Author Topic: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit  (Read 6319 times)

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Inventor

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Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« on: July 14, 2010, 06:21:27 am »
Hi folks, I posted to DIY but then when I looked around I found this section, which may perhaps be more appropriate.  Please see the following site for a DIY pickup kit that is really different: 

http://echuck.othomann.de/eChucK/Guitar_Kit.html

It's sort of like an inverse pickup, or a dual of a pickup, because it has no pickup windings.  On the site I post full instructions and parts sources so you can build your own pickup system, and ask for a ten dollar donation if you actually are happy with the results (to help recoup the expense of creating the kit).  Anyway even if you are not in the market for a pickup system, it's interesting to read about, so enjoy! 

Les


Offline LievenDV

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 01:00:29 pm »
I advized Inventor to make another video on the guitar kit, with higher gain settings and cleaner recording quality to bring out the extra harmonics more.

I think the kit needs a bit of aesthetics but the principle is fascinating!
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 01:52:17 pm »
I don't understand the need to ground the tuners. They are already grounded through the strings ( or should be ).

Tuners --- Strings---Bridge---wire---common ground inside cavity.

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 02:17:19 pm »
Lieven, thanks so much for the advice - the new recording is much cleaner and it emphasizes the harmonics well!  It's on the page I linked. 

TB-AV, the tuners are not grounded.  The currents generated in the wires get added together by the metal shorting strip at the headstock, then they travel down the neck through a conductor such as the truss rod where they emerge under the pickguard and meet the input side of the transformer.  Think of the magnet/string interaction as being like some little sqirt gun sending out electrical current and it has to flow up and back down the neck to get to the transformer.  Then the output of the transformer simply goes out to the amp (through the selector switch).  Hope that clears it up. 

Les


Offline TB-AV

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2010, 03:34:29 pm »
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TB-AV, the tuners are not grounded.

The output jack of your strat has a wire connected to it. This wire connects to your bridge or trem claw. This is ground. The bridge saddles are metal. The strings are metal. The tuners are metal. They form an electrical connection and are at the same potential.

I don't see anything in your description that suggests this ground is gone since it is not altered in any way.




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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2010, 07:47:47 pm »
Ah yes, but the short length of string above each magnet acts like a tiny voltage source, increasing the electrical potential of the wire that follows.  I realize that from a DC perspective the whole thing is grounded, and yes it is all safety grounded, however from an AC perspective the motion of the strings over the magnets does create a tiny electrical signal that the transformer amplifies. 

It may seem counter intuitive at first, but it's real and it works and I have had one in my living room working for a year now.  It really works! 

Les


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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2010, 08:14:54 pm »
Right, I don't doubt it works.

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Inventor

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2010, 08:38:41 pm »
Yes, it's a bit tough to understand, just think of it this way:  A generator is just magnets and wires.  The wires rotate through the magnetic field and generate voltage even though all the wires are at the same DC potential.  Well, this circuit is really just a super-weak generator actually.  It works on the same Faraday's law principle of moving a wire through a magnetic field to generate an electrical signal. 

It also has some interesting artifacts that guitarists in testing discovered.  For example, when you do a bend the strings actually move within the magnetic field pattern and vary their amplitude a bit during the bend.  For this and other reasons, playing this pickup system would have it's own unique qualities that some guitarists might like a lot and others not at all.  It's interesting though...

Les


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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 12:49:28 am »
Right but why the wire from the tuners? Why not just take the a/c at the bridge and run it to the transformer.

It sounds like to me you have built an active pickup without the active part. In other words a very weak pickup with full audio bandwidth. Or full bandwidth with respect to what the guitar can produce anyway. Then rather than place it all in a case and have the active components you place the various components in various areas and use a passive amplifier ( transformer ).

I just don't get the long wire.
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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 01:43:36 am »
Right but why the wire from the tuners? ...  I just don't get the long wire.

Well, a return wire is necessary to complete the circuit and form a loop.  Electric current always travels in loops as I'm sure you know from basic circuit theory.  Other implementations of this concept dating back 100 years in the patent office required special things like insulated bridges and such to avoid the wire, but we wanted to use a standard bridge which is all metal.  And the bridge is safety grounded, so it goes to the ground side of the transformer.  We needed some way to get the signal from the neck back to the other input terminal of the transformer, and that was a return wire. 

Fortunately the wire may be small or the truss rod can be used as the wire, so it can be made unobtrusive to the guitar player. 

Now having said that, I have wondered if it is possible to get away without the wire.  It may be possible, using a lot of gain, to amplify a very weak signal that appears at the bridge wire.  Perhaps placing capacitors at the tuning pegs would help with this.  I know that the design we have now with the wire works, but that doesn't mean some other, simpler design isn't possible.  You might have the next evolution of the concept there TB-AV, I don't know for sure... 

Les

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2010, 11:57:17 pm »
Hey guitarists, First let me say that I'm happy with the changes to the forum and I'm gonna dive right in with an update on this guitar pickup situation.  Well, it got laid.  No not like that.  Laid down in the dust doing nothing for like half a year or so.  Now I've picked it back up and decided to do something with it.  You know, it really amazes me that for all the great sound this invention produces I have so much trouble getting people to check it out.  Probably becuase it needs a good demo. 

Well, long story short I've decided that if possible I'd like to send the guitar on tour.  You know, the old notion of setting something free and seeing if it gets back to you.  If it does it's yours, if not it never was.  OK, sentimental but you get the idea. 

The primary obstacle is shipping cost.  I'm dirt poor and living tight so paying for shipping a guitar even local to my area is not really gonna happen.  But if someone a bit spiffier than myself in the wallet wanted to hear the sound of a new generation of guitars first hand, They might spring for it shipping I suppose.  Or we could try to split it or whatever. 

Actually one guy already said he'd be the first to receive the guitar AND pay for the shipping, so I'll take him up on it if nobody around here is interested.  Or maybe it goes to him, audiodef, first and then dare I suggest Lieven or and then Justin and/or others around the forum. 

So suffice to say that the main issue with popularity has been people need to check this thing out for themselves, and I'm willing to unleash my beloved guitar upon the universe for that purpose.  So Lieven, you want it?  Justin?  anyone else?  My axe is up for grabs! 

Les

Offline Dan Graves

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2011, 12:13:37 am »
Les, you do realise that for your guitar to travel from the U.S. to Europe, there would not only be insane shipping costs (think over $100), but also import tax to contend with, right ?
We're talking about prices of over $250 depending on what country it would ship to.
Doesn't seem very likely considering whoever was paying for the cost would basically be borrowing the instrument, and then having to pay to send it along to the next user again, or back to you.
I fear that the chances of that are slim...

I can see a U.S. tour of the instrument sort of working, but outside the U.S. probably won't happen without some corporate sponsorship, or someone willing to take the guitar along while travelling to Europe/Asia/Wherever and them then shipping it from wherever they where going to.

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2011, 12:25:33 am »
Yeah, very good point Dan, especially since the guitar is a Squire and as such is barely worth the shipping cost itself.  So maybe this thing will have to "hitch a ride?"  I dunno.

I've got one guy local who wants to check it out but due to holidays have not heard from him.  My buddy audiodef is local to the US east coast so maybe I'd best just send it to him...  As for europe, that's a toughie. 

Either way, thanks for the wake-up call on shipping costs to europe, your comments were helpful. 

Les

Offline Dan Graves

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2011, 12:37:20 am »
One thing to try, exposure wise, is to lug it around to local guitar shops to see if there is any interest in the concept (i would patent the whole deal first, but i assume that, as an inventor, you will have either already done that or at least covered your ass legally so no one can just come in and steal the idea), and perhaps see if there are any suggestions for improvement from them.

But i wouldn't hold your breath ; since we guitarists are often the worst kind of purists, new things are often met with lots of criticism, and very few 'innovations' ever live on long enough to become popular enough to become accepted as a new standard/new option.

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2011, 11:38:34 pm »
Dan, good point I'll be sure to lug it around to local shops when i move to Wyoming next month.  Until then I'm just preparing for the move.   

To address the issue of patents, I'm taking a different perspective these days on patents.  As background let me say that I have lost more friends and professional associates over misunderstandings about patents than I care to mention, it seems to bring out the worst in people in their own actions and their perspective of your actions.  Also I don't really have the money to patent, even doing it myself, even with the new lower filing rates of the uspto.  Also US patents don't apply abroad and there is a continuing evolution of patentable features so it's kind of like hitting a moving target. 

OK, all that negative, here's the positive: I have a new model.  Really it's the free software model applied to patents.  How it works is you give the intellectual property away for free, get people to adopt it, then you sell support services and other things that you can offer.  So in this case I have a web page which more or less tells you all you need to know to build your own guitar using this pickup system, however many details are purposely left out.  You can figure it all out yourself, or you can hire me and buy my time in helping set you up with a manufacturing assembly line or just a onsie-twosie. That's the model anyway. 

The other thing I do is make sort of a shareware-styled appeal where I provide same information about how it works, where to get parts, etc., and ask for a ten dollar donation for each guitar built.  The understanding is that if you can afford it and you like it once completed, then you will have enough dignity and self-respect to honor the shareware request which is modest and appropriate. 

Anyway, either that or i just screwed myself, lol.  You tell me. 

Les

Offline LievenDV

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2011, 01:26:34 pm »
too bad you'r in the US indeed; the costs for shipping the lot would cost a lot !

things you need to fix wehn making recordings:  get the buzz out of that video on http://echuck.othomann.de/eChucK/Guitar_Kit.html
the buzz is there when talking too.

find a player who can play some stuff to make it osund more appealing.
in the quality of recording; I can't hear the difference enough between factory pickups and your invention; you need to bring that yout to convince people.

the web is one, and not the only way of some to persuade the public but you really need to fix those things to gain credbility

my band: fb: Point Fifty | Instagram: Point Fifty

steveo2

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2011, 03:45:18 pm »
JIM CAMPILONGO
One man and a tiny tube amp your own tone comes from your fingers look the dude up.
I do know that inventor can make cool things, I will agree with Lieven.
You need someone to really play and get rid of the buzz, I could play it but to get out the buzz you may have to remove wire lol.
Good luck

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2011, 05:38:47 am »
Hehe, thanks for the advice guys, it is very much appreciated.  As luck would have it someone contacted me through a Craigslist ad I posted who has a studio in Fort Lauderdale which is very close to my home, a short drive away.  He will know his schedule Monday morning for the week and will call me then to schedule a time he can visit me and test out the guitar.  Then if he likes it, he'll probably want to make a video, help popularize it, things like that. 

He said he has a lot of contacts in the music industry so I suppose sending the guitar on that tour of the US would be simply a matter of leaving it with him.  As to the buzz, i figured out that it is coming from the computer monitor. 

For this pickup style there is no humbucker configuration so no way to cancel noise, however there are also no coils of wire to pick up noise, just the length of the strings and the return wire.  So the issue of picking up flourescent lights or the real noisy beasts - tube style computer monitors - is minimized but not eliminated.  I'll be sure to reduce the buzz in the future. 

I'll keep you posted on things as they develop. 

Les

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2011, 04:23:29 pm »
Hey Stevo2, I did in fact contact Jim Campilongo and what do you know he sent back a friendly email in which he mentioned that Fender made a guitar in his name!  Dang man, you could have warned me I wasn't talking to just anybody.  Ah, but that's the beautiful thing about musicians - they pretty much all are just regular folks even when they get famous, lol. 

So I sent him a reply with the web site and we'll see what he says.  It's looking like a US tour is definitely in order here.  Many thanks for your helpful comments, all who replied to this thread so far.  Someday soon our ears will hear the joyful sound of novelty in the guitar world, haha. 

Les

steveo2

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2011, 04:44:17 pm »
Hey Stevo2, I did in fact contact Jim Campilongo and what do you know he sent back a friendly email in which he mentioned that Fender made a guitar in his name!  Dang man, you could have warned me I wasn't talking to just anybody.  Ah, but that's the beautiful thing about musicians - they pretty much all are just regular folks even when they get famous, lol. 

So I sent him a reply with the web site and we'll see what he says.  It's looking like a US tour is definitely in order here.  Many thanks for your helpful comments, all who replied to this thread so far.  Someday soon our ears will hear the joyful sound of novelty in the guitar world, haha. 

Les

Sorry Les.
Jim has had the same tone for many years and Justin did mention his name in the news letter.
He is a great teacher as well and just a great guy.

I know another innovator inventor player Les was his name as well
 Les Paul   ;D

Good luck

Inventor

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2011, 05:52:25 pm »
Hehe, oh i was joking of course peoples is peoples no matter where you go right? 

Yes, I'm starting to really enjoy this coincidence of the Les Paul Les Hall thing!  Apparently he worked on pickups too, and the original patent for this pickup system dates to 1938.  So I wonder, I just wonder if he was aware of this exact approach but just didn't have the technology to go down that road in his day.  Amazing, it's like history revisited right before our eyes... or not.  Whatever eh?

Les

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 07:04:45 pm »
Quote
Dang man, you could have warned me I wasn't talking to just anybody.

Ouch, yeah that's always interesting. Sort of like sitting on a train joking to the person next to you about time travel and then find out his last name is Einstein.
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steveo2

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 07:40:43 pm »
Quote
Dang man, you could have warned me I wasn't talking to just anybody.

Ouch, yeah that's always interesting. Sort of like sitting on a train joking to the person next to you about time travel and then find out his last name is Einstein.
Albert
Ironic,
Yeah you should ask Jim about his tone.
Jim, Brad Paisley and many other players are beyond theory, the play it that way cause it sounds good.

Yeah if I was name Les Hall I would run with it, get me a T-shirt with my name on it.
Own your own tone , right under your name.
I think that would sale it.
Not to dim your spirit Les Paul created something because there was a great need.
People still buy custom made amps, I even get a little special work done on some of my pick-ups.
No secret extra windings , make pick louder LOL.

I can only say good luck, but I think a cool designed web site and a demo of something that makes something sound better.
Write the work secret to your own tone and it will sell. ;D   

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2011, 07:52:02 pm »
In this day and time, if you can't get the word out and point across on YouTube then it's going to be an uphill battle. I would exhaust that route before trying to ship that thing all over the country.


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Re: Own Your Tone Pickup Kit
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2011, 10:55:48 pm »
Alrighty, I'll take that advice for sure.  Haven't heard back from Jim but it's still early yet, somehow however I feel that the website is putting people off.  Too much self-promotion or something, not low-key enough.  So we're gonna redesign the web page. 

Hopefully the guy with the studio near me will contact me soon, i'll send him another email tonight.  Then we can make a video and try that route before continuing with the tour.   

Les


 

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