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Frequently Asked Questions

What is wax potting?

Pickups are soaked in hot wax to fill air gaps and keep parts from vibrating which can cause microphonic feedback (squeal)

Are Sheptone pickups potted?

All sheptone pickups are potted, with the exception of humbuckers.

Should I have my humbuckers potted?

If you play at stage volume with floor monitors, or with an amp on high-gain settings, you may get squeal. Sheptone humbuckers are wound and taped tightly, but this may not be enough in some situations. If you get squeal, it may be your height screws and springs. Bend the height screws a couple of degrees in the middle so the pickup wobbles when you loosen or tighten them. This keeps the threads tight on the screws, and actually provides an extra adjustment to help level the pickup with the strings. If in doubt, choose light potting.

Does potting affect tone?

Short answer is yes. The long answer is you probably won't even notice the difference. Potting can reduce some good microphonics, but with scatter winding, the effect is minimized.

Do you offer humbuckers with short legs?

Yes. If you are putting humbuckers in a PRS or a strat, you will most likely need short feet. Humbucker sized P90s come standard with short legs as well.

What string spacing is used on your humbuckers?

All humbuckers with the exception of the Upshot, are vintage 49.2mm spaced.  The Upshot is 53mm.

Will my covers fit your humbuckers?

Most if not all 49.2mm covers will fit.

Do you offer F-spaced humbuckers?

Yes.  The Upshot is F-spaced.  We can also custom build any of our other models upon request.

Do I need 2-wire or 4 wire on my humbuckers?

2-wire is the standard vintage braided wire you will find on most humbucker guitars. If your guitar is equipped with coil split switches or push/pull pots, you will need 4-wire. 4-wire can be used to operate on one coil of a humbucker, or to put two humbuckers out of phase.

What is RW/RP?

This means reverse-wound, reverse polarity. On single coil pickups, when pickups are selected together, they will hum cancel.

What does resistance mean?

Short answer, really nothing. Resistance is used as a reference or rule of thumb to help determine output. It is not a measure of true output, but is enough to help you decide how pickups will perform compared to others. Many factors affect resistance. Long story short, the number of turns of wire and magnet strength determine true output. Average resistance listed on my sets is just that, average. Your set may not match that advertised, but performance will remain the same as the number of turns is always constant.

Do I need to order left handed pickups?

Only on stratocaster vintage and modern stagger is this necessary. All other pickups come with sufficient lead length to wire any guitar.

Do pickups come with mounting hardware?

With the exception of Dogeared P90s, all pickups come with mounting hardware.

How do covers affect humbucker tone?

Adding a metal cover is like adding a very small capacitor to the circuit. Covers slightly reduce high harmonics and "presence," but IMO, they also add another dimension to tone. Pickups with covers act also like a microphone and will pick up string noise as well. All humbucker clips on the site were recorded with covers installed.

Which pots to you recommend?

For humbuckers and P90s, 500-550K pots, for strat and telecaster 250K-275K. WD Music has great +/-9% tolerance CTS pots.

Which capacitors to you recommend?

I personally prefer Paper in oil (PIO) caps for humbuckers and P90s. Caps can be very subjective but I personally like Orange Drops for strat/tele, and Vitamin T caps from Mojotone for Humbuckers/P90. Values of 022 uF for humbuckers/P90 and 047 uF for Strat and Tele. If you want to maintain more highs on humbucker and P90 neck pickups, choose 015 uF for the neck only.

How long do I have to wait for my pickups?

Wait times for all orders are currently 4 weeks.

What if I want a set that is not on the site?

Sheptone offers a wide variety of custom sets, built to order. All custom orders will take 4-8 weeks to ship.
Yes. You can build a set from stock by adding each pickup to cart individually, or you can custom order a set.

Tell me more about magnets?

Magnets are a complicated thing. Each variety of magnet has 3 different "energies." Its coercive force, which is basically string pull. Its field density which determines how much magnetic flux the string is passing through. Finally, it's ability to hold a charge. Sheptone degausses it's magnets specifically to perform properly with each model. In GENERAL, alnico 5 has a dense field, strong coercive force, and excellent ability to hold a charge. Alnico 2 has a weak coercive force (less string pull), a less dense field, and good ability to hold a charge. Alnico 4 falls in the middle with good field density, but has a lower coercive force and good ability to hold a charge. "Alnico 3" is actually "Alni 3" which has no cobalt, and results in a very poor ability to hold a magnetic charge. Alni 3 magnets can be very unpredictable, and only work in certain applications. Sheptone does not recommend the use of alni 3.

What color coding to you use on 4-wire humbuckers?

Sheptone humbuckers use the same color coding as Gibson. You can find a wiring diagram HERE

What is the Peter Green mod?

One magnet in a humbucker set is reversed from the other. This puts the pickups out of phase and results in a "nasal" sound when pickups are selected together.

If I install my humbuckers backwards, are they out of phase?


What methods of payment to you accept?

We accept Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover. I also accept checks or money orders by mail. Please email me to order by mail. When sending payment, please include your email address, phone number, name, shipping address, and the details of what you would like to order.

How are orders shipped?

Domestic orders are shipped by Priority mail, you will receive an email with the tracking number. International orders are shipped Priority Mail via United States Postal Service for a flat rate of $35.00 USD.

What if my pickup doesn't work?

All pickups are tested thoroughly before they are shipped, but occasionally they are damaged in shipping, even if they don't have any obvious physical damage. Measure the DC Resistance on your pickups, and check that a screwdriver sticks to the poles before you install them. If there is a problem, email me and I will replace it.

One pickup is louder than the other, what is the problem?

If your height adjustment is correct, 98% of the time this is caused by a bad potentiometer, a problem in the wiring, an overheated potentiometer or "cold" solder joint during installation. We recommend professional installation for all pickups. Please check these things before you contact me. If the pickup is determined to be defective or damaged in shipment, it will be replaced at no charge.

What is the recommended pickup height?

It depends on the guitar. For most pickups, start with the pickups at 3/16" from the strings with all strings fretted at the 12th fret. First adjust the pickups to equalize volume between them. Next, for pickups with adjustable poles, move poles up and down to achieve the balance you want between strings. Finally, adjust the pickup in small increments up or down to achieve the best tone by EAR. You will find there is a "sweet spot" where the pickups sound best.

Do your pickups come with a warranty?

All Sheptone pickups come with a 1 year replacement warranty which covers manufacturing defects. No other warranties are expressed or implied.

Do you offer a warranty on tone?

Tone is very subjective, and much of it depends on the guitar. If you don't know which set you need, please email me with as much information you can about your guitar, what you don't like, what you like, what pickups are in it, what type of gear you use etc. Most of the time I can nail it, but if for some reason they aren't quite what you wanted, you can exchange your pickups for another set at no charge, provided that the original leads are un-cut and the pickups are undamaged and in new condition.

Can I cancel my order?

Yes, you can cancel your order before they are shipped. If you are ordering from stock, there is a 15% restock fee. There are no cancellations allowed on custom orders.

Can I return a custom order?

Custom orders are not returnable, or refundable, unless damaged in shipment. They are covered under the standard 1 year warranty.

How long will it take you to return my email?

I do my best to answer all emails within 24 hours M-F. It may take me a bit longer on the weekend.

Can I call you?

At this time I am still a one-man operation, and would like to keep it that way. For that reason, I do not accept phone calls. If you would like to speak on the phone, email me your phone number and the best time to call (and what time zone you are in) and I will call you as soon as I can.

Do you do repairs and rewinds?

This is done on a case by case basis.  Please email me with details.

Can I send you my guitar for installation?

For insurance and other reasons, I do not accept guitars for installations.

Can I trade you my gerbil for some pickups?

No. I do not accept trades, mammals or otherwise.