can you get a good idea of the voice of the pickup when

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by hopdybob, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    can you get a good idea of the voice of the pickup when you hold it above the strings, not placed in a body but on top?

    i have a bunch of pickups, different size that i would try out to get an idea of the voice/tone it will produce.
    my idea was to turn it upside down and hang it above the strings in some kind of device and hang it to a vol/tone setup before the guitar cable.
    good idea, bad idea?
    shoot ;)
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Not a bad idea, but.. both Leo Fender, and Bill Lawrence had "test beds" made up that were basically "guitars" with a means to insert pickups, mounted on a tray of sorts, so they could be slid into the "body" maintaining something resembling consistency.. little things like how the pickup is mounted and the relative height of the strings over the poll pieces are significant and such allows for the consistency in this. areas.

    r
     
  3. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's

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    likes the mule idea
     
  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    My experience has been it's VERY difficult to maintain a consistent distance from the strings, and it can make a world of difference in just a millimeter's spacing. Ron's suggestion makes a lot of sense, and would give a much better representation of a pickup's sound.....although you'd still want some kind of p/up height adjustment, IMHO.
     
  5. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    The main issue would be that it shall be difficult to play the guitar in real conditions. You should be able to hear the pickup but not to hear it in real playing conditions, whereas it is precisely what matters the most.

    But I do not see why you could not proceed like that for a first and simple test.
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suppose so, a couple wood cubes and mount them to the pickguard with double sided tape. Good idea! Although I have to say, I can't get a good idea of a pickup's sound without playing it a long time or really, playing a gig with it in the band mix.
     
  7. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I tried this once for some experiments, it was too difficult to set an exact distance from the strings. Having to account for that makes it more trouble than its worth, imo.
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Sometimes the magic tone happens in a narrow 1/8th inch height adjustment band. You can make a fixture to hold the guitar repeatably and be ok but you'll need to figure out what the fixture has to be.

    Watch the youtube videos "Joe Walsh Gibsonuk setup" #5 and #6 where he goes over the pickup height adjustments. He takes an ok guitar into amazing tone. Replicate that with your fixture and you can test anything.

    .
     
  9. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    thank you all for the good input.
    it was not so much to get a perfect sound sample, but more if a pickup is loud in compare to an other, bright ore dark in compare to another.
    the test body is offcoarse one of the best options, but than again, i am not planning to do a lot of testing this way.
     
  10. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’d make a rig and get the cheapest POS guitar from a charity shop and put the neck and bridge from it on a base with a big space under the strings at the bridge end to move a pickup platform around. I’d put it in open tuning.

    Could shim the height and move things around and could capo other frets.
     
  11. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    If you're making that sort of comparison, you have to account for how the tone and vol pots will reduce the treble response. IME, this is why specs are good; it's difficult to quickly compare unmounted pickups otherwise. Measurements for a large number of popular pickups have been gathered, without much help from the people who actually make them.
     
  12. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    specs are the problem, don't know what some of them are.
    but maybe a project to make a test guitar for this ;)
     
  13. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    For $100 you can buy a device called an LCR meter that will tell you the important facts about a pickup, electrically. While that's a lot of money by some people's estimation, creating a dedicated test guitar wouldn't necessarily be any cheaper, or easier, in the long run. If you're like I used to be, and buy at least one new set of pickups every couple months, it makes sense to have an LCR meter, so that you can truly tell apart your growing collection of pickups.
     
  14. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    A cheap parts bin DIY idea.

    Take a 2x4, mount 2 bridges with some space underneath. Make a sled- like fixture to mount the pickup and controls that you can slide underneath. Obviously limited, but you can always take the next step and just put them in a guitar.
     
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