Post by ourclarioncall on Dec 17, 2019 14:49:30 GMT -5
Howdy folks. Experimenting again. I now have 4 sounds with two SPDT switches.
1. N 2. B 3. N + B 4. N x B
I’m really pleased with how it worked out, but just wondering if I could find tune it in a few ways.
1. The neck and bridge pickups are different volumes. The neck is much fatter and rounder and the bridge brittle and skinny , so I’ve taken that into account, but when I raise the height of the bridge pickup closer to the strings it sounds much better balanced. My problem is the pickups are just sitting at the bottom of the cavity. My goal is to have them sliding so I can move them around to experiment. I just bought some drawer runners to attach to the cavity to give them a ledge to slide along. I could always just put foam under the pickup for now to raise it up. This issue is not a big deal really but then it will effect the overall tone of the other parallel and series combos so in a way it is
2. The N + B sound is too quiet for my liking. The neck and bridge on their own is a lot louder than both in parallel or is perceived to be louder. So is it possible to up the volume here ?
3. The N x B is too loud. Opposite issue. Can we take the volume down ?
This is hypothetical so no pressure to come up with concrete answers , but I would maybe be tempted to have a go if it wasn’t too complicated
I dunno, it all sounded pretty good to my ears, the difference in volume from parallel to series is what I hear on my SC guitars that have series options. Don't let The Perfect be the enemy of The Good.
Pickup positioning may be part of what you're hearing as well. We can debate whether 'ol Leo Fender just lucked into the pickup positioning on the Strat, or plotted it out all scientific-like, but placing pickups at certain harmonic nodes can make things chimey or duller, depending. If you are mentally comparing your neck (or, conversely,the bridge) pickup to what you hear on a regular Strat or clone, well the different positioning can sure make a difference.
I built this guitar (the 4caster) largely to see what effect placement of different pickups would have. The guitar definitely has a single-coil sound, but it doesn't really sound "Strat-ish". But notice that (numbered from neck down) pickups 2 and 3 are roughly where your "sliding coils" arrangement is in your video demo. And I, too, hear similar things when using those two pickups.
Mine is also wired in "binary tree" fashion, but pickups 1 and 3 are paired in one "branch" of the binary tree, and pickups 2 and 4 in the other, the two pairs are then only combined in parallel, not series.
As for altering the volume differences, you can certainly play around with that. You can't "boost" the N + B (without going to an active system), but you could reduce the output of the one pickup using a resistor. But that will also affect the tone to a certain extent, and that will then further reduce the parallel combo. As the economists remind us, there is really no such thing as a free lunch.
Post by ourclarioncall on Dec 18, 2019 6:46:08 GMT -5
That guitar looks awesome 😎 👏
I used to search videos in YouTube for 4 and 5 pickup strats. And I was impressed with them both.
On a normal strat I love the N+M sound but don’t like the N+B sound, so always wanted to hear something a bit wider than N+M but not as extreme as N+B. you can get that with both 4 and 5 pickup strats. Saying that , maybe the N+ B could be better if the bridge had more volume or was moved a little closer to the neck.
I also am interested in incrementally moving the bridge pickup closer and closer to the neck , I’m sure there are better options than where it is currently , for my ears anyway, even if it is mathematically/scientifically “correct”. The Hendrix reversed bridge pickup is an interesting one. But there is also a few other variables there like Eb tuning, heavier strings, the tension of the strings over the nut was different and that he had hands literally twice the size of mine
Also I want to hear what a pickup right in between the normal strat bridge and middle pickups sound like , especially in series with the bridge or middle .
Post by ourclarioncall on Dec 18, 2019 7:08:38 GMT -5
I thought I could maybe have both the neck and the bridge on a volume pot , then have them on together in parallel bypassed direct to the output jack to get a bit of extra volume boost. Like an esquire tele
The volume pot I’m guessing would effect the tone of the individual pickups by cutting off higher frequencies ? But by how much ? And could treble bleed mods on the volume pots help retain some of the tone
The last problem would be lowering the series combination volume , but then maybe I could have that sound on its own volume pot
The volume pots could be handy in that I could turn them quickly to get all the volumes balanced out then just leave them where they are set and hide them under the pickguard
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I hear ya. No doubt if I managed to get everything perfectly balanced I would suddenly want to find a way to boost the series combo for when doing a guitar solo haha
What are the pots really doing ? Cutting off high sharp frequencies?
Lowering the resonant frequency, decreasing the amplitude of the peak and broadening it. Also a slight attenuation of the overall output. More attenuation of the output when the pickups are in series than when a single is selected or both are in parallel.
If you place a fixed resistor across the hot and ground (125k will mimic a 250k volume and 250k tone) I would expect the difference you hear between parallel, single pickup, and series will be less noticeable. Still there, but not as pronounced. Also the tone will be less brittle. Your neck pickup sounds very bright without the normal loading but not unpleasant. Your bridge pickup without normal loading is like an icepick to my ears.
Last Edit: Dec 18, 2019 11:41:20 GMT -5 by reTrEaD: added omitted word.
Number the pickups 1 to 4, from bridge =1. Pickups 1 and 3 are one pair and pickups 2 and 4 are the other pair. Each pair is wired in binary tree fashion, 2 DPDT switches per pair. So, for each pickup pair, I can have each pickup alone, in parallel with its mate, or in series with its mate. Then the 2 pairs are joined with a regular 3-way switch, so that I get each pair individually and both pairs together in parallel.
The 2 pairs are not joined in series, only in parallel, so there are no inter-pair series settings available. Each pair also has 1 RWRP coil for hum-canceling. Pickups 1 and 3 are Fender '57 reissue model, 2 and 4 are Fender '62 reissue models.
The following combos are therefore available, pickups 1 to 4, with parallel ("+") and series ("x")as indicated: