Pickup Position Explanation - Jemsite
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 96
Pickup Position Explanation

Could someone give me a quick rundown of what different positions for pickups are good for? (even the obvious)

Example, Neck position is good for smoother lead sounds, Bridge for crunchy rhythm, BOTH humbuckers for....? (I don't even know)

Oh and how do you guys feel about pickups wired parallel, split, and out of phase? I'm interested in how these alter the sound. I think thinking of changing one of my positions to the inner coils of H-H.

Last edited by Fang; 01-31-2008 at 04:44 PM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 597
Re: Pickup Position Explanation

Well, neck pickups and bridge pickups are good for... whatever your ear likes them for. There's no rule about what to use each position for, though the sounds you listed are, I suppose, fairly typical.

As for wiring, I really like a neck humbucker wired in parallel for a clean tone. I personally find this far preferable to coil-tapping. I don't find that a bridge humbucker in parallel is quite as useful, though I have been known to experiment with taking a coil from each pickup. In parallel, this seems to result in a tone that's a bit brighter than a neck humbucker in parallel, though still with enough output reduction to result in a nice clean sound.

I also have one HH guitar with a P-Model Megaswitch from Stew-Mac. This gives you:

1 - Bridge humbucker
2 - Inner coils in parallel
3 - Outer coils in series
4 - Outer coils in parallel
5 - Neck humbucker

Position 3 here is interesting. To my ear, the sound is much more defined that the typical "both humbuckers on" setting, with a pretty unique tone, at least with the two pickup sets that I've tried it with. Positions 2 and 4, as you might expect, sound pretty similar. I wish they could have made 4 the neck in parallel, but they were trying to mimick the options on a PRS rotary switch, apparently.
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bridge hum , bridge humbucker , bridge pickup , bridge pickups , clean tone , inner coils , neck humbucker , neck pickup , neck pickups , neck position

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