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Pickups don't make a difference in tone.

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  • superpete
    replied
    if anyone here really thinks they dont make a difference, i'll gladly trade all my old epiphone, ltd, bc rich, & squier cheapies for your overpriced, overhyped name brand pickups.

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  • Mincer
    replied
    Well, I think the premise of this was that they 'don't' make a difference. Not that they make the smallest difference. There clearly is a difference for 99% of players. How much that is isn't really relevant, as it probably is different for everyone.

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  • Securb
    replied

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  • alex1fly
    replied
    IME playing multiple instruments (strings, percussion, winds, keyboards) and performing semi-professionally for the last 25 years... amp and cabinet choice have a much bigger tonal impact than pickups. String brand, gauge and material make a big difference. The thickness and material of your pick (or fingers) makes a big difference. How you attack the strings makes a big difference. Pickups absolutely play a role but it's hardly the place to start IMO. Cheap ones can sound great, nice ones can sound crappy. They don't have a sound on their own so you have to match it with everything else that's going on.

    Pickups are like the middle managers of your guitar tone.

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  • GreatOz
    replied
    There's a ton of factors that go into your sound. The biggest from my experience are the amp/speaker combo, the amount of gain that's being used, and what type of pickups you use (singles, humbuckers, active, and etc; less the model itself, but again that does factor). If you use a ton of gain, it almost doesn't matter what kind of pickups you use; the pickup more determines noise level and how "smooth" your tone is and less the tone itself at that point. Try doing an A-B with completely different pickups with enough gain. Will you be able to tell a difference? Usually. Will you be able to tell which one is which? Doubtful. Could you tell what pickup was used in a full band mix with full blown processing? Extremely doubtful.

    Yes, pickups affect tone, but the amp/speaker combo affects it more. At least in my personal experience.

    Idk, just my $0.02.
    Last edited by GreatOz; 10-12-2020, 02:12 PM.

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  • weepingminotaur
    replied
    I'm pretty wary of binary thinking. Between "pickups don't affect tone" and "pickups are the defining factor in tone", there is a meadow. Let us meet there.

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  • Adieu
    replied
    Originally posted by esandes View Post
    People who state that pickups don't make much difference should only use the cheapest guitar with the cheapest 8" speaker solid state combo then swap pickups.

    I'm no fortunate son with a trust fund. Pickups are the cheapest way to improve tone.
    Used pickup, used speaker, used or knockoff pedals - the only sub-$50 ways to radically change your rig's sound

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  • esandes
    replied
    People who state that pickups don't make much difference should only use the cheapest guitar with the cheapest 8" speaker solid state combo then swap pickups.

    I'm no fortunate son with a trust fund. Pickups are the cheapest way to improve tone.

    Leave a comment:


  • PFDarkside
    replied
    Originally posted by dave74 View Post
    Straight from the guy who proclaimed the dimebucker as the worst pickup ever.

    Proceeds to play extreme metal with loads of gain on a modeling device.

    I mean if that’s the sound you want and pickups don’t matter, you may as well put cheap pickups in a forget the rest. If you are to a point where pickups don’t matter, than literally nothing else matters on the guitar for tone, it’s just a question of playability and appearance.

    For most of us here, hand us two identical guitars, one loaded with a Custom and one with a Custom Custom and we could tell the difference.

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  • Clint 55
    replied
    Upgrading your pickups will never prevent you from upgrading your amp at a later time.

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  • GuitarDoc
    replied
    From what you said in your initial post, I suspect that you are using solid state amps. Indeed if you tried a good tube amp you would also notice for yourself what a tremendous difference that makes in your tone. Also as was said, the speaker in your amp has possibly a greater impact on your tone than just about anything else.

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  • beaubrummels
    replied
    Originally posted by Mad Max View Post
    Why do people say this? I've seen on multiple other forums where someone will ask what kind of pickups they recommend for a certain sound and they'll tell him "get a better amp kid". Whats up with that?
    Saying "get a better amp" is totally different from saying "pickups don't affect tone." If you are using complete crap equipment, you will not be able to hear the benefit that a pickup change brings. everything has to be in balance.

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  • ArtieToo
    replied
    It would be kind of silly to say that a Nazgul sounds like a Jazz. One of the things that I didn't like about the Nazgul was that it was all dirt, all the time. You couldn't dial it out. It's not a bad pup. Just didn't fit my style. On the other hand, I can take my PATB-1 set, and using EQ, mild distortion/boost, and compression, dial in a whole bunch of other pup tones. The PATB's, really deserve the "evenly voiced harmonics" moniker.

    (I hope that all was on topic.)

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  • freefrog
    replied
    Here is a video whose comments conclude that pickups make very little to no difference:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgJvTT14n9c

    Here is another vid from the same magazine, showing obvious differences (to my humble ears at least):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-NGySDtCgc

    Conclusion: something making or not a clear difference between pickups is how / through which signal chain they are played and recorded.

    Hence the variability of opinions: some people say that pickups make no difference because their experience of players (that I respect) seems to prove that. They just forget that other people may have a different experience.

    I'm personally glad to hear clear differences in pickups like I detect clear differences when I drink wines. That's how I've won a set of boutique P.A.F. clones in an epic shootout, some years ago... :-))

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  • dave74
    replied
    Originally posted by Adieu View Post
    Stop giving that guy more clicks and views

    It's like feeding the troll. Literally.

    Except... you're also paying his rent and probably sponsoring a lot of single moms who can't even afford clothes on onlyfans.
    I'm just jabbing at Ryan over his dislike of the SH-13 DIMEBUCKER (An awesome model indeed!).
    I generally support most the YouTube gear guys and don't mind if a link or embed helps them a tiny bit.
    Last edited by dave74; 10-11-2020, 03:01 AM.

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