Would this work? 8 String guitar (multi scale) WITHOUT angled pickups

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by bnzboy, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

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    Hi guys I hope to find some input on this one. Is having angled pickups a necessity for guitars with multi scale frets to get good tones out of it? I am talking about an 8 string guitar (ie. Strandberg) with non-slanted pickups (ie. normal angle). I have seen Strandberg CL7 so I am aware it works but just wondering if this will make the bridge pickup's tone "too round"? Would it be compensated by using pickups like Bareknuckle Aftermath to alter the round tone?
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    The closer the pickups are to the bridge, typically the more aggressive/bright they sound. the further the pickup is from the bridge makes the sound rounder/warmer/less aggressive. Definitely not ideal for metal or anything where you want a more aggressive sound, but if you like a more mellow bridge tone then it's viable. I tried one of my favorite pickups (elysian hot modern) in my custom boden with the non-angled routes and hated what it did to the sound.

    The aftermath is a very tight, dry and clanky pickup, which makes it good for djent and not much else (maybe some 80s ratt type tones depending on the amp used). Personally I'd go with something more aggressive feeling to try and counteract the pickup location, but you'll likely be sacrificing overall clarity. The painkiller or cold sweat could work if you want the tightness of the aftermath (or pretty close to it) but with a bit more aggression. Black Dog would also work, though it's not as tight as the painkiller/cold sweat/aftermath. It's an excellent choice if you want a relatively versatile and clear pickup that still has a good amount of aggression.
     
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  3. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Thing thing gives e a headache.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    having the single coil not follow the slant triggers me hardcore.
     
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  5. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

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    Thanks for the reply KnightBrolaire. How did the tone change when you tried the hot modern? You said you hated it and I am assuming the tone was altered in way didn't want? I am assuming it was not tight enough? Weird harmonics?
     
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    it took what is normally a tight and relatively aggressive/clear pickup and made it rounder/warmer sounding with more low end. The bite that I love about the hot modern was slightly tamed and it just didn't have the same feel. I can mitigate it to an extent with my tubescreamer but it's not quite the same.
     
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  7. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

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    Thank you for reply again man. This is exactly what I assumed but just wanted to confirm from someone who has more experience than me.
     
  8. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    You can get a high output ceramic that will sound tight on the lowest strings, you may need to EQ out some of the bass and add more presence to get the clarity you want but you can get it to sound good as long as the pickup poles are not too far away from the saddle. The problem then is that in over compensating for the lowest strings you have made the higher ones brighter and thinner and thus undone some of the affects of the fan.
     
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  9. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    In my opinion non angled pickups completely defeat the purpose of a fan for modern metal tone.
    That's because I've always considered fanned frets to not be about string tension (as there are always gauges available to get tighter bass strings), but about tone. A longer scale on the bass side, allows a thinner string, resulting in a brighter tone. Reducing the string gauge range on the guitar, making the tone more balanced. Clearer, brighter low end, and a shorter (higher gauge), warmer top end. The tonal range is reduced.
    By angling the pickup in the opposite direction / having a straight pickup, you more than undo this effect. That is to say that, for example, a 25.5 scale guitar strung with 10-64 and a straight pickup, will sound more balanced (brighter on the low end) than a 25.5-27 scale guitar strung with 10-60 (for similar tension) and a straight pickup - because the pickup being so far from the bass saddle negates the brightness effect of the 27" and smaller gauge string, to a point of it being darker than the 64 on 25.5" was. You'll have the improvement in the liveliness of the feel , and the acoustic sound - but not through the amp.
    I'd say this effect (warmer bass strings) is a nice one for all sounds other than metal rhythm guitar. If you look at the Novax Charlie Hunter guitars for example, that setup with super warm bass is desirable, for a round low end for jazz etc.
    But for metal guitar, and extended range guitar where you are already struggling against rounder sounding bass gauges and muddy low end, a non-angled pickup, especially on anything more than a tiny fan, makes very little sense.
    As Lorcan said above, you can always EQ it to sound fine, but that EQ applies to the whole instrument. The tonal balance achieved by the fanned fret is then undone.
    Consider also that with 8 string type gauges you have to move the saddle back quite a bit for intonation. The intonation alone already gives you about 0.3" of a fan - 0.3" further from the pickup on the bass side even with perfect pickup placement. I'm considering even overfanning the pickup (like a very slight reverse telecaster pickup effect) to compensate for this these days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  10. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    ^ yup


    take that multiscale guitar with the straight pickup and slant it to be standard scale again, the pickup would now be angled from the bridge position on the 1st string till the middle position to the 8th. Would you comfortably buy that guitar?

    reason some strangbergs (and other brands) dont slant their pickups is because they only have a small fan (0.5" or similar) so the difference is not that much and they can still get away with using regular pickups, so dont need to spend money/time on R&D to get pickups spacially made. Since theres no industry standard on the angle on slant of pickups, they would have to be custom made. Reason some other brands (that new LTD for example) is using the same angle for both pickups so they can cut cost down I guess? so you can manufater both pups with same angle. Its far better of course but still not the ideal possition. OR go even quicker option to have a soapbar pickup, so no problem aligning the poles

    but for me its also an aesthetic choice too. Nothing looks more wrong than a multiscale guitar with regular pups
     
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  11. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

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    Thank you for your feedback guys. I understand that it is all preference based but now I am wondering how come guitars like this can be crafted & sold without having any slanted pickups. I know it's got Lundgrens but surely the pickup angle will now dictate the fundamental tone of the guitar, no?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    It definitely changes the tone, but it's easier and cheaper to produce. That's why most production multiscales with angled routes use soapbar routes/blade magnets, it makes lining up poles less of an issue. It's even easier to take an existing template and use straight pickup routes rather than bother with the angled routes.
    Some people prefer straight routes due to having more options if you want to swap pickups.
     
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  13. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, I agree with what everyone else has said here. In fact, I want a pickup that has a GREATER fan than would be required for its position. In other words, I’d prefer the bridge pickup be slanted so the bass side is near the bridge, and the treble side closer to the middle pickup. It would work for both bridge and neck pickups, as typically I want the biting aggression on the low strings, but not necessarily on the high strings.

    As to why someone would want a straight pickup, I suspect those guitar are either made by people who don’t care or don’t know (just like 8 string guitars with a short scale length), or there’s a pickup that cannot he had in a slanted design.
     
  14. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    A more extreme version of the overfanning I mentioned sounds like it would be fun! If you want to calculate pickup placement just to the actual intonation point rather than the scale length, angle it to be (string gauge x4) closer to the bridge on the bass side
     
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  15. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Strandberg has made some weird stuff in their custom shop that isn't really optimal...but it works for some people. Some of them have smaller scale lengths as well. I think the 26.5-28 is too large for a non-angled pickup.

    Some of their designs are trade-offs. The 7 string trems have straight pickups but I think the size of the bridge and pickup placement means they can't really be angled compared to the normal bridge.

    The classic 8 is just cost cutting.

    Remember that you're guitar doesn't have to be perfect if you like the tone or can find pickups that can get around the inherent disadvantages.
     
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  16. crackout

    crackout SS.org Regular

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    One thing I do not unterstand is why slanted routs follow the imaginary fret position (especially prominent for neck pickup routs).
    That doesn't make sense to me. The idea of a slant is get around the same distance of the pole pieces from the bridge. Why would this apply for the bridge PU but not the neck?
     
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  17. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    In terms of the classic 8s being modelled after Fenders, it actually makes more sense because a straight pickup on a multiscale is essentially the same as the angled Strat and Tele bridge pickups, which were made that way to get a bassier low end back when amps didn't do bass so well. Not to say it isn't just for cost cutting, but it does fit the design idea at least.

    It's not so much about being the same distance from the bridge. I mean it sorta is, and the two approaches come out pretty close and it's really nitpicky, but... If you look into any 'science' on pickup placement it's about node positions. I.e., fret positions. Ratios along the string for an even harmonic balance. If you have a longer scale on the bass side and place the pickup 90% of the way along the string, or at the 40th fret position or whatever, that's going to be slightly further away on the bass string than the treble string side. Similarly, the neck position is going to be slightly less angled, as the imaginary frets become more angled closer to the bridge. Having the pickup positioned the same % along the string on both the bass and treble side results in the truest representation of the difference in tone across the strings. It also looks tidy having the neck pickup match the fretboard and the bridge pickup match the bridge rather than the neck pickup match the bridge and be askew to the fretboard.
     
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  18. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    the easiest way to mitigate this whole issue is
    1. go with a half fan (with bridge set as the parallel fret) so you can use straight bridges/pickups with no issue
    2. use soapbars/angled pickups that actually sit close to the bridge, instead of them basically becoming a middle pickup.
     
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  19. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    Straight pickups on a multi scale will make the low strings muddier and high strings harsher and brighter. It's opposite of what most people would want really. Maybe not that noticeable if it's only a 0.5-1" fan though.
     
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  20. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

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    Thank you for your input guys. You guys might have saved me from spending a big chunk of money on an instrument that may or may not have been the desired one I was looking for.
     

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