21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1

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Soundwise
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2017/03/02 16:19:31 (permalink)

21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1

Hi,
I've made some videos comparing various guitar pickups from different manufacturers.
Here is the link to youtube playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/w...VL7Wu3pAcrNPb_qisfT6vJ
post edited by Soundwise - 2017/03/02 19:50:52

Anderton
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    Jeff M.
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/03/02 19:24:24 (permalink)
    Wow!
    This is awesome, Alisa, thanks for putting this together!
    Love the comments & specs - it's great to have that info included.
     
    Excellent job!
     

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    #2
    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/03/02 19:53:21 (permalink)
    Thanks Jeff! Stay tuned for part 2. :)

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    ricoskyl
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/03/11 03:33:33 (permalink)
    Obviously, there was a LOT of work behind this!  Very impressive and revealing!  I'll share!
     
    R

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    Cactus Music
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/03/12 19:32:00 (permalink)
    Are you actually changing the PU'S or are these just through SIM's? That's a lot of bloody work! 
    I listened to the Bridge Crunch and It's seems the level never changes and the tone is very subtle  in difference. 
    I would expect a bigger difference in output and tones.
     
    I just yesterday re pupped my 2 main guitars as I was not happy. 
    My G&L I put the original Single coils back after trying some Humbuckers ( they are soap bar type) It now sounds like a proper Tele again. The neck Pup is better for Blues again, smooth. The Humbuckers were from GFI and I guess I shouldn't have expected much at that price. It was too harsh and only good sound was using both together. I added the coil tap and that was even worse. 
     
    And my Strat I removed a Dimarzio Tone Zone DP189  and put the Fender Custom Shop bridge PU back. So now all the PU match again and it sounds like a good strat should. The Dimarzio was OK on it's own but you couldn't use it with the middle at all. Lost the classic Quack. So I learned my lesson with both guitars, If I want a humbucker, buy a guitar that is made for them and with matching sets.   

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    davdud101
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/03/12 21:42:01 (permalink)
    Darn, I was hopin to see a pic of a guitar with a neck made of pickups.

     
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 11:43:30 (permalink)
    Cactus Music
    Are you actually changing the PU'S or are these just through SIM's? That's a lot of bloody work! 
    I listened to the Bridge Crunch and It's seems the level never changes and the tone is very subtle  in difference. 
    I would expect a bigger difference in output and tones.

    Yes, I swapped pickguards with different pickup sets. All recorded on the same guitar with the same set of strings, same pick, etc.
    Now be cause all pickups cannot be adjusted to the same level for obvious reasons and since we tend to think that louder is better,
    1. I normalized all clips to the same pick value. What's left is different RMS values and frequency spectrum.
    2. I reamped my recordings using the best all-tube preamp by Yerasov corporation.
    3. The preamp's cab sim out is panned hard left, while DI with The Metal Factory Orange PPC412 IR is panned hard right.
    Yes, the difference in sound is not huge, but all pickups certainly did feel differently.
    However this test is meant to show what to expect from pickup upgrade. Output level differences are compensated by proper gain adjustment.  Then it's down to pickups harmonic content and dynamics.
    In other words, for this test:
    a) brighter pickups have more harmonics, and vice versa;
    b) louder pickups have less dynamics, and vice versa.

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    fret_man
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 13:38:24 (permalink)
    I recommend adjusting gain so the RMS values are the same, not the peaks. Otherwise we'll be hearing something similar to comparing compressed and non-compressed recordings in the sense that they both have the same peaks but one will sound louder then the other. Keeping the RMS values the same will result in the two having the similar loudness.
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 13:43:36 (permalink)
    fret_man
    I recommend adjusting gain so the RMS values are the same, not the peaks. Otherwise we'll be hearing something similar to comparing compressed and non-compressed recordings in the sense that they both have the same peaks but one will sound louder then the other. Keeping the RMS values the same will result in the two having the similar loudness.


    Thank you for your input, Paul. I disagree. Pickups are not plugins. Listener needs to know dynamic range of pickups in relation to each other. More compressed pickups are generally easier to play, but too compressed tend to sound dull, flat, and usually get lost in the mix.

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    mettelus
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 14:00:29 (permalink)
    It is difficult to "normalize" a set of data in general, and the fact is that pickups do output different RMS voltage levels. "On paper" I tend to gravitate to the high passive output with harmonic content so I am attenuating that signal through the chain (it is easier to remove than create).
     
    Those "on paper" values are often what people make their purchase decisions from, since comparisons like this thread are almost impossible to come by, especially to this level of detail.
     
    Huge kudos to the OP on her patience and persistence!

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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 14:02:28 (permalink)
    Thanks, Michael!

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    batsbrew
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 14:14:08 (permalink)
    pickups
     
    it's like VOODOO
     
    LOL
     
    that's quite the task there, Alisa,
    you are brave! or have a lot of time to kill.
     
    this is the kind of A/B i think is very valuable for those on the tone quest.
     
    i wasnt' familiar with any of the Trakhmann stuff,
    so that was interesting in itself...
     
    you could hear the 'quack' quality pretty well on most of them..
     
    i'd think that this test would be more true if the test had been run through a nice neutral tube amp set clean,
    just becaue i know how sims can 'homogenize' sounds somehow,
    whereas a tube amp don't lie.

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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 14:22:18 (permalink)
    batsbrew
    pickups
     
    it's like VOODOO
     
    LOL
     
    that's quite the task there, Alisa,
    you are brave! or have a lot of time to kill.
     
    this is the kind of A/B i think is very valuable for those on the tone quest.
     
    i wasnt' familiar with any of the Trakhmann stuff,
    so that was interesting in itself...
     
    you could hear the 'quack' quality pretty well on most of them..
     
    i'd think that this test would be more true if the test had been run through a nice neutral tube amp set clean,
    just becaue i know how sims can 'homogenize' sounds somehow,
    whereas a tube amp don't lie.


    Thanks batsbrew!
    As I mentioned earlier, no sims are used hear. Just a top quality all-tube preamp. No real mics/cabs/rooms, though, as such things introduce more coloration and some saturation too, and I wanted to keep the signal flow as clean and neutral as possible.
    It took me quite a while to complete this project. There is a part 2 almost ready to be published. Same pickups, same setup, different style.
    FWIW, Trakhmann makes some incredible pickups and tube gear.
     

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    bluzdog
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 16:01:10 (permalink)
    Awesome!! Thanks for taking the time to do this and share it with us.
     
    Rocky
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/05 16:13:54 (permalink)
    bluzdog
    Awesome!! Thanks for taking the time to do this and share it with us.
     
    Rocky


    You are welcome!

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    dcumpian
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/06 12:54:03 (permalink)
    Don't forget Lindy Fralins!
     
    http://www.fralinpickups.com/
     
    I have a matched set on my strat and I love the tone...
     
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/06 12:56:41 (permalink)
    dcumpian
    Don't forget Lindy Fralins!
     
    http://www.fralinpickups.com/
     
    I have a matched set on my strat and I love the tone...
     
    Dan


    If Lindy Fralin will provide his pickups for this test, I'll be happy to make a new set of videos, including his pickups.

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    fireberd
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/07 13:38:12 (permalink)
    How do you think the Blue Lace Sensors compare with others?
    Our lead guitar player has Blue Lace Sensors (stock) on his Strat - Bridge, Middle and Neck. We play traditional country.  (His Strat also came with a ball bearing roller nut and locking Sperzel tuning keys).  

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    batsbrew
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/07 15:13:46 (permalink)
    i'd love to hear some Bill Lawrence Wilde L-280's, micro coils and L-45's in the mix.
     
    the best bang for the buck (IMHO) in the entire pickup industry.

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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/07 19:55:33 (permalink)
    I don't have Bill Lawrence 6 string pickups, but I have Lawrence 710 pickups on my pedal steel guitar. Best pedal steel pickups (other than the Lawrence 705's).

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    gswitz
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/08 02:49:09 (permalink)
    @SoundWise,

    You have done something awesome. Thank you for doing it and for sharing it.

    StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
    I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/08 09:15:26 (permalink)
    fireberd
    How do you think the Blue Lace Sensors compare with others?
    Our lead guitar player has Blue Lace Sensors (stock) on his Strat - Bridge, Middle and Neck. We play traditional country.  (His Strat also came with a ball bearing roller nut and locking Sperzel tuning keys).  


    Hi Jack,
    Blue Lace Sensor is fatter and darker than Purple and Silver sensors in this vid. So if your guitar player is looking for a brighter, more open sound he might want to try some other pickups too. I prefer DiMarzio Area series for great overall tone, rich harmonic content and just perfect response to pick attack.
    HTH,
    Alisa

    Anderton
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/08 09:17:29 (permalink)
    batsbrew
    i'd love to hear some Bill Lawrence Wilde L-280's, micro coils and L-45's in the mix.
     
    the best bang for the buck (IMHO) in the entire pickup industry.


    I demoed only pickups available at the time. Had I have Bill Lawrence, Lindy Fralin, you name it, I'd surely include these in the test.

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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/08 09:19:02 (permalink)
    gswitz
    @SoundWise,

    You have done something awesome. Thank you for doing it and for sharing it.

    Thanks, Geoff! I'm about to upload part 2 of this test.

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    pentimentosound
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/23 20:51:54 (permalink)
    I just saw this and want to thank you for doing it, and for including the EMG SV which I've had in one of my Strats for more than 20 years. I have Fralin Split Blades in my other Strat and have been wondering what to swap for the EMGs and even if I "ought to". Areas are the most likely, though I don't know which I'd prefer and then there are the MojoTone Quiet Coils....
       I've got an Epi LP Std Plus top (that I really enjoy) that I want to re-pup for series/parallel and don't really have a good idea, for a "4 conductor with chrome covers". My Epi Swingster is on consignment and I really liked the parallel/series thing, but it's got to "turn into cash". 
    So, your post was quite interesting and I look forward to Part 2.
    Michael 
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/23 21:04:43 (permalink)
    pentimentosound
    I just saw this and want to thank you for doing it, and for including the EMG SV which I've had in one of my Strats for more than 20 years. I have Fralin Split Blades in my other Strat and have been wondering what to swap for the EMGs and even if I "ought to". Areas are the most likely, though I don't know which I'd prefer and then there are the MojoTone Quiet Coils....
       I've got an Epi LP Std Plus top (that I really enjoy) that I want to re-pup for series/parallel and don't really have a good idea, for a "4 conductor with chrome covers". My Epi Swingster is on consignment and I really liked the parallel/series thing, but it's got to "turn into cash". 
    So, your post was quite interesting and I look forward to Part 2.
    Michael 


    Areas are powerful, completely silent and have rich harmonics. Perfect pickups for any strat aficionado. Surprisingly, EMGs are closest to the real thing. They have "THAT tone", often associated with real strat pickups. But if I had to choose just one set, I'd definitely go with DiMarzio Areas.

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    pentimentosound
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/23 22:18:25 (permalink)
    Thanks. I'd had Lace Golds in it before the SV set, which I got for $75 or something (which made that experiment easy to dive into!)and it was quite a jolt! LOL    So, I've always "kind of not liked them", but find them very useful tracking DI at my desk. I still think it would be nice to have something with Laces on it......
       My FSR ash Tele std is stock and about to get an Oak Grigsby 4 way (it adds series), so I'm checking into that side, too. I've got real Filter Trons on an Epi WildKat, but think I ought to re-harness that one (the LP too). Though I didn't particularly "love" the Swingster, the series/parallel blends were really cool and hours of fun.
       I've thought the Area P would do nicely in my Blacktop Jazz (2 P pups), too, so this all kind of adds to my "leanings". I hope to try some out, first!
     
    Michael
     
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    Soundwise
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/23 22:30:14 (permalink)
    Hi Michael!
    I have lots of mods on my guitars. E.g. my main strat with Areas has a custom switching, which provides 35 pickup combinations. So if you feel like you want to discuss modding or wiring your guitars - I'd be happy to share my experience.

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    pentimentosound
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    Re: 21 pickups on 1 guitar. Part 1 2017/04/24 00:35:46 (permalink)
    Thanks   I've done a bunch over the past 5 + decades, but haven't done any for 12 years. So, I am going to take you up on that! LOL
    Thanks for offering.
    Michael
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