Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Pickups' started by jamman, Mar 17, 2012.
i liked 9 but otherwise they all sounded very very very similar.
I downloaded the clips,as Rod mentioned and there is a lot of difference, than listening to the links. Even through the same headphones the downloaded clips are much more dynamic and I can hear all of the small details much better than through the links.
That's a fact, Jack!
I have been listening to these clips repeatedly, on different systems. I have to say that, on a nice hi-fi through good speakers, the differences are far more noticeable than on PC speakers or the little powered nearfields I use in my kitchen. I feel too that even on headphones, though they can be a great tool, your brain adjusts too quickly to compensate for the differences and it's more enjoyable to listen on nice playback speakers in a room where you have a point of reference (the ambient room, itself). At least I've found I prefer it that way, myself.
I think that these pickups all sound EXCELLENT. There are a few that really jump out at me for one reason or another, but they are all just great PAFs. I'm very anxious to see what 17 is. It sounded noticeably different than the others. Not better or worse, mind you, just uniquely different. There was another set, somewhere in the second half of the list (I don't have my notes handy) where I thought the bridge had characteristics of a neck sound. That's pretty cool! Others were obviously a very well balanced set, or a nice bright and clear low-output set, or had a nasally honk/quack that gave a great midrange tone. There were some with a big warm fat feel that would really bring out the "oomph" of a brighter guitar and give it some balls. They all have a place in the PAF family. Hell, I want them ALL!
I think that the end of the day I can honestly say that I'd be happy with any of these pickups. They all have different flavors but not a single one struck me as poor sounding or lacking in any way. Every single one made me think, "Oh, THIS one would sound great in a guitar that has this or that acoustic property." I think that's a very important aspect of pickup hunting. Matching a set of pickups to the acoustic qualities of a given guitar. This thread will be the greatest of help in doing just that for so many.
Thank you, Jamman, once again for all your efforts. This is truly an EPIC tool you've created for the world. Perhaps, once the names are announced, you could comment a bit on the feel of some of the set you liked?
...and of course it's quite a great relief to know that mine don't sound like crap amongst all the greats in here! I have to admit, I was on the edge of my seat as I listened. Pfew! I feel much better now.
Dam it, to start all over again!!!
The more I listen the more they all start to sound the same to me. I need to take a day off and listen again. Wow, this is tough!!
Very true, this is the same effect that happens in the studio, that why little breaks are needed for the ear and mind to reset.
Thanks for the very kind words . I have to try listening though my sound system. It's nothing more than a simple bookshelf system . And thats what was used to play the backing tracks . I think the time I spent finding the correct location to put the camcorder , helped big time.
All the tracks picked were picked using headphones ,which is why I stress to everyone to use them . It's like night and day. Using computer speakers is like getting half of what's really there .
I don't think it would be right to put in the public domain what I my feelings are toward any one pickup . I'd like people to figure out on their own what's good for them . We all have an idea of the tone we are looking for. Go from there and play it. But I agree with you that None were "bad" .
I need more than a little break for my mind to reset.
Not sure if this helps anyone but in previous blind testing I not only used a good set of over ear Cans (Sennheiser) but I also focused on individual phrases after I had a listen to the whole file; i.e. I listened to all the files, left it a day & went back & listened to the same phrases.
I found it hard to compare file to file because you saturate your ears but comparing phrase to phrase worked really well & allowed me to hear all the different nuances for each pickup etc.
Could a Frequency analyzer be used to measure the range of each demo?
Jamman did you move, if any, any of the settings in the amp, mic, changed cables or anything in between the tests? did any string break and had to change it etc?
Edit: nah...forget it, its useless with the backing track......dam it!!!!
This is a bit of an extreme concept, but since so many here seem so dedicated to really giving these clips some serious attention and comparison, one could:
Load all the tracks into some multi-track audio software like Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase, Garage Band, etc. and sync them up so the backing tracks are all playing in time with each other. Then just go through and solo one track at a time while listening. THAT would give you the ability to really flip through them quickly without interrupting the continuity.
A bit extreme, but it's a fine way to compare them for anyone who's got the time and motivation.
A frequency analysis would show differences in db across the spectrum, but it wouldn't show the all important nuances like compression, articulation, bloom, attack/decay, etc. I've thought about graphing out my models and came to the conclusion that it would be worthless based on this.
With something so finely detailed like a guitar pickup, I think nothing can compare to listening to an actual player or playing them yourself. Pickups, and more importantly human ears, are so much more sensitive and detailed than software can really graph out. Frequency levels only tell part of the story.
I have managed to use a F.A for choosing preamp tubes, i can measure the volume, loudness and range.
For this test it could be not so great because a set up beforehand has to be made in border to do some useful measurements.
I use to own a winery. After tasting to blend, and it only took 3 or 4 tastes to get blown away (even spitting) we would have to do our notes and then revisit the next day, usually before noon. Blending samples, to be sure of our choices was fatiguing for sure. Coffee would blow it for us, anything sweet was out of the question and so on. It was ALWAYS fatiguing but if we took our time and listened to each other we came out in agreement most all of the time with our blends. The crossover here is so similar as to sense and opinion fatigue- But like wine, so sweet in the end.
Another BIG THANK YOU to JAMMAN, I have revisited this work several times.
Damn Nico , I kind of get youre thinking with testing everything . And I also tend to make things more difficult than they really need to be , But its very simple , What pickup do you like most ?
To answer your question , Yes ,I moved the video camera every day after I finished shooting . I did however mark the floor at 2 points with masking tape (to return the tri-pod legs back to).I also marked the floor where the chair was located. I have pictures.
I changed the strings at almost every pickup change , because it needed to be done. The guitar would not stay in tune. Mostly the high E string came undone (at the ball end). So the whole set was replaced(all Gibson Vintage ris 10s) . The Amp ,the Speakers playing the backing track were never moved . The 1 guitar cable was the same for all the videos. Its a Monster cable. The gold plated type.
Now some variables were how many takes for each set of pickups . That was different for each set . I had some days when I got the take thats posted in 1 day . I had other pickups that took up to 4 days to get a take I was happy with and felt I could post . this is a direct link to string life and the sound they had. I will say that the pickups that took 4 days had a string change in that time . Ill stop here LOL!!! I did my best to keep thing the same.
Best is a Subjective term . No one can say what s the best for anything. Maybe only best for them . Question , If you Analyzed all the videos and were able to get a clearly defined best overall from the machines data reading , What would happen if you were to listen to the machines pick and you dont like it ? And then the interpretation of that data is still subjective.
The Brain is an amazing machine(computer) let it tell you the answer . it might take a few times to listen but it will tell you at some point .
Hey i know, but i tend to question and complicate things A LOT . I thought you use a mic!! but if i understand you used the cameras mic?
What i can read when using a F.A on a set of pickups is the frequency spectrum that they produce, some have a wide range, some are more bassy, some are more mid sounding etc. Thats all, nothing fancy.
Please don't interpret this as if I'm questioning or criticize your test at all!
Its is a simple shoot out and guess and its great!
That's probably very important and I'm glad you had the foresight to do it.
I'd like to know if the winders chose their pickups as the best sounding ones! hahaha