Pick up reviews...the ultimate snake oil. Until my dog can talk I,m takin' their word for it.

Shred Monster

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Magnets,copper wire and poles shoved in plastic. I,m convinced mag road testers and pup makers either did too much acid or have their hand on it. Fitting an orange drop cap or new saddles and nut WILL give a noticable improvement for way less $$$$. Does anyone have a pup that lives up to its hype?
 

slade

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They definitely make a difference. For instance, I bought my Charvel brand new and it came with the SD JB pickup in the bridge. It didn’t do it for me so I replaced it with the SD Nazgûl. So much better for my style. The JB wasn’t aggressive enough but the Nazgûl is. Just listen to some sound clips.
 

PaulHikeS2

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Pickup materials are not particularly exotic. Supposedly cheaper stuff like ceramic magnets can be spectacular in a properly constructed pup. The ones that command the big bucks certainly earned that right - they sound consistently great, as long as they fit the style you're shooting for. But there's no real magic to them. There are $22 pups that sound amazing where the maker struck upon the right combination of design and materials. I have a set like that - even bought another for a future build because they sounded so good.

BUT...and it's a big but: Do you really want to go through 8 sets before you find a no name brand that really does it right? Or just spend the $160-$400 to get something you KNOW will work and be good.
 

Buc McMaster

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The magnets and wire used in pickup construction certainly makes differences in signal tone.....just as the magnet, voice coil and cone make differences in speaker tones.......

Recently replaced the stock Lollar overwound P90 in my Collings with a Lollar 50's wind......huge difference in sound....huge. The stock pickup was very, very mids heavy, to the point of annoyance. The 50's wind has a lower output and a very balanced tonal output, allowing for more tone control with the amplifier than was possible with the overwound pickup.
 

Eric'45

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I said it a few times before, and I will say it again (even if you call me a snob):
Shurely good Pickups made with quality materials will sound (and look) better.
But for me that's not the only reason why I'd rather spend my money on"boutique" products. I like to give my money to a local builder instead of some cheap overseas manufacturer.

I will avoid any political statement here, but in so many areas of daily living it's impossible to avoid products coming from countries where human rights and workers rights, are not well respected.
At least for anything related to my music hobby, I save up longer to get quality products.
German made Amber Pickups are my choice.

Just my :2c:
 

PelliX

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I have a pair of handwound custom pickups for a Tele, they're basically the 60's spec with a couple of hundred winds extra to give them just a bit more bite. Yes, the bridge is much clearer than the (Chinese?) stock pickup in that Tele. The construction is so shoddy on the original, it's a miracle it works. The neck pickup got the same treatment/replacement. Not much clarity gain there, more a tonal change. Actually, the crappy stock neck pickup (and I like *most* stock Fender pickups, really) was not too bad. The bridge was a disaster, though. Both are Scheffer now, made by the man himself somewhere in Holland. Great guy to work with, decent pricing.

Fitting an orange drop cap or new saddles and nut WILL give a noticable improvement for way less $$$$

Your nut and saddles may change your tone, but to claim it will be an improvement is a bit too simple. Some people prefer less sustain whereas most want more. Noticeable difference? Well, depends what you're comparing them with. As for the orange drop cap - come on, talk about snake oil... :rolleyes:

Now, if you really want to have a cheap mod for 'more/other' sound, try parallel/series wiring ...
 

mark123

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... As for the orange drop cap - come on, talk about snake oil... :rolleyes:
...
Yes, capacitance is capacitance. The value and tolerance are the only real concerns. Construction material cannot be heard. Don't @ me.

I use orange drop caps because they are fairly indestructible and very consistent but they don't sound any different than a cheap film cap.
 

PelliX

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Sure, value is key, obviously. Indestructable... even the cheapest, crappiest cap will survive that for decades. Tone caps in guitars are often rated at 250 or even 400V. They never witness anything even remotely coming close to that. As far as capacitor lives go, the tone caps have the cushy number, really. Also, when they fail... nothing spectacular happens.

Another thing which is very cheap and can substantially change your tone (or rather, provide more tone) is a treble bleed in the guitar. Some guitars need it, some don't, but it really allows you to roll back your volume on some without losing the high end. A resistor and a tantalum cap - very cheap.
 

mark123

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Another thing which is very cheap and can substantially change your tone (or rather, provide more tone) is a treble bleed in the guitar. Some guitars need it, some don't, but it really allows you to roll back your volume on some without losing the high end. A resistor and a tantalum cap - very cheap.
I use Treble bleed in just about every guitar where tone matters. High gain stuff where the volume is either on or off doesn't need one but everything else where the volume kills the high end gets one.
 

Whiteknuckle

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Magnets,copper wire and poles shoved in plastic. I,m convinced mag road testers and pup makers either did too much acid or have their hand on it. Fitting an orange drop cap or new saddles and nut WILL give a noticable improvement for way less $$$$. Does anyone have a pup that lives up to its hype?
Someones been dropping acid and gone on YouTube. The capacitor on the tone control won’t affect your tone, when the knobs at 10. Only thing that can have an impact is the value of the cap.
If you know that you’ll never roll of treble to below 5 on the knob, just put in a cap of half your current ones value, and you’ll have much more fine tuning.
Furthermore wether it’s poly, film or mica won’t affect your tone. Signal going through the cap is led straight to ground, and as you oughta know, the ground signal isn’t heard when working properly.

A good pickup can make a shit guitar work, and a bad pickup can ruin a good guitar.
 

Eric'45

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A good pickup can make a shit guitar work, and a bad pickup can ruin a good guitar.
We can endlessly debate about the impact of Bridges, saddles, pickguards or the different farts of the various fairy subspecies, but it's not debatable if Pickups can affect the sound of a guitar. I have swapped out too many pickups- and always there was a noticeable change.
 

Wenander

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Magnets,copper wire and poles shoved in plastic. I,m convinced mag road testers and pup makers either did too much acid or have their hand on it. Fitting an orange drop cap or new saddles and nut WILL give a noticable improvement for way less $$$$. Does anyone have a pup that lives up to its hype?

You´re absolutely right...a GOOD setup and maybe another speaker will do it. of course a cheapo pickup will have you struggeling but, pickups for 200-300 bucks aint worth it
 

PelliX

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Dunno about reviews, but every pickup I've ever bought without a guitar around it has been worth the money; then and looking back now. You make a good point Rick, I got carried away with the statements made in OP's post...
 


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