Interesting Pickup Design!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by jmadill, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

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    Has anyone checked out these Q-Tuner Pickups?

    They look very interesting!

    [​IMG]

    -jm
     
  2. george4908

    george4908 Member

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  3. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

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    Those look very interesting as well. I couldn't find any further details ... like sound samples, etc. Let me know if you find anything, or if you get a set of 'em.

    Thank you for posting this. It's nice to see folks stepping outside the box!

    -jm

     
  4. kovachian

    kovachian Member

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    They have a couple sound clips on their site, well three actually 2 bass w/drums in different bitrates and one guitar. They sound like they're pretty rich in harmonics, but I'd like to hear how they handle overdrive.
     
  5. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I listened to the clips, but the guitar one was SO lacking in creativity that I got a little turned off by the song. It sounded to me like it was one phrase that was looped, and a little off at that.

    The harmonics were very rich, though.

    I would have rather have just heard someone noodling around with different amp settings and effects to hear how it behaved with different techniques. Better yet, a "normal" pickup and the Q-tuner with the same phrases and amp settings.

    Cool to see some new designs, though.

    -jm
     
  6. murkat

    murkat I like sea otters

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    bill Lawrence's old design. Crack open an old L90 or S90 series from the 70's, same thing only with the blades and epoxy'd
     
  7. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

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    Which ones? Q-Tuner or Lace?

    -jm
     
  8. Cokemachine

    Cokemachine Member

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    I have both the Q-tuners and the Lace Alumitones, so I'll add my 2 cents on both.

    The Q-tuners are similar to old Bill Lawrence "sidewinder" design, but use neodymium magnets. They also have 3 rows of adjustable pole pieces which can be used to slightly "tune" the pickup to taste. There are a couple of different winds available - from PAF type output to extremely hot. The Q-tuners have excellent clarity, but lack character. They have a very flat frequency response. My biggest beef with them is that they exhibit quite a lot of string pull. Also, the earlier Q-tuners were cast with a clear epoxy that was prone to cracking, but they have since adressed that issue. Overall, the Q-tuners are cool pickup for those looking for a clean, articulate passive pickup.

    The Alumitones are cool design, but really poorly executed by Lace. They transformer-based design of the Alumitones are not dependent on shape to produce a particular sound. I've used both the Alumitone single coils and humbuckers. First off, the Alumitones have terrible quality. None of the screw mounting holes on all of the Alumitones that I had were tapper/drilled correctly. Also, the finish varries greatly from pickup to pickup. I will admit that the Alumitones do have quit an exaggerated low end and top end as advertised, but have a very static midrange. The midrange response of these pickups is what really irked me with these pickups - very lifeless and blah. Overall - good idea that has promise, but look elsewhere other than Lace. Try the Villex versions (the guy behind Villex designed the Alumitones and the transformer-based pickup design). I haven't personally tried the Villex pickups, but have heard good things about their bass pickups.
     
  9. kovachian

    kovachian Member

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    I'm thinking about ordering up a set of those Q-tuners. Cokemachine, would you happen to have any sound clips, and would you honestly recommend them as a versatile pickup? Are you using singles/humbuckers or both? I'm trying to find input from people who have them and what I've found so far is most people rant and rave over them. I'd have a hard time justifying their ultra-high price just to be let down.
     
  10. LeeBers

    LeeBers Member

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    I have the same request as kovachian, though thankfully, I may have a slightly different platform in which I'd be installing these pickups; I'll be using a Steinberger GL-7T faceplate (H-S-H) on my GL body. Have the origional faceplate, which is a 4TA (S-S-H) and I've a second faceplate that I need to modify to make it into another 7 (H-S-H) where I'll probably drop in a set of Seymour Duncans (SH-2, SCR-1, SH-4).

    Thanks again, Cokemachine!
     
  11. Cokemachine

    Cokemachine Member

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    Unfortunately, I don't have any clips available of the Q-tuners. I haven’t had a chance to try out the single coil Q-tuners, but I can tell you that all the models of the Q-tuners are wound to have the same flat frequency response. In other words, the GL (guitar) Q-tuner sounds the same as the BL-6 (6-string bass) Q-tuner.

    Is the Q-tuner a “versatile” pickup? Well, I think that the flat frequency response of the Q-tuners does not preclude them from certain styles or types of music. Don’t expect any drastic changes in tone by adjusting the pole pieces though. They allow for some minor tonal tweaks only. I can tell you that the Q-tuner is a very tight pickup with excellent clarity on par with active pickups. The neodymium magnets give them a very fast response and great articulation. These magnets also exhibit a fair amount of string pull, so be aware of that. All of my guitars are routed for direct mounting pickups and as such, I’m limited by how much I can lower pickups. If you are mounting a Q-tuner in a pickguard, this shouldn’t be a problem, just be aware that you will be positioning these pickups much lower than standard pickups.

    I’ve come to realize that I’m not one for pickups with a flat frequency response. I like pickups with a little more character. I’m a sucker for trying out new and different things, so I jumped at the chance to try out the Q-tuners at the Alumitones. For those looking to try the Q-tuners, let me make the following recommendations:
    1. Get the standard output/medium Z Q-tuners. I’ve found that they are more open sounding and have an output on par with an overwound PAF. Q-tuners are a tight pickup to begin with and the higher output versions may be a little too tight for most.
    2. Don’t expect traditional single coil tones from the mini Q-tuner (i.e. GS Q-tuner). They sound the same as their humbucker counterparts, the only difference being that they have 1 row of adjustable pole pieces as opposed to 3. Actually, the GS Q-tuner is a humbucker in a single coil size.
    I’ve been thinking of selling my Q-tuners (medium and high Z humbuckers) and Alumitones (humbucker set and single coil set). Anybody interested can PM me.
     

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