#1
I have played a single humbucker axe all my life, now I am looking at replacing my 87 model Charvel. I have been playing guitars with different combinations but I am noticing when the switch is flipped to the other pickups it just sounds too bassy throughout all of the notes. this goes for rhythm and solo. I also find myself hitting the front pickup with my pick and cant get used to landing in between the 2. To me - it sounds just fine or better than the ones up front. I play strictly metal and mess around with blues. Thanks............
#2
clean parts or bluesy stuff are things I like to play on the neck pickup
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#3
It's all a matter of preference. I switch between my pickups alot, I use my rythym pickup alot but when its time for a solo or lead, I switch to my treble pickup and it helps cut through the sound more.
#4
There is no rules in music. You can use what ever guitar, pick-ups, picking and pyrotechnics you want for any style of music, as long as your comfortable with it.

Obviously using single coils for metal does pose a few problems, for example, the humming could get very annoying with all the distortion.

But many metal players have single coils in the neck and middle positions.

But generally its up to you.

How about humbuckers with a coil tap?
#5
mhmm. its a completly personal thing. If u woulnt use the neck pick-up, and dont like it, dont get a guitar with one. I personally love guitars with only a neck humbucker. they are simple and easy to use and have little problems on stage.
#6
No it isn't, but is is more versitile. Some people like the big warm sound of a neck HB, especially for leads and Jazz work.

I don't use the neck P/U much, but I am glad they are there.

If you only have 1 guitar, I would suggest it have both. If you have more than 1 guitar, then having a 1 p/u guitar is fine in my book.

EDIT: to control the bassy sound, use some mids instead of scooping them. Just taking a guess on your settings.
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Sep 4, 2011,
#7
For playing metal or hard rock I always use the bridge pick-up. Like unnamedplayer said there are certain times when playing slow blues I'll use the neck pick-up.... or when covering Hendrix. Never liked a humbucker in the neck position though, too muddy. A single coil is fine with me. The only drawback to a single pickup guitar is its versatility depending on the music you're into.
#8
Well, the reason that you get guitars with only a bridge humbucker is that the majority of metal songs are played on the bridge only. However, the neck is still useful especially if you get the right pickup in there.

I find that neck pickups are better than bridge position for clean playing, and for anything you want to be more 'smooth' sounding. The Serymour Duncan Jazz in the neck of my DK2M is great. It has a wonderful clean tone, and it's fantastically smooth, whilst also being incredibly articulate. I don't switch to the neck very often, but when I do it's got great tones.

If the neck pickup gets in the way of your picking, maybe consider an H/S guitar? They're a lot rarer than HH and HSS, but it gives you a bit more room there, and you still get a neck pickup for more versatility.

Or of course, just buy another single humbucker axe...
#10
It depends on what you want really.

If you're never going to use a neck pickup, having one is worse than useless (as the extra pickup will reduce sustain due to increased magnetic pull on the strings).

A neck humbucker is almost a necessity if you want a warm jazz clean tone, while a neck singlecoil is almost a necessity for a throaty blues tone.

That said, a single humbucker at the bridge and a volume knob goes a long way. Add a tone knob and you should be able to get the Eric Clapton style "woman" tone by rolling off. A parallel/series switch and/or a capacitor switch would give you even more options.
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#11
if you don't need extra pickups then there's no point in your guitar having them really. having 2 humbuckers is only necessary if you need them both.
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#12
Just depends on the kind of sound you're going for. Obviously it gives you more versatility, but not everyone needs that, some people just need a guitar that does one thing and does it very well.

I need two humbuckers, as I enjoy a high output bridge pickup for distorted sounds, but I also like crystal clear, warm clean tones that most bridge pickups don't get. Now, if there were a single humbucker that could give me a crushing distorted tone but still sound as beautiful clean as a neck pickup, I'd be all over it. No more split-second slaps on the pickup switch! But until then, two work out well for me.
Last edited by Ghostmaker at Sep 4, 2011,
#13
Quote by Blompcube
if you don't need extra pickups then there's no point in your guitar having them really. having 2 humbuckers is only necessary if you need them both.

don't forget the middle positions. thats where much of the tonal diversity comes in. thats the reason why i love 5 way switching on dual or even triple humbucking guitars. it adds lots of dimension to the sound, and having coil tapping ontop of the gives an even crazier tonal diversity.

think about it. 3 humbuckers, 5 way switching, coil tapping for each individual pickup.

isn't that 15 different tonal options? or 16?


edit: sure, if all you do is lead twangy stuff, theres no poin in having a neck pickup in a telecaster, and if all you do is chug chug, it doesn't even matter where the pickup is because metal is about teh gainz.

but if you want to hit everything from country to hard rock, and go even further. its always nice to have more tonal options.
Last edited by 00_hns_00 at Sep 4, 2011,
#14
Depends on the tone I'm after. For riffs/distorted rhythm I use the bridge always. Though my favorite on my Ibanez is the 4th position (single coil+neck pickup) for cleans, and also for solos. Nice and warm but not as harsh as just the neck pup would be by itself. You might not care right now, but you might want the extra tonal options down the road.
#16
Man - thank you guys for all the input. Ok - as mentioned before I play metal mostly and play around with a lot of blues. Now lets say i would like to get close to a Stevie Ray sound, would I look for a guitar with a single up front or dual....because SRV has a single.

Thanks again - Happy Labor day!
#18
Quote by Deltadawg
I have played a single humbucker axe all my life, now I am looking at replacing my 87 model Charvel. I have been playing guitars with different combinations but I am noticing when the switch is flipped to the other pickups it just sounds too bassy throughout all of the notes. this goes for rhythm and solo. I also find myself hitting the front pickup with my pick and cant get used to landing in between the 2. To me - it sounds just fine or better than the ones up front. I play strictly metal and mess around with blues. Thanks............

There is a reason as to why the neck pickup sounds a bit too bass-y. Due to its scale position, the neck pickup used during the tuning enhances the guitar's tuning stability due to its more accurate sound. Also, by adding distortion to the neck pickup during solos, you can shred notes easily without having to worry about accidentally triggering the pinch harmonic. You have to have a horrendous technique in soloing while using the neck pickup for solos. I've seen many guitarists who use neck pickups while soloing, and NONE of them has ever doubted their neck pickup usages.
If you still want a non-HH guitar, I'd go with an Ibanez Roadstar (no longer produced, you can find them on EBay) due to its moderate pickup output. Or, you can easily find Fender HSS Strats on the market. The choice is yours. You decide.
#20
prosong, not sure you made sense. are you saying if you use the neck pup for solos you have horendous technique?

neck can give great sound if thats what your going for. my fave is on a les or a guitar wit ha 4 knob configuration, you can mix the 2 pickups AND set different volumes.

for example, i play a lot of stuff with the bridge on like 7 or 10 and the neck on like 5 or 7. bridge tone on 5ish, neck tone on 10ish.

The bridge overpowers the neck so you get your treble and bite, but the neck is still there to add fullness and some deeper bassier tones. you basically get back all the bite and growl you loose by only using the neck pup.

for you, i recommend a 24 fret. because the pup is farther back, the neck pup will sound brighter. also, you need the right kind of pup.
#21
Quote by ikey_
prosong, not sure you made sense. are you saying if you use the neck pup for solos you have horendous technique?

neck can give great sound if thats what your going for. my fave is on a les or a guitar wit ha 4 knob configuration, you can mix the 2 pickups AND set different volumes.

for example, i play a lot of stuff with the bridge on like 7 or 10 and the neck on like 5 or 7. bridge tone on 5ish, neck tone on 10ish.

The bridge overpowers the neck so you get your treble and bite, but the neck is still there to add fullness and some deeper bassier tones. you basically get back all the bite and growl you loose by only using the neck pup.

for you, i recommend a 24 fret. because the pup is farther back, the neck pup will sound brighter. also, you need the right kind of pup.

Both 24-fret guitars and 22-fret guitars have pros and cons. 22-fret guitars give the pickups a bit more ease on the string length but limits your soloing options. 24-frets give you more soloing options but then the pickups will be a bit too stuffed in between the 24th fret and the bridge. Also, when using the 24-fret guitar, the 24th fret over-lays the original position of where the neck pickup is supposed to be.
#22
some soloing on the neck pickup occasionally
to answer your questioné however one must say there is nothing that you must have and everything that you may or can have. at least in the free countries not named syria or lybia or iraq or iran and you know they lot.

if you dont like more than 1 pickup please dont go buy a guitar with it. however i strongly suggest you to take a good few hours with such a guitar to get to know the tone and learn how to use it in your playing. i remember when i started on electric i just turned my crappy SX-amp all the way to 10, jump on my effect board thingy and go OOOMPFH on what i'd now call the bridge pickup but since then i've bought myself a gibson les paul and also a charvel san dimas and i can really appreciate and use the tones that lie in that other pickup.
#23
Thanks again for all the input - Just to sort of reiterate my curiosity, i have watched hundreds of live concerts since I was 17 and I am now 39; from local bars to open field arenas and I can count the times on one hand that I have actually witnessed an artist flip his switch to other pickups for a solo or different part of the song. I do see quite a bit of stomping on effect pedals, but is it possible to re-create this neck bridge sound with DSP? If so, maybe this is why I seldom see guitarists switching to other pickups.

Thoughts..........
#24
I use both pickups. Neck for cleans and some solo's, Bridge for rhythm and some other solo's. If you play cleans, Neck pickups sound much better but if you just play metal, then I suppose 1 humbucker is ok, unless when you say 'Mess around with blues' you mean you play them quite alot, I like to play bluesy stuff on my Neck pickup
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