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Dot Studio Mean 90 Pickup Upgrade Report


Ron G

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I just finished playing my newly upgraded Dot Studio after a few "final" adjustments. I'm very pleased with the results. Plus, the smooth, all-black pickups look great and give my Dot a unique look (sorry, no pix - I don't have a digital camera).

 

Here's a rundown:

 

- Installation was pretty easy, especially when my buddy discovered there was enough wire slack so that only the 3-way switch had to be detached and brought through the F hole. The excess pickup wire fit nicely in the pickup cavity so that it doesn't show through the F hole.

- The pickups now have about the same volume, as opposed to the stock humbuckers where the neck pickup was substantially louder; a problem for this guitar which doesn't have separate volume pots

- Sparkling highs are now present, where there was no real chime with the stock p'ups; Overall muddiness is gone

- String-to-string balance is much better, especially regarding the almost overpowering volume (and some feedback) on the 5th and 6th strings with the stock p'ups

- Hum and feedback don't seem to be any problem at all

- The tone is sorta halfway between humbuckers and Fender single coils - very reminiscent of my ES330 of yore

 

The results support my initial feelings that the stock pickups weren't very good, especially for a rhythm player who likes a clean sound. I'd bet that a change to better humbuckers instead of single-coils would've yielded good results, too but I'm enjoying the P90-type sound of the Mean 90s. I actually like my guitar now!

 

Kudos to Guitar Fetish for quality, value and service

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had a while to evaluate the new p'ups and I'm really quite satisfied. I'd really like to hear my Dot through an AC30 to see just how vintage it sounds. But it still sounds quite good through my Hartke GT60C (a pretty cool amp for just $150).

The smooth black pickups look real good - the open coils don't look quite right on a semi-hollow.

....Now for some pix:

 

guitar9.jpg

guitar8.jpg

guitar7.jpg

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Gary - Your fine-looking Dot Studio and what you said about the Phatcats helped me with my final decision to go with single coils. The Duncans were a little out of my budget, plus I think shiny pickups wouldn't have looked good against the worn brown finish. The Mean 90s solved both problems for me.

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Very cool! I also have a Dot Studio in Worn Brown. It's a great guitar! It served its purpose on many guitar parts in my current album, with stock pickups too! Would love to try those GFS pickups in it, but unfortunately I'm putting my Dot on sale tomorrow. I've only had her for about 7 months or so, but I just bought a Gibson LP Standard, and I need a bass so somethings gotta give........

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I also have a worn brown Dot Studio that I bought for a steal. Unfortunately the tuners and frets were in terrible shape when it arrived. I haven't really done anything with it either. The tuners don't work well at all, and the frets are ROUGH. Its a pretty guitar, though. I haven't decided what to do with it. I bought it thinking I'd put some nicer pickups in it and get it set up nice, but the neck is pretty big - I tend to prefer the thinner necks like on the Elitist SG or my Gibson Double cut..... Were your frets and tuners as bad as mine?

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The workmanship is not pretty but it plays well enough and stays in tune. I assume some luthier work might allow the action to be a bit lower without fret buzz but I'm not gonna throw my money at a $200 guitar.

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