Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

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Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

Postby gnugear on Wed Nov 27, 2002 10:13 pm

Do you favor the tone of wax potted or unpotted pickups?

I listened to hours of Duncan sound clips and fell in love with the Seth Lover. I think it was because it wasn't potted. It had a really clear sound.

Well, I ended up getting a Duncan EVH, and noticed a similar "clarity" in the tone. I'm attributing that to the fact that my EVH is also NOT potted.

Anyone else notice a tone difference with wax?
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Re: Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

Postby Nickcha on Wed Nov 27, 2002 11:25 pm

I recently replaced the '57 PAF RIs in my 335 Dot w/ Rolph '59 PAF's UNpotted. I really like the raw unfettered tone. It's like unchaining the pups and letting them run wild. I also like the edge-of-FB that I experience because w/ hand control I can make it work for me. Admittedly I'm not playing at high volumes so it works well for me.
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Re: Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

Postby sphere88 on Wed Nov 27, 2002 11:51 pm

I totally agree, potting is lame. I get way more "reaction" without it .
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Re: Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

Postby HighOrder on Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:22 am

Well, I prefer potted pickups. It's easy enough to coax the desireable feedback out, but it helps to keep the undesireable stuff at a minimum. I wouldn't never use an unpotted pickup, but I'd look for potted first. I don't think it's lame at all. ;)
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Re: Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

Postby Tonedisciple on Thu Nov 28, 2002 9:54 pm

When your main amp is a Marshall half-stack cranked up all the way, the luxury of choosing whether or not you like your pickups potted goes right out the window.

However, having said that, I really didn't notice any big tone difference after potting my pickups, they're as clear and ringy and chimey as before.
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Re: Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

Postby mulder on Fri Nov 29, 2002 12:29 am

From what I understand, if a pickup is lightly potted, then there's no audible difference compared to one that is. If the pickup is potted to the point where the wax ingrains itself into the coil winding then that could affect the tone. Some manufacturers will do a light potting if you request it where the wax won't embed itself in the windings. Also, the the magnet area is where alot of squeel can come from because it isn't stable.
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Re: Potted or unpotted pickup. Which do you like?

Postby Jamie on Fri Nov 29, 2002 2:01 pm

Concerning squeal in a vintage non potted pickup, I have heard that if you remove or add a cover it can cause problems. A custom pickup manufacturer in southern Ohio said that if you apply too much heat to back plate it is transferred through the brass screws melting the threads in the bobbin. It only takes one time, if the mounting screws are not snug you get squeal. They suggest not to tighten.

I had a 60 paf installed in my Les Paul in mid 70s, the tech put a cover on it and it may have contributed to that effect. The tone is unbelieveable at low gain. Best pickup I have. I've since removed it from my paul and gently tightened the back plate bobbin screws. They were about a quarter to an eighth of a turn loose. Hopefully that fixed it, sure looked like the source of the problem. From now on that will be the first thing I check if it arises again.

I now have an SH-1 on neck and SH-4 on bridge and it's well balanced. I am happy with the potted duncans, I'm satisfied with tones completely and I can stand in front of my Marshalls without that nasty squeal. I may at some point sell the paf, haven't decided yet.
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