Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Re: Can one guitar do it all?
Nope, probably not possible. Different guitar woods have very different sounds. You can even hear this acoustically by playing guitars made out of different woods side-by-side without plugging them in.
Even if you split the coils on a humbucker to play it as a single-coil, you haven't changed the resistance value of the attached electrical components like the potentiometers. It'll have a single-coil sound, but won't be exactly the same as a guitar that was purpose-built as a single-coil guitar like a strat.
Generally, single-coil guitars are designed to make the most use of their brighter, nasal sound, and double-coil guitars are designed to make the best use of their warm, fat sound. Other combinations are possible, of course, but these are the "classic" sounds. Incidentally, I'd add in the Rickenbacker and any of several soapbar pickup guitars as two other classic types.
So it's certainly possible to have a very versatile guitar (I'm going to design one of my guitars exactly this way) but it won't sound *exactly* the same as the classic examples that we're used to.