Okay I really need to be educated on pickups.

1) If a humbucker is calibrated for the neck position and I put it in the middle or bridge How would it affect the output or sound?

2) On musician friends when I check a pickup to compare it comes up with information on the pickup. Something called DC resistence is listed. What the hell is DC resistence and exactly how does it affect your pickup.

3) Say I have a fender fat strat with 5-way switching. What are the positions and how does it work? What does switching even do to your guitar. Plz explain what each position does exactly!

4) Those GFS pickups on guitarfish.com are they really better than Seymour duncans? They have the same kind of pickups for really cheap. Also they claim that GFS pickups are better than Seymour Duncan in every way hands down. Can this really be true?
Last edited by alternativ rock at May 20, 2006,
On your strat, If you flip the switch all the way foward towards the headstock, You are using only your neck pickup. The next position back is the neck pickup and the middle pickup. The next is the mddle, and then the bridge/middle, and then finally the bridge.
Thankyou for answering my one question but I still need answers to the others and also I have two new questions.

1) Whats this whole Idea of splitting a humbucker? How does it work when split? How does it affect sound and output? Also how the hell would you split the sound while playing?

2) Also if I were to buy the same humbucker and put it in the neck position then the middle and then the bridge how would it sound in each different position? Whats the sound and output difference between each pickup placement?
Last edited by alternativ rock at May 20, 2006,
1) it depends on the pup, some pickups sound great in a brideg eevn if it's recommeneded for neck. Others will sound like poo. The only reason why there are multiple positions on a guitar is because the strings vibrate differently And result in a different sound. So certain pickups are designed for a certain position to improve the sound the strings make at that position.

2) Dc resistance is basically a crude way of measuring output. DC resistance raises as you increase windings. Output also increases as you increase windings. So the more windings = increased dc resistance & increased output.

4) Soem people swear by them, others aren't too hot about them. Try tehm out, if oy liek them your only out about 80 bucks.
Does anybody have a personnal experience of playing on a GFS pickup? If so was it as good as similiar Seymour Duncans?
If you put the same pick-up in all three positions the sound will be like this (for the most part)"
Neck: beefier, bassier,
Bridge: twangier, treble-ier
Middle: A combination of both neck and bridge.
^ Yeah, that's it.

tangent here, so when did beef ever get associated with warm and bassy? Like did someone decide cows sounded warm with lots of bass and mids?
Just a thought.
the important thing about pickup positions is that your bridge pickup must have a higher or equal output compared to your neck pickup. otherwise you'll have some sound/ volume issues.

typically there is more output at the neck position, so you compensate by using a lower output pickup to get the same final output.

dc resistance is a crude measure of output, so the bridge pickup should have higher resistance.

my electric (which has freakishly high output all around) has a 20K bridge pickup and a 15K neck. both are humbuckers.

switching selects between pickups, and these are what the positions do in order:
neck and middle (hum cancelling position)
bridge and middle (hum cancelling position)
As for GFS pickups- I tried em and I love em. I haven't compared them to SDs but I'm confident that youd be pleased with them. If not, I'll buy them off you. Possibly. ha.
Blackstar HT 5
George Dennis Spitfire 2x10
Agile Ghost III
Warmoth SSS Tele with Floyd Rose
Ibanez Artcore AM73
I <3 Arcade Fire, Rainbow, Dungen, Muse, Pink Floyd, Def Leppard, Kate Bush etc.
UG Rock Opera tracks
Okay thankyou for answer some of my questions.

1) still what's this whole idea with splitting humbuckers? Is that What hum canceling is? What does splitting apickup do to your guitar how does it make it sound?

2) What Is a hum canceling position?
Last edited by alternativ rock at May 21, 2006,
When you split a humbucker your basically utilizing half of the winds in the humbucker, so when your using half hte winds you get half the output. It sort of sounds similiar to a single coil.

Hum canceling is when you have two pups that are differently charged ( one pups will have hte positive side of the magnets facing the strings, and hte otehr will have the negative side facing the strings, or it will be a reverse wound mid pup for strats). So it basically acts as a humbucker, and "bucks the hum". Typical hum canceling positions on a strat are the mid/neck and hte mid/bridge. And any position that utilizes a humbucker is also humbucking.
first, magnets don't have positive and negative, they're north and south. second, it has both reversed magnet polarity AND reversed coil winding.

sound is produced based off of both the coil direction and the magnet polarity, and background noise is dependent only on the coil direction

so if you have one regular pickup and one with reversed coil direction and magnet polarity...

signal is inverted twice, so comes out the same (multiply two nevatives, and get a positive)
hum (background noise) is produced and then mixed with an out-of-phase signal which cancels it out, and produces a more pure tone which sounds better distorted.

if you split a humbucker, it only uses one set of coils, and thus behaves exactly like a single coil pickup of half the output of the original pickup.

a hum cancelling position is when a 3-single coil guitar is swithched so that two pickups are combined to cancel the hum just like a humbucker would.

the middle coil is almost always reverse-wound and opposite polarity compared to the other two on guitars with three single coils. so in this position, it sounds like a humbucker, but really its two single coils.
Okay Thanks guys but i'm still curious about the whole DC resistance thing? I just checked musician friends and compared a SD hotrail in single coil shape. It had a different dc resistance between the neck and bridge. It said that in the neck the dc resisteance was a lot lower than in the bridge! I thought Dc resistance was a measure of output. Since the neck gives more output howcome it says the bridge does on a hotrail?
The bridge needs a higher output because the strings move less over the bridge pickup than they can over the neck pickup.

Electrical signals are produced by the strings moving over the magnets in the pickup. In the neck position, there's quite a bit of leeway and movement, whereas in the bridge position, the strings don't have as much space to move because it's so close to a tethering point - the bridge.
Righto, thank you for correcting me twelve.
Consider that last post void.
Thankyou once again and to keep everyone entertained I thought of two more questions!

I want three new pickups in my guitar two distorting humbuckers which I have already picked out. I do need a good clean pickup that I can switch to though, what do you reccomend? Also what order should I put them in. HSH, HHS, or SHH?

Also Is there any way that would be fairly easy to re-wire a Fender fat strat to have 7 way switching instead of just 5? Please post answers if anyone knows.

If you have any other suggestions on electronics or something please post them this thread is to educate people about pickups and electronics!
Last edited by alternativ rock at May 22, 2006,