I am still contemplating a change of bridge pickup

MegiMegi Posts: 7,190Member
I am still contemplating a change of bridge pickup for my trans-black Shine SIL-510, the issue being that the neck P90 I fitted sounds great, but is actually putting out quite a bit more volume than the bridge, despite playing around with pickup height etc. And given I have enough guitars with a more standard kind of humbucker in the bridge, I fancy something a bit different. Looking on ebay, there are a few interesting candidates for the job. These are just my thoughts, and it should be said that although these are all aimed at the rock guitar market, I actually would be using the pickup mainly for clean tones (although no harm at all if the pickup is good for overdriven sounds, that could come in handy once in a while).

Entwistle HDN - I already have a set of these in my green Ibanez, they have very high output, the bridge pickup is 16.9K, and they have neodymium magnets. A very full-range kind of tone, kind of a "hi-fi" pickup if you like, with if anything the highs more prominent than with a PAF type humbucker. The bass end is tight, and maybe a bit subdued, but I like that, I generally have to turn down the bass control on my amp with humbuckers. With postage from ebay sellers, around £22

Entwistle Nemesis AFG - These have one coil with a rail, and one with adjustable hex-poles for the other. And different magnet types for each coil too - ceramic on one, alnico on the other. So interesting possibilities for wiring different split-coil sounds. From what I can tell, could be a bit brighter sounding than a PAF type, but that might well match nicely with the neck P90. I think they look kind of cool as well. About £29 with post from ebay sellers.

Warman G-Rail - Basically a hot-rails type pickup (ceramic magnet) paired with a strat type pickup with 6 individual alnico magnets, placed side by side. Obviously lots of wiring options there - all 3 coils have separate wires for maximum flexibility in the wiring. With 2 push-pull pots on the Shine I could wire for the following 4 settings: a) the rails pickup on it's own b) the strat pickup on it's own c) rails & strat combined in parallel d) rails and strat combined in series - this setting would have a seriously huge output lol, but might have it's uses . £25 including postage, not bad at all, and it certainly has a different look to it!

Well, there you go, I'm leaning towards the Warman at the mo but we'll see. Just in case of interest, and any other (not too pricey) suggestions welcome, cheers!


  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member
    Marc over at mojo pickups in Halifax is doing some interesting pickups at present, checkout these Gold foil pickups smile

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,190Member
    They do look interesting indeed lanc - gold foil no less!, and good to find out about these things. Unfortunately his prices are a bit too much (though I'm sure good value) for my proposed mod, but cheers for letting me know about the pickups!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,190Member
    Just went ahead and ordered the Warman G-rail, looks like a lot of fun for £25 all told! I have some other plans for the trans-black Shine, including reinstating the original satin-chrome pickup surrounds (should have left those well alone) and changing the appearance of the P90 by removing the metal cover, and instead making a new top plate for it, plus cloth tape around the sides. Should all form a nice little mini-project while I wait to get things started on my wave-guitar build, I need something to divert me at the mo lol.

    But any more unusual pickups talk is welcome guys... smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,190Member
    The g-rail arrived yesterday morning (excellent service considering I only ordered it on Thursday afternoon with free economy delivery). So obviously I've not had chance to try it out yet, but it will be going into the bridge position of my trans-black Shine. I can say it is neatly made, having had a careful look at it's construction (I carefully unwound the cloth tape around the sides, and was then able to lift off the strat p'up side cover). The strat pickup is basically a "real" strat pickup - fiber-board formers, 6 individual chamfered alnico magnets... and the rails side looks like a fairly normal rails pickup unit too (wound to 14.76K according to the ad eek - fairly pokey!). The strat p'up is wound to a fairly normal 6.48K going by the ad. Both sides are attached in a sensible way to a humbucker base plate, which has an oblong hole cut in for the blades and magnet of the blades pickup to fit through. So in a way, this is really 2 distinct pickups bolted together!

    Well, I like the look of it - seems a good alternative to coil taping a standard humbucker, and I can only imagine that the strat coil will give a much more authentic single-coil type of sound than a coil-tapped 'bucker would.

    And not bad for £25 I reckon - in fact I'm very tempted to buy 2 more to put in my green Ibanez AH10:

    This guitar already has the most ott wiring scheme, allowing either coil of each p'up to be selected, or both coils in series, or in parallel. The two pickups can then be combined together in series or parallel overall, plus in or out of phase... blush But imagine how the different sounding halves of the g-rails would enhance that circuit, might be very good... cool
  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member
    Nice one Megi, looking forward to hearing how that Wafman grail performs. smile
  • Hoadley Guitar TechHoadley Guitar Tech Posts: 1Member

    I recently did an install of these. Not really any wiring diagrams out there for them so hoping this diagram I put together is useful for someone out there :-)


  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 950Member

    Hello and welcome Hoadley!

  • martinsmith99martinsmith99 Posts: 375Member

    That's a very cheap pickup considering the options it gives.  I'm wondering if the sound matches the price tag.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,190Member

    Until recently, I had a Warman G-Rails in the bridge position of my Shine SIL-510TB - I had 2 switches (push-pulls) wired so I could select either the rails half or the strat half, and also combine them in series or parallel. What did I think? - it's not at all bad, but not the last word in quality. I would say the ceramic magnet rails half is a bit harsh-sounding to my ears, and that still tended to colour the sound a bit when combined with the alnico strat pickup. For a heavy rock and metal player, it might be great though - I tend to like sweet cleans and smooth low to mid gain overdrive tones, so what was I doing choosing this pickup in first place would be a fair question. image

    The strat side of the pickup is decent-sounding, but not imo up with the best hand wound strat pickups. If you're after a more stratty sound than you get from the coil-splitting a standard humbucker, it does deliver. Probably the magnetic field from the adjacent rails does affect the tone somewhat. Overall, I'd say not bad for £25, I think the best tone was actually the full-monty rails in series with the strat coil configuration - that was the fullest sound - high output for sure, but still with some edge and crispness there also.

    The wiring colour code on mine did not seem to correspond with the one published by Warman - but I was able to figure out what colour wires connected to which coils, and get the coils in-phase using a multimeter with the "screwdriver pull" test ( see here: http://guitarnuts2.proboards.c...crewdriver-pull-test ).

    Saying £25 is not bad, but I recently bought a couple of hand wound humbuckers from here http://shedguitars.wix.com/fletcherpickups for just over £50, custom-wound to order and including discussion with the maker. IMO in a completely different league, both in terms of tone, and value for money.


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