By Stephanie Shanks. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 05:06:31 AM.
The Best of Both Worlds, Right? Is an HSS setup the mullet of the pickup world? Is an HSS setup the mullet of the pickup world? On the surface, why would anyone need another pickup configuration? For many players the wonderful sound of the Strat is defined by the sound of the neck and middle single coils, and that quacky sound of them both played together, in parallel. The most-used sound of a twin humbucker guitar is that bridge pickup with the tightness and definition, especially in heavy music. If we combine these great sounds, we should have a Guitar That Rules the World. It’s true. You can’t argue with that. That’s science*.
Then I removed the knobs. One by one I loosened the nuts that tighten the pots to the guitar body and tied a piece of dental floss to the posts. I made sure each piece of floss was around 3 feet long. I did the same with the switch and the input jack. Once this was done, I removed the pick guard, because it covered a large section of the f-hole. Then I completely removed the nuts on the pots, switch and input jack, and very carefully pulled the entire assembly out of the guitar through the f-hole.
Of course, many factors affect the eventual sound of the note, in addition to simply how hard the string is plucked. The thickness and manufacture of the string, how close it is to the body, the body's shape and design, the type of pickup, the number of pickups, to name just a few. Once the signal reaches the amplifier, all manner of different effects and distortions are possible to create an individual voice for the instrument.
It's all about the combination and the way the components work together. If you put flatwounds on a Gibson and plug in to a Polytone, you'll see why so many jazzers love those amps. But if you try the same amp with a Stratocaster and a set of roundwounds, you'll wonder why anyone would ever buy a Polytone. An amp that sounds good with one guitar may sound terrible with another guitar. And the reason may have nothing to do with the amp. The pickups and strings on the guitar may just not be a good match for the components of the amp.
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