sixstringoverdrive

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Sep 23, 2019
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Hey Everyone,

I installed a set of 57/08 pickups into my PRS McCarty (2005). I love the sound of these, but am finding something I need help with. With a fresh set of Elixir Optiweb strings, if I hit the bass string too hard it sounds like either string buzz or distortion is coming through the amp. It especially happens with the neck pickup.

I did adjust down the pickups and the neck is almost flush with body. This did not help.
I turned down the volume - this did not help.

Is it possible the neck pickup has an issue?
Or, is it possible the pickups are just much more sensitive than the previous McCarty pickups and are actually bringing through some string buzz/new string buzz?
I'm playing through a Delta Blues 2x10 EL84 tube amp. Maybe a tube is the problem?

If I hit the string normally or lightly, I don't really hear it as much.

Appreciate any help!
 

pac90

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Sometimes what you describe can be the pickup screw springs resonating, can put foam block under pickup to check. Its happened to me...

Otherwise, you should be able to see if the guitar string is buzzing somewhere
 

Going Modal

I should be practicing right now.
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When you say it "especially happens" with the neck pickup--is it only happening with the neck pickup, or will it happen with the bridge, too? To test this, try moving the bridge pickup up closer to the strings on the bass side and give the low-E a good whack. If it's happening on that bridge pickup, too... then it's probably not the guitar or pickups. At that point, it would likely be something with the amp (more specifically, the speaker(s)).
 

sixstringoverdrive

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Sep 23, 2019
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When you say it "especially happens" with the neck pickup--is it only happening with the neck pickup, or will it happen with the bridge, too? To test this, try moving the bridge pickup up closer to the strings on the bass side and give the low-E a good whack. If it's happening on that bridge pickup, too... then it's probably not the guitar or pickups. At that point, it would likely be something with the amp (more specifically, the speaker(s)).
It does happen on the bridge pickup, but I have to really hit the string and make it go crazy. It's more pronounced on the bass pickup.
 

sixstringoverdrive

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Sep 23, 2019
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Sometimes what you describe can be the pickup screw springs resonating, can put foam block under pickup to check. Its happened to me...

Otherwise, you should be able to see if the guitar string is buzzing somewhere
I will try this when I get home. I installed the pickups a week ago and then yesterday replaced the pickup rings. I don't remember this happening before the new pickup rings, but honestly, if you play with any overdrive you don't even hear this. I pulled the cable from the pickups through the guitar all the way so before there was a bunch of cable under the pickup.
 

Alnus Rubra

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It may be the magnetic pull of the slug or the screw coil interfering with the oscillation of the string at the neck pickup, as that’s where the string moves the most. Hence it not being as pronounced at the neck (less string movement).

Try lowering the bass side of the neck pickup, that may alleviate your issues.

I’m only saying maybe.

Good luck.
 

Alnus Rubra

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Sounds similar to an issue I had which was similar. Lowering the pickups on the bass side balanced things up and stopped the issue.
 

Sixstring69

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I just installed a set of 57/08s in my Swamp Ash Special and something must be wrong. I followed instructions, diagrams, etc. but the treble pup is too bright and harsh, and the bass pickup is too dark and muddy with low gain distortion. I'm wondering if the pickups were labeled wrong and I need to reverse them? I say this because I once bought a used G&L guitar and had a similar problem when someone suggested the pickups might be reversed. I switched the bass and treble pickups and it worked! Has anyone ever had this experience? I was really looking forward to finally getting the sound I was looking for on my guitar. But these pickups sound awful! Anybody?
 

alantig

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Did the pickups have different length leads? If so, was the one labeled bridge longer? That might be a clue.

Have you tried playing w/the pickup height? That would be the path of least resistance.

Ultimately, it won't hurt anything to swap them and see how it sounds.
 

Black Plaid

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I just installed a set of 57/08s in my Swamp Ash Special and something must be wrong. I followed instructions, diagrams, etc. but the treble pup is too bright and harsh, and the bass pickup is too dark and muddy with low gain distortion. I'm wondering if the pickups were labeled wrong and I need to reverse them? I say this because I once bought a used G&L guitar and had a similar problem when someone suggested the pickups might be reversed. I switched the bass and treble pickups and it worked! Has anyone ever had this experience? I was really looking forward to finally getting the sound I was looking for on my guitar. But these pickups sound awful! Anybody?

I just measured the DC resistance. The Bridge is around 8.6k, and the neck is around 8k.
 

Sixstring69

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Leads were the same length but I did adjust the pickup heights and it made a big difference. There is still too much of a contrast between the treble and bass pickups - I have to turn the tone knob down to 4 on the treble pickup and the bass pup back up to 10, so it's somewhat workable. I'll try reversing the pickups this weekend. Thanks for your input.
 

Sixstring69

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I just measured the DC resistance. The Bridge is around 8.6k, and the neck is around 8k.

My readings are 9.07 bridge and 8.24 neck. Looks like swapping them would be unnecessary. Does anyone think the bridge and neck pickups are too bright and too dark, respectively, or do they seem balanced to you?
 

Egads

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What pots and cap are in the guitar? Any changes from stock there? Not knowing you, and not wanting to insult anyone, take this as an innocent question: how confident are you in the wiring job?
 

Sixstring69

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What pots and cap are in the guitar? Any changes from stock there? Not knowing you, and not wanting to insult anyone, take this as an innocent question: how confident are you in the wiring job?
Wiring is stock - PRS 2000 Swamp Ash Special bought new. Very confident at installing pickups. Never anything else.
 

Egads

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Hmm. I'm out, then. Trying to pick up what you are referring to in the clip is difficult. I definitely hear the string buzz, which will be amplified. Other distortion or buzzing around the low notes is difficult for me to hear on my tablet. I'll grab cans tomorrow and see.
 

Sixstring69

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Hmm. I'm out, then. Trying to pick up what you are referring to in the clip is difficult. I definitely hear the string buzz, which will be amplified. Other distortion or buzzing around the low notes is difficult for me to hear on my tablet. I'll grab cans tomorrow and see.

I'm not the guy with the clip, although we have similar names. My issue is the neck pickup is too dark while the bridge pickup is too bright. Maybe I got a defective set? Hard to believe PRS quality control would let this slip by.
 

Black Plaid

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I'm not the guy with the clip, although we have similar names. My issue is the neck pickup is too dark while the bridge pickup is too bright. Maybe I got a defective set? Hard to believe PRS quality control would let this slip by.
It is really odd.

I measured a second set of them I have and they pretty much almost identically line up with each other. Odd that yours are 500 ohms off each. Maybe the spin counter was due for maintenance?
 
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