Author Topic: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?  (Read 305 times)

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Online tobyjenner

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PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« on: May 19, 2017, 06:58:59 pm »
Dropped off my Washburn HB32 and Fender T-Bucket for their first set ups today and was talking to the guys in the shop about bringing in my Roadhouse Deluxe Strat and my aging Squier Affinity, which hasn't been touched in 21 years, next month !!

On the way home from Rennes, I got thinking if I should give the Affinity a bit of a boost. Its always played well in my hands (?) but compared to my pucker Strat lacks character, so I got thinking about getting the PUPs swapped when it gets a service. So I guess the question is should I bother ? As it was a 40th birthday prez from the missus it has sentimental value, so I'd never junk it and it came in handy for Bridge of Sighs recently. :)

Looking at Thomann I can get various Seymour Duncan PUPS for around 60-65 euros each, so a budget of 150-200 pre fitment would seem reasonable - the shop I use in Rennes has reasonable rates compared to the UK, set up (strings extra) is 24 euros for acoustic and 40 euros for electric - so I can't see having new PUPs fitted would be that expensive (no I would not consider doing my self!).

So any recommendations for an aging Squier that will mainly be sued for Blues and Rock (hard rock planet rock yardee yah) ?

Gauge wise as I've got 9s on the proper Strat (well MIM at least) I was think about putting 10s on the old dog. Can't see it making that much difference but may help the tone a little, who knows. I've gone this way on the Washburns, 9s on the HB30 and the HB32 comes back with 10s. So at  least I'll get a feel for playing 10s before I decide what to do with the aging "strat".

Anyway before I just ramble on - oops another for the bucket list there - any guidance advice would be sorely welcome, as I'm as tech savvy as a turtle playing drums. All comments welcome.

Thanks in advice, for anyone still awake..................

Cheers

Toby 8)

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Online tobyjenner

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 07:00:42 pm »
that will mainly be sued for Blues and Rock

Freudian slip but probably true with my playing !!!
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Offline DarrellW

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 08:19:25 pm »
These would be nice, I've been looking at the Tele equivalent for my Tele!
https://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_noisless_set_strat.htm
Or maybe the hot ones.
https://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_vintage_hot_noiseless_pickupset.htm
Acoustic: Taylor 214ce, Sigma 00M -15, old no name classical
Electric: Squire classic vibe 50's tele; 1998 Squire affinity tele (bit battered and bruised ;) ).
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Online Joerfe

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 08:21:47 pm »
Sounds like a good idea to have the pups changed.
I had a pair of Seymour Duncan Vintage Tele pups in my Fender Mex Tele and that swop is great for that old rock and roll/rockabilly sound. And with the right amp settings she also squeels like on a 70'ties hard rock lp.
/Jesper

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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 11:29:08 pm »
Cost of wiring the pickups will vary from country to country, and depends on how tidy and/or quick your tech works.
On average it'll be €25-€30 per pickup, although most shops will do 'package deals'where you pay less if you get a set and buy the pickups from them, or if you get two or more installed at the same time.
I'd not blindly go and buy ANY pickup though, i'd really read up on brands, types etc.
Suggestions, ranging from cheap to 'boutique' (aka expensive as xx--xx);

First we have http://www.irongear.co.uk/ a set of these would cost you as much as, or sometimes less than a single Seymour Duncan, and quality has been reported as good to great, i had a set of Metal Machines in a cheap Les Paul clone, did fine for gigs where i didn't want to bring my more expensive guitars.
There's also Bulldog pickups, which are in a close price class, but the official site seems to be down for me, so here's their facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bulldog-Pickups/
Bulldog is run by an apprentice of Tim Mills, who's company you'll see listed a little further down.

Then there's the big brand names, http://www.dimarzio.com/ , http://www.seymourduncan.com/ , http://www.emgpickups.com/ , varying prices and varying choices, generally more expensive, but very tried and tested, not as expensive or as special as boutique stuff though, and generally less customisation possible, in case that's your thing.

And then we get to boutique, with pricerange to boot;
First off, http://www.lacemusic.com/ the (in)famous lace pickups, well known among Fender owners for their Sensor pickup line.
Not my choice of pickup, tone wise, but very decent.
Then we move on to http://www.fralinpickups.com/ , also very well known, and very pricey, but worth it to some.
And on to http://jbepickups.com/ , don't have much experience with these, but The Boss used (and perhaps still uses) Joe Barden pickups, and that seems like a good enough recommendation in my book... YMMV though.

And then we got to the last one i'll mention here, and still my personal favorite, despite their VERY heft pricetag : https://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/
Run by Tim Mills (told you we'd get to him  ;) ), they were one of the first boutique pickup companies to do a rather broad range of pickups suited to all styles, and in contrast to some other companies, their staff is more than willing to give you suggestions based on what you're looking for, and you can even ask the man himself, he may take a (work)day or so to respond, but i've yet to see him not answer.
They're expensive as hell, handmade to order if ordered directly, often hard to come by unless you order directly, and despite all that, i'm still the proud (and happy) owner of two of their sets, where i've gotten rid of plenty of other pickup brands in the past.

Of course, i'm a 'tone snob' according to some, so caveat emptor  8)
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Offline DarrellW

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 09:26:15 am »
One thing I would add is, have you shielded the cavity and upgraded the Pots and 5way switch and jack socket? If not spending on expensive pickups might not be a good idea.
You need to budget for that sort of work in your upgrade if you want to make a good job of it, it's these components that are always inferior quality on cheaper instruments so need to be upgraded if you intend to spend on pickups.
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Electric: Squire classic vibe 50's tele; 1998 Squire affinity tele (bit battered and bruised ;) ).
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 02:51:31 pm »
If you want to go noiseless, I would go Kinman.

I would stick with 9s  or even go to 8s.

Many of the pickups on the Squire strats sound the same. Just that bright brittle ceramic magnet sound.

Get a set of SDs and don't look back. If it plays well physically it will end a much better guitar. If you want to spend more money you can.

The Fralin P90s sound great but that's a different story.

I too have been doing a little bit of guitar altering....... so been listening to lots of pickups. The one thing I find consistent are the cheap ceramic pickups... and they are not horrible, but you really only need one guitar with them and a lot of other pickups sound better.. less edgy.


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Online tobyjenner

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 12:53:48 pm »
Guys thanks very much on the info and advice. Must admit many of these are probably out of my price range, especially when you consider I'm upgrading something which actually cost less or about the same as it did back in the mid 90s !

I certainly found the Irongear website interesting but need to do some more digging.

One thing that struck me looking at other comments on the web about upgrades, is the apparent lack off unity when it comes to changing pots caps etc in respect of what Darrell said.

One thing I would add is, have you shielded the cavity and upgraded the Pots and 5way switch and jack socket? If not spending on expensive pickups might not be a good idea.
You need to budget for that sort of work in your upgrade if you want to make a good job of it, it's these components that are always inferior quality on cheaper instruments so need to be upgraded if you intend to spend on pickups.

I've not got the technical knowledge to make a judgement on this but there's as many folks saying you don't need to do this, as there are who say you should. Just wondered what the consensus was here ?

As an aside I actually spent about 40 odd minutes last night, setting up a base setting on my Mustang with the Affinity plugged in. Just playing my "known" chords over and over, tweaking and adjusting things until I settled on a nice overall sounds. So looks like a good amp setting works just as well, hey but I'll have a think on what route to take before the starts go to the shop.

Thanks again for the help guys.

Cheers

Toby
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 05:13:11 pm »
If your see those guitars I have laying there. My friend has 4X that easily. He doesn't shield anything.

Kinmans, shielding is a waste of money. None of the guitars in that photo are shielded and they all sound pretty damn good through his Ampeg.

Oh the SG laying there... we just redid that. 60s Japanese pickup,, unshielded and microphonic. We both like the way it sounds.

The pots on the cheap guitars can be those little cheap things. A good CTS pot is only a couple of dollars. A cap is under a dollar. So yeah, you might as well put some nice controls in it.

If you like the way the guitar feels and plays, then that's what I meant... putting new pickups will take it to another level. If you don't like the way it plays then forget about it. Even if it sounds good you won't play it.

BTW, shield if you want to .. I didn't mean to say don't shield, but it's certainly not a must do type deal.

Guitar Fetish has a lot of discounts and blems. You might find some pickups there cheap.

Pots, pickups, switch and cap... IF... you really like the way the guitar plays. Yes, you spend more on those items than the whole guitar. But it will sound and play like 3X the money. If you want your money back, remove the pickups and sell them. They will always have good resale value.
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Online tobyjenner

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Re: PUP and Gauge update for old Affinity ?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 06:49:20 pm »
Thanks for that TB.

Yes I still love to play it after all these years, so it would be good to bring it to level someone where near my year old Roadhouse Deluxe. I'll be going back to the shop later this week, so I'll try and talk to the guys there about these upgrades (my tech French is eh rudimentary at best!) but I should be able to get by and at least get an estimate for labour+set up if I furnish the parts. Probably won't be for another 5 or 6 weeks, so I can have a look for what's out there etc.

By the way great collection you have there ! Will drop a mail re Trower in the next couple of days, really appreciate the info and links you sent me.

Cheers

Toby
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Currently consolidating IM then Blues Rhythm & MTMS
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