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Author Topic: Can pickups affect sustain?  (Read 5540 times)

FELINEGUITARS

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2011, 01:48:37 PM »
Tom you may find that a lower powered pickup may allow the guitar to sing a bit more
You cant always tell from a chart which pickup will best suit a certain guitar

The MQ or a Blue Note/Nantucket  may sound more awesome in the bridge than the PIG90

Sometimes I get a surprise - I try a few different pickups in the same guitar and it's not always the one I was expecting that wins for sounding best.

When I build or upgrade guitars I do everything I can to maximise tone, response and sustain
Even how tightly the fretwire fits in the slots can affect how the tone lasts and the response of the guitar
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_tom_

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2011, 02:27:39 PM »
You may be onto something there Jonathan - the Gibson pickups were high-ish output as well.. maybe I could try a MQ bridge some time.

Philly Q

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2011, 02:55:05 PM »
Tom you may find that a lower powered pickup may allow the guitar to sing a bit more
You cant always tell from a chart which pickup will best suit a certain guitar


This is a good point.  One of the "singiest" guitars I've ever played was that Orville LP goldtop I had for a while.  That (allegedly) had Gibson '57 Classics, which are pretty low output AII pickups.  It wasn't the best sounding guitar, in fact it tended to sound a bit mushy with distortion, but it seemed to sustain forever.

(Of course, it might just be that I'm not used to LPs!  :lol: )
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dheim

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2011, 03:02:58 PM »
You may be onto something there Jonathan - the Gibson pickups were high-ish output as well.. maybe I could try a MQ bridge some time.

you'll absolutely love it! it's awesome clean and overdriven, very singy and musical, and howls like a werewolf under high gain! :)
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dheim

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2011, 03:05:35 PM »
I just can't understand why the Pig 90 seems to be pushing the amp less than the MQ when it's at least double the dc resistance :?

I'm not saying this explains the problem, but comparing the DC resistance is very misleading - the MQ has 42 gauge wire and the Pig 90 has 45 gauge.  The thinner wire has much higher DC resistance.

you're right, but there's no way a MQ can push a preamp harder than a Pig90... in terms of gain, not volume of course! my neck MQs are damn loud, by the way, i had to lower even the one i have in couple with a ceramic warpig to balance their volumes!
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_tom_

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2011, 04:22:25 PM »
Yeah it's really strange. I'll have to do a quick clip later on to try and show what I mean. I dont think I'm imagining it anyway :lol:

_tom_

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2011, 06:12:01 PM »
Ok done a clip.. think it kind of gets the point across! http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15027660/P90s.mp3

Raising the Pig 90 doesn't really seem to help to even it out so I guess it's just not meant to be in this guitar..

dheim

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2011, 06:35:19 PM »
Ok done a clip.. think it kind of gets the point across! http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15027660/P90s.mp3

Raising the Pig 90 doesn't really seem to help to even it out so I guess it's just not meant to be in this guitar..

i haven't yet listened to your clip, but i think it could be it... try putting it back in your pearl if you liked it there! :P
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_tom_

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2011, 08:36:12 PM »
Yes it was great in the Pearl so I think I shall put it back there and until I can afford a matching MQ, stick the Gibson pickup back in the SG!

Pale Rider

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2011, 10:35:51 PM »
As for how pickups handle sustain, low output allow more natural sustain (string vibration) and high output (passives) create artificial sustain lengthening the audible string vibration. Actives do both at the same time... in the expense of tone maybe(?).
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 10:38:08 PM by Nuke »
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shobet

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2011, 10:50:56 PM »
As for how pickups handle sustain, low output allow more natural sustain (string vibration) and high output (passives) create artificial sustain lengthening the audible string vibration. Actives do both at the same time... in the expense of tone maybe(?).

Can you explain the physics behind your statement please?
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Pale Rider

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2011, 11:07:56 PM »
As for how pickups handle sustain, low output allow more natural sustain (string vibration) and high output (passives) create artificial sustain lengthening the audible string vibration. Actives do both at the same time... in the expense of tone maybe(?).

Can you explain the physics behind your statement please?

Low output pickups produce a weaker magnetic field that doesn't pull the strings as high output ones do so they let them vibrate more freely. However high output pickups have a higher "gain" so with less string vibration can produce a stronger signal and as the string vibration dies out they can still be heard.

Actives have a weak magnetic field which lets the strings vibrate more freely again but they use a preamp to amplify the weak signal of their weak magnetic field. They have high gain via transistors than the coil winding and a stronger magnet like passive high output pickups.

I personally prefer the passive high output pickups tone though. ;)

It seems that whenever transistors get in the way they leave their signature...:P

Edit: Also passive pickups are made only of conductors and magnets. Actives have semi-conductors (transistors) in their circuit too. Their tone has to do with that I guess. It may be something about the very heart of their construction (composition of the transistors - you know germanium, sillicon etc).
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 11:19:35 PM by Nuke »
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MDV

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2011, 11:23:50 PM »
As for how pickups handle sustain, low output allow more natural sustain (string vibration) and high output (passives) create artificial sustain lengthening the audible string vibration. Actives do both at the same time... in the expense of tone maybe(?).

Can you explain the physics behind your statement please?

Low output pickups produce a weaker magnetic field that doesn't pull the strings as high output ones do so they let them vibrate more freely.

Low and high output pickups often have very similar, if not the same magnets in. The number of turns round the coil is the primary determinant in how hot the pickup is.

Pale Rider

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2011, 11:29:03 PM »
As for how pickups handle sustain, low output allow more natural sustain (string vibration) and high output (passives) create artificial sustain lengthening the audible string vibration. Actives do both at the same time... in the expense of tone maybe(?).

Can you explain the physics behind your statement please?

Low output pickups produce a weaker magnetic field that doesn't pull the strings as high output ones do so they let them vibrate more freely.

Low and high output pickups often have very similar, if not the same magnets in. The number of turns round the coil is the primary determinant in how hot the pickup is.

Yeah my post applies mostly to the case they use different magnets. ;) However coil winding affects the magnetic field too. The more winds the stronger the magnetic field the current (produced by the strings) will produce and so on. It's like a circle. They interact to each other.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 11:33:22 PM by Nuke »
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MDV

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Re: Can pickups affect sustain?
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2011, 11:40:38 PM »
No they dont.

Edit: to clarify: the coil doesnt increase the magnetic field strength unless a current is being driven through it by an additional PD.

Were this the case they would have a positve feedback loop between mag field strength and current and they would be a source of infinte energy.

Edit 2: PD, potential difference. An electromagnet, which a pickup isnt.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 11:42:52 PM by MDV »