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  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    I have a Sadowsky Semi hollow that I want to change the sound. This guitar has two humbuckers, one volume and one tone pot and has a three way selector switch. I found that the pots are 250K, shouldn't they be 500K?
    The guitar has a very nasily (sp) tone when the bridge pickup or both pickups are selected. I can't believe that anyone would like that tone.
    It appears that the electronics are all factory parts.
    If I replace just the pots with 500K, will that effect the tone or should I replace the pickups and the pots, or just the pickups?

    Thanks for your help.


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  3. #2

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    Replacing the pots with 500k ohm pots will give the guitar more treble with the pots full open. If the sound you don't like is with both pickups or the bridge selected, I would suggest lowering the bridge pickup and perhaps raising the neck pickup, so that the neck pickup is louder with both selected. I've never liked the sound of a bridge pickup alone, so I just ignore that option, but sometimes I want to use both for rhythm playing, and I adjust the pickups so that the mix is what I prefer. It's easier if there are separate tone and volume controls for each pickup, but it's still possible with only one set of controls, by adjusting the pickup heights.

  4. #3

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    Gibson-style humbuckers use 500K pots. Fender-style single coils use 250K.
    Fralin Pickups - How Do Volume & Tone Pots Work On Guitar?
    I wonder if Sadowsky was intentionally aiming for a bit darker tone on that model. Does your instrument have the original pickups? Sadowsky may have used a lower wind pickup that could be a better match to 250K pots. I’m just speculating.

    Also, see a previous discussion:
    Quote Originally Posted by ggjay View Post
    Yesterday I got my Sadowsky Jim Hall in the mail.
    Needless to say I was thrilled.
    Today I had the time to try it amplified and I was really disappointed with the muddy sound.
    Since I haven't heard a single bad thing about this guitar anywhere I got curious.
    Somebody switched the original Dimarzio pickup to a Seymour Duncan SH-4.
    This guitar sounds nothing like any of the Jim Halls I've heard online.
    So my question is:
    Which Pickup would you recommend for a transparent sound that brings out the full potential of this beautiful guitar.
    Last edited by KirkP; 06-24-2019 at 05:43 PM.

  5. #4
    I'm pretty sure they are the original pickups. The neck metered at 7.9k ohms and the bridge is 8.8k.
    I don't usually use the bridge pickup and understand how to balance the two pickups to get a preferred blended sound, but this guitar sounds really bad if the bridge pickup is in the mix.
    Using the neck pickup by itself sounds OK, just not as good as I think it should be.

  6. #5

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    Sounds like the pickups could be out of phase with each other. Or, a slight chance that the bridge pickup might be OOP with itself if the bobbins were wired incorrectly. It’s possible someone made a mistake wiring it up at the factory. “Nasily” usually means OOP. Checking the magnet polarity for each won’t require any alterations but won’t address any electrical phase issues.
    250k pots gives a darker sound which is I think part of the Sadowsky vibe.

  7. #6

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    I have an Eastman which sounded rather meh when I got it. I replaced pickups without finding anything I really liked, and when I decided to sell it, I put the original pickup back in. During that I discovered that the pickup was wired incorrectly, at least according to the Armstrong website, and I rewired it as it was designed. After playing it, I cancelled the sale. It made a huge difference in the tone, for the better. It's always possible that one of the Chinese factory workers switched some wires by mistake.

  8. #7

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    << The guitar has a very nasily (sp) tone when the bridge pickup or both pickups are selected. I can't believe that anyone would like that tone. >>

    If that nasal tone only happens when both pickups are selected, the problem - as already mentioned - could well be some reversed magnetic poles. Often these can be flipped over.
    Last edited by Ol' Fret; 06-26-2019 at 07:15 AM.

  9. #8

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    Does the bridge pickup by itself sound much worse than most bridge pickups? If so, phase reversal wouldn’t be a factor and I’d suspect defective pickup. Maybe a short somewhere in the windings?

  10. #9
    I replaced both pickups and left the two 250K pots and cap stock. Same problem. I checked the wiring and it is correct. I am starting to think that the light weight wood they used for the center block has something to with it. Unplugged, the guitar sounds fine and the neck pickup sounds fine. The bridge pickup is useless. Not sure what to do next.

    I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts and suggestions.


  11. #10

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    To me, all bridge pickups are worthless. YMMV.