Testing and comparing pickups. - Jemsite
Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Testing and comparing pickups.

What in your opinion would be a universally accepted method of testing pickups?

I posted a thread about pickups I just switched to and got several different observations from people. So basically not to anyone's fault, it's kind of all for nothing.

I've seen some attempt to demonstrate pickups through whatever given rig, and this in my opinion is not the way to go. I mean, if you can get the sound you;re looking for then it's all good, but it does nothing for someone looking at the same pickup. You can literally make a Kay pickup sound great through an axe-fx is my whole point.

I also dont take any stock in the little "eq" and ohm/millivolt descriptions on the dimarzio site since once in one of a multitude of different guitars, again, it's all for nothing.

Does anyone have any ideas on a good benchmarking method that they may have used in the past? i guess what I am shooting for is something that more than one person could use to get a good idea of what they would end up with.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 01:54 PM
 
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Re: Testing and comparing pickups.

I guess I usually stick to a trusted brand name ( or what I have liked in the past) and go by what the meter reading would be. I try to stay around 12.5 to 14 or15 topping out in a bridge pickup and 8 to 10 in a neck.. It has usually worked for me.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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Re: Testing and comparing pickups.

I test plenty of pickups to review using the same rig, dialed with the same settings so the differences can be heard. My YouTube demos are typically done like this. They are ususally done in the same three guitars which have similar specs. The identical rig with identical settings is the important part though.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:55 PM
 
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Re: Testing and comparing pickups.

I've read/asked plenty of questions about pickups (and other electronics) here and other forums and though I respect everyone who helped me seems the most spot-on observation comes from the computer users.

For cleans, you basicly plug it to the soundcard and its the most raw sound you can get from the guitar (since there isn't a chain that depends on each others coloration). A preamp for recording no matter what brand is designed is to have minimal coloring unlike guitar amps. As you get experienced with that raw sound, idetifying the other elemens of the rig is very easy.

Then for distortion you can use a freeware plug-in so the other guy can understand better what you ask for and even share a basic recording with it.

The computer still doesn't nail a real rig sound and feel but its quite useful for detecting/comparing such things.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 04:55 PM
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Re: Testing and comparing pickups.

The influence of the rest of the rig is vast as we all seem to agree so realistically I think the only way of actually getting to the "raw" pickup sound would be an oscilloscope or spectrum analyser or something like that.

Unfortunately in the world of guitars where so many folks are more interested in "feel, soul and mojo" that sort of analysis isn't going to be accepted universally at all.

So probably the best way of doing it is with "bhp outputs" and little bar graphs of lows, mids and highs... Oh... Wait...
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 06:52 PM
 
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Re: Testing and comparing pickups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
The influence of the rest of the rig is vast as we all seem to agree so realistically I think the only way of actually getting to the "raw" pickup sound would be an oscilloscope or spectrum analyser or something like that.

Unfortunately in the world of guitars where so many folks are more interested in "feel, soul and mojo" that sort of analysis isn't going to be accepted universally at all.

So probably the best way of doing it is with "bhp outputs" and little bar graphs of lows, mids and highs... Oh... Wait...
But thats like describing someone who one hasn't ever spoken. First look might be ok but once starting to speak... )

Such charts (and even analyzers) can't identify the wah-y sound of tonezone, that mid character of evo, the roundness of distorted air-nortons etc. as every good pickup has something like that beside balance.

Just saying; if I would start building pickups I'd just share some naked tracks like power chords, riffs, chord strums etc. playing them for each pickup which is on the same guitar(s). Customer can play it in the computer with plug-in amps or simply route the output to his rig with a single cable. The software is free and home studio soundcards are getting cheaper and cheaper everyday. The only thing the customer can't demo is the output strenght of the pickup.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Testing and comparing pickups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mertay View Post
But thats like describing someone who one hasn't ever spoken. First look might be ok but once starting to speak... )

Such charts (and even analyzers) can't identify the wah-y sound of tonezone, that mid character of evo, the roundness of distorted air-nortons etc. as every good pickup has something like that beside balance.

Just saying; if I would start building pickups I'd just share some naked tracks like power chords, riffs, chord strums etc. playing them for each pickup which is on the same guitar(s). Customer can play it in the computer with plug-in amps or simply route the output to his rig with a single cable. The software is free and home studio soundcards are getting cheaper and cheaper everyday. The only thing the customer can't demo is the output strenght of the pickup.
Bingo. But Dimarzio (for example) doesn't do that. They instead put up songs from albums, or clips of a show which are so processed the pickup could be a dog turd wrapped in aluminum foil for all you know. It's very misleading.

Not to say that they dont truly have different characteristics because they do, but it would be nice to hear some realistic examples.
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