single pickup guitar: pickup location !

radiocaster

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it sits further away from the neck than your usual neck pickup.
Not so much on your guitar because it has less frets. It's probably about the same as a neck pickup on a 24 fret guitar.

It could be bright just because it's a lipstick.
 

VintageSG

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IMG_20160411_105427.jpg
A potato-cam image of my Danelectro at some point in its evolution. The front pickup is in more or less the same position as on the single pickup models. It is a lot louder than the bridge pickup. 'Fuller', 'Rounder' sounding too. Louder until it's in a live mix. The 'bite' of the bridge cuts through, but that front pickup fills out the sound and the whole thing sounds balanced. I'm sure it's louder because the strings have greater motion in the magnetic field.
It's a good sound, and can be thinned, made more 'bitey' by plucking/strumming/picking closer to the bridge anyway. The guitars from Neptune had the right idea.
If I could travel back to the year 2000, I'd buy a U1 in a heartbeat.

DSCF0661.JPG

My Strat has a 'P90-inna-'umbucker-shell' as its sole pickup. I don't need no steenkin' tone control. Pluck/pick/strum up by the neck and it's a warm, rounded sound. By the bridge?, much 'biteyer' and brighter.
With single pickups, work the space twixt neck and bridge to reveal abundant tones. Placement matters more for me to not hit the sodding pickup when strumming...
 

schmee

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There's no name for that. Gibson did similarly with a single P90 in a hollowbody in the 50s.

Pickup location matters, but like everything associated with guitars, it's extremely subjective. Here's a comparison:


Several makers have marketed instruments with moveable pickups (as opposed to swappable pickups which have also been tried) but these are quirky and never really catch on enough to remain in production. One of the more clever designs was this Westone bass. All the electronics (pickup, volume/tone controls, and jack) were contained in that center module that slides on rails:
I've always wondered, does it really matter? What happens when you play up or down a fret? I've built a couple experimental guitars, or oddballs, and frankly, couldn't hear a difference. I guess I'm not a big open string harmonics player... but when you relocate the pickup, the easy harmonics still occur at fret 5, 7 and 12 like any guitar.
 

Peegoo

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I've always wondered, does it really matter? What happens when you play up or down a fret? I've built a couple experimental guitars, or oddballs, and frankly, couldn't hear a difference. I guess I'm not a big open string harmonics player... but when you relocate the pickup, the easy harmonics still occur at fret 5, 7 and 12 like any guitar.

It does still matter because as you fret the string up the neck, the harmonic nodes move up relative to the fretted note.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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There's no name for that. Gibson did similarly with a single P90 in a hollowbody in the 50s.

Pickup location matters, but like everything associated with guitars, it's extremely subjective. Here's a comparison:

guitar-pickups-and-harmonics-1.jpg


Several makers have marketed instruments with moveable pickups (as opposed to swappable pickups which have also been tried) but these are quirky and never really catch on enough to remain in production. One of the more clever designs was this Westone bass. All the electronics (pickup, volume/tone controls, and jack) were contained in that center module that slides on rails:

The-Rail-Westone.jpg
My first thought is how potentially cool it could sound to hit a note then slide that thing while it's ringing out.
 

Bruxist

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Anywhere but the middle. I hate that darned thing in the middle of a Strat . . . . .

I am with you halfway. I like the sound of the middle pickup on a strat when played crystal clean. But I hate hitting it with the damn pick all the time.

I had one 3 HB SG and, while I loved that guitar, I think it cured me from ever wanting another one.
 

ChicknPickn

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I am with you halfway. I like the sound of the middle pickup on a strat when played crystal clean. But I hate hitting it with the damn pick all the time.

I had one 3 HB SG and, while I loved that guitar, I think it cured me from ever wanting another one.
But the triple-bucker look is way cool. Like on Frampton's Paul DeLuxe.
 

Zepfan

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My opinion is that a pickup in the middle position with a volume and tone, can easily mimic a neck position or bridge position sound and better than a neck alone or bridge alone pickup trying to mimic other positions.
 

David Barnett

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Hi there,
I've had my Silvertone 1448 for 10 years now. Though it's not my #1, I'm still enjoying it's very specific tone, a tone I believe cannot be achieved with any other guitar.
I've always been intrigued by the pickup location here: I think you would say it's a neck pickup, but it sits further away from the neck than your usual neck pickup. It strikes me as a smart move for a single pickup guitar. It gives it a specific grit, as you have less bottom end compared to a traditional neck pickup, and a bit more bite, quite reminiscent of a strat middle pickup. But it's not exactly in the middle position either. Quite unusual. It sounds amazing with overdrive.

question #1: does this location have a proper name? Do luthiers have a term for that, like "lower neck pup" or something?
question #2: It has me wondering how pickups other than the lipstick would behave when placed like this, especially a P90? I'm thinking about a partscaster with a P90 in that position. A mix of neck and middle position, to avoid a potential ice-pick in the bridge and too dark in the neck.
Did some of you try that before? Or do you have in mind other guitars I wouldn't be aware of, that are built like that?
Is there a reason why such a placement would "kill" a P90? (something like "the best thing about a P90 is ___, so you can't benefit from that in that lower neck position", etc...)

I think this pickup position is worth discussing!
Thanks for your feedback/thoughts.

View attachment 1055647

Before making many conclusions about the pickup position, keep in mind it's a short scale guitar and an 18-fret neck.

Single-pickup Dan-Os pretty much always went for the neck position, and with a lipstick tube pickup that's plenty bright enough most of the time.
 

kbold

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Proper name for this location is "neck pickup".
Your guitar has 18 frets, so the p/u sits where a neck pickup would typically be positioned.
 




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