• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

The new TCM Mini-Q

jbp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,575
Great news, Terry. I've got 2-3 guitars that would benefit GREATLY from this.

Last I heard, you were slated to release 2-3 diff versions (single coil, humbucker, etc). Is that still the case?

Any idea as to cost and ETA? :)
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,132
Great news, Terry. I've got 2-3 guitars that would benefit GREATLY from this.

Last I heard, you were slated to release 2-3 diff versions (single coil, humbucker, etc). Is that still the case?

Any idea as to cost and ETA? :)
Many thanks, sir!

I'll start by offering two versions as follows. They are sold per-channel (ie, by how many tone controls a guitar has..1 tone= 1 channel)

Type One mono channel for single coils, and S/S/H setups
You'd use this on Tele's, Strats, P90's, S/S/H setups

Type Two mono channel for humbuckers
This will drop into a Les Paul, PRS, etc etc

ETA June 2014
Retail $ TBD (significantly less than say a Strymon stompbox for sure!)
 

j.s.tonehound

Member
Messages
7,462
Hi Terry, can I ask how much 'real estate' they take up in the control cavity? Even a bog standard cube dimension would be very helpful.
 

garyrogue

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,083
Hi Terry
So this will replade the tone control? The guitars with 2 tone controls, will 2 be needed or will one handle the job?
Thanks Gary
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,132
Many thanks for the questions!
1) The unit is a black block with wires coming out; some go to the dual concentric pot (prewired)..3 go to ground and the associated vol pot. It will fit in LP, Tele, Strat, SG, PRS etc etc

2) How many channels you need depends upon how many tone controls you currently have; the TCM Mini-Q is a replacement for one or more tone controls. So, an LP needs 2 channels, a Tele needs one channel, etc.
Of course you could elect to install only one, leaving the other tone control as-is.

Here's the latest propaganda with a bit more information. Many thanks to Brent Johnston for this!

 

j.s.tonehound

Member
Messages
7,462
Thanks Terry, I like the sound of a black block, very 2001-esque! I was thinking more in terms of specific dimensions, 1" sq for instance? It's for a custom build so just trying to get an idea of space needed per unit.
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,132
Thanks Terry, I like the sound of a black block, very 2001-esque! I was thinking more in terms of specific dimensions, 1" sq for instance? It's for a custom build so just trying to get an idea of space needed per unit.
I cant give hard dimensions yet...2 weeks from now no problem, but each block will be aprox 1" x 1.250" x 5/8". One block per channel.
 

muddy

Member
Messages
5,717
yeah, but stymon's pedals all start at $300! uh-oh. i'm sure it's worth whatever you wanna charge for it, of that i have no doubt, but i won't be able to swing that much... damn!!


ml

ETA June 2014
Retail $ TBD (significantly less than say a Strymon stompbox for sure!)
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,132
yeah, but stymon's pedals all start at $300! uh-oh. i'm sure it's worth whatever you wanna charge for it, of that i have no doubt, but i won't be able to swing that much... damn!!


ml
The TCM Mini-QTM will retail for less than $150.00/module.
 

jbp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,575
Terry, I'm curious how the MiniQ differs from things like the Villex Passive Boosters. (I've got the rotary model on one of my Strats.)

Yours is clearly more tweak able, but do they work off the same basic principle?

http://www.villex.com/boosters.html
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,132
Terry, I'm curious how the MiniQ differs from things like the Villex Passive Boosters. (I've got the rotary model on one of my Strats.)

Yours is clearly more tweak able, but do they work off the same basic principle?

http://www.villex.com/boosters.html
Im so very pleased by your question, as I had not heard of those products, which seem clever..... and in addition you've provided me the chance to discuss the TCM Mini-Q in more detail. Many thanks. Ive looked at your link, and I can say unreservedly that the Villex products do differ quite a bit from the TCM Mini-Q.

I'll explain why and...apologies in advance for wordy, techie writing which follows. Interested parties who actually digest the following are true die-hards. I am grateful! Thanks in advance.

The Villex and 1/2 of the TCM Mini-Q operate in the mids, so lets look at Villex vs the Mini-Q's Midrange Contour function. Let's leave the Mini-Q's Low Pass Filter aside for the moment.

There are obvious differences between the 2 approaches...Villex vs TCM Mini-Q's Midrange Contour...as follows:

1) The Villex claims an actual voltage boost, while the TCM Mini-Q does not.

Just guessing, but it may be that Villex' rotary booster is using a miniature audio transformer to boost that voltage, passively. Used this way, it might be looked at as being an iron-cored inductor. Their "boost 1" might be the use of the transformer's secondary winding; "boost 2" might be the primary winding; "boost 3" might be the secondary/primary windings in series. Isnt this the way that Tesla generated lightning bolts from far lower voltages?
There may well be an associated RC (resistor/capacitor) network, probably 2 components. The footprint doesnt have more room, I am thinking.

Their graph of the rotary booster shows the boosted freq's CF moving to the left as the output increases; this would be consistent with the introduction of the transformer's windings, and of the series link at "boost 3".

The TCM Mini-Q does not utilize a miniature audio transformer... rather, there is a custom-order, made in USA inductor which is not a re-purposed part; the nature of which varies according to the model of "Q", and they are very tight spec indeed at 3% tolerance. There's plenty of other parts too, and as for off-shore origin there is a very certain Japanese Panasonic capacitor in there that beat all the others in it's place in the circuit.

The footprint of the Mini-Q is larger, not only due to it's dual-filter design, but also as the best sounding components take up space, particularly the Low Pass Filter components. Still, the Mini Q's module is small enough to fit into almost any control cavity.

2) The TCM Mini-Q is a true passive equalizer, and it is a dual-function EQ...and both can be used simultaneously. The Mini-Q is a pair of swept filters, while the Villex operates on 1-3 fixed points. They are very very different (NOT saying that the Villex isnt clever and cool, mind you!!!! :D)

The upcoming literature for the "Q" may use the word "boost" (regarding part of the midrange contour filter), but only for ease of communication; the Mini-Q does not truly boost, in that it does not increase voltage. Rather, (as regards the Midrange Contour filter) I use psycho-acoustic "trickery" to fool the ear into hearing a very specific range of mid "boost" over one range of the pot, and then use different "cut-only" EQ over another range of the pot.

Over the range of the pot, a complex series of interactions takes place, but no matter...you just turn the knob until it sounds appropriate. That's all there is to it.

It is a very organic and natural sound, even when the midrange contour is at a rad setting. And, it can be pretty rad if you want.

As an experienced recording engineer, I can assure you that when mixing a record the best EQ results are often from "cutting" not "boosting"... very, very often. You shave-away things to either side of what you want to bring forward in the soundstage. By doing so, you do not introduce electronic colors from the circuit such as happens in "boost mode".

In other words, you clear away what you dont want, leaving the "good stuff" loud-and-proud. It is an excellent mixing plan in many cases. If the goal is for natural sound, then cut-only EQ clears away the mess. It sounds natural because we are not amplifying anything, altho the ear thinks that we are.

This manner of thinking carries forward, very very well, into the onboard EQ that is the TCM Mini-Q. It translates well into any sort of amplifier, because we are never actually boosting. From Marshall Jubilee to vintage Princeton Reverb,etc, we are never feeding the amp an unnaturally boosted frequency set. It pretty much sounds as if the guitar were built to sound that way. I'm NO fan of "hyped" tones.

And you are not losing power whilst doing so. These "cut modes" are carefully crafted to drive the amp just right...in keeping with the mood that the filter is intended to create.

I'm happy to discuss the other 1/2 of the TCM Mini-Q...the Low Pass Filter, if you'd like. The LPF takes the place of the trad 'ol tone control, does that job. I'll tell you how/why it works, and why some may be (finally) delighted with such a thing, if you want.
 
Last edited:

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,132
Many thanks fellows!

The Mini-Q's Low Pass Filter (LPF) is easier to explain than the Midrange Contour control ,because the LPF fills the same role as the trad 'ol tone control (which is a crude lpf filter).

As the propaganda states, the LPF is inspired by the excellent lpf channel filter found on the vintage Harrison 32C recording console. I did some mixing on one some time back and fell in love with that filter!

As you back-off the knob, the high's are attenuated...just like the trad tone control, HOWEVER there is a difference that I hope folks will like. here is a strange and delightful transparent, articulate nature to the filter's sound as it rolls-off the highs.

What this means in a real-world sense is that you can warm up your sound and still hear the "inside" of the chords...as opposed to a wooly "lump" with say a G Major tonality (or Fm etc etc lol).

The filter doesnt bottom out into a mudball. The nature of the guitar remains intact over the course of the pot's rotation. This is what impressed me about the 32C filter. used it to warm-up a Tele-thru-Twin track and thought "I want this in a guitar".

Warm and yet articulate.
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom