Covered humbuckers or uncovered?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by danktat, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. watelessness

    watelessness Member

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    The looks don't matter to me. It all comes down to tone
     
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  2. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    On a purely visual perspective, I do prefer covered and don't mind uncovered black (not Zebra or white/cream). I do like the laser cut Pick-ups that DiMarzio have done for Steve Vai (JEM 'Woody' - Dark Matter 2), Nita Strauss (Jiva10 - Pandemonium) and John Petrucci (JP16 - Sonic Ecstasy) as I think that adds 'something' to the design.

    My Custom 24 (2018) has uncovered 85/15's in black and my 594 has 58/15LT covered on - both double cut and therefore have a very similar body shape and I have no real preference to them being open or covered. I have more of an issue with the PU rings as I think they should be 'black' on my guitar because of the colours on the top. When the PU rings stand out that much, they need to be something special - like natural Maple - not 'plastic'. Black would blend in so much more - look at my Profile pick and the white plastic PU rings stand out too much. Its something I will change one day....

    Each to their own though but I don't tend to be someone who swaps PU's. I buy a guitar based on how it sounds (as much as how it feels, plays etc) and not because it has the look I want and hope it may have the sound I want with different PU's - I already know a guitar has the sounds I want because that's why I bought it. I guess if I was buying a 2nd hand or cheap guitar because it had the looks and feel but not quite the sound I want, then maybe I would be more inclined to buy after market replacements. Its one of the things that 'bemuses' me with guitars like the 408 where swapping PU's is brought up as a 'negative' because of the size/shape but I think you should buy a 408 because of the way those PU's sound....
     
  3. shallbe

    shallbe New Member

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    I like the classic PRS look the most. Uncovered humbuckers and no neck binding.

    That means I gravitate to the older guitars. I do have a DGT Artist with hybrid hardware and brushed covers. It has no binding, though.
     
  4. RGM

    RGM New Member

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    My Cherry burst Singlecut has covered 57/08's with gold screws. It looks awesome! But my P24 has uncovered 57/08's and it sounds a little more wide open than the covered set. It's my favorite pickup sound.
     
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  5. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf I'm a Dog! I do Dog Things!

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    Removing the covers gives you more bite, more string attack, Little more evenness with note decay, it is subtle yet noticeable, especially with mid gain and higher volumes,
    Higher-quality less magnetic thinner pickup covers Can minimize the effects.
    However if a metal can conduct electricity it creates a slight counter magnetic field as the string moves through the magnetic pole field.
    Voltage current eddies are created. Certain frequencies and volumes are lost. But it's up to your ears, it is essentially a slightly different EQ with a cover installed.

    I remove all my covers on my bridge pickup much better control of my string attack. Slightly less compressed. More responsive to your picking technique.

    Here's an example of a technician putting the pickups on a frequency analyzer with and without covers.
    Quote Looking at the frequency response graph.
    You'll notice they all have "dips" ahead of the resonant peak, the green line, the unloaded Epiphone plot has a the biggest dip of them all, and that is a direct result of eddy currents reducing the voltage output as the frequency rises. Conductive metals in the presence of changing magnetic fields cause eddy currents which 'push back' on that same magnetic field which creates them, resulting in a net loss of magnetism and induced voltage. Faster changing magnetic fields, or higher frequencies, causing stronger eddy currents, so the voltage slopes downwards as frequency increases. The reason there is a peak after the "dip" is because then the resonant peak comes along and increases the voltage, in spite of the eddy losses. The gray line, the loaded gibson 57, shows a case where the increased voltage at the resonant peak is barely able to offset the voltage loss caused by eddy currents.
     
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  6. Korina Jack

    Korina Jack New Member

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    I like them either way. Sonically to me the difference is a microphone with a cover or a mic without the cover. Negligible but noticeable if you A/B them. Rock on!
     
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  7. mad monk

    mad monk Your father's Oldsmobile

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    Love zebras. Aged nickel is great, too.
     
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  8. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul The cat's meow

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    Never gave it too much thought, cosmetically they all look good even zebra bobbins but I must say those PRS squared off bobbins get rid of those annoying gaps. When it comes to covered I really dig the brushed nickel. I thought I read or saw an interview with Paul Reed Smith mentioning that the PRS pickups with covers have a different amount of windings. I’ll try to search that.
     
  9. Rusty Chos

    Rusty Chos Don’t mean a thang if it don’t twang

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    C[​IMG]

    For a satin finished standard I think zebra works, but I like covered on glossy guitars.

    I'm undecided on my Paul's Guitar. The square bobbins are OK I guess. The light colored rings draw attention to them (or draw the eye to them).
     
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  10. Rusty Chos

    Rusty Chos Don’t mean a thang if it don’t twang

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  11. Rusty Chos

    Rusty Chos Don’t mean a thang if it don’t twang

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    I'd rather these were covered, but not a big deal.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    I have no real preference either way. I do feel uncovered gives a hair more air and definition, but with good quality covers I think the actual tone difference is usually minimal. However it seems to vary with certain pickups. I have no objection to mixing covered with uncovered, and I like shiny as much as aged depending on the guitar in question. Generally not a huge fan of zebras. But my #1 Les Paul has looked the same since 1983 other than accumulating more general wear and a few scars earned in battle. She's a Guitar Trader "pre-Historic."

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. vchizzle

    vchizzle Zomb!e Nine, DFZ

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    Order of preference for me:
    1)black squabbin
    2)brushed nickel covered
    3)nickel shiny
    4)last place tie - gold covers or zebra

    I prefer the tone of uncovered most of the time. I also like uncovered because my sweat doesn't treat covered well. Brushed nickel is best for any cover IMO because at least I don't need to try to keep the sh!t shiny. If I want to make my hardware look vintage real quick, gimme gold...that way I wear the gold off and tarnish it up real nice! :D
     
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  14. Vexed73

    Vexed73 New Member

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    Depends on guitar. Floyds and kahlers uncovered. Stoptails covered. Regular trems either and depends how fancy the guitar is.
     
  15. helmi

    helmi single & satin

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    No Zebra's for me!
     
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  16. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    I like the squabbins the best but if a pickup sounds good then I wouldn't care if it was pink.
     
  17. Johnny Rigs

    Johnny Rigs "Hold on to your butts" - Samuel L Jackson

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    Uncovered squabbins help give a more “raw” look to a guitar. They also look better on a solid color guitar in my opinion.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. JDutch

    JDutch New Member

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    I'm treble sensitive. Covers for me.
     
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  19. Geo408

    Geo408 New Member

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    Depends on the guitar, the color, and the overall vibe. Certain vintage guitars look incredible with either zebra’s, or Nickle covers. Same with reissues, and new PRS models. I have a custom “Tele-Gib”, that I made many years ago...it looks fantastic with zebra’s! ( Jeff Beck inspired, of course, )
     
  20. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Pink pickups rule!
     
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