Fralins, weak low end?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jamison162, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

    Messages:
    7,778
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Does anyone else beside me find the Fralins (BS, VH?) are a little weak in the low end response? Just curious if it's just me, the guitar or what. Guess I'll find out for sure though when I put the FL's in.
     
  2. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,736
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I had Fralins in a relic and thought they were too bright and chimey. But it turns out after many pickup swaps, it really was the guitar and not until I changed necks (believe it or not), did I get the tone I wanted. I learned to just listen and play the thing acoustically to see if it has the qualities I want to hear.
     
  3. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

    Messages:
    7,778
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Well, in my experience, weight has a lot to do with low end response...and I guess since this is light weight swamp ash it's not gonna have as stong a bass as my previous alder G&L. Although, I've always heard that ash was big on the low and highs and scooped in the middle.
     
  4. s2khawk

    s2khawk Member

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    dropped to 3rd drunkest city in US
    I couldnt agree more, my #1 for the past 8 years has been a '82 jap strat with all the right high end parts/pups and its a brick for a strat weighing in at over 7lbs but you know what? It records like a Paul if I want it to very warm and fat but still chimey also, it has vintage hot harmonic designs which are a perfect fit for meaty sounding fenders such as my #1

    I have a fralin sp43 p90/tele thing in my esquire and may pull it, its beyond vintage powerful and not much low-end but that said it is in a hollow ash body so there u go :)
     
  5. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,853
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    I've had Fralin Tele pickups, Strat pickups, and P90s, and I've found them to be pretty well balanced, across the entire frequency range...
     
  6. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

    Messages:
    7,778
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Well, my lightweight ash Grosh weighs in at around 7.5 on the bathrooms scales. And compared to my 9lb LP, that's pretty light.

    I do have the SP43 in the bridge also, which may be a big part of the problem. Good strong output and plenty of mids and bite, but lacking low end. Anyone else find the SP43 this way....
     
  7. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,341
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Location:
    Remulon V Beta Colony
    You just summed up just about everything with that phrase.
    Part of the thing with Lindy Fralin's vintage pups - he doesn't degauss the magnets like many other vintage pickup builders. As a result, Fralins (to my ears) have a high-end "zing" that you either like or don't. It's less prevalent on Fralin Blues Specials because of their character tone, and probably to a degree the fact that over-winding attenuates highs, but it's there. Harmonic Design Vintage Plus Strat pups however... They rock.
    They are the secret weapon in my FrankenStrat. OK - one of the secret weapons :D

    jb
     
  8. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

    Messages:
    7,778
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Hehehe, ok what's the other then? I wonder how the HD and Suhr FL's compare.

    I actually find the Blue's Specials just as harsh, but it's within a different frequency range. Upper mids, lots of folks including Stu at Fat Sound have commented on this. Granted, drop them down to the pickguard and they sound much sweeter, but they'er almost too low at that point. You compromise by loosing output...just to far below the sweet spot. You can also degauss them but that's very experimental. Lindy can offer up some ideas on all that.
     
  9. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,490
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Philly, Pa
    Nope.....Fralins are just extremely balanced.

    Hate to say it, they are probably just highlighting a weakness in your axe.
     
  10. rickc007

    rickc007 Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,815
    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    What jimfog said

    I have 6 diff sets of Fralins, including Custom Wound ones
    all very balanced, none lacking or overboard in any way

    I have had some sound "off" in certain guitars, turned about to be
    the wood
     
  11. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,809
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    I had Fralin VH in an American Standard for 10 years and it was a very vintage sound - including a relative lack of low end. I finally replaced them with Lollar BF for a slightly darker tone that I love. Another of my strats has the HD Vintage Plus set, which really DOES rock. The glassy character of a vintage strat pickup, nicely rounded off with more output. Great pickups. Another has Fralin SP 42's and a 43, and that is an awesome, unique sound. Lots of mojo, and lots of fun.

    I had a hollow ash strat that sounded very thin with most pickups. The only set I ever had in there that sounded good was the Bare Knuckles Trilogy Suite set.

    Jamison, it sounds like you might really like the HD Vintage Plus set.
     
  12. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

    Messages:
    7,778
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Nah, acoustically this Grosh is full sounding and resonant. 7.5lbs on the scales but man is it light...I wouldnt' have minded it being another pound heavier.
    I am known to be a bass nut though. If I wasn't so into guitar I'de be throwing down on bass. My dad has been playing for 32 yrs and I grew up with basses in the house. And I used to ride around with 2 10's in the truck and all that jazz. So I think what my ears are accustomed to and want to hear may be a little more than the typical player looks for.

    I think there are several other things at play now that I think about it.

    - I recently changes speaker configurations.
    - I lowered the pickups quite a bit due to the strong magnet and harshness I was hearing.
    - I have the bass side set lower which is usually only needed/seen on staggered pole pieces. This guitar has a 10" radius and pickups have flat pole pieces, the bridge follows the radius and so I think I am over-compensating on the low side.
    - The SP43 is mid heavy and lacks some lowend especially running through an amps overdrive channel, compression, etc. And that's the main pickup I had in mind when I asked initially.

    But I will say I've heard one or two others comment on Fralins bass response compared to some other great strat pickups. We'll see what I can do with them, and how these FL's are gonna compare.
     
  13. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

    Messages:
    7,778
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Don't tempt me! I actually considered them before ordering the Suhr FL's the other day. But they declined to take my phone call. I emailed and asked for their number and they wouldn't give it to me. I'm not gonna go back and forth with 20 emails when one simple business phone call can get it done quicker.
     

Share This Page