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Thread: Firebird pickup question

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    Ultimate Tone Member Sleeping Martyr's Avatar
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    Default Firebird pickup question

    So I've been obsessing on Neil Young lately and have been researching his tone and how he uses a firebird pickup in the bridge of his "goldtop" They also say that the vintage firebird pickup he uses has two magnets in it instead of one. Is that standard for firebord pickups or just a vintage thing?? And how incredibly different would a firebird sound compared to a firebird pickup in a les paul?? . . . I really don't know firebirds, thanks guys.
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    Default Re: Firebird pickup question

    I'm not sure of the magnet arrangement, but it has 2 coils since it is a humbucker. It could have one magnet serving both coils. Never opened one up.
    Last edited by MultiCaster; 11-16-2008 at 10:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Firebird pickup question

    If it's a Firebird pickup, it's a minihumbucker and thus uses only one magnet.
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    Ultimate Tone Member Sleeping Martyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Firebird pickup question

    Heres what I read:

    Gibson Les Paul Ol' Black

    From Gibson Guitars on Neil's Les Paul Ol' Black:

    The Firebird mini-humbucker appears outwardly like the mini-humbucker used on other Gibson guitars such as the Les Paul Deluxe, except for its solid cover. Underneath, however, critical differences are revealed. Whereas the standard, Epiphone-derived mini-humbucker is designed like a PAF-type humbucker but narrower, with a bar magnet placed beneath the two coils and in contact with the individual steel pole pieces running through them, the Firebird pickup is constructed with two alnico bar magnets, positioned one each within the two coils, in a dual-blade-styled design. Using magnetic material within the coil helps to increase a pickup's definition and treble response; the Firebird pickup is, therefore, a little weaker than the standard PAF-style humbucker or mini-humbucker, and also a lot brighter than either. As heard in Young's playing, it's also a very lively pickup, with a certain amount of microphony contributing to the dimension of the sound, and also easing the way to feedback, a tool that Young exploits like few other players. (For a shortcut to Neil Young's feedback zone, check out the 1991 release Arc, a montage of feedback segments at the beginnings and ends of songs from the Ragged Glory tour, the full songs themselves released on the live Weld album.)
    Epiphone Sg - Kent Armstrong P-90n, Anderson H3b
    Epiphone Les Paul Limited edition - TB-14b, FREDn
    Dean FBD ML - SH13b, Zebra '59n
    Waynes World Squire MIJ strat - Antiquity surfer set
    Ovation acoustic

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    Default Re: Firebird pickup question

    I think Neil's is unusually microphonic. That's one part of the equation of his tone. The other is his amp setup.
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    ObsoleteChickenPickingologist Butch Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Firebird pickup question

    Nice description by Gibson. Here's what I know....

    The Firebird PUP is a different pickup from the Epiphone Mini Hum. Both feature Alnico magnets. The Deluxe is just like a MINI HUMBUCKER with the magnet bottom loaded, and with one row of adjustable polepieces. The Firebird pickup has a magnet in each coil, a vertical magnet like a Fender, and has no adjustable polepiece.

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    Default Re: Firebird pickup question

    They are mini coils, but with a bar magnet in each coil...not just minis with a solid cover.

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