Building a rhythm guitar

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by etype, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    It is going to take me a Christmas present, Valentaines Day, an anniversary and my birthday to get all the parts, but I am looking to build the ultimate rhythm guitar.

    (Full disclosure, I played acoustic for about 5 years in the 80s-90s and then took a 20 year break. I have been playing again for about 4 years and just picked up an electric a couple years back).

    85% of what I play are chords (mostly open) and fingerstyle (as an alternative to strumming). In fact, I use a pick less than 1/2 the time. Examples of what I play include
    Lou Reed's Coney Island Baby and New Sensations
    Lyle Lovett's If I had a Boat and Fly Swatter/Ice Water Blues
    REM's Driver Eight (fingerstyle or stumming)
    Squeeze's Goodbye Girl
    Ryan Adam's Oh My Sweet Carolina (fingerstyle)
    Norah Jones Come Away with Me (fingerstyle)
    Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues (boom chic-a).

    All of this sounds pretty good on my acoustic dreadnought, and some sound great on my Tele Cabronita, but I am looking to build a partscaster that has a warmer/jazzier sound. My favorite candidates listening to dozens of youtube clips are the:
    SD Seth Lover PAF
    Railhammer humbuckers in Reverend guitars demo-ed by proguitarshopdemo
    G&L Bluesboy with Seth Lover neck pick up (also a proguitarshopdemo video).

    The problem is that most demos are geared towards lead guitar and I fear what sounds good in that context will not work. I did find this blog post (link below) that seems to suggest that humbuckers are not a good option... although the railhammer pickups supposedly have a tighter bass response. And they do make a P90 version.

    http://blog.tonepedia.com/2012/03/01/gear-tips-for-the-electric-rhythm-guitar-player/

    Any suggestions? Thanks!!!
     
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Where are you going to put the pick-up--at the neck or at the bridge?
     
  3. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    It is a new partscaster, so I can put them wherever it works best. I have read so much I am sort of going in circle. I have heard some say that the neck is where it is all at and others say that they like to use the middle position for rhythm. I have never found the bridge works well on its own with a clean sound, but a few Lou Reed songs sound great with the bridge and a high gain amp setting. But I am mostly interested in clean tones for this project.
     
  4. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    There is a little bit of chord playing in these and they sound great. Maybe P90s is the way to go. Or am I wrong?



     
  5. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm basically a rhythm guitarist and finger picker. If I was going to build a single pickup guitar specifically with that in mind, I'd go with the Seymour Duncan SH59 in the neck position. If you've got to go single coil, it'd probably be a Bill Lawrence Keystone. Oh, and a shallow vee neck!

    But, my weapon of choice is an old MIM Telecaster with single coils. Middle position, both controls slightly rolled off from full clockwise, strings higher than Rock God, but lower than cheese box acoustic. Gets me there.
     
  6. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks, I'll be looking into those options... and I am stealing your tag (footer?) line!
     
  7. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    We don't need no stinkin bridge pickup!

    This guitar does it all with a Kinman Strat pickup. Sweet, chimey and noiseless!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks!

    So the SH-1 '59 looks to have slightly less midrange than the Seth Lover. Is that why you'd prefer it?

    Why shallow vee? Good for playing chords?

    I do like the middle position on a tele. But I am now thinking if I get one pickup for the neck, I might throw in a twangy tele bridge sounding pickup for the heck of it... as my Cabronita doesn't really have that tone. That would make for quite the Frankenstein-caster!

    I wish pickup makers would include some simple strumming in the demos. The Keystone site is interesting, but it is hard to find a demo of what I am looking for.
     
  9. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the look of single pickup guitars, but then I'd want about 8 guitars! With the airy and chimey Cabronita, I think I want to go warmer with this one. I think I'll spend most of a day on the Kinman site though.
     
  10. Newbie Brad

    Newbie Brad Tele-Meister

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    If you like the SD Seth Lovers, use them. I have put 2 Seth Lovers in about 4 guitars for myself over the years and had plenty of compliments from people on the sound. It's a great pickup for what you are after.
     
  11. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    I love the sound of a vintage-wind P-90 in the neck of a tele. Match it with a vintage-wind bridge pickup and you've got a great rhythm tele.

    If you want something more exotic, look at a Lollar Charlie Christian or Gibson staple polepiece for the neck position.
     
  12. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    It is just impossible to distinguish the fine differences between pickups that are so close in tone on youtube with the available demos. I may try to A/B a few once I get it narrowed down.
     
  13. DSharp

    DSharp Tele-Holic

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    I do similar stuff, including playing/singing solo with my Tele, and I go back and forth between a P90 and a SD Antiquity Firebird pickup in the neck. I keep trying to like full-size humbuckers but they never stay long in my guitars. A P90 in a Telecaster neck is a really sweet sound.
     
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