Kramer Baretta clone sounds honky/cocked wah almost

SilkWilk

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I'm probably opening a can of worms here but I feel like I've racked my brain and tried enough experiments at this point to finally put this out there to masses and get others opinions.

A few years ago I built a 84/85 Kramer Baretta clone. I got an all maple body from Chris Locke (heavy as hell to I had no idea lol) an original 1985 Kramer Baretta banana neck. I put a 1984 Floyd Rose with brass block on it, as well as a Seymour Duncan Custom Custom (SH-11). a no frills 500k pot and a switchkraft barrel jack. The guitar body is still unfinished as I've never been satisfied with the tone to spend the time painting it. The guitar plays great, I ws surprised how skinny the old 80's Baretta necks were, not my preference but for nostalgia its cool.

Since day one this guitar has always sounded honky....or very much a cocked wah type of tone. The treble strings sound pretty good and sing in the higher registers. But my bass is terrible, its boring and flat, without much power and when hitting your standard power chords it just sounds muddy and honky. Single notes all over the guitar tend to sound similar to a cocked wah tone.

I've raised and lowered the pickup, tried to adjust the conductor screws, hanged pots, I threw in a cheap ceramic humbucker I had laying around. I rewired the guitar several times. I just recently put the Custom Custom back in and it does sound better then the ceramic cheapy.

Is is the maple body? have you guys experienced this before with maple guitars - when I listen to demos of Kramers current models with maple they sound a little quacky to me too but they dont seem to be lacking in gain/power or definition on the low strings.

Could it be a simple matter of wood type?

I'm about out of ideas - thanks!
 

V-man

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credit given where due on trying another pup, but that is where I would center focus (finding a darker pup). LPs incorporate maple caps for their supposed brightness. Assuming that plays a part, the most prominent alterations in tone should be the pup and the wiring (pots, cap, etc).
 

SilkWilk

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credit given where due on trying another pup, but that is where I would center focus (finding a darker pup). LPs incorporate maple caps for their supposed brightness. Assuming that plays a part, the most prominent alterations in tone should be the pup and the wiring (pots, cap, etc).
Thanks man appreciate the response. I’ll do some research and see if I can’t find a better complimented pickup.

Do you think a 250k pot would make a difference for better or worse?

I had a different custom custom in a alder bodied strat when I first started out and loved it. I should throw the current CC into my les pul and see what it sounds like
 

V-man

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Thanks man appreciate the response. I’ll do some research and see if I can’t find a better complimented pickup.

Do you think a 250k pot would make a difference for better or worse?

I had a different custom custom in a alder bodied strat when I first started out and loved it. I should throw the current CC into my les pul and see what it sounds like

I have an explorer that I dropped a BKP into from an Epi V I sold off. The BKP sounded fine in the Epi, but is muddy ass in the Explorer (which used to have a EMG 81). My first suspect is the pot/wiring being a single vol/no tone, but if not, it’s one lf those cases of not liking a pup in one guitar that I liked in another.
 

Kinkless Tetrode

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It's probably not the maple body. I have a maple Charvel that sounds great. Try a diffrent magnet in the custom custom first. The CC has an alnico 2 magnet. It gives a rolled off treble and rounded off bass. This puts focus on mids which could cause a cocked wha response. An alnico 5 magnet will give it a clearer treble and a punchier bass, while making the mids sounds less prominent. It will turn the pickup into a custom 5. The same pickup with a ceramic magnet is the standard custom.

You don't have to buy a new pickup yet. Trying different magnets is relatively cheap too.

If different magnets don't work you could try something like the 59 custom/hybrid . Don't go toward the PAF Pro family of Dimarzio's because they are designed to give a cocked wha response. The JB is said to work very good in maple with a 250k pot although I have no first hand expeirence there.
 

Filipe Soares

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I´d try new a new pot, different pickup. I have two maple body guitars, a gunslinger with a X2N and a Ultra V with a Custom V. sometimes a pickup works in a guitar and sometimes not.

i´d particularly go with a parallel axis or a duncan distortion.

edit: 3... also a carvin with the original pickup
 
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mrjones2004x

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I had a Kramer baretta vintage which was a maple body with a JB pickup. Never got on with the sound as always sounded mid honky, possibly how you say kinda wah sound at a set point. I put on a s/d triple shot ring for extra tonal options and a push pull but never got a sound I enjoyed. Didn’t want to go the route of pickup swapping so eventually sold it on for an Evh if memory serves me correctly
 

DirtySteve

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I had a maple body Godin at one time that I could never get to sound good. It played great but sounded dull and lifeless no matter what pickups I put in it. Pickups that sounded great in other guitars didn't sound good in that guitar. I finally gave up and traded it in for something else.
 


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