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I Hate To Bring Him Up But...


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It's pretty obvious that Ed Roman is an egotistical twit. (I can't believe someone on this forum had to tell me that) But the guy has got some pretty neat ideas. Which is exactly why I wanna rip him off.

Mainly I'm interested in:

his all access neck joint, which looks like just a bit of routing and sanding.

The 1500G neck finish. And now correct me if I'm wrong but to do that all I need to do is boil some lemon oil (or something similer), apply to the neck, sand it level (repeat if necissary) then apply some wax. And the wax is where I get confused. Is the wax also boiled? And is it applied the same way as the oil? I considered not applying the wax but, someone said that they didn't apply wax and instead just reapplied the oil every six months. And I'd rather just do it once. So, the wax acts as a sealer for the oil right?

Lastly is the direct coupling. I've found several article regarding this and I understand most of it except for the actual coupling part. All that's ever said is that the pickup is "Physicly pressed into the wood". Is that all? Because I think it might come loose sooner or later. So, how is the pickup actually attached to the neck?

Also he makes the heel removing process look like pulling teeth, and he charges an arm and a leg for it too. But is it anything more then cutting and sanding?

Edited by Dust N' Bones
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General concensus (especially among people who've actually studied science :D) is that the direct coupling thing is BS voodoo. If you really want to do it, all it really means is screwing the pickups directly into (and up against) the wood. No springs or space between the tabs and the wood.

Removing the heel is basically just changing the design of the guitar - plenty of guitars have an access joint. The highly sanded oiled finish neck is also something other people do on guitars - it's just a feel some people like, but it's not something factories generally do.

Edited by jnewman
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You know, to my mind, most of electric-guitar-making is based on just this sort of voodoo.

Acoustic guitars took a few hundred years to reach their current design.

Solid-body electric guitars took less than 60 years. Along the way, everyone and his grandpa has tried his hand at building one--because they're a lot more accessible than building an acoustic. But a lot of the design choices were made simply for practicality and cost-efficiency.

And it's possible for just about everyone to build his own electric for a simple reason--MOST OF THE DESIGN MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO THE SOUND!

Well, okay, that's simplistic. Sure, some of it does. But the difference, while possibly qualifiable, is hardly quantifiable. You can 'prefer' the sound of one guitar over another, but that's hardly science.

And even if Ed Roman says he can measure that 25% difference in overtones (because you can measure the level of the different harmonics I imagine), there's no way to say how that in anyway give an accurate measure of the audible PERCEPTION of those overtones.

Same thing goes true with the setneck vs bolt on thing --it all depends on what you like. You can have a dud set neck and a bolt on that rings on and on and on (in fact--a study I read showed that Strats have LONGER measured "sustain" than LPs. Except you can't HEAR all of the strat's sustain--but you CAN hear the LPs sustain longer-- I'm assuming they measured the audible levels for a human being with normal range hearing. Since most of you are probably severly hearing-impaired by now, you're hearing even LESS, so what does any of this matter! )

As for the pressed pickup thing...well, why not, if you like the look. He claims you can do it with a bolt on --which will effectively eliminate the bottom wall of the neck pocket. Isn't that supposed to be a no-no?

FWIW: I'm playing a guitar here with a 5 mm thick METAL SHIM between the neck and the neck pocket. I mean, this is just plain old scrap steel that I cut out from the bottom plate of office chair! Maybe it's been "seasoned" by a couple of decades of flatulence? Looks cool as hell though!

Anyway, this guitar (my tele-carve-caster) has longer 'audible' sustain than any of my other guitars --well, with the exception of my Gibson Melody Maker. But get this: the MM has amazing sustain when I play it unplugged. But I've tried 6 different pickups in there, and I've NEVER gotten that sustain to come through an amp!

That's right! It's all voodoo! But that's part of what makes this fun for me! Building my own --hell, I can pretty much do whatever I want. If it works, great. If it doesn't, scrap it and move on!

As for the all-access joint--- that's something else. One reason I like the setneck design of my Melody Maker is that it's easier to get up high there. But I'm no shredder, I really don't need to worry about that too much, I'm just as happy with the massive joint on my tele. I just like the look of the MM's setneck.

I say, you should go for anything that's going to make the guitar easier and more enjoyable to play for YOU.

In conclusion: You're going to be hard-pressed to find any seller claiming that his product does LESS and costs MORE! :D

All right, I'm off the soapbox...guitar's plugged in, it's humming away at me...time to cut my wifi connection! :D

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I love it when people use the word TONE like it was some kind of quantifiable object. I can't remember where I saw it, but one guy uses wooden pickup rings to transfer more TONE to the pickups. :D THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?

Yes, most electric guitar marketing is total BS. ALL Ed Roman marketing is BS.

Direct coupling... tell me exactly how the pickup touching something is going to change the way the guitar sounds and I'll give you a handjob a day for the rest of your life. You can't, because it doesn't. Pickups don't work like that. Wood isn't magnetic. The argument could be made that the 'coupled mass' or whatever adds weight to the wood, thereby increasing mojo, but that's BS as well.

1500G? Here's an idea. Sand the neck down with 400 grit sandpaper. Then 800. Then 1200. Then 1500. Then Tru-Oil the piss out of it. If you don't like the way that feels... you have some serious issues. :D

Why the hell do people still pay attention to anything Ed Roman says?

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well yes ed roman sounds like a complete greazy used car sales man type, an i have read a couple of articles on whatever it was, and the amount of crap that boy talks is amazing, i think anyone who beleives that stuff should be put in a tiny padded room... or run in government :D :D lol

luke

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I finaly met someone that has a quicksilver, and maybe this weekend will be going over to paly it and see what all the stuff's about. He claimed that Ed was the only luthier that was willing to make what he wanted and the materials that he asked... I haven't seen the guitar yet, so Idon't know the materials. I met the guy because I was looking at somebody to test drive my guitar after I refret it and he is the only guitar player at the Army Band here in Korea!

I'll update about what the guitar looks like or feels like! BTW, his options summed up to 2,500 so I don't think it is a simple guitar!

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Direct coupling... tell me exactly how the pickup touching something is going to change the way the guitar sounds

OK, I will...

and I'll give you a handjob a day for the rest of your life.

You talked me out of it :D

Seriously, I can tell you how it can, but not that it does. The pickup amplifies movements of the string relative to the magnetic field. i.e. movement of the string OR the pickup. Thus, the vibration of the body transferred to the pickup (without being absorbed by the suspension) can introduce another layer of wave pattern.

Sure it's voodo, but that's the theory anyway.

Regards,

Brian.

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Direct coupling... tell me exactly how the pickup touching something is going to change the way the guitar sounds and I'll give you a handjob a day for the rest of your life. You can't, because it doesn't. Pickups don't work like that. Wood isn't magnetic. The argument could be made that the 'coupled mass' or whatever adds weight to the wood, thereby increasing mojo, but that's BS as well.

While I really won't pretend that one method is superior to another, or that any sound differences are massive, I'd wager that, if you tried your own little experiments, you'd probably find some differences. As with most of these things, the differences will probably be clearer with lower output, more 'vintage', single coil pickups than humbuckers, and with light, resonant bodies, which seem to be slightly 'woodier' and more dynamic, sensitive, as instruments go. Play something like that through a responsive am, without a million effects pedals or digital loops, and see how it goes.

Wood isn't magnetic, but the whole guitar vibrates, and the interaction between body vibration and what it does to string vibration (cut out/damp certain frequencies in favour of others, like a basic, if mildly unpredictable passive tone control) is picked up by the pickups. The pickups themselves will move relative to string, minutely, and only to a point. if it's in a ring, it's vibrating along the screws, probably damped by the springs or surgical tubing holding it in place. Couple it directly to the wood (P-90 style, or Tele neck pickup style), and its vibration relative to the strings changes slightly. Some feel that one of the many reason strats sound like they do is the relatively 'loose' mounting, in a pickguard that's not exactly a tightly integral part of the body, but is largely 'floating'.

Stating flat-out that it doesn't and can't make ANY difference is somewhat disingenous; about the same as stating that wood choice has absolutely no effect on electric guitar tone, or, indeed, stating that direct mounting is clearly, unambiguously the best way to mount pickups. Fantastic guitars have been made with direct coupled pickups, with pickup rings, with pickguards. Making great guitars construction is all about the details. Changing one thing can change a bunch of others, and the relative influence of any single factor depends on a number of design characteristics.

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Since a string 'moving' over a pickup is the equation for producing a sound, in THEORY, the pickup moving rapidly over the string (while the string is stationary) should produce an identical effect.

Therefore I'm willing to believe that in theory, direct mounting can effect the tone, I have never ever for a moment believed that anybody can actually notice the difference. I maintaint that those who claim to hear a difference are operating under a 'placebo' effect.

After all, the typical way of mounting (screws and springs) still couples the pickup somewhat to the body. It's not like it's floating around in a vacuum, it's still pretty solidly connected to the guitar.

So the difference in vibration of the pickup has to be infantessimal. It wouldn't even be enough to produce a tone, I wouldn't think, though that would be hard to test because you'd be hard-pressed to isolate 6 strings from vibration and ONLY vibrate the pickup the same amount it would vibrate when the body is resonating.

I mean, come on now. VooDoo!

Greg

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My opinion is that unless you actually sit down and practice regularly, it's not going to make a damn bit of difference whether your pickups are direct-mounted, pole-mounted, glue-mounted, epoxied, waxed, stapled, nailed, or held in place by rubber bands formed over 100 years ago by naked and castrated monks living on the side of a cliff in Guam.

Just play the damn thing, and play it right!!

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This is how Ed Roman stays in business. People trying to find dumbass ways that the BS he pukes up could possibly be truthful.

I HAVE done experiments with this stuff. I am an utterly INSANE gearwhore. I change pickups more often than some people change underwear. One particular guitar has had *thinks* five completely different sets of pickups in it. I have another that I've run about 7 bridge pickups through (it's now at a great sounding P90 and holding).

As with most of these things, the differences will probably be clearer with lower output, more 'vintage', single coil pickups than humbuckers, and with light, resonant bodies, which seem to be slightly 'woodier' and more dynamic, sensitive, as instruments go. Play something like that through a responsive am, without a million effects pedals or digital loops, and see how it goes.

Probably. But that will be because the pickup has a lower overall height. Less height = less output = less crunch = sweeter sound. You can get the same effect by lower your pickups in their surrounds. You don't have to have them mounted to the body for that toBesides that, if you need to have a happen. I have a responsive amp, and I don't use ANY effects pedals.

Stating flat-out that it doesn't and can't make ANY difference is somewhat disingenous; about the same as stating that wood choice has absolutely no effect on electric guitar tone, or, indeed, stating that direct mounting is clearly, unambiguously the best way to mount pickups.

Let me put it this way. I honestly believe that wood choice is 50% of an electric guitar's tone. Pickup choice is about 45%. Choice of hardware accounts for the other 5%. Absolutely nowhere along the line do I think that HOW you mount the damn pickups has anything to do whatsoever with the tone.

For the record, I personally DO think that direct mounting is clearly, unambiguously, the best way to mount pickups... because I freaking hate mounting rings. :D

Seriously, I can tell you how it can, but not that it does.

I said how something IS, not how something COULD. I can come up with 500 different ways it COULD do it, but absolutely none of them will have any application to the real world.

Theoretically speaking, bumblebees can't fly. B)

Maybe that's why P90s sound so good though--they're usually mounted directly to the wood, right?.

Technically, no. Most vintage style P90's have screws that go through the center to hold them down. These touch the outer plastic shell, but not the pickup. In fact, the pickup itself never touches the wood. How is that outer plastic shell being held down to the wood any different than a pickup ring being held down to the wood?

I know you were being silly. I was just proving a point. :D

*EDIT*

I'll put it to you this way. I'm such a tone fanatic that I actually choose my PICKS based on the kind of tone I get with them. If anyone was going to notice a difference in how the pickups are mounted, it would be me. Or Eric Johnson. :D

Edited by Black Mariah
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I know you were being silly. I was just proving a point. :D

*EDIT*

I'll put it to you this way. I'm such a tone fanatic that I actually choose my PICKS based on the kind of tone I get with them. If anyone was going to notice a difference in how the pickups are mounted, it would be me. Or Eric Johnson. :D

Got me...must be all that talk of hand jobs...

But I'm glad you brought up picks...I'd been using those black Dunlop nylon pickups...then my teacher handed me a Fender Heavy....

Wow! You want to talk change in tone? There it was! All of the attack and clarity I'd been missing from those Dunlops was there, and more. Seriously.

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Hehe....fair enough. I'd give less than 50% of tone (leaving out the player factor for a moment) to wood, maybe 30%, and give a fair amount of credit to basic construction (solidbody, semi-hollow, neck joint, reinforced or not), maybe 25%. Then come pickups/electronics, and a small amount is down to hardware (always assuming solid, proper construction). The effect of pickup mounting? Depends on the guitar in question, but I'll wager it's probably minute, if present at all.

Mostly, I'm just playin' devil's advocate, 'cause its fun. The vast majority of my guitars have pickups mounted in mounting rings (humbuckers), so, yeah. I choose mounting options depending on what'll look best as a whole, because honestly? Both systems work.

Oh, and that 'bumblebees theoretically can't fly' thing? Urban myth, far as I know.

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I love threads where every post starts out with, 'In My Opinion', or 'In Theory', or contains the word 'Voodoo'. :D

I read them much like this:

'In My Opinion', ...'Woof woof woof woof bark bark bark bark bla bla bla bla bla bla bla woof woof woof bark bark bark bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla..........

...and I bet I get as much out of it as y'all do in the end.

:D:DB)

Woof woof. B)

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But I'm glad you brought up picks...I'd been using those black Dunlop nylon pickups...then my teacher handed me a Fender Heavy....

Wow! You want to talk change in tone? There it was! All of the attack and clarity I'd been missing from those Dunlops was there, and more. Seriously.

That was one of the first things I ever picked up on. "Wow, different things make different sounds!" I had some picks I made out of wood for a while. Good tone, but horrible feel (soft wood).

Oh, and that 'bumblebees theoretically can't fly' thing? Urban myth, far as I know.

Which sort of helps my point. :D

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'Woof woof woof woof bark bark bark bark bla bla bla bla bla bla bla woof woof woof bark bark bark bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa tee daa bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla..........

Woof woof.  :D

arf1.jpg

"Why yes, I'll have a cookie. Thanks."

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I'm gunna have to go against some of this, I actually PREFER the sound of pickups mounted to rings. Way back awhile ago when I didn't do any guitar work myself I had a tech remove the ring for a humbucker on an Ibanez in order to get one of those bulky hex roland pickups in next to the bridge (and the ring didn't leave enough sapce). He ended up direct mounting it and using a piece of foam under the pickup as a type of "spring". I personally think that that guitar's tone TOTALLY changed, and I think it sounds hidious now, one of the reasons I quit playing it (but now that I have the ability to fix this I should go find it and do so... but whatever, it's a crappy Ibanez).

Whether it was the direct mounting that screwed the tone, or that piece of foam, I dunno. But since then I've REFUSED to direct mount, OR use foam as a spring lol.

Chris

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Glad to see that nobody's opinion matters to you, Drak.

So you're saying that you're actually gonna do it Greg, to your guitar, and report back here with the results? You're going to show me that your OPINIONS were actually worth something solid and valid in the end?

:D:DB)

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So, apparently we all know that Ed is a shameless, lying, disreputable opportunist with a penchant for self-promotion, and we think that's reprehensible! Yet, once again, we're all posting to a(nother) thread about what he thinks, giving him the very publicity that he craves (and don't kid yourselves, even this negative attention will translate into sales). I don't get it - who cares? :D

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I almost understood what Drak was saying.. lol

Anyway, tone is the sum of a lot of things. Sure I wouldn't doubt direct coupling makes a very small change in tone, but a lot of other changes do also. Change of resistor, cap, pot ohms, pickups, wood, all have a direct effect on how the guitar sounds. But does direct coupling make such a big change it's worth doing it? Not to me, maybe to you though.

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