Are "Metal" Pickups The Biggest Scam Out There?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by bzhang9, Mar 1, 2020.

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  1. Iron1

    Iron1 Old School Blacksmith

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    Politicians that "care about you" are the biggest scam out there. This is minor leagues compared to that crapfest...
     
  2. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Well there's been that one dude fighting for the people for 30+ years, but let's leave that for the politics thread :lol:.

    ITT: Pickups are not a scam, marketing works, high profile people hyping shit works, and some people have a need to spend extra cash and mod their brand new guitars.
     
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  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pointy purveyor

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    modeling pickups exist already, but they're suuuuuuper niche. Look up Cycfi pickups. You can impart any eq curve onto the pickups and even do tonematching. They got a pretty convincing classical guitar sound from them.
     
  4. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    Something like the Dialtone pickup?

    [​IMG]

    Dialtone Pickups allow players to adjust tone using two finger-friendly knobs built directly into the pickup. Currently offered as a drop-in humbucker replacement, Dialtone's controls adjust the frequency response of the pickup, allowing players to emphasize and color the rich tones already present within the guitar.
     
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  5. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    Not true. Time and time again corporations and CEOs prove they can be entrusted to put the wellness of the people before their own good.

    That's not how the economy, trade, or capitalism works.

    Why does this topic keep coming up? I keep seeing these Occupy-Wallstreet-anarchist-socialist-anticapitalism-rants about why guitars and equipment cost so much. What world do you people live in? There are plenty of guitars and parts for low cost. Buy a G&L, Epiphone, Schecter, LTD, or whatever for $300-700. Buy $30 MIC pickups if you think they all sound the same and are all made the same.

    Or if you don't like it then start a company making pickups for $50. We'll see how long you stay in business. Here's your homework tonight... Show me a business plan that works with your proposed profit margin.

    Let's propose 100 humbuckers with hot PAF wind (~8000 turns, 42 AWG). A quick google search for pickup parts:

    HB bobbin set: $2.50 x 100 = $250
    100 brass base plates: $5 x 100 = $500
    1200 rod magnets: $0.82 x 1200 = $984
    Wiring: 42 AWG, PE Copper, 8000 turns per coil, 2 coils = 16,000 turns x 100 pickups = 1,600,000 total turns x 5" per turn = 8,000,000" or ~666,000 ft = $720 of wire.
    4-wire Hookup wire: $2.75 x 100 = $275
    Braid/Shielding: $.50 x 100 = $50
    Probably missing a lot of stuff like screws, springs, etc.
    Total without labor = $2,800 for 100 HB worth of parts = $28

    So, lets round up to $30 per pickup just in parts (As this includes no QC failures. So, let's say 5% don't pass QC, which is another $150 worth of parts needed.)

    And this is hand wound = 8,000 turns per coil, so 16,000 turns per pickup labor that you are doing. Not to mention all of the bad pickups you will need to re-wind, as well as all the time it will take you to learn and then correctly apply techniques like scatter winding. And then time to wax pot, test, package, sell, ship, deal with customer emails and orders, deals with customer service and complaints, etc.

    I think it's fair to say probably 4 man-hours of labor/time per pickup to do all of this? At $10/hour that's another $40. So you're at $70 cost per pickup before you make any profit. And since no one knows who you are you'll probably only sell a few here and there, so good luck having steady work for your employees. Or if it's just you at first that's a lot of your own time you're working for free or pennies to get the company started, all along having to work an actual job to pay bills.

    So $70 for your no name pickup? Or I can buy a Dimarzio Tone Zone for $70 shipped right now. Or for $150 I can buy a "boutique" BKP VH2... or a Godwood WCR... or Gibson 496R.

    That is not how he wants this world to work.

    tl;dr I want my mansion for $25,000 because that's all the parts cost.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  6. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Every year there are people taking a marketing class for the first time and realizing. IT'S ALL MADE UP MAN!
     
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  7. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

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    to be fair, PAFs ARE metal pickups to a lot of people
     
  8. Promit

    Promit SS.org Regular

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    I will say that some of the particularly expensive pickups out there, you're paying for nebulous other things that are important but not necessarily obvious. For example, an original PAF may have used whatever rando magnet was readily available at the time. But 60 years later, recreating that specific sound doesn't mean grabbing whatever random magnet is currently available. So replicating something faithfully in retrospect can be much more expensive than the originals (which are themselves now ludicrously expensive). Some of these companies have custom magnets done - that's not cheap. Some are employing US workforces - that's not cheap.
     
  9. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    I guess it has to be pushed by a larger well known company and have a shit ton of marketing and hype thrown at it, just like the fishman fluence pickups had.

    The problem with having pickups that are to a degree 'digital' or 'the last pickup you will ever buy' is that companies will need to find a way so that it is either not the last pickup you buy or that you will start buying the software and generate money that way. If you truly make a product like this that actually works and gets the mass appeal and hype needed, said company could take a biiig lump of the market, but probably also shot themselves in the foot while doing it.

    And if it ends up being a digital modeler thing it will end up like VST plugins or axe fxs. Your fantastic shiny new toy is hopelessly outdated next week/year. Passive / analog pickups, pedals, amps and microphones has the appeal that they don't really get outdated even if something new comes along. A 6505 and duncan distortion-7 still sounds amazing to me even if they came out years ago.
     
  10. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    OP hasn’t tried Black Winters...
     
  11. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    I DO.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Here comes a new challenger:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    Correct, but sadly he didn't make the ballot.

    [​IMG]

    tl;dr pickups.
     
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  14. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    You could easily do it yourself.

    Take a couple of your favorite pickups, put them in the exact same guitar and take the EQ curve each time (of course always play the same riff).

    When you're done, put one of them in for good and create IRs that represent the difference between the pickup you left in the guitar and one of the other pickups.

    Then copy your IRs onto your IR-loader stompbox like the mooer radar and enjoy the various pickup options that are just one footstep away.
     
  15. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    Or something like this...
     
  16. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    Are those the people who think anything with humbuckers "sounds like a Gibson"?
     
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  17. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Wasn't Eddie Van Halen one of those people?
     
  18. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm no math-a-magician, but I'm not sure this is what an IR is/does. From what I understand, an IR is closer to a reverb than an eq.

    I'll definitely jump in the camp of "any pickup is a metal pickup if you use it to play metal" though.
     
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  19. gunch

    gunch Riff Chugman

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    Don't get me wrong though the different "schools" of pickup design and different technologies people pursue are actually really fascinating
     
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  20. AndiKravljaca

    AndiKravljaca SS.org Regular

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    Oh, no, this absolutely exists. One of the ways to create an IR is with a sine sweep that gives you a full frequency range at equal volume, and measures the response, meaning it's pretty easy to make IRs which are equalizer curves. I have some of these:

    https://www.3sigmaaudio.com/electric-impulses/

    And here's me using their Telecaster IR to make my 'metal' pickup sound like a Tele:



    I mean, it's not 100% but it's damned good considering what it had to work with!!
     
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