#1
* I was always curious as to why certain guitars have only 1 pickup?
[usually a 'H' in the bridge position]

As opposed to the standard 2 or 3? [SSS, HSS, HSH, HH etc..}


For Example:

Alexi Laiho's ESP,
George Lynch's ESP models,
and certain Jacksons, Kramers, and Charvels.
{From what I've seen it was all the rage in the 80's}

. Is there an advantage of having 1 pickup tone wise, or is it purely an aesthetic choice?
#2
I think it's because some people NEVER use their neck pickup.
hoimhi0et0hm03oi
#3
Well, say if you build a guitar, and you never use a neck pickup, then would you really pay like 150$ for a pickup to put there....'just for kicks' or something?

you might, but some people don't
#4
Quote by mr kipling
I think it's because some people NEVER use their neck pickup.


I love neck pickups. Whatever guitar I play, it HAS to have a neck pickup. Or I won't play it (seriously).
I think some guitars only have one pickup, because there's less magnetic drag on the string, giving you more sustain, or some people just like their bridge pickup, or there's alot of reasons.
Call me Wes.
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#5
I never saw the attraction myself. Surely more tonal options can only be a good thing?
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#6
A load of punk guitarists take the neck pickup out coz it doesn't suit their music (well so they think) but I don't see the point of taking out a pickup, what if one day you start to like the sound of that pickup and you've got rid of it. It's stupid.
#7
Because some people like one pickup. It used to be a LOT more common actually back in the 80's due to how simple it was, and often looked killer. Charvel now does it a lot as it goes well with graphic finishes. So yeah, mainly looks... That said, my favorite configuration was always one Humbucker with a slanted single coil in the neck like the Charvel 3DR/Predator, but you NEVER see guitars like that anymore...

EDIT: And people, it's not a tonal "advantage" if you never use it. and Shred guitarists started the one hummer thing, not punk guys. In fact, you need to be more skilled to use only one pickup, which can be used to coax a LOT out of a guitar.
#8
Looks maybe?

Can't really give that much of a tonal advantage can it?

I'm crying out loud for an SG Junior though.. with one P-90 in the bridge. But I think they've discontinued them. = (
#9
cheaper to make the guitar
and like said above
people don't like neck pickups sometimes... their loss
#10
Like others have said, it's simply because some people don't use the neck pickup. There's nothing else to it.
Heads will roll. Throats will be slit. Blood will flow like springs of water.
#11
Quote by War-Pig
Looks maybe?

Can't really give that much of a tonal advantage can it?

I'm crying out loud for an SG Junior though.. with one P-90 in the bridge. But I think they've discontinued them. = (


It's a bummer if they have, I want one too
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
My tasty licks aren't going anywhere.
#12
Well I use every pickup a lot, bridge, middle, neck, yet I'm getting a H guitar (BC Rich gunslinger yellow).
Why you ask?

It's fackin' Eighties!!!

However a lot of others do as they only use the bridge.
#13
Quote by CJRocker
That said, my favorite configuration was always one Humbucker with a slanted single coil in the neck like the Charvel 3DR/Predator, but you NEVER see guitars like that anymore...

Cool indeed !
I picked up a cheapo one (a Charvette) for 50 bux at my local pawn shop. I set it up and it plays pretty good ! There's a pic in my profile
#14
Quote by Punk_Ninja
yet I'm getting a H guitar (BC Rich gunslinger yellow).

Killer guitar !
I have a Bich myself, the new NJ series a surprisingly good !
#15
Quote by CJRocker
Because some people like one pickup. It used to be a LOT more common actually back in the 80's due to how simple it was, and often looked killer. Charvel now does it a lot as it goes well with graphic finishes. So yeah, mainly looks... That said, my favorite configuration was always one Humbucker with a slanted single coil in the neck like the Charvel 3DR/Predator, but you NEVER see guitars like that anymore...

EDIT: And people, it's not a tonal "advantage" if you never use it. and Shred guitarists started the one hummer thing, not punk guys. In fact, you need to be more skilled to use only one pickup, which can be used to coax a LOT out of a guitar.

Correction: Shred guys did not start the one hum guitars. Jazz guys did, though they only had neck hums instead of bridge hums.
#16
But the pickup is there. Maybe in a few years you might decide the the neck pick up rocks. I love my neck pick up, i'd die without it. thats why i replaced my epi stock with an ES-335(big jump hey).
rokket is exactly right
I never use the middle on the pickup selector on my Les Paul. Never.
#17
Quote by CJRocker
EDIT: And people, it's not a tonal "advantage" if you never use it. and Shred guitarists started the one hummer thing, not punk guys. In fact, you need to be more skilled to use only one pickup, which can be used to coax a LOT out of a guitar.


Not really. Most people with a single-pickup guitar use it for one sound only.

PS. Esquires rule.
Last edited by mr_hankey at Mar 18, 2008,
#18
Tonally, though you are sacrificing the options the neck pickup gives you (or the bridge pickup, if your only pickup is in the neck position, obviously), having just the one pickups means of course your guitar's body has just plain more wood, and sustain will be less 'interrupted'. The lower magnetic field arguably also helps.

Basically, the body will provide an extra second or so sustain than it would otherwise, and the tone you do get will be slightly thicker with more bass response, and will have a more 'natural' wooden tone (as opposed to the very unnatural 'metallic' tone you get when putting say, a stainless steel floyd rose in a guitar or a metal pickguard). Acoustically though the guitar will resonate less (somewhat bizarrely), which will also help with controlling/avoiding feedback. Basically, simpler construction of the guitar overall = more natural tone.


In other words, if you know exactly what tone you want and really know how to get the most out of that one pickup, having just a single pickup offers quite a few advantages.


Incidentally, pretty much the same occurs comparing three pickups to two.

Personally, I prefer to have just two pickups. I've never found any use for a middle pickup, ever. I do have a couple of one pickup guitars too though (a Gibson LP Junior, an Epi LP Junior, and an old Kramer), and they get a fair amount of use.
#19
All I have to say is EVH and the Frankenstrat. Nobody can tell me that he isn't able to coax many a tone from that one little pup.
#20
Quote by bokuho
Tonally, though you are sacrificing the options the neck pickup gives you (or the bridge pickup, if your only pickup is in the neck position, obviously), having just the one pickups means of course your guitar's body has just plain more wood, and sustain will be less 'interrupted'. The lower magnetic field arguably also helps.

Basically, the body will provide an extra second or so sustain than it would otherwise, and the tone you do get will be slightly thicker with more bass response, and will have a more 'natural' wooden tone (as opposed to the very unnatural 'metallic' tone you get when putting say, a stainless steel floyd rose in a guitar or a metal pickguard). Acoustically though the guitar will resonate less (somewhat bizarrely), which will also help with controlling/avoiding feedback. Basically, simpler construction of the guitar overall = more natural tone.


Well, that sounds like a load of BS. The magnetic pull part is true, but who the hell can hear the difference between a guitar routed for one pickup, and a guitar routed for two pickups? If you can, congratulations, give Eric Johnson a call.
#21
I have to have a neck. It's killer for cleans, and sometimes you just want that tonal difference. Especially in solos it's nice to shift around.
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