Pickups are essentially magnets wrapped in a coil of wire. The strength of the magnets and the number of turns in the coil determines how hot the pickups are. The hotter the pickups, the more they amplify the string’s vibrations. Each type of pickup has its own sound, so choosing the right one is essential to getting good tones out of your guitar. Here is a short guide on how to choose guitar pickups.
What Do Guitar Pickups Do for Your Sound?
Do you want a brighter sound? A warmer, fuller sound? Something in between? Pickups come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to know what sort of sound you’re going for before you start shopping. There’s a reason why most music shops let you test the pickups before you purchase one. Listen to different types of guitar music to isolate the sounds that you love. It may surprise you.
Reasons to Change Your Guitar’s Pickup
Your guitar’s pickups are responsible for its sound, so if you’re not happy with the way your guitar sounds, changing the pickups is a good place to start. Pickups can wear out over time, so if your guitar suddenly sounds different, it may be time for new pickups. Or, you may just want to try a different type of pickup for a different sound.
Buying an Active or Passive Pickup
Active pickups require a battery to function, while passive pickups do not. Active pickups tend to have more output and a fuller sound. Passive pickups are simpler and tend to be more versatile since they can be used with a wider range of amps and effects. But active pickups will give you a more dramatic tone/sound change.
How Long Do Guitar Pickups Last?
Guitar pickups will last anywhere from six months to a year. You will notice that your guitar pickup may not sound the same over time; this is a sign that the guitar pickup is wearing out.
Cost of a Pickup
Prices for pickups can range from $30 to $300 or more. It all depends on the quality, materials, and brand. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to go with a less expensive pickup so you can get a feel for what you like without breaking the bank. But if you’re looking for a specific sound, you might need to spend a little more.
Getting a Pickup for Your Guitar
If you’re not sure what sort of pickup you want, it’s probably best to go to a shop so you can try out different pickups and get a feel for what you like. You can also ask the staff for recommendations. But even after, you can always order any pickup online.