#1
I want to go try out a bunch of pickups in a guitar store to see which ones suit me, but how can I do that and get an accurate read for how it'll sound with my guitar(s) and my amp? Do I have to bring in my amp and find guitars that are made from similar woods and try those guitars?

I just don't understand how so many of you can be so familiar with the way so many different pickups sound. Does it just come with experience, having many different guitars/setups, etc?

Thanks.
#2
Quote by fixationdarknes
I want to go try out a bunch of pickups in a guitar store to see which ones suit me, but how can I do that and get an accurate read for how it'll sound with my guitar(s) and my amp? Do I have to bring in my amp and find guitars that are made from similar woods and try those guitars?

I just don't understand how so many of you can be so familiar with the way so many different pickups sound. Does it just come with experience, having many different guitars/setups, etc?

Thanks.


That, and also from hearing others experiences with setups you've never had. Also, companies like Dimarzio have a rough guide on their site as to what each pickup will sound like.
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#3
Pickups really seem to always be a bit of a gamble with getting the right one although alot of compainies make guitars using Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio and EMG pickups, so it should be easier to find a similar guitar to yours in a shop so you can hear for yourself. If it's one of the smaller brands like Bareknuckle, you probably won't find any guitars with them, so you'll need to go by discriptions and recordings.

Pretty much any site will have product discriptions and possibly clips and a user forum. Read discriptions, listen to clips with similar rigs to yours and ask forum members how have already experimented with different combinations what they think.
Obligatory gear list
Guitars
Ibanez SZ4020 w/BKP Miracle Man set
Cort X-11 w/EMG 85+81
Tanglewood TSB58 HB w/BKP Nailbomb & Cold Sweat
Epiphone SG Prophecy w/Seymour Duncan/Ibz
Basses
Indie Swamp 4
Ibanez BTB 775 PB
Amps
Engl Screamer 50
#4
I just buy pickups, give them a try and if I don't like them it is easy enough to sell pickups on, or I stick them in my parts drawer in case I end up with a body that they will suit.
The main way I compare pickups is by playing lots of guitars, listening to the overall difference in sound between them and then working out which parts are different. This way I end up with a mental list of guitar parts and how each one alters tone. For example, I've heard the Gibson BurstBucker #2 pickup in both a solid mahogany body Les Paul and a chambered mahogany body Les Paul; I have also heard a Fender Vintage Noiseless Telecaster pickup in both a solid ash Telecaster and a heavily chamabered ash Thinline Telecaster. Mulity this by several guitar types and over time I have built up a very good idea of what chambering does for a guitar's tone. Same goes for pickups.

Sound clips online mean nothing, you've no idea how they were recorded, if they've been edited or if they were even modelled (which they often are, in fact). Manufacturer's tone guides mean nothing either; just because they have rated their pickup's treble at 7/10 does not mean you would. The only way you can tell what a pickup will sound like is by trying it out for yourself. Eventually you'll be able to make an educated guess as to how a pickup will sound (for example, I knew what a SD Custom 5 sounds like and I knew what the difference between an alnico V and a ceramic magnet was, so I was able to easily guess what the Custom sounds like and when I eventually tried it out, my guess had been correct).
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