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Get incredible sound with a broad selection of amazing Guitar Pickups
How you ever wondered how electric guitars can produce so many different and unique tones and sounds? One of the key factors in an electric guitar’s sound and performance is the quality and style of pickup(s) it employs. Keep your instrument in top condition and find that perfect signature sound with a variety of fantastic Guitar Pickups.
What are guitar pickups?
A guitar pickup is a device that captures the vibrations produced by a guitar’s strings, converting them to an electronic signal that can then be recorded or amplified. The most common type of pickup is the magnetic pickup, which is a key component of electric guitars and bass guitars. They typically consist of one or more permanent magnets wrapped in copper wire. The magnetic field that results moves when a string is plucked, inducing a current in the coil of the pickup that is converted to an electrical signal.
Different types of electric guitar pickups
The two primary types of magnetic electric guitar pickups are single coil pickups and humbuckers. Single coil pickups use a single magnet—hence their name—and generally produce a brighter sound. The Fender Stratocaster, among many others, is a classic example of an electric guitar that features single coil pickups.
Conversely, humbuckers are configured as a pair of multiple single coil pickups working harmoniously in a fashion that reduces the amount of background electrical noise that is carried along with the signal. This gives humbucker pickups a much warmer tone in comparison to single coil pickups, and are much more ideal for handling high levels of distortion such as those typically used in hard rock and heavy metal music.
A third type of pickup, the “P90”, is a single-coil pickup produced by legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson. They exist somewhere in between a traditional single coil and humbucker pickup, with a versatile tone that blends the brightness and warmth of the former two.
Many electric guitars feature some configuration of multiple pickups, including a combination of single coil pickups and humbuckers. Players can choose which pickup is active at any given time using a switch located on the body of the guitar.
Acoustic guitar pickups
Acoustic guitars on the other hand often use an entirely different style of pickup from most electric guitars. There are actually a variety of acoustic pickup types, which employ different methods for picking up sound.
“Transducer” pickups mount to the soundboard (the top of the guitar’s body), registering the vibration of the strings based on its reaction. They are broadly considered to provide the most genuine and lifelike representation of the true tone of an acoustic guitar.
“Piezo” pickups are another type of transducer, except they are mounted on the underside of the saddle, which is located on the guitar’s bridge. Piezo pickups are less sensitive and prone to feedback than traditional transducer pickups, but are also considered to have a more synthetic sound.
Finally, “soundhole” pickups act similarly to electric guitar pickups, converting magnetic field vibrations to electric signals. As the name suggest, they rest in the soundhole of an acoustic guitar, and create a warm yet distinctly electric acoustic tone. Soundhole pickups also typically do not require permanent installation, and can be added and removed as needed.