Hot answers tagged

21

In short, to give a better treble response (the closer to the bridge, the more trebley the sound). It reduces bass that may ruin the sound, and gives a twangier brighter sound without sounding muddy. Fender were the first ones to introduce it, with the Broadcaster (later Telecaster) and it was such a great idea that it was put on the Stratocaster, and has ...


17

The distance from the pickup to the strings determines - in simple terms - the strength of the magnetic field acting on the strings. Since a standard magnetic pickup (active or passive) is an electromagnetic transducer, the output voltage is generated when a string vibrates in a magnetic field. So far so good, what of the pickup height? The stronger the ...


13

Piezo-electric transducers lurking under the saddles on the bridge! just like acoustic guitars have possessed for ages. Now bassists have the opportunity to use this technology. It's not new, but quite new on basses. Next may be a 'hybrid' with standard pups and p-e ts.


12

It may be worth noting that for the exact same reasons mentioned in Alistair Maxwell's response for why it is angled as it is, there are some players who prefer to angle it the other way, although that is far less common. The closer a pickup is to the bridge the brighter it sounds, and Strat style single coil pickups are naturally bright anyway, so switching ...


12

You're not lucky---well, you might be lucky in many other ways :), but just not in this particular way. The noise reduction you experience is intentional. Here's the basic idea: The coils in your pickups "pick up" noise in addition to the vibration of the strings. Everyone's pickups do. When you have two pickups selected at once, the signal you hear is ...


11

The pickups are "powered" by the movement of the strings. The effects processor amplifies the signal until it's powerful enough to be heard. If you plugged your headphones in directly, there wouldn't be enough signal even when you bang hard on the strings to hear anything through your headphones.


11

Time was, Fender Stratocasters used a three-position switch, corresponding to neck, middle and bridge pickups. Granted, single-coil, so just bear with me. Players discovered that, if you put the switch in the right position, you could get the neck-and-middle and bridge-and-middle sounds. Jimi Hendrix is a popularizer of this technique, and it became popular ...


10

You certainly can, but I don't think you will get a great return on investment. Doing this well requires special equipment that people like you and me likely don't own or have the funds to purchase. If instead you are referring to wiring your pickups to the miscellaneous controls in the cavity and experimenting with unique switching configurations I ...


9

I used to pull off the covers on my old humbuckers, but, frankly, I couldn't hear a difference. I would hear a difference when I substituted new magnets. I think it's possible there is a very, very minor change, but in general you're more likely to hear a change rewinding the coils, replacing magnets, adjusting the pole-pieces, or using a more-metalic ...


9

You will surely not be able to play a strong single coil in the H-H guitar. You could tap a 4-wire humbucker for a single coil sound, but in my experience the tapped humbucker doesn't sound as "warm" as a separate single coil. I too wanted the best of both worlds and I took the following approach. Keep in mind that there are further differences in the ...


8

It tends to mean it is a higher output pick-up. This would drive your amp/gear "harder" than the non-hot pickup, giving a more dirty/distorted (some would say more modern) tone. Like many things though, it is all relative. My Telecaster has "Hot" pick-ups, so they are more Rock than a traditional Telecaster pick-up, but they still have a lower output than a ...


8

IMHO, it's generally not a good idea to buy an acoustic/electric that lists for anything less than $1000. Why? Because no matter how much the guitar costs, some of what you're paying for in an acoustic/electric are the pickups and electronics. In other words, a $500 acoustic guitar is a $500 acoustic guitar, but a $500 acoustic/electric is really a $400 ...


8

I have read much about the Telecaster, but I still don't know what Leo Fender was thinking. I know that Seth Lover was thinking the same thing, as PAF humbuckers had covers too. It was only into the 70s when you started seeing pickups with their covers removed. Even Strat pickups are covered, albeit with plastic. In part, the nickel cover was to make the ...


8

It has been done, in several different pickup designs. These are called hexaphonic pickups, meaning "six separate sounds" or six audio signals, one for each string by itself. There were a couple of commercial products offered in the last ten years or so by Gibson Guitars and Keith McMillen Instruments that did exactly what you are looking for, but they are ...


8

The three position selector switch may actually be set up as: Single pickup Humbucking configuration Out of phase configuration These three sound dramatically different. The out of phase configuration cancels a lot of tones and accentuates some higher tones. Some describe it as thinner/jangly/cutting through. I use it on one of my guitars for a bit of ...


7

It's possible the pickup selector switch has a dirty contact for the front-pickup when in the middle position. I have an old Ibanez that does the same thing sometimes when I switch to the neck pickup. I haven't seen what type of switch Epiphone guitars use, but my Les Pauls had an open-back switch, so it was possible to take off the switch cover and ...


7

In short, yes! There are tonal differences between the two. Minis will have more mids and highs than the regular humbucker. This is due to two reasons. The first is the width of the pickup. The small width means that it will pick up a shorter length of the string, which translates to shorter frequency wavelengths (higher frequencies). The other factor ...


7

These are purely magnetic pickups. In an mathematically "ideal" electric guitar, the body is completely rigid and doesn't vibrate at all. The only things affecting the vibration of the string are the physical properties of the string itself, how it is picked, and the effect of the magnetic field from the pickup (which is negligibly small). In solid-body ...


7

You actually need a "Preamp" with a line-out port and any mic preamp will do the job. A guitar pickup is a passive device that is to weak to create a line level signal, so it needs to be amplified to the line level for your speaker. Most probably your speakers have only a "Line-in" port. Line level is ok, but with preamps you may reach higher levels ...


7

As well as the in-bridge piezo pickups (either for acoustic tones or MIDI, which is what the Variax guitars use to feed the modelling system), there is a relatively rare second option: hidden pickups. The "Type I" Fender Marauder, for example, had magnetic pickups concealed under the pick guard:


7

Depends on how much your new pickup differs from your current one. Pickups have multiple properties. I'll list the most important ones and comment on their effect on your distortion sound: Output volume. Output depends on the amount of windings and the pull of the magnets in the pickup. More output changes the way your amplifier and effect pedals respond: ...


7

If you know what sound you require, and it is from one pickup (ie if you always keep your pickup selector in the same place) then there is really no need to have other pickups. Every pickup can be a source of interference and noise, so removing them reduces the potential for noise. Some also do it for the look, and in the past some have definitely done it ...


6

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but you might want to turn the treble knob back up a bit. When you play a note, it produces the fundamental pitch you want, but also a lot of overtones that contribute to the tone. You don't hear them consciously; your brain takes it all in and adds them together, perceiving the sum of the fundamental and its overtones ...


6

It could be that the pickups are wired out of phase with each other, so when you have both selected there is a fair amount of cancellation. This tends to present itself as a much tinnier sound, with less middle and bass. Or you have a bad switch - as per @theTinMan's post.


6

If someone doesn't know what they want thier guitar to do, they should always get HSH. I'd certainly say it's the most versatile set up. Given the usual wiring (5 way switch) with switch position 1 being the neck pickup and 5 being the bridge, HSH gives a great deal of tonal variety. For my tastes, position 1 on a clean tone can be a bit too boomy. Even if ...


6

Every acoustic instrumentalist needs a means to transfer the vibrations of his/her instrument to electric signal. This can be done with a microphone or a pickup. If you wish to use a microphone, you will need to "close mike." To ensure that no other instruments are "heard" by the microphone, close-miking involves having a microphone be placed in close ...


6

It's not normal in the sense of being (usually) 'what you want', but it is something that you have to deal with in multi-pickup configurations. It's not necessarily that the neck pickup is more powerful in itself; it's that the strings vibrate further from side to side at the neck, as they're nearer the middle of the string, so they induce a more powerful ...


6

Even pickups that are not wired in to the circuit at all can have an influence on the vibration of metal strings due to the magnets used in the pickups. However, this is only likely to be noticeable when the pickup's height is such that it is very close to the strings. This video (start at about 1 minute) suggests that the ...



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