Replacing the pickups on a guitar are a great way to tailor the sound it makes to the style of music that you want to play. While I’m no believer that expensive pickups necessarily have some magic attached to them (they are just windings and a magnet after all) there are many different models out there that give different sound characteristics. I also think that putting new, good pickups, in a cheap guitar (which often have lousy pickups) is one of the most cost effective ways of making a cheap guitar sound better.
Pickup replacement is usually a fairly simple case of removing the old ones and wiring in the new ones, but if the new pickups have different wiring to the existing ones it can be a little more tricky. As guitars come with various varieties of switches and wiring designs, no two pickup replacement jobs are ever the same.
Generally, it’s best for us to chat about what you’ve currently got, how you want to change the sound, and what pickups you think will help you to achieve that. There are millions out there, but as with all things in like there’s a lot of marketing waffle with all the top brands. I’ve always used Dimarzio pickups in my 6 string electrics, but that doesn’t mean that pickups by Seymour Duncan, EMG and all the rest would be any less suitable for my needs. Actually, when you look at the pickups that people put in their guitars, it’s very often just a case of copying what your favourite guitarist uses. The EMG 81/85 set is very popular, and has been used extensively by the likes of Metallica, Zakk Wylde and others. Another popular one was the Dimarzio Tone Zone/Air Norton set, and I’ve bought several Ibanez guitars second hand over the years, and many of them had these pickups retrofitted already.
Anyway, if you’re thinking of changing, let’s have a chat first. Pickups can be expensive, and as it’s not always possible to try many different ones on your guitar before you buy them it can be hard to know where to start. Trying other guitars isn’t always a help either, as different guitars will sound different, even with the same pickups. Good isn’t it? 🙂
Get in touch with me via my contact page and let’s talk pickups!