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Unusual Dano question


Kramer Ferrington III.

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I have a Danelectro reissue, a Hodad Baritone. It looks like a big white Mosrite. And like all Danos, it has lipstick pickups.

 

Now my question is this:

 

I've noticed that my bridge pickup is nowhere near as loud as my middle or neck pickups and I can't figure out why. I can HEAR the pickup and it plays well enough, but it's not a useful sound. It's a very thin, weedy sound, a bit like a praying mantis sneezing.

 

The pickups all seem to be at the same distance from the strings and I can't hear any unusual hum. Bear in mind that they're single coils and that the amp's about three feet away from a lamp with a dimmer.

 

I suppose a sensible, enterprising forumite would take out the pickups and switch them around to see whether it's the pickup itself, but if THAT fails... are there any other reasons why one pickup should be much louder and fatter than another?

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Y'know, it's not uncommon for Strats to suffer from this, as well. Really, many guitars with three single-coils seem to have this disparity.

 

Part of the problem simply lays with the fact that it's a single-coil placed under a segment of the strings' length that is stiffer and has a tighter excursion-pattern as they vibrate. This effect will be exaggerated with a baritone, too.

 

You could simply raise the pickup, adjusting its height via the mounting-screws. The bridge-position is much less susceptible than the neck and middle positions are to "Strat-itis" (where the pickup's magnetic-pull, if too close to the strings, can have weird effects on tone, intonation, and sustain); and the Dano-style "lipstick-tube" pickups have a different magnet style and orientation, anyways, even less susceptible. So, you can probably get away with getting fairly close to the strings, relatively.

 

You can also slightly lower the other two; the highest pickup should be the bridge, then the middle, with the neck-pickup being the lowest, adjusted with balance between the three (and the bass- and treble-strings, too) as the goal. Tedious trial 'n' errror work with a screwdriver and your ears! Anything with a level-meter of some kind can help you get in the ballpark, but go with your ears, with the amp set the way you usually play, including volume.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by CaevanO'Shite:

Part of the problem simply lays with the fact that it's a single-coil placed under a segment of the strings' length that is stiffer and has a tighter excursion-pattern as they vibrate. This effect will be exaggerated with a baritone, too...

Ah, bless you, young Caevan.

 

If there's something I hate it's soldering irons and I wasn't exactly looking forward to soldering and unsoldering things. And yeah, the rear pup is really close to the bridge.

 

I'll try raising it as soon as I get home! :)

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The pickups on my Dano have a limited amount of adjustment, so the bridge pickup isn't as close to the strings as I'd like it to be, but it still gets a decent sound. I think a certain amount of "thin & weedy" is just the Dano bridge pickup sound.

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Originally posted by Blue Strat:

I think a certain amount of "thin & weedy" is just the Dano bridge pickup sound.

**grump**

 

Well, I'll try raising it though.

 

It just bugs me that it doesn't sound the way I'd like it to. It's the only fly in the ointment.

 

I've toyed with the idea of putting in a humbucker, but the guitar wouldn't look as nice.

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Be careful about gettng any single coil pickup too close to the strings, as the magnetic field generated by the p/u will pull the strings out of tune. It's a pain in the wazoo, but it's true. Try lowering the neck and middle p/u-s first, and then raise the bridge p/u a very little bit at at time to match levels.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Originally posted by picker:

Be careful about gettng any single coil pickup too close to the strings, as the magnetic field generated by the p/u will pull the strings out of tune.

Interesting... I hadn't thought of that. They're fairly heavy strings but I'll keep that in mind. Thanks! :)
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Forgive me, picker, for acting like a know-it-all here, but a Dano/"lipstick-tube"-style pickup isn't nearly as susceptible to "Strat-itis" as a Fender Strat-style single-coil.

 

This is because the Dano uses a bar-magnet, with it's "North" and "South" polar-orientation laying down, its polarity running from bass-to-treble sides; while the Strat-style pickup uses six individual magnetic "slugs" as pole-pieces, each pointed directly at the string, with its polarity running vertically instead; so, with a Strat-style p'up, instead of just creating a magnetic field through which the strings pass and are in turn magnetized, the slug pole-piece tugs sharply at the string if it's too close. The horizontally-oriented bar-magnet in a "lipstick-tube" pickup doesn't do this the same way, it's kinda 'relaxed' by comparison.

 

Plus, being near the bridge, the strings being stiffer and more constrained in their vibrating swing, it's even less of a concern.

 

Beauty is as beauty does, though, so if it decides to contradict me in action, simply back-off on the pickup height a little, right? :cool:

 

If its range of height-adjustment is limited, raise it what you can, and also lower the other two a little, trying to balance their outputs. I think that it will always sound a tad clicky and wheezy, though, just because of what it is, and where it's at, on a baritone/six-string bass-guitar...

 

I was very fond of a very cool Chandler six-string bass/baritone-guitar that used to live in a little guitar shop near me; I used to visit it frequently, and I really should've taken it home from the orphanage. It too had Danelectro-style "lipstick-tube" pickups, and it too suffered some in the bridge-position; I'd describe its bridge-p'up-only sound as kinda "clacky", while the neck and combined settings just ruled!

 

Ever notice that a real bass's pickups are further-in from the bridge and neck than they would be on a similar guitar? There're reasons for that, and you've found out about one of 'em there, firsthand, Vince!

 

And... 'back in the day', Danelectro six-string bass-guitars (not really basses, for a number of reasons) were very often used with their bridge-pickups to double the bass-lines, in unison, that an upright/acoustic/string-bassist would lay down, to add a percussive attack; the Dano would be mixed in just enough that the "click-clack" could be almost subliminally felt, without being too obvious. (I'm sure some mixed in more than others, but the idea was to augment the doghouse-bass, not compete with it.) It came to be known as playing "tic-tac bass", and was actually a specialty that a session-player would highlight on his resume to get more jobs!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by CaevanO'Shite:

Ever notice that a real bass's pickups are further-in from the bridge and neck than they would be on a similar guitar? There're reasons for that, and you've found out about one of 'em there, firsthand, Vince!

Uhmmm... no, I hadn't noticed, actually.

 

But that's just a coincidence. I tend to buy guitars with 3 pickups (in a vague quest for "value for money", I suppose) and most basses only have 2 pickups. I'd never thought about the placement of the pups before.

 

 

Originally posted by CaevanO'Shite:

It came to be known as playing "tic-tac bass", and was actually a specialty that a session-player would highlight on his resume to get more jobs!

Oh, is THAT what "tic-tac bass" is... I'd always wondered. Well, I didn't stay up whole nights over it, but I have been puzzled by the term whenever I've come across it.

 

Now... if I'm not being too obtuse... what the heck is chicken picking? :confused:

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Originally posted by CaevanO'Shite:

Forgive me, picker,for acting like a know-it-all here,...

It's an act?;^)

 

Originally posted by CaevanO'Shite:

but a Dano/"lipstick-tube"-style pickup isn't nearly as susceptible to "Strat-itis" as a Fender Strat-style single-coil...

I bow to superior knowledge. I have never owned a Dano long enough to notice or try to remedy such a problem, and my comment was indeed based on experience with Fenders rather than Danos. That is a valuable bit of info, and I thank you for the correction, Caevan.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Originally posted by CMDN:

"Caevan, is that a pocket protector I see in your shirt pocket?"

Uhmn, no, it's a couple of rolled-up tube-socks; I always get things mixed-up, in a hurry in the morning. The pocket-protector is in my pants.

 

Yhup, I'm-a-geek. It's troo. (That part's not an act, but the rest is.)

 

Can I let someone else field the "Chicken-Pickin'"-question? I've gotta duck into the men's-room for a moment to fix somethin'...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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