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Old 07-23-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
persona non grata
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Pickup question for Kindness and other pup guru's.

Ok, so is there any possible way to generalize the tone differences between what I think would be called wide apperature pickups and narrower ones? Does this have something to do with their ability to pickup overtones or harmonics? Curious because I'm trying to zero in on why I like certain pickups, and the tone of certain basses a lot and others not so much. Not that there might be any bass projects coming out of it or anything, just knowledge...
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #2
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I do believe that the size of the aperture makes a noticeable difference. The wider aperture senses a longer length of the vibrating string, which, in my experience, gives me the tone I typically like. Darkstars are a great example of a wide aperture single coil that I love. Rics have a nice wide single coil too.

And yes, it does have to do with how they sense the overtones. When the coil reads a longer length of the string, it has a more average tone (as opposed to picking up the tone at a specific point). I believe this is part of what helps "thicken up" the tone.

I have not personally done any mad scientist experiments on this subject matter, but I know a manufacturer that has.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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I do believe that the size of the aperture makes a noticeable difference. The wider aperture senses a longer length of the vibrating string, which, in my experience, gives me the tone I typically like. Darkstars are a great example of a wide aperture single coil that I love. Rics have a nice wide single coil too.

And yes, it does have to do with how they sense the overtones. When the coil reads a longer length of the string, it has a more average tone (as opposed to picking up the tone at a specific point). I believe this is part of what helps "thicken up" the tone.

I have not personally done any mad scientist experiments on this subject matter, but I know a manufacturer that has.
Hmmm... could be why I love the sound clips of the Decade bass. Do the wider pups lose any crispness or definition over a narrower pup? I would imagine there are tradeoffs.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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Hmmm... could be why I love the sound clips of the Decade bass. Do the wider pups lose any crispness or definition over a narrower pup? I would imagine there are tradeoffs.
I think that's exactly the tradeoff. A wide single coil seems to be right in the middle of a P (further "distorted" due to interaction of the series coils) and a J (a bit too crisp for my tastes).
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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I think that's exactly the tradeoff. A wide single coil seems to be right in the middle of a P (further "distorted" due to interaction of the series coils) and a J (a bit too crisp for my tastes).
Thanks, that makes it easier to understand. It also gives me a clue as to why two of my basses, which couldn't be any more different seem to have very similar characteristics in their tone.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
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Thanks, that makes it easier to understand. It also gives me a clue as to why two of my basses, which couldn't be any more different seem to have very similar characteristics in their tone.
Ignoring string types, tone is primarily pickup type and placement and secondarily the user's playing style. Everything else is a distant third and beyond.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:07 AM   #7
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:13 AM   #8
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Ignoring string types, tone is primarily pickup type and placement and secondarily the user's playing style. Everything else is a distant third and beyond.
Tone is in the fingahz man...
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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http://www.till.com/articles/PickupResponse/index.html

Someone should make a bass like the Gibson Grabber with its sliding pickup, but instead of one humbucker, two Jazz pickups that each can be turned on or off.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #10
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http://www.till.com/articles/PickupResponse/index.html

Someone should make a bass like the Gibson Grabber with its sliding pickup, but instead of one humbucker, two Jazz pickups that each can be turned on or off.


Coil-tappable.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:00 PM   #11
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Coil-tappable.
Yes!

I want one where the pickups can slide anywhere--not just a limited space. All the way from bridge to neck. Any combination from soloed single pickup bridge to soloed single pickup neck would be available. Wide aperture, you got it. No aperture, you got it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:12 PM   #12
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Yes!

I want one where the pickups can slide anywhere--not just a limited space. All the way from bridge to neck. Any combination from soloed single pickup bridge to soloed single pickup neck would be available. Wide aperture, you got it. No aperture, you got it.
I see what you're getting at. Definitely an interesting idea-, I find that the sliding pickup on my Grabber gives me more tonal variety than I expected.

Did you notice that the last 4 strings were also removable on that Fedora? Pope believes that 20 fret basses sound better slapped than 24 fretters.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:21 PM   #13
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I see what you're getting at. Definitely an interesting idea-, I find that the sliding pickup on my Grabber gives me more tonal variety than I expected.

Did you notice that the last 4 strings were also removable on that Fedora? Pope believes that 20 fret basses sound better slapped than 24 fretters.
Do you mean the last 4 frets?
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:48 PM   #14
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Do you mean the last 4 frets?
Yes, I'm sure he means frets.

Interesting. I don't slap much, so it would be lost on me. I tend not to venture much above the 10th fret.

Maybe Fodera could make one where the fretboard is removable from the 11th fret?
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:08 PM   #15
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Does anyone remember that rail bass thing that looked the size and general outline of a Steinie, but had the pup mounted between rails and could slide from the bridge to the neck?
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:16 PM   #16
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You're talking about a Westone.

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Old 07-24-2011, 09:55 PM   #17
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You're talking about a Westone.

I would love to add one of those to my collection!
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