Newark Street Starfire Pickups

guitarslinger

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I'm actually quite happy with the pickups in my Starfire IV. They are not, however, the pickups I would want in an S-100. So, for the Starfire, beauty is in the ear of the listener. As for the S-100? Let's just say I'm anxiously waiting to find out the specs on the new pickups.
 

Zelja

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Spin baby...
It is spin & I don't buy it. If they are going with the same specs on the bridge pickup, which most have complained about, then this is a mistake, IMO.

With regards to wiring coils in a pickup, the most important thing is not the DC resistance itself but the number of turns of wire around the coils. The pickup winders will go for a thinner wire in order to get more turns on a coil (to increase the inductance & get a fuller, hotter pickup). These pickups, as a result, have a higher DC resistance because there is a greater length of wire (more turns) & also because the wire is thinner (more resistance per meter or foot). Conversely the thicker wire on the bridge reissues, you would think,would result in less turns on the coils and give a brighter, weaker pickup, especially in relation to the neck, which causes the imbalance that owners have complained about. Personally I'm not a fan of overwound pickups - they lose their clarity & airiness - but these bridge re-issues seem to go too much the other way. Note, maybe I am being unfair as I haven't actually heard these pickups but am going off the first hand accounts of LTGers who do own them & who I trust (& the specs don't make any sense to me).

How about some real specs/info - no. of turns, inductance, type of magnet, is the rather unusual blade used in the non-screw coil rather than 6 studs etc?
 

guildman63

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The last sentence got my attention.

"It’s easy to fall into the trap of specs and speculations but in the end, you should always count on your ear because after all, it’s our ears which we are trying to please!"

I would argue that the ears of a the potential customers are more important, and if people are not liking the bridge pickup trying to force it on the public may not be such a good idea.
 

guildman63

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If they change them people may stop buying the pre-CMG guitars, which would leave many unsold. The other possibility is that PR says one thing, but tweaks have been made behind the scenes so that the potential issue is rectified without any admission of issues. I don't think that is so, but I'm just throwing out the possibility.

As for Andertons demo, it sounds pretty darned good to me, and on both pickups!

Guild Newark Street - Starfire IV Semi Hollow: http://youtu.be/Zs886ErZWHA
 

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Dude, the bridge minibucker sucks. It's balless and thin. It's easy to make something sound platable on youtube, with it's lousey sound quality, but I can't play those guitars. The T-400 sounds fabulous on the neck setting, but I want to pull the bridge pup out and throw it across the room. The same with the NS SF-lV. It sits in the case.
 

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In short.." We like the way they sound and it will cost too much to change. "
We have to sell these guitars somehow and we don't want to have to replace every single pup.
Think that is probably the most accurate reading of that statement.
 

bluesypicky

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Only because I enjoy beating on a dead horse (knowing he won't feel the pain):
Reproducing pick ups, amps, effects, or anything that creates or modifies an air wave by means of electronic components has always been proven to fail.
I guess it's why the vintage market will never die.
None of the newark guitars ever sounded remotely close to the HB1 (or "minibucker") in my ears, which kinda suggests that it takes more than reverse engineering to recreate a sound generated by a component from the past.
Live with it. :laughing:
 
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That's because they aren't supposed to be hb-1s, BP! They are minibuckers. They got the neck right, but Fender screwed the pooch on the bridge pup.
 

Walter Broes

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That is some weird crap, that blog post. I briefly owned a first-year Starfire IV, and it had the minibuckers, of course. You had to fiddle with the pickup heights some to get them to balance, but that's true for every guitar, maybe even more so for hollowbodies and semi-hollowbodies. But both pickups were pretty damn angry and powerful. I've played Newark Street SFIV and CE100 guitars, and while the new pickups do get in the ballpark of the oldies, they're brighter and a little more polite and controlled sounding to my ears. And Steve is right - and got it confirmed too, from Cordoba - that bridge pickup just isn't right.

Is this blog post some lame kind of smoke screen to kill the talk that's been going on here about the guitars that are out there while they fix the next generation? Because I read in there somehow that they're not even planning to fix it.

Another thing : if you're winding a set of pickups, and you're using smaller wire on one pickup, wouldn't it make a lot more sense to use the smaller wire on the bridge pickup so you can get more wire on it for a little more output and midrange?

Strange story. I guess I'm lucky I'm not into humbuckers - not that I thought the N.S. Franz pickups were perfect, but at least they're pretty close for a cheap-ish Korean guitar, and not a strange unbalanced set.
 

guildman63

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Steve, there's no need to get on me as I was just posing a possible theory, and commented that the Anderton video sounds good, which it does. Sure, YouTube videos can sound artificial, yet I have heard many videos of nice vintage guitars that did not sound as good. So while videos can appear better, they can just as easily appear worse.

Perhaps the point to consider is that a big part of the target market are younger players that can afford 1K, but not much more. Few of them are likely to have any experience with a vintage Starfire IV, and therefore there is no basis of comparison. Relative to other brands the demand for SF IV's in the early days wasn't that big, so perhaps CMG is risking alienating the relatively small vintage crowd in the hope that they appeal to a much larger and younger crowd that don't know any better. Vintage Starfire IV lovers may not like the bridge pickup, but perhaps it will appeal to many others. And for those that aren't happy with the bridge pup they can easily and relatively inexpensively have it re-wound. Again, I am not saying this is true, just that it is a plausible explanation.
 

GAD

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"The Starfire’s LB-1 Little Bucker"

That's a fun name!
 

Zelja

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Perhaps the point to consider is that a big part of the target market are younger players that can afford 1K, but not much more. Few of them are likely to have any experience with a vintage Starfire IV, and therefore there is no basis of comparison. Relative to other brands the demand for SF IV's in the early days wasn't that big, so perhaps CMG is risking alienating the relatively small vintage crowd in the hope that they appeal to a much larger and younger crowd that don't know any better. Vintage Starfire IV lovers may not like the bridge pickup, but perhaps it will appeal to many others.
I can't see how a weak, thin & badly balanced compared to the neck pickup would appeal to anyone. There can be be no significant cost savings in intentionally designing the bridge pickup to be the way it is. There would be a one off cost now in changing the process, but really how much could it be in the scheme of things?

No, someone just stuffed up with the initial prototype/design, which was carried into production & now someone else is trying to justify the stuff up (IMO).
 
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