By Annalise Thayer. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 15:05:01 PM.
An acoustic guitar is so named because the hollow design of its body provides a natural means by which the acoustics can be optimized, so that the sound of the guitar is naturally amplified, and therefore needs no exterior or additional means of amplifying the sound. Electric guitars are quite different, and without an external, electrical amplifier, strumming or picking the strings will make almost no sound at all, and certainly nothing much more impressive than pinging a rubber band! It is for this reason that electric guitars do use external amplification, but there is a common misconception or misunderstanding as to what exactly the external amplification does.
Another thing to consider is the wiring harness (i.e. the tone and volume controls, and the pickup selector) inside the guitar. You can swap out cheap pickups to improve the tone of your guitar, but you won't be able to get the most out of the change if you have a cheap, low quality wiring harness connecting the pickups to the output jack. The harness consists of two or four potentiometers, one or two capacitors, a switch and the wiring connecting them all together (and any shielding inside the control cavity or around the wires). The best components are US-made CTS pots, Sprague caps, Switchcraft switches and jacks, etc. The controls reduce volume or treble by introducing resistance and capacitance into the circuit. If the quality isn't there, the tone will be negatively affected even when the controls are turned all the way up; and the pickups may hum more or less depending upon how well the harness is shielded. So if you are replacing your pickups to improve the sound, it usually makes sense to also check the wiring and see if it needs to be upgraded or additional shielding needs to be added. And, last but not least, any effect pedals you use between the guitar and the amplifier will also tend to dominate the final tone. Some pedals are more transparent than others, but obviously if you rely heavily on pedals for the tone you want, then the type of pickups and strings you use will have less of an effect.
Guitar Wiring Explored – Switches Part 1. Now that we’re comfortable with the basic wiring of a guitar, we can look at some of the more popular mods. This article introduces mini toggle switches and pushpull pots, and shows how we can use these to modify a Strat in such a way as to allow use to add the neck pickup to any selection. This expands the number of available pickup combinations to 7. Guitar Wiring Explored – Humbucker Internals. In this article, we take a break from wiring pickups, switches and pots, and get to grips with the internal structure of a humbucker. This allows us to demystify four-conductor cable and understand how we can split coils or wire a humbucker in parallel instead of series.
All of these tubes have long, thin plates that are separated, so you can see the space between them just like the original Mullard ECC83's. To my ear, these vintage style tubes tend to have a fairly flat eq, which I associate with a more European sound, as opposed the Tung Sol's, which accentuate the highs and lows more and have more of an American tone. The problem with these long plate tubes is they tend not to do well in high gain amps and combo amps, if they are not very well made. The only one I have found to be reliable in a guitar amp is the Mullard 12ax7 reissue. It costs a little more, but if you want a premium tube that has more of a European tone, that's the one I'd recommend.
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