| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic Valco string through pick up
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Valco string through pick up
Bill Mize


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2019 6:55 am    
Reply with quote

I was curious what the characteristics should be on a vintage Valco String through pick up. thanks
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Peter Jacobs


From:
Northern Virginia
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2019 10:19 am    
Reply with quote

Electrically? They are on the low resistance side, total about 5 ohms (both coils - that’s 2.5 ohms each) from what I’ve read online (I really should measure mine). The strength of the magnets give them a reasonably strong output. Keep in mind that on some models, there’s only one magnet - the other one could be a painted block of wood. BTW, on my Jet Airliner, both pots are 500k with a .05uf capacitor.

Tonally, they have a strong midrange. I unscientifically measured the frequency curve (just using an app on my iPhone) and the initial strum of an open G chord had a reasonably flat response that almost immediately rolled off the high end. I guess that’s what gives them that awesome vocal tone.

Edited to add: here’s some info from SGF member Denny Turner. He shows the pots as being 1M and 250k, but that’s a 1948 example. Mine is from 1964. I suspect they used what they had...

http://dennysguitars.homestead.com/BillRicklesSuproP4.html
_________________
Peter
---------
www.splinterville.com
YouTube: https://goo.gl/tbM7Zo
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Mize


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2019 11:48 am    
Reply with quote

thanks for the info Peter. What made me wonder was, while trying out a 50's Supro (which has 2 magnets), the pickup sounded a bit thin and harsh. I took it to a friends vintage shop and he measured the pickup response with an ohm meter and it read 255K which he said was quite low and the pickup possibly had a broken wire. That made me wonder what a string through pickup in good condition typically sounds like.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stephen Cowell


From:
Round Rock, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 10:31 am    
Reply with quote

Val our strong-throughs in good condition are screamers, great for rock or blues. That one you had measured is certainly open-circuit and needs repair.

Sometimes on here when someone says ‘ohms’ they mean ‘kilo-ohms’. A normal pickup will read between 5k and 15k ohms.
_________________
New FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/AustinSteelGuitarClub/?fref=ts
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Mize


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 6:42 am    
Reply with quote

thanks for the info gentlemen. i wonder if the word "beefy" would ever be used to describe their tone?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Noah Miller


From:
Rocky Hill, CT
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 7:07 am    
Reply with quote

"Beefy", to me, suggests a strong low-mid bump. These have more of a high-mid bump, with a sound that I'd call aggressive and rich but not really beefy.
_________________
www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lee Holliday


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 11:55 pm    
Reply with quote

Tone is so difficult to describe, additionally what I feel and hear may not be the same as the next person.

I have a late 50,s Supro/Oahu which is the best I have ever seen or owned (almost new) and as well as being bright,shrill, Metallic at times it also has that low down grunt which can hit you in the chest, they can get away from you so play and damp/control the overtones.
The Amp & effects will also affect everything.

Lee



View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Mize


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2019 6:50 am    
Reply with quote

coincidently Lee, what originally prompted my question was, I am in the process of buying a lap steel pretty much just like yours. it to is a beauty and in mint condition, except, I believe the pu may need replacing or rewinding. Still, it's just too cool looking and good playing of a guitar to pass up. However, I do like my tone on the mellow side and on my other lap steel, I usually roll most of the treble down with the tone control. I was curious if that mellow tone is achievable with the Valco string thru pu. Thanks for everyone's input.

Last edited by Bill Mize on 13 Jun 2019 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lee Holliday


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2019 7:50 am    
Reply with quote

Mellow or chomping when you roll the tone right off, they are great guitars, the pickup or the magnets may need looking at to ensure the polarity is in symmetry, if you are stateside there are lots more options for pickup repair or even choice of available guitars.
Regards Lee
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tom Wolverton


From:
Carpinteria, CA
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2019 8:58 pm    
Reply with quote

I sent my ‘54 Supro pickups to Jerry Sentell for rewinding. They turned out fantastic.
_________________
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Mize


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 1:51 pm    
Reply with quote

good to know. thanks
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2019 1:53 pm    
Reply with quote

Be very cautious is you decide to remove it for any reason - the 4 screws that hold the top plate (and most of the assembly) down go through the end pieces - which are the magnets! They usually are attached only by their own magnetism and the screws.

It's important to keep track of exactly how they are oriented - if you reverse one, or flip it over, it causes the signal to be partially canceled - usually on the middle strings.
_________________
No chops, but great tone
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2019 2:07 pm    
Reply with quote

I have sort of got the feeling that these guitars are great for rock and blues (and for making coodercasters) but not great for western swing or Hawaiian. Is that correctish?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Noah Miller


From:
Rocky Hill, CT
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 4:27 am    
Reply with quote

Paul McEvoy wrote:
I have sort of got the feeling that these guitars are great for rock and blues (and for making coodercasters) but not great for western swing or Hawaiian. Is that correctish?


That's pretty much my feeling, and from what I've seen, it's probably the consensus among players. I'm using a D6 Oahu with a pair of string-throughs for rock; I bought it as a relatively inexpensive backup, but sometimes it's preferable to my Gibsons or Rickenbackers for the purpose.
_________________
www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2019 4:56 am    
Reply with quote

Paul McEvoy wrote:
I have sort of got the feeling that these guitars are great for rock and blues (and for making coodercasters) but not great for western swing or Hawaiian. Is that correctish?


Perhaps, but I've played a lot of Hawaiian music and Western Swing on my National "Waikiki" model with one of those pickups.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum



BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron