Author Topic: Pickup tone vs hearing tone  (Read 390 times)

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Offline BluesJam

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Pickup tone vs hearing tone
« on: October 26, 2019, 08:47:31 pm »
When I was younger I could not deal with single coils, they were just too bright and I played humbuckers exclusively.  Now, I prefer single coils over humbuckers.  My conclusion is that our hearing changes as well as our perception of tone.  Also, the frequency responses of tonality of the pickups and our ears vary immensely.  Much of our tone chasing can be remedied by EQing the frequencies that we donít like and balancing things that we do like.  Some pickup models are more similar than dissimilar and some minor tweaking by EQ is the clear remedy for many tonality issues. YMMV

Offline Related to rocks

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Re: Pickup tone vs hearing tone
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2019, 12:15:14 pm »
I have had a similar experience regarding going from humbuckers to single coils. I love single coils now but years ago didn't like them at all. I also find myself dialing in a little more top end that translates to me as clarity. One of my favorite forum posts anywhere a few years ago was to someone who was agonizing over wood types for guitars and the responder said "Man, there are these knobs on your amp called tone controls....."

Offline BluesJam

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Re: Pickup tone vs hearing tone
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2019, 10:16:32 pm »
I agree..... Back in the day even the 60 cycle hum drove my hearing crazy.  Now, my primary pickups are the FS1 and True Velvets, on occasions.  I barely hear any 60 Cycle Hum on the FS1.  Maybe itís related to great quality and frequency response in relation to the hum.  Whatever it iOS, it works for me.

Offline Guitar74

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Re: Pickup tone vs hearing tone
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2019, 08:12:53 am »
I find myself gravitating towards single coils, or stacks, more and more. I can get all the rock chug I need with them, but still have the ability to do country gigs. And I get a better clean tone with them.

Does this mean I am getting old?

Offline DavidSchwab

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Re: Pickup tone vs hearing tone
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 12:44:45 pm »
I think itís also your perception. When I first heard a music CD I thought it sounded too bright. Thatís because I was used to the soft top end of vinyl. But then I got used to it and it sounds right to me.

I hear a lot of guitarists that donít use much treble. And you canít really hear what they are playing in a band context. But it hinds sloppy playing well. lol.

As we get better you learn how to get the tone from the way you play. Then you gravitate to brighter guitar tones.

I like bright humbuckers. Kind of like big single coils.


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Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Pickup tone vs hearing tone
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 01:33:19 pm »
I'm a P90 guy, really, but I can't deal with the hum at all because I generally play with higher gain. I'm partial to Tele singles more than Strat ones, and probably my favorite pickup currently is the Kiesel Lithium humbucker, sounds like a big hi-fi modern p90.

Offline BluesJam

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Re: Pickup tone vs hearing tone
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 08:02:09 pm »
I think hum varies from pickup to pickup and the electrical interference in your home.  I think DiMarzioís singles are fairly quiet.  I had HS4ís wired in single coil and I barely heard any hum.  Sometimes I regret not keeping them....but their output was so weak it became annoying at times.