Would adding a mid control allow me to get "vintage" sound with hotter strat pups?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Dioxic, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Dioxic

    Dioxic Member

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    Okay, so hear me out.

    For those of you that've heard of "mid-scooped" pickups you're probably aware that it's more or less a marketing ploy. Most older strat pickups naturally have scooped miss anyways since they're so low in output.

    So, I had the idea of buying a pickup set that's wound around 7-7.5k at the hottest. Maybe 8k in the bridge if I'd really like to try & push it. Then I could add a mid control.

    The mid control I'm considering trying is the RG500D Custom Taper "Orange" Midrange Shaped

    In theory if I scoop the mids with the passive mid control the slightly hotter pups will sound closer to vintage pups with that "mid-scooped" sound?

    This is my attempt at having my cake and eating it too. What do you guys think? Has anybody tried this?
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    that's the first i've heard of vintage pickups being "mid-scooped". where'd you get that?

    in any case, a mid-cut circuit on the guitar would be miles away from any kind of "vintage" guitar tone.
     
  3. Dioxic

    Dioxic Member

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    :jo Perhaps I misunderstood the source, but it was from an old topic here on TGP where people were discussing John Mayers Mid-scooped Big Dipper pickups. I suppose the poster could've meant that the Big Dipper pups were more low output than mid-scooped, but I don't believe so. I suppose he was just misinformed?

    In any event, is there any chance that this setup would get me close to the John Mayer mid-scooped sound without having to have that sound all the time?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  4. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    " Vintage tone" is somewhat of an apparition.
    Vintage what?
    The whole vintage tone notions is to a greater degree imaginary.
    The reality is that some vintage guitars sounded great and some not so great, even in identical guitars.
    Mostly due to the fact that pickups were not always wound on precision machinery that could crank out thousands of clones.
    At one time pickups had not only random numbers of windings that were at best within a percentage range, they were also randomly wound. They didn't have nice neat rows of windings, they were wound like a garden hose around a crank handle hose retractor.
    Some sounded sweet, some sour.
     
  5. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    Why not just buy the pickups with the sound you want instead of buying pickups that don't sound the way you want and trying to tone shape them? What you may not realize is that by the time you run your pickups through passive tone shaping circuitry you will have much lower output. That's why you don't generally see complicated passive tone shaping circuits on guitars. After you're done shaping you need to amplify the signal to bring it back up to the same level as before. Active and passive mid tone shaping circuits would NOT be any sort of ticket to "vintage" tone IMO. Exactly the opposite.
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    No, quite a few pickup companies have been using that description for years now, Fender, Klein... I think the OP is on to something. Hotter pickups have all those mids, and vintage singles as well as humbuckers have a lot less. It'd be a cool experiment.
     
  7. Muzzy

    Muzzy Supporting Member

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    I think of vintage tone as comeing from amps, speakers, and tubes moreso than pickups. My Rocketfire pickups are vintage sounding pickups but, if played thru a modern sounding amp alot of the vintage sound is gone.
     
  8. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    If what you are referring to by "vintage" is the stock sound of pickups before aftermarket pickups started appearing, what you really what are rather low output alnico pickups that are not overwound.
    You don't really get a very hot sound from them, what you do get is a little warmer tone.
    Old blues players got a lot of sustain by overdriving small tube amps, they didn't get that sound from the pickups.
    In reality most of the so called "vintage" pickups were not real gainy sounding, they were rather weak.

    Another way to get a warmer "vintage" sound is to lower your pickups. Lower pickups have a lower gain but warmer less pick attack tone.
     
  9. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

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    I would submit that so is a 'mid-scooped' pickup.

    But I think your hypothesis is valid; you should try it.
     
  10. truckerrik

    truckerrik Member

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    I added this mid control when I changed pups. It is an excellent tool but the "vintage" scooped sound comes from the pups. I had an AmDlx ash strat that sounded great but just didn't have the sound that I wanted. What I sort of call a "hollow" clean tone like a good early 60's strat has. I ended up getting some Curtis Novak vintage pups with A3 magnets. They give me exactly what I was looking for. The Rothstien passive mid control was a great addition and helps in fine tuning for that tone I like but I don't believe it would be the answer with hotter pups. It would still be a good thing to add because it is useful.
     
  11. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Um . . . how about just using the EQ on your amp? Or an EQ pedal?

    FYI: Being able to control EQ both before AND after gain/distortion/compression can get you a LOT of tonal diversity.
     
  12. truckerrik

    truckerrik Member

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    Good idea. I'll start removing the tone pots from my guitars now.
     
  13. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    There are 'acoustic' pedals available [Hartke, Rockman, maybe others] meant to drop midrange when you step on the button.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    The logic is sound.
    Higher output 'modern' pups tend to have more mids.
    Suck them back, lose some output in the process, and you have 'vintage.'
    I have a guitar with an active mid boost or cut but it doesn't really quite work THAT well. However, there are millions of combinations so YMMV.
     
  15. kimock

    kimock Member

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    The approach that seems most popular to me is the opposite.
    Low output passive pickups mid-boosted by an external device.
     
  16. JKjr

    JKjr Member

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    I always disagree with everything this guy says,'cause I know what a crummy sound he gets:sarcasm!!

    I personally like the stuff that's kinda hidden in and around the mids if that makes any sense, and I can't cut the mids without cutting that out as well.
     
  17. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    4.3k and 5k taps cut the mids on my P90's quite well indeed. So yeah, taps is the solution.
     

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