My Flying V is complete!

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Postby rustyslide » Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:44 pm

Nice looking guitar! I have a Kent Armstrong Filtertron-like pickup in my Eastman (at the bridge pickup).

With regards to PAFs: there's no such thing as a single "PAF" sound as they were all wound until they "looked right"; that was the measurement that was used at Gibson in the 1950s. People should give up on finding the perfect PAF clone and instead find a set of pickups that sounds right.
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Postby savage » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:31 am

well, i picked up my V from the shop today. he didnt replace the pickups, but at least he re-did all the electronics and set it up. plays great now. all i gotta do is find some good pickups.
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Postby bignick » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:42 pm

As long as you veer away from overwound, you should get that 57 sound. You probably want something with an output of around 9K-10K rather than the modern sounding 15K Super Distortions (which are actually a great blues pickup).

Those Gibson 57s are about $100 a piece aren't they? Just curious.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:02 pm

That's not an output rating, that's a DC resistance of the windings.

DC resistances really don't tell you anything about output unless you know all other variables are identical. IF the two pickups have the same gauge wire in their windings, and IF their magnets and pole pieces are identical, the output voltage will rise according to the square of the turns of wire in the coils, which will be roughly proportional to the rising resistance of the winding that's proportional to the length of wire wound on the bobbin. So, given all those other things being the same, the output will be much higher from a pickup with 15K resistance than one with 9K. Also, the filter effect of the winding due to the inductance and distributed capacitance of the coil will shift to a much lower peak response frequency as the inductance rises as the square of the turns and the capacitance rises more or less linearly. So "hot" pickups give you more bass and mids with a lot less treble.
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Postby texas blues » Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:09 pm

Rico....I once asked a gal in a bar if I could by her a drink. She said " the galactical alignment of the universe when vortexed through the 4th dimensional portal of the time and space continuum as applied to subatomic quantum physics does not manifest itself within our spiritual or physical earthly vessels of containment."
I said "wtf? I'm not gettin' it."
She said ..." that's what I'm trying to tell you."
Glad I didn't mention guitar pickups.
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Postby jeffl » Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:18 pm

texas blues wrote:Rico....I once asked a gal in a bar if I could by her a drink. She said " the galactical alignment of the universe when vortexed through the 4th dimensional portal of the time and space continuum as applied to subatomic quantum physics does not manifest itself within our spiritual or physical earthly vessels of containment."
I said "wtf? I'm not gettin' it."
She said ..." that's what I'm trying to tell you."
Glad I didn't mention guitar pickups.
That's where you pull out that old line,"So, I s'pose oral sex is outa the question,huh." That line hardly ever works, but it gives you some measure of satisfaction.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:20 pm

TB, that was a reply to Big Nick's mention of "outputs" of 9K or 15K, which don't mean much.

The main points were:

• DC resistance doesn't mean shite unless you know every other variable in the pickup is identical.

• Wind more wire on pickups and the output goes up really, really fast.

• Wind more wire on pickups and the tone gets "darker" really fast, too.

Yeah, oral sex is out of the question.
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Postby texas blues » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:36 pm

Rico...have a beer on me. I just had to pull your chain on the pickup winding thang'. Your dissertation on the pickups was more than my feeble mind could absorb and I found that rather amusing. The technical wham wham and zuzu speak goes right over my head and plumb evades me. The pea spinning in my head wants to explode if I have to do math problems and I often have to employ the use of my toes as well as my fingers when counting above the number 3.
It's great there are guys out there like yourself who can break it down for those as mysef' that no habla el technico.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:52 pm

I think I'll finish my Mountain Dew, cast up some bullets, replace the burned out fluorescent tubes in the basement, install and format the new hard drive and replacement CD-RW drive I bought to feed my iPod. Then maybe play a little slide.
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Postby rustyslide » Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:11 pm

I've got some custom pickups on order for my Les Paul - I've become fed up with the modern rock high output humbucker in the bridge. It's just too compressed. The neck pickup is perfectly alright, but I figured I might as well get a matched set.

Currently, it has the Gibson 490R & 498T set, which is just over 9k? DC , AlNiCO 2 at the neck and 14.5k?, AlNiCO 5 at the bridge (!!!).

The new ones are AlNiCO 5, asymmetrical wind 7.5k? at the neck and an AlNiCO 2 asymmetrical wind at the bridge, with however many winds it takes to be slightly hotter than the neck.

The different alloys used to make the magnets purportedly affects the sound as does the number of winds (and gauge of wire), as Rico said.
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Postby bignick » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:21 pm

Forgive me for playing Devil's Advocate Rico, but I have a counterpoint from a marketing perspective. The language may not be correct, but to the average Joe DC Resistence, windings, and Output all pretty much mean the same thing when describing and comparing aftermarket pickups today.

I've always related DC Resistence to the output of the pickup. How am I wrong in doing so IF all the factors are identical? The science of pickup winding is much more precise than it used to be. You can order 5 Dimarzio Super Distortions and expect them to have a close approximate of the actual DC resistence rating advertised and to sound like a Super Distortion because they have the same amount of windings, same wire, ceramic magnets, etc. Everything is regulated as much as it can be to maintain consistency with what is being advertised or you could never market different types of pickups.

My point is, that at the end of the day if Savage was an average Joe that knew nothing of pickups (not saying that you are Sav), wandered into my store and said "I'm looking for a humbucker that sounds like an old Gibson from the 50s" I could tell him "Well you probably want a lower output Alnico magnet humbucker with a 8 or 9K rating". With that information, I could show him a Seymour Duncan 59, or a Dimarzio P.A.F Pro, etc and both of those pickups would be fairly accurate to the description he gave me. Or, he could go online using the description I gave him, check out some manufacturer's comparison charts, and they would say pretty much the same thing.

It isn't perfect. It isn't necesarrilly accurate in technical terms, but it is a way to help people find a pickup that they want. It seems to me that my error in telling Savage to shy away from pickups with a 15K rating was that I did not specify that a pickup with a 15K rating from Gibson is not going to sound identical to a pickup with a 15K rating from Dimarzio or GFS. All companies use different materials and one could have Alnico magnets and one could be Ceramic. Definitely a difference as Rusty mentioned, and something I left out in my previous post negligently.
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Postby ricochet » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:27 pm

You're right that it's the way the pickup makers rate them. My beef is with them, because they're advertising something relatively meaningless. It's very seldom the case that all the other factors are identical. Basically, they don't want to advertise the measurements that matter, because it would make it easier to compare them directly with their competitors, and to clone them. But DC resistance is a VERY rough factor for comparing them. Pickups could be tested with standardized procedures and have curves of their outputs and frequency response curves posted, as is the case with speakers. But unless there's a demand, it won't happen.
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Postby bignick » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:18 pm

I agree with you. Whenever someone has a pickup for sale, it seems like the first post is what that pickup rates on the multimeter. Seymour Duncan does a fairly good job of demonstrating the differences between their pickups though, and you can email Jay at guitarfetish for accurate descriptions of his GFS stuff.

I could understand why people would want to know if they knew of the other factors and if it was a vintage pickup. Vintage alnico Gibson PAFS are highly valued because of the inaccuracies of winding and the aging of the magnets. If you did want to spend a couple hundred, or even a couple thousand on a vintage PAF, you would want to know if it still had some juice.
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Postby savage » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:31 pm

Thank you guys for the information. I didn't know that about the rating system. I'm gonna start checking around for guitars that have similar PUs so I can get an idea of what they sound like. I always see guitars with seymore duncans, but only single coils. I'm gonna roll around a bit.
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Postby ricochet » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:52 am

Speaking of guitarfetish.com, Friday night I went to hear my music teacher and his singing partner. He'd put a new surface mount pickup from them on his 1960 Airline archtop. Sort of a cutdown P-90. Sounded great!
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