Seymour Duncan Apollo oddity- fail

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by vindibona1, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. I was all psyched up to get my new Apollo 5 string "noiseless" pickups from Sweetwater. They sent them out right away and they came a day early. I was replacing the stock single coils in my MIM Jazz 5. It already has an Audere Pro Z preamp in it and the singles functioned fine with it. The wiring is as simple as can be.

    So I got everything hooked up as instructed.... and HUMMMMM. I mean worse than single coil hum. Hum with neck. Hum with bridge. Hum on center detent. Whah????

    So I called Dave at Audere and we went through the wiring and everything checked out but left us both scratching our heads.

    I called Seymour Duncan customer support number and got the "leave a number for callback" message. No return phone call. After an hour called again- same thing. One day later still no callback after 2 calls.

    I took a break to run some errands and came back to it, thinking that maybe if I reversed the hot and common on one of the pickups maybe that would fix it. So I did that... It got rid of the noise, and I called Dave back to ponder what had happened. He told me to put some strings on it (which I had not yet done)... Yeah, the noise was gone... but Dave identified that the two pickups were out of phase with each other! Each pickup was marked and identified as Apollo neck and Apollo bridge as it was on the boxes.

    Well... In light of the fact that even with Audere Dave's coaching we couldn't get the setup to work. So the pickups went back to Sweetwater today, but my rep took care of me with some Aguilar AG 5J-HC pickups (which are on backorder.. but I can wait). I never in 1000 years would have guessed that I'd ever have such problems with a $190 set of pickups.

    One more thing... The lead wires from the SD pickups were super-short. In fact, the bare wire on the bridge pickup barely had enough length to hook up to the ground and not enough extra length on the wires themselves to split them to get extra wire to work with. Oddly, the leads came from the far side of the pickup to the controls. They were attached to the pickup the length of the pickup. Could someone have reversed the covers causing me to install them upside down????

    Anyone ever have anything like this happen or have any other thoughts?
  2. Retread


    Jan 12, 2019
    Denver Metro
    Did you ever get a callback from SD on this? I'm looking at the same kind of swap on my MIM Jazz 5 (standard - no preamp), and the lack of response is kind of concerning.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I was just trying to decide between DiMarzio or S.D. for a project guitar I'm working on. There's a local S.D. rep. & they told me it would take two weeks to get in the set of pickups I wanted to order.
    In light of the support issue in this thread, I think I'll stick with DiMarzio's. It will make it easier to wire it anyway, since it's an Ibanez & there are plenty of wiring diagrams with DiMarzio's color scheme.
    Axstar likes this.
  4. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    I am sorry that you haven't heard back. You can try the direct customer service email (bypassing the form) here. I will try to see why you haven't gotten a call back.
    BlueTalon likes this.
  5. No callback. I had left 2 messages a few hours apart. It's odd that they didn't have anyone to pick up and there was no callback. There were other times in the past when I had no trouble getting through. I had to rely on the good nature and expertise of Dave at Audere to help me figure things out. Maybe I did something wrong? Dave had me measure the pickups with a multi-meter, and FWIW the resistance was about 9.7 ohms.

    I wonder too wonder if a preamp is necessary with these pickups? On the demo video they sounded nice and punchy. I just had the preamp from a year ago and the only gripe I have with it is that it can't switch to passive mode, but the Z switch is suppose to simulate passive in the center position. I dunno. Sounds pretty good.

    BTW... These Apollo pickups seem to be in short supply with limited retailers carrying them. Sweetwater didn't have them as a set, but as individual neck and bridge pickups. They were marked (supposedly) correctly but because they didn't show up as a "set" there could have been something there? I don't know.

    So in the meantime the magnets from the stock pickups separated from the rest of the pickups and I can't seem to get them reinstalled properly :( so my bass is on the sidelines until the Aguilar pickups come in (which are also on backorder). What's with this limited supply of noiseless 5 string pickups????
  6. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    +1 for sticking with Dimarzios.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  7. I have DiMarzio noiseless pickups in one of my Strats and like them a lot. I didn't think to check them out for bass pickups :0
  8. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If the pickups were made with two relatively equal coils, all you need to do is get them hooked up right (one half having reversed winding), and they should cancel hum. Did these have 4 wire connections?

    Later edit: I see they don't have 4 wire connections. If they got the wiring wrong at the factory, you'e hosed - no way to get them to cancel. Not sure if that's the issue or not, but given you have no options for parallel wiring or anything, I'd stick with Dimarzios myself. I've had one bass or another with one or more Dimarzio J's on it for.....almost 40 years.
  9. I think Dave at Audere who is an electrical engineer figured it out that one was wired out of phase and... that I was "hosed" with those pickups. Sweetwater took them back no issues and ordered me a set of Aguilar AG 5J-HC which I'm familiar with because i have a set of the 4J's in my Jazz 4 and with DR Sunbeams are terrific- and quiet. Unfortunately they are backordered and this bass may be sidelined for a month. The stock pickups separated upon uninstalling.