perception of tone

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perception of tone

Postby Robert Smallwood » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:44 pm


I live on the southeast coast of Australia. The piockup covers on my LP tarnished a lot very quickly - unimpressed, but that's not where I'm going - so recently I gave the whole guitar a good clean up set up etc & now the pickup covers shine like new...and I swear the guitar sounds different!! Happily much nicer..


is it likely that tarnished pickup covers would effect the sound of a guitar?
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Re: perception of tone

Postby Jamie Unden » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:39 am

Is it a nice, clean sound? No longer gritty? Sorry, couldn't resist...
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Re: perception of tone

Postby Roger Rosenberger » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:02 am

It probably had more to do with the "set up, etc." you did rather than the clean up.
Although my late father-in-law was a mechanic and always said a clean car runs better. The implication was that you felt better about driving it anyway.
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Re: perception of tone

Postby Henrique Schneiter » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:59 pm

Did they happen to change the strings on that job?
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Re: perception of tone

Postby Henrique Schneiter » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:01 pm

A clean set of strings do change the tone instantly (over a rusty, old set). A clean pickup cover, I don't think so.
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Re: perception of tone

Postby Greg Robinson » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:27 am

Well, rust forms a crystal lattice, and as anyone familiar with Alexander Dumble knows, tone can't exist in a crystal lattice. <g>
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Re: perception of tone

Postby John Kingma » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:26 am

I always liked my own tone... but when I was a kid my mother never did.

She used to always say "I don't care for your tone young man".

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Re: perception of tone

Postby Mike Baker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:59 pm

Mine always said, "You'd better change that tone, young man, before I do it for you!"
That always worked, because I knew the tone she'd bring out would not be a good one.

To the OP, MHO is, new strings/setup, especially if you adjusted/changed pickup height while cleaning them or during setup.
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Re: perception of tone

Postby David Schwab » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:42 pm

The pickups will actually sound better if you remove the covers. The metal covers dull the tone and flattens the resonant peak due to eddy currents forming in the conductive surface. This is why people started removing the covers in the first place. Now that there is an on going retro fad, everyone wants covers on the pickups.
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Re: perception of tone

Postby David King » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:10 am

You could be about to put the whole "relic'd" industry out of business with a statement like this. Then again perhaps more on-shore jobs will be gained with the newly minted pickup polishing industry. We can only hope that the relic'd industry will come sweeping back into vogue right about the time the last pickup cover has been brightened to it's former glory. Ahhh progress!
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