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Pickup noob, need an explanation

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Oreomeister365, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Hi, I',m fairly new to the whole pickups thing, I want some custom pickups but theres a couple things I'd like to know:

    Why do some basses have two identical (looking) pickups? A Wal bass has two pickups, are they different tonally? Does the difference in tone come from their positions, something internal, or both? Obviously they each have their own tone control and can be blended, giving a much larger range of tones than one, but both set flat, what is the reason for having two?

    It could obviously be all of these things. But maybe 1 pickup is often the treble pickup while the other is the bass pickup, idk, is that the case?

  2. quick.

    a pickup closer to bridge gives more treble sound, a pickup closer to neck gives bottom sound.

    volume can be regulated by how close pickups are to the strings.

    and even if pickups look the same, internal wiring could be a lot different.
  3. why do strats have 3 single coils? :)
    yes like you mentionned the different positions yield different sounds when set flat. Closer to the bridge, brighter; closer to the neck, woofier. All this is due to the way harmonics work.
    And the pickups can be blended for different sounds, different humbucking modes or even weird out-of-phase sounds.
  4. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    They often AREN'T identical. They'll be wound to complement eachother tonally, usually. Positioning also makes a huge difference in sound.

    Plus, on a playability note, if you rest your thumb on the pickups, it gives you another position to pluck from. That opens a whole other can of worms, tonally speaking - plucking closer to the neck gives more bottom, while closer to the bridge gives more definition.

    So, you have the ability to solo either pickup, or blend them in any fashion you wish, as well as four separate picking positons (bridge, bridge pickup, neck pickup, fretboard). Basically, it just exponentially expands your tonal possibilities.

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