The science of single pickup guitars

Mr. Neutron

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Ya know, I've had a near eternal fondness for a Strat's neck pickup, and have had thoughts of buildings neck pickup only Tele. This may take me a step closer to that.......

I like how they got a guitar playing engineering student to weigh in on it. I felt there were some valid points made. But as that student said, I think most people, guitar players included,probably can't honestly hear a discernible difference.......
 

jvin248

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Didn't watch, as I avoid that channel, but single pickup guitars are where it's at if you want to be a better player -- they teach you how to use the volume and tone knobs and how changing picking attack and location pushes the tone around. Based on the ^^ note posted the video got into the extra magnetic force on the strings yada yada magic tone wood yada -- that's all meaningless. Single pickup guitars sound great because the player plays them differently.




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JL_LI

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Magnet pull is real, in fact common on Stratocasters. The pull comes from the neck pickup if it’s close to the strings. The heavy gauge strings warble. The pull is strong enough to affect pitch. If you look at the low E string from the side, you can see the oscillation shift up and down the string. I lower the neck pickup 1/2 turn below when I see the oscillation anomaly disappear and balance the other pickups to the neck. I can’t see how the affect would be completely eliminated. Is it troubling? Not on a properly set up guitar but I understand why some players prefer a single pickup guitar. Thinking back 50 years, this is nothing new. Jazz guitarists had a strong preference for single neck pickup jazz boxes. One reason was that there was little need for bridge pickup treble, but the more important reason was the preference for the sound of a single neck pickup without any interference from a bridge pickup.
 

notroHnhoJ

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I’m still in the magnet pull is BS (well not BS but really, insignificant) camp. But a one pickup guitar does have a different vibe from an interface perspective, and I don’t think that’s insignificant.
Not so BS with stratocasters.
Thats a real thing with strats, magnet pull.
 

notroHnhoJ

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Magnet pull is real, in fact common on Stratocasters. The pull comes from the neck pickup if it’s close to the strings. The heavy gauge strings warble. The pull is strong enough to affect pitch. If you look at the low E string from the side, you can see the oscillation shift up and down the string. I lower the neck pickup 1/2 turn below when I see the oscillation anomaly disappear and balance the other pickups to the neck. I can’t see how the affect would be completely eliminated. Is it troubling? Not on a properly set up guitar but I understand why some players prefer a single pickup guitar. Thinking back 50 years, this is nothing new. Jazz guitarists had a strong preference for single neck pickup jazz boxes. One reason was that there was little need for bridge pickup treble, but the more important reason was the preference for the sound of a single neck pickup without any interference from a bridge pickup.
I’m fairly certain this phenomenon on strats is a cumulative effect of having eighteen magnets pulling on the strings. The warbling I’m assuming will be more pronounced on the strings with less tension
 

telemnemonics

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Rationalization and justification is fun!

Many claims of science are more attempts to cobble together marginally significant tech bits in order to support a hypothesis.

I prefer and put together single bridge pickup guitars because saxophones and violins have no gadgets to help the player alter tone.
I mean who can argue with solid facts like those?

That’s my science and I’m sticking to it!
 

alex1fly

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I’m still in the magnet pull is BS (well not BS but really, insignificant) camp. But a one pickup guitar does have a different vibe from an interface perspective, and I don’t think that’s insignificant.

+1

If your pickups are negatively affecting your string vibration, they are too close. Lower them and increase your volume in other ways - pedals, amps, speakers, thoughts & prayers, etc.

Any difference is negligible. Will you notice the difference? Maybe. If you do notice it, will it affect how you play? Maybe.

Of course anyone is welcome to get into the weeds on this. Just don't let it distract you from actually playing your guitar :)
 

loopfinding

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Any difference is negligible. Will you notice the difference? Maybe. If you do notice it, will it affect how you play? Maybe.

Yeah exactly. I think it's negligible with any adjustment.

Much more negligible than how a single pickup guitar messes with your brain. That's the good mojo. Not the superfluous mojo.
 

EsquireOK

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Speaking as someone whose main guitars for on stage have always been single bridge pickup guitars, IME/IMO:

No physical difference.

No difference in "vibe."

A single pickup guitar is just a guitar with one pickup. There is no magic to it, physical or otherwise, IMO.

So, why? 1) They look cool. 2) They're cheaper (traditionally). 3) You can do just fine with them for many styles of music; not everything needs other pickups. 4) They tend to be very user friendly/straightforward while on stage.
 

Wallaby

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I love the Van Halen Time video :)

It's one of the things that made me interested in Specials and Juniors, and I don't play anywhere close to that style. Or have anything close to that kind of energy and confidence.
 

hepular

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i have preferred neck pickup (or middle, both on) since i got my first electric in the late 70s (was a dimarzio in a 'lawsuit' lp copy, wish i still had that thing). just got a . . . hybridized . . . danelectro convertible, although all that's left is the lipstick pickup, the electronics and the neck. Dude built a body and slapped a tune-a-matic on it cuz he couldn't stand the floating bridge thing. Anyway, I was all set to slap a gold-foil in the neck position until i started playing the thing. pretty danged sweet.
 




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