Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #98164  by wolftigerrosebud
 Fri May 13, 2011 8:15 am
Hey all. I'm thinking about replacing the neck pickup in an '08 Hamer Artist. Right now it has SD Seth Lovers in it. The neck position doesn't sound bad (on the contrary, it sounds quite good for such a dark, open sounding pickup), but it's pretty much unusable for anything but jazz tones since it's so dark and totally without any bite, so I'm looking to replace it. I was thinking about a Super 2 (of course), but I'm worried that it may be too bright, since the guitar has a maple top and since the Super 2 gets mixed reviews.

The sound I'm after is a bright, Jerry-esque sound with enough versatility to still play some jazz stuff. I don't want it to still sound entirely like a rock and roll pickup when I roll the tone knob back.

So, I'm looking for some opinions on anyone's experiences with neck pickups and their tones, particularly in a bright-sounding guitar.
 #99420  by wolftigerrosebud
 Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:52 pm
Isn't that a p90ish sounding pickup? I'm sure it sounds good, but I don't think that's the sound I'm looking for. I'm really looking for something that's less warm like an LP or a jazz guitar and more bright and Garcia-esque.
 #99421  by jackevorkian
 Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:19 pm
The z90 is surprisingly bright. It sounds like a pretty hot single coil. Charlie christian style pickups fit the description as well.

There's really only one pickup that sounds like jg, and it needs to be split and in the middle. Other than that it's just degrees of deviation from 'that' sound.

Maybe a Dual Sound? They're a little darker than a Super 2.
 #99422  by alcorelectric
 Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:24 pm
IMO, You should try a Super II in the bridge and a dimarzio PAF in the neck.
I bought a LP w/ this combo and was very suprised how nice it sounded.
I normally avoid the bridge position but the Super II gets that nice Quackey sound in the bridge.
If your intrested in a trade I might be able to do a spare super II for the Seth?
I believe the dimarzio model # for the Paf is #103
 #99439  by wolftigerrosebud
 Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:35 am
The Seth in the bridge sounds pretty good to me, actually. It has a bright, meaty sound without being too piercing. I'd be afraid that if I went with a bridge pickup that's bright like a Super 2 that it'd be overwhelming. Maybe a Super 2 in the neck and a PAF or Dual Sound in the bridge? Or is that just counter-intuitive? To be honest, now I'm beginning to wonder if just sticking Super 2s in both bridge and neck positions would be a good choice, despite my concerns about potential icepick factor in the bridge.
 #99502  by alcorelectric
 Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:52 pm
Try a Schaller "golden 50" in the neck Very warm sounding w/o bite
I have an sg w/ the schaller in the neck, as I didnt want the peircing sounds of the stock T500
It should work great in the neck position in a jazz situation.
 #99811  by wolftigerrosebud
 Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:59 am
jackevorkian wrote:There's really only one pickup that sounds like jg, and it needs to be split and in the middle.
OK. I did some searching and I couldn't find much on what I want to know, though I'm sure the question has been answered somewhere before. From what I read about coil splitting, it looked like the coil split could be accomplished with a push/pull knob or a toggle switch, but when I searched this forum, it looked like a lot of people talking about 3 humbuckers (super 2s) and selecting the middle position which achieves the Jerry tone. Does anyone know if it's possible to get the split Super 2 sound with two pickups instead of three? I'd much rather not cut up my guitar to add a 3rd pickup, but I really want that sound. Also, would I have to replace the pots to get closer to that tone? I'm thinking I may have to anyway (for a push/pull knob) since I don't want to do any routing unless I must.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the guitar I'm talking about only has 3 knobs, 2 volume and one tone, along with a p/u selector switch, so I can't make one tone knob a master tone knob and use the other for a toggle.
 #99826  by JamminJommy
 Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:29 am
What is often referred to as "THE" Jerry tone (think the Althea riff) is created by having a Super II in the middle position with one coil tapped off. After that, there are a LOT of other contributing factors but in terms of pickups; that's it. You really can't quite get it on a 2 pickup guitar.

You really only need a volume and a tone knob IF THAT, but Jerry's exact electronics set ups over the years (including pictorial/and schematic guides) are available on Waldo's site.


 #99838  by JamminJommy
 Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:15 pm
LONG ANSWER: Almost any Humbucker in the middle position sounds... odd. There are some that like it, and I've had success with a few. But the Super II has such a hot output (as humbuckers go), that it would sound rather bold, mid-rangy, and blatty. It has some of the barky qualities of its tapped counterpart, but not the strat-like sparkle that is characteristic of the tone. Whether you employ the Super II or the Super Distortion/Dual Sound, it just tends to work better as a single coil in the middle. For example, what major guitar makers like Jackson, Ibanez, and even Fender do when they have 3 pickups is either HSH, HSS, or SSS. They all favor a single coil in the middle. It all has to do with harmonic resonance!

SHORT ANSWER: No, not really.

Did I help or make it worse?


 #99840  by wolftigerrosebud
 Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:33 pm
It helps! All information helps. Thank you. :-)

Well, I guess that doesn't leave me much option in the Hamer (unless someone has a suggestion on a HH config that comes close to Jerry), since I'm unwilling to reroute it. Maybe I'll do that on my SG and turn it into a Jerrycaster when I have a chance. I wonder if there are board members here who do that kind of work. Anyone know? I have no experience modifying guitars and it seems like a kind of big job to learn on.
 #99842  by JamminJommy
 Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:35 pm
wolftigerrosebud wrote:unless someone has a suggestion on a HH config that comes close to Jerry)
Tons of Jerry options with an HH if you're going for 65-70 tone. :) Live Dead?


 #99856  by jackevorkian
 Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:02 pm
wolftigerrosebud wrote:I'd prefer that to what I've got now, for sure. Have any favorites?
I'm happy with Harmonic Design Z90's.

And thus, we've come full circle.