How to Change Guitar Pickups

How to Change Guitar Pickups

Customizing your guitar is always fun and often gives you that motivational cue that gets you over an inspirational hump. Hobby accessories are often a surefire way to spark your interest and dedication. Hobbies are often the spices of our life and often the ingredient that makes it all worthwhile. Music is the language of our souls and we are all seeking our own voice. If you are a guitarist, it is only natural to start searching for your own sound.

You are the sum of all your own experiences, no one else listened to exactly the same music you did. So your ideal tone is going to be a blend of your favorite guitar sounds. Guitar pickups are a great way to custom shape your sound. Pickups come in so many designs, each with its own unique voice. It is important to do a little research before picking up your new pickups.

Guitar pickups are magnets with coiled copper wire around them. The wire coiled magnets harness the vibration of the string and turn it into an AC current signal that the amp converts back into a sound wave. The strength of the magnets and their height positioning are crucial factors to consider when setting up your guitar. Replacing your guitar pickups is a really good way to change your guitar tone. The pickups offer a guitarist the ability to individualize their sound. A great deal of the final sound quality is the result of the type of and way you are using them.

Guitars come in so many body designs that affect what types will work with your guitar. First, consider the number of pickups you have. Guitars typically come with two or three pickups. Therefore, you may have two, three, or five pickup positions to choose from and each of them has a distinct sound that will become a regular part of your creative palette. The bridge pickup, also commonly known as the lead pickup, has the most power. The lead position cuts through with accentuated highs and often has the most sustain.

Two pickup guitar designs also have a complementing neck pickup, used as the rhythm pickup. This slot has gentler warmth and the smooth bass works well for strumming. Lastly, a three-slot guitar design has a middle pickup that gives the guitarist another set of options. This design has two midway positions located between itself and the bridge or itself and the neck. This creates five distinctly different tone qualities to create with.

That covers a basic rundown on the basic pickup position designs. So when you go to replace the pickups already in your guitar, first consider what you have and how they sound. Consider what position you play in most. Take note of the brand you have and make sure you know what design your guitar is. Most pickup companies offer a detailed description of the sound timbre of each of their pickups. Consider the tones of your favorite guitarists and the genres of music you play. The designs of different pickups complement the various musical moods of different genres.

When it comes to installing new sound pickups into your guitar, you have three options. You can send away to a custom shop, for top-of-the-line equipment and workmanship for your guitar. Many local shops will also install your new pickups, especially if you are willing to purchase them there. Lastly, some guitarists take the process into their own hands. In fact, Jimi Hendrix insisted on rewiring and adjusting his setup himself. The magnet height directly affects the strength of the signal your amp receives and is easy to adjust. The closer the magnet is to the string the louder the incoming signal is. However, the nearer the magnets is to the strings the faster the pickup magnets pull the strings to a stop. This decreases your note sustain.

Pickups come in many styles as single coils, double coils (known as humbuckers), vintage sounding, and in battery-powered models. Each type of design will have a different purpose, so make sure to do enough research to figure out which setup is right for you. Your guitar may not accommodate the shapes and sizes of all types of pickups. You can usually find an adaptation that will work, or you can always send it away to the custom shop. However, this gets to be pretty expensive. When you upgrade your pickups expect to spend between 80 and 200 dollars. You get you what you pay for when it comes to upgrading your guitar.


Leave a Comment