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Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Bartislartfast, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. Bartislartfast

    Bartislartfast New Member!

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    I'm 44 and have played guitar for most of my life. And I bet that most amateur players like me have mostly just been a bedroom guitarist.

    So what I'm posting about is that if, like me you plug your Strat into the amp and play alone.. the hum on the pickups will be really noticeable. You are sitting 3 or 4 feet away from the amp and you are in a small room.

    So i wondered if Seymour Duncan and all the other pickup manufacturers exploit this area of the market to sell noiseless pickups to amateur players.

    What pickups you want is personal choice and that's OK by me. But here's what I think.

    For the level that most amateurs play at, I think high quality pickups etc are not necessary. If you are recording or performing then maybe it is needed.

    I also think humbuckers are overrated.

    It's all a kind of narrative built up to market pickups to the biggest group of people in the market .... bedroom guitarists!

    The reason I raise this topic is that for the past year or so I have played in a covers band. I have listened to many live recordings the band has made and the hum from the single coils on my 1995 American Standard Strat is not noticeable at all. When you factor in background noise in the venue, background noise from other band members, PA noise ......
    Because very few of us will be playing through professional PA operated by a pro.
    The stock pickups on my Strat sound really good.

    I also have a Gibson SG which has 2 humbuckers. If we play a song which the original artist used an SG then I like to use my SG. But sometimes you can't do guitar changes if you are only on for 20 minutes so I use the Strat for the whole set.

    I've compared videos of us doing various songs where I use either the Strat or the SG. And there's no detectable difference in the sound.

    You also have to remember who is listening.... mostly it will be Joe Public. Who doesn't have the musical ear we all have.
    Most audiences will rate a band highly if there's a few choruses and verses of a popular song they can sing along to.

    I saw a youtube video of a guy demonstrating a stock white '95 Strat. In the comments somebody wrote that he had put Seymour Duncans in his own Strat and after hearing how good that one sounded, he was going to swap out the Seymour Duncans and put the stock pickups back in!

    I don't mean to cause offence to fans of upgraded pickups or humbuckers.

    It's just what i noticed when I compared the experiences of being a bedrom guitarist to playing live.

    Have a good weekend ☺
     
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  2. sadmoodyfrazier

    sadmoodyfrazier Strat-O-Master

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    I know what you're talking about. Actual Gibson pickups sucks. Just try a 90's Gibson. You will get what I'm saying. Actually I've swapped the 490 and 498 humbs on my SG STD for a set of Seymour Duncan 57 or 59, I always don't remember how they're called. Anyway they sucks too. 200 euros of pickups and the Epiphone chinese ones are way better. This is the situation. Now I buy only Toneriders and Klusons and I'm happy. The sound much better than "better" pickups and costs way less. Now I'm going to experiment with very cheap set of Humbucker P90s that I've took from china (13euros). My expectations are very low but who knows. The world on the "guitars side" is really going upside down.
     
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  3. ProSonicLive

    ProSonicLive Senior Stratmaster

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    I also have a 95 MIA Strat that has a full faraday cage grounded to the body, it has fully shielded wires. aside from that and locking tuners, it is bone stock.
    It is very quiet running to my PC on high gain sims and I use really good headphones. On a Mesa boogie triple Rec on a high gain setting, it is more quiet than even most modern strats with normal pickups. Other guitars require me to use noise gates. I use gates anyway for high gain metal so I can tighten up the bottom end. When home recording the sound can be a chore to get rid of. But most listeners do not care, some even like it saying it feels more "real", not sure how you quantify that, but okay.
    Some pickups, like ours, are GREAT for MANY types of music. Where they fall short, is that 50's sound and SOME blues types. I have difficulty getting some of those very light, subtle touches that are different on 50's style pickups. ours are closer to Texas Special pickups with more chime. But they do not have enough chime for some applications.

    Whether the audience hears that or not is not really important. I hear it. therefore, it is worth it. But if our pickups serve you well and you need nothing more... I am honestly happy for you.
    it means that you have found happiness without having to exert any more effort.
    I do not see how humbuckers are "overrated" they are just a different type of tool for a different job to me. All pickup types have had some sort of great pickups.

    In any case, here is some pictures of My 95 strat, because I know we love seeing other peoples guitars that are similar to our own.

    DSCN0034.JPG DSCN0023.JPG DSCN0032.JPG DSCN0028.JPG DSCN0024.JPG
     
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  4. s5tuart

    s5tuart Perfecting time travel since 2525 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    If you can’t hear a difference in pickups then that’s fine.
    Those that can will of course benefit from changing them out if the sound of their guitar is unsatisfactory.
    With regards to whoever is listening to you play, it’s your job to make sure they have a good time.
    So if you sound “better” to yourself by using better equipment then surely that will have benefits to the entertainment you’re giving to others :D
     
  5. esseff

    esseff Strat-O-Master

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    Hahaha... it's all just a load of w@#k but we all luv a good w@#k.
    .
     
  6. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

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    This is a strange thread.
    Pickups are made for players, pro or not. If a sound makes you feel like you want to play, and makes you feel like you want to play better, then it is worth it. I am a pro player, and I notice hum, so I don't like pickups that hum. So those are available. Some people don't mind the hum, so those are available, too. But just because I like what I like (and I notice what I notice) doesn't mean I should inflict that opinion on every player. Some can't tell the difference between pickups, or love very cheap ones. Awesome! Like what you like, but it is silly to think those details don't or shouldn't matter to other players. I obsess over things that make me feel better when I play (and I play a lot). I am happy the tools I need are available.
     
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  7. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's the beauty of having tons of different pups. Pick a set and live happily ever after...:)
     
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  8. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    What is that piece of plastic on the term body?
     
  9. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Then why not own a Squire strat and an Epiphone SG which would be half the cost at least?

    Options. Tastes. Personal preference. What makes a person happy.

    No one's exploiting anyone, they're just offering options to those looking.
     
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  10. EC Strat-boy

    EC Strat-boy Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Actually the reverse tends to be true. Pro players are usually the ones willing to trade in a little top end chime for a set of Noiseless PUPs bc that subtle difference isn’t noticeable in a mix but the hum is / can be.

    It’s the bedroom players who are tone chasers and demand exquisite tone bc it makes a bigger difference to their ears (ie no other instruments to compete with) and their full tones are discernible.
     
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  11. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

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    It's more likely the opposite.

    When you are playing a soft intro at a club, and all the neon signs, light dimmers and TVs are all humming havoc with your vibe - that's when you appreciate having good pickups in your #1
     
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  12. hexnut

    hexnut Strat-Talker

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    And some of us just don't care.
     
  13. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Senior Stratmaster

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    Hum can be more noticeable between songs. You never hear it when the whole band's playing, but it might be apparent during a really quiet passage I guess. The thing is, especially playing bars, some of 'em have terrible power. That's when it can be a problem.

    Still, I'll take the extra chime - even if it's practically subliminal and nobody besides myself would notice, tone inspires.

    I have a set of noiseless Kinmans gathering dust because they didn't quite measure up. Of course, I've been totally spoiled by playing my '63 Strat for almost forty years. It's the standard by which I judge all others. Nothing has equaled it but I do have Strat pickups from Lollar, Fralin, D Allen, Onamac and Chevalier that I like a lot.
     
  14. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

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    A lot of people comment about how "any electric guitar can be used for any genre of music", and that the idea that one is more suitable for some genre than another is mostly just marketing, or a matter of fashion. Pickups are much the same way, any pickup can be used for anything, the differences are marketing and fashion, and that's what they really exploit. A lot of the stock pickups people say are crap are no different from pickups they're selling for $100 or $200 a piece, the difference is just that one came with the guitar, and the other costs a lot of money. It's like wine; some comes in a box and costs $15, some comes in fancy bottles and costs $500.
     
  15. ProSonicLive

    ProSonicLive Senior Stratmaster

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    HVAC tape used for RFID/EMI shielding.
     
  16. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have a ‘95 Gibson ES-335 with stock ‘57 Classic Humbuckers in it and it’s a great sounding guitar.
     
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  17. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Posy rules! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    yep cheep wine that covers it;)
     
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