Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #118562  by TI4-1009
 Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:34 am
WildEye wrote: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.
Why stop there? Someone should develop a "pickup" that covers the entire area from bridge to neck. It would have a "slider" (magnet?) that could be positioned at the desired "sweet spot" for the application (sort of like using a slide on the guitar neck). Call me crazy....

Come to think of it, my first "electric" guitar (1964-ish :shock: ) was an old acoustic I found in my grandparent's attic. I bought a pickup at Olsen Electronics- it had a pickup mounted on a rod which you attached to the bridge or tailpiece. You could slide the pickup up or down the rod and position it where you wanted.
 #118569  by drewfx
 Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:27 am
waldo041 wrote: 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.

No. I am saying there is no "magic" position, only a general rule:

Move the PU (or pluck the string) closer to the bridge and you emphasize the higher harmonics more. Nothing more to it than that.

If there were "magic" positions, slanted PU's, split PU's, and various HB coil arrangements - not to mention the occasional sliding PU - wouldn't be used.

Now if you are trying to recreate an existing instrument as closely as possible, it makes sense to use the exact same location.

But unless you are only playing open strings, the location of the nodes (which always correspond to antinodes of other harmonics) change with every fret - so if you "optimize" for one position (assuming that's possible) you do it at the expense of other positions.