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Post new topic Pickups causing overdrive and distortion
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Author Topic:  Pickups causing overdrive and distortion
Bill C. Buntin

 

Post  Posted 2 Jan 2020 9:26 am    
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Anyone know of this problem

I was using some factory original barcus berry’s at 12-13k ohms.

During which time I had the feeling both amps I use (peavey session 400 and LTD) had developed speaker issues or something causing a overdrive or distortion sound but only slightly

I finally installed two bl705 pickups, now the amps are as clear as you expect them to be???

I never thought the pickups could be causing it???

I used barcus pickups years ago on a gfi and didn’t have this problem

I had decided to sell these barcus berry’s but I decided not to try to sell them. I guess they could be faulty? Dunno??

Anybody have any thoughts on it??

Bill
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Chris Tarrow


From:
Maplewood, NJ
Post  Posted 2 Jan 2020 10:27 am    
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could be a soldering issue.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 2 Jan 2020 11:28 am    
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Having the pickup too close to the strings can cause distortion by some pickups. In particular the Lawrence 710's if set too close have been known to cause distortion.
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Tommy Shown

 

From:
Denham Springs, La.
Post  Posted 13 Jan 2020 8:00 pm    
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Or it could be the other pickups could be single coil.I have a 705 and I don't have any issues because they are a double coil. Jack maybe right about the height of the pickup to the strings. Take quarter and place between the strings and the pickup. You want the thickness of the quarter between the strings and the pickup to remove any distortion. Also check your amp settings too.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 8:54 am    
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I always understood it was the distance of TWO quarters. Very Happy
Erv
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 9:17 am    
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Erv Niehaus wrote:
I always understood it was the distance of TWO quarters. Very Happy
Erv

Would five dimes work as well?
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 10:52 am    
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I'd go with 10 nickels. Rolling Eyes
Erv
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 11:43 am    
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Don't bother trying 50 pennies. That didn't work.
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Justin Griffith


From:
Taylor, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 12:44 pm    
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I pick the strings way harder than I need to so I’ve had the same issue. As others have said, lower the pickups. I also use the #2 input on my Ltd. it sounds better and pads the signal as well.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 2:27 pm    
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Justin Griffith wrote:
I pick the strings way harder than I need to so I’ve had the same issue. As others have said, lower the pickups. I also use the #2 input on my Ltd. it sounds better and pads the signal as well.


I'm a pretty aggresive picker too. I think I would benefit from lowering the 710's on my guitar. I think I hear some overdriving on my NV400. I have my pickups spaced at 2 quarters. I haven't noticed much difference using input #2.
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Justin Griffith


From:
Taylor, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 3:29 pm    
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Sometimes I have to turn my amp way up and try not to get in the pedal too hard as well. Maybe try that?
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 6:16 pm    
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Justin Griffith wrote:
Sometimes I have to turn my amp way up and try not to get in the pedal too hard as well. Maybe try that?


I have my Hilton adjusted to where some signal gets through in the "off" position, and never get much past 2/3 of the travel. My ankle doesn't like going much further.
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2020 7:19 pm    
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What is your entire signal path starting at the guitar and thru any devices including volume pedal?

B
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2020 7:57 am    
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Me? Carter D10 with 710's to an effects loop box that switches in my effects, to a Hilton volume pedal to amp. The last gig I played, I went straight from guitar to Hilton pedal to amp. No difference. The amount of distortion I hear is very minimal, and totally acceptable.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2020 12:04 pm    
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Quote:
You want the thickness of the quarter between the strings and the pickup to remove any distortion. Also check your amp settings too.


Respectfully, that's only true with specific pickups with specific magnet types and construction style. It also depends on the pickup position, string type, bridge type, fretboard - anything that affects the magnetic pull on the strings.

The DC resistance is irrelevant. It is only useful in *roughly* estimating comparative output of two pickups of identical construction. A pickup with 6kDC resistance can have triple the output of q pickup of different construction style and 15k DC resistance.

In the OP's situation he could very likely have simply lowered the pickups, experimenting with the point of optimum string response without distortion - when picking fairly hard!

If the pickups have adjustable poles you can fine-tune the response to get it level from string to string. with non-adjustable poles you may hve to compromise and set it tilted slightly - usually with the wound strings lower.

And if you change string gages, types (like change from stainless steel to nickel plate steel or pure nickel wrap) you should re-do the pickup setting, as the magnetic attraction of different strings will be stronger or weaker.

And if pickup height is not adjustable at all I suggest changing to a low-profile pickup with adjustable poles. Otherwise you're simply stuck with what you have, whether it works or not.
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Murray McDowall


From:
Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2020 1:51 pm    
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Bill, have you tried input 2?
It’s lower gain. I had the same problem years age with a Session 500 after changing from a Sho-Bud to a Zumsteel. The Zum had much greater output and the signal was just too high for input 1. I swapped to #2 and all was fine.
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Bill C. Buntin

 

Post  Posted 15 Jan 2020 6:02 pm    
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Thanks you guys for all the tips. I’m really thinking it was some dust in the voice coil on the Ltd and as I said the session is clean as can be with the 705 Bill Lawrence

It’s a bare bones old school setup. Guitar to vol pedal, to boss dd7, to input 2.

I may keep these barcus berry’s and try them in another guitar in the future.

Incidentally I agree with everything you guys said. I did make sure of pickup height and I always use input 2 on peavey amps

And I did take off the stainless steel strings and put nickel. I’m thinking about staying with nickels for awhile.

Mystery still on the barcus berry’s though.

Many thank

Bill
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2020 6:16 pm    
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Bill C. Buntin wrote:
...
It’s a bare bones old school setup. Guitar to vol pedal, to boss dd7, to input 2....
Bill



What volume pedal? Active? Passive?


B
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Bill C. Buntin

 

Post  Posted 16 Jan 2020 5:12 am    
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Brad

Goodrich 120-500k passive

Bill
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Jim Pitman

 

From:
Waterbury Ctr. VT 05677 USA
Post  Posted 16 Jan 2020 9:20 am    
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Try input 2.
It's amazing how different the amplitude output from different pickup designs can vary. For one, a guitar pickup only has about half the wire as a steel guitar pickup since the distance around 6 pole pieces is short compared to 10 or 12.
Typically a dual coil humbucker will be higher output than a single coil. That has more to do with the added inductance.
The strength of the magnet used and the proximity of the wire to the radiating magnetic field both make a big difference. Those windings further out on the radius produce more energy which may sound counter intuative.
the first tube in a tube amps typically has more dynamic range than the first transistor in a solid state amp.
Nonetheless it has been a standard with tube or solid state to offer the second (attenuating ) input jack.
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Steve Lipsey


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 16 Jan 2020 12:48 pm    
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With my Matchless amp I had to solder a resister in line in the plug in the cord from my pedal steel to bring the level down far enough to avoid distortion....
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