Understanding how to choose pickups



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Re: Understanding how to choose pickups

Postby neonblack » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:38 pm

I bought a Duncan QP to replace my thin bridge pickup and it still sounds thin. But my neck pickup is extra meaty so that may skew my perception a bit.
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Re: Understanding how to choose pickups

Postby Benn Roe » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:38 am

Thanks, everyone! This has all been very helpful, and I'm still muddling through it all.
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Re: Understanding how to choose pickups

Postby calfzilla » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:55 am

In all honesty, I wouldn't buy a Duncan/Dimarzio/Fender/whatever big brand you can think of, especially when you're buying new. I had a set of Duncan APS-1s that were stock in my strat; replaced with an $80 set off ebay in the same factory that winds Tonerider pickups (probably just rebranded Toneriders) and they kicked the crap out of the Duncans. I was able to score some Manlius humbuckers for about $110 and they were leagues above the stock Gibson pickups in my LP. I just think there are plenty of small shops that can accommodate your budget and get you something that sounds a little better.

yeah, probably sounds cork sniffy, but... I don't know, people upgrade stock pickups all the time. Might as well pick a company you could actually call up and talk to about what you want and see what they suggest.
Last edited by calfzilla on Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Understanding how to choose pickups

Postby rickenbastard » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:17 am

Email Avedissian pickups with what you’re looking for and he’ll tell you what pickup suits your need and why. If he doesn’t already make it he’ll make you a custom wind to suit your exact needs. He builds pickups for country/blues guys, the heaviest of doomers and tech death bands...low output, high output, all sorts of things. Prices are reasonable and you can talk directly to the dude
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Re: Understanding how to choose pickups

Postby calfzilla » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:44 am

Other good and reasonable ones are
Manlius
Zhangbucker
Sunday handwound pickups on reverb
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Re: Understanding how to choose pickups

Postby Mike S » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:24 pm

bennroe wrote:To help narrow the scope of information I'm requesting, here are some buzzwords that describe the tone I'm looking for: bright, well-defined, full, sustain, clear, crisp. Help me understand how to get there!


A big factor is the shape of the magnets, which in the past was largely the difference between Fender and Gibson. P90's and most humbuckers use a bar magnet and metal pole pieces. Most traditional Fender single coils have no bar magnets and instead use rod-shaped or threaded magnetic pole pieces, resulting in a cleaner, thinner sound.

From the sound of it, your ideal pickup (in the neck position, anyway) would be a Wide Range Humbucker. They use threaded magnets and pretty much have the exact sound that you describe. Originals are very expensive and don't quite sound the same as the overhyped magnetic alloy (CuNiFe) tends to demagnetize. I would look at Curtis Novak's page since he makes them in a few different sizes, rather than Fender's huge design.
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