Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

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Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:06 am

Hello dear Westone forum members,

I wonder if someone does have an answer. I own a Pantera X350 with two humbuckers. Both pickups do have a stamp at the bottom saying "75". My problem is, these pickups do have a very "thin" but fine sound. Compared to any other Westone humbuckers this sounds very unusual to me.
Well, I haven't touched the electronics at all. It looks as it is still original. But I wonder if this was soldered with an error so the pickups are in a kind of out of phase mode? (Is there a way I can test this without touching the electronics?)

Does any X350 owner has any similar experience?

BTW, the X350 is not active and has no batteries. Would it be worth do modify it? What are the differences in sound?

Any further information about the 75 pickups is highly welcome.

Thank you.
(I'm reading your topics almost every day over several month, and your information and these guitars have changed my life.)

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:04 am

Hello there.
No they shouldn't sound 'very' thin.
Have you tested them with a multimeter? Don't know the readings off hand but will post them on here.
Has your wiring been altered in any way.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:13 am

Westbone wrote:Hello there.
No they shouldn't sound 'very' thin.
Have you tested them with a multimeter? Don't know the readings off hand but will post them on here.
Has your wiring been altered in any way.

I have a multimeter, but don't know how to use it in this case. Any help is welcome.
In terms of the wiring, nothing has changed to my best knowledge. There is a yellow cable (from the neck PU) and a grey one from the Bridge PU.


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:31 am

Don't know which meter you have.
Set meter to 20k ohms, connect prongs to wires from pickup in cavity.
Here's a veiw.
http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t1673-concord-iii-innards


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:07 am

Westbone wrote:Don't know which meter you have.
Set meter to 20k ohms, connect prongs to wires from pickup in cavity.
Here's a veiw.
http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t1673-concord-iii-innards


The end of both pickup wires are put together before they are soldered to the tone poti and the switch.
So when I put the multimeter to these ends I think I am getting wrong values. Both pickups do show 4.22 Ohm.
I really wanted to avoid to unsolder the pickups to do the test. Is there any other way I can find this out?


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:32 am

Thats just the earth wires joined together, from there a white inner wire runs to the selector switch.
Switch the selector switch to one p/up and the other. See what readings you have.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:39 am

Westbone wrote:Thats just the earth wires joined together, from there a white inner wire runs to the selector switch.
Switch the selector switch to one p/up and the other. See what readings you have.

That makes sense. Okay the Neck PU shows 8,45 and the Bridge PU has 8,41.
I can confirm the Neck PU has more power, but both do sound more like single coils to me.

Any idea?

I have attached a picture of the wired poti
url=https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=3&u=16246603][/url]
Hope this works.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:50 am

Those readings are correct, nothing wrong with those.
Mine read 8.43+8.42.
These guitars have a brightish sound anyway. Use your amp control.
What amp are you using?
I certainly wouldn't try converting to active.

If you don't like it sell it to me Very Happy

Post some more pictures.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:08 am

Westbone wrote:Those readings are correct, nothing wrong with those.
Mine read 8.43+8.42.
These guitars have a brightish sound anyway. Use your amp control.
What amp are you using?
I certainly wouldn't try converting to active.

If you don't like it sell it to me Very Happy

Post some more pictures.

Thanks so much for your quick help. So you say the pickups are okay?
Why does any other Westone I own (with humbuckers) do sound total crazy and more powerful when overdriven (I mean the sound is so full and crunchy. I can't explain it with words.)
I have several Panteras, Spectrums, and all are having an extraordinary sound, even better compared to most of the very high priced new guitars.

BTW, this occurs with any amp I'm using from old vintage tube amps to more modern amps.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:13 am

Westbone wrote:Those readings are correct, nothing wrong with those.
Mine read 8.43+8.42.
These guitars have a brightish sound anyway. Use your amp control.
What amp are you using?
I certainly wouldn't try converting to active.

If you don't like it sell it to me Very Happy

Post some more pictures.

Here are two more pictures of the PU's



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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:54 am

Other type p/ups MMK 45 as per some Spectrum and Pantera models are a higher gain p/up having readings around the 11 ohm mark.

Post a few picture of the whole guitar, give us all an oggle. cyclops

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Racing on Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:40 am

Yes.
The 75 should ring in at approx 8k+

Get a short patch cable.
Chuck that into the output jack.
Measure between the two parts of the male tele and see if those readings are the same as when you measure across the pot/pup selector switch.
It should read within realms approx the same value-given an Ohm or two.
Be aware that the setting of the volume pot will affect the reading,and this pot is of 500k in turn.

If that checks out,unbolt the output jack.
Check to see that the positive signal side(from the volume pot) is the one reaching the tip of the male tele.

Your guitar should NOT sound thin by any measure with those MMK75s. On the contrary. the MMK75 are IMO some of the best MMK pups ever produced and TBH i use 75 equipped guitars more or less on a daily basis and those things ROAR when overdriven.

In short,if they come out sounding less than that something IS wrong.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Racing on Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:46 am

Just dowloaded and enhanced that pic of the engine bay,and at a quick glance i really canīt see whatīs amiss.
Wiring,incl the output jack,seems to be on par.
Sorry.

But if everything checks out reading wise i think you should check the qualitys of the solderjoints.
In fact,if the readings checks out i think you should just resolder the guitar-period.

Point is that just recently i ran into an Aria Pro II TA-100 where one of the solder joints for the outputjack had come lose and i guess that just goes to show you that anything can happen i 30 yrs...

With that done give the pots a good shot of electronic cleaner through their openings in the enginebay. Where you see the 3 leading prongs with the wires attached come out.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:51 am

Westbone wrote:Other type p/ups MMK 45 as per some Spectrum and Pantera models are a higher gain p/up having readings around the 11 ohm mark.

Post a few picture of the whole guitar, give us all an oggle. cyclops

Hi Westbone,

As requested here it is. Hope you like it.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Iceman on Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:56 am

Westbone wrote:

If you don't like it sell it to me Very Happy


You never came across as someone who would be interested in a thin sounding x350....but myself on the other hand....... Wink Wink

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:09 am

I love the MMK75's in my 350. I have the UBC pickup in my x300, and it sounds horrible next to the 75. If you arent a fan of the 75, there are some here that would love to have them or trade for em Very Happy

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:21 am

Very nice guitar durian. If you can't live with it, please send it my way Very Happy

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:26 am

Iceman wrote:
Westbone wrote:

If you don't like it sell it to me Very Happy


You never came across as someone who would be interested in a thin sounding x350....but myself on the other hand....... Wink Wink

Iceman, I love a thin sounding x350 and that's my opinion to boot. Twisted Evil

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:38 am

Racing wrote:Yes.
The 75 should ring in at approx 8k+

Get a short patch cable.
Chuck that into the output jack.
Measure between the two parts of the male tele and see if those readings are the same as when you measure across the pot/pup selector switch.
It should read within realms approx the same value-given an Ohm or two.
Be aware that the setting of the volume pot will affect the reading,and this pot is of 500k in turn.

If that checks out,unbolt the output jack.
Check to see that the positive signal side(from the volume pot) is the one reaching the tip of the male tele.

Your guitar should NOT sound thin by any measure with those MMK75s. On the contrary. the MMK75 are IMO some of the best MMK pups ever produced and TBH i use 75 equipped guitars more or less on a daily basis and those things ROAR when overdriven.

In short,if they come out sounding less than that something IS wrong.

Hi Racing,

Thanks a lot for the hints.

I have checked with the multimeter the values of some of my other Westones. All poti's full on with the Bridge Humbuckers:
Spectrum SX (red) 10,81 Ohm
Spectrum SX (blue) 11,17 Ohm
Spectrum MX 6,09 Ohm
X300 (pink) 6,68 Ohm
X275 5,55
X350 8,18

In the morning the X350 hat 8,41 as reported to Westbone when I had opened the guitar and this was done in front of the input jack. (So not much lost, but just wanted to be fair with the 8,18 in comparison to the other guitars.)

I mean my favorite pickup is the one in the red SX, however all do sound more smoking, and do have this special crispy sound when you play metal. This is what I am missing with the X350. However the pickups in there do really have the finest sound if you play them clean. But I am missing this special kind of sound when it is overdriven. Even when I play the X275 with (only) 5,55 is blows you away. This feeling is not there with the X350.
Well, I am afraid to resolder everything. I am not sure but my luthier said if you resolder something at least in the high priced Gibsons they lose value. So I am confused at the moment what to do.


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:48 am

Does anybody think, the pickups could be soldered by accident in the out-of-phase mode when it was assembled by Westone?
If so, how can I check for this?


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:00 am

My x300 reads 10.67--- 5.32 when coil split.

your MX probably has the crappy p/up's. Have the polepieces like a + head screw?

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:05 am

durian wrote:Does anybody think, the pickups could be soldered by accident in the out-of-phase mode when it was assembled by Westone?
If so, how can I check for this?

It's a possibility but doubt it.
Does the volume drop dramatically when both p/up are on?

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:08 am

Westbone wrote:My x300 reads 10.67--- 5.32 when coil split.

your MX probably has the crappy p/up's. Have the polepieces like a + head screw?

no head screws, they have black plastic(?) cabs with the W logo on it.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:08 am

Westbone wrote:
durian wrote:Does anybody think, the pickups could be soldered by accident in the out-of-phase mode when it was assembled by Westone?
If so, how can I check for this?

It's a possibility but doubt it.
Does the volume drop dramatically when both p/up are on?

no

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:12 am

durian wrote:
Westbone wrote:My x300 reads 10.67--- 5.32 when coil split.

your MX probably has the crappy p/up's. Have the polepieces like a + head screw?

no head screws, they have black plastic(?) cabs with the W logo on it.

Sorry, please disregard my answer above. I was too much concentrating on the X350

The MX DOES have polepices like a + head screw. Are they not good in your opinion?

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:25 am

No they're not the best by far. There's a few post on here about them somewhere.
Barry and corsair mention it.

Catch you later must do some work.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:33 am

durian wrote:my luthier said if you resolder something at least in the high priced Gibsons they lose value. So I am confused at the moment what to do.


I would see no loss of value in resoldering a guitar with all original parts personally. Unless the original solder is made from some unearthly precious metal Very Happy

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:40 am

Anybody around with another X350 or 390 with these MMK75 pickups who would enjoy an afternoon comparing these beauties?
I really want to find out what is wrong.

Drinks are free, of course Wink .

Sorry forgot to say I'm located in Germany.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by corsair on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:43 am

I'll tell you this for nothing, man - you'll get absolutely nothing outta me until we all get to see your collection! Laughing More pix, please, of all the Westones you've got...!! Cool

I don't have a 75 in a guitar at the moment but I'm going to put one in the back hole of my MX, which has the horrid, thin pseudo-UBC h/b; that should make it squeal a bit louder.... I've heard nothing bad about the 75's but there's always the chance yours got a couple of duds; mind you, given that the X350 was pretty much the flagship, I would doubt it very much! Still, a possibility? Cool

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Iceman on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:02 pm

Westbone wrote:
Iceman wrote:
Westbone wrote:

If you don't like it sell it to me Very Happy


You never came across as someone who would be interested in a thin sounding x350....but myself on the other hand....... Wink Wink

Iceman, I love a thin sounding x350 and that's my opinion to boot. Twisted Evil

Well then, I'm glad that we got that sorted out. Smile But I am still concerned that such a thin sounding axe might not be what you really are looking for (Jedi mind control shot across the bow)
Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Racing on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:59 pm

Iīve never had the pleasure of running 75s in a 350,but i do own several other guitars with 75s in īem and iīm here to tell you that these things ROAR. When set up and handled right.

Only major drawback iīve encountered is that stock they seem NOT to be potted(waxed) and hence have a tendancy to go into uncontrolled feedback.
(at least the ones with tin covers-Ie chrome or gold)
The 75s IMO could best be described as a slightly overwound PAF really and as such will let very much of the tone within the guitar through.
They strike me as having much work put into their EQ character. If youīre soft and sweet to the strings...theyīll whisper...and as you flog it...these puppies will reply in the best of manners.

I for instance run them in both my Aria TA-70 and TA-100 and letīs just say that iīm not a jazz player. Mean n dirty very midscooped bluesrock is the name of the game in my case and once these puppies have been submerged in a tank of wax....hellowsa...

I tend to dial the gain rather stiff ,considering bluesrock,and then trim gain on the guitar. I get away with this as most,more to the point all,of my humbucker guitars have been modded with sc treble bleeds.(1000pF caps across the leading prongs of the volume pots)
Ie;i dial in way more gain on the amp than i really need and control it all at the guitar.

To the point....something IS amiss here cause those puppies should do exactly what they do in my guitars and that is to the letter ROAR under gain. They will NOT take gain forever,but at least way way way beyond healthy doses heavy meta stylel.

Again. Check. That you lack bottom end from them,from your description,tells that it MIGHT be a bad solderjoint. Bass frequencies always takes more power and contact than higher ones by the pure nature of things,and no...i strongly doubt that a pro resolder of the guitar would affect value of it. Altho a rare guitar, it is by no means a silly vintage Gibson. It is way more rare than that and please have in mind that it is not a wall piece.
It is a piece of machinery that craftsmen put together for you to hang over your shoulders and get on a stage to rock peoples asses off.
In short,function before form and a few solderjoints wonīt amount to anything all things considered.

Racing
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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:43 pm

corsair wrote:I'll tell you this for nothing, man - you'll get absolutely nothing outta me until we all get to see your collection! Laughing More pix, please, of all the Westones you've got...!! Cool

I don't have a 75 in a guitar at the moment but I'm going to put one in the back hole of my MX, which has the horrid, thin pseudo-UBC h/b; that should make it squeal a bit louder.... I've heard nothing bad about the 75's but there's always the chance yours got a couple of duds; mind you, given that the X350 was pretty much the flagship, I would doubt it very much! Still, a possibility? Cool

Half of my Westone collection is here. These are the only ones I can send you a picture.


Is there any chance I could get a new pair of 75 pickups. Any offer is welcome! Thank you.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:41 am

Thats a very nice wall of guitars youv'e got there.

Back to your x350, does the volume drop dramaticly when both p/ups are selected?


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:19 am

Westbone wrote:Thats a very nice wall of guitars youv'e got there.

Back to your x350, does the volume drop dramaticly when both p/ups are selected?


Good morning Westbone,

no it doesn't.

How do I know they are out-of-phase?

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:43 am

They're not.
Unsolder the capacitor from the lug on the tone control, see what happens, if anything.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:52 am

Westbone wrote:They're not.
Unsolder the capacitor from the lug on the tone control, see what happens, if anything.

I'm still not sure. If I would resolder anything on my vintage Gibson's they would lose about 5 % of value.
Experts can see the soldering is new.

Perhaps the sound is as it is with these MMK75's. But I have no other X350 to compare with.
Would there be any chance (before I really go the way to unsolder anything) if you could send me a sound file with and without overdrive, so I can compare to mine?
I would be more than happy.

Thank you for all your help so far.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:57 am

Unsoldering will make no difference to the value of your 350.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:55 am

Just made some soundfiles of the X350 and the Spectrum SX humbuckers. However I didn't find out how to add these mp3 files into the topic.

If someone is interested I can email the files.


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Racing on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:35 am

Agreed Westbone.
This ainīt no Gibson and the axe wonīt lose a dime as far as resale value from sorting it out.

Is there any chance I could get a new pair of 75 pickups. Any offer is welcome! Thank you.

No offense,but i donīt get it. You frown upon a resolder but are ok with installing a fresh pair? What did i miss here?

I recap.
Something is amiss somewhere within the signal path. These pickups should be very balanced and warm sounding-even in a hard maple guitar. That they read as they do tells us that both bobbins are in order,so...the issue seems NOT to be the actual pickups per se.
Leaves the pots,cap,outputjack,switch and wiring.

You say they lack bottom end and warmth. Cool. That tells that it might very well be an issue of poor contact point of some sorts. With a scope around it would be easier to sort out,but i presume you lack one as most people do.

With a scope is would be easy enough to hook one lead up to ground and then probe the various open solderjoints to check where signal is lost-both amplitude and frequency.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:45 am

Racing wrote:Agreed Westbone.

No offense,but i donīt get it. You frown upon a resolder but are ok with installing a fresh pair? What did i miss here?


Of course, I wouldn't install another pair of 75's into THIS guitar when I do the test. I would install it into another one and compare the sound, first. If the new set would sound as full as I expect, than I would take the next steps with the X350.


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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:07 am

Having listened to your sound files.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your guitar, thats how they sound, more defined than a MMK 45 as per your Spectrum. Sounds pretty good to my cloth ears.

durian if you don't like it I'll gladly take it of your hands. Smile

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Iceman on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:50 am

Westbone wrote:

durian if you don't like it I'll gladly take it of your hands. Smile

Dude I'm using proven Jedi techniques here, what are you built of, stone?? Shocked

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by durian on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:49 am

Westbone wrote:Having listened to your sound files.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your guitar, thats how they sound, more defined than a MMK 45 as per your Spectrum. Sounds pretty good to my cloth ears.

durian if you don't like it I'll gladly take it of your hands. Smile

It sounds much more different when you hear the babies live.
Okay, I will try to find another X350 or 390 or at least some other MMK75's to have a comparison before I will change the pickups in this X350.
On the other hand anybody is welcome to bring is baby over to do a one-to-one comparison and having some fun :-)

Thank you all for your help.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:53 pm

Iceman wrote:
Westbone wrote:

durian if you don't like it I'll gladly take it of your hands. Smile

Dude I'm using proven Jedi techniques here, what are you built of, stone?? Shocked

What's Jed cyclops some kind of Trekkie
Here's my 'thin' sounding x350



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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Iceman on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:14 pm

Westbone wrote:
Iceman wrote:
Westbone wrote:

durian if you don't like it I'll gladly take it of your hands. Smile

Dude I'm using proven Jedi techniques here, what are you built of, stone?? Shocked

What's Jed cyclops some kind of Trekkie
Here's my 'thin' sounding x350




Jedi: Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, ya' know??? Very Happy

Actually just reponding so that sick axe gets another look (you lucky, lucky guy!!)

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:56 pm

Westbone wrote:Here's my 'thin' sounding x350



Dang that looks good Westbone. Mine has a few extra dings in the finish but here is my thin 350 after the neck work and cleanup since I bought it.

This is my Thin sounding 350 Very Happy




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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Iceman on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:05 pm

Quit rubbin' it in you two!!! tongue

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:10 pm

Iceman wrote:Quit rubbin' it in you two!!! tongue

Sorry - just wanted to see how mine looked next to Westbone's. His is a bit nicer, and I think he takes better photos Smile

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Barry on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:22 pm

I think I want one now. bounce

Thank you. Thank you very much! Swines.

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

Post by Iceman on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:57 pm

Barry wrote:I think I want one now. bounce


Barry I must say NAY-NAY. Smile

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Re: Pantera - 75 Humbucker Pickups do sound very "thin"

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