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AlB
08-09-2020, 01:49 AM
I have ordered my first Pitbull kit (AG-1), and am waiting to it to be customized and shipped. Realistically, what is the quality of the standard humbucker pickups? I am considering looking for different pickups and tone pots while I wait for the kit. Is that necessary, or will the standard pickups and pots sound good? Thanks.

Simon Barden
08-09-2020, 03:10 AM
Hi and welcome.

The kit pickups are useable but you will have a much better performing guitar if you do upgrade. The Toneriders that Pit Bull sell are really good pickup, and youíd probably need to go for boutique pickups to get any significant improvement. Of course other brands are available (I generally use BareKnuckles or Iron Gear myself).

Pots are pots and donít affect the sound as such. But the kit pots wonít last as long as the quality brands before starting to go scratchy. So if youíve got a semi-hollow or hollow body guitar, then Iíd certainly swap them out now. With an easily accessible control cavity, itís easy to replace them at a later date if you wish. CTS, Bourns or Alpha are the normal brands to look out for. Alpha use 18 spline shafts like the kit pots, so will fit the kit knobs, whilst the other two use 24-spline shafts, so youíd need to get knobs that match (normally sold as a USA fitting).

McCreed
08-09-2020, 06:19 AM
Alpha use 18 spline shafts like the kit pots, so will fit the kit knobs, whilst the other two use 24-spline shafts, so youíd need to get knobs that match (normally sold as a USA fitting).

Also worth noting that the shaft bushings of the metric size pots will fit through the existing holes in the body. Imperial size pots will need a slight enlarging. It's best to do any enlarging of the holes before you apply any finish to eliminate the risk of damaging the finish.
It can be done post-finish with the right tool and a bit of experience, but better safe than sorry.

This is also true of any modification to pickup routing (if needed).

EDIT:
+1 for Tonerider as very good sounding and great value for money.

m0j0
08-09-2020, 09:13 AM
Toneriders get my vote for value for money also. Only ever used the kit pickups up until my last kit when I decided to splurge for Tonerider hot classics (TL). My latest order is for two identical AGs and I ordered a set of AC4s for one of the kits. Looking forward to having both kits complete and comparing the Toneriders to the kit pups side by side. Would love to be able to give you a demo, but I haven't even received one of the kits yet so will be a while.

jonwhitear
08-09-2020, 06:31 PM
Toneriders get my vote for value for money also. Only ever used the kit pickups up until my last kit when I decided to splurge for Tonerider hot classics (TL). My latest order is for two identical AGs and I ordered a set of AC4s for one of the kits. Looking forward to having both kits complete and comparing the Toneriders to the kit pups side by side. Would love to be able to give you a demo, but I haven't even received one of the kits yet so will be a while.

Iím also thinking of getting some Toneriders for my AG-1. Any recommendations for which type? Iím thinking the Alnico II classics at the moment.

Simon Barden
08-09-2020, 08:01 PM
Those would be my choice as I prefer brighter sounding pickups that aren't too powerful. I heard some Alnico IVs in an ES-1 I levelled the frets on for a UK kit builder and I thought they were too powerful as I struggled to get a clean sound that didn't push my amp into overdrive. I'm fitting Iron Gear Alnico II Tesla Sharks http://www.irongear.co.uk/irongear_pickups_031.htm to my GSM-1 to see how they sound. Slightly more windings than some vintage specs, but Alnico II magnets are less powerful than Alnico IV, so hopefully not too hot.

jonwhitear
08-09-2020, 08:30 PM
Thanks Simon. It's difficult to make a comparison from the videos on the Tonerider site, as they're all different people playing different guitars. I'm going to build my AG-1 up with the supplied pickups, and see how it sounds first, but then go for the AC2s I think.

Simon Barden
08-09-2020, 09:19 PM
The kit pickups have ceramic magnets and quite high winding count, so are definitely on the hotter, not very subtle, side of things. They never sound particularly dynamic to me either. They will certainly make a noise and if you run through a fair amount of drive/distortion, then they'll certainly sound reasonable, but fair less well for cleaner stuff.

ThatCluelessGerman
08-09-2020, 10:06 PM
I think trying the stock pickups and then maybe upgrade is a good choice. The kit pickups are not bad per se. It also depends on what kind of sound you prefer, what kind of amp you have, HOW you play... I bought some cheap Wilkinson Vintage Humbuckers for one of my single cut kits and they sound really freaking good on my guitar and amp, but I have seen some YouTube videos about them and they made me cringe.... Changing pickups is pretty painless so if you don't like the stock ones, it's a quick fix to order different ones. If you do like them - even better.

AlB
09-09-2020, 08:43 AM
Thank you, this is all very helpful. Now I am considering a set of Filtertron style humbuckers and possibly split coil pots. Any thoughts?

Simon Barden
09-09-2020, 02:45 PM
FilteríTrons are narrower than standard humbuckers, so you need to find or make suitable adapter rings, or a bespoke pickguard, to fit them into a standard humbucker rout. I know TV Jones and The Creamery make a standard humbucker-sized FilteríTron, but neither are low cost units.

They already sound similar to a single coil pickup and have a fairly low output to start with, so I donít think sonically that a coil split would work. Far too thin and low an output to sound nice. And as they will come as standard with a single wire + braid connection lead, youíd need to go bespoke to get a 4-wire lead to make them splitable.

AlB
11-09-2020, 02:35 AM
I hadn't considered the split coil issue, thanks again!