Need PU info, thank you. :)

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by st.bede, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    I just purchased a Steinberger Spirit because I have been playing a lot of keys, manipulating synths, and tweeking an Octatrack, while playing guitar. The Spirit is small and stays out of the way when I am multitasking.

    The PU configuration is SC/SC/HB. What I need from the neck PUs is clean round warm neck with enough definition: think jazz runs and alt chords.

    For middle PU, I need to ha able to get enough sparkly, jangle, and a little bite: think pedal steel bends and twangy runs.

    For the bridge position (HB), I like grit and bite (think bluesy stuff) but still enough roundness and difintion for jazzy type stuff.

    I am thinking about putting a TV Jones Supertron in the bridge.

    My question is what PUs will do these things and work well together.

    I am willing to do coil splits with SC sized HBs.

    Your thoughts, wisdom, and help is respected and appreciated. Peace
     
  2. zoork_1

    zoork_1 Senior Member

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    Don't know the budget, but I would put an early Patent No (or something less expensive that sounds like a PAF) in the bridge. To get a clean, warm neck with definition I would look for an overwound SC with A3 magnets. For middle PU, not sure to be honest. Good luck :acoustic:
     
  3. NewDayHappy

    NewDayHappy Senior Member

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    Neck: Fender Custom Shop Fat 50
    Middle: Texas Special
    Bridge: Seymour Duncan JB

    A little 59 in the neck would work as well as a Jazz.

    Some people hate the TS but I live by them.
     
  4. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    I've a HB/SC/HB Steinberger Spirit: it's my travel guitar.

    Its short scale upon not much wood make pickups react differently.

    II had fitted mine with a Seth Lover in neck position but this excellent PU sounded bland in this guitar. A Spirit needs beefier pickups IME/IMHO.

    Mine currently includes two Bill Lawxrence humbuckers (the neck having an inductance of 6H and the bridge being a 9H thing).

    In mid position, I've mounted a 3H / 7.5k custom home made single coil, with a ceramic bar instead of AlNiCo poles.

    This combo works well: high inductance compensates the tight acoustic resonance and blade poles are interesting if we take in account strings spacing.

    Regarding the TV Jones: I'd spontaneously keep this choice for a darker guitar, but why not, after all?

    Regarding the SC sized neck (and possibly mid) humbucker(s), I'd mount some BRIDGE Duncan Cool Rails : with a solid 6H inductance in series and a kinda Fender inductance once splitted, this model should do the job.

    Oh, and if you mount a regular Fender Strat SC in mid pos. , you should find it twangy enough for your tastes. :)

    Good luck in your quest!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  5. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    I play Steinbergers all the time- I am currently using a Synapse, but the new Spirits look nice, too. I hoe they come out with GM/Transtrem models. I like an Alnico II Pro in the neck for jazz, with a 59/Custom Hybrid in the bridge for more rock tones...a Custom Custom also works, if the guitar is overtly bright (a lot of maple). For the middle, it depends on what you are going for, but I like an STK-S4 Classic Stack. It is noise-cancelling, and sounds great on its own.
     
  6. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    I'm on board with the others who said some higher output and warmer sounding pickups (except maybe the middle for your jangley needs). Middle could be an A5 60's Strat style.

    I'll also mention, since you said you're working with keys and synths, that these guitars are an excellent platform for a HEX pickup (optical or magnetic) if you want to trigger MIDI with it! They tend to respond with less tracking latency and more accuracy, presumably due to the design.
     
  7. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    Thank you all, for your replies.

    Freefrog, you got me thinking.

    After listening to some Duncan clips of SC sized HB (coolrails bridge, 59 neck, and JB neck), I was thinking that the coolrails sounding a little too scooped for Jazz in the neck. I then checked out the 59. I thought the 59 did not sound warm enough. Just as a thought, I listened to the JB neck. I thought that was warm enough and did not have too much bite. This lead me to think that a JB neck, and in the mid PU spot a cool rail bridge, might work real together for what I want. (I also thin if I split them, I would get a nice sparkle).

    I then thought, that since every time I have played EB guitars, (and I have played many of them, for a significant amount of hours) I tend to really like the PUs, I should put a DiMarzio in the Bridge.

    My questions for you freefrog (and any one else) are: when it come to the Spirit, what do you think about those PU combinations.

    My thoughts about Duncan PUs is that they sound a little compressed and a little less open then some other brands. That sound has strengths and weakness. They tend to stand out and stay focused but they do not meld into the overall band sound. I end up replacing my Duncan PUs. (That is not at all a dig at Duncan, it is about how I approach music). I guess this makes me want to ask, what other PU makers could have PUs like the mentioned Duncans PUs?

    Cooljuk, thank you. My plan is to get around to putting my HEX PU on the Spirit. I always wanted to set up a individual, recognizable, guitar synth type sound. I dig it when Pat Metheny does his synth thing. I, in part, like Holdsworth’s approach also. I bought a Waldorf Blofeld, that will allow me to dail in a couple unique(ish) patches. I want to have a lead type sound and a sound that works really well with exotic scales. Do you have any insight into if the Fishman midi stuff tracks better then the Roland?

    I know I wrote a lot. I am just trying to elucidate my situation, as to allow for the best knowledge to be offered up. Feel free to till me what you think. I am grateful. For example, even though I really dig the Supertrons, I did suspect they would be too bright.
     
  8. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    (I made some grammar mistakes in my post. I can not find the edit post button. Proabably due to using my phone. If there is any confusion, ask. Peace).
     
  9. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    Hi st.bede,

    I've no experience wiith a mini JB in the neck slot and I've never tried a Cool Rails bridge in mid position so I'd have a hard time to judge your choice. :)

    What I've said about a Cool Rails bridge in neck position is due to my own experience with it: a bridge CR in series is close to a P90 when it comes to inductance so it sounds rather warm as a neck PU, within the limits of the design involved. And I'd think it able to sound "clean round warm neck with enough definition" in a Spirit although I can't guess how it would sound in your guitar/with your gear/to your ears.
    In single coil mode, it delivers an acceptable "fenderish" tone (and does it even better in parallel, IMHO and FWIW).

    I think that (m)any pickup(s) would work in the neck slot of your Spirit, anyway: IMHO, this position just requires enough beef (enough inductance) to sound solid next to the 24th fret of a tight shaped and tigh sounding maple stick. :)

    Regarding the mid PU, as you want it to be twangy, I'd spontaneously "stick" to the idea of a real single coil. YMMV.

    Regarding Duncan's: I understand what you mean and I wouldn't promote this brand among others. Again, my stance about the Cool Rails is just due to my experience with it.

    BTW, the guitar that I've fitted with a CR bridge in neck position is a modified Variax 500 (whose body has been routed for magnetic pickups), featuring a Hot Rails next to the bridge and a Roland hexaphonic transducer: it's my workhorse for stage sessions with vocal ensembles, for example. IME / IMHO, Duncan rails blend nicely with synth tones while some pickups with more bite and character wouldn't necessarily find their place. In this case too, YMMV.

    Good luck again in your quest. Let us know what you'll have mounted in your Spirit! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  10. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    The Cool Rails is sort of the single-coil sized version of the Jazz, which isn't really a great pickup for actual jazz. A little 59 is a better choice...but I still stick by the Alnico II Pro humbucker in the neck for jazz- I use it in my Steinberger all the time.
     
  11. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    I decided to get some Bartolini PUs. I will see how those work out. I pretty positive, I will like how they sound but not sure if they will work excellently in a Spirit and cover enough sonic ground. I am thinking that proabaly at worst I will sound great playing jazz or jazz rock stuff but will suffer a little with country type runs.
     
  12. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    I've never used the Fishman MIDI pickup but, if it's magnetic, it will track slower than an optical system like the Zon Lightwave. The delay is most noticeable on the lower notes of the lower strings. The delay comes from needing two full oscillation cycles for the computer to calculate the frequency. The optical systems provide enough data to calculate a note in one half cycle. I'm not entirely clear on how and why, but I know from use that even on a 5 string fretless bass the low B can track faster on an optical system than the low E of a guitar with the magnetic systems. That said, latency also can come from the controller that converts the hex pickup to MIDI or the processor/synth/computer that converts the MIDI to sound so there are a few places where latency can come into play and/or be dialed out. Hope that helps!
     
  13. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    Fender Vintage and Hot Noiseless pickups (stacked coils) are the best of both worlds (IMO) for single and double coils. Bright and clear, yet full and warm. I have the Hot Vintage set in my Strat and the neck position and great for jazzy blues, the middle position has that typical sparkle and quack
     
  14. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    So, I ended up with the Barts. The sc might need a pot change to calm them a bit. Tone is good but hard to tell with the 500k pot. The bridge PU sounds great. Still everything is a bit bright. I deffently made a big step forward, not perfect, maybe not good enough. I still have some work to do. As far as the Barts go, I think they sound great and I wish they were in another guitar. The stien is a strange beast.
     
  15. AJK1

    AJK1 Senior Member

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    Isn't this MLP ?
     
  16. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    I bet some HB Barts would kill in a LP. I would think they would have the attack and roundness of (real) Bill Lawrence PUs but add a smooth crunchy-ness that Lawrence does not have. I might try Barts in my PRS SC.
     

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