New "Polarity" active pickups

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spudmunkey
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New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:43 pm

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby HarlowTheFish » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:08 pm

Color me interested. Wonder if they'll do multiscale versions and if they're splittable.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby DannyB819 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:22 pm

I'm not a betting man, but I've got a hunch they'll be described at some point as "rad."

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby Zeus7 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:45 am

Did they have some recent breakthrough in R&D? Because just 2 or 3 live Q&As ago Jeff stated very explicitly what he thought about active pickups (for guitar).

I assume these PUs are used in the coming Andy James signature guitar, too, or did Kiesel go really wild and will release a whole line of new active guitar pickups?

Very curious and always happy about more options as long as these don't erase the Fishman option from the configurator.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby spudmunkey » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:26 am

Zeus7 wrote:Did they have some recent breakthrough in R&D? Because just 2 or 3 live Q&As ago Jeff stated very explicitly what he thought about active pickups (for guitar).


If it's the one I'm thinking of, I think he left some lingual wiggle room. Hes also said he really liked their A series actives.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby Crud Bonemeal » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:36 am

are these pups Andy James used to record his Shred Collab solo?

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby HarlowTheFish » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:43 am

Crud Bonemeal wrote:are these pups Andy James used to record his Shred Collab solo?

I think so, all his pre-signature Kiesels have EMgs.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby Koshchei » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:02 am

Not my thing, but glad Andy's happy. I much prefer Wes Thrailkill's tone from a set of Lithiums in a Vader: https://mammothprog.bandcamp.com/track/aware

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby ExDementia » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:05 am

Koshchei wrote:Not my thing, but glad Andy's happy. I much prefer Wes Thrailkill's tone from a set of Lithiums in a Vader: https://mammothprog.bandcamp.com/track/aware

I generally prefer passives as well, but to be fair, there is a whole lot else going into those two tones than the pickups. I'll reserve judgement until we get a solid demo/comparison.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby UnexplodedCow » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:46 pm

I'm also a big fan of passives, but in the past year or two have started playing more actives, and don't regret it.

I love the ability to roll back volume without changing tone/dynamics, and being able to use a single channel amp very effectively, even when it's set to high gain, and have just a hint of breakup at ultra-low volume, and then roll it up for leads. Passive never gave me the same thing.

However, a good passive has its own thing going on, and I enjoy that, too, but I still lean toward a "hot" pickup.

One could easily have option paralysis from the sheer amount of choices these days. When I started playing, and without internet, the options were *extremely* limited locally, often to a "we don't stock it, and won't order it," option, leaving one to mail-order a set of Carvin pickups (and thus starting the sickness).
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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby Crud Bonemeal » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:20 am

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Crud Bonemeal wrote:are these pups Andy James used to record his Shred Collab solo?

I think so, all his pre-signature Kiesels have EMgs.

well i think they sounded darn good!

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:22 pm

Something sort of cool...

So the volume knob is push/pull. This switches between two modes: a more modern, and a more "classic" mode. One kind of neat feature: they ship with the "classic" mode as the "knob pulled up" position. However, if you find that you use that one more, you can open up the control cavity and flip a switch on the PCB, and it switches which mode is the default "knob pushed in" option.

The 5-way switch does enact coil splitting in the 2 and 4 positions. 1 and 5 are the individual humbuckers, and *I believe* 3 is both humbuckers.

No passive mode.

Pickups can be spotted visually because they are two rows of non-adjustable slugs.

No word, that I've seen, on if it can be paired with the piezo system.

The AJ6 and AJ7 Andy James signature models come with pickups bobbins painted color-matched to coordinate with the available burst colors: Red, silver, KRG, and some sort of blue...and a yellow, I think.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby UnexplodedCow » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:17 am

Hmmmm....that dual voicing setup is what the Fluence does, too.

I wonder if they're licensing a special build from Fishman, or came up with their own idea, based on Fishman's design.
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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby Zeus7 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:51 am

spudmunkey wrote:...
No word, that I've seen, on if it can be paired with the piezo system.
...


Immediately mailed "his guys" with exactly this question as soon as the Polarities were announced :wink:

According to them it's not possible to pair Polarity pups and acoustic saddles, which I find very sorry and wonder why this couldn't be accomplished in a total new design which the Polarities claim to be!?

Well, sad for me but very fortunate for my wallet.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby Koshchei » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:18 pm

I'm not sure of the exact details, but from the sound of it, the acoustic setup requires considerable space, which might prevent this from being feasible.

Jeff might want to explore using a plug-in piezo daughter-board that could be easily connected into the main preamp as an add-on. Of course, while modularizing the electronics would make a lot of sense from a production standpoint, it would probably cost a fortune to engineer.

Of course, as we're finally becoming aware in this day and age, where plastic is contaminating literally everything (from the cells in our bodies to the deeps of the Marianas Trench), and global weather patterns are extreme and erratic, more batteries in landfills seems a little irresponsible.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby Zeus7 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:40 am

The question popped up at his last live Q&A, too, and Jeff explained that both units (acoustic preamp and Polarity preamp) need separate 9V supplies and he doesn't want to put two battery compartments into his guitars.

But maybe Lee McKinney gets interested in the Polarities or Andy James in the acoustic saddles and then we will see... but that's just my humble opinion ;-)

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby UnexplodedCow » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:22 am

Zeus7 wrote:The question popped up at his last live Q&A, too, and Jeff explained that both units (acoustic preamp and Polarity preamp) need separate 9V supplies and he doesn't want to put two battery compartments into his guitars.

But maybe Lee McKinney gets interested in the Polarities or Andy James in the acoustic saddles and then we will see... but that's just my humble opinion ;-)


That makes little sense, as both would run off 9 volts, and a single battery can supply power, though the lifespan of a single battery may be questionable. Power draw is the unknown factor; we don't know how much the pickups themselves draw, or the piezo preamp.

If the pickups are like EMGs, we can speculate the power draw. If the piezo preamp is like anything else I've seen, then both can work on a single battery, and the power draw will cut the lifespan down to about two months of daily use (assuming 2-3 hours of play time each day), which is pretty much what I'm seeing out of a pair of Fluence moderns, too.

It's all just speculation, but is entirely possible.
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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby X1Glider » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:13 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:
Zeus7 wrote:The question popped up at his last live Q&A, too, and Jeff explained that both units (acoustic preamp and Polarity preamp) need separate 9V supplies and he doesn't want to put two battery compartments into his guitars.


That makes little sense, as both would run off 9 volts, and a single battery can supply power, though the lifespan of a single battery may be questionable. Power draw is the unknown factor; we don't know how much the pickups themselves draw, or the piezo preamp.

If the pickups are like EMGs, we can speculate the power draw. If the piezo preamp is like anything else I've seen, then both can work on a single battery, and the power draw will cut the lifespan down to about two months of daily use (assuming 2-3 hours of play time each day), which is pretty much what I'm seeing out of a pair of Fluence moderns, too.

'zackly. Makes little sense. I have a bass with 2 battery boxes. They still put 2 battery boxes in the basses. What make a guitar so special?

Also, another option, since this is basically a Super Strat type, is to use the Fishman rechargeable rear trem cover. It's going to have a cover no matter what, so why not use a battery powered one? It can handle a Ghost and the Fluences just fine and no separate battery boxes needed.

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Re: New "Polarity" active pickups

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:26 pm

A lack of space in the guitars, specifically headless, would be an issue with using two battery boxes. However, wiring can be run from a single battery to power the preamps in both the piezo and active pickups.

If higher volts are required, use a DC-DC voltage booster module (very cheap, and pretty efficient for low-power use), and switch out to even a couple AA batteries, or a lithium battery with charge port on it. Using different batteries is more useful for having added current capacity, even with having to boost voltage. The Fishman backplate method is pretty choice, and a good idea, except if the battery develops a problem and internally shorts; in that case the player will have a firestorm aimed at their belly, or lower. I've had lithium batteries go into runaway, and getting them back down from that is no fun. Neither are exploding/burning batteries.

I think the 9V is not a great battery, anyway, since it has such low current capability. The saving grace is that an active guitar has very low current draw, even compared to a simple distortion pedal.
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

Guitar theorem: G=X+1 where G= guitars one needs, and X = guitars one has.

Do or do not; there is no understand.


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