Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. others

Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. others

Postby BJolley » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:21 pm

Interesting observation last night that in hindsight seems quite obvious and therefore is probably known by many on this forum. I'm contemplating a Wolf and/or Tiger-inspired body build. To start I scaled up pictures of each to actual size and then cut paper templates (this is as far as I've gotten). With the Wolf cutout on the table I set my three- P/U Telecaster and 3-P/U Ibanez AR 300 next to it and lined up the 21st frets of each guitar to see how they compare in size and setup. I noticed that the decrease in real estate between the end of the fretboard on Wolf and the bridge, as compared to the shorter-fretboard guitars, causes a compression of the pickups on Wolf that really shifts the neck and middle pickups down toward the bridge. Thus, in relation to the bridge, the location of Wolf's (and presumably Tiger's, Rosebud's, etc.) northern coil on the middle P/U is really closer to the location of the southern coils on the shorter fretboard guitars that mount the middle and neck pickups further from the bridge. The sound difference may be negligible but I may try flipping the neck and middle Super 2's in the Ibanez (each currently cuts the southern coil via mini switch and keeps the northern coil hot) to see if this brightens the tone in a positive manner. Has anyone else experimented with this?
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby waldo041 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:58 pm

jerry's middle humbucker with the coil cut neckside is almost exactly in the same spot as a stratocasters middle pickup? it has to do with harmonic nodes.

Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_harmonics

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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby Jon S. » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:07 am

A 25" scale PRS but I like how the gif illustrates the differences.

Image
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby Jon S. » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:20 am

BJolley wrote:in relation to the bridge, the location of Wolf's (and presumably Tiger's, Rosebud's, etc.) northern coil on the middle P/U is really closer to the location of the southern coils on the shorter fretboard guitars that mount the middle and neck pickups further from the bridge. The sound difference may be negligible but I may try flipping the neck and middle Super 2's in the Ibanez (each currently cuts the southern coil via mini switch and keeps the northern coil hot) to see if this brightens the tone in a positive manner. Has anyone else experimented with this?

Here's another option. Install a 3-way minitoggle where the settings are northern coil - both coils - southern coil. That's what I did recently on my own guitar which itself is a bit of a hybrid in design. I determined that for Dead, I like the southern coil tone best but it's nice to have instant access to either coil.

Image

http://www.allparts.com/Gold-On-On-On-M ... 80-002.htm -or-
http://www.allparts.com/Gold-On-On-Mini ... 81-002.htm
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby BJolley » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:21 pm

That PRS graphic provides a great visual example. Here is one from Warmoth, too, showing the difference in location between a "standard" neck humbucker and one with the 24 fret option. Not sure why I never really caught on to this before...

http://www.warmoth.com/Options/images/24fretpocket.jpg
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby Cmnaround » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:48 pm

I came across this interesting article by Ed Roman on this topic. Brief excerpt below and full info through the link. He has some cool looking guitars too although I don't know much about the deal except what I read online.

http://www.edroman.com/techarticles/22vs24.htm

"I prefer 24 frets, for a lot of reasons, the most important being, the rhythm pickup has to be installed off axis where the 24th fret would normally fall.  On a 22 fret neck the pickup sits directly over the 24th fret harmonic node. Simply explained a node is a dead spot or a massive phase cancellation.     The Laws Of Physics are Absolute click here.
These nodes occur on the 7th fret, 12th fret, 19th fret and 24th fret. If you place a pickup directly on a node the midrange frequencies will cancel themselves out. Make sure you avoid a guitar that the node falls on the pickup.  Unless of course you want a muddy distorted rhythm sound like you would normally experience with a Les Paul or any Les Paul type guitar.  Most intelligent people will agree on the fact that a Les Paul has a nice meaty lead tone but chords sound like dung.    (Check out the 24 Fret Maximus or the 24 Fret Turner Model 1) Nothing out there in a single cut guitar comes close."
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby barefootdave » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:05 am

I have often found Ed's articles to be interesting reading, but the passage quoted appears to me to be in direct contradiction with what I see in the above diagrams.

I also happen to like the sound of the neck HB on 22 fret guitars, but that has nothing to do with my observation about the discrepancy between what I am reading and what I am seeing above.

Could difference be scale length? The diagram is showing a 25.5 guitar (Fender); Would Roman's statements be true if we looked at the same image for a 24.7 (Gibson) scale guitar?
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby vwjodyme » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:17 am

intreresting stuff. i just looked at my sg after reading this and the 24th fret harmonic is between the neck and the pickup(there is a space), but looking at pics of LPs online it does look like it would fall right over the poles of the pickup.
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby drewfx » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:38 pm

The harmonic is only above the pole piece when the string is played open. Once you fret it, the harmonic locations move up. This makes believing harmonic points are a magic location for a PU quite silly for anyone who doesn't plan on only playing open strings.
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby hippieguy1954 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:09 pm

drewfx wrote:The harmonic is only above the pole piece when the string is played open. Once you fret it, the harmonic locations move up. This makes believing harmonic points are a magic location for a PU quite silly for anyone who doesn't plan on only playing open strings.


This whole topic is interesting and your observation is very interesting and I tend to agree, but.....I'm thinking it still might make a slight difference when playing on the first few frets and the difference would diminish further up the neck? Or, is it realitive all the way up the neck because the bridge is still a "fixed point"?
I'm sure a little more research will bring much more info.
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby waldo041 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:11 pm

drewfx wrote:The harmonic is only above the pole piece when the string is played open. Once you fret it, the harmonic locations move up. This makes believing harmonic points are a magic location for a PU quite silly for anyone who doesn't plan on only playing open strings.


http://www.frudua.com/guitar_strings_vibration.htm

http://www.frudua.com/pickups_placement.htm

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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby hippieguy1954 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:23 pm

Thanks agian and again, Waldo!
That's amazing! When I was typing about some research, I had a quick thought about your first diagrams posted on this subject and then walah!, like magic...the research shows up! Just amazing! Geeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzz!
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby drewfx » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:11 am

waldo041 wrote:
drewfx wrote:The harmonic is only above the pole piece when the string is played open. Once you fret it, the harmonic locations move up. This makes believing harmonic points are a magic location for a PU quite silly for anyone who doesn't plan on only playing open strings.


http://www.frudua.com/guitar_strings_vibration.htm

http://www.frudua.com/pickups_placement.htm

~mike


Basically this confirms what I said. I love the way it talks about the nodes as if they're really significant but then when you read his conclusions, he doesn't mention them at all and instead just gives general guidelines.

And as an aside, I would also question the "authority" of any source that makes a statement like this (think it through) :-) :

5) small moving of pickup toward the bridge will have a greater impact on tone rather than moving it toward the neck.
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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby waldo041 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:49 pm

drewfx wrote:Basically this confirms what I said. I love the way it talks about the nodes as if they're really significant but then when you read his conclusions, he doesn't mention them at all and instead just gives general guidelines.

And as an aside, I would also question the "authority" of any source that makes a statement like this (think it through) :-) :

5) small moving of pickup toward the bridge will have a greater impact on tone rather than moving it toward the neck.


so you are clearly stating that harmonics, natural or artificial, and their nodes and anti-nodes play no part in pickup placement? so then you are also stating that no matter where a pickup is placed it will render the same tone or have the same harmonic content when the string is played, fretted or open? i am just trying to clarify your statements.

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Re: Middle and Neck Pickup Location on 24 fret Guitar vs. ot

Postby WildEye » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:04 pm

This is a fascinating thread, something that's never occurred to me before. I've read the links and it makes sense when playing open strings but what I'm still confused about is when you start moving up the frets does that change the "formula"? Wouldn't all the pups have a "tone drop" at one fret or another? And my follow up, I have a 3 HHH strat with the middle pup split neckside - am I losing out with that? It's a fairly common set up and I'm sure I'm not the only one (used a prebuilt HHH pickguard, not cut them myself).

I guess I should have put my middle on some nylon rods so I could move it :D I'm pretty happy with my tone so I'm not gonna change anything but am always curious about the hows and why.

Feel free to dumb it down for me I won't take offense :-)
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