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Author Topic: RS4 Larrivee Pickups - Sound AWESOME but Weirded out...  (Read 1752 times)
PM33AUD
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« on: October 06, 2011, 07:07:11 AM »

OK, before I begin, I must say that these pickups are the best I've heard and I've tried a ton of Dimarzios n SDs in many of my guitars.  My previous preference has always been the JB-Jazz setup but I like these in the RS4 way better.  So now I can continue:

When I recorded a track last night using my trusty Ibanez with JB/Jazz and the same track with same settings with the RS4, the RS4 output was much hotter.  This baffled me.  The JB set should be WAY hotter and it is not.  I thought it interesting.  The Ibanez uses 500k vol pot and simple tone attenuator (both of which are usually maxed out strat-style).

So then I plugged into my Egnater Mod50.  The Larrivees sound so damn good BUT, and I'm guessing it's b/c the OP is hotter for some reason, on the lead channels there was higher pitched feedback squealing - not useable kind when I put the RS4 volumes at max.  The only thing I was able to do was back off the volumes to about 8-9 and not go past there.  This ended up being totally fine as the amp was still driven as hard as the the Ibby did but I do volume swells and am not going to be able to stop at the new 'full' setting to some non-detented position.  I was thinking about just soldering in a resistor in series with each pot to give them a new 'full on' position.

Before I do that, is this normal?  Should I care?  Are these pups or the RS4 more prone to feedbacking?  Maybe the pots are higher than normal impedance?  I don't wanna go to any other pickup I just cannot have it feedbacking.  Any ideas?
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tulk1
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 12:10:35 PM »

There is def something about Matthew's winds that are different from other pickups. First thing I noticed on my RS4 was how clear they remained, regardless of vol setting or drive. I also noticed that the uncovered pups on the RS2 can get very raw, very nasty. Not in a bad way, mind you. Just .... very hot for the impedance. My guitar tech loves them! It took me some time to figure out the best use with my current rig. Not too dissimilar to what you're doing. Live, on stage, I run my pups around 5 for rhythm, normal use. Slap a bit of OD on and they're still good. Leads, I probably get up to around 7/8, rarely do I dime the vol controls. These are all approximates, as I generally go by ear. But when I've looked, these seem to be the read outs.

As for putting resistors across the pups ..... they're yours. Do as you please.  But that kind of stuff goes way beyond anything I could speak to. I'm just a user. 
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Kenny

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frankhond
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 02:20:21 PM »

I would suggest asking Matthew what values they use for the pots etc inside the rs guitars. 500k may not be right, also they might have some other tricks going on in there. Have you looked at the guts of the rs?
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tulk1
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 03:16:11 PM »

I would suggest asking Matthew what values they use for the pots etc inside the rs guitars. 500k may not be right, also they might have some other tricks going on in there. Have you looked at the guts of the rs?
It's all right there on the http://www.larrivee.com/instruments/electrics/rs4/specsrs4.phpLarrivee website.

Potentiometers
Volume:                RS Guitarworks 500K Super-Pots (Manufactured by CTS)
Tone:                    All parts 500K 0686 Pots (Manufacturer by CTS)
Bridge Capacitor:    Vintage Paper-in-Oil Capacitors 0.022
Neck Capacitor:    Vintage Paper-in-Oil Capacitors 0.015
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Kenny

Quote: "You know, all things considered, we are very, very lucky to have all that we do, an embarrassment of riches, actually."
Mikeymac
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 03:44:44 PM »

I haven't experienced what you're talking about, other than that I also expected the JAZZ/JB set in one of my other guitars to sound "louder/hotter" but they don't. But I'm not having any squealing or feedback problems like you're talking about. I do occasionally roll the volumes back a little - especially to reduce teh amount of gain when I have an overdrive pedal on. But I also do that with the neck pup on my guitar with the JAZZ pup in the neck - otherwise it's often to bassy and woofy; backing it dwon to around a8 cures this and gives me perfect "woman tone".
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1979 L-19
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2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
Matthew Larrivee
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 10:54:03 PM »

OK, before I begin, I must say that these pickups are the best I've heard and I've tried a ton of Dimarzios n SDs in many of my guitars.  My previous preference has always been the JB-Jazz setup but I like these in the RS4 way better.  So now I can continue:

When I recorded a track last night using my trusty Ibanez with JB/Jazz and the same track with same settings with the RS4, the RS4 output was much hotter.  This baffled me.  The JB set should be WAY hotter and it is not.  I thought it interesting.  The Ibanez uses 500k vol pot and simple tone attenuator (both of which are usually maxed out strat-style).

So then I plugged into my Egnater Mod50.  The Larrivees sound so damn good BUT, and I'm guessing it's b/c the OP is hotter for some reason, on the lead channels there was higher pitched feedback squealing - not useable kind when I put the RS4 volumes at max.  The only thing I was able to do was back off the volumes to about 8-9 and not go past there.  This ended up being totally fine as the amp was still driven as hard as the the Ibby did but I do volume swells and am not going to be able to stop at the new 'full' setting to some non-detented position.  I was thinking about just soldering in a resistor in series with each pot to give them a new 'full on' position.


Before I do that, is this normal?  Should I care?  Are these pups or the RS4 more prone to feedbacking?  Maybe the pots are higher than normal impedance?  I don't wanna go to any other pickup I just cannot have it feedbacking.  Any ideas?


Ok, so here are a few things to consider..

1) In regards to the "heat" of the pickups. It's a common miss-conception that DC Resistance (kOhm rating) is a measurement of pickup output. "output" is a difficult term to actual quantify because there is not an actual way to measure it. To me, "output" would be the maximum voltage created if the pickups magnetic field was saturated. Unfortunately there is no readily accessible way to saturate the field. While DC Resistance is a factor, in reality I think the strength of the magnet plays a larger roll. I use very particular alnico magnets that are very strong, but not so strong as to "pull" the strings. The field that they produce is quite strong and when disturbed by the strings produces more voltage in a coil than other alnicos. So while the we do use the term "low output" sometimes, the term should really be "low dc resistance". Lower DC resistance usually produces a brighter cleaner pickup over its high DC counterpart.

2) The pickups we make are un-potted, this is to allowed the so called "Good Microphics" in the pickup. You might have someone wax pot the pickup if it squeals too much.

3) I would also try lowering the troublesome pickup and the pole pieces - Get them a little farther away from the strings. Thats going to put the strings further out into the magnetic bloom of the pickup and calm it down a bit.

If it is troublesome still, then send us an e-mail to info@larrivee.com and maybe we can swap it out.

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PM33AUD
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 12:57:38 AM »

Matthew,

Thanks for the quick reply.  I am an ECE by trade so I am well aware of the terms many musical products use for what are really complex AC-mode items a single DC value cannot describe... it's similar to folks using DC motor resistances - but here one can easily measure real practical values like torque.  Some here just stated said they were lower in output than their SDs I am familiar with so I was surprised.  Like I said, turning down the volumes to the non-squealing states still had similar gain and output than the Ibanez.  I've potted pickups before and it's not difficult, I just dont want it to affect the tone in a negative fashion because I really like the sound of these pups in both clean and overdriven applications.  I am not familiar what the effects are on 'good microphonics' (which I also don't know about).  I do a lot of both clean and overdriven sounds (mostly hard-rock) so maybe potting is more suitable for a heavier-style player like me.  I just don't want to destroy the sweet clean tones I am hearing and 'un-potting' I can imagine is pretty much impossible without destroying the pickup.

What do you think I should do?  I will try option 3) first but I think this may not have much impact.  I'll try it tomorrow.
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Matthew Larrivee
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2011, 01:44:08 AM »

You have to be really careful when potting them as the bobbins are made from Celulose Acetate Butyrate. The plastic is very old formula not really used today. The plastic is Authentic to a vintage PAF, but it comes with a downside: Butyrate melts at a lower tempurature than modern ABS or Nylon. Wax melts around 140 and the plastic will soften and warp around 150-155. Try option 3 first and we'll go from there.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2011, 05:18:32 AM »


What do you think I should do?  I will try option 3) first but I think this may not have much impact.  I'll try it tomorrow.

I've found that raising and lowering the pickups (and the individual screws) can have a LOT of impact on the sound created...this is true of both single coils and humbuckers...
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
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2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
PM33AUD
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2011, 02:17:29 PM »

Yea, but hopefully the sound I'm really liking doesn't change in a worser way.  I am thinking I'm going to have to significantly change their position to have an impact enough to reduce the FB.  I've also done some research and all of the pickups in all of my other guitars are potted so I'm sure that can't hurt.  One other worry I'd have is potting could potentially change the tone - then I have the issue of being very close (appx 15 deg) to the melting point of the plastics used.  Does anyone know if potting would be noticeable?  Wax and air have different dielectric properties so it is possible.  Has anyone tried a side-by side for any pickup over the years?

Are you folks using this guitar with lower gain music or maybe playing at lower volumes?  I normally play with my Mod50 EG5 module with gain set to 9-o-clock (this is pretty low, really) and volume enough to play along with the band who can get a little loud.

Maybe I'll record a clip with the mic if the pup positioning doesn't make a difference.
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Matthew Larrivee
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 04:09:18 PM »

eh, email us a picture of the pickup at info@larrivee.com. I'll just send you a new one and then return me the old one. Probably better that way
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fritferret
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 12:53:31 AM »

OK, before I begin, I must say that these pickups are the best I've heard and I've tried a ton of Dimarzios n SDs in many of my guitars.  My previous preference has always been the JB-Jazz setup but I like these in the RS4 way better.  So now I can continue:

When I recorded a track last night using my trusty Ibanez with JB/Jazz and the same track with same settings with the RS4, the RS4 output was much hotter.  This baffled me.  The JB set should be WAY hotter and it is not.  I thought it interesting.  The Ibanez uses 500k vol pot and simple tone attenuator (both of which are usually maxed out strat-style).

So then I plugged into my Egnater Mod50.  The Larrivees sound so damn good BUT, and I'm guessing it's b/c the OP is hotter for some reason, on the lead channels there was higher pitched feedback squealing - not useable kind when I put the RS4 volumes at max.  The only thing I was able to do was back off the volumes to about 8-9 and not go past there.  This ended up being totally fine as the amp was still driven as hard as the the Ibby did but I do volume swells and am not going to be able to stop at the new 'full' setting to some non-detented position.  I was thinking about just soldering in a resistor in series with each pot to give them a new 'full on' position.

Before I do that, is this normal?  Should I care?  Are these pups or the RS4 more prone to feedbacking?  Maybe the pots are higher than normal impedance?  I don't wanna go to any other pickup I just cannot have it feedbacking.  Any ideas?


did you try changing your position?  i mean like move your body and guitar around or face a slightly diff. direction.  since the pups are unpotted, they can potetniallysquel at loud volumes and lots of gain.  i haven't found that to be an issue at all, but i never use more than a medium amount of gain.
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PM33AUD
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 05:19:33 AM »

I surely have.  There are some weird positions I can twister into to stop it but it is difficult and still not foolproof.  I am using (at least what I think) is a 'medium' amount of gain.  On the EG5 module (which is kinda like a hot-rodded SLO kinda deal) the gain is set to around 9-o'clock.  The problem is that if I turn the guitar down to stop it, then I have to compensate at the amp, which makes it come back again so no matter what I do it kinda just puts a hard limit on the level of distortion I am want; which is as little as possible (I don't like gobs of it).  I'm workin' with the nice folks at Larrivee on the matter so hopefully it all gets sorted out!   
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fritferret
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 05:01:51 PM »

I surely have.  There are some weird positions I can twister into to stop it but it is difficult and still not foolproof.  I am using (at least what I think) is a 'medium' amount of gain.  On the EG5 module (which is kinda like a hot-rodded SLO kinda deal) the gain is set to around 9-o'clock.  The problem is that if I turn the guitar down to stop it, then I have to compensate at the amp, which makes it come back again so no matter what I do it kinda just puts a hard limit on the level of distortion I am want; which is as little as possible (I don't like gobs of it).  I'm workin' with the nice folks at Larrivee on the matter so hopefully it all gets sorted out!   

hmm....i'm out of ideas.  and the guitar's not closely facing any monitors or mics  or speakers?  if not, then i'm def. out of ideas.  oh, you might try resoldering the pup in.  cold solder joint can cause some strange stuff.  can't hurt.  matthew will get you sorted out.  just trying to save you some time and the horrible horrible waiting.
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