Jump to content

Midscooped Pickups?


bigbluewolf
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have to confess, I don't know what you're talking about. A link would be helpful.

In general, pickups marketed as "midscooped" don't work. There is a linear relationship between pickup (resistance, inductance?) and frequency attenuation. The more in general, the more (winds, resistance, inductance?) a pickup has, the more high frequencies are attenuated. You can't use traditional pickup construction techniques to scoop the mids. That's a job for active electronics. If you really want a mid-scooped sound (which strictly personally, I don't recommend as a good guitar tone anyhow) you should use an active EQ.

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Greg says, a link would help.

There are some things that can be done to a pickup. You can wind it and chose material/construction to boost bass ands treble. You can also add a passive mid-cut circuit Lets do a mind experiment ad see what we can come up with.

I imagine a quite overwound pickup on a larger bobbin with ceramic magnets maybe laminated steel magnet blade poles and a mid-cut circuit molded into that might be perceived as mid-scooped. Why this way of making the pickup?

Well the overwinding is because of at least two reasons. The over all output helps add to the “loudness” of the pickup, thus compensating for the pretty lousy treble and bass response of a normal guitar amp. It will also help to boost the low mid/high bass and that will, if done right add to the scooped mid sound.

The larger bobbin is to be able to use a larger wire (bigger diameter) with less resistance for the same turn count. A larger bobbin is also traditionally considered to “see” a lager part of the string and thus getting a bassier sound (compare a fender SC and a P90). That factor has been debated in another lengthy post here and I refer you to that.

The stronger magnet also helps boost the output (one again the loudness factor) and is also considered to add treble.

Eddy currents are small currents that are generated in everything metal in the pickup. It is the varying magnetic field that induces that current. That current in itself generate a new magnetic field that induce a (often unwanted) current back into the pickup coil. I have not done much experimentations with this and I have no real first person experience, but I know that this have been a known factor for a long time. The Gretsch Filtertrons have their cover cut up to avoid eddy currents (I think it is also stated in the patent from the fifties). That is why I suggested a laminated steel (thin sheets of steel with an even thinner isolator between them, think transformer steel) for the magnet poles. The use of non magnetic material in the base plates and similar also helps keeping eddy currents to a minimum.

Add to that a skillfully designed passive mid cut circuit and you might end up with a scooped mid sound.

But it wouldn’t be a very traditional pickup.

Edited by SwedishLuthier
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though I don't recommend it either (I actually play with my EQ pretty flat), Dimarzio, Seymour, most major pickup manufacturers have listings of the output of their pickups with regards to bass/mid/treble. For Dimarzio, Steve's Special and the Air Classic series are pretty "cut" in the mids.

But if they give you the sound you need, who cares how they work :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure you worded it right, it's just that a link might have provided us with more information to make a better reply. I can't find much technical information on the Big Dippers in general, never mind the specially-voiced ones, but suffice it to say that they're still pretty much classic single-coil Fender strat-style pickups. I wouldn't be surprised if they just use less mid-rangey components (brighter-sounding magnets? certain guage of wire?) and have slightly lower overall output. But they're still just standard normally-wound single-coil pickups.

I doubt Mayer had "exacting" specifications, either... a lot of that stuff is marketing hype. What they likely did is simply work together with Mayer saying "Nah, too loud... too bright... too much wool..." until they came across one that worked. It's probably just a Big Dipper with slightly fewer winds.

Have you heard the pickups in question? No words can really describe what a pickup sounds like. If it's really "mid-scoopiness" that you're after, I can't help but continue to recommend active EQ. Or even off-board, like in an EQ pedal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A quick google turned up this: “big dippers are just tex specials with scooped out mids.”

The Texas specials are extremely standard in construction and fairly normal in Dc resistance (on the lower side maybe) , but "the bridge pup have a "higher-than expected” inductance. No data to be found on the big dippers thou. Might be a beefier magnet or something similar to boost the treble a bit. Fender is very secret about what the big dippers are

Referring to this new info: forget everything I talked about. I was assuming a metal type of scooped mid. I haven’t exactly had my eyes (or ears) on John Mayer. I wouldn’t even consider his sound from the big dippers (from youtube clips anyway) to be overly mid-scooped. Can anyone say SRV-clone?

Edited by SwedishLuthier
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely lifted not only a page from SRV's book, but shoplifted the whole book. :D

That said, I really like him as a musician, and in some ways I could listen to his albums more often than SRV's. Maybe due to using fewer "standard" chord progressions and patterns than SRV and not claiming to be a "bluesman" per se.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Heres a way that actualy works to make a mid-scooped pup:

A normal series wired humbucker, with a cap of in the range say 22 to 82nF from the central join between coils, to ground. This partly shunts one coil, leaving just the bass from the second coil, plus, the combination of inductance and capacitance makes a resonant circuit that dips the mids. With a vintage type of humbucker, such as my 8k '57 classic, and a 47nF cap, the dip is at about 500hz

so you get strong bass from both coils, dipped mids due to the resonance, and strong single-coil sounding highs from the non-bypassed pup.

Its a cool sound

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fender claims that Mayer had actually bought an SRV Strat to use as his main electric axe and found that the pickups were actually mis-wound, thus creating the subtle mid-scoop. Honestly, with all the processing and such that goes on with his rig, I doubt you'd notice much of a difference between the regular Texas Specials and the Big Dippers, or that you couldn't emulate with the right effects combo.

Heavily scooped pickups just don't sound right for the blues, IMHO. The Strat can barely cut it as trebly as it is, but you take away what little mids the guitar gives you and it starts sounding more Genesis and less Robert Cray.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, he sure likes his effects. But on "Try!" (John Mayer Trio, where he most assuredly is lifting a page from Stevie, but which is one of the great live albums, IMO) I'm pretty sure he's going more or less straight into an amp with perhaps an overdrive and tremelo/Leslie-emulator. If you listen to nothing else by him, and don't even care for his songwriting or 'personality', the guitar tone on that album in and of itself is great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heres a way that actualy works to make a mid-scooped pup:

A normal series wired humbucker, with a cap of in the range say 22 to 82nF from the central join between coils, to ground. This partly shunts one coil, leaving just the bass from the second coil, plus, the combination of inductance and capacitance makes a resonant circuit that dips the mids. With a vintage type of humbucker, such as my 8k '57 classic, and a 47nF cap, the dip is at about 500hz

so you get strong bass from both coils, dipped mids due to the resonance, and strong single-coil sounding highs from the non-bypassed pup.

Its a cool sound

John

That sounds really cool. I'm guessing it might have the power of a humbucker but with more clarity?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...