All Mahogany Guitar Issues (PLEASE HELP!)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by secondchanceforsam, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. secondchanceforsam

    secondchanceforsam SS.org Regular

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    I have a les paul studio that's got the swiss-cheese mahogany body, mahogany cap, mahogany neck, and a rosewood board.

    PROBLEM: It's too honky and I want to set it up for a lower tuning that's uncommon for this type of guitar.

    I want to know what kind of experience you guys have had with getting the most clarity out of a Les Paul for modern, progressive music. The tone I'm really after is on the Intervals release In Time. Not looking to replicate, but ballpark would be sweet. The pickups they used were the Aftermath and Cold Sweat, but that was in an extended range basswood Ibby and I know I don't like them in Les Pauls.

    It came with Burstbucker pro's and I've replaced the bridge with a BKP Painkiller and turned the neck pickup around to help out the wooly-ness that is overtaking complicated chording and lower tunings. The Painkiller is just an alternative I had lying around and it seems to only add more meat in the midrange--which I don't necessarily want--although it did clear up a bit of the issue.

    Any input at all would be greatly appreciated! I'm looking for some real-world advice here
     
  2. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    Hmm. I really love the Aftermaths in mahogany. Maybe try Black Hawks? A Les Paul is always going to have a little bit of that midrange character… it seems to come with the scale length.
     
  3. secondchanceforsam

    secondchanceforsam SS.org Regular

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    Darren I love seeing how active you are on this site--huge long time Decibel fan. I was so excited to see you finish the Carbon Fiber model, been waiting some time for that haha.

    The last time I played an Aftermath was at Summer Namm where I had a chance to try out the Misha sig from Mayones and I know that was a thinner mahogany body. The sound around me wasn't loud enough to really block out what it sounded like and I wasn't as impressed as I had hoped to be--I thought they lacked a bit of character and I think I want something a bit more organic and 'woody' sounding. Would you recommend pickups for a thicker slab of mahogany that'd help me get there? They don't have to be Bare Knuckles--I'm open to change!
     
  4. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Just went through this problem with a partscaster I built this year.

    Chambered mahogany ( swiss cheesed ) with a swamp ash top. Bolt on maple/rosewood neck.

    And you are 100% correct... HONKY! That's the overall tone in a nutshell.

    I pulled out my trusty Dimarzio Steve Special out of the box-o-pickups I have, and it solved the bulk of the problem. Balanced out that insane amount of midrange a good deal.

    The original pickups were definitely not the right choice, which were BK Black Dogs.
    The lace Deathbucker replaced the bridge BD, and was an improvement for awhile, but the top end wasn't right to my ears.
    The DMZ SS is the best option so far.
     
  5. Casper777

    Casper777 Slow Player

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    I think you should try some BJP Miracle Man... seems to be scooped in the middle... should remove some of the honkiness while keeping a huge and tight low end...

    Well you can also send a mail to Tim, he's very helpful!
     
  6. BouhZik

    BouhZik SS.org Regular

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    Honky?? Men I tried to translate it and use it for a guitar context but I failed hard.
     
  7. Mike

    Mike The Traveler

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    I don't really know if it was honky swiss cheese, but I have an esp ltd ec-1000 that has the same construction type and woods. It used to have an emg 81-60 set which I have since swapped for the DiMarzio DActivators. I tune it to A# and they handle it amazingly. No problems with clarity or too much bass. They're very balanced and tight as can be.

    edit: got the swiss cheese/chambered reference after reading up in the thread, sorry thought you were referring to the wood property being porous like swamp ash or something.
     
  8. JaeSwift

    JaeSwift Of Blood and Sawdust

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    Gibson 500T's; had them in a chambered les paul study and they sounded amazing. Bright like a strat but with more meat.
     
  9. skeels

    skeels ..to pay the beels

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    Yup. English- or whatever it is that we Americans speak- is a weird tongue!

    In this case, "honky" comes from the honking sound that ducks or geese make. Kind of a nasal, midrange quacking or tooting.

    Forty years ago, it meant "white people"... :lol:
     
  10. BouhZik

    BouhZik SS.org Regular

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    ^ ok! Now I know what they meant :)
    Thank you very much
     
  11. secondchanceforsam

    secondchanceforsam SS.org Regular

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    I was looking into the Miracle Man for that reason, but I can't find any good examples of the pickup in a thick mahogany guitar. I've emailed Tim a few times before this (unrelated questions) and he's been super helpful, but I'm looking for some 'real world' solutions instead of something that should work great on paper.

    On a related note, I also want to wood-mount these pickups and I know I'll need a good bit of foam underneath in the cavity. Is there any way to do this that will work better than others in the long run? I'm just getting really tired of the ugly pickup rings on there.

    Thanks for the input so far guys!
     
  12. secondchanceforsam

    secondchanceforsam SS.org Regular

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    I do like the 500T's a lot, but I know that they won't do as much as I'm looking for. I need a bit more clarity and dynamics than that
     
  13. yellowv

    yellowv Turd Ferguson Contributor

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    I used to have a set of Miracle Man's in my Agile LP. That guitar is like a 12lb slab of mahogany. The MM set slayed in there. Very aggressive and meaty. Not honky in the least. Also the Holy Diver IMO would be a good choice. Like a much improved JB without the honkiness. If you want to go in a different direction all together there is the EMG Het Set and 57/66 set. I think they would also do what you want. I have the Het Set in two mahogany guitars (one all Mahogany with a RW board) and they are awesome. Very dynamic set of pickups.
     
  14. noob_pwn

    noob_pwn SS.org Regular

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    The cold sweat could be a great option too if you're going for a ceramic. I find if you're playing high gain and tuning low with a shorter scale, lower output pickups seem to work better than higher output ones for some reason. Definitely one to consider
     
  15. witeter

    witeter SS.org Regular

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    BKP-wise try Miracleman, Ceramic Nailbomb or Coldsweat, if you want to balance out a very midheavy guitar. Coldsweats work very well in all mahogany guitars-used to have them in a PRS SE Tremonti, with mahogany body and mahogany set-in neck
     

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