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Thread: Building a Djent Lefty Guitar: Best Passive Pick Ups?

  1. #1

    Building a Djent Lefty Guitar: Best Passive Pick Ups?

    Hey Guys, (First post)

    I've recently been building the left-handed JM-1 Model during quarantine. Since finding and affordable left handed at a reasonable price is always a pain. It's the body of a Fender Jazzmaster, but I've dubbed it the "Djentmaster". I thought "if I'm gonna put a bunch of fancy new hardware in it, I'd like to do it myself". So I've been learning new skills to do so (like how to solder, paint and and use a sander). I've used several youtube tutorials, but have basically followed along Pitbull Guitars videos and Brad Angove videos for techniques and ways of doing things efficiently.

    Within my research I have found that things like tremolo bridge, headstock machine heads, pick guards can be left-handed (or need to be left-handed I should say). Here is a list of all of the stuff I've put into the guitar that did not come with the kit:

    Wilkinson Left Handed 6-in-line E-Z-LOK Guitar Tuners Tuning Pegs

    Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL Sleek String Tree

    GraphTech PT500000 TUSQ XL Black Self-Lubricating Slotted Nut

    Wilkinson/Gotoh VS-100N Tremolo Black - Left handed

    Dunlop SLS1503BK Straplok Traditional Strap Retainer System

    I'm almost done with it, but I thought I'd ask, what are the best passive pickups in the Djent genre? I've been looking at:

    Seymour Duncan Alpha & Omega Pickups (Mark Holcomb signature, from Periphery)

    Bare Knuckle Juggernaut Humbucker (Misha Mansoor signature, from Periphery)

    Seymour Duncan Black Winter

    EMG Jim Root Daemonum (Slipknot guitarist) just to have a bit of versatility, but maintain the "heavy" factor.

    Also, I know why some might ask "why aren't you using active pickups?" and to be honest, for a first time building a guitar, I don't feel comfortable cutting a cavity into the quitar, specially since I don't have the tools for it (I have literally used a dremel and a sander for all of the build)

    Additional Questions:

    Is there such a thing as left-handed pickups? (don't see a category for selecting left-handed pickups)

    Are there left-handed cable sets? I looked at Obsedian Wire and they basically say "only compatible with Right Handed guitars & Basses. We hope to do Lefty sets in the future but we can not say when at this stage."

    What would be the best way to set up these pickups? I know that it is a preference thing, trying to get most out of this guitar.

    Thanks in advance!


    I'm posting what the guitar looks like now, but you guys can check out the progress here
    (uploading everything here is kind of a pain do to image constrains)
    Last edited by jlor13; 05-08-2020 at 12:21 AM.

  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    No expertise in Djent-style pickups, but I'd also consider (if you haven't already) the BK Silo https://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk...humbucker/silo

    There aren't specific L/H pickups. They are all built fundamentally symmetrical. So don't worry about that.

    There are specific volume potentiometers and knobs available for L/H guitars, though a lot of L/H guitars made commercially don't bother with them. On a R/H guitar you turn the volume knob clockwise for maximum volume (and the same for tone). This works exactly the same on L/H guitars, though some L/H people do prefer to turn the volume and tone knobs anti-clockwise for maximum volume and tone.

    Volume pots should have a log/audio taper, whilst tone pots can be either linear or log/audio taper. For the specific L/H pots, linear pots work the same (though you use the other end tag connection on the pot compared to 'normal'), but for volume you need a reverse log/reverse audio taper characteristic pot to do this. The two end tap connections on the pots get connected the reverse to how they would be on standard volume pots. You'll also need knobs with 1 to 10 in the reverse order.

    Please note that the Pit Bull forum doesn't tolerate pics showing trade mark infringements, so you'll need to black out any F logos on photos of non-F guitars if you don't want them removed/unlinked.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the advise Simon!

    I'm trying to set up a coil split but I am not versed enough in this to know what I need to do so. Trying to model the hardware of the guitar after the Juggernaut HT6QM Model

    The Specs being: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push/pull select), 5-way blade pickup switch

    I think I've decided to go for the Juggernaut Pickups
    and the website does include a parts section, but I'm still confused by the type of wiring I need to do/what do I need to do it.

    Do you have any tips on that type of wiring I need to do/parts I need for it?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    The Jackson already has the pickups being coil split.



    You can do that with a suitable 5-way switch and 4-wire conductors on the pickups. Can't find a diagram on the web so far though, but WierdBits should be able to come up with a suitable diagram.

    But that doesn't give you any neck- or bridge-only single coil only pickup options. Personally, I probably wouldn't bother with that style of guitar and those pickups, but if you want it as versatile as possible, then it is probably achievable, but it will interfere with the 5-way switching when operated and you may end up with silence in some positions.

    Dropping the Jackson position 2 and 4 options, but instead having them as bridge single coil or neck single coil, then you can use this BK wiring diagram.

    https://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk...ch_9a8dd79.pdf

    On the Jackson control system, the tone control pot is a push/pull one where the pull position disconnects the tone circuit for a brighter sound. You can do this more simply with a no-load pot.

  5. #5
    Yeah, wanting to get as many options as possible is a very ambitious. Specially for someone who's never done this before.

    I saw that they have the 1 volume 1 tone push pot but for a 3 way switch (Which I would presume would give me positions 1,3 and 5 from your diagram).

    They also have the PRS way of doing it 2 humbuckers, 1 volume, 1 tone and a 5 way switch but I don't know the difference between the push pull pot and this way.

    Would the no-load pot give me the same versatility as the push pull pot?

    Thanks again.

    But would love a reference because I don't quite understand all of the diagram and it doesn't say "you need this hardware to do so". I know it is an ambitious feet, but really wanna get it done.

  6. #6
    Mentor JimC's Avatar
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    With 4 pickups - and two splittable humbuckers amounts to 4 pickups - there are litterally dozens of ways to wire these things up. Especially with more than one switch, which is what switched pots give you.So you need to figure out what you want, which is hard before the guitar is built, but the good news is you can always alter the wiring later if you don't like it. That first bare knuckle diagram you've listed with the 3 way and the push pot seems to me a sensible and versatile option. It gives you 6 options, basically this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If I didn't have strong feelings elsewhere I'd go for that. Using the push switch just to switch out the tone control seems a bit specialist to me...
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4
    Build #5, Lockdown Mandolin
    Build #6, Sixty six body for Squier
    Build #7, Mini Midi Bass

  7. #7
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    My comment would be that the two single coils in parallel option probably isn't hum cancelling, which is always nice with single coils and lots of gain. It could be made hum-cancelling, but with much more complicated wiring and probably a 3-way super switch.

    Also, as all the pole pieces are the adjustable screw type, there is no easy way to determine which way round the pickup should be fitted to get the single coil bobbins selected as per the diagram. The side of the pickup the output lead comes from may help here, though arranged for L/H installation, the bobbins will be rotated.

    I'm all for keeping it relatively simple. My Les Paul Jimmy Page model has 21 possible pickup sound options, but I only ever use 7 of them, and generally just the three normal humbucker sounds. Yes, you can get a lot of different sounds, but most sound weak and 'meh' to me.

  8. #8
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    You can do that with a suitable 5-way switch and 4-wire conductors on the pickups. Can't find a diagram on the web so far though, but WierdBits(???) should be able to come up with a suitable diagram...
    Adding an extra push/pull will allow the full Jackson layout on the 5-way superswitch plus give you the single split coil option in positions 1 and 5. I can draw it up if needed.
    Scott.

  9. #9
    WeirdBits,

    That would be awesome. Would appreciate it so much. I emailed the guys at bare knuckle and they said I would need:

    1. Juggernaut Pickup Set
    2. Single Cut Short Shaft Installation Kit
    3. CTS Push Pull Short Shaft 550K (Also had a question about the difference between 550k and 280K)
    4. CTS 550K Potentiometer Short Shaft
    5. Oak Grigsby 5-Way Super Switch

    I would still be interested in upgrading the input jack jack and all of the cables that are meant for the inside of the guitar. Would love some recommendations on those.

    Lastly, thanks again so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions. I didn't know that this forum would be such a huge help.

  10. #10
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
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    Ok, the important question (as Simon already mentioned): wired righty or lefty?

    The pots listed are audio (log) taper (type A) which give a big value change towards ‘10’ and a small change towards ‘1’ when wired ‘righty’ - which is what suits the way our ears hear changes. So, you turn them clockwise for max volume and counter-clockwise for minimum, which some lefties don’t like. If you wire them ‘lefty’ you can then turn them counter-clockwise for max volume and clockwise for min, but you get the small change at ‘10’ and the big change at ‘1’ which usually doesn’t work for your ears.

    The solution can be to use reverse audio taper pots (type ‘C’) as they can be wired ‘lefty’ and give you the correct taper direction, but they can be more difficult to source.

    It really come down to what you’re used to using. How are your other guitars wired and which direction do you turn the volume for max etc?

    And, regarding the 550K vs 280K pot values. Generally, 500K’ish pots are considered better suited for humbuckers as they retain more ‘highs’ and stop them being too dark/muddy. 250K’ish pots work best with single coils as they lose more ‘highs’ to help warm up the sound and reduce the icepick-in-ear factor. 500’s are a sensible choice for your layout with the humbuckers.

    Also, best not to start ordering electronic parts until you’ve finalised your plan and worked out exactly what you will need to make it all work.
    Scott.

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