Note to self, regarding picking pickups…

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by LGOberean, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    People stack excessive coloration in multiple stages on top of each other. If your pickup has strong coloration and you have a distortion, an EQ, amp settings, etc all on top of each other, you're stacking a bunch of holes and boosts on top of each other. Everything about it is counter to a balanced starting point.

    Some huge portion of tone issues can be untangled by saying try the tone knob and don't suck out all the mids or boost the bass as high as possible (changing the cable capacitance being the next option). It's much harder to repair an unbalanced voice with an EQ pedal than to just make those 10 seconds adjustments on the guitar and amp. If it was a single system making all the modifications, maybe having as many options as viable could be a good idea, but having all these stages that each come with a player's imagined default makes that almost entirely worthless.
     
  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree that stacking coloration can lead to problems. You start to get comb filtering, loss of harmonics, loss of tone....it's always refreshing to plug straight in with
    a good cord and see what sounds you can get out of a good amp coupled to a good guitar.
     
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  3. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, for example if the pickup has a prominent resonant peak it is hard to guess by ear, what frequency it is centered on. Basically the systematic approach should be to first level everything flat, then substitute the colorations you want to use. It's easy to do the latter by ear but not the former.
     
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  4. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    One example is, as I understand it, distortion pedals often have a single tone knob, and then fixed attenuation of the top and bottom end, so as to restrict the guitarist from making the sound muddy by increasing the low end, or shrill by increasing the high end, and only letting them modify the less easily offended mid range, to suit the mix of the band. It also results in a lower common denominator, the gear becomes known for doing a particular thing, giving it identity. Most of the famed guitar gear is also the most limited in terms of options. Its like McDonalds, fewer choices means happier customers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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  5. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    And then you have the player boosting treble and bass at the amp even more and additionally cutting mids on the pedal in a different shape than the amp would (and is). You basically can’t know what’s happening anymore after a couple stages of that.
     
  6. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    The Chinese made vintage spec Alnico pickups from a guy in Staten Island, New York, whose company is called Guitar Madness, sound as good as many more expensive Fender, Duncan, and Dimarzio pickups, and are crazy cheap. I put a set of his 62z in my Am Pro Strat, which are vintage spec Alnico V Strat pickups that cost $25 a set on Ebay with free shipping, and they sound better to me than the stock V-Mod pickups that came in that guitar, and as good as any Strat pickup I've tried at any price. He has Tele pickups too for equally low prices. And if you try some and don't like them you're not out $100-200 like you would be with the others.
     
  7. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    There are a handful of players that humble-brag about plugging straight into the amp. I don't think they love the added complexity of a stacked signal chain, its an evil they would rather avoid.
     
  8. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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