The Slant

Discussion in 'Plans, Designs & Software' started by LC100, May 20, 2013.

  1. LC100

    LC100 New Member

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    Been wasting time with Y.A.G.D. and ran into a sort of internal conundrum over whether or not to throw an angle on a bridge single coil. Part of me says it's a proven element and another says screw convention and keep it straight. So my question is what is your thought on / experience with the straight vs. angle dilemma with single coils?

    BTW, I may ignore all advice and just go Frank Sinatra on it and do it my way. Even if it sucks in the end. :D
     
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  2. Barnaby

    Barnaby New Member

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    The Yoga Association of Greater Detroit? :confused:

    Well...most P-90s are left straight, and they're single coils. I suspect it's fine. In fact, I seem to remember I've played a strat with a straight single coil bridge PU and it was really good. Still sounded 'stratish' to my ears...and the Jaguar has a straight bridge PU, doesn't it?

    Really interested in answers to this one...I'm wondering about slants on fanned fret guitars too, so maybe there will be some crossover discussion.
     
  3. LC100

    LC100 New Member

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    Close. Yet Another Guitar Design. Curvy and full of offset. Latest rendition might be a winner (for me). It's kind of pushed to the limit of how short I think I can go with it. Nut to tail is under 30" with a 25.5" scale.
     
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  4. Blue Belly Guitars

    Blue Belly Guitars New Member

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    Up to you. I wouldn't do it for looks, though. The slant puts the pole pieces at a different length in the string, giving it a more trebly or bassy frequency. Do it for tone!
     
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  5. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    slanting your pickups is one of those things that while it can have some incremental benefits.. most of the time its more design oriented and not going to do much for you soundwise.
    But to each his own..


    Personally I've found more of an advantage to locating the strings nodal points and placing your pickups under them.
     
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  6. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    LC100

    I have a device here that I don't wish to post any photos of as the patent work is not yet done.
    but its basically a quick change Pickup tester guitar. and the unique mounting mechanizim allows me to mount the pickups at any angle.. in any of the normal three positions found on a strat.

    and I can tell you that no matter which pickup I chose or angle direction I use.. the amount of difference in the sound is VERY small and more importantly.. not always a good one.

    once the pickup gets outside the nodal point, its overall sound changes for the worse.
     
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  7. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    How do you determine the nodal point?
     
  8. LC100

    LC100 New Member

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    Bruce - Thanks for the input. I think for the design in question they will stay perpendicular to the strings throughout. Also recall you mentioning nodal points somewhere at MLP a while back and think that is a great tip.

    aeleus - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_harmonics

    The chart there kind of shows what he means.
     
  9. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    that chart is very nice.. but I found a simpler way..

    use the stew mac fret calculator to figure for frets that run all the way up your total scale length.. then look for the known chime points.

    ie. we know that 12th and 24th frets chime very easily and clearly.. so look for the 36th, 48th or any of the half points like 5, 7, & 9 which would translate from say the 24th to 29th 31st and 33rd etc etc.

    PRS discovered this years ago when his Custom 24 had "issues".. its one of the reasons he stopped making them for a little while. he's managed to keep this secret for a long time.
     
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  10. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Hmm... now I want to compare traditional pickup placement to the chart.
     
  11. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    Leo knew about it.. that's why the Strat sounds like it does.

    I'm betting many other manufacturers did too. they just kept it quiet.

    When I start a new design.
    I figure for 60-63 frets.. this shows me the fret placements almost all the way to the bridge. then it's just a matter of finding both the chime points and the aesthetics that work right.
    it may not be scientific.. but it works and it sounds right.
     
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  12. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

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    While I agree with the notion that pickup placement does play a role, I wholeheartedly refute the idea that it's based on the location of harmonic nodes.

    You may be asking, but why, Aaron? The proponents of the 22 fret neck have been claiming for years that the 22 fret setup allows for the neck pickup to be located beneath the harmonic node and therefor sound superior, drenching that pickup in lush, beautiful harmonic overtones.

    Of course that's very true. On a 22 fret guitar the neck pickup sits directly beneath a harmonic node. That's fine and dandy. So long as you never fret a string.

    Once you fret the string, you effectively change the location of where the harmonic node sits relative to a static reference point on the body of the guitar, since the harmonic nodes are simply divisions of the effective scale length.

    Please note: I'm not refuting that the location of the pickups relative to the bridge/nut (wherever you choose to measure from) affects the tone to a very noticeable degree, because it most certainly does, it's not because of the locations of the harmonic nodes, given that as you actually play the guitar, they're constantly changing locations/not a static feature (unless you're only playing open strings).
     
  13. PDotson

    PDotson New Member

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    Aaron, if it's not the nodes, then how do you best determine the placement?
     
  14. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

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    As unscientific as it may be, for the bridge pickup I've just over the years found placement that I like the sound of, and the neck pickup is placed at the end of the fingerboard.
     
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  15. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Excellent points, Aaron. It's interesting that I like the way the neck pickup sounds best when I'm playing at the 12th fret and above - when the pickup is essentially at the 1/2 way point of the strings.
     
  16. PDotson

    PDotson New Member

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    Bruce, I like the idea of this, but I can also see the point Aaron is making.
    I don't want to seem like I'm pitting the two of you against each other, I'm just very curious about this. How does your way account for the change once fretted? Thanks
     
  17. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    Arron is simply not taken into account that nodal points, while they maybe seem "moveable" as he suggests.. fretting only alters the "fundamental" harmonic at a given location.. but the node doesn't "go away" from a given point.. they simply change "Harmonically Speaking" into a 2nd a 3rd a 5th a 4th a 7th or" a 9th a 13th or any of the other order harmonics.

    there is a certain amount of harmonic overlap at every chime point. its why we can get several different notes out of very small movements at the extreme ends of the scales. the nodal points get closer together to each other and the overlap gets very blurry.

    which is why the main pickup location to be concerned with, is the neck pickup position and the middle pickup positions. the bridge pickup usually gets more overlap than it can actually "hear" anyway.

    its possible to do a picked chime at the same or darn near the same point while fretting every single note on the board. find this point and you have found the "sweet spot"
    this coupled together with the wide field of the pickups magnet, and you can locate that one "right" spot
     
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  18. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    I added two quickly done MS paint drawings to illustrate the way a string vibrates when struck..

    if you loo at the drawing marked infinity.. this is the string at a "cross section" as if you were looking at it from its end.. it will vibrate in a figure 8 or inifinty pattern.

    the "center" where the string crosses its own path is actually the "rest point" for the string prior to being struck.

    the drawing marked "string" shows that not only is the string vibrating in this figure 8 pattern. but its oscillating along its full length at the same time.
    the nodal points I'm pointing out are the same as the nodal points found in the cross section drawing. these are points where the string has the least amount of movement and therefore are not actually the best places for the pickup to be located.

    So while I am probably using the wrong terminology by calling them "nodal points" they should probably be called anti-nodes. as they have very little movment.. but they correspond to the same places a luthier would hold on a piece of wood when they do tap tone work.

    and yes these points do shift positions while the string is being fretted.. but the amount of width they overlap each other, is more than enough for a pickup to work with.

    Sorry If I've explained it poorly.. all this stuff is from my own independent research and theories.. they likely don't correspond to the conventional science
     

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  19. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

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    I still disagree. The nodal points *do* move, but you're likely right in that they move in small enough increments that locating a sweet spot based on those nodal points is probably a valid way of going about it, given that the "sensing" area of a pickup is wide enough to negate the impact of their movement.

    The counterpoint to that would be that if a pickup's area of sensing is wide enough that the movement of the nodal points by changing the effective scale length while fretting doesn't create much impact, then worrying about nodal points at all is pointless because a pickup at the end of the fingerboard is going to be close enough to said nodal points anyway, whether it's a 22 fret, 24 fret or whatever neck.

    I disagree about the bridge pickup. Lateral location has a HUGE effect on tone, even in relatively small changes in its location. Too close to the bridge and it's way too thin and harsh (which, if you're into djent might just be ideal), and too far away from the bridge and you start getting into "middle position" tones where it starts sounding a bit too warm.

    [sarcasm]Then again, I build guitars for a lot of metal guys, and we all know that metal doesn't require good tone ;) [/sarcasm]
     
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  20. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    I did agree with you that they "move" ..but I think it's probably more reasonable to say that they "Shift" and that the amount of "movement" is small enough to allow you to be able to find that spot where your neither too close or too far away from the anti nodal point..
    All we are really looking for is the most powerful signal from the string to the pickup with the least amount of loss

    it's now pretty well known that certain 24 fret designs DO indeed suffer from the neck position pickup being "out of the sweet spot" so to speak.
    and it seems to affect humbuckers more than single coils. I've noticed that many 24 fret designs place the humbucker right in the middle of 25th-28th fret area.. a CLEAR dead spot for all harmonics. and this area happens to be the exact top to bottom width of a humbucking pickup.. :hmm:

    Yes I agree with this but most builders/factories have a set distance they tend t favor on bridge pickups at about .750-1.250 from the bridge. my point was that if your inside that well known range.. your pretty safe.
    just remember that you said it... and I agree with it..
    I've found that for a great metal guitar, you gotta remember how this instrument is going to be used.. usually high gains and above average SPLs. this translates to a couple of very serious feedback issues if not addressed carefully.

    I prefer a body with a resonant range OUTSIDE the normal note range of the guitar.. such as basswood, poplar and certain maples. and MAYBE mahogany but only under the right construction style.
    a floyd rose bridge and high gain pickups. will get you into metal territory easy..
    So many guys make the huge mistake of trying to play high gain pickups through a high gain amp along with extra outboard distortion devices and at high SPLs.. this is a recipe for feedback times 10 to the second power of Ted Nugent.

    but.. to each his own of course..
     

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