Questions tagged [pick-ups]

An electromechanical device for amplifying the vibrations from guitar strings. Pickups can consist of ferromagnetic poles wrapped with copper coils for amplifying the vibrations of steel-based strings or piezoelectric crystals which amplify vibrations of the guitar bridge or body. These are both distinguished from microphones.

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37
votes
3answers
26k views

Why is the bridge pickup on a Stratocaster angled?

I've always wondered why the bridge pickup of a Stratocaster was angled. Is it cosmetic, or does it make a difference in the sound?
27
votes
4answers
28k views

In phase, out of phase pickups

What is the purpose of having guitar pickups out of phase with each other?
14
votes
8answers
44k views

H-S-H vs H-H what can do one and can't another?

I'm seeking a guitar to elicit the rich fat heavy sound. So as I understand a guitar with the H humbucker (double coil) pickup is what I need for that. But there is a wide range of layouts for the ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Acoustic/Electric Guitars

So I was going to get a new acoustic. I really want to start getting into acoustics but I don't want to lose the ability to jam with friends who are on drums/bass, and have their own electrics plugged ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Effect of nickel cover on Telecaster bridge pickup?

Traditionally telecaster guitars have the neck pick-up covered in a nickel/chrome cover, and the bridge pickup left with exposed pole pieces. What is the origin/logic of the nickel cover? What ...
12
votes
4answers
10k views

What does the distance between a pickup and strings do for the sound?

What does the distance between a pickup and strings do for the sound? Should active and passive pickups be treated differently?
12
votes
3answers
7k views

What do I need to start playing violin amplified?

I play acoustic violin, but would like to start playing amplified sometimes. But when I start looking into equipment, I get lost in options. Piezos? Microphones? DI boxes? Pre-amps? Speaker systems? ...
11
votes
4answers
75k views

What's the difference between alnico and ceramic pickups?

What's the difference? Is the gain on ceramic bigger or not? PS: I don't know what to say, but I only ask for those pickups difference in general.
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Violin Pickup that will sound like natural violin?

I have been looking for years for a violin piezo pickup (or any other that is feedback-safe guaranteed), that won't ruin the violin sound. All the PUs I've been experimented with over the last decade ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Do active pickups not work correctly with wireless systems?

I am considering buying a wireless guitar setup - transmitter connects to a guitar's output, receiver connects to an amp's input. This is, essentially, the system we see in modern times that allows a ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Can I wind my own pickups?

I want to know this to see if I can do some modifications to my guitar tone but I don't want to screw the pickups... is there any guide arround?
10
votes
6answers
5k views

humbucker vs two single-coils

I have a Squire Strat that I've been fiddling with off and on for a while. My coil selector has two positions of particular interest: neck+middle, middle+bridge. Now, if I use any one of the three ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How can an electric bass/guitar without pick ups work?

I have seen electric guitars and basses that don't have any pick ups. For instance, here is an image of two Line 6 electric basses that have no pick ups: How do these instruments work if they have no ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a covering on a humbucker pickup make a difference?

I have seen a number of different pickup designs, like the ones in the image: http://www.wizardpickups.co.uk/images/humbucker4_large.jpg Notice how some humbuckers have a covering, and what look ...
10
votes
2answers
178 views

How can I keep my low end level constant across my strings?

I'm a bassist. I play a Warwick Corvette std 5 string with MEC pickups. I use D'addario strings. Ok now my problem, I play in a band and we play progressive thrash metal (kinda like Metallica meets ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

How to get raw signal from a divided or hexaphonic pickup

I have been looking for a way to get a truly divided signal from each string on an electric guitar. The problem is I don't want the signal to be in a midi format because midi throws away a lot of ...
9
votes
1answer
756 views

Passive and active pickups for bass guitar

What is the difference in sound quality of active and passive pickups? At first it comes to me that active is best, always, but is that really true? Also, can anyone point me if THIS specific bass ...
8
votes
4answers
14k views

Can you play metal on single coil pickups?

People keep telling me you need humbuckers to play metal but I want to play some heavy stuff on my strat. How does high gain work on single coils and what are some of the pitfalls? People keep ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Would upgrading the pickups on my low end Ibanez make it sound like a high end one?

I have an Ibanez JEM Jr, the cheap version of Steve VAI's signature JEM model (costs around 500$ compared to the 1600$~2700$ regular JEMs run for). There are many differences, among them that it uses ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Hot guitar pickup

What does it mean when a guitar pickup is deemed "hot"?
8
votes
1answer
8k views

What are the most popular types or styles of pickups, and what is the genre of music most associated with them?

I see humbuckers, single coil, active pickups, etc. I see P90's, PAFS, etc. Which are basically for jazz, blues, metal?
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the benefits and drawbacks of active pickups?

I have two guitars, one with "passive" pickups and one with "active" pickups. Although I looked on the web, I'm not really sure to understand what is the difference in terms of sound. Yes my guitars ...
8
votes
1answer
247 views

Middle humbucker as Bridge humbucker

I have a cheap Strat, and I was just wondering to upgrade the bridge single coil to a bridge humbucker. Unfortunately, I bought a Tenayo Hot Rail Humbucker in Single Coil Form, which is - as it states ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is my neck pickup quieter when playing with both pickups?

I have an Epiphone Les Paul and have noticed that when the pickup selector is set to both pickups, my guitar plays very softly from the neck pickup. When I play from the pickups separately the volume ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

What do coil taps actually do?

I recently noticed I have heard guitar players talk a fair bit about coil taps but don't actually know what it means for a guitar to have coil taps? What is the science behind it and why would a ...
7
votes
2answers
379 views

Why is a violin so hard to amplify?

Why are electric violins so expensive compared to an electric guitar, why is a guitar pickup so relatively easy and cheap to produce compared to an electric violin's pickup?
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Guitar Fetish Pickups - Can anyone describe their tone and quality?

OK. I have seen Guitar Fetish pickups at prices that seem insane compared to what most pickups cost - and they have things like humbucker sized P90s that are hard to find in any case. Their stuff ...
7
votes
2answers
658 views

Is it practical (or even beneficial) to put pickup phase switch on Telecaster?

I play three Telecasters, they all have standard single-coil pickups. The oldest of these has a really individual sound when using the middle pick up setting. It is really thin and nasal; great for ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Bass pickup height adjustment

I've recently set up my bass with the help of this youtube video: I'm really happy with it but one question remains. Fender recommends 2mm space between the ...
7
votes
1answer
16k views

What is a piezo pickup and how does it differ to a common pickup?

I have heard of a piezo pickup used in some guitars, like John Petrucci's signature Music Man. What is a piezo pickup and how does it differ to a common pickup?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What should be the tone effect of lowering (neck) pickup?

Exactly what should be effect of lowering the neck pickup on a semihollow jazz guitar? (besides of it lowers the volume) I am using clean jazz tone with a very little reverb, and no other effect. I ...
6
votes
2answers
355 views

Humbucker troubles

I'm rebuilding a Stratocaster, and I put a new pickguard in that's a a very basic wiring setup for a strat: a single humbucker and a volume knob. I have my ground wire soldered in the back. Soldered ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are humbuckers not skew?

I'm curious why single coil pickups on strats are skew but humbukers seem to be level with the bridge? VS
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Guitar that can pick up body percussion, and what a guitar needs to do it

Recently I bought an Ovation guitar, after seeing some videos of people using it for percussive guitar playing, for example here, or here. Even talking "how sensitive and well-suited it is for this ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Are single coil pickups better at catching picking dynamics?

I've seen mention of dynamics on the Internet generally associated with single coil pickups, and it seems that people assume that those have more dynamics. However, there is an interesting forum ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Get series and parallel pickup wirings from a Strat?

I'm looking for a way to get some thicker pickups-in-series tones out of my Strat without losing the existing Strat sounds, or some extra ones I've added. My current wiring uses one of the tone ...
5
votes
3answers
646 views

How are the passive pickups of an electric guitar powered when they are connected to an effects processor?

Having the output as headphones how are the passive pickups powered in an effects processor ? Do they take up the power source of the processor itself ?
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What pickups should I install on my telecaster?

I have some texas specials on a telecaster right now. The were fine when I was back in the army but now I'm playing a wider combination of music that needs solid rhythm (even acoustic sounding would ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the pickup really have any effect on the guitar's distortion sound?

Does the pickup really have any effect on the guitar's distortion sound? Mine is a rockwell factory pickup and Iwant to change it. But, does it really have any effect?
5
votes
2answers
8k views

Guitar pickup selection

Most electric guitars and some basses allow players to select different combinations of pickups. For example, modern Stratocasters have a five-way switch between the neck, middle, and bridge pickups. ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Are there any practical differences between Humbuckers and Mini Humbuckers?

Other than form factor, is there any practical difference in sound or performance between a mini/single-coil-sized humbucker and a regular sized humbucker?
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Does a SSS standard strat sounds the same than an HSS One with the 5-way switch on the 4th position?

Hi Guys I was about to buy a strat but I'm not sure about choosing the SSS, or the HSS model, let me explain a little bit more the situation: I had 2 strats, both of them SSS, one was a Squier bullet, ...
5
votes
1answer
473 views

Do I have a grounding issue?

I am asking a question regarding my PRS SE7. It has 2 humbucking pickups and recently, I have noticed a substantial amount of noise in my signal. The noise diminishes when I touch the strings or any ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Replacement Preamp for Yamaha APX 8D

My Yamaha APX 8D's preamplifier is broken. Does anyone know a good replacement? The guitar has a piezo pickup and a microphone. There are potentiometers for volume, treble, bass and a 9V battery ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How the body vibration on a semi-hollowbody guitar affect the sound through the pickups?

Are this kind of pickups precisely "magnetic pickups"? If so, the pickups are supposed to be producing sound from the (metallic) string vibration, then how does the body vibration on a semi-...
4
votes
2answers
836 views

Front coil vs rear coil in humbucker

This question is inspired by Avril Lavigne's signature Telecaster (one humbacker only and it is not P-Rails one). It has one humbucker with three selection switch front, both, rear. Does this ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Can you put 6 string pickups in a seven string guitar?

I currently own a cheapy Ibanez seven string guitar that I want to upgrade the pickups for. I'm interested in putting active EMG's in but am wondering if I can add six string EMG in a seven string ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Best practices for setting Stratocaster pickup height?

I recently bought my first stratocaster and after messing around with the heights of the pickups I've been having problems getting all three pickups to have the same volume. I'm having trouble ...
4
votes
1answer
767 views

Is spacing between strings and fret board rounding important for humbucker pickups?

Is spacing between strings at the bridge and fret board radius important for humbucker pickups proper sound? I made a simple guitar with narrow (10 mm between strings) and flat fretboard. (I ...
4
votes
1answer
370 views

Electric bass scale length and pickup angle

While shopping for my first bass, I came across a combination I've never seen before: a used medium scale bass (32") with slanted pickups. A medium scale bass might be an easier transition for me ...