Neodymium bass pickups - what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Fender32, Apr 11, 2007.


  1. Fender32

    Fender32

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    Check this out:

    [​IMG]

    :eek: Sexy looking harmonica? Nope, it's a Q-Tuner (6-string) bass pickup with neodymium magnets.

    So, apart from saving 15g on the weight of the average bass pickup (bringing with it all of the associated "neck-dive" issuses :smug: ), what's the deal? Has anyone here tried them yet? :meh:

    There is a demo on the manufacturers website (http://www.q-tuner.com/intro.shtml), but (unfortunately, IMO) they've chosen to use a piece of "bass playing", which consists almosty entirely of plucked harmonics, so it doesn't really give an indication of what the pickups would sound like in "normal use".

    Any comments? :)
  2. Shoewreck

    Shoewreck

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    Neodimium magnets doesn't seem to be the most special thing about this pickup...
  3. Fender32

    Fender32

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    No? :meh: What is the most special thing, in your opinion, Shoewreck?
  4. Fender32

    Fender32

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    Ok, another special thing about these pickups, are the pretty patterns that this black, magnet-friendly gunk makes, when you pour it onto the top of the pickup :eyebrow: .

    Great, but what do they sound like in a normal bass? :confused:

    [​IMG]

    :smug: Actually, that picture makes me think of sushi, for some reason.
  5. Shoewreck

    Shoewreck

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    Nave you noticed unusual coil orientaton and three rows of pole pieces?
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber

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    Yes, that annoys me too! Once my custom bass, which will have a pair of Q-Tuners, is finished I'll be sure to get some normal clips uploaded. There's a bassist here using a Q-Tuner in his Pedulla but his name is escaping me at the moment...

    Alex
  7. saxnbass

    saxnbass

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    MusicMan Bongos use Neodymium pickups.
  8. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

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    Odd. I want to hear it.
  9. Shoewreck

    Shoewreck

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    +1 :)
  10. greenboy

    greenboy

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    remote mountain cabin Montana
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    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    12bass
  11. m.oreilly

    m.oreilly

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    for one thing, the magnets are so powerful, i had to drop them into the body twice as far as a "normal" pup (al la delanos w/ the big poles). high output, super clear top/middle, tight bass. i would recommend these for anyone with a fretted bass and the desire for a "transparent" sound, but i do not care for them in a frettless atm (at least passively). i will give them a try w/ the ACguitars/East filter pre though, as they are really tight sounding, and look real cool :D
  12. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

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    I have a pair of these in my fretted bass and one in my fretless. I'm using the Demeter preamps in both. I can get a surprising amount of growl from my fretless, but my fretted bass is very transparent sounding. There is a fair amount of flexibility with these pickups by adjusting the pole-pieces and I've spent more time tweaking the fretless than the fretted.

    Ralf
  13. m.oreilly

    m.oreilly

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    which pattern did you use for the fretless pups? i would really like to try them again w/ the filter pre...
  14. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

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    Somebody really needs to post some clips of these playing actual BASS, not just harmonics. I am SO interested in this now. It might just fill in one of the voids in my custom bass project that is about ready to be begun.
  15. greenboy

    greenboy

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    To the defense of those soundclips: how much actual harmonic content far up into the overtone series the pickups are capable of imparting is truly amazing. I don't think any other pickup of their nominal output even comes close to that stratosphere. These pickups might be one of the few passives around that'll compete with others on hotter active preamps WITHOUT either an exaggerated upper-mids gnarliness or making mud.

    And while it's nice to hear pickups being used to play music on someone else's bass and through their signal chain, that's no indicator of what it'll sound like on your bass with your setup, settings, etc.

    Really got to hear any pickup on your bass, I think. Either of the above scenarios is really just not getting it.
  16. m.oreilly

    m.oreilly

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  17. Fender32

    Fender32

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    Now THAT'S what I was looking for, thanks :) !

    Sadly though, it confirms my suspicion that they would just sound very "clinical" and, dare I say, "thin" :meh: . Yeah, I know, for a lot of people's taste and playing styles, that'll be just the ticket, but not for me on this occasion.

    It sounds quite a lot like my avatar bass (EBMM StingRay with graphite neck and 4-coil Delano pickup), actually. Great for chords and such, but lacking in the "balls" department.

    No offence intended to 12bass, I hasten to add. I just thought that those pikups might be as unconventional sounding as their unconventional look. Looks can be deceptive, eh? ;)
  18. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

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    Well put on all points. I have not heard them in person, but I did understand the point as to why they used so much harmonics in the clip. That feature should be a big selling feature for them, and is the main reason I am so interested in them. But at the end of the day, I still want to know how they sound with low notes too.

    Yes, I know, you never really know until you hear them through your own rig, blah blah. I'm not dropping $280US plus shipping on an experiment.

    I did that too may times over the years and wasted FAR too much money doing it. I want some clues to help me decide if it is even remotely the right thing for me or not.

    Having said that, I am now off to listen to the sound clip from 12bass and to read the other thread hoping to find more.

    Thanks guys. :bassist:
  19. greenboy

    greenboy

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    12bass's mod on his Eden kinda ties in to the "measuring response" threads in the Amp section. Like a couple respondents on that last Q-Tuner thread, I don't care for all the prevoicing built into most bass preamps either. And with a pickup that's basically about getting as much and as balanced of the overtone series the strings make as possible to the bass output, it seems like a "blank slate" approach where the player can choose his own spectral warping, if any, seems to suit Q-Tuners.

    I also seem to recall another rather unique twist: like some Bill Lawrence pickups, I believe the windings are "air core". That's a big part of their abilities/sound IMO.
  20. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

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    HOLY MOTHER!!!! :eek::eek::eek: :hyper::hyper::hyper::bassist::bassist::bassist: :cool::cool::cool:

    Ok, I'm sold, I want a pair. That is EXACTLY what I was hoping to hear. I wouldn't use them everywhere, but it is EXACTLY what I want for my next custom bass.

    I was initially going to use EMG's, I wanted bright and clear, but that just speaks to me so much more.

    Any idea of they will ever produce a drop-in replacement for a split P pickup?

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