Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted - Jemsite
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2001, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

Hi there!

I don't know if I'm posting in the right department but here goes. While surfing Ed Roman's site, I saw that a lot of his custom guitars have direct mounted pickups i.e. mounted directly into the guitar body and as opposed to spring mounted. This supposedly gives the guitar better sustain, makes all other guitars (especially impotred ones) inferior, makes you write better songs and so on, and so on. I have to say that it makes sense to have the pickup in contact with the wood of the guitar instead of hanging from a spring.

So this is my question to you: have any of you played a guitar with directmounted pickups and if so, how did it sound?

I am not interested in hearing that Ed is a jerk and that noone should ever buy guitars from him. I'm just interested in his theory about direct mounted pickups.

Mikael
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2001, 03:53 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

Actually.. I prefer direct-mounted pickups 100%.

Think about the basic functions of a guitar. Now I'm only speaking acousticly here.

You pluck a string, vibration travels through the bridge (only the knife edge/posts if it's a trem) into the body, the body as a result resonates or vibrates. The neck does the same, and the fingerboard wood comes into play when you actually fret a note.

When the body resonates, all of those nice happy rich wood-soaked vibrations make their way into the pickups if they are direct-mounted (which is the most 'effecient' form of mounting: ie: effiecient meaning least loss of energey transmitted from the body to the pickups) so you get all the wonderful wood tone.

If you have a front routed guitar you have this big plastic dampner called a 'pickguard' or some rear-routed guitars have pickup rings. I attempt to get rid of both on all my guitars. It's fairly easy to lose pickup rings, front mounted is a little harder.

I'm trying to figure out a way to direct mount the ones on my UV right now. God I wish it was rear routed.

But yes, imo I believe direct mounting is far superior as far as energey transfer and tone are considered. As for sustain, it just appears to sustain more since there's less energy loss, that's more a function of the neck joint/bridge/nut. Although it will make 'good' feedback far easier (that whole vibration transfer thing again).

Hope this drivel helps.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2001, 08:33 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

I think Jeffrey's got it licked on this one. *I notice a more direct attack on notes. *Perhaps a set or through neck functions in remotely the same way. *

I also like pick guard mounted pup tone as well. *It's probably a matter of taste. *I think one key contributor to that classic Fender tone is that big piece of plastic on the top.
Greg
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2001, 10:17 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

doesn't seem logical for direct mounting to have much of a difference, because a pickup is magnetic, not mechanical. *i think the tonal differences have to do with other factors, not pickups..
but that's just my opinion

~A
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2001, 10:20 PM
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

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doesn't seem logical for direct mounting to have much of a difference, because a pickup is magnetic, not mechanical. *i think the tonal differences have to do with other factors, not pickups. but that's just my opinion
I tend to agree. I believe a double-blind A/B test with dozens of guitars would pretty much make guess-work over determining which guitar has what pickup mount... glen

(Edited by jemsite at 10:22 pm on Sep. 18, 2001)
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2001, 10:47 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

i find myself agreeing, pups work on magnetism surely the only result of being i contact with the wood would be they would vibrate more ! interfering with the magnetic field - i dunno thought i am no expert !
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2001, 10:49 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

I'm not an acoustical physicist, but strings induce a signal in pickups by vibrating in their magnetic field. *This creates an electric current that produces an amplified sound. *Direct mount pickups might increase sustain because no wood is removed from the body, but not because they are not suspended by springs.

-Devin
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 07:07 AM
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

I seem to recall that Vai did do the double blind A/B test on spring/direct mounted pickups during the prototype stages of the JEM7VWH, there's an artical on it in the September 93 issue of guitar world. This is what Steve had to say on the subject.

"The first decision was whether to mount the pickups directly into the body or into the pickguard. We tried both, and I chose to have them mounted into the pickguard. It seemed to have a better bottom end that way, and better resonance."

Personally I have guitars with both ways of mounting and I do notice subtle changes from one to another, guitars with spring mounted pickups seem a little smoother to me whereas ones with direct mounted pickups seem slightly woodier and more raw in their sound.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 01:32 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

Quote:
Quote: from anuj on 9:17 pm on Sep. 18, 2001
doesn't seem logical for direct mounting to have much of a difference, because a pickup is magnetic, not mechanical. *i think the tonal differences have to do with other factors, not pickups..
but that's just my opinion

~A
Find a guitar with direct-mounted pickups that are realatively hot (at least one) and find a guitar with plastic mounted pickups with one hot pickup.

Turn the amp up to a decent level and tap the body all over on both guitars.

You'll notice a bid difference tonally from the thumps you make on the guitar between the two.

Direct-mounted have a much 'woody-er' tone imo. I can certainly tell a difference (I own two guitars that are direct mounted, and two that aren't atm).

Pickups function magneticly, yes. But to think they aren't effected by vibration is rediculous. Next time your jamming and you have your guitar strapped on, don't play anything, but crank the volume up with muted strings. Wiggle the guitar around, tap it. Tap the headstock and see if it comes through the pickups.

On one of my direct mounted guitars, I can every so slightly tap the headstock with a pick and it comes through the amp loud and clear. On my UV777BK, it does not.

Pickguards are for convience, it was the original reason behind the design. Not for tone.

Electrics, just like acoustics, have a soundboard as well. The entire face of the guitar acts as one. Granted it's not nearly as exaggerated as an acoustic (for obvious reasons; one being that it's solid, not hollow) it still acts as a sound board.

Hence why you'll see some tone purists play guitars with direct mounted pickups, no pickguard and often, no hard finish (one of mine is oild/stained only) being as it 'deadens' the wood.

Don't knock it until you try it yourself and see how alive it really is. :biggrin:
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

While we are at it...

The pickup is a magnetic device that, by ways of alterations in *a magnetic field, makes a current that can be amplified and thus bring great joy to thy ears. This much we know.

What I never could figure out is how different kinds of wood in a guitar could make a difference in sound, since the pickup more often than not, isn't even in contact with the wood. I mean the pickup picks up variations in magnetic fields! I can understand that different kinds of wood could change sustain, since variations in body mass could more or less effectively kill vibrations. What I can't understand is how we can claim to hear TONAL differences betwen, say, mahogany and alder.

Please enlighten me!

Mikael
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 02:20 PM
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

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Find a guitar with direct-mounted pickups that are realatively hot (at least one) and find a guitar with plastic mounted pickups with one hot pickup.
Actually this says nothing. You need to get two EXACT SAME PIECES OF WOOD first to do any valid A-B comparisons. Also you need to check that your pickups are not defective or wound differently.

I'm not saying direct mount might not benefit SOME people, but I find humor when people jump on it as a holy grail for the ultimate tone (which of course it is not)... glen
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 06:52 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

Quote:
Quote: from jemsite on 1:20 pm on Sep. 19, 2001
I'm not saying direct mount might not benefit SOME people, but I find humor when people jump on it as a holy grail for the ultimate tone (which of course it is not)... glen
Like I said, don't knock it until you own one and see for yourself.

Btw, I like how hostile and atogonistic everyone gets lately when you disagree with anything they say, talk about humor!

(Edited by jeffrey at 6:13 pm on Sep. 19, 2001)
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 07:28 PM
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

My custom is direct mount as were several JEMs i've owned over the years :yawn: :biggrin: ....glen
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 07:39 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

different tone with direct mounted pickups....

Also stops alot of squealing problems being direct mounted (pickup is far more stable.... and in turn coils are more stable nothing to resonate to...)
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-19-2001, 08:59 PM
 
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Direct mounted pickups vs. spring mounted

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Quote: from spiro on 7:39 pm on Sep. 19, 2001
different tone with direct mounted pickups....

Also stops alot of squealing problems being direct mounted (pickup is far more stable.... and in turn coils are more stable nothing to resonate to...)

i must admit i have noticed this
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