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mistermikev

offerup score...

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so saw a guy looking to trade a 'box of pickups' for a compressor and a phaser... he didn't know what any of them were but I could see an emg pj bass set that I could use.  I had an mxr dyna and a flanger... met him at lunch.  mxr was worth $45 and the flanger maybe $60

I got...

1 set of rose pickups -alba and buckaroo- tele pickups ($100ish new)

1 set of buhdda A2 strat singles ($70 new)

2 sets of american std strat pickups ($?)

an ultrasonic 6 - I kept looking at his pics trying to remember the brand that had the u inside a square on them... kirk hammet endorsed and a few others in the 80s.  this was a hell of a score because I'm a huge bill lawrence fan - have an HBL from my gibson sg90 still... love it.  these pickups were designed by him.  very rare and not terribly valuable ($50) but very desirable to me!

emg bass pj 5 string set ($65)

set of GandC humbuckers from a prs se

a mexican strat single

several 'unkown/unmarked' humbuckers - great for dummy coils!

3 9v pedal adaptors - electro harmonix, 1 spot, dunlop

 

think I got ripped off!

anywho... just wanted to share my excitement.

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not that anyone cares... but I've identified a few of the unkowns - one is a matsumoku MMk 45 (meh) and one pickups has been identified as a 70's maxon.  not terribly valuable but a pretty interesting pickup with a row of 'staple-style' poles under a std les paul type cover.

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Sounds like you picked up a bargain, pickups are usually the most expensive part of my builds. My fault for being a PRS snob but on every build so far I've spend £300-£400 just on pickups. I'm always looking on the selling sites and ebay to see if I can find some second hand ones but they turn up so infrequently. Folk most keep them when the to the obligatory change to Bareknuckles 

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On the subject of PRS, I've been having real trouble getting parts lately, it seems they've got nothing in stock this side of the pond. Spoke to PRS accessories and apparently they're getting nothing in until May at the earliest. I had to order several PRS tone pots which I'll need to take the CAP off and replace with treble bleed caps bought separately. Also had to order a vintage bass pickup for the LP build from the States. The few sellers that do have parts in the UK have cottoned on to the lack of supply and upped the price, cheapest volume pot in the UK is £22!

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Do you really need to buy a PRS-branded pot? ;)

I've personally been surprised over the years how good some no-name and low cost pickups actually sound. The original bridge humbucker in my old Yamaha Pacifica 112 was a really good sounding pickup, despite being what would probably be considered today as nothing more than a $10 Amazon special. Diamonds on the rough can be found all over the place if you're willing to take a punt, whether they be brand new budget lines or salvaged no-name pickups from guitars of uncertain lineage. And if it turns out you don't like them, it's not like you shelled out several hundred smackers on a premium item.

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1 hour ago, ADFinlayson said:

On the subject of PRS, I've been having real trouble getting parts lately, it seems they've got nothing in stock this side of the pond. Spoke to PRS accessories and apparently they're getting nothing in until May at the earliest. I had to order several PRS tone pots which I'll need to take the CAP off and replace with treble bleed caps bought separately. Also had to order a vintage bass pickup for the LP build from the States. The few sellers that do have parts in the UK have cottoned on to the lack of supply and upped the price, cheapest volume pot in the UK is £22!

honestly the best pot you can buy is bourns.  the make many of the really quality pots for other mfg and across many things other than guitars (highly doubt prs makes their own pots).  their sealed pots are really nice but then you wouldn't be saving money over prs.  that said... prs pickups are really nice.  for me tho... the pots are all about feel.  for vol I like something with almost no resistance but smooth.  for tone/other I like a lot of resistance so you can find your spot and not knock it out of play.  other than that it's the sm taper and sm 250/500k.  just a matter of longevity. 

I've been hoarding pickups for a long time.  I've got seymour, fralin, dimarzio, emg, gfs, gibson... pretty much runs the gambit on price/quality.

21 minutes ago, curtisa said:

Do you really need to buy a PRS-branded pot? ;)

I've personally been surprised over the years how good some no-name and low cost pickups actually sound. The original bridge humbucker in my old Yamaha Pacifica 112 was a really good sounding pickup, despite being what would probably be considered today as nothing more than a $10 Amazon special. Diamonds on the rough can be found all over the place if you're willing to take a punt, whether they be brand new budget lines or salvaged no-name pickups from guitars of uncertain lineage. And if it turns out you don't like them, it's not like you shelled out several hundred smackers on a premium item.

couldn't agree more.  it's all about value for me.  The one thing I think I know isn't true is that EVERYTHING one mfg makes is going to sound great in ANY guitar.  as much as I've swapped pickups in many of my own guitars... I still think predicting what's going to work well is alchemy! 

building my own pedals/guitars has really opened my eyes to the fact that things being built in small batches by obscure builders are often much better than mass mfg equivalents.  using parts/supplies that aren't available in quantities that make mass mfg possible, they tend to be more unique.  small builders are more likely to use 'the good stuff' and aren't concerned about saving 3 cents per item.  Give me things being built by people with passion.  You can see it in your own builds.  Love all these little 'spring up' pickup mfg.  If I pay full pop for pickups it's going to be paid to one of them.

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1 hour ago, curtisa said:

Do you really need to buy a PRS-branded pot? ;)

I've personally been surprised over the years how good some no-name and low cost pickups actually sound. The original bridge humbucker in my old Yamaha Pacifica 112 was a really good sounding pickup, despite being what would probably be considered today as nothing more than a $10 Amazon special. Diamonds on the rough can be found all over the place if you're willing to take a punt, whether they be brand new budget lines or salvaged no-name pickups from guitars of uncertain lineage. And if it turns out you don't like them, it's not like you shelled out several hundred smackers on a premium item.

I've tried various pots. But nothing comes close to PRS pots for me, Bourns pots are pretty good and I would exclusively use them, but they only fit metric knobs and I've not found metric speed knobs that I like. Ive had hit and miss experience with CTS, bought 4 of their pots for a previous build, 1 of the 4 didn't work at all and another one didn't turn evenly. Never had any trouble with quality control on the PRS pots and while they're more money (normally £13 for vol and tone), they come with the caps, If I went CTS or Bourns, I'd have to spend £5.50 on the equivalent tone cap and a quid for a treble bleed cap so there isn't a huge amount in it price wise unless I bought everything in bulk, which I'm not going to do.

Pickups, again it's all subjective. I've tried other pups, but the guitar is for me and I really like the PRS HFS/vintage bass pickups along with the PRS 57 PAF pickups so they're what I wan't. While they're considerably more expensive than most Duncans or Dimarzios. They sell for a fair bit on the used market (if you can find them). someone did a straight swap with me recently - my 57/08 treble pup (too vintage for me) for his brand new 59/09 (£200), probably would have got £150 for it on ebay.

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45 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

honestly the best pot you can buy is bourns.  the make many of the really quality pots for other mfg and across many things other than guitars (highly doubt prs makes their own pots).  their sealed pots are really nice but then you wouldn't be saving money over prs.  that said... prs pickups are really nice.  for me tho... the pots are all about feel.  for vol I like something with almost no resistance but smooth.  for tone/other I like a lot of resistance so you can find your spot and not knock it out of play.  other than that it's the sm taper and sm 250/500k.  just a matter of longevity. 

I've been hoarding pickups for a long time.  I've got seymour, fralin, dimarzio, emg, gfs, gibson... pretty much runs the gambit on price/quality.

couldn't agree more.  it's all about value for me.  The one thing I think I know isn't true is that EVERYTHING one mfg makes is going to sound great in ANY guitar.  as much as I've swapped pickups in many of my own guitars... I still think predicting what's going to work well is alchemy! 

building my own pedals/guitars has really opened my eyes to the fact that things being built in small batches by obscure builders are often much better than mass mfg equivalents.  using parts/supplies that aren't available in quantities that make mass mfg possible, they tend to be more unique.  small builders are more likely to use 'the good stuff' and aren't concerned about saving 3 cents per item.  Give me things being built by people with passion.  You can see it in your own builds.  Love all these little 'spring up' pickup mfg.  If I pay full pop for pickups it's going to be paid to one of them.

PRS pots are made by CTS to PRS spec, they're slightly smaller and easier to turn along with having the treble bleed cap on the volume and they come with the tone cap. oh and the threaded shaft I believe is brass

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35 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

PRS pots are made by CTS to PRS spec, they're slightly smaller and easier to turn along with having the treble bleed cap on the volume and they come with the tone cap. oh and the threaded shaft I believe is brass

no offence meant: "you get all that for $20+ ???"  jk.  If you like them that's all that matters.  I have a thing with cts... the few times I've tried them they were consistently disastrous.  They were so cheaply made yet expensive!  tops disconnected from pots, feel was not smooth... but I imagine their $20 version is probably pretty nice.

Have really wanted to try these: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Bourns/95Z1D-Z33-EA0-323L?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtC25l1F4XBUyZdyM1XBpRKtej5bbfQ5nirhrYGkWl9cw%3D%3D

but it's hard to justify $25 for a pot.  look suspiciously like ernie ball sealed pots don't they?!  I typically use their 16mm pots and they are like $6-10 and really smooth feel.  the metal is thick and solid - actually takes force to bend the lugs - also brass threads.

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Yeah the CTS pots I got were shoddy TBH and they weren't particularly cheap. I know you can get pots cheap if you bulk buy, but if you go to use a pot in a years time and it doesn't work or is faulty, you've just wasted money. 2 of 4 of the cts pots I bought were bad so that's put me off. 

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20 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

Yeah the CTS pots I got were shoddy TBH and they weren't particularly cheap. I know you can get pots cheap if you bulk buy, but if you go to use a pot in a years time and it doesn't work or is faulty, you've just wasted money. 2 of 4 of the cts pots I bought were bad so that's put me off. 

yup... I think in the $5-13 dollar range there are many other better options.  Once you spend $20+ I think anything you get is going to be solid.  In cts's defense... I bought their long shaft pots when I had issues... I have also used their 450g no-load pots and their push pull pots w/o issue.  Their  push/pull design is pretty nice and slightly lower profile if I remember correctly.  I'd probably give em another shot if I needed something like that.

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59 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

yup... I think in the $5-13 dollar range there are many other better options.  Once you spend $20+ I think anything you get is going to be solid.  In cts's defense... I bought their long shaft pots when I had issues... I have also used their 450g no-load pots and their push pull pots w/o issue.  Their  push/pull design is pretty nice and slightly lower profile if I remember correctly.  I'd probably give em another shot if I needed something like that.

Their push pulls are what I put in the blue DC, they aren't bad, weren't my original choice but the low profile was what swung it. A PITA for grounding though because you have to ground on the sides.

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26 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

Their push pulls are what I put in the blue DC, they aren't bad, weren't my original choice but the low profile was what swung it. A PITA for grounding though because you have to ground on the sides.

the pot shell itself is grounded through the bolt... so in theory you could forgo grounding assuming you used copper shielding... but who wants to use THAT stuff! 

afa quality - I hear ya... I much prefer bourns or even alpha... but they have the low profile thing going so... there's that.  they also make a nice spst pot that is very low profile.  I've used those music man stingray preamp clone as a hi switch, and they are decent.  I pretty much stick to bourns if possible.

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9 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

Bourns pots are pretty good and I would exclusively use them, but they only fit metric knobs and I've not found metric speed knobs that I like

Have you seen the Bourns GTR series? They come in both knurled 18T 6mm spline and solid 1/4" shaft options with a brass threaded shaft for about a fifth of the price. Low friction movement. Give them a try on your next build.

 

Quote

PRS pots are made by CTS to PRS spec, they're slightly smaller and easier to turn along with having the treble bleed cap on the volume and they come with the tone cap.

Are you sure that's the case? PRS could just be buying off-the-shelf products and attaching their markup and brand to them for their resale market.

Even so, 20+ quid for a pot is highway robbery. The treble bleed or tone cap you can add yourself to any pot for a few pence each. If you want to loosen up a pot's rotation just squirt a bit of electro lube into the shaft and turn it a few times before installing it.

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2 hours ago, curtisa said:

Have you seen the Bourns GTR series? They come in both knurled 18T 6mm spline and solid 1/4" shaft options with a brass threaded shaft for about a fifth of the price. Low friction movement. Give them a try on your next build.

 

Are you sure that's the case? PRS could just be buying off-the-shelf products and attaching their markup and brand to them for their resale market.

Even so, 20+ quid for a pot is highway robbery. The treble bleed or tone cap you can add yourself to any pot for a few pence each. If you want to loosen up a pot's rotation just squirt a bit of electro lube into the shaft and turn it a few times before installing it.

They’re def built by cts to prs spec and no not the same. As said above they’re not normally £20+ they’re normally £13 for tone and vols, but when you factor in the price of that spec cap, they’re not that overpriced.

i haven’t seen any 1/4” bourns pots, if I can find some I’ll give them a try 

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1 hour ago, ADFinlayson said:

They’re def built by cts to prs spec and no not the same. As said above they’re not normally £20+ they’re normally £13 for tone and vols, but when you factor in the price of that spec cap, they’re not that overpriced.

i haven’t seen any 1/4” bourns pots, if I can find some I’ll give them a try 

i guess they are only $8 here... is this the sm one?

https://www.zzounds.com/item--PAUACC4111?siid=136093&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6Miv0rnJ4QIV7yCtBh18bwVgEAQYASABEgKzYvD_BwE

don't mean to bag on your choice esp since it looks like you can get em for reasonable prices and honestly almost nothing prs is reasonable.  on the other hand... looks like a 180pf ceramic cap... certainly wouldn't opt for that cap (and would be pretty disappointed to see a $2+k guitar with that).  not only is it ceramic but it's not anything special in terms of quality.  for $1 you can get 180pf mica caps that probably have much tighter tolerances and probably sound smoother, or wima caps for $1.25.  just sayin'.

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2 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

i haven’t seen any 1/4” bourns pots, if I can find some I’ll give them a try 

 

https://au.mouser.com/Search/Refine?Keyword=bourns+gtr

https://www.digikey.com.au/products/en/potentiometers-variable-resistors/rotary-potentiometers-rheostats/84?k=bourns gtr

https://uk.farnell.com/search?st=bourns gtr

Can be found on eBay too.

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6 hours ago, mistermikev said:

i guess they are only $8 here... is this the sm one?

https://www.zzounds.com/item--PAUACC4111?siid=136093&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6Miv0rnJ4QIV7yCtBh18bwVgEAQYASABEgKzYvD_BwE

don't mean to bag on your choice esp since it looks like you can get em for reasonable prices and honestly almost nothing prs is reasonable.  on the other hand... looks like a 180pf ceramic cap... certainly wouldn't opt for that cap (and would be pretty disappointed to see a $2+k guitar with that).  not only is it ceramic but it's not anything special in terms of quality.  for $1 you can get 180pf mica caps that probably have much tighter tolerances and probably sound smoother, or wima caps for $1.25.  just sayin'.

Yes that is the PRS vol pot, in terms of cap price, I was talking about the tone as that cap is much more expensive than the treble bleed cap on the vol pot. Maybe there are better treble bleed caps out there, I don't know enough about caps to say what is good and what isn't, but I like the rolloff that I get from the 180pf cap on the prs pot. To me, it's certainly better than no cap at all.

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 just looked at their tone pots... ok that's a decent cap.  Honestly,

I have never really believed much in hearing the dif in caps but I will say that I've built many big muff clones and if you don't put ceramic caps in at all it ends up sounding sort of 'wrong' because in this application they end up leaving some 'grit' in the sound.  I hate using subjective terms and descriptions like that but I've done the experiment a few times just to convince myself and using all poly caps it is much more 'smooth'... which does not sound right for a big muff imo. 

So in the end... I have to admit that -depending on the application... there is something to the idea that dif caps sound dif... (not saying two dif brands of poly cap sound dif!) 

all that said... when I build things... I generally opt for decent caps not nec because they sound dif but because there is something to be said for accurate tolerances and I don't measure each part before use.

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1 hour ago, ShatnersBassoon said:

I believe that making ones own pickups is perfectly viable. By the look of it its not completely daunting! Will try it...some day. 

I suspect, that like anything else it's a learning curve and fine tuning your recipe.  I have often thought of it myself but just have so little time at the end of the day.  With that in mind, I'd really like to try and support little builders.  I figure: I build guitars and I like to think that what I can build - even when taking into account a reasonable wage for my labor... is better than what I could buy.  I would assume this would be true for pickups as well.  Don't get me wrong, I think you can buy a fine guitar or pickup that is mass mfg... and def more consistent, I just think it's the love that we put into building something with our own hands that makes them more unique, more special, and often better tuned in to the player we are.

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