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Pickups that "reveal mistakes in your playing" is a myth. Prove me wrong.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Ignatius, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Every now and then I see a reference to a certain pickup (mostly Bardens) as having a "hi-fi quality that will reveal mistakes in your playing".

    I'm sorry but I think this is one of the most ridiculous and laughable internet myths that I've seen.

    I've owned Bardens and several other pickups, along with some very nice guitars and amps. I've also owned or currently own some cheapie stock gear like Squier stuff.

    When I take my cheapest guitar, set my amp on a clean setting and play poorly, I hear my mistakes.

    When I take my guitar that has the most "hi-fi" and clear sounding pickups in it, set my amp on a clean setting and play poorly I hear the same mistakes.

    If I take any combination of guitar and amp and play it through a pile of effects with distortion and flanging/chorus/modulation, some mistakes can be sort of hidden. Sort of.

    I've been playing a long time and I've done countless gigs. I've never owned or heard ANY piece of gear that either reveals or masks mistakes or poor playing.

    But if someone can post a soundclip that proves me wrong, I'll be the first to admit that my opinion is incorrect. I'd really like to hear an example of this.:confused:
     
  2. redstringuitar

    redstringuitar Poster Extraordinaire

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    If a pickup sounds bad, you'll never play at your best.
     
  3. Tycho

    Tycho TDPRI Member

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    I don't know about pickups, but when I play through a really nice amp like a Swart Atomic Space Tone, I'll hear the inherent sloppiness in my playing, such as failure to dampen adjacent strings, accidentally clanking other strings when moving from one string to another, etc. I don't hear those sorts of things when I'm playing through, say, my workhorse Peavey Classic 30 or the Vox DA5 that I keep in my bedroom.

    It just seems to be common sense to me. A better, more high-fidelity amp will pick up absolutely everything you're doing, including the things you wish you weren't doing.
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    and we'll be monitoring this through a set of JBL 4310's or something else at that level? Point is, it really a stretch to try to make a realistic determination of sonic properties on even pretty good computer speakers.

    As for the OP's contention... I agree, great pickups will not make an average player great. The only thing that can do that is practice.

    rk
     
  5. telechaser

    telechaser Tele-Afflicted

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    Any pickup will reveal the mistake in my playing. :lol:
     
  6. tcadam

    tcadam Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually, I find a wah pedal does a fantastic job of covering up sloppy playing (my own, that is).
     
  7. pompeii0

    pompeii0 Tele-Meister

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    I find that bad pickups in a plugged in guitar pick up my mistakes much better then an unplugged guitar with Bardens in it.
     
  8. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    Gary....I would tend to agree. As you have stated, it's the clean setting that gives one nothing to hide behind. That's one reason I respect Albert Lee so much as a Player....It's pretty much Him and a Lexicon delay, and excellent technique....Hows that G-Bender doin ?
     
  9. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If there were pickups that revealed mistakes in my playing, they would self destruct from overload.
     
  10. Big John

    Big John RIP

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    I think you may have answered it yourself, when some players who rely a lot on a distorted tone play a bone clean, no reverb amp it does sound pretty unforgiving, the 'drive' pedal covers a multitude of sins.

    As mellecaster says Albert Lee is not only fantastic at what he does but he does it without compressors and pedal boards etc. and he does it with a clean tone !!

    A pick/up that reveals mistakes ?? -- yeah right, just after i get my jet pack :cool:
     
  11. Tony Forman

    Tony Forman Tele-Meister

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    When all is said and done, it's all in the hands. You either have the hands for it, or you don't. All the rest is marketing with someone trying to sell you something, but at the end of the day when ya get right down to the nitty gritty - it's all in the hands!
     
  12. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's been my experience.

    I don't know about revealing "mistakes," but I think some pickups are more revealing than others. Those are the pickups I seek out, because I find them to be more responsive and expressive; you can make them whisper, scream, rattle, etc.

    Fortunately, that's been my taste from almost day one. As a result, I learned early on how to work with the SKRONKS and CLICKS and CLUNKS -- bring 'em out or smooth 'em out. Now that's just how I play.
     
  13. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I dunno. One time I was sitting in at the Horseshoe Road Inn with Avery Peabody and the Horselickers, and right in the middle of my solo I flubbed a hemi-demi-semitone. It was supposed to be a suspended flatted thirteenth in the mixolydian mode, but instead I just fretted out on middle "A." I thought mebbe nobody would notice, but then I heard this piercing yet nasal voice coming through the speakers, saying, "Hey jerk, you just flubbed that hemi-demi-semi, you couldn't play your way out of a paper bag, nyah nyah nyah." It was my pickup. Boy, was I embarassed. I have since changed pickups for one that praises my playing when it's good, and tries to distract the audience when I flub a note. Last time I flubbed a note, my pickup shouted, "Hey, there goes Elvis!" and half the crowd rushed the exits. But the show got an excellent write-up in the next day's rag. So yes, some pickups will reveal mistakes in your playing, but a good pickup will help you cover your mistakes, and then give you a dressing-down in private after the gig.
     
  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Last year I bought some Don Mare pickups. This was the first set of boutique pickups I ever played, and wow, what a difference. I don't know mistakes from brilliance (there is a fine line between genius and stupid), but boy did I hear all kinds of stuff coming off my strings. I can imagine some players loving this and others hating it.
     
  15. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    It reveals mistakes in my playing. :D

    Seriously, as a G bender it's okay, a novelty perhaps, but the guitar overall is fantastic. You done good!

    [edit: to be clear, the G bender was already in the guitar and my remark about it is no reflection on the work that was done to the rest of the guitar ;)]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  16. falconer

    falconer Tele-Holic

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    +1 :rolleyes:
     
  17. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I agree. When I got my first set of Bardens and played my first chord, I did so with trepidation.

    I then wondered what all the fuss was about and I've enjoyed them ever since.

    :) Peter
     
  18. Poppatwang

    Poppatwang Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't found that pickup. Perhaps because I never make mistakes!
    Though I have played pickups that were decidedly more touch sensitive.
    So maybe a better phrase is exposed nuance rather than mistake.
     
  19. edwardjeffrey

    edwardjeffrey Tele-Holic

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    A good player can make a lousy guitar sound great,the inverse is also true.It doesn't have much to do with the quality of the pickups.
     
  20. winny pooh

    winny pooh Friend of Leo's

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    sales talk... Teles in general show more detail but that is generally due to the location of the PUP in relation to the saddles, very bright!
     
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