#1
I was wondering if some one could help me understand better why my pinch harmonics are much more pronounced with certain pickups. My main 4 guitars all have quality,high-output pickups, but they definitely are vastly different in how they "pop" out when played.

My Fender has Duncan Hot Rails, and the pinch harmonics completely explode using this one and come out very loud and totally scream. Sounds amazing.

My Jackson Dinky has a Duncan JB, and while the harmonics still stand out nicely, they don't explode like from the hot rails, they are not nearly as loud, but still sound great.

And then there are my 2 guitars with active pickups, an Ibanez Les Paul style with the EMG Het Set, and a Jackson Les Paul style with Duncan Blackouts. The pinch harmonics on both of these are very low and subdued, and do not jump out at all. There is no volume increase at all like with the Holt Rails or JB, and they do not stand out from the mix at all. Usually makes me unplug and replay the piece using the Fender or the Dinky so it sounds right... I know the Het Set is more tailored for rhythm, and yes, I've replaced the batteries on both in trying to troubleshoot myself.

I've tried searching around for info but had no luck in finding anything, and have seen that most people seem to think that the active pickups should play harmonics better.
I was just hoping someone could help me understand the huge difference in harmonics between the pickups.

Everything is played direct into a POD HD500X through a set of Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones.
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Vulture-Satin Black
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Snakebyte-Snow White
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross-Snow White
Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL2Q Trans Root Beer Quilt
Jackson SLATXMQ Soloist3-6-Trans Red Quilt
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2QM-Chlorine Burst
Jackson Pro Series Monarkh SC-Trans Purple Quilt
Ibanez Iron Label ARZIR20
Schecter Hellraiser C-1-Black Cherry Burst
Ibanez RG-770-Laser Blue
Jackson Kelly-Trans Green Flame
Line 6 Helix LT
Last edited by tc1072 at Jul 30, 2016,
#4
Quote by KailM
I think it has more to do with your guitars. I have a guitar with Blackouts and they scream...


Interesting. brings back the debate of whether woods actually matter with an electric. For what it's worth, both of the active guitars are Mahogany bodies with Ebony fretboards (Jackson with arched maple top), both the Dinky and Strat are Alder, the Dinky with Maple fretboard, Fender with rosewood.
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Vulture-Satin Black
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Snakebyte-Snow White
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross-Snow White
Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL2Q Trans Root Beer Quilt
Jackson SLATXMQ Soloist3-6-Trans Red Quilt
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2QM-Chlorine Burst
Jackson Pro Series Monarkh SC-Trans Purple Quilt
Ibanez Iron Label ARZIR20
Schecter Hellraiser C-1-Black Cherry Burst
Ibanez RG-770-Laser Blue
Jackson Kelly-Trans Green Flame
Line 6 Helix LT
#5
Wood really doesn't affect the time, it's more the bridge type that matters. The point in the low compression of the active pickups is solid. Also, the JB has a bit of a flubby low end, tighter low ends can give better, clearer harmonics
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N, killswitch), Jackson RR5FR (TB6/Jazz, Drop C). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Boss PS-5, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof or Earthbound Audio Super Collider. Loop 1 into ISP Decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9, TC Spark Mini. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
Last edited by Maidenheadsteve at Jul 31, 2016,
#6
Quote by Maidenheadsteve
Wood really doesn't affect the time, it's more the bridge type that matters


Hmm-interesting pattern here, both actives are hard-tail bridges, both the Hot Rails and JB have Floyds.
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Vulture-Satin Black
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Snakebyte-Snow White
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross-Snow White
Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL2Q Trans Root Beer Quilt
Jackson SLATXMQ Soloist3-6-Trans Red Quilt
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2QM-Chlorine Burst
Jackson Pro Series Monarkh SC-Trans Purple Quilt
Ibanez Iron Label ARZIR20
Schecter Hellraiser C-1-Black Cherry Burst
Ibanez RG-770-Laser Blue
Jackson Kelly-Trans Green Flame
Line 6 Helix LT
#7
Edit: meant to add pickup type and model too with bridge type for what affects tone.
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N, killswitch), Jackson RR5FR (TB6/Jazz, Drop C). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Boss PS-5, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof or Earthbound Audio Super Collider. Loop 1 into ISP Decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9, TC Spark Mini. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
Last edited by Maidenheadsteve at Jul 31, 2016,
#8
more likely has to do with guitar setup and your actual skill than anything. hotter pickups will be louder so there's that to. the issue is really about technique as many players pull them out with high gain and loud so they never learn to do it right. take away the loud and high gain and suddenly they don't sound off like they are used to and you get this kind of ?. keep in mind that pickups tend to be tunes to certain frequencies as well. if the harmonic falls in those frequencies they will sound off better.
#9
^^^Agreed. If you're doing it right you should be able to get pinch harmonics on an acoustic guitar. But my comment on guitars referred more to the setup than anything. Every guitar has its own "sweet spots" for pinch harmonics. You generally have to find them. Also, different bridges have a different feel in terms of how your right hand is positioned and that will certainly affect pinch harmonics. The wood the guitar is made of has almost nothing to do with it -- as it is just a physics phenomenon happening when you alter the nodes of where a string is vibrating.

One thing that I've found does make a difference is the age of your strings. With older, more worn-out strings, I have to work a bit harder to coax pinch harmonics out, but with new strings it's much easier.
#10
that is weird- i find pickups affect it quite a lot, but in my experience (and you seem to be well aware of this in your post since you said it didn't make much sense to you) almost the opposite from what's affecting yours. In my experience a fair bit of output/compression (so a hotter pickup) and also a fair amount of mids seem to be what really bring out the PHs, in my experience (and with my guitars) at least. For example I find a JB has pretty decent harmonics.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Quote by Dave_Mc
that is weird- i find pickups affect it quite a lot, but in my experience (and you seem to be well aware of this in your post since you said it didn't make much sense to you) almost the opposite from what's affecting yours. In my experience a fair bit of output/compression (so a hotter pickup) and also a fair amount of mids seem to be what really bring out the PHs, in my experience (and with my guitars) at least. For example I find a JB has pretty decent harmonics.


well this has a lot to do with how well you get them to sound to begin with. as I mentioned certain frequencies will be sounded and if they fall into the sweet spot for the pickup they will sound louder per se. loud amps pick them up well cuz they are loud so that makes sense. as KaiM mentioned you can get pinch harmonix on an acoustic or acoustically on an electric which is a good way to practice them. this forces you to find the nodes and really get them to sound. once you ge this down you'll find that your are less reliant on loud amps and distortion.
#12
Higher output pickups will compress the signal a lot more, and the harmonics will jump out. Of course, this could be at the expense of touch-sensitivity. Hot Rails are really high output, but not touch sensitive at all. You just have to decide what attributes you like. A compressor will also help harmonics jump out of any guitar.
#13
^^ (monwobobbo) well sure but I mean I can get them to sound on an unplugged electric just fine and i still appreciate having gear which helps. granted a lot of that is having more margin for error, but at which point is it a crutch and at which point are you making it artificially harder than it needs to be, you know? I mean, I get the harmonic ok, but with some pickups they really scream.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 1, 2016,
#14
I think you will find it is a combination of the whole setup. For instance, For the pinch harmonics to stand out you need good resonance through the guitar. The whole guitar itself including the hardware impacts the sound. Yes, wood included. The pickups ALSO add to the equation as they are voiced differently and are not completely flat across all frequencies. So, for instance, if you dropped blackouts in your Dinky, you would probably feel the harmonics "pop" out more so than when they were in your Jackson LP. Hell, just look at the king, Zack Wylde and remember he plays active 81's. It's more about the guitar as a whole and how it's setup. The more resonance in the guitar and a good pickup goes a long way in hearing certain frequencies in general. Also, if you feel your harmonics are not where you want them when playing the LP's you can always boost a little bit of the high's on your amp to help them stand out a bit more. (Just my 0.02) All of this is a moot point if you are not referring to the sound of typical metal pinch harmonics like what you would hear from Zack Wylde.
#15
^ yeah that's a good point, we may well be arguing at cross-purposes. when i'm talking about the screaming ones i mean the zakk wylde type ones.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Different guitars have different scale lengths, bridge positions etc. which is why the harmonics might not come out the same, even if you're playing exactly the same.

Like natural harmonics, pinched harmonics work by cancelling the fundamental. This is easy with natural harmonics as the string is divided up nicely by frets so you can simply touch the string over certain frets and get nice, clear harmonics. With pinched harmonics you are cancelling the fundamental with your thumb and in order to get a good squeal you need to cancel the fundamental at the correct place on the string.

You'll need to adjust the positioning of your right hand on each guitar to find the perfect place to squeal. Remember that as you start playing notes that are higher up the neck, you will also need to adjust the position of your right hand to match so that you're maintaining the correct division of the string to cancel out the fundamental/other frequencies.

Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_harmonics for more info - specifically the section on nodes.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by randomguitar777 at Aug 8, 2016,
#17
This is my question on pinch harmonics. I have an ibanez rg 570, basswood body, maple neck with bubinga, rosewood fingerboard and Edge trem. The guitar came with a dimarzio tone zone in the bridge. The pinch harmonics worked well with that but the low end  was a little too flubby for me. 

I replaced the tone zone with a  duncan distortion. The pickup has great high output and tone, but it's much more difficult to get a wide variety of squealing pinch harmonics and when I do pinch harmonics they don't  and they revert back to the natural string . The pinch harmonics die out and don't  sustain. 

Is it the pickup, the basswood body, or? If you think it's the pickup, what other pickups would you recommend for zakk Wylde screamin pinch harmonics? I use them a lot. 

Also, my technique is good. 

I also have an ibanez rgt42fm with stock inf2 pickup in the bridge position. It's a rather low gain pickup and doesn't sound nearly as good as the duncan distortion  but I can get screamin harmonics all day long. 

I have a problem with the rgt because the trem system isn't very good and doesn't stay in tune. That's why I switched to the rg550 with the edge trem system. 

Back to the problem with my rg550 and problem with pinch harmonics. Is it the pickup, guitar or ? 

Please let me know your thoughts and ideas. 
   
#18
This thread is over a year old.


I'm sure OP has long since had his question answered.
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