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Thread: Newark Street Pickup Balance

  1. #1

    Newark Street Pickup Balance

    I know that it is well known that the Newark Street Starfires have pickups that are...lets say shrouded in controversy? They have different resistances, with the higher resistance being in the neck, instead of the bridge (like traditional set ups).If I remember correctly the difference is fairly substantial. Like...7k in the neck, and 5k in the bridge. Guild says they use different wire gauge to balance this. Blah...Blah...Blah. It's been discussed.

    But here's my question/issue: Lately I have felt like my neck pickup was a little too bass heavy. It also distorts much quicker and easier than the bridge. By the time I have the bridge set up to do a lead line or solo, the neck pickup is almost unusable without some kind of adjustment to volume or tone. Which is fine...but frustrating (it's not fine ). After nearly two years of being in love, the honeymoon is over. While I am still in love, I'm wanting a little more from my star fire V. Would rearranging the pickups solve this problem? I've been considering putting the neck pickup in the bridge for hotter lead lines, and the bridge pickup in the neck slot... But I'm hesitant.

    I know it should be a simple soldering job, but I've never worked on a a semi hollow before, and barely put any work into solid bodies. I'm definitely new to soldering in general. So I guess I am looking for some guidance before I get my hands too dirty. Any insight would be helpful.

    Thanks in advance!


    P.S. If this has already been covered - I couldn't find it. I know duplicate threads become cumbersome, so please post a link for my reading pleasure.

  2. #2
    A NS Guild likely has quick release connectors on the pickups that will make this all much simpler with no sokdering involved. Itís possible that they donít depending on when it was made, but if theyíre there it will be pretty easy compared to soldering.
    Last edited by GAD; 12-14-2018 at 07:03 PM.

  3. #3
    That would be fantastic! I bought it jan of 2017. So hopefully the quick connector. But it sounds like I've got to get my hands dirty from here. Thanks!

  4. #4
    If I get another NS Guild with reissue anti-hums I plan to flip-flop the pickups just to find out how well that works. But I like my T-bird as is. The bridge pickup compresses less into fuzz & other high-gain pedals than typical HBs.

    (One of my '70s SGs from a couple years ago has "mismatched" Super Humbuckers, ~5K for the neck and ~7.5K for the middle & bridge (it's a Custom), but I don't think the neck p'up uses different wire than the others. Regardless the SG's config works pretty well. I didn't like the Super HBs much 'til I plugged into my Hi-Tone (Hiwatt repro)…they work great with this amp.)

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    1999 X-170T
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 T-bird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  5. #5
    Flip flopping the pickups will lead to misaligned pole pieces, although that's not the end of the world. have you tried lowering the neck pickup right down? This can significantly reduce bass response. Another tip is to put a 1MΩ pot on the neck volume. That worked great in my Ric. It does require soldering, though.
    1957 X175 (ex)
    1960 Starfire III (ex)
    1962 X175
    1966 Starfire III (ex)
    1966 Duane Eddy DE-400
    2002 Starfire III-90

  6. #6
    I lowered the neck as parker_knoll said and put a second neck pickup in the bridge position of my Starfire IV. The mis alignment of the pole pieces looks odd at first glance, but, has no noticeable ill effects on the sound. I could not be happier with the result.
    "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.' Groucho Marx

  7. #7
    The polepiece positions aren't that important so long as they're "in the vicinity." Lotsa classic pickup designs are one size fits all, with no ill effects.

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    1999 X-170T
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 T-bird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  8. #8
    I'd give it a try. It does sound like the neck is too hot creating mud.
    Forget the pole piece issue. It doesn't matter. I've used the "wrong" pickups on many builds. Gibson on Fender etc. It matters little if any.
    If it did matter you would have problems every time you stretch a string....

  9. #9
    I asked a reputable boutique pickup builder about pole piece alignment in reference to F-spaced pickups and his response was that it was purely for esthetics and had an immeasurably small effect on tone.
    '70s: [ S70 | S300ADs ]
    '80s: [ X79-3 | X80s | X82 | X100 | X175 | S281 | BHM1 ]
    '80s: [ Detonator | Liberator + Elite | SF4 | AA ]
    '90s: [ S100 | X160 | X170 | X170T | SF3,5 | BB | NB | NB DX ]
    '90s: [ X2000 | X3000 | X4000s | DV72 | BHM1 | JF30-12 | Songbird ]
    '00s: [ SF3 | SF4 | B-90 | BB-90 | X160R | X500T | D55 ]
    '10s:
    [ Jetstar | R30 | D55 ]

    My Reviews: GADsGuilds.com

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by guitarslinger View Post
    I lowered the neck as parker_knoll said and put a second neck pickup in the bridge position of my Starfire IV. The mis alignment of the pole pieces looks odd at first glance, but, has no noticeable ill effects on the sound. I could not be happier with the result.
    no soldering required and knowledge gained. Bien fait.
    1957 X175 (ex)
    1960 Starfire III (ex)
    1962 X175
    1966 Starfire III (ex)
    1966 Duane Eddy DE-400
    2002 Starfire III-90

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