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MisterStarshine 2nd November 2008 08:25 PM

Hexaphonic guitar pickup experiment

I've thought for many years that it would sound nice if one could have one single analog signal for each string of the guitar. Then one could stereo pan each string separately and have separate effects for the strings. I want to share my successful experiment on this subject and I've written a short article with sound samples.

Please let me know if this type of product would be considered useful or meaningful. To me it's an apparent benefit to be able to do advanced things with guitar pickups and to evolve stuff from good to even better. The best judge is your ears. With some refinement one could probably make the sound totally mindblowing.

Thanks for your time.

Best Regards

Khron 5th November 2008 08:25 PM

I'm not aware of any guitarists, but Michael Manring has a similar system on his custom Zon Hyperbass (independent output per each string).

MisterStarshine 5th November 2008 09:54 PM

In fact there are a bunch of artists and even signature guitars equipped with hexaphonic MIDI pickups. Those are in constrast to this pickup optimized and intended for MIDI signals. This applies to bass as well I think. The fortune with my pickup is the intresting sound with overdrive on some or all strings.

Khron 7th November 2008 10:50 AM

This type of "multi-pickup" might also prove (even more) interesting in the context of a Chapman stick or a Warr guitar :smash:

MisterStarshine 7th November 2008 02:54 PM

The concept would work just fine on any guitar although this prototype is only built for six stringed guitars.

ubertar 15th March 2009 05:34 AM

hexaphonic pickups
Hi, nice work on your project!

I've done some work with hexaphonic pickups as well. I don't use a preamp board... mine work well completely passive. The signal isn't quite as hot as a regular pickup, but it's close, and the signal to noise is very good, so it's easy enough to turn up the amp a bit to reach the same volume.

There's an article with pics and sound clips here:

The first pic is of two hex pickups, not a humbucker, but they could be wired together as a humbucker. The only advantage to that would be added gain, because as I said above, the signal to noise is already very good.

ubertar 15th March 2009 07:42 AM

hexaphonic pickups
I finally got around to putting up a webpage for my hexaphonic pickups: it's There's a little more info there than at the article I linked to above.

Again, congrats on your project! How do yours sound without the preamp circuit? I'm not a big fan of the sound of active pickups in general, but that's just a matter of personal taste. I haven't had a chance to check out your sound samples yet-- I will soon... but it's almost 4 am here now, so it'll have to wait...


Geek 15th March 2009 08:27 AM

Woah, this is seriously great sounding stuff! :D


ubertar 15th March 2009 03:10 PM

Just checked out the sound samples... they sound good, but all the samples have pretty much the same distorted sound. What does it sound like clean?

MisterStarshine 16th March 2009 05:47 PM

In fact, The only sample I've got is this one

Can't believe why I haven't uploaded any samples in clean mode. Don't know what I was thinking. The pickup sounds just great in clean mode as well. Although it's more challenging to make it sound good in overdrive mode in my opinion since the noise rejection is more demanding as well as the channel separation.

My hex pickup project is idle at the moment due to studies but I plan to complete the concept with a breakout box. Right now the breakout is a messy breadboard collecting dust.

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