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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MPU, Feb 24, 2018.
Jack or Johnson?
And not finished yet. In the search of a bit more agressive tone I’m making a set of pickups. Underwound compared to 10 000 rounds of P pickups these have 8000 rounds of 42AWG, will have big ceramic magnets or neo magnets (needs testing). Ready for wax potting, hopefully testing tonight or tomorrow morning.
Just curious, how much of this was derived through trial and error?
I tested the pickups. While having thumpier sound the top end was lacking. Back to sidewinders, they sound so good that I think there’s no need for changes. I can fine tune the sound with GK preamp clone I have in my pedal board.
I guess that depends on what you mean by trial and error.
MPU is using four of my engineering features in this bass: the epoxy-encased DASR truss rod, the neck heel bars (aka BruceBars), the chambering in the center of the body, and the aluminum bridge block.
I consider each one of those features to be fully proven out. Each one started out with me thinking about the pros and cons of standard Leo-type construction, and coming up with ideas of how to improve that area. I built prototypes, tested them, played with variations, more testing, and over a few years time, settled on several good production versions.
Each of those four has now been in production for 10-20 years. I use versions of them in all my own basses, and in many guitars and basses built by a small group of other Luthiers that I work with. Those features, with my help and guidance, have been used in 500-1000 fine instruments. And those Luthiers and their customers have all agreed on the net improvements to the sound and function.
So, these are proven. I pretty thoroughly understand how and why they work, and the results are predictable. I didn't just stumble on to them by accident. I dug in and went looking for better ways, and developed them out.
And, yes, I have many other engineering tricks that I'm working on too, which aren't quite proven yet. I'm constantly experimenting with improving the sound and function of basses. That's what I do here.
Lenny? I heard that Paul and Art learned the truth from him. This led to tea smoking.
Please don't confuse me with Bruce Lee, Bruce Willis, Bruce Wayne, or Bruce Almighty. They have other skills that I am lacking. I am only the brave hero in a very small specialized little world of machines and stuff.
B-b-but you are a master of "Tone-Fu"!
Right. Some things are more obvious product improvement, like enhancing the rigidity of the neck joint, and the bridge attachment; two things that have always seemed like weak points to me in the structure -- high stress joints relying on the strength of wood screws etc. Enhancing the rigidity of the neck is one that's been explored by others; aluminum necks, C-channels encasing the truss rod, etc. Your use of making the body more flexible is one that really struck me however as less obvious.
As for the process, yep, what I'd expect from an engineer -- prototype, proof-of-concept, process improvement. Very neat to see engineering processes applied to a field (luthiery) that sometimes portrays itself as more akin to voodoo.
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