What Guitar Pickups Should I Buy
What Guitar Pickups Should I Buy
Modern humbucker pickups have been designed with something called a coil tap, which allows you to temporarily disconnect one set of the pole pieces. This basically gives you a single-coil and humbucker pickup in one.
The upgraded wiring system on these pickups gives you a girthier bass response and a hotter output than traditional strat pickups, so these are best for blues and rock players who really want to push the input of their amp.
Something special about these pickups is that the middle pickup is wound in reverse. This means that when you use either position 2 or 4 on a 5-way pickup selector, the pickup selection acts to remove hum and feedback, so you can really push the gain up.
The DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Strat is available in just one configuration, though. That is, where some other manufacturers make subtle changes between their bridge, middle, and neck pickups, DiMarzio is offering just one pickup for all purposes.
Not only do they sound fantastic, but they also look the part. They come in black, white, and cream, allowing you to choose the version that suits the visual palette of your guitar without sacrificing tone.
One notable problem with passive pickups is they require stronger magnets to generate a sufficient voltage, potentially causing a condition known as string pull, which negatively impacts both tone and sustain.
Being a studio guitarist, I am continuously faced with experimenting with different pickup positions and going in-depth into what makes them unique. In this Bridge vs Neck pickup article, I will help you understand exactly how the two main pickup positions are different, along with the best ways you can use them.
The versatility of switching between different pickup positions is one of the perks that make playing electric guitar dynamic and fun. As you probably know by now, most guitars have at least two pickups, one in the bridge and neck. Whether you are playing a Strat-style guitar, Les Paul, or anything in between, the Neck and Bridge pickup will always sound different.
Bottom Line Up Front: The bridge and neck positions pickups sound different not only because they are placed in different positions but also cause they are built differently. The Bridge pickup is brighter, has more attack and more output than the neck pickup, which is generally warmer sounding and with less output to compensate for its position closer to the center of the strings.
The farther to the center of the strings you get, the less the string vibrate and the thinner the tone becomes. You can try it out yourself on an acoustic guitar; if your strum is closer to the neck, the tone becomes fat and loud. The farther you go from it, the more high-end the guitar will have. In my experience, to dive deeper into tone, you should first consider the acoustic properties of the guitar and how you approach playing.
Since the strings vibrate less above the bridge pickup, they are built to have more output than the neck pickup to balance out the volume difference. This is why rock and metal guitarists prefer the bridge pickup for riffs and lead with a lot of sustain. However, the extra gain makes the bridge pickup much noisier in single-coil pickups and sometimes too bright, even starchy.
A good trick to use when playing with the bridge pickup is to balance out the extra gain with the volume knob of the guitar, which actually dictates the gain rather than the volume, as the name suggests.
The lower you bring the volume knob, the mellower the tone becomes. When you want to have full gain and open up the sound, for example, on a powerful chorus or lead part, roll up the volume to have the entire output of the guitar.
Your guitar model will affect the tone, but most of all, your picking technique. Playing with your finger, the side of the pick, and further from the bridge are techniques I use all the time to balance out the bright nature of the bridge.
When comparing pickup positions, you should