Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Pick up frets?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by dave_clark69, Sep 4, 2003.


  1. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    First off, would the frets on the neck wear out that part of the string like clay on clay the friction makes it crack? I thought about making wooden frets to make the strings last longer.

    I saw a picture of a prs bass and it had a single pickup and was like a long line, rather like a fret. Would it be possible to turn the frets on your guitar into pickups? You would have to put like a casing onto it like pickups on the thumb bass so it doesnt make a weird sound. I thought that would sound pretty cool. What you do is just get loads of copper windings and then cut a hole out in a neck and make sure the copper is touching the fret. Or is this impossible?

    thanks

    dave
     
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Metal frets do wear down over time and sometimes need to be redressed, but it takes a long time to waer them down enough to compromise playing. Wooden frets would wear down much faster. I'd imagine they'd work if you used gut strings, or at least nylon coated ones. Of course, the sound you'd get would be nothing like that of a conventional bass. You need metal against metal contact to get that focused tone.

    The idea of using frets as pickups is interesting, but remember that the strings have to come in contact with the frets to produce a tone. Take a minute to press your string against your pickup and you'll see why that idea wouldn't work. Besides, you'd have to have all the pickup windings located inside the structure of the neck, and that would take a huge amount of work, between the carving of the neck and the winding of the pickups. Finally, how would that system work for fretless basses?

    One last thing: fret contact is a factor in string wear, but not the only one. Sweat and other body secretions can make strings go dead quicker too. You can extend string life by wiping them with a clean cloth after playing.
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You could put piezos under the frets, but it would be impractical because of the fretnoises.
    Just imagine the grating noises of a blues bend.
    I also don't see any practical advantages in sound. It's more practical to put piezos in the bridge.

    For the rest, what Blackbird said.
     
  4. Killdar

    Killdar

    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    If you raise the pickups enough, and they don't have exposed pole pieces, you can press the strings down onto them sort of like a little extra bit of fingerboard. I had an idea sort of like yours, but instead using pickups as (or under) the fingerboard on a fretless. The fingerboard would extend to the bridge, and the pickups would be in the normal locations, except just under the board. This way, there would be excellent extended range, but with normal magnetic pickups, in all manner of locations, since they would be under the board anyway.

    I just thought of something, For the issue of going past the pickups while still playing, there could be some sort of pressure sensors that detect where your fingers are, and automatically compensate somehow.

    That'd be quite nifty....I'll have to make a prototype.
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    You could combine these designs...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    EDIT: Fixed Blackbird's second picture.;)
     
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    You could combine these designs...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    thanks for the help. i think my idea would be quite hard unless you had some carbon fibre cloth that you rap over it.
    now this would be cool, If the frets were seperate pressure pads 24 columns and 4 rows and each fret/pressure pad is an input that goes out via the normal jack but it goes straight to a palm top thing where you choose what tunings they are at the only thing that would be hard is different techniques like slap or you could have an extra fret that is designed to say that it was slapped when it is touched. Ah well i will have to wait until i become a young millionare, i will just have to dream about lots or corvette standards jumping around in a field.
     
  8. I'm not sure what you're describing exactly with making the frets into normal everyday pickups, but remember that in order for them to generate a signal, they'd have to have or be magnets. If you put 20+ magnets near the strings, I have to think that dampen the vibration to some degree.