The science of single pickup guitar

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by littlebadboy, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    Single Bridge humbucker is the best. Period. With volume and tone if needed for some versatility.
     
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  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    A few people have claimed that EMGs are better because they have lower inductance, so they have less damping on the strings. It's one of those "technically it's true" sort of things that probably make so little observable difference that no one cares.

    But if you really want to go crazy removing damping, why no go the other direction and install a sustainer driver? The driven system will have all the sustain you want and the damping will hardly matter anymore.

    I used to play steel guitar in a band with an old guy who had a tele with two volume controls. The neck pickup had a high-pass to ground, so it sounded like the tone knob was always set around 4 or 5 and the bridge pickup went straight from volume to output. I thought it was a brilliant setup at the time.

    Anybody ever monkied with a TBX or active filter?
     
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  3. akinari

    akinari SS.org Regular

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    Yah. I have a TBX circuit in an '86 Fender Contemporary Strat, and it's awesome. I've thought about putting one in a bunch of my guitars. Really surprised there aren't more (stock) guitars with that or an equivalent circuit. Super useful for getting more air and weight out of a flat sounding pickup, or adding attack to the low strings.
     
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  4. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    Now, I'm GAS'ING for a single pickup guitar. I'll probably hot rod a Lavigne telecaster.
     
  5. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

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    I wired this up for a friend. Just wired the pickup right to the output jack with a killswitch in there somewhere, I can't remember how I did it now. It was actually pretty nice.

    The only shame was it was on a gorgeous caparison
     
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  6. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Buy a junior, have fun.
     
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  7. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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    I would love to either buy or build a guitar with a single pickup a la EVH someday. They're obviously simpler and I swear by the bridge pickup 99% of the time.

    I have started using my neck pickup more when I solo past the 12th fret like how John Sykes does though. So now I'll go back and forth on if one or two pickups is the move...
     
  8. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    My favorite clean tones come from the middle position on a dual-humbucker guitar and I like using a neck pickup for certain lead parts, so I couldn't use a single-pickup guitar as my "main" one. I do, however, have an ESP M-1 with just a bridge humbucker and a volume control. It's an absolute riffing machine and I like keeping it around as my "all heavy all the time" guitar. Just a different tool for a different job, you know?

    I don't put a lot of stock in the "better tone" argument for only using one pickup. There are just too many other factors at play between any two guitars, even two of the same model/production run where the only difference on paper is the pickup configuration. I understand that certain single coil pickups use different magnets that can affect sustain and tuning, but those issues mostly only pop up when a guitar is set up with the action too low and/or the pickups too high anyway.
     
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  9. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    Fuck that. I'm tired of people tossing the word "science" in the title to bait clicks.

    If I ever get a single pickup guitar, first thing I'll do is route it for a single coil in the neck :yesway:
     
  10. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    A good half of my guitars are single bridge humbucker straight to the output, no knobs, I’ve been experimenting with a kill switch on one for muting. Life is simple with less options :)
     
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  11. Fortin Worship

    Fortin Worship SS.org Regular

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    I love my various LTD black metal guitars. I hardly ever use a neck pickup.
     
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  12. pyramids

    pyramids SS.org Regular

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    So maybe that's one of the motivating factors behind the one pickup on the Strandberg Masvidalien Cosmo? [sorry first post so can't link it, check the Strandberg site] I mean, my Strandy Metal 7 has sustain for days, really more than any electric I've ever played, so maybe in this case that science does play in to further enhance a quality already present.

    In any case an interesting topic for me. I've been on the verge of pulling the trigger of the Masvidalien because I love their guitars in general and this particular design is IMO the sexiest looking one they have, also because I tend to dig the pick into neck pickups sometimes (yeah that can be practiced away, I know...) BUT I find myself constantly held back by the fear that the one humbucker - regardless the fancy tone control - just won't suffice. I guess when my wallet allows I'll just go ahead and buy one with open return to see for myself... But until then definitely following this topic with interest.

    Anyone here who's played the Masvidalien and can share their experience with it?
     
  13. BenSolace

    BenSolace Divine Solace

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    Having done this to all my guitars, I can confirm happiness (and less twatting about making sure it's on 10 when playing live!).
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  14. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    The place I've noticed "string pull" the most is on a strat. If your pickups get too close to the string it can create really weird resonances in the string, even playing unplugged. There's even a name for it, "strat-itis". Oddly it doesn't seem happen with humbuckers. I'm assuming something about the two piles close to eah other prevents the concentrated "phantom bridge" type effect you get with the single coil.
     
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  15. Estilo

    Estilo SS.org Regular

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    Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way, but for me only in relation to the content creator in question. Never mind that they are all contrivedly long, but this guy's video on why Strats sound better in Eb was moments of life wasted I wish I didn't. He explained absolutely nothing there. He also gives off this elitist snob impression because for his age he gets to be part of Beato's entourage, throwing in claims like 'I know because I've owned this guitar/this amp for so long' it's all cringey bullcrap.I did find his video on power amp saturation useful moderately, but that was a joint effort with an older YouTube featured in it, and even then he failed to show nuances from the guitar's volume control which is a huge part of the equation if you're into the power amp saturation thing (most here aren't, I know).

    Don't mean to hate, am actually consciously making an effort to think more positively, but when age catches up the lower tolerance thing is inevitable I guess.
     
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  16. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    While I hate clickbait as much as the next guy, and while I couldn't do without a neck and a bridge pickup myself, this one actually is reasonably scientific, referring to a few papers and an interview with a physicist about the impact of magnetic pull along various harmonic nodes on the neck. It's actually not entirely crazy.
     
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  17. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    no this guy's videos are the absolute worst. look at his Gibson 2018 or something video. annoying as hell.
     
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  18. Ted Pikul

    Ted Pikul SS.org Regular

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    I really like a good coil-split. Saves space, you get your humbuckers, everyone's happy.
     
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  19. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    Quite honestly, the only way I've been using a neck pickup (a Liquifire paired with a CrunchLab) for the last few years was in middle position. Ever since I've been having a parallel switch on my guitar, I haven't really used the neck pickup by itself: often I use the middle position in either series or parallel, be it for cleans or smoother leads; ,and that's when I don't just roll the tone knob. So I do need a neck pickup... to season my bridge pickup. :lol: Maybe if I had a neck pickup that was sonically closer to a bridge pickup and/or closer to the middle position especially in parallel, I'd use the neck pickup by itself.
     
  20. Protestheriphery

    Protestheriphery SS.org Regular

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    The younger me would be totally down for an istrument with 1 pu/1 vol. I've never had much use for a neck pu in the past.
    Current me would probably feel like it's too plain, or something's missing. I guess I've just gotten used to having it there. Sometimes I like to mess with it. It also adds a visual balance to the instrument.
     

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