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Old January 29th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What Does A Non-RWRP Strat Set Sound Like?

I have a quick question for all the guys with big knowledge-knots...

Strats normally have a RWRP middle pickup which gives a Strat that "qwack" sound in positions 2 & 4, correct?

Well, what does a strat sound like when the middle pickup is not RWRP?


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Old January 29th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The "quack" is a result of middle pickup position relative to the bridge and neck pickups. A vibrating string picked up at those two positions will have some overtones that are PHYSICALLY out of phase, and result in the comb-filter effect we all know and love. RWRP just puts the middle pickup ELECTRICALLY out of phase so that any IDENTICAL signal picked up by both pickups (which can't be string vibration, due to pickup placement) will be cancelled out as 180 degrees out of phase. Thus, any buzz, RF or interference disappears without affecting the sound. So there is no audible difference in sound with a RWRP pickup except for the absence of noise.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When there's less noise, you tend to allow yourself to turn up the tone on your guitar and the treble on the amp, and this might be why some people think they hear a difference. I agree there should be no difference in the tone signal. Both of my strats have RWRP middles and it's great.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What they both said.

Meaning, there is no tonal or other reason except 'authenticity' to use a non RWRP middle pickup on a Strat, given access to the same pup in RWRP.

But in reading DeafEddie.net, I also realize if noise canceling is not a primary concern, there's no reason you can't match up two pickups that aren't RWRP towards one another, if they're the only ones you got that so happen to sound a certain way, say a bridge and neck out of a Tex Mex Tele pup set. I may try some of his mods on one of my MIM Nashvilles with that middle 'Strat' pup taken out.

I mean, quack is cool but so is series out of phase.

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Old January 29th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm going to get slammed for saying this...

But I can hear the difference between a Strat set of pickups with an RWRP middle, and the same set, with the middle pup not RWRP....but otherwise, same specs.

The first time I noticed this was about 10 years ago, with Duncan Antiquities for Strat. When they first came out, they did not offer an RWRP for middle, which didn't bother me a bit. I love the Antiquities. When they came out with an RWRP...I got GAS ....and figured that I had to have one. When I put it in, I noticed immediately that it didn't sound as good. I took it back to the store and they let me trade it out for another one. Same thing.

So I called Duncan and got to talk to Seymour about it. He confirmed that the sound is not always the same...just minus the hum. He said that it can make some tonal changes, which are more noticeable in lower-output pickups....especially if you having them riding really low in the pick guard, which is how I set up my Strats.

But I'm not a snob about it. I'm not all "Eric Johnson" about it...
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