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Why do vintage pickups sound better?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Marquee Moon, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon TDPRI Member

    Age:
    30
    30
    Jun 7, 2018
    New Jersey
    I asked a guy who owned a vintage guitar store this and he said something about how they mined better metal back in the day.
     
  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    My 60s Dynasonic pickup was made by elves in the North Pole. There aren’t any more elves nowadays.:)
     
  3. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Q: Why do vintage pickups sound better?

    A: 'Cuz they're being listened to and compared using vintage ears (wink,wink)!
     
  4. ponce

    ponce Tele-Holic

    Age:
    39
    627
    Dec 21, 2011
    Croatia
    Might be a part of equation.

    People have analized spectroscipically pieces of of wood from Stradivarius instruments and found an anti-wood worm agent made by a chemist from Cremona which influenced the preparati on of the soundboard and also left some mineral deposits in the material. It's supposed to have some infuence on the sound.
     
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  5. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    100
    Oct 17, 2018
    Indianapolis, IN
    Perception vs. Reality?

    Also, remember that in vintage times there wasn't a lot of uniformity in pickup construction, so sound can vary wildly between pickups of the same type and year. You can have some PAFs that sound heavenly, and some that are too muddy or weak etc.
     
  6. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 13, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    This comparison is generalization at it's worst. Not all vintage pickups sound better than anything newer. You have to be kidding.

    There will be an additional response if I can stop laughing. Later .........
     
  7. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Why is the Friday product the one to avoid syndrome? ')
     
  8. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    If you saw the thought bubble over his head when you asked, you might be asking yourself "why did I just set myself up for a lucrative voodoo buy from this guy?"

    :p:Do_O:twisted:
     
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  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    Sound better compared to what?

    A Duncan Antiquity wound to vintage specs sounds like a vintage pickup, to my ear.

    A pickup not trying to recreate a vintage pickup will sound different. Better or worse is a function of what the user is after and wants to hear, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  10. luckett

    luckett Banned

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    Did you ask him how many times he failed chemistry class?
     
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  11. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    Vintage pickups - generally - weren't wound within a mm of their lives, thereby preserving some measure of clarity and sweetness.

    Does anyone know where the best alnico mines are?
     
  12. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    The have a lot of confirmation biasing that makes them sound better.
     
  13. luckett

    luckett Banned

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    Bar or polepiece mine?
     
  14. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Tele-Holic

    Age:
    44
    688
    Oct 1, 2017
    italy
    I think it's just a novel that vintage gear sound better, some probably do but not always, it looks like many people say that by default.
     
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  15. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Jan 23, 2007
    Denmark
    Because, you MUST think so after spending all the money
    Otherwise : they dont.......next question....
     
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  16. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    They didn't mine "better metal," they mined ores that were converted into metal that was not "better." The combinaton of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt into a specific alloy for a magnet was the same in 1959 as it is in 2019.

    Vintage guitars can be sold on their own merit. You're being set up, in a minor way.
     
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  17. blille

    blille Tele-Afflicted

    Because all the bad ones were replaced so the only vintage pickups left are the good ones :)

    And snake oil.
     
  18. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    Winders used to pick their noses far more back in the day .Health and safety have stopped all this .
     
    Gibson likes this.
  19. zipseattle

    zipseattle Tele-Meister

    136
    May 23, 2013
    Crazytown, USA
    "Better" is usually a subjective term. Maybe it's because vintage pickups, and their general sound (single coils, PAF's, P90's, etc.) were there when the industry was new and the "standard" expectations were set for what an electric guitar was supposed to sound like. And the enormous sales of Fender and Gibson probably had as much or more impact in that regard. Same with amps. Those sounds for decades and decades have been heard in all kinds of popular music, so maybe it's what we expect subconsciously when we listen.

    Just speculating...
     
  20. luckett

    luckett Banned

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    So far, only about three people that have responded in this thread even bothered to read the first post.
     
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