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Unread 02-19-2004, 07:01 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpullen
OK. I am done. I just realized that you have so much wrong information here that this arguement is completely futile. You are now just spreading complete mis-information. The purpose of the covers was to shield the single coil pickups from electro-magnetic interference. Much like the Rickenbacker "horseshoe" magenet pickups, this was the best way they found to keep the noise out. OK, sure, they looked cool and the look of them was based on cool car designs of the day, the reason they even considered them was to get rid of noise on the Broadcaster, Tele, Pbass and others.

Sorry chief.
Obviously the purpose of the covers is to help shield the pickups. NO KIDDING.

And yet, isn't it funny that this brilliant engineer (which he was, btw) didn't know how to take care of 60 cycle hum. Funnier still that Fender wears it as a badge of honor. Funnier on top of that that the electronics are substandard and susceptible to shock hazard and electrocution, and that many musicians HAVE DIED THAT WAY!!! and yet Fender still uses the same substandard electronics, and named their newsletter 60 CYCLE HUM, as if it was a good thing.

And I thought you were an engineer.

Okay, to be perfectly frank, you are showing up like a major jerk. I offered a rebuttal and differing point of view, and went to great lengths to illustrate it in the fairest and most balanced way possible, and even CONCEDED THAT I WOULD REREAD YOUR POSTS AND MAKE SURE WE ARE ON THE SAME PAGE so as not to get riled and argumentative, but to keep the discussion civil, insightful, and edifying.

So, you then go off on me, ignoring a great deal of the truth in what I had to say while I was going to go back and make sure I clearly understood what you were saying out of respect for you (which I previously had for you . . . I use to hold you in high regard), and you then discount me as a harbinger of misinformation and said that further discussions with me would be futile.

That arrogant, smug, condescending tone is the only thing that would make this argument futile.

Long story short, I don't discuss things with arrogant jerks.

Sorry chief.

Oh, and btw, that whole lack of info and mis-info thing works both ways.

Rainer - reps and props for your excellent insights and also for your really, really cool artwork.

Chesh

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Unread 02-19-2004, 07:02 PM   #47
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LP59, you are dead on. Thanks,
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Unread 02-19-2004, 07:04 PM   #48
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And, btw, Tom, how would you know any of this? I have actual experience with variables in guitar body shapes and have built guitars.

Have you?

Chesh
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Unread 02-19-2004, 07:05 PM   #49
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And, while on the subject, a Strat and a Tele are quite similar as opposed to a comparison of a Square and a Triangle.

Chesh
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Unread 02-19-2004, 07:41 PM   #50
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Wow, lively discussion.

I always assumed the the big difference in tone between a tele and strat with trem, aside from electronics, and other attributes was the bridge - how it transfers the string energy to the body. Strat with trem transfers downward to the bridge plate, and then thru the 6 screws, or 2 posts that are perpendicular to the body. The tele's is all downward - thru the bridge plate that is attatched flat against the body. I have never played a Fender Strat without a trem, but a friend of mine told me once that he tried one and that it "sounded a lot like a telecaster". I guess that sort of reinforced my theory...

Bit o' trivia. I recently read some of an interview with Jimmy Page on the gear he used in the early Zep years. He used a small Supro amp for the first couple albums, and a lot of people had assumed that he had used a Les Paul for most of the guitar parts, when in fact it had been a Tele on a lot or most of it. His answer to that was something to the effect that EQ goes a long way. I think it is well documented that a tele was used for the solo on "Stairway to Heaven". Ever since then as I have listened to tele tones, it could be my imagination, but I recognize a similarity between the tele and Les Paul. Certainly not in harmonic content in their unadulterated tone, but more in the envelope of their tone - the attack/bite, sustain, etc.

My answer - own at least one of everything, not necessarily by the original mfr, but a decent one of each type. Les Paul, Les Paul Jr., Strat, tele, Ric, PRS, Danelectro, ES335, etc, etc. They're all good in their own way when in the right hands, no?
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Unread 02-19-2004, 07:54 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Obviously the purpose of the covers is to help shield the pickups. NO KIDDING.

And yet, isn't it funny that this brilliant engineer (which he was, btw) didn't know how to take care of 60 cycle hum. Funnier still that Fender wears it as a badge of honor. Funnier on top of that that the electronics are substandard and susceptible to shock hazard and electrocution, and that many musicians HAVE DIED THAT WAY!!! and yet Fender still uses the same substandard electronics, and named their newsletter 60 CYCLE HUM, as if it was a good thing.

And I thought you were an engineer.

Okay, to be perfectly frank, you are showing up like a major jerk. I offered a rebuttal and differing point of view, and went to great lengths to illustrate it in the fairest and most balanced way possible, and even CONCEDED THAT I WOULD REREAD YOUR POSTS AND MAKE SURE WE ARE ON THE SAME PAGE so as not to get riled and argumentative, but to keep the discussion civil, insightful, and edifying.

So, you then go off on me, ignoring a great deal of the truth in what I had to say while I was going to go back and make sure I clearly understood what you were saying out of respect for you (which I previously had for you . . . I use to hold you in high regard), and you then discount me as a harbinger of misinformation and said that further discussions with me would be futile.

That arrogant, smug, condescending tone is the only thing that would make this argument futile.

Long story short, I don't discuss things with arrogant jerks.

Sorry chief.

Oh, and btw, that whole lack of info and mis-info thing works both ways.

Rainer - reps and props for your excellent insights and also for your really, really cool artwork.

Chesh
chesh, i normally agree with you, but give me some proof here. Aren't guitar pickups ULV? as in, stick your tongue on them and don't feel a tingle?

Most things are susceptable to 60 cycle hum, even today. That's part of the way the world works. Computer monitors at 60hz will give you a headache and turn your eyes to sandpaper especially in a room with flourescents. (60hz).

What's your point? It's obvious that leo knew how to get rid of the problem, look at the pickups on the G&L's.
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Unread 02-19-2004, 08:20 PM   #52
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Oh yeah - I'm corn-fused by some of the above statements. I have always heard and believed that Fender Strat and Tele necks are interchangeable, aren't they? I thought that over the years, I have seen some Teles with Strat necks and vice versa...yes?

I would guess the reason that the Tele only had a metal cover on the neck pickup is because L.F designed it with that metal "ashtray" bridge cover, that covered (and shielded) the entire bridge/pickup assembly. That big chrome cover that nobody liked, pulled off and actually did use for an ashtray (hence the name), and then disappeared off teles in the 60's (?), except for reissue models... Probably was intended for aesthetics...he certainly didn't carry that over to his new, improved, ultimate design, the Stratocaster. The original teles did have their share of weirdities - the ashtray bridge cover, the 3 saddle bridge ( ugh ! ), funny headstock, strings thru-body, bolt-on neck, solid body, whatever. A couple of those were innovations, a couple were just....weird.

Strats and Teles as well as a lot of other guitars do leave a lot to be desired in the way of shielding to be sure... In expensive instruments aimed at the "professional" market, it just wouldn't add that much cost - it should be in there, period. In high gain, mega-distorto applicaions, lack of shielding is a huge issue. In relatively clean applications like what I have used for the last couple decades in live situations, and what was the norm when they were designed, its not as big of an issue; an annoyance at times, but not noticeable when the band is playing.

Lets face it, electric guitar design is based more on tradition than available technology, especially since the shift to the "vintage" paradigm a few years back.
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Unread 02-19-2004, 08:27 PM   #53
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Working on a response right now.

Chesh
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Unread 02-19-2004, 09:57 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Obviously the purpose of the covers is to help shield the pickups. NO KIDDING.

And yet, isn't it funny that this brilliant engineer (which he was, btw) didn't know how to take care of 60 cycle hum. Funnier still that Fender wears it as a badge of honor. Funnier on top of that that the electronics are substandard and susceptible to shock hazard and electrocution, and that many musicians HAVE DIED THAT WAY!!! and yet Fender still uses the same substandard electronics, and named their newsletter 60 CYCLE HUM, as if it was a good thing.

Chesh
The thing that kills musicians is the grounding of the pickups to the strings. EMG does not do this. Obviously a wireless disconnects you from ground but this has nothing to do with substandard electronics. Fender uses the design because of the tone it produces. If you cancel hum you cancel tone...but that is another story....we are talking about the mechanical object of the guitar here.
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Unread 02-19-2004, 10:04 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
And, btw, Tom, how would you know any of this? I have actual experience with variables in guitar body shapes and have built guitars.

Have you?

Chesh
Well Chesh, you caught me. I am actually a monkey who has learned to type. I actually do not own any guitars. I don't even know what a guitar is. This was just the first stage of my plan to take over the world and you have ruined all my schemes.

Actually, I have done a fair bit of building and have done a lot of work with the old Dremel tool determining the effect of removing wood from the whole of a guitar. Frankly, I ruined more than a few bodies in my life. I have been playing since 1977 or so. I am 85% of an electrical engineer (according to my college records) as I changed majors in the end of my 3rd year of college. I am a training engineer by trade. My specialties are video/audio/multimedia production and development for the purposes of training.

Oh, and I am a jerk by hobby only....just ask tonyh.
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Acoustics: 2003 Taylor 855ce-LTD L1 (Brazilian), 1993 Taylor 810, 2005 Taylor K4 preamp, 2006 ESP XTone PA1 (Sunburst)
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Unread 02-19-2004, 10:06 PM   #56
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Major Tom.....you are not confused....actually, you are darned close to dead on.
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Unread 02-19-2004, 10:16 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
Wow, lively discussion.
Indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
I always assumed the the big difference in tone between a tele and strat with trem, aside from electronics, and other attributes was the bridge - how it transfers the string energy to the body. Strat with trem transfers downward to the bridge plate, and then thru the 6 screws, or 2 posts that are perpendicular to the body. The tele's is all downward - thru the bridge plate that is attatched flat against the body. I have never played a Fender Strat without a trem, but a friend of mine told me once that he tried one and that it "sounded a lot like a telecaster". I guess that sort of reinforced my theory...

Bit o' trivia. I recently read some of an interview with Jimmy Page on the gear he used in the early Zep years. He used a small Supro amp for the first couple albums, and a lot of people had assumed that he had used a Les Paul for most of the guitar parts, when in fact it had been a Tele on a lot or most of it. His answer to that was something to the effect that EQ goes a long way. I think it is well documented that a tele was used for the solo on "Stairway to Heaven". Ever since then as I have listened to tele tones, it could be my imagination, but I recognize a similarity between the tele and Les Paul. Certainly not in harmonic content in their unadulterated tone, but more in the envelope of their tone - the attack/bite, sustain, etc.

My answer - own at least one of everything, not necessarily by the original mfr, but a decent one of each type. Les Paul, Les Paul Jr., Strat, tele, Ric, PRS, Danelectro, ES335, etc, etc. They're all good in their own way when in the right hands, no?
I fully concur on most or all of your points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron
chesh, i normally agree with you, but give me some proof here. Aren't guitar pickups ULV? as in, stick your tongue on them and don't feel a tingle?

Most things are susceptable to 60 cycle hum, even today. That's part of the way the world works. Computer monitors at 60hz will give you a headache and turn your eyes to sandpaper especially in a room with flourescents. (60hz).

What's your point? It's obvious that leo knew how to get rid of the problem, look at the pickups on the G&L's.
Okay, what do you specifically disagree with? Assuming shape and 60 cycle hum, I'll take the last one first.

The way you eliminate 60 Cycle Hum is to completely shield the guitar. This can be accomplished by doing John Atchley's Quieting the Beast Mod, which creates two ground paths: a Signal Return and a Chassis, which connect thru a 0.33uf 400V isolation cap to afford protection against electric shock hazard. It involves 1)completely shielding the cavities of the guitar using either aluminum foil, copper tape, or copper paint, and 2) eliminating ground loops, which get really, really noisey. Also, as far as Leo goes, G&L came long after his early days creating Fender. After having the opportunity to develop more insight and knowledge, I would totally suspect him to develop improved pickup designs.

Now, as far as the odd shaped body, and even the hypothetical situation of a square body compared to a triangular body, I actually have real world experience with this. What experience would that be? This:





I mean, it's essentially a square Strat/LP hybrid.

Now, I've had the unique opportunity to compare my Utah to Teles, LP's, Strats, and even "Shredders" thru a wide variety of Tube amps, from an original Fender Bassman (forerunner and model of the Marshall amp) to Line 6's, Marshalls, and so on. What's more, adding another control factor is the fact that I wasn't playing the guitars. Someone else was. I happened to have my guitar with me and the players in question wanted to give it a test run. So, in one instance this great Deadhead picker was jamming away on a gorgeous vintage Gibby Silverburst LP thru a Fender Bassman tube amp. Sounded incredible. Truly. Then he plugged in my Utah, and played it. WOW!! It sounded incredible! And he was in awe! He actually said, "wow man, this thing smokes my Gibson!" That's one example. I've had similar experiences with Teles and Strats in the same context.

Well, the whole upshot of this was, from these experiences, I must say that my Utah didn't really sound very different from any of these guitars. I mean, sure, there was a difference in quality of tone, but reality was that timbrecally they all were about identical. They sounded just like really sweet electric guitars. They all had a creamy brown sound, just like drinking a pint of Guiness draught, or perhaps a chocolate malt milkshake. Delicious.

Now, granted, the Strat had a bit of quack, the Tele a bit of twang, and the LP a bit dark and middy, but they all were definitely in the creamy milk chocolate range. Definitely the creamy brown sound. Now, I could compare my Utah to both Strats, Teles, and LPs because the neck pickup is a splittable humbucker. Ergo, I could test the single coil and humbucking sound.

Basically, if you were Ron Wickersham and were a total ace with wood and so on, then I'm sure you could probably tell the difference, but to me, all four guitars sounded great and of the same ilk. And, not only were they all very different in shape, I was comparing them to a guitar that is not only square, but heavily beveled and more.

If anything, you'd think that with the radical square shape and the bevels that it would sound so radically different that you could tell. But every time I compared my Utah to these other guitars, they sounded virtually identical timbrecally. IOW, whatever variance there was was very subtle, and not proportionate to the radical difference in the shapes of the body.

So, I look at that, having experienced that, and then I look at a Strat and a Tele, which are sooooo similar in shape, except for the top left with the top horn, and some contouring of the elbow and tummy, and I just don't see how those body shapes can make that big of a difference. Not with all the other factors weighing in.

If I had to guess, or formulate a theory as to the real impact of the body-shape's impact on the sound, I would have to say that the wood directly at the bridge would have the most impact, and then as you move away from the bridge towards the perimeter of the silhouette the impact drops off dramatically. Like, iow, as you radially move away from the bridge, the impact probably drops off like 10% or something per half inch.

As far as a bit of a more squared off neck heel vs. a rounded off heel making an impact on the sound, I think that really would be best dealt with in an acoustics lab.

Does that make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
Oh yeah - I'm corn-fused by some of the above statements. I have always heard and believed that Fender Strat and Tele necks are interchangeable, aren't they? I thought that over the years, I have seen some Teles with Strat necks and vice versa...yes?
Ironically, no, they are not interchangible. Think about that, the two landmark guitars which defined modularity in guitar design don't have interchangible necks. Nothing really wrong with that per se, but it is odd. Kinda like the word "monosyllabic" being more than one syllable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
I would guess the reason that the Tele only had a metal cover on the neck pickup is because L.F designed it with that metal "ashtray" bridge cover, that covered (and shielded) the entire bridge/pickup assembly. That big chrome cover that nobody liked, pulled off and actually did use for an ashtray (hence the name), and then disappeared off teles in the 60's (?), except for reissue models... Probably was intended for aesthetics...he certainly didn't carry that over to his new, improved, ultimate design, the Stratocaster. The original teles did have their share of weirdities - the ashtray bridge cover, the 3 saddle bridge ( ugh ! ), funny headstock, strings thru-body, bolt-on neck, solid body, whatever. A couple of those were innovations, a couple were just....weird.
Yes, you are correct and that is completely accurate. I mean, afterall, why bother going to all the expense and trouble to put the bridge cover on the Tele when all the players just take them off.

Now, here's what I think is interesting. This sort of shoots holes in the completely utilitarian theory that the covers were just for shielding, or at least that was the main reason. Perhaps. But notice that when Fender stopped using the bridge "ashtray" cover for shielding, they could have easily covered the bridge pickup with a chrome dome just like the neck pickup. And what about the Strat? Sure, it has a plastic pickup cover, but that doesn't shield the pickup from radiophonic interference. It's not conductive and obviously not grounded. Sure, it protects the coils, and that's great, but it doesn't have the same shielding properties of a grounded chrome dome.

So, if the Strat is the culmination of Leo's technology and state of the art thus far at that time, where's all the grounding? Those single coils aren't humbucking, and the only way you could get them to be humbucking was to use positions 2 and 4. That was the original purpose of the middle pickup. But other than that, absolutely no shielding. Ergo, the "necessary" evil of 60 Cycle Hum, which isn't necessary at all, tho quite evil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
Strats and Teles as well as a lot of other guitars do leave a lot to be desired in the way of shielding to be sure... In expensive instruments aimed at the "professional" market, it just wouldn't add that much cost - it should be in there, period. In high gain, mega-distorto applicaions, lack of shielding is a huge issue. In relatively clean applications like what I have used for the last couple decades in live situations, and what was the norm when they were designed, its not as big of an issue; an annoyance at times, but not noticeable when the band is playing.
Well, that depends. I mean, if you completely shield you guitar and Quiet the Beast, as Johnny A. would put it, then you would get a lot out of your amp that you currently not getting because you're backing off of the gain and volume because of hum.

Were talking less than $20 to do the work, and if you were mass-manufacturing guitars, the cost would drive down via bulk. For instance, the cost of the 0.33uf 400V isolation cap would go from $2 down to a few cents perhaps in terms of 1000's of guitars. Also, spraying copper paint into the cavity would be very clean and easy. It really wouldn't take much at all. The production costs probably would ring in at about $5 a guitar, if that, and that's for a $2K guitar.

Now interestingly enough, there is a really good reason why Fender hasn't done this, and why they probably never will.

This reason was offered by Johnny A at his forum. Very interesting. Johnny isn't an attorney that I am aware of, being that he is currently an engineer, but he's been in the game for a long time, you might say.

Quote:
Quote:
DC4 wrote:
And, if the standard wiring of a Strat wired the way it is so dangerous I would have thought in the lawyer loaded USA they would not take the risk of some poor person getting zapped and going for millions of dollars in damages? IMHOFWI
John Atchley wrote:
I'm extremely surprised myself. I think the dynamic that is at work is that the corporate lawyers are thinking something like this:

1) If someone gets zapped it is because they are using illegally wired mains (mains that don't meet code) or a defective amplifier, and that will be our defense. (And it's a position that a company can defend fairly well especially if they can claim ignorance of any reasonable measure they could have taken to prevent the mishap.) [Ed. note: Plausible deniability, anyone? ]

2) If we admit that there is a potential problem and a simple solution for providing some protection even from defective amplifiers and improperly wired mains, and change our production methods but don't recall the millions of guitars we've already sold, and somebody gets zapped with one of those older guitars, we could end up getting sued for not recalling the guitars already sold.

It's a pretty good example of how silly the law can be. In this case it is less risky for a company to continue making a less-safe product!

And a non-isolated guitar isn't really dangerous, if you use good equipment, check mains religiously, and so on. As I've said several times, the capacitor is just a last line of defense. Even then, I think it's a darn good idea. As recently as the 70's performers have been electrocuted on stage both in the US and in Japan (probably more recently than that, but that's the last time I heard of one).
See? Fender appears content just to leave it to others to do this kind of important safety work, and to the best of my knowledge they basically wash their hands of it. Caveat Emptor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
Lets face it, electric guitar design is based more on tradition than available technology, especially since the shift to the "vintage" paradigm a few years back.
100% Straight up, tho, I wouldn't say "tradition" as much as "nostalgia" as I've already alluded to.

Excellent points.

Chesh
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Last edited by CheshireCat; 02-19-2004 at 10:31 PM.
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Unread 02-19-2004, 10:43 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpullen
The thing that kills musicians is the grounding of the pickups to the strings. EMG does not do this. Obviously a wireless disconnects you from ground but this has nothing to do with substandard electronics. Fender uses the design because of the tone it produces. If you cancel hum you cancel tone...but that is another story....we are talking about the mechanical object of the guitar here.
Are you seriously suggesting that Strats and Teles are supposed to have a 60 Cycle Hum? That it adds to it's character and appeal, and if you removed the 60 Cycle Hum, you would detract from the Strat and Tele's mystique or appeal?

Chesh
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Unread 02-19-2004, 10:51 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpullen
Well Chesh, you caught me. I am actually a monkey who has learned to type. I actually do not own any guitars. I don't even know what a guitar is. This was just the first stage of my plan to take over the world and you have ruined all my schemes.
Yeah, I figured as much. "I am Mojo Jojo!!!"

Quote:
Actually, I have done a fair bit of building and have done a lot of work with the old Dremel tool determining the effect of removing wood from the whole of a guitar. Frankly, I ruined more than a few bodies in my life. I have been playing since 1977 or so. I am 85% of an electrical engineer (according to my college records) as I changed majors in the end of my 3rd year of college. I am a training engineer by trade. My specialties are video/audio/multimedia production and development for the purposes of training.
Good. I respect that.

Quote:
Oh, and I am a jerk by hobby only....just ask tonyh.
It's nice to have hobbies. Gets you out of the house.

Chesh
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Unread 02-19-2004, 11:22 PM   #60
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Joined: Oct 2001
Location: Alton, IL - USA
Posts: 1,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Are you seriously suggesting that Strats and Teles are supposed to have a 60 Cycle Hum? That it adds to it's character and appeal, and if you removed the 60 Cycle Hum, you would detract from the Strat and Tele's mystique or appeal?

Chesh
If by "supposed to have" you mean designed into, no. I do mean that the noise is part of the vibe. There are no noiseless pickups on the market today that have the same sonic signature as a vintage strat pickup....not the Fender Vintage Noiseless, not the Kinman, the Lawrence, the EMG...nothing. The noise is part of the tone.

I like the EMG SAVs. I have them in one of the Strats now and have a second set on order. They are not zero noise pickups though. They are more versatile than any pickups I have ever used. To get that versatility, there is a minor compromise in tone....but I like em.
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Acoustics: 2003 Taylor 855ce-LTD L1 (Brazilian), 1993 Taylor 810, 2005 Taylor K4 preamp, 2006 ESP XTone PA1 (Sunburst)
Electrics: 2007 ESP Vintage Plus Distressed, 1998 Fender AmDx Fat Stratocaster (Black with EMG SAV + SPC kit), 1997 PRS CE24 (Ruby), 2006 ESP LTD EC-1000s (Sunburst)

Amps: Orange Rockerverb 50 Head and PPC212 cab


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