Whence the quack?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Sjnoring, May 7, 2017.

  1. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is just the characteristics of single coil pickups... regardless of quality. When the problem goes away in position 2 & 4 it's because the center pickup is reverse wound... vintage guitars didn't even have that luxury. The noise is often tamed by positioning of the guitar.

    This is the sign of microphonic pickups. Although often associated with cheap pickups which is likely your case, it can also happen to any quality pickup as well.
     
  2. Sjnoring

    Sjnoring Tele-Afflicted

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    So 2 and 4 are sort of like a separated humbucker, one half in the middle, one half in the bridge/neck. I'm stoked to get some nice pups in this puppy. I'm really starting to dig Strats.
     
  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Like a separated humbucker wired in parallel, but without humbucking unless one coil is RWRP relative to the other. To review: quack is a lucky fluke resulting from the spacing of N+M and M+B on a Strat. The pickups are normally wired in parallel. Many sets come with middle pickup RWRP to buck hum in positions 2&4, but RWRP does not cause the quack. Some claim RWRP can reduce quack but I disagree. I do agree that lower power pickups with weaker/lower middle pickup helps maximize quack. I don't think vintage stagger is at all needed to get good quack.
     
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  4. italo

    italo Tele-Meister

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    To my ears: Custom Shop 69 = very little quack in 2 & 4 positions. Also weak bridge pickup output. beautiful neck position sound.
     
  5. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    Usually I set my neck PU to the height I like, then set the bridge PU to be balanced volume-wise so when I switch from neck to bridge it isn't a big volume drop or boost--balanced volume between the two.

    Then for quack tones I drop the middle PU down to Pick-guard or just a little above and start listening to quack tones. if the quack starts to diminish as you move the height up, stop or dial it back down a bit.

    I've found on some strats the quack tone is better with PU height of the middle PU a lot higher than normal, almost equal with the neck and bridge. Just depends on the strat, you just have to dial it in to best quack!

    With me, I never play on the middle PU individually, so having it dialed down to the pick-guard for a weaker volume/less treble is fine because that middle PU only serves for quack-ablility for my purposes.
    Platefire
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  6. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Not so much... Humbuckers are wired in series which give them that fat midrange sound whereas positions 2 & 4 are in parallel which give you more of a mid-scooped chime/quack tones.

    If you want the best of both worlds, normal Strat chime, quack tones and fat series humbucker tones, check out the Dan Armstrong wiring mod. @jvin248 recommended this in a few Strat discussions and I finally tried it this past weekend. In my impression, it is a must have mod. All the goodness of a regular Strat with bonus material at the twist of a knob.

    It requires no additional parts but allows you to dial in the middle pickup in series humbucking with the neck or bridge pickup. You can also put the pickups variably out of phase with each other in positions 2 & 4.

    The link for info I used for the mod is here: http://ashbass.com/AshBassGuitar/index.html?armstrongstratvers.html
     
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  7. macatt

    macatt Tele-Holic

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    This is correct.
    There is some phase cancellation do to the proximity of the pickups. They are not wired out of phase.

    Also RWRP (reverse wrap reverse polarity is still in phase) has to do with noise cancellation and has nothing to do with the "quack" in between sound.

    S Mac
     
  8. macatt

    macatt Tele-Holic

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    THIS
    is also correct
     
  9. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    I have a trio of hum canceling picups on a strat bride area 61, middle and neck area 58. I dont like the quack quack.
    I just got the mini strat back with it's new picks the middle pick up is an area 61
    none of that out of phase voodoo juju, the other two pick ups are mini humbucking pickups so... in positions two and four the strat-ish sound adds to both the thicker sound of the humdingers, nice move Mr. Bill at Broken Guitars, thanks . no quack but not wack!
     
  10. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    My latest guitar has tele hardware, except for a 5 position switch. One of the extra positions has something to put the pickups out of phase, to some degree. The result is a sorta-quack.
     
  11. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    HOoP
    Half out of phase perhaps ? Now that's just a term of tone, not really what is happening.

    Done with either a cap, or cap and resistor.

    Like on a Baja Tele. I did a HOoP (cap and resistor) p/p and 4 way on my Squire CV Thinline with Twang King pups. I like the option (HOoP), kind of Straty.
     
  12. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes: The Bill Lawrence 5-way Telecaster Circuit
    "when a signal passes through a capacitor, the voltage leads the current by 90 degrees. In this wiring, one pickup’s signal gets routed through a capacitor, shifting the phase by 90 degrees"
     
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  13. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

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    @Sjnoring , I urge you to check out the posts by @tdowns in The Science of Quack and Terry's related thread, Finished My New Tele Project (Experiment). Briefly, the comb filtering we call quack is strictly the result of the relative positions of the pickups. Sadly, Terry's audio clip and illustrations are no longer available, but note that the pickups in the guitar used for the demonstration were "All Seymour Duncan - Vintage Tele Stacks, Classic Strat Stack"-- which is to say humbuckers.

    Before replacing your pickups, though, you might see if you can tame the noise sufficiently by shielding the body cavities with copper foil.
     
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