Pickups that track low end notes better/sound better when playing fast?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Alex79, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    Here's something I've wondered about for a while.
    I've recently started playing some really fast Kreator songs and due to the speed/technicality, I've wondered if it is true that some pickups track the low end faster?

    For example, BKP Aftermaths, ceramic magnet pickups, are said to have an "accelerated bass response" (company website) and Matt Heafy from Trivium said that the Fishmans are better for low end (or something like that).
    I honestly always thought that low end response and the quickness of the attack was due mostly to the guitar construction, i.e. a Tele being much faster than a Les Paul.

    Also, do Tubescreamers help with that? Do they make the response quicker?
     
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  2. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    There is a lot of debate on this topic. Lasse Lammert has wrote a few times on forums that pickup position plays a huge part, closer to the bridge will give you faster tracking low end and actives track faster than passives which is why guys in kreator and other similar bands use set necks and rigs that wouldn't be people's first choice for tightness.

    In my opinion construction plays the biggest part, my bolt-ons have a quickness in the low notes that you just can't replicate in the signal chain when using set or neck thru. There is this instantness to a note and a sharp cut off.

    Signal chain is a big factor too, anything that helps tighten up the bottom end which tubescreamers are known for. So guys like Lasse could take a guitar that you wouldn't consider tight sounding when you play and run it through a rig to get it surgically tight.

    The players technique also plays another big part, bad palm muting technique is going to be muddy or undefined regardless of gear.
     
  3. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

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    A TS, or any boost really, is going to tighten up the amp and eliminate a lot of the flub and provide a faster/more precise attack.

    Once you go down the OD path though... you aint never coming back
     
  4. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    When it comes to pickups, isolated from all other factors: I would equate fast tracking to pickups with lower bass output. Low end takes the most energy to amplify, and the sine wave is larger (more stretched) so it makes sense why it would track more slowly.

    I think some of this can be mitigated by lowering the bass side of the pickup lower into the guitar and raising the pole pieces as necessary; and /or reducing gain and bass on the amp. Experimenting with hand placement for palm muting also goes a long way in controlling the decay of notes.

    Tubescreamers can help because they cut a lot of bass. They also really boost the mids, so you’d likely need to adjust your amp setting to compensate.
     
  5. Bearitone

    Bearitone SS.org Regular

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    If you took a thru neck guitar, found a way to chop the neck off, then bolt it back on, I bet you a million dollars you couldn’t hear a lick of difference in a blind test.

    The idea that neck construction could help “tighten” your sound is silly.

    As for pickups? I don’t know enough about pickups to know why a certain will give you “tighter” bass response.

    In my experience with pedals, cutting bass and then slamming the front end of the preamp with a high dB boost is the recipe for tightening. If the same goes for pickups my guess (and it’s just a guess) is you want high output and less bass.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  6. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I’ve switched to Lundgrens (M7 and Black Heaven) in my two main seven strings, and they have a decently large bass output but it stays very tight and clear, moreso than any other pickups I’ve tried. Very punchy and clear pickups.
     
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  7. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    TS to boost, ceramic bridge pickup with ~medium output, as little amp gain as possible so that it is still punchy, mids>bass. That's all folks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
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  8. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD EIght.Fold.Path / Hinge Theory Contributor

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    I think the consensus is, pretty much anything that decreases actual or perceived bass frequencies will result in a "tighter" sound and track faster.

    Some pickups do that exceptionally well - the BKP Aftermath you mentioned, and the BKP Painkiler, both of which are highly mid-focused. The PK has a surprising amount of low end, but the mix of frequencies and significant high-mid bump makes it very tight.

    So yeah, a lot of ways to get you where you want to be, just a matter of deciding which ones are right for you!
     
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  9. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    So if I take an unboosted EMG81 and a TS boosted Alnico V pickup like a JB or Nailbomb, would there be a discernible difference? What I'm struggling with is that I'm not sure if the perceived clarity and quick response is due to the pickup or due to the wood/construction of the guitar.
     
  10. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Wood/construction mean fuck-all compared to the pickups.
     
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  11. MSS

    MSS SS.org Regular

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    +1 on the M7’s and Aftermath’s. Both track really well.
     
  12. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire perpetual tinkerer

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    everything matters with guitars,but pickups/amp choice/eq settings matter more.
    i can get my neck thru guitars to sound just as tight and mean as my set neck or bolt ons just by adjusting amp settings to have less bass and bumping up the mids/treble.
    bass response in pickups is tied to type of magnet used, wire gauge used, types of bolts/inserts used, though I'm sure other factors like output and whether the pickup is under/overwound also play a part..
     
  13. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    im going to say it.

    EMGs

    They track faster than any pickup Ive ever played (used a variety of Seymour Duncans, recorded with Bareknuckle Blackhawks, even used alot of Rockfield pickups - and now own and use Fishman moderns)

    and with something like an Axe Fx or Kemper, the amount of EQ options means you can dial in and EQ as much "Tightness" as you want.

    For me I would go 81X - instant (and it really is unbelievably instant) tracking, but more dynamic and still tight (but tightens up fine with OD/EQ work)
     
  14. Type_R3387

    Type_R3387 SS.org Regular

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    I’m gonna go ahead and throw in another vote for Lundgren. You can’t go wrong with any of the M series!
     
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  15. Necky379

    Necky379 SS.org Regular

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    2nd this. Now that we have the latest EMG thread I feel like I won’t get bashed for making this recommendation. EMG 81 and a tubescreamer. All you need. Not glamorous or unique, tried and true.
     
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  16. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    And why would you? Everyone knows the EMG81 is the tightest pickup around, like it or not.
     
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  17. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire perpetual tinkerer

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    The 81 is definitely not the tightest pickup around, the m6 and aftermath are FARRRR tighter and faster in their bass response.
     
  18. BananaDemocracy

    BananaDemocracy 8 String Impaler

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    +1 M7

    +1 EMG

    +1 EMG

    +1 LUNDGREN

    +1 EMG

    And in support of Emperoff’s very accurate statement, I say the 81 is as clear as itll get. However, the next best thing would be , what I think is the best metal pickup, the M7,For tracking, 81...consistency and clarity without match to many, and there are quite a few here. I would buy a LUNDGREN though.

    Really interesting, really interesting info and stuff here....
     
  19. BigViolin

    BigViolin breakfast foods

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    I haven't played the aftermath but certainly agree with the M6. Funny how some folks will never accept a passive being tighter than an 81. Theres a wakjob on one of the other forums that stalks the place waiting for any reference to the 81 as not being the tightest thing ever and goes so far to claim that its physically impossible for anything to be tighter and he's ready to fight about it. :guns:

    For my uses something like a titan or dominion is plenty fast and tight for downtuned metal.
     
  20. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire perpetual tinkerer

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    oh for sure, the titan and dominions are also super tight. the titan is the only pickup besides the m6 or aftermath that i felt was too tight/dry for my tastes. the dominion is a bit more versatile imo.
     
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