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Thread: Mid Scooped, & Other Strat Pickups?

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Mid Scooped, & Other Strat Pickups?

    I have a guy asking about a set of mid scooped John Mayer Strat pickups.
    I've made scads of strat pickups, but not sure what mid scooped is, or means?
    Is this just a marketing ploy, or something I can put my hands on?
    Don't want any secret recipe's, but if someone can explain what makes the concept mid-scooped?
    I would really like to know?
    Thanks in advance!
    Terry

    ** I found this vid, and it appears that the mid-scoop sound is more amp and pedal settings?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbfZH3aATTg
    Let me know what you think about mid-scooped?

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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-04-2018 at 04:33 PM.
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    Terry

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    Member jack briggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I have a guy asking about a set of mid scooped John Mayer Strat pickups.
    I've made scads of strat pickups, but not sure what mid scooped is, or means?
    Is this just a marketing ploy, or something I can put my hands on?
    Don't want any secret recipe's, but if someone can explain what makes the concept mid-scooped?
    I would really like to know?
    Thanks in advance!
    Terry

    ** I found this vid, and it appears that the mid-scoop sound is more amp and pedal settings?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbfZH3aATTg
    Let me know what you think about mid-scooped?
    Terry,

    I myself have wondered not only what that term meant, but why anyone would want that in a Strat set! If I were building an instrument with that tone in mind I'd recommend the client choose lightweight swamp ash for the body - that takes care of some mid scoop, for sure! As for pickups, well.......


    cheers,

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    Consensus at the gear speculation boards seems to be that "mid scoop" is marketing speak for lack of mid boost- in other words, underwound or "vintage wound" pickups. One of JMs guitars definitely might possibly be equipped with factory-unwound Texas Specials, blah, blah, blah.

    And the reason for guitar midscoop is to open sonic space for vocals.
    Or so they guess.



    Blah, blah, blah,
    -rb

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I've been listening to sound clips.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCD_mowGdG0
    I always seem to hear quite a bit of quack in the tone.
    A lot of quack is more prevalent, IMO with tall underwound RWRP pickups, mostly in position 2 & 4.
    I found some specs for JM pickups as 5.8, 6.3, and 7.3K DCR.
    That sounds about right ro me, clean crisp neck and middle, and a bit overwound rounder sounding bridge pickup.
    The rest would probably be done with the amps and pedals?

    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 08-13-2017 at 07:38 PM.
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    Terry

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    I was advertising locally that i wound strat single coil pickups. I had some music store about 75 miles away want me to make him those mid scooped John Mayer pickups, about 10 sets. I guess they are good sellers but the price is high or you can only get them out of the original guitars? Anyway, the deal was this, he gave me a original pair to measure and copy, (to return), then i would make the sets based on those. He also wanted a discounted price from my already low pricing and he also wanted 3 or 4 sets for free for himself. I told him no way can i do that. I buy magnets and flatwork by the 100's and wire at 5lbs at a time and am not making too much profit at all counting my time.

    I really don't trust any you-tube videos for sound. I'd have to have the guitar there in person and play it for a week to compare to anything else.

    Found out what pickups the guy has now, what he likes and dislikes, and make a set based upon that info. Most likely as was said, underwound.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Thanks Mozz.
    I found these threads, while sitting here on a rainy Sunday.
    http://music-electronics-forum.com/t3490/
    http://music-electronics-forum.com/t18694/
    I like fairly underwound neck and middle, but usually fatten up the bridge.
    I will do a little experimenting.

    Another quiestion is the John Mayer guitar tone stack?
    I wonder what pots, and what caps are used?
    I've been doing more of the Eric Johnson strat tone wiring these days.
    front tone for neck, back tone for bridge.
    Either leave the middle without tone, or just hard wire a 1000-1500pf cap to the middle to take the frost off of it!
    Either way it makes position 2 & 4 brighter not having two tone pots going at the same time.
    Thoughts?
    T

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    Terry

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    I think you're right that taller underwound bobbins are the way to go for a brighter, quackier, "mid-scooped" sound.

    No-load tone pots are a favorite of mine now. In the 10 position they're out of the circuit. Best of both worlds. Currently I have the middle tone knob set up as a no-load master tone pot with a .012uF cap, and I run an Artec EXP in the bottom tone knob position. Tons of versatility. I also use the '50s wiring, with the tone control going to the output of the volume pot instead of the input, and have never looked back. It is rather different, in that turning the tone knob down will lower your volume somewhat. But after months of using this wiring, I tried going back to "modern" wiring, and I just couldn't do it.

    The '50s wiring does give you a lot more versatility at lower volumes, IMO, because you retain a lot more high end as you turn down compared to modern wiring. And I never liked that treble bleed mod to compensate for that...for me, '50s wiring all the way. Most of the time my "normal" volume on guitar is around 4-5 on the volume knob, and it works great with that wiring, as I retain all the high end that I have at higher volumes, as compared to 'modern' wiring, which sounds considerably darker with the volume knob turned down low.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    If anyone doesn't know what 50s wiring is for a strat?
    Here's a video on the Mod.
    I for one have done it many times for LP type humbucker guitars, but not on Single coil guitars.
    I will give it a try soon.



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    Last edited by big_teee; 03-17-2018 at 02:16 AM.
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    Terry

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    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    So if you know how to increase Bass of a strat pickup without increasing mids & treble is always an abundance in a strat pickups ........Think about it .

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Maybe the small tone cap is part of the equation for scooped tone.
    However I usually never choose to go that way.
    I still like the .1uf vintage cap strat tone.

    So how do most wire the strat tone pots to the switch?
    The stock method was middle tone wired to neck pickup, back tone wired to middle pickup, and no tone pot to the bridge pickup.
    I'm fixing to try the 50s wiring, and wire middle tone to both neck and middle, and bridge pickup to the back tone pot.
    I will let you know the results!
    T

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    If anyone doesn't know what 50s wiring is for a strat?
    Here's a video on the Mod.
    I for one have done it many times for LP type humbucker guitars, but not on Single coil guitars.
    I will give it a try soon.


    I redid the wiring on my blue test strat.
    I put the full output on the tone pot side of the switch.
    Rewired the pickup side as well.
    While I was at it, I strapped the middle tone to the neck tone terminals on the switch.
    The Bridge uses the back tone pot, and separate tone cap.
    I like it better now.
    Moving the tone to 50s wiring seemed to make the pickups quieter, than with the modern wiring.
    See pictures for new wiring scheme on the Blue Strat, with Mint pickguard.
    All pickups sound great!

    To Recap:
    This is basically a blues guitar.
    250k Vol, 250k neck and middle tone, with .070uf cap.
    500k back bridge P/U tone pot with .1uf cap. The 500k gives more roll off on the big .1uf cap.
    Full sized steel sustain block!
    Fully shielded through-out, with swimming pool rout! (Very quiet for a SC guitar)
    Pickups are A3/A5 4/2 RWRP 42SP wire pickups.
    E, & A use .195 A5s, .195 A3s on the rest, on all pickups.
    A mild magnet stagger is used.
    T
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    Last edited by big_teee; 03-18-2018 at 02:15 AM.
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    Terry

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    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I redid the wiring on my blue test strat.
    I put the full output on the tone pot side of the switch.
    Rewired the pickup side as well.
    While I was at it, I strapped the middle tone to the neck tone terminals on the switch.
    The Bridge uses the back tone pot, and separate tone cap.
    I like it better now.
    Moving the tone to 50s wiring seemed to make the pickups quieter, than with the modern wiring.
    See pictures for new wiring scheme on the Blue Strat, with Mint pickguard.
    All pickups sound great!

    To Recap:
    This is basically a blues guitar.
    250k Vol, 250k neck and middle tone, with .070uf cap.
    500k back bridge P/U tone pot with .1uf cap.
    Full sized steel sustain block!
    Fully shielded through-out, with swimming pool rout! (Very quiet for a SC guitar)
    Pickups are A3/A5 4/2 RWRP 42SP wire pickups.
    E, & A use A5s, A3s on the rest, on all pickups.
    T
    Nice Job Terry ,do you have the poles grounded to the foil ? & if so does it decrease the hum ?

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copperheadroads View Post
    Nice Job Terry ,do you have the poles grounded to the foil ? & if so does it decrease the hum ?
    Yes I attempt to ground them, the best you can with the glue on copper foil.
    The glue is conductive, but it doesn't always conduct.
    I originally made the guitar for the grandson, and try to make it as quiet as possible.
    Shielding and noise is accumulative, I put shielding on the jack wiring, the pickup wiring, but not on the short leads on controls.
    I started putting the foil on the bottom of bass sidewinders, and it seemed to help, so I do that on my own guitar stuff also.
    The copper is so easy to solder, I like it for most stuff.
    I would only ground the pole rod magnets, if you're grounding the start lead, otherwise, it will probably make them noisier.
    Mine are all Grounded start lead with the middle pickup RWRP.
    Give it a try.
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 03-18-2018 at 04:07 AM.
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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copperheadroads View Post
    Nice Job Terry ,do you have the poles grounded to the foil ? & if so does it decrease the hum ?
    GUITAR RESULTS!
    My grandson was here on Easter Sunday.
    We setup my 2-6L6 Traynor amp on the front porch, and he serenaded the neighborhood.
    He likes it loud, and lots of gain. He plays a lot of SRV, Robin Trower, and Uncle Ted tunes.
    My blue strat is very quiet in pos. 2 & 4., with high gain, you could hear the hum in SC modes, near the amp.
    He has a like new 2005 Fender American deluxe strat, with noiseless pickups, and Switch S1.
    It is very quiet, in all pickup positions.
    IMO the blue guitar sounded better, especially the neck pickup on the big strings.(I like the Single Coil sound)
    The 05 American Strat sounded great with gain and the S1 switch activated.
    He likes the thin V neck of the 05 strat.
    T

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Maybe the small tone cap is part of the equation for scooped tone.
    However I usually never choose to go that way.
    I still like the .1uf vintage cap strat tone.

    So how do most wire the strat tone pots to the switch?
    The stock method was middle tone wired to neck pickup, back tone wired to middle pickup, and no tone pot to the bridge pickup.
    I'm fixing to try the 50s wiring, and wire middle tone to both neck and middle, and bridge pickup to the back tone pot.
    I will let you know the results!
    T
    Another way to wire the two tone controls is to have one for the neck pickup and the other for the bridge, with the middle pickup wired to neither. As you did it the neck/bridge notch position is affected by both tone controls which I guess is okay if you don't like that thin whiny sound. But a middle pickup without a tone control works a lot better than a bridge pickup!

    Actually right now my favorite strat has a Deaf Eddie Chromacaster 4P6T rotary switch in the middle hole and a master tone control at the bottom (its a TBX rewired per Doc's suggestion here back in 2001as I recall - the stock TBX was intended to be used with the Fender mid boost circuit and not for passive pickups. Doc's mod makes it like a normal tone control from 0 to the center detent and like a variable no-load pot from the detent to 10. Highly recommended!)

    Steve A.

    P.S. I have some MojoTone Quiet Coil tele pickups coming in a few days which sound like real single coil pickups in the YouTube videos. They use side-by-side coils but unlike the SD Hot Rails have a DC resistance and inductance very similar to vintage Fender pickups. (Sweetwater had been offering 36 month same-as-cash financing for MojoTone pickups but the Quiet Coil strat sets were only available on a pickguard for $299. Ouch!) I'll post a review of them in the Guitar Tech forum whenever I get them installed.)

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Yes I attempt to ground them, the best you can with the glue on copper foil.
    The glue is conductive, but it doesn't always conduct...

    I would only ground the pole rod magnets, if you're grounding the start lead, otherwise, it will probably make them noisier.
    Mine are all Grounded start lead with the middle pickup RWRP.
    Give it a try.
    T
    The Chromacaster switch (mentioned in my previous post) has positions with the bridge pickup out of phase and/or in series with the neck pickup in some of the linkages. The bridge pickup is a Lindy Fralin Hot Blues with his steel back plate installed. One of the pole pieces had major leakage to the innermost windings so it would hum loudly if I touched any of the pole pieces whenever the start windings were not connected directly to ground. Nowadays I check for continuity between the pole pieces and the windings and make sure not to ground the ones with any continuity to the windings.

    Back in the old days when silver-bearing conductive paint pens were under $10 I would use them to ground the pole pieces that were showing no continuity to the windings. (Back then I bought GC copper foil in 4"10" sheets at the local electronics store but they didn't use conductive adhesive like the rolls that StewMac sells.)

    Steve A.

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    Even perfect electrical shielding (Faraday cage) won't help against low frequency magnetic interference.
    I would consider the foils on the bottoms of the pickups useless as the shielding of the guitar's cavity already prevents electric fields from entering the pickups' bottoms. In addition the pole pieces are already shielded by the grounded first layer of the coil.

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 04-04-2018 at 04:18 PM.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    The blue guitar is dead quiet in position 2 & 4, but they still hum, in Single Coil positions, like all SC's do.
    I had the guitar with the Eric Johnson tone wiring, with no tone on the middle pickup.
    It was too bright, and I went back to strapping the neck and middle tones together.
    Sounds great. IMO the guitar sounds absolutely perfect, but still has the Single coil woes with high gain.
    IMO nothing sounds better than a Good Strat with Single coils.
    I do like the 50s wiring on the tone pots, and no roll-off issues.
    T
    * As far as other pickups soundiing like Single Coils.
    Some are ok, but only if you don't compare them to real alnico single coils.
    I will put my Alnico 2/4, A5/A3, pickup set, up with any I've heard to date.
    If you haven't tried, or made them, make a set and give them a try.
    Strat Neck S.C. 4/2-A3/A5 N/U-CW-42SP, 5800-5850K, aprox. 7800 turns
    Strat Middle S.C. 4/2-A3/A5 S/U-CCW-42SP, 6150-6200K, aprox. 8250 turns.
    Strat Bridge S.C. 4/2-A3/A5 N/U-CW-42SP, 6650-6700K, aprox. 8900 turns.
    Your wire type, bobbin height and TPL is varible and up to your tonal experimentation!
    I use some fairly large diameter Single Poly for these.
    All Rod magnets are .195 diameter, I use only two different length magnets, .685, and .710 magnets, vary, and adjust stagger of the length through the back.
    .
    My tone preference is 250K volume, 250K neck and middle tone strapped together, with .05-.075 uf disk cap.
    For the Bridge, I like 500k Pot, & .1uf mylar Cap., the 500k give greater rolloff, and a no load pot would also work well. but I prefer the 500k pot in the circuit, even when rolled off!
    I also like the 50ish vintage tone wiring scheme.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=sojCy1OFA0E
    YMMV

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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-05-2018 at 06:00 PM.
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    Well, the parallel humbucking arrangement with the middle RW/RP pickup takes care of the magnetic interference in position 2&4. But for single SC pickups only a dummy coil could futher reduce low frequency hum.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Well, the parallel humbucking arrangement with the middle RW/RP pickup takes care of the magnetic interference in position 2&4. But for single SC pickups only a dummy coil could futher reduce low frequency hum.
    Then it is not a true SC guitar, and all coils added, IME change the tone.
    I make low wound blade pickups that sound good, they are dead quiet, and are a bit stratty sounding, but still don't have that magic alnico SC sound.
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-04-2018 at 04:48 PM.
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