Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

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Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby too2tall » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:49 am

I have a Bacchus tele style guitar that I love and my only problem is that the #1 string just doesn't have the tone or volume I would like. The bridge pickup is where the tone really drops off. When I switch to the P90 neck pickup the problem goes away but I play mostly southern country rock slide so the twang that the bridge single coil gives me is essential. I have tried adjusting the pickup height and that only makes the problem worse. I should also say that all the other strings sound great and its just the 1 string on the bridge pickup that the tone really drops off. Is there anything else that could be causing this problem besides the pickup??
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby leftyguitarman » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:02 pm

Did you adjust the pickup height both ways? I've found that on my Strat with Texas Specials, I had to make some of the pickups sit in at a diagonal to make the volume balanced.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby ricochet » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:59 pm

Is the string properly aligned over a pole piece?
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby too2tall » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:57 am

I have tried just about every adjustment to the pickup I can think of. What bothers me is the other strings are great when I optimize the pickup position for all the other strings. Richochet I looked at the pole string position and it looks alright to me. Can a pickup have a bad pole? On my other guitars I don't have this issue just this one and it is my favorite. I get that twangy sound that sounds really good on so many southern rock and country songs. Looks like I need to change out the pup and see if that helps. Thanks for the help guys.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby maxx england » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:10 am

What about using a heavier gauge of string to give the pickup something to work with? Not an electrical person, but could a tone pot be wired in wrong and be knocking the high frequencies down even when it's not supposed to?
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby stumblin » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:49 pm

maxx england wrote:What about using a heavier gauge of string to give the pickup something to work with?

I was just about to say something like that. Now I don't have to.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby rustyslide » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:17 am

If you want to see if the pole piece is less magnetic than the others, tap the pole pieces with a key (or other small metal object). See how the magnetic pull compares.

You could have a defective pickup, though.


How does the Bacchus play? they look great when I see them on eBay.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby too2tall » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:56 am

Thanks for all the help guys.

I use Michael Messer Heavy Gauge Electric Slide Classics so the string gauge is not the issue. I play this guitar in Open D. Not sure why but for this guitar the Open D really growls and gives me the sound I want. On my other guitar Open E sounds much better than the Open D. I guess each guitar has its own sweet spot.

Rusty good suggestion I will try that when I get home. And yes Bacchus is a sweet guitar. They have a cheaper model that runs about 400.00$ thats not great but their handmade series are sweet. I have the T-Master (1000.00$) and it really plays great (except that d'%&' string on the bridge pickup).

Any suggestions on a replacement pup for the bridge?
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby ricochet » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:10 am

It's possible with a Strat-type pickup to have a demagnetized pole piece, though I haven't seen one. It seems more likely that one pole piece could be inserted backward, its magnetism being shunted into a loop with its oppositely polarized neighbors and not interacting normally with the string. To check for demagnetization, simply touch a small screwdriver to the pole pieces. You'll feel if one doesn't pull it strongly. To check for a reversed one, you'd need a magnetic probe. A really handy one would be one of those magnetic "pens" that clip in your pocket and telescope out to retrieve dropped screws and such. If the magnet is attracted to 5 pole pieces and repelled by the sixth, or vice versa, you know what happened.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby too2tall » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:46 pm

Ricochet,
Great advice. I checked yesterday as Rusty suggested and the pole seems to be in line with the others magnetically so I will check polarity today.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby rustyslide » Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:18 am

I was sorely tempted to grab a Bacchus Live Road (or whatever their LPs are called now), but really couldn't justify the $1600 price (shipping, duty, etc), and bought a 25 year old Greco instead.

Hope you sort the pickup out - I'm out of ideas.

You might try posting a question here or here about it, to see if this is a known issue (I certainly haven't heard of it though). There's also the Fender Forum's PUP Tent section.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby too2tall » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:05 am

Rusty you can't go wrong with a greco. The Prelawsuit copies are really nice. They seem to hold up rather well. I see lots of them in the pawn stores here and wish it wasn't so expensive to ship back home. I finally broke down and ordered a new pickup and the 1 string sounds great now. Not sure what the deal was on the other pickup but for some reason it just did not get the full potential sound from that pole. I can see how it got by QC as it was not bad just not what it should be. Now its smoking and finally the guitar I was hoping it could be. Thanks for the help.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby ricochet » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:42 pm

Did you ever test the polarity on that one? I'm curious.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby slickcat » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:22 pm

Tele'sand Strat's tend to have a weak High E. On a Tele the bridge pickup is slanted. The high E is closer to the guitars bridge. The low E is closer to the center of the guitar. The strings vibrate more towards the center of the guitar than towards the bridge. That gives more signal to the pickup polepieces further away from the bridge. Strats also have a slanted pickup and many players complain of the same thing. Just the nature of the beast. :D
A lot of boutique pickup winders will add a stronger pole piece or more winds to compensate for that.
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Re: Having trouble with getting the tone and volume from #1 stri

Postby ricochet » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:38 pm

Thanks, I hadn't thought of the slant.

Always wondered why in the world they did that, anyway.
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