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For those who wonder about Schaller pickups...


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I never thought they were the awful pickups, which is what one would conclude if you read comments on forums.   They are just different, as are the 200 other pickups on the market!   They are strong in the bottom register, which probably is bad for high gain, since it will make everything boomy and muddy.   For clean playing, if the bottom is too strong a simple tweak of the bass knob on the amp will usually takes care of it for me.

That said,  I do like the Seth Lovers, as they don't seem to emphasize any particular register.   If it was a wine,  people would say it was flat and boring!

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I replaced all of the Schaller's on my Heritages, but those were all solid bodies like the 150, 140, Stat, etc. My 535 came with Seth's already and sounded fine.  I think if my 576 had Schaller's I would have left them on as they sound great on a hollow body guitar. In this video they had a wonderful sheen that the Seth's did not. I still really dislike the Schaller's on a solid body as they seem to lack the grit or something that I need when playing R&B or R&R. However, they are flat out wonderful on a "jazz" guitar and I am thinking of going back to them on my 576 after hearing the video sounds. Since I took them out of all of the solids, I probably have some laying around!

Lastly, that guy Rich is a really great player! damn! What a nice touch, and his voicings were wonderful! I am now a fan and have subscribed to his channel.

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I don't lend any weight to any pickup comparison tests where the pickups are in different guitars, ESPECIALLY, hollow bodies. That said, both pickups sounded fine to me for Jazz, but when he was playing licks in the middle position and bridge, I think the Seths won it hands down. And btw that guy's got some serious guitar skills, great player!

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6 hours ago, rockabilly69 said:

I don't lend any weight to any pickup comparison tests where the pickups are in different guitars, ESPECIALLY, hollow bodies. That said, both pickups sounded fine to me for Jazz, but when he was playing licks in the middle position and bridge, I think the Seths won it hands down. And btw that guy's got some serious guitar skills, great player!

That brings up a good point.  Pickups sound different in different guitars, within certain bounds.  And opinions differ among those who hear the same sounds.

When I got my first Heritage, quite a while ago, the internet was loaded with criticism about them.  I hadn't noticed any deficiency really but wondered why Heritage used them.  So I asked the original factory owners, several times actually over a year or so as we chatted.  They thought they were fine but offered to install any set of pickups on a custom order.

Jay Wolfe pushed the "classic" models with conventional TOMs and stop tailpieces plus SD pickups, his favorites being the 59s and Seths, one of each on the same guitar sometimes.  Otherwise they continued with Schallers.

Not all Millies had HRWs.  I had several with SDs from the factory.  If GC says the label says HRWs, they had HRWs at one time, maybe today.  I don't know why someone would replace the white dot tip, but that happens.

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The set of Schallers that came with my H-575 sounded nice.  I asked Jay Wolfe about swapping them out for HRW's at the time since I trusted the ear of my jazz guitar hero, Kenny Burrell.  Kenny loved HRW's.  Somehow Jay remembered how the Schallers sounded in that 575!  He recommended I give them a chance before pulling them. 

Long story short, I pulled them and installed a set of HRW's.  They sounded great...but just as Jay said, so did the Schallers.

I'm convinced that most any decent pickup would sound great in THAT specific archtop.  It even sounds amazing and woody acoustically! 

Conversely I once owned a Sweet 16 that did NOT sound great acoustically, and no matter how many pickups, tone pots, etc. I installed in that guitar, it NEVER sounded good to me.  After a few years I sold it and never looked back.  Other Sweet 16 owners swear by the wonderful tone of their instruments.  Maybe I got a dud...maybe not.  Pickups made NO difference in that guitar. 

Bottom line...Pickups should simply amplify the way a guitar sounds.  Even if the guitar is a solid body, I listen to how it sounds acoustically before making any changes. 

I learned something from those archtop experiments.  Now I don't get as excited about pickups as I used to.  Also, I do spend time listening to how a guitar sounds without an amp before considering swapping out its electronics.  YMMV. 

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On 9/22/2021 at 7:01 PM, Gitfiddler said:

 

Bottom line...Pickups should simply amplify the way a guitar sounds.  Even if the guitar is a solid body, I listen to how it sounds acoustically before making any changes. 

 

I totally agree with this, its funny how many people poo poo the idea that wood contributes to the tone of an electric guitar, but as you know, I am a SERIAL MODDER and I have swapped necks around on many instruments, and many times that was the key to a great sounding guitar. I'm also am convinced that great fretwork, and precision cut saddles and nuts, get the strings ringing the way a pickup wants to hear them! Bottom line...you have to start with a great guitar before you turn on the electricity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My orange 1992 574 has Schaller pups, along with the original Schaller roller bridge and tailpiece. It sounds terrific. My 2000 H150 has Schaller pups also, and I would love to change them out. If only I lived close to Brent or Punkitty, it would already be done!

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Only had a set of Schallers once.  Replaced them, but it turned out the real issue was a horribly botched job of a wiring harness.  So I never had a chance to appreciate them for what they were.  At that time, I was big into Gibson Burstbucker Pro's.  Thought that was everything I ever needed.  Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't my tastes and ears have change a lot in these past several years.  No idea how I'd feel today.

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3 hours ago, DetroitBlues said:

 At that time, I was big into Gibson Burstbucker Pro's.  Thought that was everything I ever needed.  Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't....

My True Historic Goldtop came with these.  Yanked almost immediately (but not until after a listen) so I could put the PAF's into the Goldtop, which was my objective.  Then put the Burstbucker Pros into my 20th Anniversary 150.  Exceptional PAF-type sound!  Decided to let the Goldtop go, so the PAF's came out, but no way I was going to put the Pros back into the Goldtop to sell.  I'm holding on to those p'ups.  They're tremendous!  And, by the way, the PAF's are now in the 20th Ann.  Oh boy!

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On 9/22/2021 at 8:08 AM, MartyGrass said:

I don't know why someone would replace the white dot tip, but that happens.

I never bonded with the HRWs that came in my 535.  When I sold them to MM the switch tip went with them. 

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I like Schaller pups.  They are clean but not too powerful, plus they have a nice, "flavor."  They let my amp do what it was made to do.  I have noticed a big difference in their winds.  Some are more powerful than others.  At one time they were sold for a rather low price and made a good pup for the money. 

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