The guitar thread

The guitar thread


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NecroJoe

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Well, with an all-in one, you typically replace the neck humbucker with a single coil or two. That means you lose the humbucking ability in the neck pickup, where you are usually doing cleans or rhythm. For most, noise when they play "dirty" is more of an issue because of feedback and noise-amplification by the increased gain, but I'd rather have the noise there (if anywhere) because a noise gate can eliminate of lot of the feeedback, and works better with the drive channel. I don't like using noise gates on a clean channel if I can help it.

With a neck humbucker, you loose the "spank" and glimmer of the single coil.

Couple ways around this:
1) Two humbuckers, but with a coil-split mode. Not all pick-ups split into convincing single-coils, but some do very well. This gives you 100% humbucker sound when you want it, and then 85% single coil sound when you want that instead. My Carvin S22s don't split well, but their C22s and especially their H22s split very well.

2) If you get a S-S-H, have the two single coils wired so that, when selected together, they form a pseudo humbucker. This scenario gives you 100% of the single coil when you want it, and 85% humbucker when you want that.

3) A H-S-H configutation. This has several advantages because in both neck, and bridge pick-ups, you can blend in that middle single coil, or use it on it's own. The disadvantage is that you don't get the "punch" of having a single coil right by the bridge, and you don't get all of the warmth of having the single coil right near the neck.

Basically, any "one guitar to rule them all" approach will either be viewed as an all-in-one, or more likely, a compromise.

That said, two guitars have their own challenges. Do you have room for two stands? If you store your guitars in their cases, do you honestly see yourself putting your HB guitar in the case, latching it, moving it over somewhere else to get to the case underneath, and getting the SC guitar out. I know, I know...doesn't seem like a big deal, but it sort of a pain in the ass, and you'll find yourself playing the guitar on top WAY more.

That said, you play guitar...theres no such thing as too many guitars. I own a H-H guitar (with split coil functionality), I own a H-S-H, and I'm looking for a S-S-S guitar. I've owned over the past 18-or-so-years pretty much every config (piezo bridges, 13-pin midi, active electronics, H-S-S, and Acoustic-electrics.) so I'll probably end up with one of everything again. :p

Another option is the Seymour Duncan P-Rails pickup. Combines a HB, a SC, and a P90-style pick-up in one HB-sized assembly. Takes an involved installation (extra switch or two, possibly routing the pick-up opening)but I've heard good things.
 

Labcoatguy

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Whoa, that's a lot of nuances that I haven't even begun to consider. It looks like I'll go for an HSS for now until I reach its limits; no need to get perfect instrument choice when my playing abilities aren't up there yet. Thanks for the advice.
 

NecroJoe

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Whoa, that's a lot of nuances that I haven't even begun to consider. It looks like I'll go for an HSS for now until I reach its limits; no need to get perfect instrument choice when my playing abilities aren't up there yet. Thanks for the advice.
Oh, don't even get me started on 24-fret vs 22-fret guitars and how that affects tone...or stainless steel frets vs nickel. :p There are also people who seriously think that inlay material and shap changes tone. It can get pretty hilarious.

Pickups are the biggest changer of tone, then wood...then probably neck construction (bolt-on, set net, etc) Nothing else really matters all that much.
 

NecroJoe

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Oh, don't even get me started on 24-fret vs 22-fret guitars and how that affects tone...
Okay, I actually feel like I should explain that one...

It's not that the extra 2 frets of wood have an affect on the tone...that doesn't matter.

When you have a neck pick-up, it normally hugs up against the fretboard. Well, with the 24-fret fretboard, the neck pick-up is pushed about an inch closer to the bridge. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can actually have a noticeable effect. The neck pick-up sounds different from the bridge pick-up because of how far away it is from the bridge. The further you get from the bridge, the closer to the string's "center." You can notice a tone difference when you change where you pick...same thing. Since the pick-up is normally only 5-6" away from the bridge, that 1" can be a 17-20% difference. That's significant.

However, this type of guitar tone cork-sniffing really has no place in 99% of guitar-buying decisions.

It's even too much for me. As far as tone goes, inlay material and shape are just ludicrous.It's like saying racing stripes add horsepower.
 

jeffy777

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What are the best strings to use to help reduce finger squeaking on an electric guitar? It's never really bothered me in the past, but I've been doing a bit of recording lately, so I'd like to tidy up the sound a bit.
 

Labcoatguy

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Hmm, does washing and then powdering your hands work? Any finger squeaking that can't be taken out by improved technique is probably down to the natural stickiness of your fingers, and washing and drying could take care of a lot of that.

So I managed to get a used MIM Fender standard strat (SSS) at Guitar Center for $300, including strap and cord, after selling off that old Washburn. As predicted, I'm missing the oomph that the Washburn's bridge humbucker had, but I just can't give up the sharpness of the bridge single-coil. It looks like my two options now are either to rewire the neck and middle pickups so that their in-between position gives pseudo-humbucking, or to replace the neck pickup with a mini-humbucker that fits into a single-coil slot. Experts, any preference between the two?

As far as tone goes, inlay material and shape are just ludicrous.It's like saying racing stripes add horsepower.
I fully see your point. But if you have badly applied/painted racing stripes, they could seriously mess with your aerodynamics at over 300MPH, and take away horsepower!
 

jeffy777

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Hmm, does washing and then powdering your hands work? Any finger squeaking that can't be taken out by improved technique is probably down to the natural stickiness of your fingers, and washing and drying could take care of a lot of that.
I wash my hands a lot, maybe I need to powder them. I don't think it's my technique as I'm trying to be extra careful to cut down on the squeaking, but it's still coming through, especially when sliding on the heavier strings.

I've heard that there are certain types of strings that are supposed to help. I've used Elixirs on my acoustic and they really helps there, but I don't know if they make strings for electric. I'll have to check, but if anyone knows of anything else, please let me know :)
 

jlee221

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ahh guitars. the other thing i spend tons of money on... the thing that's preventing me from having money to spend on cars... i've invested quite a bit on these things.

acoustics:
2001 Breedlove D25/R- sitka spruce/rosewood
2008 Breedlove C25/CRH- red cedar/rosewood
2003 Taylor 710-LTD Summer Strummer- sitka spruce/cocobolo
2006 Taylor 810ce- sitka spruce/rosewood
2007 Taylor Big Baby- sitka spruce/sapele laminate

electrics:
2002 Fender Strat- MIM
coming soon: 2006 taylor T5 standard

amp:
Vox AC15

effects:
Boss DD7
Ibanez Tubescreamer TS9DX
TC Electronics NR-1 Nova Reverb
Visual Sound Jekyll and Hyde
Visual Sound Route 66
 

Crazyjeeper

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I wash my hands a lot, maybe I need to powder them. I don't think it's my technique as I'm trying to be extra careful to cut down on the squeaking, but it's still coming through, especially when sliding on the heavier strings.

I've heard that there are certain types of strings that are supposed to help. I've used Elixirs on my acoustic and they really helps there, but I don't know if they make strings for electric. I'll have to check, but if anyone knows of anything else, please let me know :)
I use really heavy DR Pure Blues 11s and I've never noticed any squeak. You do have you have strong fingers though :lol:
 

jlee221

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I wash my hands a lot, maybe I need to powder them. I don't think it's my technique as I'm trying to be extra careful to cut down on the squeaking, but it's still coming through, especially when sliding on the heavier strings.

I've heard that there are certain types of strings that are supposed to help. I've used Elixirs on my acoustic and they really helps there, but I don't know if they make strings for electric. I'll have to check, but if anyone knows of anything else, please let me know :)
elixir makes electric strings... as well as ones for bass.
 

NecroJoe

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What are the best strings to use to help reduce finger squeaking on an electric guitar? It's never really bothered me in the past, but I've been doing a bit of recording lately, so I'd like to tidy up the sound a bit.
Are you talking about the wound strings, or the flat strings?

If you're talking about the wound strings, you could buy what are called "flat wound" strings. Rather than being wrapped in a round wire that causes ridges, they are wound with a flattened "ribbon" of metal, so the surface isn't grooved. They don't sound as bright, however. Honestly, they sound like crap. Honestly, better finger control is the best solution. That's also the solution if you're talking about the sort of whistle-squeak on the unwound strings.

Hmm, does washing and then powdering your hands work? Any finger squeaking that can't be taken out by improved technique is probably down to the natural stickiness of your fingers, and washing and drying could take care of a lot of that.
Also, and I know this sounds stupid...but drink more water. Not just for your health, but I notice when I don't drink enough, my skin feels sticker, and my sweat smells worse. (told you it sounds stupid). But, it works.

It looks like my two options now are either to rewire the neck and middle pickups so that their in-between position gives pseudo-humbucking, or to replace the neck pickup with a mini-humbucker that fits into a single-coil slot. Experts, any preference between the two?
A single-coil-sized humbucker will do the trick, but it will be a compromise. Because it's a humbucker, it won't be a single-coil. It may sound similar, but not totally.

There are some full-sized humbuckers that sound pretty convincingly like a single-coil when their coils are split. Conversely, you could use a noisegate pedal/loop effect. This cuts the audio out when it detects a quiet-enough sound. This is great for playing live, hgh gain situations, or when you want dead-quiet when not playing. You can adjust the sensitivity so that all it takes is a slight sound to "wake it up" or you can make it so you have to really "chugga-chugga" a power chord to get it to kick in.

I fully see your point. But if you have badly applied/painted racing stripes, they could seriously mess with your aerodynamics at over 300MPH, and take away horsepower!
Bullocks. My old Oldsmobile 4cyl had a mother-of-peal hood, and it had the same lateral G at 320mph as it did with the abalone hood. :lol:

I've used Elixirs on my acoustic and they really helps there, but I don't know if they make strings for electric. I'll have to check, but if anyone knows of anything else, please let me know :)
They do. Carvin guitars come strung with them from the factory. They are actually pretty good...but when I re-string, I won't use 'em.
 

Labcoatguy

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A single-coil-sized humbucker will do the trick, but it will be a compromise. Because it's a humbucker, it won't be a single-coil. It may sound similar, but not totally.
Ah, I don't think I've made myself clear. I'm trying to get the humbucker sound without cutting into the pickguard of my Strat, hence considering the single-sized humbucker. If it sounds more like a humbucker than a single-coil, then that's exactly what I'm looking for. Alternately, if I could just get the top two single-coils rewired so they act like the P90s on an SG Classic, where one position in the switch causes the two single-coils to act as one humbucker, that would be the best setup. Is that possible?
 

NecroJoe

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Sorry, I guess I had you backwards.

Honestly, once you're talking about re-wiring pick-ups, changing pick-ups, and rewiring switches...

Why keep the pickguard that's holding you back? A new pickguard costs almost nothing, and it'd let you have whatever combo you want.

Plus, you can get whatever material you can think of, just about...carbon fiber, leather, etc etc etc.

Here's a really reliable place for guitar parts:
http://www.warmoth.com/pickguards/pickguards.cfm?fuseaction=pickguards_strat

To answer your last question, it is possible to use both single coils as a pseudo humbucker, but it won't be perfect. It will cool some of the noise, but won't give you the warm humbucker sound.
 

Labcoatguy

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Sorry, I guess I had you backwards.

Honestly, once you're talking about re-wiring pick-ups, changing pick-ups, and rewiring switches...

Why keep the pickguard that's holding you back? A new pickguard costs almost nothing, and it'd let you have whatever combo you want.

Plus, you can get whatever material you can think of, just about...carbon fiber, leather, etc etc etc.

Here's a really reliable place for guitar parts:
http://www.warmoth.com/pickguards/pickguards.cfm?fuseaction=pickguards_strat

To answer your last question, it is possible to use both single coils as a pseudo humbucker, but it won't be perfect. It will cool some of the noise, but won't give you the warm humbucker sound.
:hmm: This is the slippery slope of modding...look at changing one thing, and suddenly I want to change everything in sight. Seeing as I'm about to move and start a new job, I'm going to chicken out and return it to Guitar Center, get an old acoustic to keep my fingers fresh, and save up for that SG Special with P90s. Thanks for all your advice Necro.
 

NecroJoe

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Bah...pansy. :p

One last option: Pre-wired complete pickguards. A few pick-up manufacturers make 'em, and they fit right into the strat.

Keep in mind the SG can play very differently from Strats. Typically, Strats have a satin poly or tung-oil finish...both of which are very smooth and fast. SG's typically have nitro gloss finishes which can be sticky. I used to have Gibson LP Standard, and it was so hard to play...sooooo sticky. I'm all about polyurethane, now. :p Thankfully, nitro is getting harder to get except for imports as it's getting illegal in more and more states to spray, so you see it on less US-made guitars.

Anyways, good luck!
 

jlee221

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Labcoatguy

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seymour duncan makes a stacked humbucker that fits into the single coil slot on the pickguard of a strat.

http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Seymour-Duncan-SHR1-Hot-Rail-Stacked-Single-Coil-Pickup?sku=300300

honestly though, going with a HSS setup on a strat... you could have bought a MIM HSS strat new for less than it would to get a MIM SSS strat and swapping out the stock pickup for a humbucker and paying to have that done.
The thing is that the humbucker in Fat Strats is in the bridge position, and I want to keep the angled single-coil there. The neck pick up is the warmest/muddiest of the three, and if I'm going for warmth, might as well drop a humbucker there. Anyway, these plans are going on hold for now.
 
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