Proposal to cut through the muck of pickup descriptions towards a universal set of criteria

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by mountainhick, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    Probably un-doable at two levels, first to get agreement on criteria, then to get people to play along, but here goes:

    Every time I read this pickup forum, I become only more confused about how pickup A,B and C compare, and the more posts, the more complex the number of descriptors. In short it serves to confuse more than clarify my possible choices. The result is always analysis paralysis, and I don't make the leap to plunk down cash to try a darn thing.

    So my proposal: Can we come up with a review system, keep it to a relatively small/reasonable amount of specific criteria, perhaps impedance, then 5 things that can be subjectively quantified 1-5, plus comments?

    Open to other ways to accomplish similar, say a leading question with several bulleted choices as answers, or even just fill in the blanks with your own description of the particular criteria

    A consistent format would sure help me.

    How can we define a set of criteria?
     
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  2. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    No. Sorry. Not even remotely possible.
     
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Can we use physics to debate philosophy? Maybe we could use impedance and use code words like Seimens instead of “I like”.

    Example:

    Lollar P90 average DC Neck 8.2K, Middle 8.7K, Bridge 9.1K, and scores 9.5 out of 10 Siemens objectively in my opinion.
     
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  5. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    LOL! Then there is the subjective interpretation of what each person hears and visualizes (hearing with your eyes) from a different plot: "it looks and sounds more like the needles of South Dakota than Torres del Paine!"
     
  6. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    Consistent with the first sentence in my post.
     
  7. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    That is as useful as many descriptions by many individuals here. Hence the problem.
     
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  8. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    I'll just comment that I think the terminology is often the issue (same for amps and speakers). The same words have different meanings to different people... because we're talking about sound and it's subjective.

    I think a key issue with pickups is that most of us can't measure inductance, the key criteria... and that even the pickup manufacturers seem to think providing DC resistance is a substitute.
     
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  9. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Siemens as a unit of measure is spoken for. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_(unit)
    Other than that, I'm in.
     
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  10. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Friend of Leo's

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    Seems you only need one description....a recording.
     
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  11. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Reminds me of the famous quote, "talking about music is like dancing about architecture."

    Attributed to a whole bunch of folks including Zappa, Elvis Costello, David Byrne, and even comedian Steve Martin.
     
  12. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    Agree that this is the root of it.
     
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  13. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    Even that will be quite different sounding than OP would sound on his own amp, in his own guitar. Pickup marketing is chock full of marketing mojo.. very hard to get an accurate description of a pickup past “vintage wind” and “hot”.
     
  14. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Most of us don't have the instruments to measure magnet strength, inductance, etc, and more importantly, identical pickups do NOT sound and behave identically in different guitars.
     
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  15. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    Definitely helps. I find it ludicrous that many pickup makers don't offer this, and some only post links to lousy youtube bedroom vids. There are also problems when recordings are all over the place,not done with the consistency of same player, same signal train etc. I think one of the best examples of well done is the eminence speaker comparison page with heaps of recordings from the same samples from some really good players.
     
  16. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    but in all seriousness, frequency, amplitude, time can be understood. of course, provided everything else stays the same. use the same guitar, (or hell, use a string over a pickup on a table), use as neutral of a delivery/recording system as possible, etc. maintain consistency.

    you can give people those three data points and info about the system used and they can figure out what "wood" or "syrup" means to them. once you know how one sounds to you in your guitar, you can make inferences on the data of others. i have lots of ass backwards words about sound that i use for myself that other people don't even know, they're just my shorthand i guess.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  17. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Friend of Leo's

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    How about a marketing tag line like: 'Try our news AB4-39d blah blah pick ups, for 99% of players the guitar will sound exactly like it did before...."
     
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  18. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    I don't disagree if someone takes the time to learn by listening and interpreting hundreds of plots, but only so many would take that time. So in what similar way could this kind of use of three data points be applied here? (or 5 or 6 or whatever?) Data points which are more common language and easily understood? This personal shorthand is part of what people express that is so confusing.
     
  19. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    usually when I shootout pickups, I do it in one guitar and have the exact same sample material A/B’d. I also have the FFT in the DAW pulled up (most come with a default one now, it’s not hard to read it, anyone can learn easily). when I look for similar stuff I go okay, what’s the relative geometry of the pickup (wider, taller?), whats the dc resistance, what’s the stated inductance? It would be cool if they just provided resonant freq too.

    Speaker manufacturers generally give much better info, a lot less hassle to just look at specs.
     
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  20. mountainhick

    mountainhick Tele-Meister

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    That's great! I'm glad you have that resource and ability!
     
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