge pup and listen to the difference.
Then you might find what your problem is.
But what is your bridge pickup?

Can you send us samples of the sounds you're experiencing?
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 03:37 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Your rig is the problem-
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

I have a Marshall JVM 410C, A Fender Supersonic 22, and Vox Valvetronix Pro VTX150 for amps. I have a BB preamp, Maxon 808, Boss OD-1, DD3, DS-1, Bad Monkey, Budda Wah, Echo Park, and a Vox Tonelab to choose from as pedals. I'm using a Jackson DK2M with JB and 59, An Ibanez S470 with Air Zone and PAF PRO, and an Ibanez RG655 with Tone Zone and Air Norton for guitars.

What exactly is "wrong" with my rig ?????

None of this equipment gives me any problem with these and many other guitars when playing my usual blues, rock, and metal. Why the neck pickup when using high gain??
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 04:51 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Your guitars are all widely different from one another. In your opinion, which ones are worse and with which pickups?

Which combinations are better?

And all of the above, which do you like best/worst through what amp/pedal combo?

You may just have too much going in the signal chain.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 05:31 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Make sure your neck pickups aren't too close to the strings when you're fretting those notes
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Good questions RGTFAN. The Ibanez S models with the ZR trem are far and away the worst offenders. That is the only reason I even have RG's now. I couldn't get rid of that harsh high end clanginess on the upper frets of the S. Some pickups, like the PAF PRO and Duncan Full Shred Neck, accentuate the problem too.

The guitar that offends the least is a cheap RG450 with an Air Norton in the neck, but it still has too much of that quality for my satisfaction.

I'm not actually USING all those effects at once. At most I might have one overdrive pedal running into one of the lower gain channels, and I plug straight into the amp on the high gain channels. I use those other pedals on rare occasions.

I can almost EQ the high end icepick out of my tone, but that is with the treble almost off and the mids way down. By that time most of the overall tone is gone too.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 06:57 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Did you wire all the pickups yourself?

What is the height of the neck pickups from the strings when you fret the last fret?

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the neck pickup should be fatter sounding than the bridge, definitely not icepicky...
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

It isn't the setup or pickup height, and they are wired correctly. I've been working on guitars and replacing pickups for decades. This is just my first adventure into pure high gain shred. The neck pickup DOES sound much fuller and fatter than the bridge pickup, and it sounds perfectly fine until I get up around the 12th -15th fret on the high strings. Then there is this microphonic, clangy, icepick treble screech that I can't dial out. It isn't the string height or a high fret either, or it would do it with the bridge pickup as well.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 09:49 AM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlion View Post
It isn't the setup or pickup height, and they are wired correctly. I've been working on guitars and replacing pickups for decades. This is just my first adventure into pure high gain shred. The neck pickup DOES sound much fuller and fatter than the bridge pickup, and it sounds perfectly fine until I get up around the 12th -15th fret on the high strings. Then there is this microphonic, clangy, icepick treble screech that I can't dial out. It isn't the string height or a high fret either, or it would do it with the bridge pickup as well.
If it isn't the setup, pickup height, and the bridge pickup isn't icepicky then it's either how you wired the neck pickup or something else in your signal chain.

Can you post a sound clip of the problem?

Can you post a diagram or describe how you wired the neck pickup?
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

I've been trying to post a clip but my post count has to be 10 or more before I can, so I'm typing this one to get my posts up to 10.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

I have been wiring pickups for decades as I have said, and some of these pickups in my PRS guitars have been installed for years. They are not out of phase or wired in parallel.

http://youtu.be/D-_Wm8T1iMc

In this video of Paul Gilbert, you can hear EXACTLY what I am talking about around the 20-40 second mark on his high strings. It is a microphonic screechy clanginess to the note.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 12:37 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlion View Post
I have been wiring pickups for decades as I have said, and some of these pickups in my PRS guitars have been installed for years. They are not out of phase or wired in parallel.

http://youtu.be/D-_Wm8T1iMc

In this video of Paul Gilbert, you can hear EXACTLY what I am talking about around the 20-40 second mark on his high strings. It is a microphonic screechy clanginess to the note.
He used parallel connection those days, clean should be very bright with high-output pickups. This can be replicated by adding too much high eq in a chain of pedals-then decrease the highs on amps.

I didn't read the previous comments in detail but seems somewhere in your chain 1 or more fx are adjusted too bright.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 01:00 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Pretty strange only the neck pickup does it... In that video you posted that was his bridge pickup that was nasty sounding, then he switched to the neck pickup and it mellowed out....
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 01:31 PM
 
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Re: Neck Pickup and Shred.. Help me out Shredders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
Make sure your neck pickups aren't too close to the strings when you're fretting those notes
Yeah, that was my first thought when reading the OP, although with the experience he mentions it would be hard to believe he's missing something like that.

I've honestly never had that experience with any neck pickups, even when one of mine went microphonic. Right now I'm using a Liquifire in the neck of my RG920, and it's pretty much the sweetest, most tubular neck tone I've ever heard. Something is definitely wrong with the rig. Heck, even my bridge pickups don't get the sound you describe.
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