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do pick ups really make a differene

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almann1979
(@almann1979)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Well, im certainly NOT a good guitarist, but i have been playing a couple of years. the reason i am so naive about getting a good sound is because up until recently i have just played on a small practice amp on my own in my attic. now i am in a band with some people at work and i have had coments i need to get the sound sorted. www.abouttimeband.biz - this isnt a cheaky advert, we have some demo's on there that highlight the problem.

by the way, i am also having intonation problems - if anybody cares to check out the brown eyed girl intro it is very clear on that - this is another thing i dont know how to fix?

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
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Scrybe
(@scrybe)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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I'll take care of that in the summer if you don't get it sorted before then. In the meantime, you can probably do it yourself. Using a tuner to check open string and 12ths string pitch (or harmonics) and adjusting the saddles on your bridge via the little screws at the back of the bridge (just underneath the strings) to sharpen/flatten it accordingly.

hth

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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My experience..

I have a 2006 Fender Strat (made in Mexico) which I played through a Roland Micro Cube mainly the clean channels and to me it sounded ok but I was never really happy with the neck and middle pick ups I usually used the bridge pick up most of the times..

But then I got myself a second hand Peavey Classic 30 watt all tube amp the difference (to me) was astronomical... :D
The neck and middle pick ups just seemed to come alive. It made a huge difference to the overall tone of the guitar.
I also have a Fender Squier 51 (thanks to this newsgroup) which also while I was happy with it sounds much better through the Peavey.

So in my opinion a GOOD AMP is is much more important than a Good guitar..

Cheers
Keith

+1. This discussion comes up every now and then. For tonal purposes, I would choose an 'adequate' guitar and v. good amp over a v. good guitar and 'adequate' amp. Example: A Squier '51 through a Classic 30 or Blues Junior with kill compared to Les Paul Custom (or American STD Strat) through a MicroCube or Fender Frontman.

It wasn't until a friend lent me a Fender Bassman setup that I realized my budget amps had been limiting my tone.

(Not that there is anything wrong with the Squier '51 or MicroCube -- I own both in addition to $$$ stuff. Everything in its place ...)

-=tension & release=-


   
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Scrybe
(@scrybe)
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For tonal purposes, I would choose an 'adequate' guitar and v. good amp over a v. good guitar and 'adequate' amp. Example: A Squier '51 through a Classic 30 or Blues Junior with kill compared to Les Paul Custom (or American STD Strat) through a MicroCube or Fender Frontman.

+1 on that, but a really crap guitar/crappy pups will stound like crap in even the best amps. same as putting a crappy stomp box through a top-end guitar and amp. so an overall quality-balance is worth striving for, imho. but if I had to choose, I'd up the amp before upping the guitar, in most cases (quality-wise). not least because guitars are usually easier and cheaper to modify/have modified later. :wink:

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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that's why I said "adequate" instead of crappy.

and I did put a [email protected] P90 into one of my '51s. cheating? NFW!

-=tension & release=-


   
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Tyler N
(@tyler-n)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 45
 

hehe

I thought this thread may be about "pick up notes"

which, at my novice level find redundant.

JUST MIX THE SECOND MEASURE WITH THE FIRST! HOLY JEEBUS! :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TxmW-rIGFA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAvejpRYsQM
my idol


   
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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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Guess I'll add my 2 cents :D

I've got 9 different guitars, everyone of them has different type pickups, single coils and humbuckers. But I have always been able to get great tones (to me) out of every guitar. Now, I have pretty good amps, and this is probably the main reason, and I agree with others that you probably would be best to get a nice amp. You would be surprised, there are some pretty great sounding amps out there that wouldn't cost you much more than some of these expensive pickups.

But even before you run out and get a new amp or pickups, try a simple EQ pedal like the Danelectro Fish and Chips.

Danelectro Fish & Chips EQ Pedal

You would be surprised how much a decent EQ pedal will improve your tone. The problem with the tone controls on amps and your guitar is they cover too wide a range of frequencies. Maybe your bass sounds a little "farty" (sorry, but that is the term often used). So you try to dial it out on your amp. But then you have no bottom end at all. This is the trouble with your customary Lows, Mids, and Highs controls on amps. But the sliders on an EQ pedal cover a much narrower band of frequencies. So you can fine-tune your tone much more easily and much more accurately. And, this will not cost you a lot of money. The Dano pedal I showed is very good and performs just as well as other brands costing 2 or even 3 times as much. An EQ pedal is one of the very best investments you can make to your guitar tone. Even if you still decide you need a better amp or pickups, I am willing to bet you will never play without an EQ pedal again. They really make that much difference.

But if you are playing in a gigging band, you really should get a better amp. You want a tube amp at least 30 watts, although I am using a 15 watter right now (Fender Blues Jr). Even a 15 watt tube amp will handle 90% of the clubs out there, for bigger venues you can mic the amp into the PA. If you go with a solid-state amp, you probably want at least 50 watts. There are many good amps in this power range, some with built in modeling effects like the Line 6 amps. These are very popular.

I wouldn't worry so much about the pickups. Some of the greatest recordings have been made with old guitars with very weak pickups by today's standards. The problem with high-output pickups is they are great for distorted tones, but lousy for clean tones. But weaker pickups can be boosted with pedals.

My 2 cents.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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kblake
(@kblake)
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Adding to what Wes says...
I go to a Blues Jam most Wednesday nights.
They have a House Band there with a drummer, bass and guitar (all pro musicians) anyway one night I noticed that the guitar player was playing a Fender Squire Telecaster and it sounded awesome so after they did their 3 songs I got talking to him and was asking him about this "cheapie" Squier he was playing.
He told me he was in the Guitar shop that week just playing round and picked this Squier Tele up plugged it in and "fell in love"
so he bought it..
Took it home put new strings on it set it up and he had a $249.00 bargin... Stock standard tuners and pickup that it came with and he has been using it at the Jam for at least 6 month I would say.
As has been said here before by many people a cheap guitar into a GOOD amp is much better than a good guitar into a cheap amp...

My 2 bobs worth
Keith

I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything...
Looking for people to jam with in Sydney Oz.......


   
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Scrybe
(@scrybe)
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that's why I said "adequate" instead of crappy.

and I did put a [email protected] P90 into one of my '51s. cheating? NFW!

heh heh, I worked in politics, remember. don't expect me to let accuracy get in the way of an opportunity to spin things... :wink:

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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almann1979
(@almann1979)
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Topic starter  

some great replies. thanks. however, and this is going off topic a bit, i was talking to a guitar teacher the other day and he expressed great concern when i told him that my earth wire on the guitar needs constantly re-soldering (about once every 3 months) and it seems that i am clipping more plastic off the wire each time i do it. i just thought i had cheap electronics but he thinks this could be dangerous. also, the batteries in my pedals last no time at all - we did a gig the other night and a new battery in my delay ran out before the end of it...

i dnt want to get a shock off my guitar, but i dont know enough to know how that happens or if i am likely to get one.
i asked this question once before and i was told to feed the lead through my strap, but that isnt making a difference im afraid. any suggestions???

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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Feed the lead through the strap so the strap anchors it and it can't pull on the jack. Put some blue Loctite on the jack nut and tighten it down well.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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