Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

some questions regarding pickups


Prospero

Recommended Posts

I'm ignorant. I want to know a couple things about pickups:

 

1. When you guys upgrade your pickups, do you generally go for the same pickup in the bridge and neck, or do you choose pickups individually? I know that's a fairly subjective "it depends on your preference" type of question, but I want to know your preferences. I want to know if there is something of a consensus. For example, would you just choose a pair of Gibson BurstBuckers, or SD PearlyGates or what-have-you, or would you look at each pickup choice individually.

 

2a. When it comes right down to it, what is the advantage of the third pickup? What does that middle humbucker bring to your guitar that the other 2 don't already give you? As far as I know, Gibson only puts middle pickups on LP and SG Customs, and on the Custom Shop Non-Reverse Firebird, while other guitar companies stick 3 pickups on guitars with more regularity.

 

2b. And where does the HSH arrangement fit in? I know Gibson/Epiphone don't really present this option, but what does the single-coil in the middle bring to the party in an HSH guitar? (I've been reading a bunch of stuff from Strat players that say they hardly ever bother with the middle pickup, so I'm wondering where's the advantage/attraction of having a middle pickup, whether SSS or HSH. I saw someone (and still, I can't remember who it was) with an SG Custom that had a P94 in the middle slot, effectively making an HSH guitar, I guess. And ever since I saw that, I've been left puzzled as to why you'd do that, and what advantages the third pickup brings, especially the HSH arrangement.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

strings at neck are closer together than at bridge.. so you have to get a neck position even if it's otherwise identical.

 

some prefer calibrated sets.. two or three or however many pickups which are graduated... 6K at the neck 6.5K at the middle 7K at the bridge..

this way volume is nearly identical when the pickups are all at the same distance from the strings.

 

Sets are a fairly good idea because of the above.. good sets come calibrated, slightly less power to the neck and/or middle, they match tonally, cosmetically, power-wise.

But, of course many people find they like a ceramic in one spot, alnico in the other, as well other options, like coil splitting, which require a pickup with four instead of two conductors.

And, since tastes vary widely, there is no doubt people will be mixing and matching, models as well as brands, toward their particular taste, and we know there's nothing to say except it's all good.

 

a middle pup does not sound like a bridge or neck. it's different. and in combinations that's even more variety, a broader palette, if you will.

 

a middle pickup brings a lot.. first, it's own sound.. the middle single coil being a famous preference of many players alone and in combination with others. same deal with buckers on each end. many many strat players of fame use the middle position pickup. series/parallel wiring on a switch is a popular option.

without it, you dont' have those sounds.

 

varying the type and output of a pickup and adding it in combination with others adds sounds. pure and simple.

there is no criticism of this, only personal preference.

 

it's like asking why have two when one will do. because one wont, that's why.

 

there used to be a guitar with a slot in the middle.. you could slide it's single humbucker up and down between the bridge and the neck.

switch between single and dual coil.

different sound for every half inch or so of travel. what's that about ten pickups in one?

plus dual sounds for each?

 

Now there's a guy who wants it al!

 

TWANG

the above is basic stuff only.. one can add to this easily.. please do

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can go either way. On my Monty I have a pair of Burstbuckers, but I have a I in the neck and a II in the bridge, so the bridge is slightly hotter than the neck. I did a similar set-up on my Maestro g-400 but using a BBII and a BBIII, respectively.

 

In other cases I've gone with a wider spread, e.g. pairing a Seymour Duncan JB (doesn't stand for Jeff Beck) with either a Jazz in the neck (as on my '78 SG) or a '59 in the neck (as on my Elitist LP). I'm in the middle of upgrading my Epiphone/Yamano LP Special with SD P-90s and again I'm going for the Vintage model in the neck but I'll be putting the SP90-2 hot version in the bridge.

 

The way I see it, you should try to get as wide a range of tones as possible out of the two pickups so it makes sense to have some level of difference between the two; whether slight as in the case of the BBs or more pronounced as in the case of the JB/Jazz or JB/'59 scenarios. Naturally there is already going to be some difference no matter what you do just from the physics of the two positions but I think you get what I mean. A really good example of this philosophy is Gibson's Nighthawk guitar which had a five-way switch, coil tapping, and three completely dissimilar pickups.

 

I basically have to agree with those that find the center pickup superfluous, especially on the Gibson models since you still end up with only three options because of the three-way toggle switch (although now they have a 6-position switch on the SG-3). On a Strat I believe the middle pickup is interesting for the tones it produces when paired with either the bridge or the neck pickup even though it's somewhat uninteresting by itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like 3 pickups on guitars like Les Pauls (or other humbucker based guitars) because it interferes with my picking style. My new Firebird is proving to be a little frustrating because of it but I'll get use to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can go either way. On my Monty I have a pair of Burstbuckers' date=' but I have a I in the neck and a II in the bridge, so the bridge is [i']slightly[/i] hotter than the neck. I did a similar set-up on my Maestro g-400 but using a BBII and a BBIII, respectively.

 

In other cases I've gone with a wider spread, e.g. pairing a Seymour Duncan JB (doesn't stand for Jeff Beck) with either a Jazz in the neck (as on my '78 SG) or a '59 in the neck (as on my Elitist LP). I'm in the middle of upgrading my Epiphone/Yamano LP Special with SD P-90s and again I'm going for the Vintage model in the neck but I'll be putting the SP90-2 hot version in the bridge.

 

The way I see it, you should try to get as wide a range of tones as possible out of the two pickups so it makes sense to have some level of difference between the two; whether slight as in the case of the BBs or more pronounced as in the case of the JB/Jazz or JB/'59 scenarios. Naturally there is already going to be some difference no matter what you do just from the physics of the two positions but I think you get what I mean. A really good example of this philosophy is Gibson's Nighthawk guitar which had a five-way switch, coil tapping, and three completely dissimilar pickups.

 

I basically have to agree with those that find the center pickup superfluous, especially on the Gibson models since you still end up with only three options because of the three-way toggle switch (although now they have a 6-position switch on the SG-3). On a Strat I believe the middle pickup is interesting for the tones it produces when paired with either the bridge or the neck pickup even though it's somewhat uninteresting by itself.

 

So, who has the final word on what JB stands for . . . Jazz and Blues, or Jeff Beck??

Wikipedia says . . .

Seymour Duncan's best selling pickup model is the SH-4 "JB Model" humbucker, that originated from a pickup Seymour made in in early '70s for his hero Jeff Beck who had the PAF pickups switched out of his guitar by a dishonest guitar tech. Beck used the pickups in his seminal release "Blow By Blow" in a guitar built for him by Seymour, dubbed the "Tele-Gib," which featured a JB pickup in the bridge position and a "JM" or Jazz Model pickup in the neck.

>>>> Seymour Duncan comes THIS close to saying it stands for Jeff Beck, but doesn't really . . . here is the link

http://www.seymourduncan.com/company/seymours-bio/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm ignorant. I want to know a couple things about pickups:

 

1. When you guys upgrade your pickups' date=' do you generally go for the same pickup in the bridge and neck, or do you choose pickups individually? I know that's a fairly subjective "it depends on your preference" type of question, but I want to know your preferences. I want to know if there is something of a consensus. For example, would you just choose a pair of Gibson BurstBuckers, or SD PearlyGates or what-have-you, or would you look at each pickup choice individually.

 

2a. When it comes right down to it, what is the advantage of the third pickup? What does that middle humbucker bring to your guitar that the other 2 don't already give you? As far as I know, Gibson only puts middle pickups on LP and SG Customs, and on the Custom Shop Non-Reverse Firebird, while other guitar companies stick 3 pickups on guitars with more regularity.

 

2b. And where does the HSH arrangement fit in? I know Gibson/Epiphone don't really present this option, but what does the single-coil in the middle bring to the party in an HSH guitar? (I've been reading a bunch of stuff from Strat players that say they hardly ever bother with the middle pickup, so I'm wondering where's the advantage/attraction of having a middle pickup, whether SSS or HSH. I saw someone (and still, I can't remember who it was) with an SG Custom that had a P94 in the middle slot, effectively making an HSH guitar, I guess. And ever since I saw that, I've been left puzzled as to why you'd do that, and what advantages the third pickup brings, especially the HSH arrangement.)[/quote']

 

Just so you know you are in good company, I am ignorant too ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

So' date=' who has the final word on what JB stands for . . . Jazz and Blues, or Jeff Beck??

[/quote']

 

JazzBridge. Depicting it in the brochure with a picture of Jeff Beck on the neighbouring page was...convenient.

 

He pulls the same trick with his EVH '78 humbucker. Implying, but not really saying... Evenly Voiced Humbucker? Right...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My fav PU combo has got to be humbucker in bridge and single coil in neck. Even on Gibsontype guitars. I don't give a crap how odd it looks.

Don't care for Middle PU's. They obstruct my playing, don't look good, and soundwise they bring too little to care. I'm kind of partial to the EVH-school in those matters. Less is more, One PU, one volume that's it.

On a strat I'll maintain it's classic look by screwing the middle PU down till it's flat with the pickguard.

 

PRSbody.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

there used to be a guitar with a slot in the middle.. you could slide it's single humbucker up and down between the bridge and the neck.

 

I remember that one! Wasn't that Ronnie Montrose with a custom made strat fitted with a Bill Lawrence pup? Phew. That must have been 25 years ago. That dude had great tone, and was full of innovative ideas.

 

I also remember a particular Westone Bass with slide-able PU.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...