Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

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JVG
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Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by JVG » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:49 pm

Hi folks,

I’m in the process of putting together an Electric XII replica. I’ll be getting Novak pickups, unless someone can mount a good argument for doing otherwise.

Now, I know the topic of Electric XII pickups has been discussed before, and I’ve re-read old posts, but still would like opinions from those familiar with Novak XII pickups.

The main question in my mind is, should I go for the ‘fat’ bridge or the ‘stock’ bridge.

I know about the structural difference between the two (and the reason for it), but would love to hear opinions/comments from anyone who has actually played them.

Cheers!
J.

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mbene085
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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by mbene085 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:16 pm

I have the regular neck and "fat" bridge. It's not that fat. I can't really imagine too many people enjoying the less-fat version. Mine is in a 6-string, and it is not by any means a very fat sounding pickup. The regular one on a real XII would be thinner than I'd want, personally, and I like bright pickups.

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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by JVG » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:33 pm

Ah yes, I’ve seen pics of your guitar, and a beautiful thing it is!

Good info, thankyou.

I also like reasonably bright pickups, and usually run a mile when I see something labelled as ‘fat’ or ‘overwound’, but perhaps this is an exception!

My concern was mainly whether the ‘fat’ version might lack definition on the low strings, particularly as I intend to use flatwounds.

Extra opinions still welcome 🙂

J.
Last edited by JVG on Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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marqueemoon
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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:42 pm

No experience with the Novak pickups, but I have a stock vintage XII I use mostly for recording. For that use case I like the brightness. It’s a controlled environment and I can easily dial it back via the tone control, how the amp is set, mic placement, etc...

For live use though I’d want a thicker bridge sound. It would balance better with another guitar when switching and I usually favor the throatier pickup selections anyway.

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ryland
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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by ryland » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:44 pm

I put a set of the ‘Fat’ ones in my build. When I talked to Curtis about it, he seemed hesitant to sell me the non-fat version...that should tell you something. And I agree, they aren’t that ‘Fat’ at all, so I imagine the stock ones could use the extra calories.

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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by mbene085 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:57 pm

JVG wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:33 pm
Ah yes, I’ve seen pics of your guitar, and a beautiful thing it is!

Good info, thankyou.

I also like reasonably bright pickups, and usually run a mile when I see something labelled as ‘fat’ or ‘overwound’, but perhaps this is an exception!

My concern was mainly whether the ‘fat’ version might lack definition on the low strings, particularly as I intend to use flatwounds.

Extra opinions still welcome 🙂

J.
Don't confuse "fat" with "overwound" in this case. Curtis really believes in underwound/vintage style pickups and doesn't typically overwind anything. The "fat" stems from larger magnets and lower gauge (thicker, i.e. "Fatter") wire in the coil. The result, like with his JM-FAT pickup, it something that is still decidedly vintage in output, just a little thicker compared to the vintage model. In the case of both JMs and XIIs, the bridge pickups are REALLY thin, and "a little thicker" still equates "thin and trebly in a good way".

They're not hot, they're not overwound - they're just made using different wire and magnets that yield a small boost in output and low end. They don't have the midrange honk of overwound pups.

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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by JVG » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:35 pm

Good point. I think the terms ‘fat’ and ‘overwound’ tend to get used interchangeably (including by me sometimes), when they really shouldn’t.

So, both of you guys are making me think the Novak ‘fat’ is a good choice. Thanks for the guidance!

I have quite a few Novak pickups and agree with the general opinion that he really knows his stuff, so I have full confidence in him producing something awesome yet again.

Cheers!
J.

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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by mgeek » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:24 pm

aah man, I haven't even got an Electric XII, but I'm really intrigued to try one, and these pickups now. I've long been of the opinion that hot pickups basically ruin an electric 12, so really interested in subtle variations up the trebly end! Previously I'd have probably thought that there's no such thing as 'too trebly' for a twelve string bridge pickup but sounds like I'm wrong ;D

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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:01 am

mgeek wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:24 pm
there's no such thing as 'too trebly' for a twelve string bridge pickup
Amen, brother!

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Re: Electric XII pickups - calling on those with experience

Post by mgeek » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:24 am

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:01 am
mgeek wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:24 pm
there's no such thing as 'too trebly' for a twelve string bridge pickup
Amen, brother!
haha! ;) All to do with the Baldwin/Burns Double Six I had, which I've certainly ranted about before. That weighed 11 pounds and had 3 metal covered single coils that were in the region of 14k each. Aka mudsville. It was basically useless, didn't even get there with eq

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