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Pickup recommendation for baritone

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  • Pickup recommendation for baritone

    Hello, sorry if this question has been asked before, but I did a search and didn't find anything that answered my question...

    I am building a Strat-style baritone guitar out of Warmoth parts with a maple neck and a swamp ash body with a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, and a vintage-style six hole Wilkinson vibrato. For the neck and middle pickups, I plan to use Duncan SSL-1s, but need some advice for the bridge. I am very familiar with how different pickups sound on a standard tuned guitar, but am not sure how they will react on a guitar tuned down to B-B. The bridge pickup cavity is routed to fit a single coil, humbucker, or P-90. The sound I am after is straightforward rock & roll to be used clean or with a bit of overdrive, played through a Fender amp. I am NOT looking for a distorted, chugging heavy metal sound. Think musically along the lines of Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Brian Setzer, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty - more of a classic, vintage sound. I'm just not sure how any of these pickups will react to a guitar tuned this low, for example if a humbucker will be too dull and muddy sounding, causing the baritone to clash with the bass guitar, or if a single coil will be too harsh, or if the P-90 will be too fat and dull sounding. Or maybe all lipstick tubes is the way to go!
    Any suggestions and specific pickup model recommendations are greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

  • #2
    Re: Pickup recommendation for baritone

    I had good rock results with a C5 in the bridge (I hated it with normal tuning) and a jazz in the neck, clear, singing and crunchy.
    The main issue I have is with the gauge of the strings to avoid a rather 'plummy' sound on the bass B (it's not the pickups) - I've gone to 13 - 58 but it's still not rigid enough, (probably should go to 63) - if you use Sperzels, you may need to drill them out if you go up higher than that.


    • #3
      Re: Pickup recommendation for baritone

      my first thought is a jazz in the bridge, itll balance well with single coils and should get great tone while staying clean and clear