most resolving electric guitar pickup?

Discussion in 'Musicians and Instruments' started by hooligan, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. hooligan

    hooligan Rando

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    I have a 2013 american standard strat. I love it. Fat 50's pickups came in it. It has a super playable neck.

    I often play at reasonable levels, with the guitar plugged into a studio setup, coming through monitors.

    The reasonable levels mean I can hear the raw sound of the guitar in the room along with whatever sound i'm playing through the monitors.

    Often I will dial in a tone/chain that is making me super happy. Then i'll listen back to the recording and be super disappointed, and learn that the room sound was a crucial part of what I liked!

    I am always astounded at just how much is lost, that the pickups don't pickup. It's so much less rich, with so much less range. And dynamics etc. And tone complexity. All the magic is gone. It's sort of a joke to be honest. These Fat 50's have to go.

    I think I'm learning that the natural sound of an electric guitar is really nice to me. Of course I could just mic it and mix it in... but that's less convenient on stage etc.

    I wish I had ultra-HD pickups that got every fine complex detail and the whole frequency range.

    I know other parts of the chain matter but I do feel like the pickups are the first thing. And my chain is fine for mics etc.

    The pickup marketplace seems to be so focused on old categories of style that there's almost zero concept for openness or detail or accuracy. There are some luxury and luxury-vintage offerings that seem to get at more dynamic or PRAT-like results but freq range still suffers greatly.
     
  2. Sqveak

    Sqveak Friend

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    Sounds like you are running your guitar into a simulator.

    Why not use a stand alone system and mic it?

    Gotta remember that with electric guitars, the guitar itself is only half the instrument.
    It's the other half that actually outputs your sound. If you aren't recording that output than you are missing out on -at minimum- the tone of your cabinet (monitors here) and your room acoustics. If not the particulars of the amplifier itself.

    It's like vinyl. Changing the input end of the set up isn't going to fix problems further down the line. It's just generating the signal. Your pres/pedals, amps, speakers and room all have an affect on the output. So rather than target one component at the input end of your set up you will need to look at the set up as a whole to get the result you are after. Which in this case is capturing the sound you are after at the output.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  3. hooligan

    hooligan Rando

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    thx for reply:rolleyes:

    to be clear I have amp sims, plugins, pedals galore. I can dial in most modern and classic tones. I mix i have ears etc. That is all a part of the above, i am doing that currently.

    above i'm talking specifically abt a little revelation i'm having which is....since i'm recently listening quietly in a quiet room, my ears are just loving the acoustic sound of the electric and i can't help but unconsciously incorporate it into tone design, when i'm designing plugin chains.

    And then that's leaving me with this new question...this new awareness.....that pickups might suck. That a lot of tone complexity from the Guitar Itself is missing in recordings.

    Lot of ways to chase recovering this. Preamps, ADC's, cables. It's talked about.

    But idk i'm just feeling like the pups are the weakest link. And i can't find any interneters out here who seem to be focused on the ideal of a HIGH RESOLUTION pup

    expanded freq range, expanded timbrel complexity, deeper dynamics.

    in the world of electric guitar, the thinness and dilapidation of the clean signal is often made up for with amps, pedals, etc. the Fender tweed or twin reverb for example gives a ton of sparkle to their guitars that isnt there in the raw signal. you're right that its all about pairing, and that is because the clean signal is wimpy.

    and not just wimpy like quiet...wimpy like low resolution and weak dynamics etc.

    so yea. would be sick to have a superman pickup. idk. are any engineers even aspiring to this?

    it all seems like niche tone-chasing iterative/intuitive/aesthetic/historical when it comes to pickup engineers. no one is just saying "lets get higher resolution"

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  4. miter53

    miter53 Rando

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    Have you looked at Bill Lawrence pickups, now Wilde Pickups since Bill passed away? Fidelity, flat response, and resolution were kind of his thing. Now I am a hack guitar player, but I've got a single pickup tenor guitar with a L45-S Strat style PU that I like a lot.
     
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  5. hooligan

    hooligan Rando

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    thanks that's helpful. looking into it. I'll post updates on this research here.

    ...oh wow I just found this



    hadn't explored these awesome piezo options. this is the sort of thing I'm looking for..that full range tone.

    still a little tinny frankly but a lot more complex

    looks like Fishman is doing a lot of innovative PCB stuff also (with regular magnetic pickups)

    - the tinniness is due to all of these being placed at the deep bridge. it puts alll the HF from that area into the signal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022

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