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  1. #1
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    Default Pickup dynamic range

    Guys,

    I'm running into something very interesting. First off, let me set the stage by saying that I've got all my amp settings (both amps) pretty much the same, so that's a constant.

    I'm finding out that with all the single-coil-size pickups I've tried (DiMarzio blades, EMGs, Kinmans and now the Zexcoils), they all have their flavors - and I really love the Zexes. However, there's a very fine line between clean and crunch. In other words, its very hard for me to get a setting that will give me a wide enough transition between clean and crunch from picking dynamics. The HighOrder humbuckers on the other hand, do that edge of breakup so organically - from clean, to clean with some hair, to clean with a growl to growl...all in such a musical way, with the frequency content changing beautifully.

    I'm wondering whether humbuckers do this naturally, or whether the guy winding them goes for that kind of feel, or whether the noise canceling versions on SC pickups kill that characteristic. I have a feeling its the noise canceling addition. Do those of you using regular SCs - particularly really good ones like Suhrs or Fralins - get the nice dynamic range I'm talking about?

    Srini

  2. #2
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    I dunno, I've had incredible experiences with my Kinman sets. I can dial from clean to crunch without a problem. With the increased output of humbuckers, you would naturally get more of that range, provided you have have a good treble bleed circuit attached, so you can dial back and retain all of your pickup's tone. Of course, YMMV.
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  3. #3
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    Good point, Stan. Maybe it is the increased output of humbuckers that does it. Just to clarify, though, I'm not referring so much to the volume control approach as to the picking dynamics approach, with the volume all the way up. Then again, its been a while since I had Kinmans, so maybe my memory is shot..:)

    Srini

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    OK, maybe I'm not to good of a judge with picking dynamics. I use my volume control a lot, plus I use a volume pedal frequently, when I'm standing near enough to it. I do go from using a pick to fingerpicking, and back to a pick, so that gives me a wider range.
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  5. #5
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    I ran my thoughts by Jeff Gay, the gentleman who winds the HighOrder pickups, and I got a very interesting response. He posits that humbuckers actually have a lower dynamic range since their output is higher, and that what I experience as pick responsiveness is evidence of that. Technically, the greater the range a pickup stays clean, the greater its dynamic range, and that most people think of single coils as having greater dynamic range. So, Stan, your example of going from finger picking to using a pick proves it in a away, because that is a far wider stimulus than picking harder or softer, or with varying pick angles.

    I stand corrected.

    He also gave me a window into his winding techniques, which I found fascinating. He guides the wires by hand, and actually goes by the sound of the winding machine's motor, which fluctuates, to keep as close to specs as he can. He says that this "inconsistency" is what gives his pickups character - he just does it slowly and methodically to get as consistent as possible, except he doesn't do it like a machine. He was also very honest in pointing out that you can never tell what a given pickup is going to do in a given guitar, and that this marriage between the redwood guitar and his pickups may be a difficult thing to replicate.

    No wonder people who have the clout experiment with several vintage guitars before picking one. Larry apparently had a store send him at least four or five vintage strats to experiment with in his studio before he found "the one". He claims his 335 find was pure luck.

    Well, one out of three guitars being magical is not bad, and I guess I should quit experimenting while I'm ahead.

    Srini

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    I totally agree with what Jeff said, "you can never tell what a given pickup is going to do in a given guitar." I have swapped pickups for years, rotating them through some of my guitars and have been surprised with the results, but positively and negatively.

    Not that I'm going to quit trying to get to the next level, but while we love to obsess over never-ending details, we should always remember that many of the great recordings that we put on high pedestals were recorded with stock off-the-shelf guitars, and not necessarily "holy grail" instruments.

    As one of our FT founding brothers used to post on here, "It's not the arrow, it's the Indian."
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAguitar View Post
    "It's not the arrow, it's the Indian."
    ah, geez... now yer gonna start ANOTHER war....
    Bottle Rocket Scientist.....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by badxmpl View Post
    ah, geez... now yer gonna start ANOTHER war....
    This Indian says.....nah.......granted a different kind of Indian...:)

 

 

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