New pickups in my HBII/Piezo

Andrew Paul

The cat's meow
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
3,064
Location
New York
After playing my Hollowbody II/Piezo for quite some time now I was not satisfied with the sound from the 58/15 LT TCI pickups. Don’t get me wrong they are great pickups and I love them in my 594’s but seemed a bit anemic in the HBII/Piezo. I’m only guessing but I believe it might be due to the Piezo saddles in the bridge. Anyway, I experimented and bought myself a pair of Lindy Fralin Pure PAFs. They sound fantastic in my opinion. I know words won’t be able to describe it properly and I won’t get away without posting a sound clip so here’s the link to that. I threw together jazzy backing track and played a few licks. Please don’t be too harsh on me. My hands are not what they used to be… as matter fact I’m going to a neurologist in December. Getting older sucks. Anyway, as far as the looks the bone white coils give it that classic look and match PRS frames very well.



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Those pups sound really good! So does your playing, no need to worry about that!! I see in your soundcloud post, your avatar has the HBII Piezo and a reg 594 HBII. I only have the reg one, do you think that having a Piezo equipped one is worth picking up a second HBII? Obviously you do, otherwise you would not have both, but more interested in what you get from the Piezo version and why that one alone would not then be enough! Inquiring mind wants to know!!
 
Those pups sound really good! So does your playing, no need to worry about that!! I see in your soundcloud post, your avatar has the HBII Piezo and a reg 594 HBII. I only have the reg one, do you think that having a Piezo equipped one is worth picking up a second HBII? Obviously you do, otherwise you would not have both, but more interested in what you get from the Piezo version and why that one alone would not then be enough! Inquiring mind wants to know!!
Thanks for the compliment Willy. So I play a lot of acoustic songs and perform as a one-man show in the summer. I thought I would attempt using the HBII/Piezo like an amplified acoustic guitar. Piezo sounds nice and there’s no feedback like you sometimes get with a larger body acoustic. I never cared for the diaphragm stuck on a sound hole of an acoustic to control feedback. I rehearsed many times with HBII/Piezo, but never ended up using it that way yet. I also like blending the Piezo and the humbuckers together when I’m fooling around soloing over backing tracks. It really gives it a nice chiming clear sound. I don’t know if it’s really worth it for you to have those options, that’s something you have to decide for yourself. I owned the HBII/Piezo first before I purchased the HBII594. I love the hollowbody 594. I love 5815 LTTCI pups in it. For some reason… to me, they didn’t sound right with the one piece wraparound Piezo bridge. And I believe it’s because of the bridge saddles are not just solid brass. I enjoy both Guitars immensely and I believe I’ve settled on a pair of pickups on the HPII/Piezo.

What I think would really sound awesome is a hollowbody II with Paul’s guitar switching and 408 TCI pickups. That would be my dream private stock build. Essentially a Paul’s Guitar that’s hollow body. They probably won’t even do that. And the single coil tones of a 408 TCI pickup are incredible also I love the humbucker tones. I am actually going to conduct an experiment with a Gibson Les Paul standard I have… I’m going to try Lindy Fralin Unbucker pups that seem to have similar qualities as the 408 TCI. I have everything on order for that experiment.

I hope my long reply helps lol
 
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Thanks for the compliment Willy. So I play a lot of acoustic songs and perform as a one-man show in the summer. I thought I would attempt using the HBII/Piezo like an amplified acoustic guitar. Piezo sounds nice and there’s no feedback like you sometimes get with a larger body acoustic. I never cared for the diaphragm stuck on a sound hole of an acoustic to control feedback. I rehearsed many times with HBII/Piezo, but never ended up using it that way yet. I also like blending the Piezo and the humbuckers together when I’m fooling around soloing over backing tracks. It really gives it a nice chiming clear sound. I don’t know if it’s really worth it for you to have those options, that’s something you have to decide for yourself. I owned the HBII/Piezo first before I purchased the HBII594. I love the hollowbody 594. I love 5815 LTTCI pups in it. For some reason… to me, they didn’t sound right with the one piece wraparound Piezo bridge. And I believe it’s because of the bridge saddles are not just solid brass. I enjoy both Guitars immensely and I believe I’ve settled on a pair of pickups on the HPII/Piezo.

What I think would really sound awesome is in hollowbody II with Paul’s guitar switching and 408 TCI pickups. That would be my dream private stock build. Essentially a Paul’s Guitar that’s hollow body. They probably won’t even do that. And the single coil tones of a 408 TCI pickup are incredible also I love the humbucker tones. I am actually going to conduct an experiment with a Gibson Les Paul standard I have… I’m going to try Lindy Fralin Unbucker pups that seem to have similar qualities as the 408 TCI. I have everything in order for that experiment.

I hope my long reply helps lol
Awesome reply! Thanks for the details, that is just what I was looking for!! I have been working on my "one man band" thing, and the 594 (with my Axe FXIII) gives me what I need, but I have been drawn to the Piezo bit in part because I played a Rick Turner a few months back and the Piezo in that sounded incredible!!! Very much appreciate you taking the time to respond in details!!!! Cheers~
 
Great to hear , Lindy makes great pickups . I wish my HBII's neck pickup was a bit warmer (easily cured with a tube boost)
 
Install the pickups myself. The most challenging part of the job is doing the work through and outside the F-hole. Of course the pickups through the pickup cavities. I use painters tape on the inside of the F hole, and on the top of the guitar and hand towels to keep from scratching the Guitar. You tie fishing line to the toggle switch post or knob so you can push it down into the guitar do you need to pull it back up later on in the place. That’s why you need a fishing line. You pull out the toggle switch to the F hole very carefully since the pickups on the HPII does not have splits it’s relatively easy hot wires go to the two side posts of the toggle switch shown in the schematic, though not shown on the schematic, but written in the description there is a wire that is soldered to the center post that soldered to the braided part of both pickup wires. There is also a solid thin uninsulated wire that goes to the bridge pickup cavity that is a ground. I’ll show you the picture below. You need to unsolder for the old pickup and then solder it onto the new one, and note how the braided wire is wrapped around the pickup base to shorten the wire. Pickup wires themselves are not cut. They are full length. Wires of the bridge and neck pickups are harnessed together with black tape. I unraveled it to remove old pups exposing the wire that goes to the center post of the toggle switch and re-solder that on to the braided part of the wires of both new pickups and re-taped the harness, so they stay out of sight looking into the F-hole. I think that covers it.


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Thanks @Andrew Paul, very helpful. No issues with phase and the interaction of the new pickups with the piezo?
I haven’t experienced any issues Piezo sounds fine, so does the bridge pickup but I can’t remember what the issues might exist, can you please explain it? I kind of remember something about turning the bridge pickup magnet around if it interferes? You’re raising a good point please explain.
 
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