The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vihar
    Below is the frequency response of a guitar pickup; the peak near the rightmost end is the resonance, this peak defines a pickup's character to the greatest extent (the slope is also important, a somewhat flatter slope is why many active systems sound different even with the same resonance):

    Attachment 97224

    Lowering the volume pot value will load down the pickup more (without having to turn down the volume knob), but it will only tame the resonance, it's not going to move the peak frequency lower.

    The real solution without having to use one specific cable is to use capacitor(s) parallel with the pickup. This will move the resonant frequency lower depending on the capacitance, exactly like what cables of different length/capacitance do.

    As you can see in this table, the higher the capacitance you use, the lower the resonant frequency goes, but the height of the peak itself will remain the same.

    This article talks about wiring up multiple capacitors to a rotary switch, so you can choose from different resonant frequencies.
    That isn't true. Highs get bled off proportionally more with lower resistance to ground, so that would shift the peak.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    That isn't true. Highs get bled off proportionally more with lower resistance to ground, so that would shift the peak.
    What I posted is true. With a lower resistance volume pot, you are not shifting the resonance to a lower frequency, you just reduce the peak (and with it, the overall output), like this:

    Gear-itis: stop obsessing over gear - or not.....-secrets14-gif

  4. #28

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    The peak moves backward on those lines..

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    The peak moves backward on those lines..
    It actually stays at the same point below 5000Hz (4454.1Hz is visible in the image) with using 10M to 220k; I can see a minuscule shift at 100k, because it rolls of so much that it starts rounding the peak off before it disappears completely at lower volume pot values. From 47k on, there's no peak or even hump whatsoever.

    Compare that to when it's the capacitive load that changes:

    Gear-itis: stop obsessing over gear - or not.....-secrets15-gif

    That is when the resonance is moving, and this latter is what cables of different length/capacitance do as well.

    The OP could do what's used in Gretsch guitars, the so-called "mud switch", a tone switch that can switch two different capacitors across the pickup, and find the values he likes with the 3m Klotz cable and maybe with a longer low capacitance cable, like a 20ft/6m Klotz. In the middle position of the switch, there would be no parallel capacitors in the circuit, that's where he could use his long coily cable.

    Gear-itis: stop obsessing over gear - or not.....-tone-switch-gretsch-style-png

  6. #30

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    What's wrong with dampening the peak? An 100k volume and a tone with a 18-22nf cap that I can adjust is what I prefer to small caps hardwired. A low metering 250k volume for a brighter jazz sound.
    Last edited by Jimmy Smith; 12-09-2022 at 03:02 AM.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    What's wrong with dampening the peak?
    Nothing's wrong with it, it's just not what the OP was achieving with using the longer, coiled cable, while using the right value capacitor in parallel with the pickup will give the same result with the shorter, lower capacitance cable.

    Using more capacitors on a switch will also give him more tonal options without having to permanently reduce the output of his guitar, and without the additional noise the longer cable picks up.

  8. #32

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    It's been fun, obsessing over gear for many years. It's a hobby, trying different things adds experience and zest to the journey... but I am finally nearing the end of my various "quests", and am very much looking forward to selling off a bunch of stuff and having only the "winners" here for the future. I wasn't able to purchase some of the more expensive things on my bucket list until recently, this year. After spending more money on gear in one year than ever before, I can honestly say I do NOT regret doing it- because the trying (and really trying- living with; not just playing in a store), has made my gear decisions rooted in experience, and I feel much better about the gear I have, even gear I've had a long time now. It's like I HAD to know... and I couldn't know until I actually TRIED (owned) the stuff.

    I will still buy things as life goes on, but I am probably 80% done with my "list" of things I've always wanted to try. And sometime in the future, an ES-125 (or similar) as well as a GA-50/EH-185 (or similar) will be purchased as well... and I'll probably buy 2-3 versions of each until I find THE ones I want to keep.

    But I really am looking forward to not messing with gear anymore (as fun as it's been), and just learning/playing more.

  9. #33

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    I have been dabbling with measuring and modelling pickups so here for for illustration are some curves for an old Dimarzio PAF type pickup modeled in detail. A 470 pf load is like a modern 9 foot Fender or Gibson cable. The levels have been scaled to be the same at low frequency. Tone is fully up. The tone cap. is 22nF but its value has near zero effect with the tone at full.

    Brown 500k tone 500k vol 470pF cable, full volume
    Red 500k tone 500k vol 470pF cable, volume 6dB down
    Orange 500k tone 250k vol 470pF cable, full volume
    Yellow 500k tone 500k vol no cable capacitance, full volume
    Green 500k tone 500k vol long cable 1500pF, full volume

    An interesting thing is that when you turn the volume pot down a bit, the pickup no longer sees the cable capacitance so its peak, because of the loading of the two pots, is almost eliminated. Instead you have part of the pot resistance and the cable capacitance as a filter cutting the treble. The yellow curve also shows the sort of response there will be at the pickup itself when the volume is 6dB down. The influence of the cable is an important part of the frequency response.

    Gear-itis: stop obsessing over gear - or not.....-pickup-png

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    It's been fun, obsessing over gear for many years. It's a hobby, trying different things adds experience and zest to the journey... but I am finally nearing the end of my various "quests", and am very much looking forward to selling off a bunch of stuff and having only the "winners" here for the future. I wasn't able to purchase some of the more expensive things on my bucket list until recently, this year. After spending more money on gear in one year than ever before, I can honestly say I do NOT regret doing it- because the trying (and really trying- living with; not just playing in a store), has made my gear decisions rooted in experience, and I feel much better about the gear I have, even gear I've had a long time now. It's like I HAD to know... and I couldn't know until I actually TRIED (owned) the stuff.

    I will still buy things as life goes on, but I am probably 80% done with my "list" of things I've always wanted to try. And sometime in the future, an ES-125 (or similar) as well as a GA-50/EH-185 (or similar) will be purchased as well... and I'll probably buy 2-3 versions of each until I find THE ones I want to keep.

    But I really am looking forward to not messing with gear anymore (as fun as it's been), and just learning/playing more.
    My GAS has never been all that bad, but at this point it's pretty much gone. When I first got into playing (relatively) seriously as a teenager, I would go into guitar shops and be like the proverbial kid in a candy shop, with unlimited appetite for the treats and no money to buy them. But after several decades (and rising ability to buy tre ats), I find myself satisfied. I've gone into music shops several times recently and found myself not wanting to play anything I see hanging on the walls. I toy with certain ideas, but then stop myself because I realize that the sound I think I'm looking for in a [fill in the blank] can be gotten out of what I already have; in effect all I would be doing is buying the same thing in a different color or form factor. This comes after a few years of selling and buying guitars (and selling off accessories) with the conscious aim of having fewer things that I like more (as opposed to lots of things I like a like a bit less). Much to my dismay (it's hard to let go of obsessions and fantasies), it worked. Be careful what you wish for -- you may get it.

  11. #35

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    It's good to know that it's not "bad" vs "good" cables that can make difference in tone, but long vs short.

  12. #36

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    I don't understand the following:

    If a long cable sounds better because it has more capacitance, then why can't you get the same sound from a short cable by rolling off your guitar's treble pot, to basically match the capacitance?

    If we draw the circuit diagram, the capacitance of the cable looks like a capacitor between the hot lead and ground. Isn't that exactly what the tone control's capacitor looks like in the diagram? Or am I misunderstanding this?

    My experience has been similar in that on some gigs I hate my tone and I don't know why. OTOH, it's consistent in my practice room.

    So, I think the stage plot and the room have a lot to do with it.

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I don't understand the following:If a long cable sounds better because it has more capacitance, then why can't you get the same sound from a short cable by rolling off your guitar's treble pot, to basically match the capacitance?
    I'm sure you could simulate it with the right cap at the right level.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I don't understand the following:

    If a long cable sounds better because it has more capacitance, then why can't you get the same sound from a short cable by rolling off your guitar's treble pot, to basically match the capacitance?

    If we draw the circuit diagram, the capacitance of the cable looks like a capacitor between the hot lead and ground. Isn't that exactly what the tone control's capacitor looks like in the diagram? Or am I misunderstanding this?

    My experience has been similar in that on some gigs I hate my tone and I don't know why. OTOH, it's consistent in my practice room.

    So, I think the stage plot and the room have a lot to do with it.
    Hey let's build a pedal that does that

    Gear-itis: stop obsessing over gear - or not.....-aaa-jpg

  15. #39

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    For real, here's an interesting article:


    The Vintage Coiled-Cable Simulator Mod - Premier Guitar

  16. #40

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    And Radial Engineering has their "Dragster" which does exactly that.

    Dragster - Radial Engineering

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    And Radial Engineering has their "Dragster" which does exactly that.

    Dragster - Radial Engineering
    not ‘exactly’

    the Dragster is a variable
    input impedance device

    (not a variable capacitance device)

  18. #42

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    Years ago, when I was studying electrical engineering, I actually built a rack unit effect that did nothing, it just had a bunch of buttons, dials, leds and lights in the front that would light up when you played. Looked glorious, I think I sold it to someone eventually

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Years ago, when I was studying electrical engineering, I actually built a rack unit effect that did nothing, it just had a bunch of buttons, dials, leds and lights in the front that would light up when you played. Looked glorious, I think I sold it to someone eventually
    Found an image of it, it's the bottom one, right?

    Gear-itis: stop obsessing over gear - or not.....-1481595935855_-pic_hd-1024x626-jpg

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    in my case a better cable made things a lot worse
    Obsessing is bad, but understanding is good. Something may be more expensive, but it’s not “better” if it doesn’t do what you want. The Klotz is clearly described in their documentation and the bulleted list on their web page as having “ultra-low capacitance (65 pF/m)”. Most generally available cables vary from below 50 to about 200 for the good old Belden coax that we all used for decades. Part of the darker sound of the classic jazz players of the mid-20th century came from the high capacitance cables we all used before boutique gear emerged.

    I think a lot of the “gear problems” that players complain about arise from failure to understand if, how, and by how much every part in your rig can affect your sound and/or your playing. Some of this is poor communication from manufacturers, eg the Klotz slant that their low capacitance cables are somehow better, when in fact they’re just different. But a lot of it is simple unawareness of important things, which can be fixed by doing a bit more homework. The cable is just another “tone cap” in the signal chain, in that it’s a shunt to ground for the highs within its passband. So yes, rpjg, rolling off the tone pot will have a similar effect.

    When you encounter a term whose significance you don’t know, don’t ignore it - Google it. Even wireless rigs are available with onboard “compensation” for the capacitance of the cable they replace. The one you choose can affect your sound just as the OP’s Klotz did. There are good reasons for using low cap cables - they have a flatter pass band that extends higher. This is good for effects of many kinds - it livens up reverb, gives more complex distortion, etc and lets the full spectrum from active pickups reach the electronics. But it can also turn very bright pickups into sonic ice picks in your ears.

    You have to know what you want and how to get it.

  21. #45

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    NASA and SpaceX could join up to create the ultimate pickup and electronics system for the guitar.
    And they'd go to capture every nuance up to 10GHz... Yet it cant beat a Tele. Banged together in the 60's.

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    NASA and SpaceX could join up to create the ultimate pickup and electronics system for the guitar.
    And they'd go to capture every nuance up to 10GHz... Yet it cant beat a Tele. Banged together in the 60's.
    And I know the perfect amp for it:

    Gear-itis: stop obsessing over gear - or not.....-mcfly_amp-gif


  23. #47

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    [QUOTE]NASA and SpaceX could join up to create the ultimate pickup and electronics system for the guitar. And they'd go to capture every nuance up to 10GHz[/QUOTE]

    After they designed and built it and proved how great it sounded in painstakingly produced video footage aired on national television they would proceed to misplace and lose most of the documentation and design plans for the entire project. People would begin to doubt the claims but employees with high security clearances would testify to it's amazing tonal properties. 50 years later they would promise they would build it again but it would never materialize.

  24. #48

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    After NASA discovered that their ball-point pens didn't work in weightlessness, they started a multi-million dollar project to develop a pen that would work in weightlessness, upside-down, under water, you name it. The Russians used a pencil.

  25. #49

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    Both NASA and the Russians bought their pens from the Fisher Pen Company.

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    So the point is that there are way too many variables - that if only one goes wrong you can find yourself making a sound that makes you cringe - and if you don't find a sound you can really relax with it is very hard to let yourself go and play.

    btw - the good cable - the one that mellows the highs without loss of definition and clarity - is a 30 foot coiled cable from A'addario. I just ordered another - and I'll have to get a stash because I'm not messing with this nonsense any more. The bad one was a 3m klotz 'la grange'.
    You are used to more capacitance in the cable. For use in emergencies you could make up a short stub of cable, say 1ft with a jack plug at one end and a line jack socket at the other and solder a 1.5 nanoFarad (1n5, 1500pF) capacitor across the pins of either the plug or the socket. A miniature ceramic cap from Mouser e.g. any one from this page

    Mouser caps.

    would do, such as this one which is quite small:

    likely cap

    and would be ideal.

    Place this stub between any short cable and the amp. The short cable will then behave like the long cable. The value 1n5 is a guess from the length of the cable but is most likely correct.