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Nighthawk neck p/u part 2


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I mentioned a while ago i tried the dimarzio mini in my hawk's neck and it wasn't particularly good. The split sound was too weak to sound good due to the low output, (5.8k HB/3.4k split) and the full HB sound was weaker than it needed to be too, at least for solos. Nothing really stood out as very good. So as i also mentioned i sent it back under this 30 day exchange policy and had them send me the other mini, thier bridge model. "Bridge model" does not mean it needs to be used in the bridge, and the specs made me think it may be better because with the higher wind the split sound might give me the snappy sweet strat like neck tone to a reasonable degree, and the full HB sound might be enough for a fluid solo tone that was the only thing i liked about the stock p/u. This is what i hoped for with the neck model, but it failed all tests.

 

Anyways, it turns out i guess very right on this one. The split tone is very nice. Cleaning up with the volume knob i get a real nice snappy fenderish neck tone and the lead tones in full HB mode are excellent. And it does everything in between those 2 great. As a bonus i really like the neck/middle combo too, especially when split. I feel the guitar is now right with this pickup and the dimarzio super distortion i have in the bridge. They culd both be better, but they're a big improvement over the stock units, especially the mini. The stock mini IMO was good for hot solos up the neck and nothing else. Well, maybe if i were a jazzer with a clean fender amp it would be good. But i'm not [smile] Anyways, the dimarzio DP241 is a very good choice and plenty cheap at around 60 bucks. Amazing how the bridge model beat the pants of thier neck model in the neck position !

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Well, if you use it for single note solos i can see liking it. I did for that. But even with a treble bleed in the guitar and the volume on 3-4 and even split, it was a muddy mess. At 3-4 where turning down the other pickups yielded a clean sound with my setup, the neck hardly cleaned up and was muddier than any pickup i've ever heard. Now if you use a totally clean sound like a fender amp, then i can see it, could maybe even be good in that scenario. But with distortion it's one of the worse pickups i ever used as far as cleaning up with the volume and for any sort of rhythm playing. If you aren't someone that plays that way (uses the volume to go from clean to didtortion) then thats why you like it and i don't.

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I'm still playing around with the many pickup outlets and winders who are just starting out. Do you know what type of magnets are used in each of the three N'Hawk P'ups? I've gotten a great response from Blueman335 on the different sounds and applications that the different Alnico magnets provide. I'm getting closer to the pickups that I want for my N'Hawk. For instance, the neck mini-humbucker might benefit for an expert rewind with using the stock magnets. I am coming to see that the Epiphone Night Hawk is the player's personal favorite among guitars for under $500.00. I guess I'm lucky because I love to rewire guitars/& install new quality switches & Pots. The "N'Hawk" wiring will need an entire re-do. It plays so damn well and looks so beautiful that she will be worth doing a 100% rewire and P'up modification. Peace. Rednefceleb.

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Yes, they're Alnico 2 which is why they are smooth with little cut or punch. That makes them good lead pickups but too soft for rhythm IMO. I have a super distortion in the bridge and the clarity is way better, as is of course the dimarzio mini which like the super D is ceramic. As to rewinding the stock mini, i doubt thats going to happen. I took mine apart and it's not made like a regular pickup. I've disassembled a lot of pickups and i haven't seen one like this. It looks like it's not made to come apart. Even the attached cover isn't soldered on with regular solder. It wouldn't even melt at which point i realized it's more like a weld ! I have to use a cut-off wheel to get the cover out. then the guts appear to be epoxied in or something. So i don't think any winder it going to even attempt it. Would likely end up just being a whole new pickup once he ended up having to discard the entire thing after seeing nothing is salvageable.

 

On the bridge pickup you can just do as i did if you have any mechanical and electronic abilities. Remove the stock coils from the plate via the 4 small screws on the back. Unsolder the cable's ground wire from the plate. Take the plate and use it to put the guts of whatever p/u you want in the hawk. The 4 screw mounting holes have proven to be standardized, as i have tried this with 2 pickups so far and both match. You can put most any standard style HB coils and magnet onto the slanted plate.

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I take it you don't Damage the old pup in any way when you are swapping it?

 

Don't suppose you took any pictures. If possible I would prefer to make a plate up. Mrs would have a fit if I start taking the Nighthawk she bought me to little pieces :rolleyes:

 

no, no damage at all, and i didn't take pics. But it's quite simple. first of all, the pickup coils are taped so the wire isn't exposed. There is the outside tape that goes around both coils that you have to remove to get to it all, but the tape around the individual coils doesn't have to come off. As for making your own plate, that would be easy. But then again, why bother? You won't be using the stock p/u for any other guitar unless you have one with a slanted bridge slot ! It would also be much easier to make one using the stock plate as a template. So if you do i'd suggest taking the 4 coil mounting screws out of the stock p/u and putting a piece of parer against it and use a pencil to get a template. That would make cutting a new plate simple. there are no bent parts, the plate is 100% flat so it should be easy. But for me it was a matter of why bother when i won't need the stock p/u or it's plate for anything else.

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stupid question. For the nighthawk do you wantthestandard spacing or SDs "Trembucker" spacing?

 

Not stupid at all. You trembucker spacing, or as dimarzio calls it "F spacing" which refers to the spacing fenders use. The string spacing is gibson, but as you probably suspected the fact the coils are slanted makes it necassary for them to be wider.

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks Hankfanatic for the detailed info on replacing the bridge p/u.

 

I'm not sure my approach to playing electric guitar is the same as a "real guitar player" [i'm a bass player that likes to noodle around on guitar] but I've found that I prefer the fatter sound from the neck p/u when playing single note stuff as opposed to the sounds you get from the middle or bridge p/us, even in many high gain situations*. With that in mind; what I've done is set up my NH Custom RI so that the middle/bridge pickups work as my go to rhythm p/us - primarily using the middle p/u as it works best for get a cleaner strumming sound and bridge p/u for that more crunchy chordal sound when I want it.

 

So, here's my question: With that in mind what humbucker pickup would you suggest for the bridge position? From past experience I don't care for ceramic pickups and am leaning primarily towards alnico 5's at this point so as to get a little more clarity out of the bass strings. That said the A2's that are in it are plenty bright to my ears so I'm not totally sold on the A5's.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

 

*The title song for the Avengers during the closing credits is perfect example of what I'm talking about. It just doesn't have balls IMHO.

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If suggest something It would be a shot in the dark because I just don't use guitars the way you do. Plus, this really is a hard guitar to choose a pickup for. It's very finicky. But if you must ask, i would look at something along the lines of a vintage output which would be better for rhythm, especially if you still have the dark sounding stock bridge saddles. But another reason i can't accurately recommend a p/u is because it's not a sure thing as to which pickups would work with the stock baseplate. I don't care a lot for duncans, so i'd likely say a dimarzio PAF. Not the anniversary one tho, as it has a cover which would just make it more toruble to mod for this guitar. You could, but you'd have to remove it and remove a lot of wax, etc. But dimarzio always seems to work out for me better than duncan.

 

Thanks Hankfanatic for the detailed info on replacing the bridge p/u.

 

I'm not sure my approach to playing electric guitar is the same as a "real guitar player" [i'm a bass player that likes to noodle around on guitar] but I've found that I prefer the fatter sound from the neck p/u when playing single note stuff as opposed to the sounds you get from the middle or bridge p/us, even in many high gain situations*. With that in mind; what I've done is set up my NH Custom RI so that the middle/bridge pickups work as my go to rhythm p/us - primarily using the middle p/u as it works best for get a cleaner strumming sound and bridge p/u for that more crunchy chordal sound when I want it.

 

So, here's my question: With that in mind what humbucker pickup would you suggest for the bridge position? From past experience I don't care for ceramic pickups and am leaning primarily towards alnico 5's at this point so as to get a little more clarity out of the bass strings. That said the A2's that are in it are plenty bright to my ears so I'm not totally sold on the A5's.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

 

*The title song for the Avengers during the closing credits is perfect example of what I'm talking about. It just doesn't have balls IMHO.

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