Is Quack all in the Pickups?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by supergenius365, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,946
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    Clemmons, NC
    .........for the 2 and 4 positions on a Strat, or does the guitar body/neck have something to do with it?
     
  2. jjp

    jjp Senior Member

    Messages:
    656
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    How about pick attack and the amp that you are playing through???!! I can make my LP and my Tele quack or squak. Someone who had an axe to grind with a Strat started this ridiculous stereotype.:mob Grrrr...
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  3. midwayfair

    midwayfair Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Aw, come on now.

    It's not necessarily "all in the pickups," but Strat pickups will tend to do it easier because of their typical resonant peak. Middle positions may in many cases quack easier because cancellations can leave in more of the resonant peak, but many people seem to think the middle pickup is quacky on its own.

    I can get more quack out of a 3-pickup guitar I have with strat pickups than out of a 3-pickup guitar I have with a mix of telecaster and broadcaster pickups. But I can still get some out of the tele pickups.

    Fortunately for non-strat users, you have tone knobs on your guitar and amp. Some experimentation with the overall brightness may yield the results you want.

    jjp's overreacting a little, I think. :p
     
  4. rockonomics

    rockonomics Member

    Messages:
    517
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Spokane, Wa.
    Tone is in yer underwear. For clean tone, just put on clean skivies. If you're looking for a dirtier tone, just don't change your shorts for a month. And of course if you want that raw, balls out tone, just don't wear any at all.
     
  5. scottlr

    scottlr Member

    Messages:
    22,853
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Born & raised in Texas; stranded in Iowa
    I tried to explain the quack sound to my musical partner once. I told him him how I could tell that sound when I heard it, and knew it was a Strat style guitar. I gave him a few examples. To me, Sweet Home Alabama has the quack sound at the intro. I also think that the intro to The Edgar Winter Group's Free Ride was done with a Strat on Quack. Clapton's Lay Down Sally has a lot of quack from both Clapton and Albert Lee. Sultans of Swing has plenty of quack.

    How to get it? I don't know. I can pull it out of any Strat I have if I try hard enough.
     
  6. CowTipton

    CowTipton Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,516
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Haunting Mid-west
    I think it's the pickups and the body of the guitar.

    Alder + middle/combo position single coils = quack.
     
  7. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,946
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    Clemmons, NC
    I have 2 Strats. One with Suhr V60LPs and one with Klein 65's. While they are similar output, the Strat with the Suhr pups has the kind of quack that just brings a smile to your face.
     
  8. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

    Messages:
    4,096
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    It has to do with the pickups and their locations along the scale length on a Strat and that they are combined in Parallel.

    But other scale lengths and pickups can also quack.

    I used to have a BC Rich which was made H-S-H and one of the pickups I used for middle was Dimarzio HS2 which could have it's 2 coils in "normal" mode or "parallel"- the HS2 in parallel combined with either OR both Humbuckers in either single coil or full Humbucking - always quacked, some were similar to a Strat some were thicker but still quacked .So other scale lengths can do it but I think the narrow magnetic window single coils and stacks in parallel are the easiest way.

    I'd say it's MOSTLY in the pickups, not all, because the distance between the pickups comes into play somewhat........IMO and IMExperience
     
  9. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

    Messages:
    3,986
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Location:
    Buda, TX
    For what it's worth, I get great Stratty quack sounds from my 7-string Ibanez RG7620 with two humbuckers. It's wired so that in position two, you get the inside coils of each pickup in parallel, and it gets that exact quack sound, better than my Strats actually. It must be the positions of the coils in relation to the length of the string.
     
  10. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

    Messages:
    3,986
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Location:
    Buda, TX
    The whole "Just One Night" album by Eric Clapton is a quack-fest.
     
  11. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    For me it had to do with the height of the middle pickup. Lower the pickup the more the quack... IMHO of course
     
  12. Nickstrtcstr

    Nickstrtcstr Lactose Intolerant Guitar Slinger

    Messages:
    4,148
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Location:
    Hopatcong, New Jersey
    The 'quack' tone is a result of the using the 2 and 4 positions of a Strat type setup. The middle pickup is usually wired out of phase with the neck and bridge pickup. When the middle pickup is used in conjunction with either of the other two there is a weird cancellation because of this. The guitar in the Eric Clapton tune posted above is an excellent example of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  13. tjmicsak

    tjmicsak Member

    Messages:
    5,523
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    Webster, NY
    What folks reffer to as quack is pretty much the #2 position using either standard or a RWRP middle pickup. Both of those sound slightly different.
    You can get close with a Nashville Telecaster too, but not exact, a bit stronger in the mids, which isn't necc. a bad thing because the quack tone is a bit hollow and scooped.

    Now the #4 position I don't see or hear as a quack. This position is a warmer and lower ended sound, while similar, seems to have a much more glass-like clean tone to it. A bit more full bodied while at the same time very chimey without so much plankity plank to it. Some of the best Knopfler clean tones are in this position.

    Quack is not just in the guitar. Remember that the #2 and #4 settings are resonant peaks and phase cancellations so they can be a bit hollow. Adjusting the amp to add midrange to these tones can really yield some nice results to keep that sound but give it some strength and body in the mix.
     
  14. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

    Messages:
    3,856
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
  15. Seegs

    Seegs Member

    Messages:
    10,075
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    While I find that true to an extent I do find that it is at the expense of the middle pickup alone tone...sounds anemic when it's too low...

    The trick is to find enough quack without diminishing the middle pickups tone...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  16. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,190
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Quack is in your heart...
     
  17. Devin

    Devin Low Voltage Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,189
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I think lighter guitars and thinnner pickguards maximize quack,... why?

    dunno just do.
     
  18. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

    Messages:
    10,410
    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    just west of Monterey, CA
    A common but inaccurate description: out-of-phase. They aren't out of phase, they are in parallel. Some overtones cancel when any two coils are sampling one string.
     
  19. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,567
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    One day, I saw a duck trying to fly upside down....Guess what happened?



    He quacked up ;)!!

    However, there should be a law that Strat 2 or 4 positions can't be used more than one song per set. I hear guys using that sound for 3-4 hours straight. The best Strat tones are 1,3, &5...the way Leo intended....and the tone killing RWRP middle should be illegal.
     

Share This Page