Strat Sounds Position #2 and #4

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by youdevil, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. youdevil

    youdevil TDPRI Member

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    I have a question about the fabled 'silky strat' sounds in positions 2 and 4. I know the pickups are not out of phase, but rather are IN phase. That said:

    *to what extent is the silky quality a function of distance between the pickups?

    *if so, if this 'magic distance' is preserved, does it also matter WHERE those two pickups are placed within the space between the bridge and the neck? in other words, are there particular points that promote particularly strong silky tones because of the harmonic response of the strings at those points?

    *does the answer imply that you could make a 'silky tele' by simply moving the neck pickup to a point that is the 'magic distance' from the bridge pickup, with the middle position of the tele's 3-way switch generating that distinctive silky sound? or is the silkiness also a function of the output of the pickups such that a pair of tele pickups, placed precisely where either the neck-middle or middle-bridge strat pickups are located simply won't reproduce that silky sound unless the output of the tele pickups match those of a strat?

    always wondered.....

    thanks.

    chris
     
  2. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    They p/ups actually are not in perfect phase because the magnetic field reverses polarity as it moves along the string. Sound is shaped by both distance between the p/ups and where they are under the strings. Because the distance between harmonics gets smaller as you move toward the bridge I would think theres no simple formula for same kind of sound. Also the N and B are in the same harmonic family 4 and (16 (more or less due to angle)) while the M is at the 13th. I put my M at the 8th harmonic in custom builds and theres no "quack" w the B when placed there. Closer, so less phase change and not so much harmonic interaction since the M + B share so many.
     
  3. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It would be an interesting experiment to mount 2 pickups in a swimming pool route on some sort of rails to see if the fabled quack can be elicited at different spots along the string, while remaining equally spaced from each other.
     
  4. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    I have that. It is really interesting to hear how even the sound of 1 p/up changes. One strange thing, theres a place about 3/4 - 1 inch in front of the bridge p/up position where its almost all fundamental. Very sine wave sounding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  5. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think it does make a difference where the two pickups are. On Strats that have been modded so that you can have bridge and neck at the same time, that sound is not like the Strat in between quack at all but more like the Tele middle position. Also, the Nashville Tele has three pickups like a Strat and has something similar to the Strat quack in positions 2 and 4.
     
  6. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    We don't need no stinking 5 way switches! :D
     
  7. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    If I get some free time I'll give it a try and post the results. As w a Tele, N and B together don't quack on a Strat.
     
  8. youdevil

    youdevil TDPRI Member

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    thanks for all this helpful detail. i appreciate it. FWIW i built a nashville tele w two Lollar tele pups and one of his 'chicago steel' pups in between. positions 2 and 4 do indeed deliver the expected silky tones, not identical to a strat of course but correspondingly similar.

    teleterr, it would be awesome if you were able to create an mp3 file that provided back to back comparison of the sound you get as you move your pair of pups, set the 'magic distance' apart (which i THINK is 2 3/8"), closer or farther away, in tandem, from the bridge.

    it would also be interesting to see if that 'magic distance' is indeed the MOST magical. in other words, would you get even MORE silk if the pups were X or Y distance apart, rather than the way they actually are? as i recall, leo wanted a 3-pup gtr, with 2 & 4 silk a happy accidental discovery. so as fine as the current spacing is, perhaps there's a spacing that makes for even more magic?

    hope that makes sense!
     
  9. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Oh boy, here we go. :p
     
  10. exltd001

    exltd001 TDPRI Member

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    You can do that experiment with a Variax. It is simulated but I am thinking it works the same. you can move the pickups back and forth in relationship to each other. Very cool technology.
     
  11. Deafen

    Deafen Tele-Meister

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    A buddy of mine has a dual-humbucker 24-fret Carvin with a million switching options. One of them is a dead ringer for a Strat B/M quack positon. I'm guessing it's the bridge-side coil of the neck pickup, combined with the neck-side coil of the bridge pickup.
     
  12. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    Well, I've got some Zoom recorders and some flat response mikes. So 2 3/8 is N to M. I have cut up pick guards that I can use to maintain that distance, but still move the p/ups. So I'll put it on my to do list. Hopefully soon. Only visual files here. I'll probably put it on a share site. I've seen them, but never used them. You tube should really be a video.I'm not sure of the audio quality of my Canon camera that doubles as a video or my netbook, so audio only makes more sense.
     
  13. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    I've done that switching. Inside coils are the quackiest.
     
  14. youdevil

    youdevil TDPRI Member

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    that'd be fantastic. i'm sure the mic on the canon video camera would do a sufficient job of capturing the differences in tone quality between the various positions. a youtube clip of you strumming the gtr while moving the pickup rig from bridge toward neck should be revealing!
     
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