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Thread: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

  1. #1
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    Default Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    Hi everyone,

    For ten Years now i have been using a Bill Lawrence L500-L.
    I was very attached to it because it talked with Bill Lawrence directly before buying it.
    But recently i have come to the realisation that it's not really what i want.
    Maybe my tastes have changed, but i now find it very shrill and ice picky.

    I am looking for a replacement.

    The guitar is a Burny MG145-5 (X Japan/Hide signature model).
    Fixed bridge and basswood body.
    Agressive and warm.

    For this guitar i want the 80's hair metal tone.
    Think Loudness, Dokken, Iron Maiden etc...

    It needs to have a roaring rythm tone and smooth articulate lead tones for shred, but not ice picky.
    Two things i don't like: muddy and "too articulate" where the notes seem separated.

    Any advice ?
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    Some kind of Duncan is in the offing, I think.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    Hi fellow hide fan!

    Given what you want to play, you probably just want the classic high output humbucker designs.

    Duncan JB or Distortion would do exactly what you want. If you want a bit more clarity maybe the Custom or Custom 5, but they won't be as "hard hitting" or "fat" as the JB.
    Dimarzio Super Distortion and Tone Zone too.

    I believe hide himself used the Dimarzio Super Distortion and Super-3 for years, probably all the way until the day he passed. Same goes for his partner in crime Pata.
    Iron Maiden is famous for using both the Duncan JB and the Dimarzio Super Distortion. They still swear by those 2 pickups even today.
    Akira is known to use the JB and the Custom 5 for years.
    George Lynch has a signature model with Duncan.

    Seems pretty obvious what you should buy, doesn't it? :P

    As for the MG-145X, I think it's actually a mahogany body. Not that it makes much of a difference in this case

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    Quote Originally Posted by daenius View Post
    Hi fellow hide fan!

    Given what you want to play, you probably just want the classic high output humbucker designs.

    Duncan JB or Distortion would do exactly what you want. If you want a bit more clarity maybe the Custom or Custom 5, but they won't be as "hard hitting" or "fat" as the JB.
    Dimarzio Super Distortion and Tone Zone too.

    I believe hide himself used the Dimarzio Super Distortion and Super-3 for years, probably all the way until the day he passed. Same goes for his partner in crime Pata.
    Iron Maiden is famous for using both the Duncan JB and the Dimarzio Super Distortion. They still swear by those 2 pickups even today.
    Akira is known to use the JB and the Custom 5 for years.
    George Lynch has a signature model with Duncan.

    Seems pretty obvious what you should buy, doesn't it? :P

    As for the MG-145X, I think it's actually a mahogany body. Not that it makes much of a difference in this case
    Hi,
    Pleased to meet Hide fans ! I have actually been to Hide Museum just before it closed and saw his guitar collection.

    Back to the guitar the Mahogany body is for the higher price range models mine is basswood.
    I bought it in 2003 but it's from the 90's.

    The higher price range also has the Dimarzio Super Distortion you're refering to.
    But in my experience DiMarzio high output pickups tend to be dark and muddy.
    I never liked any of them except the PAF Classic. I generally like Duncan better i find them clearer.

    Now that i think about it i never properly tested a JB now might be a good time.
    I had one in an Edwards Les Paul (Ken Yokoyama aloha Signature) but i had to sell it.

    The Screaming Demon i like. I used to have one in a JEM and loved it.
    Much better than the evolution which was too trebly. It didnt have that much output
    But it did wonders with tons of gain.

    Maybe i'll just buy both and see which works better.
    The distortion i don't know i tend to stay away from ceramic pickups. I never heard one that sounded good to me.

    Any other suggestions ?
    Last edited by Orange; 08-19-2019 at 04:48 PM.
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  5. #5
    HardtailPisser ibanezrocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    JB

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    Mojo's Minions Ayrton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    Try adjusting your pickup height
    -Chris


    Quote Originally Posted by John Suhr View Post
    Practice cures most tone issues

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    Super Toneologist EDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    This may sound dumb but, do you actually use your tone pot? Like do you set it at anything but 10 or 0 to play a song? A big part of the bill lawrence philosophy to tone is to actually make use of the potentiometers on your guitar and being able to fine tu e your bussines on the fly, try giving the tone pot a ride before considering a pickup swap, on many of these cases what you actually need is to tweak the value of the tone cap to something that you will use more

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    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    E.q. adjustments are all you need, especially with that pickup. It's easy as pie to dial out treble. Adding it when it is not there is the hard thing to do.

    I would suggest an outboard e.q. unit. As mentioned by Ayrton above, changing the pickup height will have effects as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    I use the Wilde L500L in the neck position of a les paul and that puppy just sings and roars with epic splits. I can imagine you finding it harsh but Lawrence pups are always a bit on the trebly, clearer, transparent side of the spectrum (with Dimarzio on the, generally, warmer, woofy, muddy, mushy side and SD in the middle).

    My suggestion would be to start first with a high quality 250K volume pot instead of the often crappy pots found in and associated with imported guitars. The 250k will likely smooth out the highs quite a bit and allow you to assess the tone of the pickup.

    If you want to change immediately, I'd suggest the Black Winter pickup. It's like an SD Distortion but with smoother highs and midrange that's got less of that buzzsaw character. Amazing pickup.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    Quote Originally Posted by EDX View Post
    This may sound dumb but, do you actually use your tone pot? Like do you set it at anything but 10 or 0 to play a song? A big part of the bill lawrence philosophy to tone is to actually make use of the potentiometers on your guitar and being able to fine tu e your bussines on the fly, try giving the tone pot a ride before considering a pickup swap, on many of these cases what you actually need is to tweak the value of the tone cap to something that you will use more
    Well actually that's the problem right here this guitar has no tone pot.
    It has a sustainer which makes it impossible to add another pot in the circuit cavity.
    Which is why i asked on another thread if i could "transform" my volume into a pot by adding a cap. And apparently it is possible.

    I use .33 caps on my george lynch ESP as the .47 gets too dark too quick. That might be the answer. I think i'll try different options see what works the best.

    Quote Originally Posted by orpheo View Post
    I use the Wilde L500L in the neck position of a les paul and that puppy just sings and roars with epic splits. I can imagine you finding it harsh but Lawrence pups are always a bit on the trebly, clearer, transparent side of the spectrum (with Dimarzio on the, generally, warmer, woofy, muddy, mushy side and SD in the middle).

    My suggestion would be to start first with a high quality 250K volume pot instead of the often crappy pots found in and associated with imported guitars. The 250k will likely smooth out the highs quite a bit and allow you to assess the tone of the pickup.

    If you want to change immediately, I'd suggest the Black Winter pickup. It's like an SD Distortion but with smoother highs and midrange that's got less of that buzzsaw character. Amazing pickup.
    Is the black winter good for progressive metal ?
    I also play a lot of dream theater....

    Aren't 250k pots usually for strats ?
    Also, now that i think about it, Is the number of pots relevant ? Because my guitar doesnt have a tone unlike most gibson types. Just a single volume. And i seem to remember something about tone being brighter in that scenario.

    I already ordered a .33uf cap, a JB and a couple of 250 and 300 pots.
    It's time to experiment again i'm very excited it's been years since i've last changed a pickup or altered the electronics.
    This is such a fun process.
    Last edited by Orange; 08-20-2019 at 04:20 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    The reason that not having a tone makes a guitar brighter is because there is more resistance to ground from the signal. Lowering the volume pot value to 250k will allow more treble to bleed to the ground, and has the same amount of resistance as the two 500k pots in your Gibson.

    And about the guitar itself. Did you get the one with the hearts on it?
    Once I had myself a million, now I've only got a dime.
    Difference don't seem quite as bad today.
    With a nickel or a million I was searchin' all the time
    For something that I never lost or left behind.

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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    the black winter is excellent for those kinds of genres.

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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    surely you can add a tone pot to the circuit. You just have to drill an extra hole for the pot. but there's no limitation in the circuitry as to why it shouldn't be possible.

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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    The reason that not having a tone makes a guitar brighter is because there is more resistance to ground from the signal. Lowering the volume pot value to 250k will allow more treble to bleed to the ground, and has the same amount of resistance as the two 500k pots in your Gibson.

    And about the guitar itself. Did you get the one with the hearts on it?
    Yes that's the one, Yellow Hearts.
    Bought in in 2003. Won't sell it ever at least not at a reasonable price.
    I receive emails from people who want to buy it from me on a regular basis though.


    As to drilling an extra hole...
    Well that's not the kind of guitars where you start drilling extra holes....
    And as i mentioned most of the cavity is filled with the sustainer circuitry, and there's also a kill switch and three sustainer switches, so there's really no room at all actually.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Orange; 08-20-2019 at 07:09 AM.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    I think you might be happy with the JB in there. I had an L90L in the bridge of one of my guitars for about an hour. It sports a Super Distortion now and I like it a lot but the JB definitely has more clarity and a woodier tone than a Super D.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    just curious: what's that lower pot?

    about a tone: yeah, I am very disrespectful to integrity. I easily drill an extra hole if I need it to.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    just look at this one. I didn't just drill two extra holes, I routed out the back to accomodate the extra parts and made a new backplate for it. Granted, I do this for a living, but just to show I don't care for initial designs and augment as I see fit

    on topic: 250K pot to start with, otherwise if you wish a tonepot, a concentric pot (no new hole needed).

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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    The
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Locher View Post
    I think you might be happy with the JB in there. I had an L90L in the bridge of one of my guitars for about an hour. It sports a Super Distortion now and I like it a lot but the JB definitely has more clarity and a woodier tone than a Super D.

    I'm definitely more an Alnico guy.
    Like the clarity and the warmth.
    Most Ceramic pickups i have tried were one trick ponies.
    Did that "one" type of sound really well but pretty useless outside.
    From what i've read i think the JB is basically a PAF taken to the extreme which sounds very cool, and i've noticed that a lot of guitar players use it both for rock and metal and that basically seem to cover all the genres i love, from Classic rock to Megadeth.

    Quote Originally Posted by orpheo View Post
    just curious: what's that lower pot?

    about a tone:

    on topic: 250K pot to start with, otherwise if you wish a tonepot, a concentric pot (no new hole needed).
    Concentric pots ! You're a genius that's exactly what i need. I completely forgot about those.

    The second pot on my guitar is the sustain level for the sustainer BTW.

    I have some guitars i experiment on but this one is a signature model so i only do reversible mods.
    Last edited by Orange; 08-21-2019 at 10:07 AM.
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    Super Toneologist jmcorey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    As Itsabass, EDX, and orpheo mentioned, the Lawrence philosophy is to make the clearest sounding pickup and then use your amp to color the tone.

    Like you, I had a personal conversation with Bill Lawrence. He maintained that with his pickups, a player has a larger range in each tone control in which the guitar will sound good.

    One problem that I have is that I believe that all guitars and pickups should sound best clean with treble and bass on 6-7 and midrange on 3-4. But this is obviously not true for every amp, not to mention every guitar and pickup. Jeff McErlaine says, and I think it is right, to adjust your tone controls with your ears and not with your eyes. Try closing your eyes, then move the tone controls around and see what you get. You can probably drop your treble, brightness, and/or presence significantly, then crank up the mids, and get a very good tone, or one that is closer to what you are after.

    For what it's worth, if you want to hear a good use of the L-500L, my favorite recordings are those of Alex Lifeson on Grace Under Pressure, which was done exclusively in an HSS strat with an L-500L. And he was aiming for a bright sound, to help him stand out from the synthesizers that Geddy Lee was playing during that era. But there's no reason you can't turn down the high end and up the mids to get what you want.

    My $0.02.

  19. #19
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    This is like torque vs horsepower. "This twin-turbo 3 litre has more horsepower, you just have to tach it up over 4,000 rpm before it really starts to come alive." Some people like that. Others want a big block V-8 that can pull tree stumps at 1,800 rpm.
    Same with pickups. Different strokes for different folks.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Replacing a shrill Wylde L500-L

    While we're on the topic,
    Does anyone know how the Wylde L500-L compared to the JB and the XL in terms of output ?
    I remember that when i ordered it i was affraid the XL would be "Too much" so i got the L but it's actually pretty hot.
    Last edited by Orange; 08-23-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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