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Author Topic: RS-4 Pickup configuration  (Read 3966 times)
bacchus
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« on: December 19, 2011, 03:37:12 PM »

Hey all,

If things go as planned, I may soon be the owner of a new RS-4 Forum V guitar, I can barely contain my excitement.  This will be my first real electric guitar (I started playing guitar about 5ish years ago on a cheap LTD Viper).

One of the options for the F-V may be a special run of custom Larrivee mini-humbuckers.  I really like the idea of getting in on this, but I am not sure whether mini-hums will suit my needs.

I have been planning an electric purchase for a while now and have always assumed that I would stick with dual humbucker (les paul / PRS style) guitar.  Generally that is the sound I am after and want to have on my main guitar.  However, lately I have been playing my father's recently upgraded strat and have really developed a taste for nice single coil pickups.  I love the way they sound clean, or with a little overdrive.

I have more or less asked a similar question within the F-V thread, but I figured I would expose it to the rest of the world. 

Here is the question: I am looking for a versatile guitar, one that sounds great everywhere from clean to all out dirty.  I know that this is the common conundrum when purchasing any guitar.  I am thinking of doing the RS-4 with mini hum at the neck and full HB at the bridge.  What are people's thoughts on this?  Could this be a good sounding, versatile combination?  On a side note, one thing that I have considered is if I just dont like the mini hum, I could potentially switch it out for a P-90 later down the road.

Sorry for the long winded post, but any opinions, advice, comments, etc... would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance for an education for a gear newbie.
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Cameron

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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 05:53:13 PM »

If the Forum V ends up a go for me, I am def going mini HB in neck and full in Bridge.   I grew up on strats and you can't beat SC cleans.  Now I play heavier stuff so I need the extra juice and mids of a HB.  I think the mini will be an excellent blend for neck (I use the bridge for the real heavy stuff anyways).  I listened to a bunch of samples on the Seymour Duncan site comparing the tone of the mini in general to the fullsize HBs - judging from that, the mini will work very nicely and open up the guitar a little bit sonically as well as making it a little more unique.

The other thing to note is that on my current RS4, the bridge is quite a bit brighter than the neck pup.  The mini HB will get them closer together IMO making for a more balanced guitar.

Phil
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 06:34:25 PM »

Even though I don't like humbuckers {full size} I have to say I do like Matthews HB'ers.But I really prefer the sound and tone of the mini's even when Gibson produced them they always sounded more musical then full size.Me I would go with a set of mini's for bothe the front and the back.
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bacchus
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 07:18:32 PM »

@Phil:  Intuitively, I think that I agree with you.  The idea of a mini in the neck seems great, I have heard the mini's descried as somewhere between a full HB and a P-90.  Of course I can't verify this, and even if this was the case, every pickup is different and will respond differently to different guitars.  I think ultimately what I want, though I know it is ridiculous,  is that sweet gibson bridge HB sound along with the fat, classic strat neck sound, with pure sonic versatility in between.  I know  wacko ...

@Rob:  I have a lot faith in Matthew's abilities, and have heard nothing but accolades for his pickups in general.  As I said to Phil, I have been really eyeing (ear-ing?) that Gibson bridge sound (especially with some distortion), so unless some revelation should befall me, I will probably stick with that. 
The neck is really up in the air for me.  In fact, I have only ever seen RS-4's with dual humbuckers (I can only refer to videos online).  I kind of wonder why mini-HB's seem, to me at least, to be sort of marginalized in the electric guitar community.

This leads to the question, what about the P-90's, would it be worth considering P-90  in the neck instead of the mini.  I am really in love with the idea of the mini, but when brought down to earth I couldn't exactly tell you why.

I hope that I don't come across as needy and indecisive.  I am actually indescribably excited about this.  I have just never had a chance to play any guitar with mini's or any larrivee electric for that matter, so I have to go off of what I hear and see online.

Thanks for your help
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Cameron

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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 07:40:43 PM »

One thing to keep in mind is that a P-90 won't fit a mini-humbucker route; they're different sized pickups. So switching to a P-90 later isn't really an option.

If Matthew wasn't offering the new mini-humbucker option for these F-V guitars, I would probably be going with the P-90's in both positions (I may be back in on this special order, since it's now moved back to after the first of the year). They really are "the best of both worlds" kind of pickups/tone; they have clarity, snap and high end, but they also have great punch when you want to hit an amp hard (I use the volume AND tone controls on both my Larrivee electrics all the time, because these pickups are so responsive; they clean up great, and there's LOTS of tonal sweep on the T controls).

It sounds like a humbucker in the bridge really would be the best for the syle of music you're playing, and to keep it all humbucking, I'd suggest sticking with a mini at the neck. But if 60 cycle hum wasn't going to be an issue for you, I'd say the P-90's will knock your socks off for all styles of music.
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 07:44:24 PM »

Cameron, I'm actually pondering the same thing!  Almost all of my PUP experience is on a standard Tele, so this would be an exciting departure for me as well.  I like to play everything from blues to hard rock, and I definitley want to go down the HB route, so I think a mini on the next could add more versatility.  Maybe that should be a question - will it add more versatility?   Thanks for posing the question and I look forward to the feedback.

Matt
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 08:00:40 PM »

One thing to keep in mind is that a P-90 won't fit a mini-humbucker route; they're different sized pickups. So switching to a P-90 later isn't really an option.

Oh, good to know.  I had done some somewhat half-hearted research on this and the idea that they were somehow interchangeable got stuck on me.  Thanks for disabusing that notion.  In regards to your statement about P-90's, I had never considered them an option, but the stuff I have been hearing has been making them seem awfully appealing and very tempting.  I just don't know if I can get over the HB sound that I have craved for so long, but people and tastes change... sigh.

  Maybe that should be a question - will it add more versatility?

Exactly my point, will this add any versatility or will this actually restrict me in some way.  I wish I knew more about this stuff, though getting a new guitar is a great way to learn.
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Cameron

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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 08:27:43 PM »

I'm in the process of writing an article for you all on Mini humbuckers. It will include an extremely detailed history of the pickup and my views of the design of the forum version. I'm still writing it (its at something like 1800 words so far). So look for this week sometime.
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bacchus
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 09:38:11 PM »

I'm in the process of writing an article for you all on Mini humbuckers. It will include an extremely detailed history of the pickup and my views of the design of the forum version. I'm still writing it (its at something like 1800 words so far). So look for this week sometime.

Excellent, straight from the horses mouth ... er, not to call you a horse, of course.  I am sure that you are very un horse-like, unless that is a good thing.

Anyway...  seriously, this is great.  I would love to nerd out on this as much as possible.  This whole part of the process is incredibly exciting for me, second only to the unboxing and immediate endowment of rock-god status that, if I am reading guitar forums correctly, is the inevitable next step after purchasing a new instrument.
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Cameron

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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 10:19:52 PM »

..........................This leads to the question, what about the P-90's, would it be worth considering P-90  in the neck instead of the mini.  I am really in love with the idea of the mini, but when brought down to earth I couldn't exactly tell you why.

I hope that I don't come across as needy and indecisive.  I am actually indescribably excited about this.  I have just never had a chance to play any guitar with mini's or any larrivee electric for that matter, so I have to go off of what I hear and see online.

Thanks for your help.........................
Bacchus, nothing wrong with asking lots of questions about something you aren't knowedgeable about.  I'm in exactly the same boat as you and appreciate any insights as I can get before I make the final decision on pickups for my Forum V.  So keep the comments and opinions coming, all who care to help us out.

Kurt
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 11:10:14 PM »

I'm in the process of writing an article for you all on Mini humbuckers. It will include an extremely detailed history of the pickup and my views of the design of the forum version. I'm still writing it (its at something like 1800 words so far). So look for this week sometime.

I agree ... this will be great information, especially from your perspective,Matthew,  since we're all pretty sold on the two current Larrivee pickup options.  bowdown
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 04:34:08 AM »

If I remember right Gibson used a pu ring for there mini HB's and again I'm fairly sure that you could pull out the mini with the ring and drop in a P90.I also find that mini's don't loss there mids when drivin like most humbucker's which get muddy{I have found that Larrivee's full size hb's don't have that problem}.I also like the tighter responce of the mini's tone much more versitle in my opinion making the guitar more versitle.
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 05:17:06 PM »

If I remember right Gibson used a pu ring for there mini HB's and again I'm fairly sure that you could pull out the mini with the ring and drop in a P90.

Oh?  That is sort of what I had read online, though as I said, the research wasn't exactly thorough.  Ultimately, I want to be happy with whatever I choose, but having options later down the line would be absolutely preferable.

I also find that mini's don't loss there mids when drivin like most humbucker's which get muddy{I have found that Larrivee's full size hb's don't have that problem}.I also like the tighter responce of the mini's tone much more versitle in my opinion making the guitar more versitle.

This is good to hear, this is the sort of thing that I was kind of hoping for.  Though, to me, this still begs the question of why mini's seem to be so uncommon.

Thanks Rob for your insight.
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Cameron

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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 07:49:50 PM »

Just to raise my input to 4 cents, I already have an RS4, which I love.  This has 2 fullsize HBs.  Because the Forum V is about the same guitar (woods, etc...) I won't get the same pup config else the thing would sound nearly the same if not identical and my scrounging up another 2k+ is not really justified.  So I'm down to a mini and P90.  The P90 will not work for me due to the higher gain stuff I play (noise) so that leaves the mini.  Worst case scenario, I dont like it and rout it out for a FS HB and that's that!  I highly doubt I'd be anything other than ecstatic with the mini, though.  Man, I hope I can swing this sucker!

Phil
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 06:21:50 PM »

I haven't figured out whether its the size that make's them better to my ears or whether its because full size HB'ers always got muddy in the mids and that doesn't ocur in the mini's.As for the P90's producing to much noise at that level of volumn you don't hear it except when there's no music being produce.The advantage to P90's is that they are attack sensetive and with out changing anything other then your right hand attack you get more versitility out of them.
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2012, 03:25:16 PM »

Excellent, straight from the horses mouth ... er, not to call you a horse, of course.  I am sure that you are very un horse-like, unless that is a good thing.

Anyway...  seriously, this is great.  I would love to nerd out on this as much as possible.  This whole part of the process is incredibly exciting for me, second only to the unboxing and immediate endowment of rock-god status that, if I am reading guitar forums correctly, is the inevitable next step after purchasing a new instrument.


Just a ping,

I know that you are a busy guy with significantly more pressing matters at hand, so I'm not tyring to be impatient, no rush.  I am just curious and excited to read what you have to say.

Thanks

Cameron
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Cameron

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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2012, 06:06:41 PM »

Just to raise my input to 4 cents, I already have an RS4, which I love.  This has 2 fullsize HBs.  Because the Forum V is about the same guitar (woods, etc...) I won't get the same pup config else the thing would sound nearly the same if not identical and my scrounging up another 2k+ is not really justified.  So I'm down to a mini and P90.  The P90 will not work for me due to the higher gain stuff I play (noise) so that leaves the mini.  Worst case scenario, I dont like it and rout it out for a FS HB and that's that!  I highly doubt I'd be anything other than ecstatic with the mini, though.  Man, I hope I can swing this sucker!

Phil
The DiMarzio DLX100 minihumbuckers are another option if you switch out the pickups...no routing!
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 06:02:06 AM »

Subscribing to this thread since I'm interested in the mini HB too.
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bacchus
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2012, 09:14:03 PM »


Just a ping,

I know that you are a busy guy with significantly more pressing matters at hand, so I'm not tyring to be impatient, no rush.  I am just curious and excited to read what you have to say.

Thanks

Cameron

...

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Cameron

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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2012, 03:26:27 PM »

Since the Forum V is now officially a 'go,'  I wanted to bring this back up with one additional question.  Many of you who have played the RS-4's seem to express that the middle switch (combo of both pickups) is particularly sweet.  This makes me wonder whether, in the situation where one would have a mini and full combo, the full might overpower the mini.  Does anyone know anything about this?

I cant wait for this guitar, btw, my current electric has become mostly unusable and I am really missing having an electric around.
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Cameron

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