Easy midboost????

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by johnnyguitar, Jan 3, 2006.


  1. johnnyguitar

    johnnyguitar Long in the tooth Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyway to get a mid boost tone control pot or an easy way to get mid boost with a 2 p-90 1-vol-tone setup???
     
  2. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Try an EQ pedal. Put it before any OD pedal(s).
     
  3. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I've no doubt that works in the sense of having an effect on the tone, and it may even sound great, but it can't really boost midrange - it's a passive device (like Fender's TBX which claimed to boost treble but actually works by reducing it at the mid-point so you appear to get more when it's full up). The best it can do is to exaggerate the resonant peak of the pickup - I would guess that's what it does from the components used, including the small choke - but I think around 3dB is the limit there (over a narrower frequency range), and is not really 'mid boost'.

    You need active (ie battery-driven) electronics to get any significant boost over what the pickups naturally produce by themselves, because otherwise there is no way of increasing the amount of electrical energy present.

    That doesn't mean it's a bad product, just that it doesn't quite do what it's claimed to.
     
  5. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    I would agree that it might be operating in a different way than a true Boost.

    It really does sound like a mid boost though in many respects. In the cut mode less of the highs are retained than you would expect though from a true mid cut. But I still find it useful in the mid boost vibe for single coils.
     
  6. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I don't doubt that it does sound good - in fact, I prefer this kind of thing to onboard actives, which I find generally unsubtle and artificial-sounding... I just wish the companies that sell them would describe them correctly! It doesn't really help anyone to wrongly market them.

    If they said something like... it interacts with the resonant frequency of the pickups, giving more (or less) focus in the mids while retaining the natural character of the tone, and not requiring a battery or introducing any extra noise... IMO they'd have described it accurately yet not too technically, and still made it sound like a good idea, without either exaggerating or putting off people who don't like 'onboard electronics' :).

    I hate adspeak, in other words ;).

    I actually wish more guitar makers would use simple passive systems like this - there's much more you can do than just bleeding off the treble to ground.
     
  7. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    John, I agree 100% with all your points.
    :BEER
     
  8. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Agreed, but an electric guitar is an LCR circuit which does have a resonant frequency and can create an increase in signal strength at this point - yes, at the expense of others because the energy in this part of the circuit has to remain constant.

    You can even hear this with a conventional tone control - just turn it all the way down and the L (inductance of the pickup coil) C (capacitance of the tone cap) circuit is now almost undamped, which produces a peak at the tuned frequency of the combination. You do hear this as a very subtle mid boost... it's actually how you get the Clapton 'woman tone'.

    It looks to me from the pic of the Torres circuit that it uses a small choke to exaggerate the tuning effect or possibly change the frequency.

    In fact, you could also use a transformer to passively boost signal level - yes, voltage at the expense of current, but since the result is then amplified by a voltage-sensing amplifier and current is virtually irrelevant, you will hear this as a boost. It will be much worse affected by cabling since it is now a higher-impedance signal, and the transfomer itself will not have perfect audio characteristics so it may also reduce bandwidth - the result will most likely be a more midrangy sound, but higher in signal level... ie a mid boost.

    But I knew the Torres circuit couldn't do that because it's connected by only two wires (one of which is a ground), and you need at least three (two plus ground) for a transformer.
     
  9. johnnyguitar

    johnnyguitar Long in the tooth Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks to all..I remember having guitars with varitones...wonder if doing it that way would get more mids..?????
     

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