banner

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Gibson Les Paul Pickups - To Cover or Not To Cover

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Gibson Les Paul Pickups - To Cover or Not To Cover

    Hi Everyone,
    Newby to the forum and I am wanting feedback (excuse the pun) whether to keep upgraded pickups in a Gibson Les Paul Custom covered with the Gibson covers or uncovered.
    Being a novice at this, I am not even sure covering is an option with some pickups.
    Hopefully you all can relay any experiences whether positive or negative on how this effected overall tone, output and if there is a way of compensating for covers.
    Thanks

  • #2
    Metal covers seem to have an affect on the tone, attenuating some of the highest frequencies. I've never done any studies on just how much effect they have but it is very slight. It's obviously a personal preference because some people like what it does to the tone. Some people like what a 250k pot does to the tone vs a 500k pot. It can also reduce microphonics/squealing/feedback. The biggest effect of covers on pups is esthetics.

    I've never been bothered by any effect of covers except esthetics...sometime a pup just "fits" better in the overall look with plain black bobbins (or cream, or zebra, or pink, or....). Sometimes you may need the look of nickel or chrome or gold.

    Just about any pup can be covered.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

    Comment


    • #3
      I believe there's a slight change in tone, specifically on the higher frequencies. My preference is for an uncovered neck and covered bridge humbuckers.
      Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

      Originally posted by Douglas Adams
      This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

      Comment


      • #4
        IME covers attenuate the sizzle a little bit. Sometimes a good thing, like with Pearly Gates.

        Comment


        • #5
          I like covers, especially on Gibsons. I am not sure if I can hear the high frequencies affected, though. I just think it looks better (on a Gibson, not other humbucker guitars).
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Leon Richards View Post
            Hi Everyone,
            Newby to the forum and I am wanting feedback (excuse the pun) whether to keep upgraded pickups in a Gibson Les Paul Custom covered with the Gibson covers or uncovered.
            Being a novice at this, I am not even sure covering is an option with some pickups.
            Hopefully you all can relay any experiences whether positive or negative on how this effected overall tone, output and if there is a way of compensating for covers.
            Thanks
            I don't hear an issue with the tone or output. For me, it's a "looks" question.

            On a Custom, I like the looks of gold covers.

            On a Burst, I like the looks of double whites, covered, zebras, then double black in that order.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mincer View Post
              I like covers, especially on Gibsons. I am not sure if I can hear the high frequencies affected, though. I just think it looks better (on a Gibson, not other humbucker guitars).
              I might go a step farther, and say that I think they look good on any guitar that came that way.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	Ibby_2022.png
Views:	108
Size:	116.3 KB
ID:	6143279

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DonP View Post

                I don't hear an issue with the tone or output. For me, it's a "looks" question.

                On a Custom, I like the looks of gold covers.

                On a Burst, I like the looks of double whites, covered, zebras, then double black in that order.

                ^^^ what he said. Other than the double whites, precisely that ;-)

                Comment


                • #9
                  There's a measurable effect of covers on tone, mainly due to Foucault currents (eddie currents) BUT it depends on...
                  - the composition + thickness of covers,
                  -the rig used and its settings,
                  -how the player deals with its ears and sensations...
                  .... etc.

                  If the dulling effect is too present, higher resistance pots should help to mitigate the issue.

                  If pickups are set high under the strings, covers are useful to prevent a high E string stuck under the top of the bobbins (which is a good way to kill a pickup) but a covered pickup can start to squeal if the assembly is loose... In which case a bead of silicon between pickups and cover might help.

                  Non limitative list of random thoughts. :-P

                  IOW, there's no rule with covers, IME and IMHO. Try by yourself and keep what makes you happy. :-)

                  Duncan user since the 80's...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The physics of covers not withstanding, I think that consensus is fairly stated:

                    IF it impacts the tone, it is in a VERY SMALL way, at best.
                    Potting is important and will likely reduce the chance of feedback/howl/microphonics greatly if not completely
                    It is primarily an aesthetic decision, unless you have "those kind of ears"

                    That said - a 3 pickup LP style with those gold bricks is sexy! I generally prefer uncovered, but do have a few with them. I can't tell the difference in sound.
                    Originally posted by Bad City
                    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To illlustrate a bit my previous answer, I share below a pic translating the electrically measured effect of a cover on a given Gibson type humbucker. The difference is clearer than in other tests on such a linear chart with vertical increments of 0.5dB (and it's not even about a "bad" cover, too thick or containing too much copper)...

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Covered vs uncovered HB.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	90.8 KB
ID:	6143329

                      One problem that my friend luthier has noticed with such parts years ago was sourcing, exactly like with magnets: some sellers appear(ed) to provide parts from random / variable / "dubious" origins albeit cosmetically similar at first glance (unless they are/were themselves victims of their own suppliers).

                      Now, a lucky player could certainly deal with dozens of pickups covers in his musical life without ever encoutering a "bad" one... Or without detecting the difference because of "secondary" parameters masking it. Hence my advice about personal experience as the only way to decide, IMHO and IME.:-)
                      Duncan user since the 80's...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        so why does the cover seem to effect one coil so much more than the other?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leon Richards View Post
                          Hi Everyone,
                          Newby to the forum and I am wanting feedback (excuse the pun) whether to keep upgraded pickups in a Gibson Les Paul Custom covered with the Gibson covers or uncovered.
                          Being a novice at this, I am not even sure covering is an option with some pickups.
                          Hopefully you all can relay any experiences whether positive or negative on how this effected overall tone, output and if there is a way of compensating for covers.
                          Thanks
                          Your ears will dictate if you notice much sonic difference.

                          if you are asking about UNcovering pickups, that’s relatively easy to do. Main worry IMO is whether there’ll be any, only a little, or a great amount of wax surrounding the newly exposed pickups.

                          if you are asking about applying a cover to a pickup, the most crucial factor is getting a cover that fits the pickup, and that’ll line up perfectly with the screw pole pieces.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by freefrog View Post
                            Click image for larger version

Name:	Covered vs uncovered HB.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	90.8 KB
ID:	6143329
                            If you need a computer to analyze the frequencies do you think the average ear will be able to hear a significant difference?


                            | Gear Reviews | Beer | Babes | The Internet's Only Unedited & Uncensored Musician's Forum | Sports |

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              so why does the cover seem to effect one coil so much more than the other?
                              Because the slugs coil is buried under the cover while the screws are protuding through it.

                              A cover potentially changes the interaction between coils. That's one of the reasons why lowering a tone pot doesn't do exactly the same than putting a cover.

                              Originally posted by Securb View Post

                              If you need a computer to analyze the frequencies do you think the average ear will be able to hear a significant difference?
                              Firstly, I don' "need" a computer: here, we use lab gear to objectivate what we notice musically.

                              Secondly, my answer is: yes. Absolutely.

                              Although a difference of resonant peak is far to reveal all the tonal features of a pickup, it always shapes the tone to some extent.

                              I could have produced the same kind of curves with the same pickup played and its whole range frequency response recorded twice. I've that somewhere in my archives. But it would have created an opportunity to attribute the difference to a supposedly inconsistent playing. :-D

                              While I'm at it: the "impulse response" capture shows that covers don't affect only the frequency response but also the perceived "compression". That's another one of the reasons why lowering a tone pot won't exactly mimic the effect of a cover.

                              SIDE NOTE - I've shared the mentioned screenshot to help and not to argue. My sentences just above are to take accordingly: as mere attempts to clarify the questions evoked.
                              Last edited by freefrog; 01-13-2022, 07:13 PM.
                              Duncan user since the 80's...

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X