Post by BlackAngusYoung on May 8, 2010 12:02:43 GMT -5
I have this Ibanez Talman acoustic/electric guitar: It is thin and, with the double cutout, designed for players more accustomed to an electric guitar. I plug it into my electric guitar tube amp and have my regular electric strings (10's) on it. I've grounded the strings like an electric guitar's strings, which has greatly reduced some unwanted noise while playing. Basically, I look at it as a hollowbody electric when it's plugged in and a convenient practice guitar when unplugged. Acoustically, it's quiet and without the sustain of regular acoustics... giving it a sharp metallic sound that is good for practising electric stuff on.
The preamp looks like what you'd expect to see on an acoustic/electric: but the pickup is a stacked humbucker... more like an electric pickup.
Now, the question I have isn't really something I'd expect a simple answer to. But if anyone has any insight to provide I'd appreciate the discussion...
What I'm wondering... does this pickup & preamp combination really makes sense? I keep thinking that it might be better if it were wired like an electric guitar. They seem to have mixed electric and acoustic ideas together but the end result is not a great acoustic guitar and not the best hollowbody. I wonder if the preamp is sapping some tone. The volume control performs like a volume control on any acoustic/electric, same with the treble and bass control. I wonder what it would sound like if it were wired with a volume and tone knob that react like those on an electric guitar. Would that work with this sort of pickup? Or would such a volume control actually result in feedback or something making it pointless? Or is this preamp and battery actually making it better than it would be the other way? Does the battery being involved mean that this is more like an active pickup? Any theories? Thanks.
Here's a photo of it's not-too-gutsy guts and a photo showing what I did in order to ground the strings.
I keep thinking that it might be better if it were wired like an electric guitar.
It is wired like an electric guitar, with an active pickup and an onboard preamp!
Now, if you want to go passive, you can certainly do so. I'd probably chose myself a nice SC pickup, and then replicate the preamp mounting plate- wood would look cool- to hold the passive controls. You could use those mini-pots with 1/8" shafts and use tiny knobs so they wouldn't protrude too much.
Or, perhaps you could find some slide pots of the right values, and replace the existing pots, using the same control plate. You could keep the battery to run the tuner.
Post by BlackAngusYoung on May 8, 2010 16:26:42 GMT -5
Any guesses how that would change the sound? I guess I'm looking for a more T-Bone Walker sound. I'd a bit too boomy now; it could use some sweetening up. I'm also just guessing it isn't the best pickup and wiring because that stuff never seems good stock on any of my guitars.
I was thinking I would like to see what it sounds like with a single coil, and if I like it I could use the middle pickup from the Fender set I'm installing in my Sledgehammer. (I believe all three are the same in my new Fender set, and the middle isn't even reversed. They're supposed to be replica of the original Stratocaster pickups.) Just now as I'm writing this I got an idea.... Just to try it, I could somehow probably stick a pickup in there from the set I just took out of the Sledgehammer. It's still attached to everything--except the jack, I guess--so I can probably jam it in there and have that stuff hanging out and get some idea how a single coil would sound. I'll see if I can get something worked out when I get home.
How is the pup hooked to the preamp? Is there a plug there? Can you measure the resistance?
It plugs into the preamp with what looks like a headphone plug, but smaller. On the pickup side, the wire is sealed right into the plastic. The whole pickup is surrounded by plastic, with the back of it looking like it's been filled with a resin with the wire sticking out.
I haven't before (on any pickup) but I could probably measure the resistance. I just need to find a meter. I know my dad has one he's had as long as I can remember and we have a couple nice new ones still in packages ... I just haven't claimed one yet for my guitar tools collection. I've only ever used one to test continuity before. I'm pretty sure there's one or two we bought to sell in our store and they're different models. Is there anything I should look for on the package to know it's the best choice for guitar work? Or all they all pretty similar, anyways?
Everything's upside down in our workshop areas right now, and I'm heading to my mom's for Mother's Day... so I'll hunt for it as soon as I can. Thanks.
For troubleshooting guitar circuits, you don't need anything too fancy in a meter. It needs to be able to read resistance in a 20KΩ range, however. Most will do so.
What Ash is suggesting you do is get a meter, set it to the 20K resistance setting (if it's an auto-ranging meter, you just let it do its thing all by itself). Then hold the meter leads to the tip and sleeve of that mini-plug from your pickup. Report your results.
There are 2 basic kinds of active pickups- those that are a regular passive pickup connected to an external active preamp, and those that have an active circuit mounted inside the pickup. The test is designed to tell which type you have. If the pickup itself is passive, you can test with the pickup you have, at least to see what you get with a passive pickup.
As you suggested, you can just temporarily run a passive pickup to an out jack temporarily wired outside the guitar, before going any further.
If you are going to get into rewiring guitars, a multimeter is needed, so you might grab one of those now, given that you have a couple in the shop, as you say. The digital ones are nice, especially for those of us with failing eyesight.
I am impressed. I had the same Talman 5 years ago, but the head was different and the preamp was much worse and without a tuner.
I hope the fretwire is also better now because just one set of Dean Markley Blue Steel .09 strings has managed to ground the frets to half.
Yeah, I guess I'm impressed, too. I just asked about improving it to see if anyone had any ideas I wouldn't think of. In most cases so far, I've found that guitar manufacturers usually leave some room for improvement... for us to have fun with. But I don't really have any complaints about the Talman, not after I shielded it anyways.
I must admit I really like the staggered tuners on the new ones like mine. I read that people thought the older design was too "busy" with too much wording where it says "inter-city" or whatever. (Looks like ours came in the same box, though. I had wondered why it said Intercity on the box and nowhere on my guitar.) Now it just says Talman on the head but I think it would be cooler if it just said Ibanez. Looks like the truss rod cover changed, too. Yours looks classic. Mine has a single screw on the top and a tab on the bottom with grip ridges on it like a battery cover, so it can be slid up and swivelled to get to the truss rod. Which is nice, but kinda scratching.
I think the frets seem pretty good to me, though I honestly haven't even played it that much. They are better polished than some other Ibanez's around the same price I've seen and they don't stick out sharply along the edge which is always nice.