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Steinberger pickup advice?

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  • Steinberger pickup advice?

    I recently picked up a Steinberger GM-4T in great shape. It is amazing in every way except the EMG Steve Lukather pups are quite bland. A bit bright and hard edged sounding. I expect the maple body and carbon fibre neck add to this a bit so I was wondering if anyone could suggest some passive pups that would warm it up a bit?
    It has an H-S-S configuration. Thanks.

  • #2
    if it was mine, id do ssl6 neck and middle, custom custom bridge, 500k pots and .02 cap for the tone.

    what kinda tones are you trying to get out of it?


    • #3
      Hey thanks for the reply. I just want a good, warm humbucker tone from the bridge. The EMG is loud but really lacking warmth. The singles are pretty good but I don't think I can mix passive bridge pup with active middle and neck.
      The Custom Custom would be warm and thick I bet. That maple body must add brightness.


      • #4
        You are correct, you can't mix active and passive, its one or the other, pots included (EMG actives use 25k pots)
        I looked up the ad copy on others to see what the stock controls were and I found this remark:
        With the original EMG pickups, it has a very clinical sound, great for funk licks.
        So I guess your perception is shared by others, as that comment seems pretty spin-doctored to sell it.

        I guess the Maple body and fiber neck must have something to do with it.
        I have that exact EMG setup in a guitar I made about 25 years ago and absolutely love them.
        It's Maple capped both front and back with a Mahogany core.
        It is anything but sterile and bland.
        The SLV's are warm and round and sweet, and the 85 is fatback city.
        At least in my application.

        If it is indeed the Maple and fiber combo, I hope you find something suitable to manage it out w/o having to do multiple swaps.
        If it is the guitar, be very careful about throwing money down an endless rabbithole time after time trying to rescue an unsalvagable situation.
        Personally, I would, at this point, start Googling as much as I could on that model to see what others before you have found.
        I would try to find as many user comments as are 'out there' to get a realistic summary of the situation.
        Before you just go and shotgun the pickups and spend money going in the wrong direction.

        Last edited by Drak; 02-22-2021, 04:07 PM.


        • #5
          you can mix actives and passives but its such a pita that its usually not worth the trouble.

          ill stick with my recommendation above unless you dont want that much output then id say aps2 neck and middle, aph1 bridge, 250k pots, and still a .02 cap for the tone. the vintage output pups work better with the lower output pots


          • #6
            Originally posted by jeremy View Post
            if it was mine, id do ssl6 neck and middle, custom custom bridge, 500k pots and .02 cap for the tone.

            what kinda tones are you trying to get out of it?
            Jeremy's suggestion makes perfect sense for warming up a bright guitar.

            There's other options if those are too fat/not bright enough, but that's a good starting point.

            You could also do STK-S6s Custom Stack Plus (noiseless equivalent of the SSL-6 Custom Flat) if you prefer noiseless singles.


            • #7
              I'd do a Custom Custom, and maybe 2 Hot Rails neck pickups- that might have been what a few GM-series Steinbergers came with and it sounds amazing. I love the Steinbergers I play- congrats on a great guitar.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan


              • #8
                Hey Drak. That makes sense about the tone being mostly body. I had a PRS SE Torrero once. The neck was so nice I bought it but after I took out the EMGs and put in PAF type pickups it still sounded nearly the same! Couldn't get the metal out.


                • #9
                  You might also try playing it through some different amps or cabinets if you have them. Some guitars need a different signal chain to shine. If you have other warm sounding instruments that you dig and the Steinberger is the only one with a clinical, bland sound, you might consider keeping it as is - likely you'll find a use for it and enjoy it for what it is. Also definitely play with your volume and treble settings - might need treble set way down from what you're used to, guitar volume at 3 with the amp cranked, things like that.
                  Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                  Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face