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  1. #1

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    Heritage floating pickup on Sweet 16 and Evans amps-img_5956-jpeg

    Just thought I'd share my story with this guitar and pickup.
    Thrilled about this new guitar - which I played unamplified for the first two weeks because I was away from home.
    When I finally put it through my quilter it sounded terrible - thin, over trebly, harsh. You can't play a stab type four note chord because it just cuts too much etc. etc. Made me think that a floater with no tone control is hopeless.
    Put through my Evans RS200 at normal settings it also sounds bad. Not quite as bad as the Quilter at full edgy-treble suppression settings - but still bad.
    But put through the Evans at quite extreme settings designed to suppress harsh cutting treble and boost the rest of the range - and it sounds just great. It doesn't sound like the amp settings are extreme - it just sounds really balanced and even across the range - very good at minimising feedback etc. etc. Now it sounds like the floater does a great job of increasing clarity and definition without sacrificing much at all in the way of thickness of tone.
    Heritage jazz 3 pickup apparently.
    I'm not sure if this is a story about how great the Evans tone-shaping capabilities are - or how good the heritage no 3 jazz floater is.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Every Evans I have played needed the treble control rolled off to zero.

  4. #3

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    Interested to know about your 'extreme' settings on your Evans RE200 Groyniad and what they were.

    Thanks

  5. #4

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    I have a Sweet 16 from the early 1990s. The original floating pickup failed years ago, thank goodness. I disliked it with whatever amp I used it with, including an Evans 80. After a false start with a Benedetto-label Kent Armstrong, which was too trebly for me, I had a Kent Armstrong Adjustable Floating PAF installed. Used with an Henriksen Bud, an Evans 80, or a (gasp!) Peavey Bandit I couldn't be happier with it.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill
    I have a Sweet 16 from the early 1990s. The original floating pickup failed years ago, thank goodness. I disliked it with whatever amp I used it with, including an Evans 80. After a false start with a Benedetto-label Kent Armstrong, which was too trebly for me, I had a Kent Armstrong Adjustable Floating PAF installed. Used with an Henriksen Bud, an Evans 80, or a (gasp!) Peavey Bandit I couldn't be happier with it.
    that is of huge interest to me - thanks man

    I must stress though that - using the extreme treble busting bass and mid boosting settings the thing sounds just great.

    I assume you mean the very familiar - two rows of adjustment 'screws' - thing that used to go on ALL the boutique arcthops (for good reason I'm sure).?

  7. #6

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    my settings
    RS200 evans:

    bass - 3-4 (its down to almost nothing on my Eagle Classic)
    buff - 0
    reverb - 2
    depth - 75 percent
    body - this is the crucial one - 9/10
    expand - 25 percent
    treble - 0

    the way you arrange the two volume controls matters too - but I haven't got that nailed down yet

  8. #7

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    I am inclined to think the pickup is not the best for what you want.... or maybe the pickup is indeed designed to work with a tone control.

    But I am happy for you that you managed to make it work anyway. Extreme settings or not - if it works, it works!

  9. #8

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    If you like the sound, then it ain't broke and no need to mend it. That said, having a pickup that only works at extreme settings on one particular amp does limit your options.

    I have experience of Evans amps and Heritage floaters too; I had a floater on a Golden eagle that I replaced quite quickly with a conventional HB pickup, simply because I wanted it to sound like an electric archtop intead of an acoustic. I think the issue is the floating pickup design, and that it seems to be a centre-pointed HB pickup, a rather exotic design that uses 2 coils but an uncompensated bar magnet in the centre ( or at least, that was the design on my particular guitar; perhaps it has changed). That design does indeed sound quite acoustic, in that it is extremely mid scooped, rather unbalanced and very different from a conventional HB. I believe Benedetto do something similar, but with different windings and/ or magnet, and which sounds much fatter.

    It seems pretty simple to me; if you are happy to use that particular set-up only with the extremely versatile Evans amp, there is no problem.
    If you want to use that guitar with more conventional amps, change the pickup. It's relatively easy. I think it's fair to say that many players don't like the Heritage floater. A matter of taste, obviously.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals
    Every Evans I have played needed the treble control rolled off to zero.
    That is so true. At first I thought it was just mine.

    I've had the same experience with a Heritage floater on a Golden Eagle. The treble is on about 1. It sounds fabulous. I also have an old Fender Concert and a Henriksen. It's not hard to dial in the pickup to either of these without "extreme" settings.

    The Floating #3 was made by a Kalamazoo local, Ken Rambow, to sound just like it sounds. There was a Floating and a Floating #2. The evolution led to #3, which is a low output pickup that sounds a bit more like a miked acoustic.

    There are more posts about those swapping the Floating #3 out for something else than swapping it in. That gives the impression that this is an inferior pickup. It is not. There is no aftermarket availability for the Floating #3 since they were proprietary to Heritage, so it is not available as a replacement pickup.

    Many prefer a hotter pickup, like a Benedetto or the KA. Many prefer a "thinner" pickup like a Dearmond or a CC. It's a matter of taste.

    Here's an example of the Floating #3 on a guitar I once owned. The player is very good and used this as him main guitar a long time. He was happy with the pickup. This recording makes the guitar tones a little thinner than in the live setting.


  11. #10

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    Not sure about this "treble to zero" thing on Evans amps. I have a 20 year old Evans SE150. So far, playing only P90 and Franz (Guild) equipped archtops. Treble isn't up all that high, maybe 3 or 4. Roll off a little tone on the guitar as needed. And that is not needed on every one I've tried. Rich, fat sound.

    At least with this amp, too much treble is not a problem.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    ... I assume you mean the very familiar - two rows of adjustment 'screws' - thing that used to go on ALL the boutique arcthops (for good reason I'm sure).?
    Yes, as shown at djangobooks or at archtop.com

  13. #12

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    I visited my luthier Rob at Kalamazoo Guitar Company today. http://www.kalamazooguitarcompany.com/index.html

    His website doesn't tell much about all the things he does. He builds acoustics and electrics. Most importantly to me, he makes excellent pickups. He's brilliant.

    He has a full time job as an administrator in a pretty large company, but he does luthiery on the side.

    He designed an built the floating pickups for Heritage for a few years now. The pickup on the Sweet 16 shown above was his creation. It is not the Floating #3 that Heritage used for many years.

    Today I got a floating single coil for my blonde Heritage Johnny Smith. It is inspired by the P-90 but is more compact and does not have adjustable poles. There is shielding that keeps the hum way down. I have heavy strings on the guitar (15s) and the string output is nicely balanced.

    It sounds a little hotter (less scooped) than a Dearmond 1100 but not quite up to a medium wound P-90. I like it a lot.

    Rob builds great pickups and a very decent price. He's conscientious.

    Back to the OP: I would keep the pickup you got unless you are unhappy. It should serve you well.

    BTW, I have my guitar with the single coil set similarly to yours.

    Buff off
    Reverb 3
    Bass 3.5
    Depth about 70%
    Body 9
    Expand low (mine is a toggle, up or down)
    Treble 1.3

  14. #13

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    I have a floater that has a gold cover on my my 97 Golden Eagle. I’m not sure if it is considered an H3 / #3 but I like it pretty close to the strings. The distance makes a difference. FWIW.

  15. #14

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    Some of the Golden Eagles had gold covered pickups. I'm sure that was a small upcharge and does look nice. Regarding this though, I'm haunted by Seth Lover's concern about pickup covers dampening higher frequencies.

    As some of you know, when Seth was working on humbucker prototypes he put a lot of thought and a lot of blind and oscilloscope testing into it before landing on the PAF. Some of the blind testing was done with various people listening to recording. Some was done with listening to live playing. Some wasn't blind testing. Gibson R&D players played the guitars. Ted McCarty was one of them. So the PAF was the pinnacle of great investment.

    Then marketing was involved. They wanted covered pickups. Lover objected but lost. The uncovered pickup was not attractive.

    The next blow was production. The pickups were scatterwound with no real standards on the number of wraps. Further, wire, bobbins and magnets varied depending on the suppliers.

    The irony is that these PAFs are lauded as the gold standard, the El Dorado. They are great pickups IMO. Pickups, as in a spectrum, since their specs vary. And it wasn't that long before rock players took those covers off.

    I have the Heritages with floating pickups. All have the black plastic covers. They came that way. I do like the gold look though. I don't know if the metal cover would affect tone in a good or bad way but suspect I wouldn't hear the difference.

    Here's some further reading for those who like guitar history. Seymour Duncan Seymour W. Duncan's Interview With Seth Lover - Guitar Pickups, Bass Pickups, Pedals

  16. #15

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    I have a 2010 Heritage Golden Eagle with a floating pickup. I believe my pickup is HRW, which I like very much. I think HRW stands for Heritage Ren Wahl. My amps are Fender tube & transistor amps and a couple of Roland Cubes. I also ordered my Golden Eagle with a tone control. Although I don’t t think I ever turned the tone knob down. I’ve never experienced what your described.

    You might try and turn the volume up on the amp and decrease the volume on the guitar. That may knock out some of the high frequencies. I’d also try an equalizer pedal, like the Boss GE 7, to cut the high frequencies.

  17. #16

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    I had a 1990's era Golden Eagle--a guitar I sold and have grieved ever since. It had a #3 pickup and sounded fantastic through my Polytone, but it also had a tone control which I would use, though pretty much the straight signal through the Polytone was great.

    I miss that guitar...

  18. #17

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    There is no such thing as "extreme" settings on an amplifier. The very purpose of the various knobs, switches, and sliders is to adjust the sound of the amp. The rest is entirely up to the preferences of the user.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-05-2021 at 09:34 PM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    There is no such thing as "extreme" settings on an amplifier. The very purpose of the various knobs, swithces, and sliders is to adjust the sound of the amp. the rest is entirely up to the preferences of the user.
    No extreme settings, just extreme musicians!