Is something wrong with my guitar or is it something else

Stiman

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TL;DR: I own a Charvel DK24 HH that has the cocked wah sound, replaced the pickups and it's now worse.


Ok, so I have this Charvel DK24 HH that came with the Seymour Duncan Full Shred in the bridge and Alnico II Pro in the neck. It had the cocked wah sound which I found annoying so I bough a DiMarzio Crunch Lab and Liquifire from Ebay (easiest and fastest way for me to get pickups in my experience for Canada).


I finally installed them this weekend, and the results are pretty shit. I was expecting the Crunch Lab to be darker and warmer, and the Liquifire doesn't sound very sweet and warm either. It's not bad enough that I think something is wrong with the wiring (but maybe?). It certainly sounds like it has more of the cocked wah sound that it did before. Which, to be the Crunch Lab should be the furthest thing from sounding.


For context, I did a similar swap 10 years ago, Jackson DK2M had JB + Jazz pickups that I replaced with Crunch Lab + Liquifire set and it totally changed that guitar, made it really warm and thick sounding. Both of these guitars have alder body, maple neck and fretboard, and a floating type bridge.


Part of me wonders if it's just my Helix (the only thing I own to play through). But all my other guitars sound fine through it on all my patches.

My next move is going to be to wire up the bridge pickup directly to the output jack to cross out the potential of it being bad wiring, or electronic parts.


Questions:
- Is it possible that a guitar inherently has a shitty sound that can't be changed by a pickup swap?
- Could it be bad electronics like one of the pots, or cap? (This guitar comes with the EVH low friction volume pot and the no-load tone pot)
- Any suggestion for further troubleshooting?
 

tedtan

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I’m mot familiar with that guitar, but my best guess is something with the electronics of the guitar is causing the issue. Try bypassing them straight to the output jack and see what kind of results your get.
 

SubsonicDoom99

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Yeah it's odd that you are getting the same kind of negative effect of the "cocked wah" thing from both sets of pickups, since the Full Shred/Alnico II set and the CrunchLab/Liquifire set are quite different from each other in terms of their EQ and overall tone characteristics. The Full Shred is a brighter pickup with somewhat scooped mids and the CrunchLab is a bit darker with more emphasis on the low-mids. I've used both before, they're both good for my needs but I can't say either of them gave me a "cocked wah" response, so that's a bit unusual to me. And while there could be something about the DK24 that is naturally giving it that kind of sound, I've played the DK24 plenty and again never experienced that, even with a few different pickup swaps in there. So there could be something going on with regards to the potentiometers and the wiring. And yeah it could be something to do with how those pickups, that guitar and the Helix are reacting together somehow, that's a possibility. But I'd definitely look at the pots/wiring thing first.
 

cardinal

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I guess it's try running one or the other pickup directly to your output jack to remove any doubt over the pots or capacitor and see how it goes.
 

Stiman

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[UPDATE]

So I tried a few things:
- connect the bridge pickup directly to the output jack
- downloaded a trial of a Neural DSP plugin
- tried 3 different guitar cables

It all sounded pretty much the same unfortunately.

I think it's likely that I just don't jive with this particular guitar. Something about the brightness or spankiness of it. Maybe the bridge pickup is too close to the bridge. I don't know. I'm going to put the original SD pickups back in there and then evaluate if I want to keep it or sell it and get something else.

Thanks for all you're help everyone.
 


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