Guitar Attack and Decay

Posted: February 4, 2016 in DIY, Effects, Guitar, Ideas To Be Developed
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Awhile back, I found this page while doing research for building effects pedals or amplifiers.  Jack Orman has some really great information and ideas on his site for many different circuits, modifications, and adaptations.  I’ve found it to be quite inspiring and I encourage anyone who is interested in guitar or effects technology to check out his site.

Another reason I’ve posted this is for reference.  I’m planning to do some calculations soon and wanted to show an example of a guitar’s output voltage.  In many places, including calculations done by Merlin Blencowe and others, 1 Volt is used as a baseline for preamp input or for calculating distortion for a 12ax7 individually.  As an average, that isn’t too different from Jack’s result of a 1.2 Volt transient.

He mentions also using a Strat and doesn’t mention any difference in characteristics beyond the size of the signal.  If the pickup is properly adjusted, the physics of a guitar string will not change much when the inducer (pickup) is changed.  Only the size and strength of the magnetic field is different, but the field is relatively weak in any case.  Considering the tension of a string, this would only make the string behavior change by small amounts (if at all), but not enough to greatly effect the results.  The exceptions to this would be inducing feedback with a sustaining device (E-bow, Sustainiac), but that isn’t under consideration.

Thus, active pickups, which produce transients up to 2 to 4 volts in most cases, can be scaled upwards from the 1 Volt numbers for minimum and maximum over 4 seconds and still be considered reasonably accurate as an average.


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