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musicmanD123

New Guitar Pickups Have Changed My Helix Presets

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Hello Helix Community,

 

Has anyone experienced a huge change in preset sounds after changing pickups in their guitars?

I just had a Seymour Duncan JB installed in the bridge and a 59 in the neck of my PRS SE Custom 24. These replaced the originally 85/15s pickups which I thought were ok, but never satisfied with the sounds. I play lots of different styles from Steely Dan to Tool to Opeth to Porcupine Tree, so versatility is important for me. 

The clean sounds from these pups are amazing, didn’t know this guitar could sound so beautiful. But, any tones with gain or distortion sound absolutely terrible in every position.

I usually only use the bridge for high gain and it sounds flat, harsh with no punch. Every preset with gain sounds the same no matter the amp model or different signal chain.

Thanks so much for your help.

Best regards,
Derek

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You should expect it to change dramatically - amps in the real world (and effects) are all impacted by changes in guitars (and parts). It just sounds like you have to re-learn what works for that guitar (again, like in the real world).

 

What is that's making the cleans great that would impact on dirty - input levels, impedence, different tone? Most likely higher output pickups pushing the amps a bit more sounds great on clean tones but has exposed issues with your gain levels on dirtier sounds. Good dirt sounds are never as dirty as some people think.

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1 hour ago, waymda said:

You should expect it to change dramatically - amps in the real world (and effects) are all impacted by changes in guitars (and parts). It just sounds like you have to re-learn what works for that guitar (again, like in the real world).

 

What is that's making the cleans great that would impact on dirty - input levels, impedence, different tone? Most likely higher output pickups pushing the amps a bit more sounds great on clean tones but has exposed issues with your gain levels on dirtier sounds. Good dirt sounds are never as dirty as some people think.

Hi Waymda,

 

I was expecting some difference but not this dramatic. You have likely identified the culprit - gain. I was just tweaking one of my presets with the Diesel Lead, backed off the gain, pushed up the mids a little, tried a bit more from the master for saturation and it helped a lot. Also tweaked some low and high cut from 100 to 8000 to 110 to 6000. The other was attack setting of the horizon drive. All of these tweeks have fixed it,

 

Its like having a new guitar, as you said, need to relearn what works. Thanks for your advice.

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7 hours ago, musicmanD123 said:

Has anyone experienced a huge change in preset sounds after changing pickups in their guitars?

 

When you change guitars there will be a big change in how every preset responds. Some changes are for the good, some not so good, some bad! 

I would expect the same thing if I changed pickups in a guitar..

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10 hours ago, musicmanD123 said:

Hello Helix Community,

 

Has anyone experienced a huge change in preset sounds after changing pickups in their guitars?

I just had a Seymour Duncan JB installed in the bridge and a 59 in the neck of my PRS SE Custom 24. These replaced the originally 85/15s pickups which I thought were ok, but never satisfied with the sounds. I play lots of different styles from Steely Dan to Tool to Opeth to Porcupine Tree, so versatility is important for me. 

The clean sounds from these pups are amazing, didn’t know this guitar could sound so beautiful. But, any tones with gain or distortion sound absolutely terrible in every position.

I usually only use the bridge for high gain and it sounds flat, harsh with no punch. Every preset with gain sounds the same no matter the amp model or different signal chain.

Thanks so much for your help.

Best regards,
Derek

 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but if your experience wasn't typical, there would be no reason for anybody to bother experimenting with different pickups, and the gazillion aftermarket options out there wouldn't exist...

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Maybe you don't know what you like yet for pups, maybe?....If you like the ones you took out better, why put them back in, send the duncs back and try something else?

 

Personally, I don't like Seymour Duncans at all for myself. That goes back to a bad experience with them in the 80s and I won't use them. I prefer DiMarzios and that is all I have used primarily since the late 80s...It's sorta like my disdain for all things Celestion for my own tones....I prefer the EV12L vibe....I have heard many people use Seymours, Celestions and other gear I don't prefer for myself and sound fantastic...So the gear isn't the problem...It's like trying on clothes, some things fit...other things don't, but they fit other folks...

 

I use medium output pickups as I love all styles and that approach has worked for me....I also know that I don't like ceramic pickups at all for myself...In terms of a bridge pup, I settled on the PAF Pro for many many years....I moved the Fred (Slightly hotter PAF Pro) in the early 2000s....and I loaded one guitar with a MoJo (Slightly hotter Fred) when it came around....

 

good luck...

 

 

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This is typical.  For those cases I have special "higher gain" snapshots if I know that I may be using a guitar with lower output.  I wish Helix had a global signal gain, like how it's done on the mic input...  One thing people do is get a gain pedal to either real or virtual and make it consistent from one guitar to another.  A Zakk Wylde Les Paul will always sound different from a 1930s jazz box.

 

Some wireless units have a gain setting you can adjust.  Perhaps that's something else to look into. 

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18 minutes ago, theElevators said:

This is typical.  For those cases I have special "higher gain" snapshots if I know that I may be using a guitar with lower output.  I wish Helix had a global signal gain, like how it's done on the mic input...  One thing people do is get a gain pedal to either real or virtual and make it consistent from one guitar to another.  A Zakk Wylde Les Paul will always sound different from a 1930s jazz box.

 

Some wireless units have a gain setting you can adjust.  Perhaps that's something else to look into. 

 

this^^^ I use an EQ2 exactly for the purpose of aligning the output of my basses and guitars...There really isn't anything close to that in HX...A freaking dual 10 band parametric with dual limiters in a tiny little thing that is midi enabled....Best EQ I have ever found for guitar or bass yet...

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It sounds like there might also be frequency response issues. I'm not familiar with those pickups, but the new ones might have fewer windings, which would give a brighter sound. You might want to play with the input impedance - lower it a bit, and see if that helps. A lower impedance might solve both the level and harshness problems. Emphasizing the lows a bit more may also give back some of the punch....worth a try.

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Changing pickups is akin to changing microphones. Each brings it's own characteristic sound.

 

And, just as with microphones, the position of pickup relative to the strings will affect the sound. If too close magnetic pickups can prematurely dampen a string's sustain.

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