#1
I noticed lots of really great players tend to switch up pickups a lot. I was wondering what the purpose of this was? I know each one picks up the playing from a different angle but I don't understand if maybe there's some tonal difference or something? I've never really had a high-end amp that actually made switching pickups ever worthwhile because they'd all sound the same so...
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#2
Quote by Brian 1.0
I noticed lots of really great players tend to switch up pickups a lot. I was wondering what the purpose of this was? I know each one picks up the playing from a different angle but I don't understand if maybe there's some tonal difference or something? I've never really had a high-end amp that actually made switching pickups ever worthwhile because they'd all sound the same so...

Yup. A lot in fact.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#3
its the tonal difference
some or more heavy,some or quiter


so i think
be you trolling?
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
#4
well they have high end equipment to the point where it actually does make a difference?
different pickups use different technologies, parts, have varying quality, etc.
different pickups have many tonal differences.
Warmoth Strat w/ Lace Holy Grails
'07 Roadhouse Strat
Washburn WD-21 all Koa Acoustic
Marshall JCM-2000 TSL-122
Bugera V-5
#5
Quote by Brian 1.0
I've never really had a high-end amp that actually made switching pickups ever worthwhile because they'd all sound the same so...

You don't know what pickups do and yet you're already much better informed than the countless noobs or what have you that switch pickups in futility because they don't realise what the problem with their tone more than likely is.

Right, let me give you a basic explanation; a pickup more or less comprises of multiple coils of wire wrapped around a (usually variations of AlNiCo or Ceramic 8, occasionally neodymium) magnet and polepieces etc. etc., I don't understand a lot about that and it's not really essential knowledge. The pickup is what translates the vibrations of the strings into an electrical signal which, when it meets the amp, is translated into sound. Now pickups have several fundamental imperfections such as D.C. resistances taking off some of the high end, but despite this sounding like a bad thing it's various elements like this which cause the pickup to colour the sound produced - for better or for worse; "bad" pickups will have a negative effect on your tone due to poor construction and quality of materials, and good ones will be designed to produce the best tone possible.
Pickups are the primary factors in the sound of your guitar, so are often chopped and changed to suit specific needs (I.E. metal players needing a higher output pickup to push the front end of their tube amps harder for more breakup, blues players trying to remove some top end for a round tone, etc.). It should be stressed however that:
A: Pickups will only make a significant audible difference through a responsive amplifier; normally a valve amp
B: Pickups do not make as drastic a difference in tone as you may be led to believe; the primary purpose of replacement pickups is to improve a good tone, not to turn your tone from bad to good.
http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/choosing-installing/how_to_pick_a_pickup.pdf here; the Seymour Duncan crew explain it better than I ever could.

Hope that answers your question and that nobody posted all of this as I was writing ^^;
#6
Guys not what I meant. I know what they are, I know what they do, but I don't understand which position will give whatever sound. does it actually depend on the pickup or will a ceartin position always give a ceartin sound?
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#7
^

... DAMN, WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME. I THOUGHT YOU MEANT REPLACEMENT PICKUPS.

Not your fault.

Well, alright.
Obviously the actual pickups themselves matter, but in general it's as simple as the neck position providing a smoother tone with more quack to the attack; think the intro to Sweet Child O' Mine. The bridge is more aggresive sounding with more top end and, generally, output. Switch pickups and use your ears, you'll get a feel for it.
#8
If you play different guitars with different pickups through the same amp you can hear the differences in tone and quality. As you start using various effects this does become less clear. I have 3 guitars (single coil, p90 and humbucker) each sounds noticeably different.
#9
Where the pickup is on the body of the guitar does affect the tone a lot. My guitar currently has 2 of the same pickup, but the bridge distorts and picks up harmonics better (and also sounds brighter), and the neck pickup is warmer and better for clean playing overall. That's how it will generally be.
#10
Yes it matters. A 21 fret strat does not pick up a certain harmonic when just the neck pickup is used (can't remember what harmonic, sorry). I have never tried it, but I would think there might be slight differences in a 22 and 21 fret strat's neck pup - that is unless the neck pup is still in the same place and the neck pup is closer to the fretboard end.... er long story short yes it matters they are under different harmonic nodes.
#12
Quote by oggiedoggy
Yes it matters. A 21 fret strat does not pick up a certain harmonic when just the neck pickup is used (can't remember what harmonic, sorry). I have never tried it, but I would think there might be slight differences in a 22 and 21 fret strat's neck pup - that is unless the neck pup is still in the same place and the neck pup is closer to the fretboard end.... er long story short yes it matters they are under different harmonic nodes.


Doesn't matter at all....well, it only matters when playing open strings. As soon as you start fretting all the harmonics and their nodes so it's pretty much bollocks - you been listening to Ed Roman?
Actually called Mark!

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