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Keegan's First Build


Keegan
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Do you know of a better splittable humbucker?

Any given 4 wire HB is able to be split. Try using a 4-position switch. If you wire it up right, you'd be able to get the North coil, South coil, both in series, and both parallel. If you're REALLY good with the wiring, you could put a push/pull on one pot to put one coil out of phase. 6 sounds from one pickup, all subtly different.

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Yeah, I know they can all split. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of some especially well-suited pickups for split/parallel sounds.

Hmm, both parallel might be a little tricky.

I guess since it's two pole I'd just put the hots from both coils on one side and the grounds on the other? Then splitting the coils is easy..

I'm sure I can figure it out...going to be a lot of wires on that switch though.

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Has anyone here tried an EMG 89?

Not being a butt here or anything, but...

The 89 is the standard bridge EMG humbucker, and has been for the last 25+ years. It's pretty well documented.

WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH!!!

Incorrect. The Emg 81 is the one thats been around for a while. The 89 is a neck pickup, and has not been around that long. Its the only coil tapapable EMG.

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I really like a lot of Dimarzio's offerings for splitting and such - I'm not a huge fan of the single coil of a humbucker sound on it's own, (although it does have it's uses) but do like using one coil each from two splittable humbuckers. But I've found a lot of Dimarzio's pickups (I particularly like their minihumbucker) offer a couple of really cool and distinct sounds when switching between series and parallel wiring. I know there's a lot of cool stuff out their now, but I've been using their pickups for ages now; before the boutique market really took off. I prefer their lower gain stuff, like their Air Classic. Their higher-power stuff gets a more useable single-coil tone when using only one coil, but I don't care as much for the tone of the humbucker settings on the higher-output pickups, but that's just my preference.

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I don't like the usual clear laquer over natural wood, I think it looks bland,

I agree.

WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH!!!

Incorrect. The Emg 81 is the one thats been around for a while. The 89 is a neck pickup, and has not been around that long. Its the only coil tapapable EMG.

wood is good is correct...the 89 is a neck pup..but it WAS the only coil tappable emg...now they offer the 81 as well that way.

http://www.emginc.com/products/index/190

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The problem with the super distortion is that you wind up with a small <7k ceramic single coil when you split it, and that sounds like it would probably be in ice-pick territory.

Maybe the Dual Sound though, since it's a Super Distortion that's been specifically designed to be split.

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I've got an 81/89 set. If you want a good example of it in action, just look for a zakk wylde solo where he plays with the knobs and switches on his guitar a lot. The 81 is the weedeeleeedeedeelee/waadaalaaadaadaalaa sounding one, and the 89 is the woodooloowoodooloo sounding one... Sorry, I think words like "warm" and "bell like" are kind of inadequate ways to describe tone lol.

But I'd say one of those live solos are a pretty good example.

edit:

He uses a wah for accent, so look for one where there's no wah.

Edited by Narcissism
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I have a dimarzio super distortion in the bridge of my guitar and it really is a cracking p/up. Swedish Luthier put me on to wiring the p/up series to parallel instead of a clean split. The benefits are you still get the s/coils sounds when in parallel but the humbucker is still hum cancelling and you don't have to take a volume drop when activated. Here is a schematic. Obviously you only have 1 p/up,1 vol and 1 tone so just delete what you don't need on this schematic.

series/parallel

Chad.

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I've got an 81/89 set. If you want a good example of it in action, just look for a zakk wylde solo where he plays with the knobs and switches on his guitar a lot. The 81 is the weedeeleeedeedeelee/waadaalaaadaadaalaa sounding one, and the 89 is the woodooloowoodooloo sounding one... Sorry, I think words like "warm" and "bell like" are kind of inadequate ways to describe tone lol.

I honestly laughed aloud when I read that. Seriously, that's probably the best description of their tone I've ever heard. You're right, It definitely trumps "warm" or "bell-like." :D

edit: I thought Wylde played on 81/85 usually. Am I wrong?

Edited by dude
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You're right about Wilde using an 85 in the neck, but the discription on EMG's website says that the 89 is similar to the 85 in dual coil mode, where it sounds more like a strat in single coil mode. So I guess that's a bad example since I don't have any real experience with an 89. Crazy pickups and their numbers...

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Thanks. Think I'm going to go with the Tone Zone with a series/parallel/north/south switch and maybe another switch for selecting the tone caps(one cap, no load, two caps in series).

What value of tone cap do you need for humbuckers? Is it different than single coils? Right now I have a .022 with two 500k controls on my bridge p-90 and the 0 on the tone is plenty bassy for me. Should I stick with that value for a humbucker or go even lower because a humbucker will have less treble?

Edited by Keegan
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This oil is taking forever to dry. First coat is just now getting tacky. Granted I did put it on at like 55 degrees and it's been sitting at only around 65-70 ever since.

Once it's dry would it be safe to use 600 grit to smooth it before putting on another coat? Or should I use scotch brite/1200 grit/0000 steel wool?

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Watco Danish Oil.

And because I haven't placed the 4th one yet.

edit: Yeah, it was just the temperature I put it on at. This time it was like 70 and it tacked up within 45 minutes. Also helped that this coat was on top of the wood instead of in the wood.

Edited by Keegan
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Electronics ordered and on the way. Now all I need is a bridge, nut, tuners, and strings and it'll be ready to go. I'm just going to re-use the neck off my MIM strat that I took apart. Tapping the heel gives a nice tight percussive vibration. Not quite as much sustain as my Junior, but better than the MIM the neck came off of. I have a feeling it's going to be very quacky.

edit: Electronics all wired up and working, woo.

Edited by Keegan
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  • 11 months later...

Stopped work on this build awhile back. The pickup was routed crooked and after making some measurements I found that the template was wrong and so the pickup was also where the bridge would need to be. Also, the heel got jacked up during sanding due to a lack of tools/work space(trying to sand a guitar with a random orbit sander on a rickety table is a very bad idea). The shape is also a little wonky, something happened in transferring the paper template to wood. :/

Now that summer is back I'll have free time to work on it again, so my options from here are:

1) Scrap the body and start from an unfinished walnut tele prefab I found for $100

2) Attempt to fix, but this will require an opaque finish, since the pickup hole will have to be filled and the heel will have to be chopped off and a new one glued on. I'll probably get all kinds of issues with trying to get lacquer to adhere on top of an oil finish, too. Probably more pain and more money.

3) Something else

Keep in mind, the only tools I have are a small(as in you can't reach the center of the guitar) drill press, a cheap 8" band saw that doesn't cut anywhere near straight, a jigsaw, a router, and whatever I can get done with tools at Woodcraft for $35 an hour. Realistically I probably shouldn't have tried to tackle this in the first place with those tools, especially without a proper work space(half of the one bench in the garage that isn't covered in junk), but I thought a body would be relatively easy.

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Yeah well I'm unfortunate enough not to have any talent or experience, haha

Actually it probably would have gone better if I had hand tools instead of limited power tools =/ A rasp especially.

But yeah, what would you guys recommend? I'm thinking maybe I got myself in too deep trying to start from scratch on a body with no prior experience and should start with what would basically amount to a kit. A body just needing finishing and drilling and a complete neck. Then work my way up to building from scratch. Maybe take on some easier woodworking first and build up a collection of tools..

Edited by Keegan
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