I have Mission Control

Re: I have Mission Control

Postby zambiland » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:08 pm

Rick Turner wrote:I am documenting the hell out of this process, and I'm writing this all up for an article for Vintage Guitar Magazine.


I can't wait to see the article, especially the pictures! Although I was pretty psyched about the original idea of it being published in Fretboard Journal, as I liked the idea of having a digital copy of the pix, rather than the low resolution, newsprint style paper of VG. Perhaps they'll let you do a high res reprint online!

It's interesting to find out it is a short scale, I was sure it was a 32" scale.

Are the electronics going to be similar to the ACG EQ01? I have one that lived in my Starfire for a while before I put in a Series II setup and I liked it pretty well. It's now in my Modulus Q6. My only complaints about it are that I can't keep the path fully discrete for both pickups for a stereo output and I would love to be able to blend the filtered sound with the straight sound.

Thanks again for doing all this and sharing the updates with us!
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby GuildBass » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:12 pm

Fascinating thread! Can't wait to see the final outcome of your hard work Mr. Turner.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:54 am

Rick Turner wrote:Yes, I'd agree that fast slew rate is essential for real low end impact, but don't forget that all of this was forty years ago, and we were working with the best and most reliable big amps of the day.

One of the things that I've experimented with is winding low impedance pickup coils using 7 x 44 ga. Litz wire, and I may just have to try that for the new Mission Control pickups. With that stuff, you get the expected improvement in high frequency response, but there's also a remarkable tightening up of the low end...beautiful extension and punch...due (according to cable guru George Cardas) to the improvement in group delay...basically phase response.

A while back, I rewound a number of classic pickup cores...humbucker, Tele, Strat, P-Bass, J-Bass, Hagstrom BiSonics...and wound them with enough Litz to more or less match the original physical coil sizes. Naturally, the output was low, but with preamping, that was not a major issue. What was really interesting was that the sonic signature of the original pickups was still there...minus the resonant peak and roll-off characteristics within the audio band that you get so obviously with high impedance pickups. Yet still, the Strat pickups sounded different from either Tele neck or bridge, and there was what I call a magnetic signature tone present with all. LCR is not the only defining tone shaping issue with magnetic pickups; neither is pickup aperture. There's a dynamic three dimensional aspect with how the magnetized strings interact with the physical bulk of the coil(s) that helps define a pickup's signature tone.

"The experts" would have you believe that there is no sonic need or use for Litz wire in the audio band; these pickups say differently. It's really interesting getting the limitations of the coils pretty much out of the way. You can always bandwidth limit and/or add in resonances, too.


I had GuildBass aka Ben explain the Litz wire to me and it's a pretty interesting concept! I'm with you that if "The Experts" tell you something doesn't matter just because they can't measure it with a meter, I don't always trust them. A well-trained human ear is more sensitive than most audio meters in my opinion.

What are your thoughts on EMG and other active pickups? They seem to get a bad rap for being brittle but in my opinion that's just the magnets they used to use. They're making them with Alnico magnets as an option now and I love them... super clear and pure and hum-free but still fat and mostly classic in tone, while projecting beautifully in a big space. But I seem to be in the minority.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby GuildBass » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:09 pm

Makes me wonder what new magic Mr. turner would do with Casady's Alembic #1
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby zambiland » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:56 pm

Rick, about 30 years ago, I remember reading some interviews with Phil or someone else in the scene that talked about a wired fret system with computer control of filters on this bass. My impression was that the filters would adjust their center frequency to the note being played, so you could choose aspects of the harmonics series to accentuate or not, rather than just static frequency regions. Apparently it was also designed to be touch sensitive so that the harder he pressed on the frets, the higher up the harmonic series it would go. Am I hallucinating this or was this an idea? Was it ever implemented?

On a separate note, think Phil would play this bass for the 50th? :-)
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby GuildBass » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:21 pm

zambiland wrote:On a separate note, think Phil would play this bass for the 50th? :-)


That would be fantastic!!!

http://www.jambase.com/Forums/Thread.aspx?topic=1&thread=37476
Has some info on a wired fret midi system Phil tried.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby zambiland » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:52 pm

GuildBass wrote:
http://www.jambase.com/Forums/Thread.aspx?topic=1&thread=37476
Has some info on a wired fret midi system Phil tried.


Yeah, I've seen those basses. But what I'm talking about was something very different. Probably just vaporware.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby TI4-1009 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:57 pm

I found two photos of Mission Control- one in the GD Gear Book and the other from the GD Family Album. I noticed differences in the bridge and tailpiece.

Image

Image
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby zambiland » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:32 pm

The second bridge looks like the original Alembic bridge. Later it was replaced by a Glen Quan Badass I and separate tailpiece. They were popular bridges for basses with narrow string spacing and a neck angle that needed a taller bridge in the 70s and 80s. I had one on a Gibson EB2-D. Pretty decent bridge, although I like the Alembic bridges better. On the old Dudepit there was a great thread about this bass that included a sequence of pictures documenting the various bridge incarnations.

I wonder what Rick has in store for the rebuild, bridge wise.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:03 am

zambiland wrote:Rick, about 30 years ago, I remember reading some interviews with Phil or someone else in the scene that talked about a wired fret system with computer control of filters on this bass. My impression was that the filters would adjust their center frequency to the note being played, so you could choose aspects of the harmonics series to accentuate or not, rather than just static frequency regions. Apparently it was also designed to be touch sensitive so that the harder he pressed on the frets, the higher up the harmonic series it would go. Am I hallucinating this or was this an idea? Was it ever implemented?

On a separate note, think Phil would play this bass for the 50th? :-)


I think I remember reading about this too, but I don't get the impression it ever happened.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:08 am

MC had at least 3 different bridge setups. First the Alembic style, then it spent time with just a regular Badass Fender-style one-piece replacement bridge with no tailpiece:

Image

The most interesting one is the first of the two that TI4-1009 posted above. This tailpiece sure looks like it's designed to do something important but I can't imagine what. Also not sure if it came before or after the Badass.

Image
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby zambiland » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:29 am

I wonder if it was designed to enable the use of longer scale strings. I think there was also the idea that separate anchors could increase the coupling with the body. All speculation on my part.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby wisconsindead » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:30 pm

Edwin you are correct that that is what Phil was attempting to get in his basses. Or an idea that he had about his basses. I also do not recall where I read it. I am pretty sure it never happened. But it would be nice to hear from Rick to hear about the discussions they may have had about this.

I met Phil in December at Terrapin and was too awe struck to say anything but Hi and fan myself. I really wish I would've picked his brain about the MIssion Control bass. I also would've like to talk to him about the strin gauges he uses nowadays, or has used for the past while.
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby GuildBass » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:01 pm

Mr. Turner,

Can you shed some light on the original controls layout of Mission Control?
My understanding was that it had a LPF and HPF each with CVQ per "regular pickup", but how was the quad pickup controled?
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Re: I have Mission Control

Postby Sparechaynge » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:24 pm

GuildBass wrote:Mr. Turner,

Can you shed some light on the original controls layout of Mission Control?
My understanding was that it had a LPF and HPF each with CVQ per "regular pickup", but how was the quad pickup controled?


filtered gain, unfiltered gain, frequency, filter type, and Q/pickup

the quad pickup was controlled by the push buttons on the upper half of the bass. 16 different configurations, or 8 in stereo (neck and bridge pickups only). I don't know what the tone controls for the quad pickup were, perhaps outboard Pluto filters?
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