Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

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burgrluv
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Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by burgrluv » Sun May 09, 2021 9:41 am

Hey, wondering if anyone has compared the Duncan SLD-1s to Danelectro's stock offerings?

Seem's funny to to pay big bucks for a boutique pickup that was essentially designed to be cheap, but if they're anything like the lipsticks in my old Silvertone, I'd be more than than happy to cough up the cash.

Thanks in advance,
Burgrluv

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by marqueemoon » Sun May 09, 2021 10:51 am

Check out Nep-Tone if you’re after the old school lipstick sound.

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by burgrluv » Sun May 09, 2021 11:06 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 10:51 am
Check out Nep-Tone if you’re after the old school lipstick sound.
Funny that you should mention, been looking at Nep-Tone some but doesn't seem like Doug is selling any atm.

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by marqueemoon » Sun May 09, 2021 11:23 am

burgrluv wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:06 am
marqueemoon wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 10:51 am
Check out Nep-Tone if you’re after the old school lipstick sound.
Funny that you should mention, been looking at Nep-Tone some but doesn't seem like Doug is selling any atm.
Did you contact him and ask?

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burgrluv
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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by burgrluv » Sun May 09, 2021 11:57 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:23 am
burgrluv wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:06 am
marqueemoon wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 10:51 am
Check out Nep-Tone if you’re after the old school lipstick sound.
Funny that you should mention, been looking at Nep-Tone some but doesn't seem like Doug is selling any atm.
Did you contact him and ask?
Kinda sleeping on Nep-Tone atm because the Duncans are considerably cheaper, $70 per pickup as opposed to $90. To be honest, the Duncans are already a little pricey given that they're going into a $200 Chinese dano.

Just found what is probably the best lipstick shootout out there (to my knowledge): https://www.fretfiles.com/the-fret-files-episode-29/
The Danelectro reissue pups have noticeably less shimmer/clarity when compared to the Duncans or Nep-Tones. In fact they all sound pretty great, both the Duncans and Nep-Tones hold up very well to the originals. Might have to buy me some Duncans.
Last edited by burgrluv on Sun May 09, 2021 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by marqueemoon » Sun May 09, 2021 1:26 pm

burgrluv wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:57 am
marqueemoon wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:23 am
burgrluv wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:06 am


Funny that you should mention, been looking at Nep-Tone some but doesn't seem like Doug is selling any atm.
Did you contact him and ask?
Kinda sleeping on Nep-Tone atm because the Duncans are considerably cheaper, $70 per pickup as opposed to $90. To be honest, the duncans are already a little pricey given that they're going into a $200 Chinese dano.

Just found what is probably the best lipstick shootout out there (to my knowledge): https://www.fretfiles.com/the-fret-files-episode-29/
The Danelectro reissue pups have noticeably less shimmer in the high end when compared to the duncans or Nep-Tones. In fact they all sound pretty great, both the Duncans and Nep-Tones hold up very well to the originals. Might have to buy me some duncans.
That’s cool. I’m sure the Duncans are a step up. The best sounding lipsticks I ever played are Jerry Jones, and my Nep Tones are close and have a hum canceling middle position. Not vintage correct, but more useful for my application.

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by mbene085 » Sun May 09, 2021 2:44 pm

Duncan lipsticks for strat are wound with a smaller wire gauge with more turns, and a smaller, weaker A5 magnet compared to vintage lipsticks.

They'll have a more prominent, lower resonant peak as a result, sort of partway between what a vintage lipstick and vintage strat pickup do.

They're still lovely sounding pickups, but electrically and tonally, they're not the real deal.

It's kind of like making PAF-sized "P90s" or "Jazzmaster single coils." Compromises have to be made to make the design work in a smaller footprint, and although there will be similarities, they're ultimately not not same tone as the originals.

A big, strong magnet in an inductance-raising and eddy current-generating cover with a low wind of thick wire wound directly onto the bar is what makes a lipstick tube pickup a lipstick tube pickup.

Most modern/cheap strat-sized lipstick pickups are essentially a single Firebird bobbin widened slightly to accommodate holding a standard A5 PAF bar magnet. Some (like GFS) even use A2, which is just moving even farther from the original recipe of a big strong magnet with fewer windings.

The bigger the magnet, the more output/inductance you get from a small coil. The small coil has such a high resonant peak that, after the high end is attenuated by the covers eddy currents, you get a more or less flat frequency response extending as far into the treble range as guitar amps tend to handle anyway.

That's why they sound bright, but distinct from Fender singles. Fenders have giant peaks at their resonant frequencies that, depending on wind and cable capacitance, can move into "icepick" territory.

A vintage lipstick has none of that. Clear, bright, but flat, so no one frequency can be offensive.

When you make the magnet weaker, you exacerbate the low output inherent to the design by lowering it further, and are forced to compensate with more windings to raise inductance and output to a usable range. The strat-sozed covers really limit the size of the coil though (it's a round profile, so you have less space in there than a standard strat bobbin!), so to get more windings, you have to use smaller gauge wire.

Overwound pickups with finer gauge wire have been popular for almost half a century now (those was the "secret moves" of Seymour Duncan and Larry DiMarzio in the 70's), but that output comes at a cost of a lowered resonant/cutoff frequency, which, in the case of a lipstick, means that the flat response won't extend across the whole treble spectrum anymore. It'll fall off early, essentially sounding like a vintage lipstick with the tone knob rolled down.

The other secret to vintage lipstick tone is wiring two pickups in series. Because they have such low inductance and such high resonant frequencies, they combine in series in a unique way that maintains more treble and avoids the honky midrange you get from, say, two strat pickups or two PAF bobbins in series. That's the secret to the fabled "kashmir" tone, and the underpowered magnets and overwound coils compound their tonal impact when wired in series, making that tone on a strat loaded with Duncans even more different from the vintage pickups.

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by BillClay » Sun May 09, 2021 4:17 pm

Does Guitarfetish still do low wind lipsticks?

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by burgrluv » Sun May 09, 2021 6:50 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 2:44 pm
Duncan lipsticks for strat are wound with a smaller wire gauge with more turns, and a smaller, weaker A5 magnet compared to vintage lipsticks.

Most modern/cheap strat-sized lipstick pickups are essentially a single Firebird bobbin widened slightly to accommodate holding a standard A5 PAF bar magnet. Some (like GFS) even use A2, which is just moving even farther from the original recipe of a big strong magnet with fewer windings.
Yeah, sadly the only one still making lipstick tubes with A6 magnets seems to be Curtis Novak, and they're far from cheap. Not sure I'm ready to spend more on pickups than on the guitar they'd be going into. But a very well laid out treatise on lipstick pickups, I appreciate the insight.

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by burgrluv » Sun May 09, 2021 7:40 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 2:44 pm

That's why they sound bright, but distinct from Fender singles. Fenders have giant peaks at their resonant frequencies that, depending on wind and cable capacitance, can move into "icepick" territory.

A vintage lipstick has none of that. Clear, bright, but flat, so no one frequency can be offensive.
On this note, how key do you think danelectro pot values are to their unique sonic profile? Want to go for a a master volume/tone on my DC 59 (can't do the stacked knobs, they just want to move as one) and it's surprisingly difficult to find 100k pots with the correct shaft here in Canada. Do you think 500k tone and 250k volume could achieve a similar effect?

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Re: Lipstick pickups: Seymour Duncan vs stock Danelectro

Post by øøøøøøø » Mon May 10, 2021 2:29 pm

I haven't yet found a new lipstick style pickup that does what the old ones do exactly.

It seems counterintuitive... the originals were nothing more esoteric than a bar magnet with some copper wire wrapped around, taped up with electrical tape and shoved in a literal lipstick tube.

But there was something about it.

One thing is that the old ones used an AlNiCo VI magnet, which isn't as common to see (most other pickups are AlNiCo II, IV, or V). So that might be a factor... plain enamel wire, I believe, and no wax potting.

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