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Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:22 am

DC-Choppah wrote:He plays the 175 on "Rain River" here. Notice how he has a flute playing with him. The flute compliments the rolled-off tone of his guitar. But then when he solos he seems to adjust the tone a bit. Anyways, this is the sound!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mz_EcyurNo

I thought it sounded quite a strange tone, slightly synthetic, and then I noticed the Roland MIDI pickup (confirmed after some digging on the web). So I strongly suspect that the sound is a mix of guitar and synth. If you are after that exact sound, you may not get it with the guitar alone. Of course he may not be using the MIDI pickup on that song, but it does sound to rather like he might be.

You may find that a Boss SY300 will give you a similar sound without the need to fit a MIDI pickup.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:39 am

DC-Choppah wrote:Here is the wiring diagram I made for the guitar.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NfOduZ ... sp=sharing

Please let me know what you think.

Generally looks OK to me, except that the Bendetto pickup has different wiring colours to a Seymour Duncan.

https://madhatterguitarproducts.com/pag ... references

So you'll need to change the colours for the neck pickup. You'll also need to double check on the connection of the black and white wires so that they correspond exactly to those of the white and red wires on the SD. On a SD, the green wire is the other end of the coil with red wire coming from it, and the white wire is the other end of the coil with black wire coming it. If you get the white and black wires round the wrong way on the Benedetto, the series mode will still work but you'll just get silence or hum in the parallel mode. It's easy enough to swap the two wires over, but you don't want to find that out after you've installed the wiring harness. So test out the harness before you put it in the guitar by tapping the pickups using all the switches .

I'd also draw in the ground connections (so you've got something to follow when wiring), making sure that you don't create a loop.

You wont need the extra ground connection that's shown on the neck volume switch connection, as that tab is already connected to a grounded wire coming from the volume pot.

I'd show the ground tab of the selector switch being grounded, so you don't forget.

I'd also try and use braided cable for the longer runs, to minimise any noise pickup. You can't shield the inside of the guitar, so the next best thing is to use shielded cable where you can.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:25 pm

Wonks wrote:Generally looks OK to me, except that the Bendetto pickup has different wiring colours to a Seymour Duncan.

Hmmm. The wiring diagram that came with the Benedetto shows that the
  • red and white wires are connected together and insulated
  • black is the hot wire and goes to the input of the volume pot
  • green and drain wires go to ground
which is the same as the Seymor Duncan's.

Here is the diagram that came with: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gac2gm ... sp=sharing

I wonder if they have changed now that it appears that they are part of Seymor Duncan?

When I try to go to http://www.benedettopickups.com it takes me to Seymor Duncan.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:09 pm

That would seem logical. So the colours remain as the diagram.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:48 pm

Updated drawing. Thanks for the tips Wonks. I traced the original Ibanez ground wires and the drawing reflects the way they were originally routed. The guitar was dead silent with no hum, so I am keeping what they had.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/18tt0ze ... sp=sharing
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:11 pm

All good, except that you've currently got no ground connection for the bridge pickup & pots all the way back to the output jack. You could link the rear of the two tone pots, or you could run another ground wire to the ground tab on the pickup selector switch. Or if you use a braided wire connection for the signal wires from the volume pots to the selector switch, then you can use the braid as the ground connection if it's connected at both ends.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby BJG145 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:11 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:Notice how he has a flute playing with him. The flute compliments the rolled-off tone of his guitar.

BTW that ain't a flute, it's a recorder.

(I'm glad you posted it as it's actually the first time I've paid proper attention to Metheny.)
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:53 pm

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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby Wonks » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:40 am

That all works. Physically, you'll probably better connecting the screen braid of the neck pickup to the back of neck volume pot. It's hard enough getting two wires connected to a pin on the push/pull switch, let alone three.

And looking on a big screen, i see you've go the volume pots as 250k. You'd normally have 500k audio pots here. It was only 250k on the tone pots that I suggested. 250k volume pots could take off too much top end from the pickups, leaving a very muddy tone indeed with the tone control turned down. I say 'could' because I've never tried it, and it may give a tone that you like. But a vintage 175 would normally have 500k volume pots (certainly a 1960 model like Pat's), whilst Norlin-era 175s had 300k volume pots. Possibly because the T-top pickups fitted to those guitars could be very bright (especially the bridge pickup) and the 300k pots would take some of the edge off them.

So I wouldn't go below 300k and personally I'd stick to 500k.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby arkieboy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:52 am

Wonks wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:He plays the 175 on "Rain River" here. Notice how he has a flute playing with him. The flute compliments the rolled-off tone of his guitar. But then when he solos he seems to adjust the tone a bit. Anyways, this is the sound!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mz_EcyurNo

I thought it sounded quite a strange tone, slightly synthetic, and then I noticed the Roland MIDI pickup (confirmed after some digging on the web). So I strongly suspect that the sound is a mix of guitar and synth. If you are after that exact sound, you may not get it with the guitar alone. Of course he may not be using the MIDI pickup on that song, but it does sound to rather like he might be.

You may find that a Boss SY300 will give you a similar sound without the need to fit a MIDI pickup.

I'm fairly sure that he's not playing the layered synth sound in this vid.

The Hex pickup on the guitar looks very much like a Roland GK1 - this is an old 24 pin unit that came in two pieces - detachable electronics, controls and cables, and a pickup and mounting plate unit that remained attached to the guitar. If you forward to 3:29, you can see the plate doesn't have the electronics box fitted, so I think that someone else in the band - probably Lyle - was playing a synth in unison. There are some good pictures of the unit on a Reverb listing here https://reverb.com/item/14491850-roland ... g-hardware

There are quite a few pictures of his ES175 with a GR1 plate/pickup attached on the web - here's a decent one

Image

Wonks is completely right in that you would be able to get the kind of synth sounds Metheney uses out of a SY300, and this would be the most practical choice to get some of that tone pallet into your rig. However despite reusing the colour and design cues from the iconic GR300 'Blue box', the SY300 lacks a direct emulation of that unit, so getting the kind of sounds Metheney uses on 'End of the Game' won't be as straightforward. For that you'll need a hex pickup and either a VG99, GP10s or a SY1000. The emulations are really rather good though. If you get the 99, you'll also need to budget for a couple of Roland FS units to switch octaves and the like.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby arkieboy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:22 am

... also I really think that broken toothbrush he used to keep is cabling in place will affect the resonance of the trapeze tail piece so you'll need to budget for one of those too ...

:bouncy:
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:11 am

Well, this didn't really work out like I'd hoped for.

The new electronics are all in. What a pain it is to get the electronics mounted into the guitar! It's like doing surgery. And I am not a surgeon!


The neck pickup sounds OK.

The tone control only starts having an effect at the very end of the turn. So I get all of this darkness coming in at the very end of the turn. Trying to tweak that in is hard. I need to change something to make the tone control have more range. I have the .022uF capacitor and the pots are 250 K Ohm.

But it is such a pain to experiment with this guitar since it takes me soooo long to get the electronics back in!

The series/parallel option for the neck pickup is really not that fun. The series sound just does not work well with the instrument. It is a strat kind of sound.

The bridge pickup has the same issue with the tone control - only works at the end of the turn.. The bridge pickup really just is not the right sound for this box. Too thin and bright.

The out-of-phase switch doesn't really do very much since the neck pickup dominates the sound. The pickups are not well matched, so phasing one does not do much.

This is not a 175.

It's OK in bridge position. But kind of bland. Lacks sustain. A bit dull.

With the tone control rolled all the way down, the sound is scooped. Warm, but scooped.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby Wonks » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:03 pm

Sorry it hasn't worked out quite as you'd hoped.

If you use latex surgical tubing pushed over the pot shafts, it's pretty easy to put things in. A lot less messy than with string or cotton as you don't get any knots.

Well, you've put a neck pickup in the bridge position, so the output will be down on what you'd get from it the neck. The Benedetto And to me, a SD Jazz sounds very clean in the neck (I thought I had the bridge pickup selected at first) , so it will sound brighter still in the bridge position.

Without hearing your the neck pickup, it's difficult to know what to suggest pairing it with, but if it is PAF-like, the a SD '59 bridge model should go well with it.

For matched signal outputs with 'vintage' output pickups , you'd probably expect the bridge pickup to have a DCR around 500 ohms greater than the neck. At 8k the Benedetto is slightly overwound compared to the SD '59 neck pickup (7.6k), so the SD '59 bridge pickup at 8.2k will be less well matched in terms of output than a pair of '59s would be, but keeping the neck humbucker set low could help here. Both the Benedetto and SD '59 use Alnico V magnets, so the DCR should be a reasonable indicator of output levels. Obviously there are other pickups available, but you don't want to go too hot with the bridge pickup otherwise you run into balance problems again, and the bridge sound will get more middle, less treble and sound more rock-like and less jazz-like.

If 250k tone pots still don't give enough range, then it sound like 100k will be closer. You could go for a 0.033uF tone cap, which will give a lower roll-off frequency for the treble, but it will sound even darker when fully rolled off. If the fully-rolled off sound is fine for you, then I wouldn't change the cap value, but if it's still a bit bright, then go bigger,

I think you meant the 'parallel' sound didn't work well with the neck pickup, as this gives a thinner, more Strat-like tone.
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Re: Please help with project guitar electronics upgrade to achieve ES-175 / Metheny jazz tone.

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:12 pm

Wonks wrote:If you use latex surgical tubing pushed over the pot shafts, it's pretty easy to put things in. A lot less messy than with string or cotton as you don't get any knots.
That's a stroke of genius! I have some latex aquarium air line tubing. Seems to be the same thing. This is great! It will pull the pot from its nose. That should bring it right into the hole.

I had been trying thread, but it wraps around the shaft and tilts the pot sideways. The tubing looks like a great idea. Thanks Wonks!

Wonks wrote:If 250k tone pots still don't give enough range, then it sound like 100k will be closer. You could go for a 0.033uF tone cap, which will give a lower roll-off frequency for the treble, but it will sound even darker when fully rolled off. If the fully-rolled off sound is fine for you, then I wouldn't change the cap value, but if it's still a bit bright, then go bigger,
Doh! I see now that the pots I used for tone were 250kOhm Linear taper. I think the linear is the problem.

Wonks wrote:I think you meant the 'parallel' sound didn't work well with the neck pickup, as this gives a thinner, more Strat-like tone.
Right.
I am going to remove the push/pull switch on the bridge pickup and just make it a regular volume control.
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