Enhanced possibilities: Active Guitar-Electronics

In our third installment of articles by Helmuth Lemme, we go  – compared to the last topic of low impedance pickups and a lot of tricks to get various sound out of passive guitar electrics – completely the other way: we are looking at the possibilities that active guitar electronics offer. Once we get over the issue of having a battery onboard our guitars, active electronics would really seem the way to go. No more worrying about cable capacitance and length, about passive controls robbing high end and “cut” in our sound. Active filters are possible that get rid of muddiness in the sound, or push the mids for a really screaming solo …

So let’s see what Helmuth has to say about

Active Guitar Electronics ….

P.S.: this article was originally issued in the magazine SUSTAIN (May, 2013); we appreciate being given the permission to re-publish it here!

A vintage story: restoring an old Burns Bass

Helmuth Lemme is not just an expert in electronics but also a true hands-on craftsman who loves working on guitars and basses. He has a particular knack for bringing derelict instruments of lesser well-known makes back to life, actually not just restoring them but often making them much better in sound and playability than they originally were! One example case is described in the article

Restoring an old Burns Bass

a read of which should be a lot of fun for every vintage aficionado!

P.S.: this article was originally issued in the magazine SUSTAIN (May, 2013); we appreciate being given the permission to re-publish it here!

Potential trouble-makers in the amp: Passive Offenders

In the last articles posted here, author and guitar & amp expert Helmuth Lemme has been looking at pickups and circuitry in guitars … now we switch to the partners of these instruments, the amplifier. There is a lot of continued discussion about tubes vs. solid-state devices, and indeed these active components are what drives the amp. However, passive components are required, as well – and although they are much less discussed, they are worth some consideration, too … especially in tube amps. On this subject, check Helmuth’s article

Passive Offenders

P.S.: this article was originally issued in audioxpress.com (August, 2015); we appreciate being given the permission to re-publish it here!

 

Under the looking-glass: Measuring Pickups

Magnetic pickups for electric guitars really are very simple devices: a magnet, some wire wound as a coil within the magnetic field … that’s it. However, due to the specific circumstances around the electric guitar and ist amplification as it has historically evolved, these pickups have some idiosyncrasies that give them their sound. Of course, our ears are the real judges when it comes to that sound … but our ears have their limitations. Moreover … or rather to add to the issue,  a brain (hopefully 😉) is connected to these ears which brings perceptional psychology into play and many corresponding potentially ‘erroneous zones’. Physics certainly can be of help to avoid some traps when judging the sound of pickups – specifically, make some measurements here and there can be most helpful. Beware, though: the very popular simple measurement of the ohmic resistance of pickup DOES NOT CUT IT! There’s more to consider, and this is what Helmut Lemme’s article on there matter is all about:

Measuring Guitar-Pickups

P.S.: this article was originally issued in the magazine SUSTAIN (May, 2013); we appreciate being given the permission to re-publish it here!

 

So many options: wiring electric Double-Neck Guitars

Electric double-neck guitars are very special beasts … not easy to wield but very impressive in several ways – especially in a live-setting. If you own one, chances are that you have thought about about modifying their circuitry according to your own special needs, or have even already taken corresponding action. I certainly have modded mine …

Here, Helmuth Lemme looks into this specific issue:

Wiring Doubleneck Guitars

P.S.: this article was originally issued in the magazine SUSTAIN (September, 2012); we appreciate being given the permission to re-publish it here!