New PRS TCI Pickup Video !

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Andrew Paul, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul The cat's meow

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    2,793
    Posted today! Paul Reed Smith explaining the TCI pickups comparison, TCI humbucker’s in Mccarty 594 and Silver Sky single coil TCI. Really great video, a lot better than my iPhone video comparing the 2018 Paul’s guitar TCI pups to 2014 408 pick ups LOL. Check out

     
  2. RickP

    RickP One Guitar Short...

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2019
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    1,346
    I’m looking forward to comments on this and what people think it means. I’d have more liked to hear a comparison between, say, the original 58/15LT in a MC594 and a TCI 58/15LT in an identically equipped MC594. My question, and I think this is the same for most people, is not whether you’ll hear different overtones between a McCarty and a Silver Sky but would you hear the difference between a pre-TCI and a identical-other-than-TCI model.

    In laymen’s terms... does it sound noticeably better?

    By the way, I do get that he was pointing out the desired tones are different for the two different pickups/guitar types. What I’m saying is that, while I appreciate the big man himself explaining what and why TCI was developed to do, I think the bigger question is how it compares to its predecessors.
     
    #2 RickP, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    iprome, BrianC, ooglybong and 4 others like this.
  3. ChesterB

    ChesterB New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    39
    I would have like to have heard a non TCI Humbucker compared to a TCI version. Same for the single coil.
     
    pjdude likes this.
  4. NBW

    NBW New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    188
    This. Sure both those guitars sound great. They should, they’re north of two grand. They’re being played through two grand worth of amplification. What I want to know is what is the improvement over non TCI variants. I’ve heard the TCIs in the Paul’s SE (and therefore the 35th Anniversary SE) split better. But who knows. I hope they’re more to my liking than the 85/15s
     
  5. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,138
    Likes Received:
    10,168
    DOH!
    Uploaded this myself a few mins ago.
     
    bodia, Andrew Paul, Tonart and 2 others like this.
  6. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Messages:
    1,287
    Likes Received:
    2,582
    I feel like he was trying to explain in "layman's" terms (really, musician terms) for something that no layman is going to be able to hear.

    Not even sure I heard it. I used to think I was pretty good at listening to stuff, but I'm not a professional musician any more.

    Perhaps @LSchefman can weigh in? :D
     
    Alnus Rubra, g.wizz and LSchefman like this.
  7. WA Paul

    WA Paul It’s ok...I’m with Manny dog

    Joined:
    May 11, 2017
    Messages:
    2,947
    Likes Received:
    6,120
    Timbre? Kind of like dialing in the color / shading they want from the pickups on a specific guitar. In theory this would allow more consistency of tone through the pickups between different guitars of the same model - e.g. less variance between on DC594 and another DC594.

    The differences in the color / shading or parametric EQ curve applied to the pickups would vary more model to model, but less so between guitars of the same model. Makes sense why the SC594 needs a different bridge pickup than the DC594 in TCI world.

    I guess the non-TCI pickups would have more variance between guitars of the same model since they’re not adjusting the color / shading or parametric EQ for the guitar.

    I’m curious if there is a noticeable difference between the acoustic / unplugged frequencies generated from a guitar versus the plugged in - might give a clue how macro vs micro the TCI color / shading or parametric EQ is for a specific guitar.
     
  8. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    1,851
    Likes Received:
    6,234
    In layman’s terms, I can’t hear that magic constant note to save my life. I will have to consult with my pet bat. LOL.
     
  9. FunkyFreeman

    FunkyFreeman Moo Panuwat

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    217
    It seems that PRS plays with just pickups, not other electrical components. But eventually there's no explanation on how PRS tuned those TCI-suffixed pickups and how the precess differs from the way other pup manufacturers do.

    Such loose explanation that leaves many questions will no doubt leads someone to think that TCI might be just another marketing term from PRS.
    I think PRS should reveal a bit more of in-depth info with solid evedence on how they applied TCI method/tooling/technology to their lineups.
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,759
    Likes Received:
    21,844
    If I understand this correctly, they’re able to tune the resonant frequency of each pickup.

    On a synth, the resonant frequency is set with the lowpass filter and resonance control. The resonance is a high frequency peak right at the point where the filter starts to roll off high end. It can be set to create a small peak, or a large peak in the frequency response, or something in between, or it can be turned off.

    Some filters allow more than one resonant peak. But wherever you set resonance, it’s going to affect that frequency, I.e., that note. And because all notes throw off multiple harmonics, you’re always going to hear that frequency to a greater or lesser degree in the overtones.

    On most pickups, that resonant peak is left to random chance. Paul’s doing what a synthesist does with a resonant filter - - he’s tuning it to compliment the particular guitar design.

    You’re hearing it of course; resonances and harmonic overtones are what makes a Strat sound different from a Les Paul. It’s the stuff that gives a guitar a particular voice.

    What Paul’s doing is tuning that voice. Cool concept.

    It isn’t necessary that one is able to identify the frequency of that resonant peak. It’s basically still a question of whether the guitar sounds good to us when we play it.

    Because the pickups aren’t the only resonance a guitar has. There’s also the wood, the metal parts, the strings, and even the plastic bits. They all vibrate, and they all have their own resonances. But being the transducer directly connected to the amp electrically, the pickups’ resonances are pretty important.
     
  11. Warmart

    Warmart PRS noob

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2019
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    381
    He's like a magician switching those guitars, so seemless :rolleyes::D
     
    Andrew Paul likes this.
  12. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul The cat's meow

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    2,793
    BOOM ! Beautiful explanation! Wish I could’ve wrote that. I was reading some of the replies last night before I fell asleep and I was thinking about how I was going to explain the resonant frequency and their harmonics, you nailed it.

    The only TCI pickups I have are the ones on my Paul’s guitar. I love their voicing. I’m not saying TCI pickups are better than any other PRS pickups just different, And for me the TCI on the Paul’s is the tone I’m looking for. Who knows what lies in store next, maybe I’ll find pickups and a guitar with a nicer tone than the ones I have now. That’s the beauty of this art, the possibilities are endless.

    Thanks Les
     
  13. Domingo Lantigua

    Domingo Lantigua New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    69
    TCI intrigues me, it keeps me up at night. Nowhere in the video does he say what is actually being done differently to achieve the results. I'm Ok with that since it my be proprietary. Some folks have said that it's the addition or of certain components. So, do we wind the pickup, then measure it's resonant frequency and adjust something? Add a cap, remove windings? Who knows? I would like to know the meat and potatoes of the process. Here is an interesting read
    http://www.buildyourguitar.com/resources/lemme/
     
  14. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul The cat's meow

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    2,793
    Great reply!! Thank you!
     
    LSchefman and WA Paul like this.
  15. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    4,078
    Likes Received:
    3,868
    I see that your curiosity is piqued, but honestly, PRS has less than zero obligation to reveal anything about TCI. If anything, due to the competitive nature of the market, and the possible patents, it would behoove them to say as little as possible. And there have been enough things spread across various threads that I think there is some actual unique technique going on that makes it "worth while" from the tiny-incremental improvements point of view.

    For me, I doubt I will be able to hear the difference, and I doubt I would ever specifically pay more for two otherwise-identical guitars, but one had TCI. I mean, before TCI, I really loved the tonez we could get out of the 594 line.
     
  16. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    707
    You're on the right track. When they came out with this I went down the rabbit hole of every possible way they achieved this along with how they're splitting coils and doing a partial tap with a resistor.

    On one of the older TCI threads I explained exactly how, as a manufacturer, you can have total control of all the pickup parameters. It turns into simple math when you wind a pickup because you know the resistance, you can measure the inductance with an oscilloscope, and then by changing the capacitance you can set target frequencies.

    It is possible to TCI any pickup, I did it in my McCarty on the bridge to bring the split resonant frequency down just a little into Tele territory but it's all guesswork because I don't know the inductance.

    You can also use TCI with a "split" humbucker to leave the coil that would normally be grounded in the circuit and filter out all frequencies above ~60hz or so. That means all the notes on a guitar will pass through only one coil while all the hum is cancelled. The only downside is you lose some low end thump but in context, most of that gets lost anyways.
     
  17. MarshallMike

    MarshallMike New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2018
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    34
    I think that vid was rather pointless. Comparing a single coil to a humbucker is obviously going to sound different.
    I don't get the point of the vid at all. To put it in layman's terms:
    comparing apples to oranges doesn't do anything for me.
     
    g.wizz, ooglybong, RickP and 2 others like this.
  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,759
    Likes Received:
    21,844
    I don’t think the point was to compare one guitar with the other. It was to explain the TCI concept and what its purpose is, and then play two examples of guitars with the pickups that Paul thinks show off the concept.

    If you’re very attuned to what the harmonics of a note sound like, you perhaps pick up on how nice the TCI overtones sound. Truth is, most folks don’t consciously think about or differentiate between overtones, or even know what to listen for. Nor do they need to. “That sounds great,” is quite sufficient.

    It’s like this: most folks can’t tune a piano. They don’t know what to listen for (the really great tuners can adjust those overtones and control how they beat against one another because they’re trained to listen for certain things). Even the great performers have folks that do that for them, and good tuners are highly prized. “It sounds good,” or “Something’s not right,” is enough for the performer, the rest is the tuner’s job.

    We just need the guitar to sound good. In truth, that’s enough, right? If you love the tone, you buy the guitar. If not, you don’t. The science and process is interesting, but what matters is the end result.

    Paul could play two identical guitars, one with, and one without TCI, and most of us would either say they like one better than the other, or not, but couldn’t tell you why.

    And that’s ok.

    Of course, we hear what Paul hears, but don’t break it down to its component parts since that takes ear training, as with the piano tuner. As a synthesist and sound designer, I think I can distinguish what he was doing with the overtones, but that’s a definite maybe!

    The guitars did sound good. That’s enough.
     
  19. Domingo Lantigua

    Domingo Lantigua New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2019
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    69
    Here is an excerpt from buildyourguitar.com
    "With this knowledge, you can find which type of sounds appeal to you the most, and possibly bend and shape the frequency response with external capacitors and resistors to "tune" pickups to your liking (and for the best match to the body and strings"
    Notice the use of the word "tune".
     
  20. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    707
    You should go read everything Bill Lawrence wrote. I think you might enjoy that.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice