Pickups and the Quest for the Perfect Tone

Pickups and the Quest for the Perfect Tone


The quest for the perfect tone seems to be never ending for most musicians. As time progresses and as cleaner and clearer the recording quality of most pickups have become, more and more people are leaning towards the most organic tone. So, what does it mean? This essentially means that people might want to differ from the corporate pop world of super altered, time aligned and heavily auto tuned music. This type of music is regarded by some people as the “killers” of modern musicality. So, you might get what this article is about. This article is about helping you find the most organic, versatile yet clear sounding guitar pickup for whatever style you are in. So, if you want to score one of the guitar pickups has, then read on to this article.

What is a pickup?

Before getting one, you should know what a guitar pickup is and how it works. So, guitar pickups work the same way as most pickups in the world: they pick up sounds and shoot them to the amplifier. Generally, there are 4 types of guitar pickups – the acoustic guitar pickup, the single coil passive pickup, the double coil humbucker pickup and the active pickup. These pickups differ a lot when it comes to sound, clarity, tone and resonance. So, before choosing one, you should know what kind of pickup matches your style and the tone that you want to achieve.

How to choose a pickup?

Choosing one of the guitar pickups has really boils down to a person’s style of playing. Some guitar pickups like the world famous active EMG pickups EMG 85 and the EMG 81, are specifically designed for a specific type of playing type. The after mentioned guitar pickups are boosted by batteries for extra power (aside from the power that comes from the amp). These make the pickups create a crunchier, more boosted and louder sounds that work perfectly if you are somebody into rock or metal. The single coil works perfect with bright tones that are usually used in folk, country, blues and jazz. The double coil humbucker on the other hand is probably the most versatile because it can deliver bone crushing over driven notes yet able to give out bright and warm tones. Lastly, the acoustic pickup only works with an acoustic/electric guitar. These types of pickups are commonly used by country and ballad artists. So, if you want your favorite acoustic guitar to be amplified, then this type of pickup is the perfect choice for you.

Choosing guitar pickups has is a pretty serious business if you want to improve your tonality and sound better. However, better sound does not automatically mean that you need to buy the most expensive pickups to sound like a monster. There are a lot of cheap guitar pickups that might fit you perfectly. All you need is a little bit of research, patience and knowing what you need.