FDP Forum / Surprised by Fender Hot Noiseless pups/ 137 messages in thread.

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B.T.



USA

Nov 17th, 2008 09:09 AM        

Many shy away from active stuff but adding an active follower for the HN`s would be very nice. Say +3 to +6 max. It would open them up much more than the no load or wide open wiring.

The follower shifts the resonance upward by eliminating the cable capacitance, the circuit can then be tuned to roll off the top end where you find it most pleasing,ie the resonance of the HN`s is around 3100 Hz. Stock singles (6K) are resonant at around 3800 Hz. This reference is with pots and cable combined in the passive mode.

The follower will shift the resonance out to around 5000 Hz. By adding a low value cap from output to ground you can shift the resonance down from 5000 Hz to say 3800 Hz which puts it in the stock single coil range. So now you have a little more output and a top end that is sweeter and more forgiving.

Setting things up with active / passive switching would give you the best of both worlds. These are just some thoughts on creating a wide range of tonal versatility. The HN is a good candidate as a building block for extending sonic response.

The passive series / parallel wiring might be interesting too. Haven`t tried it.





B.T.



USA

Nov 17th, 2008 10:03 AM        

Further,

I appreciate your questions Fingers. The snap in the bottom end is due to two things. First, the bottom end is actually attenuated by the higher overall resistance of the pickup. All pickups have two roll off points, one at low frequency and the other at the top end.

The resistance acts as an inhibitor at low frequency. There is a crossover point at the low end where the pickup begins to produce a signal, but it has to overcome the resistance before producing output. So the resistance determines where and how much low end is produced.

When this is combined with the strong but dispersed magnetic field, you get the snap in the signal because you are balancing the attenuated low end with the power of the magnetic field.

Perhaps metaphors would be more useful in explaining the theory behind what`s going on. I`ll work on that.



GoranS

Contributing Member
********

Southern Sweden

What, Me worry?
Nov 18th, 2008 06:26 AM        

Thanks B.T. for the theory and for the great pickups!

I have a set which been touring around on a couple of my Strats and now have landed in my '50s Classic.

For my next Strat project coming up the options are either the Fender SCN's or another set of HN's.

I do love the sound from the HN's and I have a hard time making a decision on which way to go. Part of me want the HN's because of their sound, part of me want to test something else...

How are the SCN's compared to the HN's??

Edited for the typical typos...



SMark

Contributing Member
**

Atlanta, GA USA

"Life is good when you love your tone."
Nov 18th, 2008 07:02 AM        

The SCNs are tighter, more compressed, and less organic than the Hot Noiseless. The Hot Noiseless have a more classic single coil feel to them.

IMHO, of course...

:o)



Single Malt Strat

Contributing Member
*

USA

Nov 18th, 2008 09:40 AM        

Agree with SMark... but I do like the SCN's very much... so much so that I returned the CS Beck and kept the Strat Pro [x2!]. I was able to cure/reverse the lack of organic tone with heavier gauge DR Blues strings, plus rolling back the volume a tad... plenty of vintage tone now. I do set them lower than spec. And I love the tightness and compression and love the fat, creamy tone when they are all-out over-driven at full volume.

FWIW, I intend to get a set of HN's to swap into one of my guitars. The HN's are superb, honest pickups... but can be a tad cooler than warmer at times, especially in the area of harmonics [unless playing without a pick]. This 'cool' attitude can be very useful. Then again, that may be my rig/set-up talking. They are a joy to record with! Overall, they both have their place in the tone arsenal.

Just my opinion... :)



B.T.



USA

Nov 18th, 2008 07:33 PM        

My thoughts about the SCN`s would parallel Smarks assesment. When a pickup sounds good it sounds good no matter which amp you plug in to.

This is the premise that tops my list from a design point of view. Each of the pickup makers strive to establish themselves with that pickup that inspires. The maker has no control over how his creation is used. Opinions and evaluations ? Consider the source and his equipment, then we can relate on common ground.





Single Malt Strat

Contributing Member
*

USA

Nov 18th, 2008 08:12 PM        

"Opinions and evaluations ? Consider the source and his equipment, then we can relate on common ground."

That says it all, B.T.!

Thanks very much for giving us some real insight into the Hot Noiseless pickups. They are really tasteful beasts. The thing I like most about them is the level of confidence they inspire - whenever I play on them, I get an added sense of 'yeah, I can go there/do that', tonally speaking. They really do inspire... so, thanks for the design!



Single Malt Strat

Contributing Member
*

USA

Nov 18th, 2008 08:40 PM        

B.T. - one odd question regarding the HN's... when you designed them, did you have any particular body wood in mind? I ask because I want to get a set of these and need to make sure to put them in the 'optimal' body. I own alder, swamp ash, and basswood body Strats at the moment. Thanks very much. [I may even have to go all out and try the very cool active/passive set-up you were kind enough to share with us.]



9fingers

Contributing Member
**

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
Nov 18th, 2008 11:20 PM        

"Yea just were do you get an active follower?"

My question too- sounds like a killer system. Is there anything out there that would do it?



Space Station Philippe

Contributing Member

Columbia, SC

Formerly TI-99/4a
Nov 19th, 2008 04:06 AM        

I think he's referring to an active preamp system - perhaps something along the lines of the EMG afterburner, which just adds clean gain (as opposed to a voiced system like the SPC, or the Clapton set-up).

The Afterburner can go up to +20 db, but you can set it lower.



B.T.



USA

Nov 19th, 2008 10:07 AM        

Single Malt,

I have a rule of thumb when it comes to pickups and body wood. I don`t think you can generally catagorize any wood group as consistent, but they will have similarities within thier own group.

Basswood and poplar generally have a mid range body resonance so the pickup has to be somewhat brighter. You are essentially letting the body provide the mids while the pickup provides the high end to balance the response. This is more true to single coils than humbuckers. On the other hand using a humbucker with soft body woods emphasizes the mids which pushes the mid response way up.

I might use a moderate resistance bucker, say 7.5K @ 4.75 Henries for the bridge. This would give you a body boost in the mids but the lower pickup resistance would still let the high end come through. A heavy bucker on a soft body will turn to mush so it`s a balancing act.

When you`re using hardwoods the pickup design goes the other direction. Harder body woods have a much higher natural resonance so you want to lean toward pushing the pickup response to emphasize low mids to balance the two forces.

I wish there were a way to be more specific about best fits wood and pickup wise but the variables are just too unpredictable. All I can offer is some general guide lines. The softer body woods need a brighter pickup and the hardwoods need a pickup with more mid range.

Alder falls somewhere in the middle. It`s neither hard nor soft but its weight is a good indicator of its density. The heavier the harder it will be.

To the other subject. The design of an active follower must take all these elements into consideration and embellish them, not dominate them. What you are really looking to do is get a little more of what you already have, just a bigger version of it. Boosting the signal actively with blankety blanks booster is a bit of a crap shoot. The booster needs to be designed around the pickups for the best result.

I`ll use EMG as an example. If you are designing pickups you can taylor your booster accordingly to get the best tonal match, or at least create a whole system tonality that is pleasing. If you are an EMG fan then it works for what it does, if not then you`re mixing someones pickups with someone else`s booster with no control over the outcome.

I don`t have an answer for this except to get back to designing again. Each instrument is unique as far as applying an active circuit and its modelling. Sorry I can`t provide an answer for you Bertotti. There isn`t a "one size fit`s all" solution. If there were we would all sound the same which would really be a drag.

Thanks everyone for putting up with me. I too have a passion for tone, I`ve just gone down the road a little further than most in persuing it.





GoranS

Contributing Member
********

Southern Sweden

What, Me worry?
Nov 19th, 2008 10:11 AM        

"I`ve just gone down the road a little further than most in persuing it."

But you're still visible and it's nice to see you!!

I've made up my mind. I will get a second set of HN's!



SMark

Contributing Member
**

Atlanta, GA USA

"Life is good when you love your tone."
Nov 19th, 2008 10:42 AM        

Wow! Great stuff Bill. This is the reason why we all hang out here...



Single Malt Strat

Contributing Member
*

USA

Nov 19th, 2008 11:15 AM        

Thank you so much, Bill Turner!

Makes real sense... very practical help regarding the body woods as well as the follower idea. Please keep designing for all of us who love what you do!



B.T.



USA

Nov 19th, 2008 08:36 PM        

I want to thank Chris for providing us a place to come to share our experience. There is no place like the FDP among all the forums where all feel more welcome and appreciative of his generousity to our kind. We`re a hell of a bunch with stories to tell and things to learn.

It`s what we love after all. We wouldn`t change a thing because we`re not about to. Challenge me to threaten you with better stuff and I will deliver. Are you on board ?



9fingers

Contributing Member
**

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
Nov 20th, 2008 12:04 AM        

Whatever you want to throw at us B.T.! I have followed all your posts for some years now & learned a lot. Thanks! (& yes, Thanks to Chris for the opportunity to even have these discussions).



B.T.



USA

Nov 20th, 2008 10:16 AM        

Thanks Fingers and all the gang. I never fail to learn from you all as well. I need to get back to the business of earning a living. I have been designing a new group of products that are all music related.

I work with a lot of long time friends who provide feedback for the concepts I dream up. For instance I have a very good relationship with Steve Blucher at DiMarzio. We challenge each other on the practical theory behind pickup design and are ever learning new things about our craft. The love for the instrument takes precedence over petty competitive differences so we can exchange ideas freely. That is refreshing considering the nature of this business.

Every pickup manufacturer has his/her well guarded trade secrets. I have read some comments from one of the pickup makers(unnamed but familiar)who has demonstrated his ignorance and misinformed readers who are looking to expand thier knowledge of pickup design. Trade secrets can take on two forms, you`re either protecting a good thing or you`re merely covering up your lack of understanding.

Ok, so much for my personal rant. Maybe I should put together an active kit for all you guitar hobbyests so you can build your own stuff.

I`d imagine Fingers remembers Heathkit.





Diogenes232

Contributing Member
*

usa

Nov 20th, 2008 11:27 AM        

a BTKit sounds good!

Hey, since you are here, I wondered what the effect would be if you wound the bobins with silver instead of copper. Nevermind that it might be tough to get silver in the correct diameter, I just wondered if the difference in electrical properties would be significant.

Heck, you might even be able to cheat and use silver clad copper to get an interesting color to your sound.



9fingers

Contributing Member
**

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
Nov 20th, 2008 12:00 PM        

B.T. Some kits with some of your innovations would be very welcomed. We are do-it-yourselfers anyway. If you could do the R&D & put kits of good components together it should be a win-win for all of us! We have been eaglerly awaiting your post-Fender products. (My first "amp" was a huge old Heathkit!).



Hoodster

Contributing Member
*

Mike in Oregon

U can add dirt, but U can't add clean
Nov 22nd, 2008 08:12 PM        

Totally stoked--I just scored a pickguard fully loaded w/ Hot Noiseless.

Looks like I'm joining the club.



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