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Which is the best pickup config for me

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AustAX
(@austax)
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Topic starter  

Okay those that have read my other threads will have an idea on what Im looking at, but those that havent I will fill in anyways. Im looking at getting a beginner guitar and was wanting to clarify the best pickup config for me

Also could you say why you choose the option(s) that you did?

These are the bands I wish to play:

Black Sabbath
Black Label Society
Metallica
Megadeth
Pantera
Opeth
Epica
Lacuna Coil
Korn
Nirvana
Pearl Jam
Guns N Roses
Cold Chisel
Eagles
CCR
Dire Straits
Children of Bodom
Six Feet Under
Van Halen
Deep Purple (basically just smoke on the water)
Aerosmith
Bon Jovi
ACDC
Ozzy
Crowded House
Split Enz
Billy Idol
Rammstein
Fear Factory
Fleetwood Mac
Elvis
Beatallica
After Forever
John Lennon
Iron Maiden
Hendrix
the Doors
Apocalytpica
Rage against the Machine
Cradle of Filth (Nymphetamine)
Sepultura
INXS
Icehouse
Powderfinger
Hunters & Collectors
Gang Gajang
Alice in Chains
Midnight Oil
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Paul McCartney
Santana
George Harrison
George Thuragood
Motley Crue
Soundgarden
Johhny Cash
ZZ Top
Live
Pink Floyd
Bruce Springsteen,
Bryan Adams
Blue Öyster Cult
U2
Def Leppard (maybe)
Meatloaf
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Led Zepplin

"I am a Australian"


   
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Badlands53
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In that list you've got Teles, Strats, Les Pauls, SGs, Rics and a whole bunch of other pickup configurations. You're not going to get all those sounds exactly from one set. My advice is to get some pickups you like the basic sound of, learn the songs, and then go from there, expanding your guitar collection.

Well, if you can't make it, stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive, if you can, and meet me in a dream of this hard land.


   
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AustAX
(@austax)
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Topic starter  

In that list you've got Teles, Strats, Les Pauls, SGs, Rics and a whole bunch of other pickup configurations. You're not going to get all those sounds exactly from one set. My advice is to get some pickups you like the basic sound of, learn the songs, and then go from there, expanding your guitar collection.

Well yeah so some of the bands use SC and Humbuckers (correct?)
So shouldnt I be looking for a guitar with a combo of both (for my 1st guitar)?
If these asssumptions are correct, which would be the best config?

"I am a Australian"


   
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Jminor
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I think the most important point is getting a guitar that you like the sound/feel/look of.. especially if it's your first guitar.
The amp you use will have a HUGE impact on your sound aswell... No doubt if you pass the beginners stage you'll be looking for a new axe within a year or so anyway (we call it GAS). Then you will have more of an idea of EXACTLY what you want.

another option for you would be to get a dual humbucker guitar (many of the artist you listed use these) and "single coil split" one or both of the pickups.... instruction and ideas can be found here http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/sw3.php
This will give you the most vesatility for the least price... if you've never used a soldering iron before i'd advise you not to try this mod before a bit of practice with an iron... or a guitar tech should be able to do it fairly cheaply

Do you have an amp yet ?? if so, take your amp with you to some guitar stores and try out as many as you can within your price range and a bit above. keep an eye on ebay aswell for 2nd hand guitars you've played in store. if you're from sydney or melb there are plenty of guitars out there for sale.
just don't buy one without seeing/playing it first

Good Luck

J

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AustAX
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Topic starter  

I think the most important point is getting a guitar that you like the sound/feel/look of.. especially if it's your first guitar.
The amp you use will have a HUGE impact on your sound aswell... No doubt if you pass the beginners stage you'll be looking for a new axe within a year or so anyway (we call it GAS). Then you will have more of an idea of EXACTLY what you want.

another option for you would be to get a dual humbucker guitar (many of the artist you listed use these) and "single coil split" one or both of the pickups.... instruction and ideas can be found here http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/sw3.php
This will give you the most vesatility for the least price... if you've never used a soldering iron before i'd advise you not to try this mod before a bit of practice with an iron... or a guitar tech should be able to do it fairly cheaply

Do you have an amp yet ?? if so, take your amp with you to some guitar stores and try out as many as you can within your price range and a bit above. keep an eye on ebay aswell for 2nd hand guitars you've played in store. if you're from sydney or melb there are plenty of guitars out there for sale.
just don't buy one without seeing/playing it first

Good Luck

J

Yeah of heard of the GAS before, but as it would be my 1st guiatr isnt it the usual thing to keep it and to put the most amount of research and thought into the 1st one as its likely to be a lifetime guitar and even something to teach the kids and grandkids on?

Yeah im from Sydney & I havent had any experience with a soldering iron, but my mates got one (or used to)

Would that be a better option than both a HSH and SSH? Cause from what I have seen HH seem more expensive

"I am a Australian"


   
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Jminor
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You can't expect the first guitar you buy to be one that will satisfy all of your requirements for the rest of your life... you will grow as a guitar player and your tastes will change and develop with your skills...
You can't expect to be able to research something you have no experience in playing... this only comes with time.

A few years ago, I personally, inherited an absolute piece of [expletive] acoustic as my first guitar... the bridge was cracked, the frets were worn, but the neck was straight so i learned the basics on that... Then i bought a $50 electric from ebay (this was the first electric i'd ever played and it served me well for a year...(some of the sounds i made were shocking, but they were mostly due to my fingers). Also a NEW Yamaha steel string acoustic and a used yamaha classical nylon string. (AU$200 and $100 respectively)

Since then i've bought another electric (a Samick HSS that i've changed the pickups and rewired, but i love the feel of it.. all up it cost me about AU$200) I'm still yet to buy an expensive instrument but i don't think my skills atm would warrant a $2000 guitar

Doing things this way, i've learned an enormous amount about how guitars work (acoustics and electronics) and how to play them as EFFICIENTLY as possible. Sure, when i started, i could have bought an expensive strat or LP but my fingers wouldn't have made it sound any better than a cheap copy. Mastering the guitar takes more than a lifetime but IMHO, playing your dues on cheap equipment is a rite of passage... the same as your first race car is a piece of crap, or amazing DJ's start on cheap turntables that skip easily, or 3rd world footballers start playing on dirt, not grass... These are the hard yards you put in when you start at the bottom. Sidenote: Very few ultimately successful people have things handed to them, they work HARD for them.

When it's time to upgrade, you'll know it, because whatever your fingers input is lacking due to your equipment... when you first start playing, you don't know if the GUITAR is the problem or YOU are (99% of the time YOU are) Guitar maestro's can make a cardboard box strung with rubber bands sound good.

AGAIN, this is IMHO, the cheaper option, because you don't know what you really want yet, so any purchase you make will be a recommended guess at best.

Ultimately, the HSH and SSH guitars you've seen as cheaper are because they are marketed well as being more versatile and there are many cheap/imitation copies being sold at low prices... this doesn't necessarily make them better or worse... It depends on the player and the sound they're after... Also, like i said in my last post, your amp is paramount to your sound. A good amp can make a cheap guitar sound better, but anything played through a dodgy amp will sound dodgy.

The pickup mods i mentioned are just an option for the future as you learn... don't just go this route because it worked for me.
Find a guitar that feels good in your hands, so you ENJOY learning... It's takes a lot of practice to become good at playing ANY instrument... the more enjoyable it is for you, the more time you will be willing to put into it and the more you will learn... Then you will have more knowledge to base your decisions about what gear to buy.

Hope this has helped
Good Luck

Peace

J

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AustAX
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Since then i've bought another electric (a Samick HSS that i've changed the pickups and rewired, but i love the feel of it.. all up it cost me about AU$200) I'm still yet to buy an expensive instrument but i don't think my skills atm would warrant a $2000 guitar

Doing things this way, i've learned an enormous amount about how guitars work (acoustics and electronics) and how to play them as EFFICIENTLY as possible. Sure, when i started, i could have bought an expensive strat or LP but my fingers wouldn't have made it sound any better than a cheap copy. Mastering the guitar takes more than a lifetime but IMHO, playing your dues on cheap equipment is a rite of passage... the same as your first race car is a piece of crap, or amazing DJ's start on cheap turntables that skip easily, or 3rd world footballers start playing on dirt, not grass... These are the hard yards you put in when you start at the bottom. Sidenote: Very few ultimately successful people have things handed to them, they work HARD for them.

I totally understand about needing to put in the hard yards, damn thats my life. But I have no delusion that Im gonna be a rockstar (Im a bit too old for that) Im just looking to entertain people and myself as a hobby thing, In 10 years time ill probably be working 60-80 hours a week, so I guess it need to be something to unwind with
AGAIN, this is IMHO, the cheaper option, because you don't know what you really want yet, so any purchase you make will be a recommended guess at best.

What getting a cardboard box and using it?
Ultimately, the HSH and SSH guitars you've seen as cheaper are because they are marketed well as being more versatile and there are many cheap/imitation copies being sold at low prices... this doesn't necessarily make them better or worse... It depends on the player and the sound they're after... Also, like i said in my last post, your amp is paramount to your sound. A good amp can make a cheap guitar sound better, but anything played through a dodgy amp will sound dodgy.

So even between brand and model series, that would be the reason? For instance the reason that the Ibanez GRG170DX (HSH) is cheaper than the GSA60 (SSH) and cheaper than the GAX70 (HH) [probably because there is a lower GAX] and cheaper than GSZ120 (HH) is due to marketing?

I get what your saying about amps (Thats why Ild like some feedback on the amps thread)
The pickup mods i mentioned are just an option for the future as you learn...
Find a guitar that feels good in your hands, so you ENJOY learning... It's takes a lot of practice to become good at playing ANY instrument... the more enjoyable it is for you, the more time you will be willing to put into it and the more you will learn... Then you will have more knowledge to base your decisions about what gear to buy.

Yeah I dont intend to mod until a long time away.

So what criteria should I be using to narrow down the vast options available?

"I am a Australian"


   
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Jminor
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...I have no delusion that Im gonna be a rockstar (Im a bit too old for that) Im just looking to entertain people and myself as a hobby thing...
this means, to me, that you should limit yourself to a price and find the best guitar you can for that price... now you just have to look/shop/try/play
...So even between brand and model series, that would be the reason? For instance the reason that the Ibanez GRG170DX (HSH) is cheaper than the GSA60 (SSH) and cheaper than the GAX70 (HH) [probably because there is a lower GAX] and cheaper than GSZ120 (HH) is due to marketing? ...
I was generalising about low-end models/clones.. any specifics about pickup configs between models from a particular company, like Ibanez, you should check out their websites or call them for more info... because there are uusally more differences than just pickup configurations to warrant a price difference.
So what criteria should I be using to narrow down the vast options available?
There is no easy answer to this question because it's such a personal thing.
You should use your own judgement (especially your ears).. get the sales guy at the store to play it for you if you're unable or too self-conscious... does it sound good to you ??? does it feel good in your hands ???

Play and listen to as many guitars as you can in your price range and buy the one you like the most...

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bobblehat
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HH

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greybeard
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You know, if you spent as much time in guitar shops as you do compiling lists, you wouldn't need to ask the questions - you'd have the first hand knowledge that only you can use to decide what you want to buy.
There's no such thing as a "best" guitar, only what one person thinks is best for him. Go and play some guitars, it's the only way.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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slejhamer
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Well, first understand that most (as in, two-thirds or maybe more) low-end guitars are made by only two manufacturers: Samick and Cort. The specs will differ, but generally speaking the quality at any given price point is going to be similar.

I think it's great that you're putting a lot of effort into your purchase decision, but your many other "which is best" threads are almost pointless. There is no "best." The one that's best for you is the one you keep coming back to after playing as many as you can.

Even when it comes to the pickup configuration, the choice isn't always clear. A friend of mine just bought his first electric, and based on his musical preferences I expected him to end up with a Telecaster with two single coils. Instead, he fell in love with a used Godin Solidac, HSH configuration, plus an acoustic pickup in the bridge. Bottom line is that he played as many different styles and brands as he could find, and that was the one that sang to him.

Amps might be easier to narrow down for you. Given the many different musical styles you want to play, I'd suggest a modeling amp that has different amp emulations built in, and you can choose the one that best suits a given song. The Vox AD30VT and AD15VT are excellent choices, as are the Roland Cube amps. I also like the Tech21 modeling amps, but you don't see those very often in stores.

Best of luck! And let us know what you end up with. :)

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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AustAX
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...I have no delusion that Im gonna be a rockstar (Im a bit too old for that) Im just looking to entertain people and myself as a hobby thing...
this means, to me, that you should limit yourself to a price and find the best guitar you can for that price... now you just have to look/shop/try/play

I cant play yet, thus the need for all the questions, and I dont know how to determine if the electronics are crud or other shoddy parts

...So even between brand and model series, that would be the reason? For instance the reason that the Ibanez GRG170DX (HSH) is cheaper than the GSA60 (SSH) and cheaper than the GAX70 (HH) [probably because there is a lower GAX] and cheaper than GSZ120 (HH) is due to marketing? ...
I was generalising about low-end models/clones.. any specifics about pickup configs between models from a particular company, like Ibanez, you should check out their websites or call them for more info... because there are uusally more differences than just pickup configurations to warrant a price difference.
So what criteria should I be using to narrow down the vast options available?
There is no easy answer to this question because it's such a personal thing.
You should use your own judgement (especially your ears).. get the sales guy at the store to play it for you if you're unable or too self-conscious... does it sound good to you ??? does it feel good in your hands ???

I know what you mean, but my local store aint got too much in electric and the next closest store (the one I regularly go to) doesnt have a full range of guitars so I dont know what they all sound like

"I am a Australian"


   
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Jminor
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I know what you mean, but my local store aint got too much in electric and the next closest store (the one I regularly go to) doesnt have a full range of guitars so I dont know what they all sound like

No guitar store has a "full range" of guitars. Each store usually stocks a few major brands. The bigger stores (Allans, Guitar Factory, Billy Hyde's) will have enough guitars in store to fry your brain with the choices available. Spend a day going to ALL the different guitar stores in your area... Some legwork is needed here.
I cant play yet, thus the need for all the questions, and I dont know how to determine if the electronics are crud or other shoddy parts

If you can't play at all yet, then you probably won't hear a lot of the subtle variations with the huge range of guitars available (this only comes with lots and lots of playing time) Get the sales guy to play it for you. If it sounds good when he plays it and it feels good in your hands, what else can i tell you ?? you will have to make a decision at some point... we all had to start somewhere.
If you are spending a few hundred bucks on a NEW guitar, the mechanics and electronics will be fine (it will also have a warranty...and make sure you get the store to do a set-up on it aswell)

http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/#pro is an online database of user reviews on guitar related gear... It will give you some sort of a guide as to what other people think of products they have bought....But remember these are only people opinions...
YOU have to fork out the cash for your gear, YOU will be playing the thing, YOU have to listen to it... Just because someone else likes/dislikes something doesn't mean you will agree with them.

There really isn't any more "research" you can do with your limited experience. Get out there and feel the strings under your fingers. listen to your emotions when you pick each guitar up... How does it make you feel when you hold it ?
...The fact that different guitars are HSH or HH or HSS with ultrasupermega hot wound pickups with push/pull 5 way gold plated switches or 4 bolt, bolt-on necks or floyd rose locking trems or maple/rosewood/ebony bound fingerboards with diamond studded inlays and 21/22/24 Jumbo/standard frets or graphite/bone/tusq roller nuts or 24.75"/25.5" scale lengths really doesn't make any difference to you at this point in your playing career...

It might seem like a big investment and you are cautious about not spending your money on junk, that's understandable... But almost ALL guitars nowadays are of decent quality, even the cheap ones. Your biggest investment will be your time... So go out and buy an axe, (it won't be perfect.. none of them are... but it will work just fine) and learn to play the thing.... after 6 months or a year you will have more knowledge and experience to know what you do and don't like about your gear and can sell it and/or upgrade if you want (if you take care of your gear you will still be able to sell it for a decent price)

Start twangin', my son :wink:

Peace

J

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AustAX
(@austax)
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Topic starter  

I know what you mean, but my local store aint got too much in electric and the next closest store (the one I regularly go to) doesnt have a full range of guitars so I dont know what they all sound like

No guitar store has a "full range" of guitars. Each store usually stocks a few major brands. The bigger stores (Allans, Guitar Factory, Billy Hyde's) will have enough guitars in store to fry your brain with the choices available. Spend a day going to ALL the different guitar stores in your area... Some legwork is needed here.
I cant play yet, thus the need for all the questions, and I dont know how to determine if the electronics are crud or other shoddy parts

If you can't play at all yet, then you probably won't hear a lot of the subtle variations with the huge range of guitars available (this only comes with lots and lots of playing time) Get the sales guy to play it for you. If it sounds good when he plays it and it feels good in your hands, what else can i tell you ?? you will have to make a decision at some point... we all had to start somewhere.
If you are spending a few hundred bucks on a NEW guitar, the mechanics and electronics will be fine (it will also have a warranty...and make sure you get the store to do a set-up on it aswell)

http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/#pro is an online database of user reviews on guitar related gear... It will give you some sort of a guide as to what other people think of products they have bought....But remember these are only people opinions...
YOU have to fork out the cash for your gear, YOU will be playing the thing, YOU have to listen to it... Just because someone else likes/dislikes something doesn't mean you will agree with them.

There really isn't any more "research" you can do with your limited experience. Get out there and feel the strings under your fingers. listen to your emotions when you pick each guitar up... How does it make you feel when you hold it ?
...The fact that different guitars are HSH or HH or HSS with ultrasupermega hot wound pickups with push/pull 5 way gold plated switches or 4 bolt, bolt-on necks or floyd rose locking trems or maple/rosewood/ebony bound fingerboards with diamond studded inlays and 21/22/24 Jumbo/standard frets or graphite/bone/tusq roller nuts or 24.75"/25.5" scale lengths really doesn't make any difference to you at this point in your playing career...

It might seem like a big investment and you are cautious about not spending your money on junk, that's understandable... But almost ALL guitars nowadays are of decent quality, even the cheap ones. Your biggest investment will be your time... So go out and buy an axe, (it won't be perfect.. none of them are... but it will work just fine) and learn to play the thing.... after 6 months or a year you will have more knowledge and experience to know what you do and don't like about your gear and can sell it and/or upgrade if you want (if you take care of your gear you will still be able to sell it for a decent price)

Start twangin', my son :wink:

Peace

J

Thanks mate, and seeing you live in Sydney would you happen to know where the cheapest guitar store(s) is or which ones to avoid at all costs?

"I am a Australian"


   
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Jminor
(@jminor)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Thanks mate, and seeing you live in Sydney would you happen to know where the cheapest guitar store(s) is or which ones to avoid at all costs?

I don't know of any to avoid.. I've heard the larger stores can usually be haggled down on price (definitely haggle a bit), but the smaller stores will often give better customer service and can have more knowledgable/helpful staff.
Again, this is probably just a generalisation...

I buy most of my stuff second hand coz i'm a tight arse :)

search the yellowpages and go to as many as you can in your area or spend your weekly paycheck on petrol driving between them all around Sydney

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