Q-tuner Pickups Using Neodymium Magnet Technology

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lhoward, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    I came upon this web site today while doing some searches:


    The pickups on this site use neodymium magnet technology instead of traditional alnico or ferrite magnets. I was looking specifically at the 5-string bar pickup. Is there anyone who has any experience with these pickups that could report on their performance/sound aspects compared to the major pickup brands being used today, such as Bartolini, EMG and others?

    They seem a little pricey at $160 each or $300 for a pair, but then again neodymium magnet technology represents a significant advancement with many speaker manufacturers already producing drivers using these lightweight magnets and cutting driver weight significantly.

    Lloyd Howard
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I saw this website today as well, price put me off. Same price as Darkstars.
  3. The Fender CSN pickups are the same tecknology.I just bought a set for my 5 string.Unfortunately they don't fit 'They are longer and the mounting tabs are spaced further apart..
  4. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Very true, but you won't see any practical weight savings on a pickup, and I've never heard that neodymium has preferable properties for pickup use. I'd like to hear some sound clips though, yet at that price it won't be in most TBers range.
  5. i belive that the reason for using neodymiun magnets is to get a more powerful magnetic field.. and that would in theory result in higher output.. there is soundclips on thir website..

  6. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    I haven't tried the q-tuner pickups, but the custom BassCulture pickups in my bass are built on neodymium magnets, and they sound terrific! However, I don't think the magnet material alone makes any significant difference in sound... why should it? If you've got magnets giving similar magnetic field, I don't think there'd be much difference at all? I imagine you could even use a DC electromagnet. (there's an idea!)
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Dingwall pickups are also neo-based.

    Speaking of which, there's a post of a guitar with Q-Tuners on the Dingwall board..pretty interesting with the coils going sideways and in clear epoxy...

    Here's what the user has to say about them:

    "The Q-tuners are an interesting animal - neo bar mags in a sidewinder configuration, clear epoxied into a transparent mold. They are very clear and reactive with a very flat frequency response. The adjustable pole pieces do alter the response somewhat, but it's a subtle change. You really have to be careful about string pull with these pickups. I had problems getting decent output without excessive string pull.

    I have both the standard and hotter wind Q-tuners. I found the standard wind to have more of a PAF like response than the hotter wind. It also didn't suffer from excessive string pull like the hotter wind. They don't have the same kind of character as traditional pickups, but they are not as sterile as some active pickups. I'd put them somewhere in between. One other thing to note is that the bass Q-tuners are the same as the guitar Q-tuners. They only differ in size, so realistically you could use their 5-string Q-tuner for a 7 string guitar. "
  8. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I've talked to a couple luthiers who've put them into basses. I don't recall one of them, but the other was Skip of Knuckle Guitar Works. He said they are very extended and flat in response, harmonics abundant, very detailed sound with incredible transients, very responsive to hand nuance.

    The subject of magnetic pull never came up, so I would assume it's not an issue with a bass - whose strings have much more mass - and energy once set into vibration. Probably something quitarists would have to be aware of though. The choice of neo allows a different approach to shaping the magnetic field and also its strength within the aperture, and so the aperture shaping (which I guess is more dramatic for bass) is more practical than with ferrics, etc.

    I think the fact that they are sidewinder/humbucker config (pretty rare) also contributes to their uniquely wide tonal and amplitude ranges.
  9. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    quote from the web page :eyebrow: :eyebrow:
  10. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Why shouldn't they be? They're both low volume, niche market pickups.
  11. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    I have one in my Laggan 5 string fretless. Awesome pickup! I've been using Bartolinis for years and I can tell you, the q-tuner is nothing like a Bart. That's not to say that the Bartolini is a bad pickup, but the q-tuner is very hi fi sounding in comparison. I've never heard a Lane Poor pickup, but I had a builder tell me it was close to that. If you want a ruthlessly accurate, wide band sound, the q-tuner is the way to go. Each of the pole pieces are individually adjaustable so you can dial in the sound you want. Well worth the money.


  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I had a neo based pickup in my bass,and did experience stringpull problems although the pickup sounded very good. That one was a horizontally stacked humbucker ,by Bassculture.I use a single pick but have 29frets,which may well make a difference.I now exchanged the pickup for one with weaker magnets(still neo,and slightly different design,namely traditional stacked humbucker) and the problems have disappeared.The tone is very detailed and playing nuances come through very very well the same goes for harmonics.The pickup looks good too!!:) .Both pickups are Bassculture.:cool:
  13. kerrsedbass


    Jan 10, 2006
    Hamilton, NJ
    What can I expect to pay for a set of Bassculture Neo MM style pickups. I keep changin my mind of what to put in my EB-3, and this might be the answer.
  14. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    They make some weird statements on their website. Like, "12. Super audio CD compatible."
    Of course they're SACD compatible! Everything is SACD compatible! What, I'm going to record something on an old bass, and it won't be able to be written to a new digital audio format because of the kind of pickups being used? What kind of bologna is that? "I'm sorry, gullible and uninformed potential consumer of our product, that you're so stupid as to think this might not be SACD compatible - please allow us you to reassure you that it is." I guess they have some basis for making this clarification - the average Joe has still never even heard of SACDs. I've only ever listened to one once, and I'm psycho about hi-fi. The reason I don't have one is that there's no freaking music available for it (hardly). /rant
    Anyway, the pickups do seem pretty sweet.
  15. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
  16. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    What I want to know is, will this boosted magnetic field that these things have interact more strongly with an Ebow? It would be nice to not have to get quite so close to the string.

    Anyone have personal experience with this, that could compare the effect to "normal" pickups?
  17. kerrsedbass


    Jan 10, 2006
    Hamilton, NJ
    I've played Bongo's with dual neodymium buckers, and that is the one reason I really want a Bongo. Plus the design is awesome. Actually the Bongo at my local music store is a black dual neobucker. It sounds and looks beautiful, which gives me total GAS. Do the Bassculture neo MM pickups sound anywhere near that, because if they do, price isn't even a question anymore, I'm getting a set of those in my EB-3 with an aggie preamp. Ironically, i still would love to know the price of those pups.
  18. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've used both of my eBows (older black one with red light and newer grey model with blue light) with my Bongos, and the neos do indeed have a more pronounced effect on the eBows.

    You still have to get just as close to the string, though--you just have to use it along the length of the string further away from the pickup. Unless you are going for the meanest, snarliest overdrive within 500 miles, anyway.
  19. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    To answer( OR... NOT REALLY) the question posted by kerrsedbass, regarding the price one 'd have to pay for some bassculture PU's,:I am not sure.The one thing that I am quite certain of,is that you will receive an answer from bassculture if you send an e-mail.(This i am only mentioning because MANY companys are not very good when it comes tho that). I am also certain of their value for the money.I can highly recommend bass culture.
  20. kerrsedbass


    Jan 10, 2006
    Hamilton, NJ
    thanks man. I'll drop them an e-mail to get a quote. Hopefully they can stain the covers the color of my bass, heritage cherry.