#1
Hi everyone;

While looking through pickups i've noticed that they come in different resistances. The higher the output, the bigger the number. It seems that metal pickups have highest resistance, blues the lowest, and rock somewhere in the middle. Why are these values suited for each style? Is the sound different from using a high output pickup with less distortion/overdrive than to use a mid-resistance-value pickup to achieve a rock/blues sound?

Thanks!
#2
Generally its something that more resistance = more wire was used = more winding = more output

but there are many other factors (the type of magnets useds mainly and a bunch of other things).
When overwinding its also easy to end up with something thats very muddy sounding. And less winds = more treble.
#3
He got it it right. There is more to consider than just output. There are magnet types and sometimes covers can change the tone a bit.
#4
I see. But say for an instance, if the magnet types were the same (and covers...? I don't think this changes the tone noticeably, but then again, I am not sure.) Take the Seymour Duncan Jazz model and JB model. Both are humbuckers with Alnico magnets, but the resistance is 8k and 16k respectively. With this, please answer my latter question in the first post.
#5
Quote by kos
I see. But say for an instance, if the magnet types were the same (and covers...? I don't think this changes the tone noticeably, but then again, I am not sure.) Take the Seymour Duncan Jazz model and JB model. Both are humbuckers with Alnico magnets, but the resistance is 8k and 16k respectively. With this, please answer my latter question in the first post.


the JB = a general metal/rock type pickup, the more windings means it has more output which means more distortion from your amp

the Jazz = nice cleans, less output because it has less windings (the resistance is smaller thereby they either used thinner wire or used less windings...and chances are the second one is what happened), less of a chance thats its going to overdrive your amp and stuff like that.

Quote by kos

Is the sound different from using a high output pickup with less distortion/overdrive than to use a mid-resistance-value pickup to achieve a rock/blues sound?

Of course there is. The entire tonal charecteristic of a pickup is different in this case, the shape of the magnetic field, the harmonics in the string it picks up...
Last edited by seljer at Jul 2, 2006,
#6
I am aware of what the pickups are for. I guess my question wasn't clear, so I will ask a different one. What makes a pickup more versitile? Is it possible to get a rock sound using a metal pickup with low destortion? Or the other way around; using rock pickup with high distortion to get a metal sound. Or low to get a bluesy sound.

Of course its possible, but (In my opinion) if EQ and gain level can change the genre, what are the key differences that makes the pickups the way they are made to be?

Hmm after typing this out I came with the obvious answer; just get the pickup that suits your style. I am kind of getting confused myself now.

I really appreciate your help seljer.

Thanks!
#7
IMO its a bit easier to get heavey sounds with a medium output pickup than the other way round (espescially with the ultra high output pickups, SD Invaders and the like), espescially since the frequency response on those ones usually tends to be all backwards (though they tend to sound great if heavey stuff is what you play....and ignore the SD Invader and go for something like a Bareknuckle Nailbomb ).

Rock with a high output pick = can be done, blues = i think thats going a bit too far...
Blues with a medium output pickup works fine though.

With a medium output pickup just use a booster or an overdrive pedal if you need some more distortion for heavier stuff (its not like Metallica had the EMGs** and all that when they did Kill Em All)


overall it just depends on the pickup, as some can be versatile despite having high output and other such qualities... and tone is subjective anyway


**EMGs are active pickups and they don't follow the same formula as everything else. They are actuall rather underwound pickups, a bit midrangey too. They just have the preamp built into them that gives them high output.
#9
I read this.. and it even helped me out. Heh Thanks to the thread starter and for the info heh.