Differences hot pickup and a and a low output pickup + booster

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by adrinalino, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. adrinalino

    adrinalino Member

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    What are the differences between a high output pickup going straight to the amp and a and a low output pickup followed by a booster going to the amp?

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Cheers,

    Adrian.
     
  2. boost

    boost Member

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    I've tried and have used both ways. I like the lower output pickup + boost. More variation and the guitar cleans up nice when the volumes rolled back.

    Downside is more crap to carry.

    I do think that high output pickups have their place and would work better in some settings with heavier types of music. Especially if the guitar is equipped with other pickups of lower output that will allow some flexibility in tone.
     
  3. adrinalino

    adrinalino Member

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    Does it make a difference with pinch harmonics, tapping on, dive bombs?

    Cheers,

    Adrian.
     
  4. adrinalino

    adrinalino Member

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    What does it do with compression?

    Cheers,

    Adrian.
     
  5. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Senior Member

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    The loss of high end, the grittiness and less musical nature of high output pickups are killers for me. I can always use a boost (or just turn up the amp) with low output.
    You can always boost low output but you can't UNboost high output.

    EG
     
  6. boost

    boost Member

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    Here's an idea of what I used:

    For years I used SD Hot Rails in strats and teles. Nice heavy tone with compression, pinch harmonics, etc. Great sound for 80's type hard rock tones.

    I switched to lower output pickups and with a boost can get very similar tones and a greater range of tones.

    Varies greatly on what type of boost and what kind of amp you're using.

    What type of tone are you looking for?
     
  7. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I Notice a big difference in how various pickups react to pinch harmonics.
    For example, I have active EMG SA pickups, and find them much harder to get pinch harmonics from than from standard stock magnetic pickups.
    Also, I have always found stock Dimarzio and Dimarzio clones to get good pinch harmonics. The same with Korean made humbucks.

    I guess my point is, I don't think the output level of the pickup matters as much as the tonal characteristics of the pickups. I think it is probably affected more by the actual shape of the magnetic field around the pickup.


    I tend to rely on pickups and not use stomp boxes, but there is something to be said for using a stomp box to drive the input of an amp hard. I don't think you can get near the gain from a hot pickup than you can from a box.

    You also often give up tone in order to gain level with hot pickups. The circuitry in a box can either color the sound of the pickup or simply make it bigger.
    I suppose the holy grail of stomp boxes would be one that simply increases the signal flat across the entire frequency range. Years ago when the whole stomp box thing was new the E.H. LPB1 was very popular because it came close to being able to do this.
     
  8. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I think high output pickups sound better than low output pickups+booster. It's a purer and less processed sounding tone. But by high output pickups I mean Duncan JB, DiMarzio super distortion, and EMG-81, etc.
     
  9. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    along these lines, i'm going to say that it depends on the boost pedal and the sound you're going for. the pickups listed above are generally more middy than their lower output counterparts in addition to being higher output. so you'll never turn an SD '59 into a JB by putting a EHX LPB-1 between the guitar and amp. but you will get a hotter signal that has it's own characteristics.

    i prefer to run lower output pickups into higher gain pedals that feature a mids control, and then into a blackface style amp.
     
  10. mhz88

    mhz88 Member

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    I installed villex booster on my strats at one time, works pretty good. Cleans up nice and nothing bulky to carry.
     
  11. Dave Wakely

    Dave Wakely Member

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    Seconded. Very useful little addition, and can be removed and guitar reverted to stock undetectably too.
     
  12. Felix Leclerc

    Felix Leclerc Member

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    Not the same.

    It's a matter of compromise. If you absolutely need clear, defined, articulate and balanced sound of a low output pup you can wing a mock high output pup with a good full range boost.
     

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