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Thread: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

  1. #1
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    Well, against some really credible advice here, I've ordered VNs, and I'm putting in the 25db mid-boost. I like what I've heard from the VNs, both clean and dirty. I love my 2008 Am Std pups, so I'll keep them if I decide to go back to them.
    chwillie. He's a post whore.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    I'll bet you'll be happy with them!

  3. #3
    Gravity Jim
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    I've played several guitars with the VN's over the last year and thought they sounded really good. There's a bit too much cork-sniffing surrounding Strat pickups, most of it centered on comparison to a "true vintage sound," a concept with Swiss-cheese holes in it. Hell, I play a Strat with EMG-X series pickups in it, and they sound great to me.

  4. #4
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    Yep, I think there is a wide range of vintage sounds. To me, the tone Clapton gets from the VNs is "ideal." I don't expect to replicate his tone, but with the VNs, I can get close.
    chwillie. He's a post whore.

  5. #5
    Forum Member chuckocaster's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    Cool beans!
    "don't worry, i'm a professional!"

  6. #6
    Forum Member buckaroo's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    The main goal is get what makes you happy. Congrats.

  7. #7
    Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    I've been happy with the VN pups in 3 different Strats I've owed. Also thought SCN pups were OK in my last Strat. And as long as you are happy with your tone then don't worry about anybody else! :)
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    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
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  8. #8
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    NPD! Got them in, but I'll have to wait until the backordered boost comes in. Anticipation (cue Carly Simon and a bottle of ketchup).
    chwillie. He's a post whore.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    I have a '98 AmDlx Strat with VN's, but no mid-boost. The VNs never seem to get much love on web forums. Because of that, over the years, I have sometimes toyed with the idea of replacing them, but never thought the cost of replacing them could be justified. I have truly come to appreciate their noiseless aspect and they clearly have a very strong single coil character. My VN's sound GREAT and my Strat sounds markedly distinct from my Les Paul, HH Jaguar, Mustang or Jacksons. No matter which amp, clean, OD or distortion sound I dial in, it still sounds like a Strat!

    It is true that the VNs have relatively low vintage output, but not as low as my true single coil Mustang. I tend to prefer the punchier attack of lower vintage output pickup anyway, so when I switch to my Strat, I just have to dial up the gain a bit on my amp.

    Played clean, the VNs are slightly more compressed sounding than true single coils, but not unbearably so. I almost always use a bit of compression when playing clean anyway, so I just have to back off the sustain knob a bit on the compressor as compared to true single coils. With OD or distortion sounds, that extra bit of compression is not detrimental and, inexplicably, does not translate to increased gain; i.e., the VNs do not overdrive or distort as easily as the true SC's on the American Standard/Professional series. In any event, this can easily be compensated for at the amp or with an OD/Dist pedal by turning up the gain and or volume a bit.

    I saw an article recently in on online magazine-i think it was either Tone Report or Distortion Ltd-on the 10 Best Stock Pickups and VNs, to my great surprise, made their list! l posted the link over in the old Fender Discussion Page Forum, but that closed down and now I can't find the article. If I do, I will repost here. My surprise was not due to my own experience with VNs, but owed more to the regular bashing these pups have received in guitar forums over the years.

    Part of the initial distaste to the VNs when they were first introduced may be due to the fact that Fender initially used 1 Meg volume and Tone pots in all positions. When I first got my AmDlx Strat, you could not ramp down the volume control without extreme treble loss. Turning down the volume knob dumped hi's as markedly as if you turned down the tone knob. Fender subsequently switched to a 500k volume with a treble bleed capacitor (retaining the 1 meg tone pots). I made the switch on my guitar and it solved the problem.

  10. #10
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    That was a while back now. I tried to like the VNs but I couldn't get them to sound right. I've heard guitarists use them and they were beautiful. I had techs work it, and I tried everything I knew, but they just didn't come alive in my guitar. My best friend, a huge Clapton fan too, got rid of his and is very happy with Fat 50s.

    I know they're good pickups. I eventually settled on 57/62s on my Strat and Nocasters on my Tele, couldn't be happier.
    chwillie. He's a post whore.

  11. #11
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    Curious...what value pots did you use? Also, did you use a treble bleed capacitor on the volume pot?

  12. #12
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Noiseless and 25db boost--Am Doing It

    Yep, VN's use different pots than traditional single coils and are not drop-in replacements. I had decent luck with them using 1M tones and 500K volume.

    YMMV, but I found them to be a very "generic' sounding pickup.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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