Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Pickup Question

  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    12.09.06
    Age
    31
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    62
    Favorite VH Album

    Van Halen
    Favorite VH Song

    Choose just one??
    Last Online

    12.14.14 @ 07:41 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Pickup Question

    Hey all - I have a question for you guys in regards to pickups. I have two guitars - one is a 2005 Schecter C-1+ and the other is a 2001 (I think - bought it used) Ibanez RG-220. The Schecter has all stock equipment (duncan designed pickups, etc), and I think the Ibanez is stock as well, but I really have no way of telling (unless there is something obvious about the pickups that would give it away).

    I love both guitars, but for whatever reason, I find it MUCH easier to get pinch harmonics to sound on the Ibanez. I am just wondering if pickups would make a big difference to that, or if its just my playing and the way I hit the harmonics on the ibanez versus schecter. The ibanez has 9 gauge strings and a floyd, schecter has 10 and a regular bridge, but I didn't think that would make a big difference. If the pickups would make that sort of difference, do you have any recommendations for some that would work well with a C-1?

    Not sure if there is any other specs that would be pertinent, but Ill post what I know if you need it! Looking forward to read what the experts have to say

    -Jon

  2. #2
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I can tell you right away that strings and pickups/electronics CAN have a huge impact on pinch harmonics and playability. I'll let some other guys who have more experience playing Schecters chime in suggest pickups for you.
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 11.23.09 at 05:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.13.08
    Location
    Canada's West Coast
    Posts
    2,281
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear about it later
    Last Online

    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Strings are possibly your actual issue, but I'll get to that in a minute.

    Two thing I always check first when setting up a guitar is number one, the intonation. When you tune the guitar to itself from low to high, are the E's in tune to each other? Make sure it's intonated as perfectly as possible before doing anything else.
    The second is the pickup height. How close are the pickups to the strings? With even relatively low output pickups, you should be able to at least nail the harmonic. it may not scream, but it should be at the very least audible. If the pickup is set to close to the string, and the pickup has a strong magnet, this can effect the strings ability to vibrate properly. This is more common in single coils, but can be present in humbuckers as well. First, try lowering the pickup/s slightly. This will allow the string to vibrate freely. More often the problem is the neck pickup being too close. One more thing to keep in mind is your string guage. hat guage do you use? Do both guitars have the same guage installed? The heavier the guage, the plain strings tend to be a little tougher to pinch. I use D'Darrio 9 thru 46's, and they work very well. They also have the advantage of being a coated string, so they stay very lively, compared to say Boomers, Fenders, etc. which I used for years, but switched after discovering the advantages of the D'Darrio's. Obviously high output pickups will bring out harmonics alot more, but before dumping coin on a new one, or set, check these things first.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    12.09.06
    Age
    31
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    62
    Favorite VH Album

    Van Halen
    Favorite VH Song

    Choose just one??
    Last Online

    12.14.14 @ 07:41 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for the replys. Sleeper - the intonation seems ok to me - both of the e strings are in tune with each other. I did try lowering the pickup height a bit, but it didn't really seem to make much of a difference - I just lowered the rear one as the neck one was already pretty low. The strings on the ibanez are 9-42 and the schecter has 10-46 - both are d'addario xl's (I also like d'addario stings a lot!).

    I can hear the harmonics on the schecter, and some of them sound great - the 3rd string ones really do sound very good. But the 5th and 6th strings just sound very buried/muddy. I tried just playing a note and touching the harmonic with my right hand to try and eliminate any variation that may come from my playing (i'm not fantastic at pinch harmonics), and the 5 and 6 strings still don't sound so great. Any other thoughts/suggestions? Thanks again!

    -Jon

  5. #5
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.13.08
    Location
    Canada's West Coast
    Posts
    2,281
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear about it later
    Last Online

    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    Thanks for the replys. Sleeper - the intonation seems ok to me - both of the e strings are in tune with each other. I did try lowering the pickup height a bit, but it didn't really seem to make much of a difference - I just lowered the rear one as the neck one was already pretty low. The strings on the ibanez are 9-42 and the schecter has 10-46 - both are d'addario xl's (I also like d'addario stings a lot!).

    I can hear the harmonics on the schecter, and some of them sound great - the 3rd string ones really do sound very good. But the 5th and 6th strings just sound very buried/muddy. I tried just playing a note and touching the harmonic with my right hand to try and eliminate any variation that may come from my playing (i'm not fantastic at pinch harmonics), and the 5 and 6 strings still don't sound so great. Any other thoughts/suggestions? Thanks again!

    -Jon
    No problem Jon. I know my questions were ones you asked, but the reason I threw them back at you was to break down the method to solving the problem. My suggestion is to try a set of 9's. Some guitars just respond better to different guages. I had an old Gibson Les Paul that sounded and played like a monster with 11's, but any lighter guages just sounded horrible. On the other hand my current Gibson sounds and plays less than spectacular with heavier guages. Now.....to put on my diagnostician hat....can you describe how you pinch your harmonics? There's some different techniques out there but one I use is pretty sure fire and controllable once you get the hang of it. Do you use your thumb in conjunction with the pick? Alot of players do, but let me know, and I'll tell you mine so you can give it a try.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    12.09.06
    Age
    31
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    62
    Favorite VH Album

    Van Halen
    Favorite VH Song

    Choose just one??
    Last Online

    12.14.14 @ 07:41 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    No problem Jon. I know my questions were ones you asked, but the reason I threw them back at you was to break down the method to solving the problem. My suggestion is to try a set of 9's. Some guitars just respond better to different guages. I had an old Gibson Les Paul that sounded and played like a monster with 11's, but any lighter guages just sounded horrible. On the other hand my current Gibson sounds and plays less than spectacular with heavier guages. Now.....to put on my diagnostician hat....can you describe how you pinch your harmonics? There's some different techniques out there but one I use is pretty sure fire and controllable once you get the hang of it. Do you use your thumb in conjunction with the pick? Alot of players do, but let me know, and I'll tell you mine so you can give it a try.
    I will give a set of 9s a try, but I usually like to use 10s on it as I like the feeling of a heavier string - only reason there are 9s on the ibanez is that is what I put on it last, and I'm just too lazy to change them with the floyd until I have to!

    I play my harmonics by picking the string, then brushing it with the outside knuckle part of my thumb. I read that a lot of people hit the string with the tip of their thumb, and I tried to learn it that way, but could never get it to sound properly. Thanks again!

    -Jon

  7. #7
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.13.08
    Location
    Canada's West Coast
    Posts
    2,281
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear about it later
    Last Online

    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    I will give a set of 9s a try, but I usually like to use 10s on it as I like the feeling of a heavier string - only reason there are 9s on the ibanez is that is what I put on it last, and I'm just too lazy to change them with the floyd until I have to!

    I play my harmonics by picking the string, then brushing it with the outside knuckle part of my thumb. I read that a lot of people hit the string with the tip of their thumb, and I tried to learn it that way, but could never get it to sound properly. Thanks again!

    -Jon
    For shits and giggles try it this way;
    Pick as normal but instead of using your thumb to get the harmonic, try using the nail of your picking hand's ring finger (second from your pinky). I learned this technique as I rarely use picks, and I still wanted to get harmonics. You just kind of position your hand comfortably almost the way you do to palm mute. As you pick you apply slight pressure on the string, and as you pick the note/s you pull off the string as you pick. You can still control the pitch of the harmonic by moving up or down the length of the string as normal; actually better than with the thumb with more consistency, and depending on your attack/release, you can get real powerful screams, or deep gritty pinched harmonics (like Billy Gibbons). If you play with a pick, the effect is even greater. You get much more volume out of the harmonics with this technique, and the added bonus is that you don't have alter your hand position, or fumble getting your thumb in position at all within a phrase. Just drop down the nail, and you got it. Just practice for a bit, and it should come fairly quickly.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 11.24.09 at 03:30 PM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  8. #8
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    12.09.06
    Age
    31
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    62
    Favorite VH Album

    Van Halen
    Favorite VH Song

    Choose just one??
    Last Online

    12.14.14 @ 07:41 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thats a pretty nifty technique! Possible to get lots of variations in the sound. Only trouble I have is I tend to rest my pinky on the guitar (i know...bad habits) and it is a bit awkward for me to get the ring finger into position. I'll keep giving it a go though, if nothing else to just have some more sound possibilites. If I'm ever able to get a chance to get around to changing the strings, I'll let you know if that varies the sound a lot. Thanks again!

    -Jon

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Pickup help
    By fudd in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 02.04.09, 03:25 PM
  2. pickup help
    By J_Alexander in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09.16.05, 08:10 PM
  3. wolfgang pickup / custom custom pickup?
    By no fret in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09.18.02, 06:20 AM
  4. pickup and trem system question
    By JMJ in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04.01.02, 06:52 AM
  5. Guitar Pickup question
    By KenyonVincent in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01.02.01, 02:21 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •