Pickups

DeArmond Dynasonic adjusting

1

So I had a good run in rock trio rehearsal tonight with the 52 Electro 2 I've been restoring. What a fine beast so far.

I've never played a guitar with Dynasonics for a full rehearsal and I enjoyed, particularly, the articulation every string has. They do hit distortion pedals very dfferently though. The pedal needs more level than with hilotrons which is interesting. Normally when I play a drastically different guitar I can't endure it for more than a few songs but this time I played it all night and enjoyed it. We were playing a lot of clean pop, some latin and some heavier distorted rock/alt rock.

I'm trying to tweak the bottom end vs the top end. This I've heard is a Dynasonic thing.

Right now I have the bass string pickup poles BURIED almost 1/8" inch in the pickup while the high strings are almost 1/8" above and the bass is still a little too dominating.

My plan is to make new angled shims for the pickups that mostly lift the treble side. Ed was saying the tortoise shell ones can have problems so it's not a big deal. Also they're very brittle. With the treble side closer I should get a bit more girth to the treble sound while the bass strings will have a little less boom Here's a picture of how they were set up for this eve's rehearsal .Pretty extreme and I like a nice bottom on a pickup!

I might also flip the neck pickup around orientating the poles of both of them like hilotrons.

Any other tips/ideas from those in the know?

2

Hi Toxo

Stewmac did a video on making DeArmond risers. Not sure you need it, but it might be of interest.

3

I could never get the string balance on DeAmonds right until I went from nickel plated steel to pure nickel strings. What do you have on the guitar?

4

Thanks! I'm going to check out that video for fun. They have fancy tools. I tend to do things by hand. I have an old corsair or electromatic top I use for shaping bridges that I was going to use to put the contour on the bottom of the risers.

I was going to make some quick and dirty ones from some black light plastic I have (you can cut it with an olfa knife) It would be nice to have tortoishell ones though, I'd have to find some solid faux tortoise shell

-I have normal D'addario strings on my guitars. I'd heard that pure nickel strings sound kind of dead? true?

That might be an interesting experiment.

Do the wound strings on pure nickels have significantly less output? Is that the idea?

I'm not knocking the idea, just asking.

5

I have normal D'addario strings on my guitars. I'd heard that pure nickel strings sound kind of dead? true? Do the wound strings on pure nickels have significantly less output? Is that the idea?

The wound strings are less agressively bright than typical nickel plated style strings, but they're not dead or dull sounding at all. And they have less magnetic output, so they balance better with the treble strings.

6

When I got my Kingsnake guitar, the seller has spend me a set of 11- 48 pure nickel strings from Curt Mangan. They're sounding great with the P90s. I don't really like the sound of new strings and when I put new strings on, I just love them, when they're loosing the brightness and steely sound. The Mangans are sounding fuller and warmer than the Gibson Reissues. They're working for me and never sounding dull or liveless. Just more balanced.

7

So what are Ernie Ball heavy top light bottom? Dunno if they’re cool or not, have used em for years as I like 10-52. And I try hard not to change them. Take 2 guitars in case of breaks.

8

So what are Ernie Ball heavy top light bottom? Dunno if they’re cool or not, have used em for years as I like 10-52. And I try hard not to change them. Take 2 guitars in case of breaks.

– Vince_Ray

Am I reading this wrong? Wouldn't 10-52 be light top heavy bottom?

I use 12-52s with a wound G. if anything I thought of putting the bottom 3 strings from a 11-49 set on this guitar to reduce the bottom end a little. That would be heavy top light bottom!

That said I had the local guitar store bring in some sets of the D'addario pure nickels 12-51 They're only $11+ Can so not that much more and they brought them in so I could try them and I can try just one set no obligation.

I like what what works and doesn't cost a zillion, and have been using the same D'addario string for the past 20 years. I'm not at all worried about cool.

I did pick up some tortoiseshell celluloid today to either make new pickup risers or shim up the existing ones.

9

Your DeArmond looks like it's adjusted about right. Always use pure Nickel with those pickups.

10

Am I reading this wrong? Wouldn't 10-52 be light top heavy bottom?

I use 12-52s with a wound G. if anything I thought of putting the bottom 3 strings from a 11-49 set on this guitar to reduce the bottom end a little. That would be heavy top light bottom!

That said I had the local guitar store bring in some sets of the D'addario pure nickels 12-51 They're only $11+ Can so not that much more and they brought them in so I could try them and I can try just one set no obligation.

I like what what works and doesn't cost a zillion, and have been using the same D'addario string for the past 20 years. I'm not at all worried about cool.

I did pick up some tortoiseshell celluloid today to either make new pickup risers or shim up the existing ones.

– Toxophilite

Ah yes, light top heavy bottom. That shows what I know! Just pondering what those strings are made of and whether I should try a new material. Happy with my gauge though

12

Nickel apparently.

– Vince_Ray

With practically EVERY string manufacturer:

Nickel = nickel plated (including EB)

Pure nickel = pure nickel.

If it doesn’t say PURE nickel, it’s plated.

13

I've been using Pyramid pure nickel rounds, I don't know if they're on the expensive side in the US, they're not here in Europe. Great strings, round core, pure nickel wrap.

Trying out their monel strings now, haven't decided yet if I like them more than the pure nickels - they're cool though. A little brighter than pure nickel, not as bright as nickel plated steel. They seem to last pretty long, I've been getting two gigs out of a set, and that's not typical for me, I'm a sweaty bastard.

14

I've been using Pyramid pure nickel rounds, I don't know if they're on the expensive side in the US...

Very.

15

I'd be interested in your conclusion on those monels Walter.

I like monels on acoustics, so curious about electrics.

Currently I use Ernie Ball Rock n' Roll pure nickel on most of my guitars.

16

I've used a number of different monel formulations (Martin and Pyramid, specifically) and my experience is that monel has slightly less magnetic reactivity than pure nickel. I have had trouble, especially on my reso with a blade pickup, getting the bass/treble balance right; the trebles tend to be a good bit brighter than the wound basses. That being said, I haven't tried monel specifically on a Dyna equipped guitar, just the blade & Filters. I've strung my resos, acoustic & acoustic/electric, with monel for years, and I love it. I don't love it nearly so much for purely electric uses.

17

TV Jones has foam spacers that you can use to adjust the whole pickup up and down, or take one side up or down while leaving the other - or you could make your own of course. Then you can fine tune w/ the pole pieces.

I also like the pure nickle on my Dyna guitars. D'Addarrio Pure Nickle 11-48 are cheap and work well for me.

18

I’m totally sold on DR Pure Blues. They had a bad batch or two about ten years ago, but they’re very consistent these days, and only about six dollars a set.

19

I’m totally sold on DR Pure Blues. They had a bad batch or two about ten years ago, but they’re very consistent these days, and only about six dollars a set.

– seadevil

Me too. They may not be as good as Pyramids or Thomastik Infelds, but they're good enough if you want round core solid nickel strings.

20

I could never get the string balance on DeAmonds right until I went from nickel plated steel to pure nickel strings. What do you have on the guitar?

– WB

Exactly what I found as well.Better string balance,and also they seem to tame any annoying "harsh/ice-pick"... Especially nice are pure Nickel strings with the round core---just a little easier under the fingers.

21

Thanks all for the pure nickel tip with DeArmonds. It made a huge difference and makes balancing the low vs high strings WAY easier and less extreme. Worked like a charm on the electro. I got the D'Addario EPN21 pure nickels because the string size is pretty well dead on what I use and I've always used D'addario(for the same reason, string sizes) Much appreciated.

22

That's great to hear, happy twanging!

23

I never thought about this before, but...I guess a string doesn't have to be ferrous to work. AFAIK, nickel doesn't stick to a magnet.

24

Nickel is ferromagnetic and the core is steel.


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