Can pickups be too articulate?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by papersoul, Mar 18, 2006.


  1. papersoul

    papersoul Supporting Member

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    Ever find that some pickups pick up every little nuance and really make your bad playing days stand out? Or maybe pick up every little string noise, scrape, etc? Do you guys prefer this aspect?
     
  2. Gordon

    Gordon Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes I have found the same thing that you're describing. That is the sound that I prefer actually. That's why I play low output single coils (strats) and don't fool with high output models or humbuckers. I just hate mud, and lack of clarity. In the same vien, that's why I only use 15 ft. of George L's cable. Once again, hate the mud. I also have my amp set up to get maximum clarity, even under distortion, abd don't use any pedals. You get the idea. I've taken the whole clarity thing as far as I can and it's my sound. I also play a Scott Lentz S which has great wide open tone and clarity, and very little muddying in the tone circuit. What you have to do is to get your action up a bit higher than what you may be use to, in order to minimize the unwanted noises at the frets. And yes, practice the same things over and over in order the play them cleanly. I'm sure that there are just as many players who hate it and want some blurr in there playing. It's just my preference, that's all.

    Gordon
     
  3. Gordon

    Gordon Silver Supporting Member

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    Oh, BTW, the reason I like all that clarity is that I get get much more emotion out of the intstrument by how I play. It really responds to your touch, so there is an advantage. And I don't play super clean. I have an amp that cranks, but even under moderate distortion all the notes really jump out and sound great.
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    You can lower the pick up and increase the distance between it and the string, which will reduce this issue. You can make a hot pick up a normal pick up by simply dropping it four or five turns into the body cavity of the guitar.
     
  5. ddeand

    ddeand Silver Supporting Member

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    The first time I tried Bardens (about 5 years ago), I was amazed at how good I would have to be to make those pickups sound good. I can't even imagine how great the players are who make those pickups work. The Bardens were the most sensitive and articulate pickups I've ever tried. But I do know enough now to see that a huge amount of that sensitivity come from the setup, too.

    Dean
     
  6. Crunchyriff

    Crunchyriff Member

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    Some humbuckers are articulate in this fashion. The Rolphs '59 Pretenders in my '58 Historic LP are like this.
     
  7. changeling

    changeling Member

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    ...where the strings come in.
    when i saw the title of this thread,the first thing i thought of was carvin humbuckers.
    i had a holdsworth for a short time and to me,those pickups sounded like piezos.
    i put in a set of classic 57s and it took on an es-335 character.
    later,
    r
     
  8. erksin

    erksin Member

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    If they are too articulate as to sound sterile, then yes. I happen to like a lot of articulation, but I had a Barden Two/Tone HB that sounded absolutely dry and lifeless to my ears. My HD Z-90s have the same level of articulation, but are warm and complex - it totally depends on the pickup IMO.
     
  9. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    If you're worried about a pickup revealing your bad day, get back in the woodshed!
     
  10. papersoul

    papersoul Supporting Member

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    I wish, but working long ours and having a family take up so much of my time.....I lost a lot of what I could once do when I was younger. Wish I had the time to woodshed.:(

    Speaking of articulat and sterile. EMGs feel that way to me, but some guys make em sing.
     
  11. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    No such thing as 'too articulate'. I can muddy up anything! It's easier to dull an articulate pickup than to sharpen a dull one. AC
     
  12. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Many Bartolini pickup designs are incredibly detailed and articulate, though musical.
     
  13. al carmichael

    al carmichael Member

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    I dig Barden's in a Tele. Articulate, yes, but its mostly the high end that makes them that way. If I want a little less presence, its an easy fix--just roll off a bit on the tone control. Like AaeCee says, you can always dull 'em a bit but you can't add highs that aren't there.
     

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