DGT pups: not punchy?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by ruger9, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. ruger9

    ruger9 New Member

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    Hey all, first post here, you may recognize my username from the other PRS forums...

    Anyway, I've got an SE SC here, that I have had DGT pups in, and wired like a DGT (except I have only 1 vol 1 tone), and while they have a very nice tone, they have always seemed a bit... soft/spongy to me... lacking punch. And I'm a huge Grissom fan, and his tone never lacks punch. The story is the same regardless of the amp. The only other guitar I have to compare to is a tele with a Rio Grande Muy Grande in the bridge- which is a bit hotter than the DGT bridge, and is a VERY punchy pickup...

    I've been thinking of trying some different humbuckers, but I don't know if it's the pups, the guitar (wood), or a combination of both... but I would love to hear any insight or recommendations you might have. I was looking into the Whole Lotta' humbuckers, and the Bonamassa humbuckers, but I know these DGTs are supposed to kick ass... just trying to get to the bottom of it, because I don't play the guitar much because of it.

    Maybe I'm just not a humbucker guy? Or maybe a 25.5" scale telecaster with a beefy bridge pup is just too stiff of competition (compared to the PRS 25" scale and humbucker).

    FWIW, I play GHS TNTs (basically 10's with 12's on the E & A) on the tele, and straight 11s on the SE.
     
    #1 ruger9, Jan 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  2. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Hate to say this, but you may not get much help until you post an official rugerxx picture...



    It may be the combo of guitar and pickups - it's been said before that the DGT is a "sum of all the parts" guitar, meaning that the combination of everything is what makes it sound that way, and changing even one component changes the sound of the final product.
     
  3. ruger9

    ruger9 New Member

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    Not many DGT owners here apparently...
     
  4. dprather

    dprather New Member

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    What amp are you using, and is it loud enough? DG isn't exactly 'whisper quiet' when he plays.

    There shouldn't be a lack of 'punch' from the pickups - Is the guitar absorbing a little extra vibration?

    Sometimes it takes a lot of experimenting to find the right guitar/pickup combination. I'm not sure how many sets of pickups I went through on my Cu24 before arriving on 'the right set' for that particular instrument.

    I would also suggest getting your hands on a DGT locally if you can, compare it to yours and see what they sound like side by side.

    Good luck in your quest!
     
  5. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    Something about your user name seems familiar.....

    Like Alan says - guitars are the sum of their parts - dropping DG pups into an SESC doesn't give you a DGT - it gives you an SESC with DG pups. I'm not saying that sarcastically, I'm dead serious about that.

    Look at the differences - The DGT has a different body shape and is thicker. The SE has a maple cap - but it has a maple veneer glued to that. (another layer of glue...) The frets are bigger on a DGT. The finish is different. The woods used in the Maryland models are probably sourced differently and dried differently. The SE bridge, nut and tuners are different.

    That doesn't mean SEs suck - far from it - but they are different.

    There are other details to look at - perhaps having 2 volume pots makes a difference in the sound due to a different path/length of path. Did you use the exact same wiring brands and gauges and components like pots, switches and caps on your SE as are in the DGT? Probably not.

    It all adds up - or rather subtracts out as is the common view these days.

    That also doesn't mean that your SE with DG pups is a bad thing - it still probably sounds a bit better than the stock pups.

    You can put a souped up Porsche engine in a WV and what do you get? A souped up WV - we used to call them 914s.....


    ...oh. And comparing Telecasters to humbucker guitars is like comparing sutures to scalpels. They might be used in the same operation, but they have totally different functions.
     
    #5 rugerpc, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  6. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan DGT Player

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    I'll agree with above...the DGT and its tone come from the sum of the parts, pickups and guitar design.

    I'm a DGT nut. I have three of them, but my "number one" has a DGT in the bridge and a 57/08 in the neck. I'll put the 57/08 back in the bridge slot at some point. For me, the 57/08s are even DGT-ish than the orignal pickups...they have a little more oomph.
     
  7. John Beef

    John Beef Opaque

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    The thing that I love about the DGT pickups in my Custom 22 is how smooth and fat they are while still retaining clarity. If I want punchy or bright, my Mira has that in spades, and they compliment each other well.

    If you're putting a hot/twangy rio grande into a telecaster with a maple neck, regardless of fretboard material that seems like it would be ALL punch. There is very little that would be able to compete with the punch of a setup like that.

    I had a McRosie for a while which by itself was arguably the best sounding guitar I have ever owned, but with a band it was just too smooth and would disappear into the mix. I tried something like 8 sets of pickups in that guitar hoping to find that magical combo that retained the oomph it had but help it cut better, with no luck, and eventually moved to greener pastures. Sometime's it's just the guitar. Changing pickups will either emphasize or de-emphasize certain qualities of an instrument but it will never give you a completely different sound.
     
  8. ruger9

    ruger9 New Member

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    Thanks guys... I basically agree with everything said, and have been coming to similar conclusions....

    I'm playing thru a 30 watt amp, pretty darned loud, it's a Black Pearl 30, which is in the Bad Cat/Matchless/Vox category... interestingly, just like the new DG Custom 30: EL84s, Cathode biased, tube rectifier...lol

    Even tho the SE stoptails are aluminum, I did go ahead and order a "lightweight" Wilkinson stoptail, just to see if it adds any resonance... thinking maybe the trem/springs on a DGT adds a bit of resonance over a stoptail (I had read that alot on the forums).

    I think the big realization for me, even more than single coil vs humbucker, is a TELE BRIDGE single coil/25.5" scale vs. a humbucker/25" scale. My tele really is "all punch", I just never realized that because it's been my #1 for so long... it's been the "control" I compared everything else against.

    So, in summary, I'm gonna' stop worrying about it, and just play the guitar. A DGT is a bucket list guitar for me, someday.
     
  9. Egads

    Egads One, Two, THIRTEEN!

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    Good plan! The greatness of different guitars is...that they are different. Rock on!
     
  10. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    DGh said pretty much that same thing the year they introduced the model, which is why it's a DGT. He said the springs gave it a sort of natural reverb.
     
  11. 22Top

    22Top perfectly cromulent

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    I play a DGT STD through a Black Pearl 30: I definitely get punchy tones out of that combo. I would agree that it might be the guitar. I also find that amp really sneaky with power tubes. You don't notice how subtly your tone gets duller and more saggy, until you pop some fresh power tubes in and wonder why you waited so long.

    Also: make sure you're in pentode mode... Just to make sure.

    Jarek
     
  12. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    As wonderful as the DGT pups are, the sum of the parts angle makes the most sense to me, too. There was once a sound in my head...totally different than what I had. Then I listened to, met, and talked with DG and the missing character of that sound in my head was found. But instead of doing what I had done when I was younger, I pursued the whole enchilada...the guitar, the amp and the cab. It's a well matched combination that sounds like ME. And instead of taking 10 years searching for the perfect combination, I did it in 5 months.
     
  13. ruger9

    ruger9 New Member

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    Amen on pentode mode. I also only use full power (4 tubes)- I find even half power, which I believe taps the transformer, gives you less bass and body. Actually, I have another amp (Super-Sonic 22) that I have been experimenting with different speakers, and for kicks I tried a CERAMIC speaker instead if the alnico in the BP30, and that took away a little of the softness... I think maybe the combo of humbuckers + cathode bias + tube recitifer + alnico = too many things "sagging". After the switch, I'm enjoying the BP30 more, even with the PRS.
     
  14. ruger9

    ruger9 New Member

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    What was this "magic advice" DG gave you?? Spill it! :)
     
  15. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    LOL!:rofl:

    There's nothing magical about what he said, he just helped me focus attention on some of the basics. A gigging, bar band guitarist can get the most out of their gear if you keep it simple...a guitar with flexible and responsive controls, an amp sized for the venue, and a simple signal chain. He didn't say anything earth-shattering, but he spoke very empathetically. It was all common sense stuff (use a single channel amp, effects thru the front only, use the guitar controls to jockey your sound, etc) but better than just a bunch of lip service, he demonstrated it. Amp, pedalboard, guitar. Together it's a matched set that's been honed by a solid pro, so I took a chance and bought a Super Dallas and pine 2x12 cab. That was a life changer, but the next big jump was when I had an opportunity to buy a special DGT Standard. While my other guitars sounded really damned good, with the DGT Std, it was a completely different level.

    As simple as these ideas were, it still took me a while to get it down. Playing a multi-channel Boogie with FX loop and 4 cable connectivity to a complex pedal board for 20+ years gets you mired in your ways. I feel liberated and I now focus more on esoteric dirt pedal settings than pup changes or new speakers and such. That's a great feeling.
     
  16. ruger9

    ruger9 New Member

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    Very cool... thanks for the "report"... I've been a huge fan of Grissom for years, all the way back to when he was in Mellencamp's band and I didn't even know who he was...

    I have a big "home" pedalboard... sort of a one-of-every-effect kind of "playland", but I wouldn't take that monster out. I have a wah, but never use it. Still, I HAVE it, in case I decide something I'm working on needs it, or if a band I'm in does a tune that requires it. Ditto fuzz and octave fuzz. Leslie.

    I'm all about "simple is better"... while I might have alot of pedals, they are all SIMPLE pedals, with only a few knobs. No Timelines for me! Still looking for that "one" amp... haven't found it yet, but making do well enough with the BP30 (which is a criminally underrated amp) and a Super-Sonic 22...
     
  17. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Amateur! I have TWO wahs I never use - and a volume pedal that doesn't get touched! And one is even in my signal chain!

    Did I mention the expression pedal I don't express with?
     
  18. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    Amateur! I have core line guitars I never play.... (I'm probably doing them a favor... )
     

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