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odd name but strong design: Q-Tuner Pickups


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For strong luthiers, this looks like the company to hook up with, since Lane Poor left the fray:

 

http://q-tuner.com/

 

http://q-tuner.com/images/soapbar.jpg

 

Defintely closer in design to what Lane Poor was doing, which is actually derived from Bill Lawrence work. A number of innovations on top of that solid base, and neodymium too.

 

Probably well worth doing some routing for in some retrofit situations. I know I'm considering it.

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The site text alternates between psuedo-techie junk science meanderings (I wonder if it is borne of hype, or of language barrier) and solid stuff in synch with other research I've looked at. This could be a very accurate design in terms of magnetics, which are really not that transparent though manufacturers and players/proponents like to claim differently.
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I was just talking to Skip of Knuckle Guitar Works - he's going with the Q-Tuner pickups for all his designs, after using them in a bass he built for NAMM. He says they'll do just about any tone and string balance thing imaginable, not only allowing one to easier balance disparate string volume, but also adjust the TONAL balance of each string. Says nothing else comes close especially for basses with more range in either direction.

 

It appears he's also a speaker design junkie; my cell phone battery was depleted when we finally wrapped it up ; }

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The pickup designs look really interesting.

 

Even more interesting is the language used on the site. It seems to go from petulantly over-worded and technical, to rather vulgar. The page I'm reading now talks about various steps used to counteract "negative" electromagnetic phenomena, and then drops to "...the mother of all f****rs; simultaneous masking."

 

I think there might be a slight "presentation" problem here :)

 

I hope that this doesn't get overlooked by anyone due to the "informal" language of the website.

 

The audio demo was pretty darn impressive.

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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By the way, anyone know why they went ahaead with 32 bit sound clips? I can't seem to get them to play at all on my system, and I've never encountered a problem like that when dealing with any kind of sound file in the past. Then again, I don't know when I would have ever worked with sound samples of that high of bitrate/quality, either...
unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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I had the same problem trying to load the 32 bit clip. Windows Media Player keeps asking for codec 3.... I was unsucessful trying to download and install it :confused: , so I listened to the 16 bit sample... but the speakers on this puter are too sucky to tell how good it actually sounds. :( That and the demo song leaves a lot to be desired, at least to my musical taste.. :bor:

I would think if they really want to showcase the sound of the pickup, they would have gone with something funky or rockin', rather than an etheral spacey bass part that gets buried under the guitar...

 

All the techno-dribble sounds impressive, but .... how does it sound in a real world application....

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As an additional little tidbit these things have INCREDIBLE output - louder than any active bass I have built to date including some 18v setups.

 

I stumbled onto a bit of drool-factor subwoofer info;

 

Acoustic Visions has some interesting fodder for potential VERY low, bass appropriate subs. I own a Dayton Titanic 15 that I am loading tomorrow, but have gass for the Adire Maelstrom and Tumult subs now. :cry:

Just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the utility of what is not.

- Lao-tzu

 

It's what I make - it's what I play

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Just listened to the 32-bit demo...

 

Wow. That must be one of the most clearest sounding tones I've ever heard.

 

(I'm sure it has to do mostly with technique though)

:freak:

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Originally posted by Jack-O-Phil-O-Lantern:

Just listened to the 32-bit demo...

 

Wow. That must be one of the most clearest sounding tones I've ever heard.

 

(I'm sure it has to do mostly with technique though)

:freak:

Check at BassTasters - a bit of horn blowing on my part, but the 6 has BXXLs in it and I love the way it sounds. The samples aren't 32 bit (just straight MP3s) but you get a VERY good idea...

 

BassTasters

Just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the utility of what is not.

- Lao-tzu

 

It's what I make - it's what I play

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Originally posted by knuckle_head:

Originally posted by Jack-O-Phil-O-Lantern:

Just listened to the 32-bit demo...

 

Wow. That must be one of the most clearest sounding tones I've ever heard.

 

(I'm sure it has to do mostly with technique though)

:freak:

Check at BassTasters - a bit of horn blowing on my part, but the 6 has BXXLs in it and I love the way it sounds. The samples aren't 32 bit (just straight MP3s) but you get a VERY good idea...

 

BassTasters

VERY nice. Now, THERE'S a sound clip that I can at least compare mentally with other bass sounds I've heard. Great idea putting different techniques up there for showcase, as well. I feel I have a MUCH better idea how those pickups sound.

 

Some of it is, undoubtedly, the superb instrment they are mounted in :) That 39" scale must add some "snap" to those low string. I also like how it's tuned down to F#, rather than adding a high C string. I can't imagine a high C would sound very "bass like" on a 39" scale instrument. Overall, quite impressive. I wonder how my small hands would feel on it?

 

I want one!

 

So, no active elctronics in your bass, then? Just the pickups? The sound hat a lot of "presence" for being passive, it seemed to me. Perhaps that's the beauty of the Q-tuners.

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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Originally posted by hags2k:

 

So, no active elctronics in your bass, then? Just the pickups? The sound hat a lot of "presence" for being passive, it seemed to me. Perhaps that's the beauty of the Q-tuners.[/QB]

The 6 they are mounted in has a Volume/Tone stacked pot per pup - no batteries no nothin.

 

I discussed this with the guy who actually owns this bass and we both agree that it is pretty much a 50/50 relationship in sound between the bass itself and the Q-tuners.

 

As for the high C - I haven't had one made that's in my hands yet but they are coming shortly. I will obviously need them for the 7 I hope to build soon. Same pups as the 6, and hopefully as good a sounding instrument.

Just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the utility of what is not.

- Lao-tzu

 

It's what I make - it's what I play

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I really like the concept of a 4-string subcontrabass - a bass tuned an OCTAVE lower than the standard E-A-D-G. With scale length, one can get that percussive attack and full overtones sound that otherwise gets thrown under the bus. Anyone who's spent some time beside a larger more perfect example of an upright, or "done the B" on a Dingwall, knows that there is no substitute for scale length when it comes to string tension and tone at each pitch.

 

I hope to play a Knuckle Bass soon : }

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...'twould be very cool indeed to sometimes double known bass parts an octave lower (a concept often found in the evolution of the orchestra) and to have a voice with even more girth. Pitch-shifting models tend to fall apart when one goes lower, and there is something infinitely complex and fascinating about the plucked string, pratly because it interacts with playing techniques so readily...
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Odd similarity between what you are saying and orchestral bass playing.

 

The term "double bass" implies that the bass doubles the cello bass part one octave below.

 

'Cept the cello goes down to a C. And the bass can't double those last few notes.

 

And just like in electrics, the bass makers have had a technological arms race trying to come up with those few notes for centuries.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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But the double bass HAS doubled those notes. With the use of EXTENSIONS. Just not always to the level/quality desired.

 

The arms race for electric instruments has been similar. Back when the electric bass first was being used, it was hampered by crap amplification that was suitable for guitar more than the lower range, and recording equipment that couldn't easily deal with lower frequencies in balance. The technical gap promulgated to PLAYBACK systems including car radios and home systems, and mixing and mastering processes were adapted to get around the deficiencies.

 

The pipe organ in fixed-installation live settings however has not suffered for lack of effective physical means. But we are catching up ; }

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Ah davebrownbass,

 

Another interesting point springs to mind: the use of "tic-tac" bass. Back in the day, instruments such as the Fender VI were often doubled with acoustic bass on pop and C&W recordings to bring the acoustic standup out of the murk - to apply some definition to the sound without necessarily replacing the acoustic tone's desirable assets. But to get what they wanted on record, it took TWO instruments to make ONE sound, a COMPOSITE.

 

I think the longer scales the Knuck or the Ding use are the way to get definition AND deepness when desired, out of ONE instrument, and the rest of the recording and playback and live rig technology nowdays is more capable of allowing this approach to be enjoyed.

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  • 6 months later...

Can you believe it?!! I just downloaded the demo wav file for these, and it consistented entirely of harmonics! If there were any real bass notes in there, the sheer twinklyness stopped me noticing them. And what a load of whatever on their website!

 

Now that I've got that off my chest, I'd like to say that these look like exceedingly fine pickups. So far the MP3s I have heard sound more like EMGs than anything but that's not a bad thing. I have a vision coming together of a 6-string neck-thru bass with these pickups, active preamp, semi-hollow body (just on the treble side) and similar woods to my current bass. Hmmm...

 

Alex

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