1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Small, Shallow, But Booming Subwoofing Bass Pickup

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by CheshireCatFun, Mar 23, 2013.


  1. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Right now I'm working on a build, and I want to have a booming, bassy sub-woofer pickup, like what Billy Sheehan has in his set-up, but it needs to be really shallow with a small footprint. It only needs to cover the 3 to 4 lowest strings of a 7 string span, and ideally would have the same footprint as a strat single coil cut in half.

    It also needs to be humcanceling.

    Any ideas?

    C.
     
  2. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Well the Lace Ultra Slim Acoustic Bass certainly meets the "shallow" requirement! Never used one, or even heard one, but I find them highly intriguing.
     
  4. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Brilliant! That's definitely a start!

    C.
     
  5. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    What about doing a hex style pickup setup, with each pole individually wound, with 2 poles wound one way and the other 2 would the other way.

    Doable?

    C.
     
  6. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Yes. Not sure if you can get enough wire in a shallow coil to make it dark but other that that it should work fine.
     
  7. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Well, not dark, necessarily, but something substantial that I can at least preamp and EQ. Tho, that being said, dark would definitely be nice.

    C.
     
  8. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Okay, I just located the single coil pickup I made out of one coil of a Duncan Lil'59, which I was using on another guitar build. I figure a little chunk of that would do the trick perfectly, and be thin enough to fit where I need, and be potentially shallow enough for what I need.

    So, assuming that I was to model this bass pickup build after half of that half of the Lil'59, how would I make it bassy, and how could I make it stacked?

    Incidentally, I'm assuming a goodly amount of preamping and EQing will be involved.

    C.
     
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    A small pickup (or pickup coils) will not allow a lot of wire to be wound, so it will sound bright. The mudbuckers are large for a reason. Also a narrow pickup like a Strat will sound brighter than a wide pickup, like the Model One that Sheehan uses. This is because of the aperture, or string sensing area.

    Now if you don't mind going active, than the pickup doesn't matter because you can filter the high end out of it, or boost the low end. Sheehan splits the signal from the bass so he can EQ that pickup, and I think it has its own tone cap to roll off the high end too.

    Any pickup will reproduce the low frequencies just fine. But where the resonant peak is will define if the pickup sounds bright or dark.
     
  10. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    That makes sense, and I'm all about active, whether it's using active pickups, running a passive pickup thru a preamp, or both (not to mention 3-band EQ).

    I also wanted to do what Billy does, and use separate outputs for the different systems, with different amps to boot.

    Now, as far as humcancelling goes, what is the magnetic inductance architecture of a stacked single coil pickup, and how would that work with a PBSC style pickup (also, being a single coil, are PBSC's typically bright sounding)?

    For instance, I saw this vid on YouTube: The builder is apparently just building what would be a regular single coil pickup, with magnetic pole pieces, and having the stacked coils in between, one coil going in one direction, and the next in the other direction. I'm used to seeing this in a regular guitar humbucker, with the north/south orientation of the magnet to the pole pieces, along with the opposing reverse winds on the coils, but I'm not used to seeing this going around the same set of pole pieces.

    How does that all logistically work? You can wind two different, opposing coils around the same magnetic pole pieces? You don't get any phase cancellation or anything like that?

    Also, I've seen stacks where the top coil stack was the more musical stack, and was larger, and the bottom coil stack is thinner, but uses heavier gauge wire or something, so that the readings match and you get the humcancelling effect. Is that viable as well?

    Also, what kind of preamping and EQing would it need? I figured all of that will be stashed under the top routed, Strat/PBass style pickguard, with perhaps trim-pot access from the back for the EQ, but what would you recommend for under the hood? Would it actually be possible to make a pickup much akin to an EMG, for instance?

    C.
     
  11. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Also, how do we determine aperture for design purposes? Is it pole piece to pole piece, magnetic field, or the entire footprint that the coils and pickups cast?

    C.
     
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    If it is a standard type of humbucker, it's the distance between each coil's poles. If it's a single coil, it's how wide the coil is.
     
  13. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Ah, excellent, that makes sense. (And thank you so much for your response!)

    So, for instance, if I was to put a Duncan JB, or the equivalent in a bass pickup, for instance, over the 19th or 20th fret of a P-Bass, would given the size or aperture of the magnetic field, would that sound reasonably bassy?

    C.
     
  14. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Why a Duncan JB? I never found over wound guitar pickups to sound very good on bass.

    The aperture of that pickup is the distance between the two sets of poles.

    Why would you put a pickup over the 19th fret?
     
  15. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Well, apart from a severe lack of sleep as of late :(, I was just thinking in terms of general size, as a visual reference.

    As for the 19th fret, well, another brain-fart. I was thinking in terms of Billy Sheehan's sub-woofer pickup, but then that would be just after the 20th fret, which would technically make it the 21st or 22nd fret on a two octave neck or something like that. Again, just trying to wrap my brain around the subject.

    I know a decent bit about guitar pickup design, but whenever I did any kind of bass build, I would just usually go with a set of EMG J's or a P, and that usually did the trick, ergo, I'm still trying to learn the particulars of bass pickup design.

    C.
     
  16. wow! looks like you might just have to dive in and experiment with winding your own special pick up for this project?
     
  17. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Most likely, and that's what I fully expected to do. I just didn't want to burn thru spool after spool of copper wire making one ill-informed mistake after another. :D

    Does anyone know how I can get hold of the patent for the new Lace USAB pickup? I'm trying to find it online, but it is proving somewhat elusive.

    C.
     

Share This Page