Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

General FAQs, manuals, catalogs, schematics, serials, & guides
rmora88
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by rmora88 »

How is it that is positions exactly? Is there foam that gives it that "resistance" so that it holds in place as you're screwing it down again?? Equal turn on each side as you screw down??
rmora88
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by rmora88 »

vjmanzo wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:32 pm In general, if pickups are too high, the magnets will pull on the strings while you’re playing, but beyond that, I don’t think there’s a lot that can go wrong.

Go for it! 😉
Quick question.. do you know if the Fly's came with treble bleeds on the volume pots?
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vjmanzo
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by vjmanzo »

Hey @rmora88, to me, “treble bleeds” most often implies an aftermarket mod, and I don’t think our Fly electronics did that particular trick by default, but here’s the schematics we have for reference. Is there an odd-looking circuit in your Fly?? Maybe post a photo?
rmora88
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by rmora88 »

Ahhh ok, well no I just thought I'd ask because I install one on every one of my guitars as I ride the volume A LOT.. but with my Parker it doesn't seem to need one? Wondering if no need for a trable bleed has to do with the circuit/ pcb that Parkers have?? What do you think?
mmmguitar
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by mmmguitar »

I’m unaware of any Parkers having left the factory with a resistor and/or cap soldered across the input and output lugs of its volume pot(s) for the sake of high-pass filtering. If there were, I’d be curious to hear why.

Anecdotally, I too find the mag signal being buffered by either the Fishman or Graphtech preamps to seem to affect both the way the pots interact with the pickups, as well as the perceived dynamics and EQ of the pickups, themselves. In my case, it’s something I dislike (I tend to rewire my Flys to have the mag circuit be 100% passive, with a treble bleed on the volume pot and a 12k resistor along the tone pot’s shunt to ground).

Some here have the refined Fly mod where you can switch the mag circuit in and out of the piezo circuit. Perhaps they’ll chime in with their perceptions.
SoniaJackson
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by SoniaJackson »

Hi, oooh damn your gorgeous white guitar looks just adorable, I'm looking and dying dude!!!!!
rmora88
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by rmora88 »

SoniaJackson wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 11:21 am Hi, oooh damn your gorgeous white guitar looks just adorable, I'm looking and dying dude!!!!!
Thank you! Has been my dream guitar since I was 13 years old or so.. love them!


Do you have any??
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Alejandro
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by Alejandro »

@vjmanzo I know this is a matter of taste and personal preference, but what's a sweet spot for the pickup height (as measured from the top of the poles to the strings in 32nds/inch fretting at 24)? I currently have around 4/32 on the low E and 3/32 on the high E at the bridge pickup.
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Alejandro
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by Alejandro »

I forgot to mention, I have pre-refined Deluxes and Classics only.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by vjmanzo »

Hey @Alejandro; I can measure mine, but, in principle, I keep them as low as they go. I use 10s and I have the action as low as they go as well.

Side note: I meant to respond to your post the other day about Gen 1s; yes, DiMarzio still has the specs on how they made the Gen 1s, and if you ask them, they’ll wind them for you.
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Alejandro
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by Alejandro »

vjmanzo wrote: Sat May 22, 2021 6:55 pm Hey @Alejandro; I can measure mine, but, in principle, I keep them as low as they go. I use 10s and I have the action as low as they go as well.
Yes, @vjmanzo Whenever you can, measure your pickup heights (in 32nds or 64ths) for the sweet spot, sonically speaking (if there is such thing). I've heard criticism of the Gen1s Flys in the guitar world for as long as I can remember, and the complains have to do with the pickups sounding "weak" or "thin". I don't feel like my pickups are weak or thin at all. I feel like I'm either missing something or those comments are more urban myth than anything else. I'm getting tired of the criticism. I mean, the ToneZone (if that's what the Fly Gen1 has) can't possibly be called weak or thin. Come on, the ToneZone and Air Norton are medium-to-high power humbuckers. The thing that I have noticed is that most Flys I've had came with the pickups very low and far from the strings. I've come to suspect that's what was causing people to complain. And of course, people don't know how to adjust the Fly's pickup height; so it's easier to complain about them. lol Anyways, I really want to get to the bottom of the mystery. Is it myth or reality that the Gen1 pickups are weak, or is it just people having them too low and far from the strings (I mean 7 or 8 32nds from the strings while fretting the last fret; that's really low)
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vjmanzo
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by vjmanzo »

Will do—I have this info in a spreadsheet for each of my Flys, so I’ll get back to you soon.

Yeah, I’ve heard the same criticisms about the Gen 1s, but, personally, they are my stock favorite Fly pickups (over Gen 2s, and the Duncans—though that Jazz neck pickup is really great). I don’t think most guitarists understand the basics of what pickups do and, as a result, don’t set themselves up for success. Good strings are a necessity, so the discounted Guitar Center Midnight Madness grab-bag giveaway super-light-gauge strings in conjunction with the flimsy plastic pick with the website URL on it of the Bananarama tribute band you saw last night is not going to give the pickup enough to work with in terms of a good strong signal. 🙃

Lots of guitarist tell others “set ‘em high and let ‘em fry”, and it’s true that setting the pickups closer to the strings can be the right thing for some players, but it’s not right absolutely. For me, I tend to keep them pretty low as, to me with my ears and my signal chain, I find that the Gen 1s warm up a bit when they’re lower.

Just my opinion. The Gen 2s are also quite nice, but they are hotter and I don’t necessarily always like a hotter pickup, so I tend to put a 5dB cut in the chain after my Fly hits my preamp before the tone-shaping elements of my signal path.

To me, without even discussing what it takes to dial in a good amp sound, I do feel quite strongly, as I’ve mentioned, that changing string brands/gauges/materials is the ticket to producing a very noticeable change in timbre with very little investment and effort.
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Big Swifty
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by Big Swifty »

Hi folks,

Cpl of quickies...

Treble bleed: as far as i know, table bleed circuits aren't required on active guitars, ie guitars with pre/buffer-amp etc like the Fly. Theres undoubtably some complex electrical theory behind this, but I don't know it

Pickup height adjustment: as noted in posts above, you need to unscrew the whole pole-piece screw before the pickup "lets go" and you can adjust the height, because the hole where the screw goes through plastic bobbin is threaded as well.
I dunno....I actually found this a pretty daft way of doing things (soz Ken, but WTF were you actually thinking? ;-) ) and ended up drilling out the thread with a bit just big enough to still fit in the hole, but get jammed on the threads.
This means the pickup now slides freely on the screw, rather than acting like a nut on bolt.
So i removed the rubbery foam stuff and used business cards to shim the pup to height, tightened down the screw and bobs your uncle! Works a treat.

There ya go

Ciao

B.S.
The system can't get you in your dreams.
E-Rock
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by E-Rock »

Hello, new member here. Question on the pickups in the original pre-refined Fly Jazz model - I’ve read that the Dimarzios in that model were slightly different than the stock Fly pickups (Gen 2?) at that time. Does anyone know what was different about them? Were they based on another existing Dimarzio model? Were both the neck and bridge pickups unique to the Fly Jazz, or was it only the neck pickup that was different?
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vjmanzo
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by vjmanzo »

Hi @E-Rock, welcome!!

Great question: I contacted DiMarzio about this a few years back and they confirmed that there was nothing different in the wind for these pickups. The gold pole pieces were supplied by Ken and his team and that was the only difference, which was purely cosmetic. @Ken Parker confirmed the same info about a year or so ago though, as he admits: he doesn’t quite remember.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by rmora88 »

@vjmanzo or ANYONE who can help...

Do you know where I could buy replacement pots for a 1998 (Ken Parker-Era Fly) Fly Deluxe? Also... if I'm using only a mono cable.. if I press down on the RED Stereo Switch on the side of the guitar and then switch the selector to "Piezo" and the sounds cuts out completely... is that normal?


Also.. I need to replace (1) Sperzel Trim-Lok Tuner in BLACK... any idea where to buy them these days??



Any info helps get my Deluxe back in good shape.



Thanks,
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vjmanzo
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by vjmanzo »

Hey @rmora88
rmora88 wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:44 pm Do you know where I could buy replacement pots for a 1998 (Ken Parker-Era Fly) Fly Deluxe?
Yes, see the Anatomy of a Fly parts list.
rmora88 wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:44 pm Also... if I'm using only a mono cable.. if I press down on the RED Stereo Switch on the side of the guitar and then switch the selector to "Piezo" and the sounds cuts out completely... is that normal?
Yes, see the manual.
rmora88 wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:44 pm Also.. I need to replace (1) Sperzel Trim-Lok Tuner in BLACK... any idea where to buy them these days??
Yes, see the Anatomy of a Fly parts list.

👍🏻
rmora88
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by rmora88 »

@vjmanzo


Thanks so much!! I will check these out and get back to you.
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by rmora88 »

@vjmanzo

This may already been mentioned... but I need to lower my pickups a bit... do I have to remove strings to do so? I know I have to unscrew the hex screws, but do I completely off? Push down? Hold in position and screw back in??


I'm so lost on this process that I have not attempted it yet, and it's bugging me to not fully understand it.



Thanks,
mmmguitar
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Re: Fly Pickups (Gen 1, Gen 2, and Other)

Post by mmmguitar »

@rmora88, Fly pickups have a thin cushion of material glued to the baseplate, and you’ll compress this material by pushing down on it. Unscrew the two mounting screws until the pickup is free to move, push the pickup down to compress the cushion, then retighten the screws while keeping the pickup pushed down to the desired height. Note that there is little actual room to lower the pickup.

If you want the pickup even lower, remove the strings from the guitar, then loosen the pickup mounting screws until the pickup can be lifted up out of the rout. Turn the pickup over and remove the cushion by either peeling or prying it off, then replace the pickup and screw it back into place.

For what it’s worth, the lack of pickup height adjustment may be my least favorite Fly quirk.
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