14 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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  • 12.9k
14 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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  • 176k
13 votes
Accepted

Can you play metal on single coil pickups?

The obvious answer is yes, you can! The question is if you really want it, because it will be easier to achieve an appropriate metal sound with humbucking pick-ups. Today's amps or (modeling) effects ...
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  • 19.6k
13 votes
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What do coil taps actually do?

There's a very good description of coil tapping in this article on the Seymour Duncan site: Coil tapping is when a wire runs off of the pickup windings at a certain point, somewhere short of the ...
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12 votes
Accepted

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

Better pickups, if properly matched and installed correctly, can make your guitar sound better. Many players upgrade their pickups to improve the sound of their stock guitar. Certainly putting in the ...
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  • 6,713
12 votes
Accepted

Why is a violin so hard to amplify?

At the time of writing this answer, there are roughly two ranges of electric violins available on the market. Inexpensive instruments in the $150 - $400 USD range, and better quality instruments ...
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11 votes
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How are the passive pickups of an electric guitar powered when they are connected to an effects processor?

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 ...
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  • 12.9k
10 votes

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

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" ...
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  • 2,659
10 votes

Are good pickups in a bad guitar worth it?

You've had the guitar for 7 or 8 yrs. That means either you just put up with it and its foibles, or it's basically not a bad guitar. As in it stays in tune, isn't too bad to play, isn't falling apart, ...
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  • 176k
9 votes

My B string on my bass keeps hitting the pickup

Can you adjust the pickup height? That would be my first adjustment, assuming the rest feels right while you're playing it. Any other adjustment would change how it plays. Dropping the pickup back ...
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  • 23.5k
9 votes

How do I record zither, harp etc. with a pickup?

You can record almost anything with a piezoelectric (“piezo” for short) pickup. A piezo pickup works by generating a small electric current when it is moved or flexed. There are contact piezo pickups ...
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  • 51.6k
9 votes

How do I record zither, harp etc. with a pickup?

It's not just theoretically possible to make an electric harp. You can buy them from at least three manufacturers, and I have one. It has piezo electric pickups, one per string. These are wired in ...
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  • 1,447
8 votes

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

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 ...
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8 votes

What do I need to start playing violin amplified?

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 ...
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  • 1,812
8 votes

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

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. ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Front coil vs rear coil in humbucker

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 ...
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  • 36.4k
8 votes
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Acoustic guitar with humbucker pickup sounds like an electric guitar, not acoustic

So this guitar is quite a unique model, the John Lennon signature. Its pickup is not an acoustic-guitar pickup at all but, well, basically a standard high-impedance humbucker in small format. It's no ...
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8 votes

Are good pickups in a bad guitar worth it?

I've done this before: I put Fender Custom Shop vintage Strat pickups in literally the cheapest guitar that was in the store when I bought my first guitar (a Peavey Predator Strat clone). It ...
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  • 51.6k
8 votes

Are good pickups in a bad guitar worth it?

There are several good answers here already, but I'll add a couple more considerations no one else mentioned yet: Your question seems to imply that you're okay with the tones you're getting, but want ...
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  • 181
7 votes

What's the difference between alnico and ceramic pickups?

Ceramic magnets do produce a stronger field, but that alone doesn't actually change the sound, it just increases the total output (which, of course, will change the sound if you thereby drive an amp ...
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7 votes
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What's the difference between alnico and ceramic pickups?

This may not help a lot, but here is one person's opinion + facts about magnetic cores: sonicwrench forum Q: What is the difference between Alnico and ceramic magnets? A: Alnico magnets are ...
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7 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 35.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Can someone explain to me how to get my guitar pickup to work on speakers?

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 ...
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7 votes

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

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 ...
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7 votes

Do disconnected pickups alter sound in noticeable way?

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 ...
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  • 36.4k
7 votes
Accepted

Do disconnected pickups alter sound in noticeable way?

Electric guitars have a long sustain (and can be used for acoustic feedback for that reason) because the string does not lose significant amounts of acoustic energy. If you have good bridge and nut, ...
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7 votes

Can you play metal on single coil pickups?

The only real problem you may have with playing high-gain stuff on single coils is if the pickups are picking up hum, a high-gain signal chain that introduces a lot of clipping (distortion) is going ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Do active pickups not work correctly with wireless systems?

This was posted on the a Line 6 forum regarding their wireless system: In some rare cases, the guitar’s active electronics are wired with inverse polarity. In this scenario, the transmitter's ...
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  • 51.6k
7 votes

Uneven volume of guitar strings when plugged in

This is almost certainly not anything to do with pickups needing remagnetising - that is a very rare thing, especially these days. There are two far more likely causes that you can quickly check and ...
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  • 36.4k

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