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Thread: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

  1. #1
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    Default Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    I use Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF pickups in a Les Paul Classic, all circa 2002. The puzzle: never been much distinction between the neck and bridge pickup in tone, both always been on the bright side, not much darkening to speak of on the neck pup, while highs on the bridge are similar, tho a tad spiky. Tamed the spike (somewhat) over the years w different speakers in my Rivera Chubster 55 amp. Now, I have a different amp, a Soursound SS 15. Fabulous sound! But still, only slight difference in tone between in the two pups; like the pups were run thr EQ with an identical target output. As a result, I donít much use the bridge, plenty of mids/highs on the neck. Trying to understand whatís up w this setup. Is the above described tone characteristic of the Seth Lover PAFís electronics and signature? Or how much might either of those amp(s) figure in? How much might be the guitar itself? Not exactly the riddle of the sphinx, I know, but any thoughts as to why this particular result? Thanks! -CG

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    welcome to the forum!

    i tend to play through an old deluxe reverb most of the time and have one guitar loaded with a seth set, in that guitar there is a quite noticeable difference between neck and bridge. the guitar is a swamp ash tele type thing with korina neck, so quite different than what you have, but the two pups sound very different. neck is warm and clear, the bridge has a lot of teeth in a good way and is thinner sounding overall

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    Ultimate Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    It could just be that you're using 2 of the same pickup, right ? Usually the change in position itself is enough to have quite a change in the tone but I know what you mean. The more I think about it, I've had guitars that had that 'problem' as well. I would suggest picking the one you love the most, and experiment with replacing the other one with a '59 model. Might give that position some bite and edge that makes it distinct from the other.

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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Quote Originally Posted by BeKindRewind View Post
    It could just be that you're using 2 of the same pickup, right ?
    Thatís how it was done. Both pickups were the same. Itís not until the mid 70s did you start to see hotter bridge pickups.

    PAFs are bright pickups. I tend to like a slightly hotter bridge pickup.



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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Thanks, glad to join! And thanks for the feedback (sounds like a nice rig). That gave me a thought. I wonder, the PAFs are not stock. Wasn't interested in the stock ceramics when I bought the Classic, and had the PAFs put in on a recommendation by a tech. It was so long ago and I knew next to nothing. But I'm recalling now that the tech complained about the stock wiring from Gibson: it seems like he may have tweaked w the caps or some such. Could something like that explain what I'm hearing? Anybody...?

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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Ops, didn't see these other messages. Thanks! Yah, if the pups are the same, that would count for a lot! I'll check out the specs on that, if I can find them for the 2002 version of the Lovers. ...Any chance something w the electronics, too, as I mentioned?

  7. #7
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Have you tried screwing the adjustable screws further down and moving the whole neck pickup up closer to the strings? This will give you a darker sound in that position.
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Haven' tried adjusting the pickups. Sounds worth a shot. Thanks.

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    Member EC Strat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    I have seths on my semi hollow and thereís a dramatic difference in tone bt the neck and bridge. The bridge should have a definitive bite to it - lots of highs and mids. So much that I usually roll off some of the trebles on the tone knob.

    Gotta be your setup. Check your pickup heights.

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    Toneologist freefrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Quote Originally Posted by electroncricket View Post
    But I'm recalling now that the tech complained about the stock wiring from Gibson: it seems like he may have tweaked w the caps or some such. Could something like that explain what I'm hearing? Anybody...?
    Sounds almost to me like he has wired the neck pickup in series with a capacitor...

    Anyway, I've mounted once a pair of bridge Seth Lover's in a LP Std from the early 2000's: the neck pickup was too dark to my ears comparatively to the bridge one. I had also to set it a lot lower under the strings than the bridge PU but that was expected.

    The only case that I know where two HB's typically don't sound really different is 24 frets guitars with the bridge pickup too far from the bridge; when the spacing between N & B PU's is too small, they logically sound close to each other.

    Now, each guitar is unique so what you experiment might be due to the specific resonance of the materials used to build this instrument...

    A DCR measurement of each pickup might be useful anyway: it would tell if the tech has put a series cap somewhere or not (since series capacitors make impossible DCR readings). Or simply a pic of the pots inside the electronic cavity...
    Duncan user since the 80's...

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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    I would also start getting used to using the tone knob a lot. It really opens up a lot of sounds when used with both pickups on.
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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    This makes no sense to me lol. The Seth neck is super warm while the bridge is bright and thin. You could push either of them in your desired direction with mag swaps.
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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    The only times Iíve gotten bridge and neck pickups to sound nearly the same was by using totally different pickups in each slot, or matched sets where the bridge or neck was tweaked to make them sound consistent. For example, WLH matched set, or alternately Seth neck with a 59 neck in the bridge.

    My Seth set is somewhat consistent but they donít sound alike. The tech might have used different pot values for bridge and neck (Iíve done that and it works to a lesser degree, like put the higher value on the neck and lower value on the bridge and the pickup eq starts to draw closer to each other)
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    Mojo's Minions dr.barlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    There may be something wrong here. The Seths on my h555 sound very different when going from the neck to the bridge (and visa versa).

    B

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    ^ Me too.

    Any low output/vintage clone pickup set I have had (30 plus sets), whether the same pickup in all slots, higher K in the bridge or higher in the neck have always had significant tonal variation. So much so that I always need to dial back on the tone control quite a bit in the bridge pickup so that they do sound more alike - so that tone settings on the amp can be kept the same when flipping from one to the other and not have extreme differences.

    Did you wire both guitars?? Are you 100% sure that you are actually getting both pickups when you select between them. Them being very close tonally might happen on one guitar......a somewhat unusual anomaly. With 2 guitars - and them being exactly the same in a very unusual occurrence - I start to consider other possibilities.
    Last edited by AlexR; 02-21-2020 at 01:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Welcome to the forum. Let me share my experiences with you. I have a 2000 Classic which is mostly stock, except for the ceramic pickups that were swapped 3 years out for Duncan '59's. After 12 years with those, I put in Seths a few years back. They measure 7.2k on the neck and 8.2k on the bridge pup. My guitar when played unplugged, is bright and snappy due to a bit less wood. This may be what you're experiencing. Does is sound bright when unplugged? You could measure the pickup output with a meter and check that they are in the range SD has on their site for that set.

    Next, the heights. If you don't have a precision rule, you can use a pair of nickels to help. If I check my Seths' heights when both e strings are fretted at the last fret, they show me 1 nickel's height from 1st string to pole piece on the bridge Seth, for the high e string. For the neck pup, just about 1/32Ē less than 1 nickel. For the bridge low e 6th. string, it measures a touch less than a two nickels. The neck 6th string low e, using two nickels, shows a bit less than two nickels. That puts me near what I want to hear and the rest are minor screwdriver tweaks....sometimes not even necessary. If you were to look at my Seth neck pup, the 6th string side is lower than its ring and the 1st string side is above its ring. It looks odd, but the tone result is what matters.

    If I find that I get too much of a piercing bridge tone, I back down the height screw at the high e string side of the bridge until the piercing disappears. I then test my middle switch position tone. That is the position that gives me the most thought because I never seems to get it perfect, but as long as I hear a typical Les Paul middle position tone, I'm content.

    Studioplayer
    Last edited by Studioplayer; 02-21-2020 at 04:09 AM.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    One other thing to do, and it may sound silly, is to test that the switch is actually switching the pickups.
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    Mojo's Minions dr.barlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    Yeah... a simple screwdriver test. Or better yet, measuring the DC's with a multimeter...

    B

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Seth Lover PAF Riddle

    I agree with all of the recent posters. The pickups themselves should sound noticeably different. Even identical pickups should sound pretty different just from the way the strings ring out over the neck vs bridge slots. That's why "calibrated" sets were created, to bring them closer together EQ-wise. If they're really that similar then there's probably something going on with the wiring and/or the setup, and since you said the neck is bright then I would start there.

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