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Which pickup setting do you prefer?

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I usually play with the neck pickup. Sometimes I use the bridge pickup to flavour a lead part, or get a spanky low end lead part, but switch back to the neck pickup. I have a late '50's early '60's LP Junior with a single bridge pickup. It has a cool sound, but I rarely play it because I like the sound and feel of a neck pu.

I find bridge pickups to be too trebley and not as nice as the neck. In between doesn't do it for me either.
Sometimes I will set the tone on the bridge pu to match the neck, so when playing lead I can flip back and forth for variety but still a similar tonal range. I don't get why some player are the opposite, staying mainly on the bridge...

What is your preference and why?
 

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I chose equally, but as an afterthought, it depends on the guitar. I'm mostly 50/50 on a double humbucker setup, but mostly neck or neck/mid on an SSS strat.
Mood, genre and amp choice also has bearing.
 

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Though it largely depends on the music, the guitar and pickups factor heavily. Soloing with the my (now defunct) cover band I used the bridge pickup more than I do at home. At home I love the tone of neck pickups on two pickup guitars, neck/centre on three pickup guitars. That said, I like a lot of variety so the selector switches get a workout.
 

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I chose equally, but as an afterthought, it depends on the guitar. I'm mostly 50/50 on a double humbucker setup, but mostly neck or neck/mid on an SSS strat.
Mood, genre and amp choice also has bearing.
This for sure. Depends on guitar, song choice etc. If i'm playing in a band as rhythm then i'm more often on the neck. But yeah, it depends. I'm constantly switching even mid song.
 

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I voted bridge pickup. That is the position I normally use on most of my guitars as I can get the tone I'm after there.
That said, I have a couple of guitars that I really like the tone from the neck pickup.
Rarely, if ever, do I play in the middle/both - (neck & bridge position) - of my HB guitars.
 

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I like both about equally; switch around quite a bit & use the middle too

I had a single pup jr style gtr, and had to add a neck pup to it
 

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Depends what kind of sound I'm trying to make. Both have their charm and I switch back and forth depending on what I'm trying to achieve. Coil tapping is cool too, and gives yet another sound to work with.
 

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Depends on the guitar... If I play my LP, and that is most of the time, I'd say bridge 75% to neck 25%. Unless it's a clean tone, then it's mostly neck.

However, if I play a Strat, I almost never play the bridge. Especially with Over-Drive. That sound is as grating as I can think any guitar can make! I truly, truly hate Strat+Bridge+O/D. (don't pile on, it's just my opinion) but just as equally, I truly love, looooove, a clean Strat on neck or neck/middle.
 

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Depends on the guitar, amp and other instruments in the band. One absolute for me though is that a Tele will be in the rear position 99% of the time

When I'm playing through my new Morris Perplex'd Jr head, I'm pretty much sticking with the rear pickup on everything.
 

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As Scottone illustrates, it's going to depend on the guitar and what it's packing. On a traditional Strat, with stock pickups, many players find the bridge pickup useful for achieving cluck, in combination with the middle, but largely not gutsy enough unless one is playing surf music. Stick a humbucker on that same guitar, however (the S-S-H configuration), and many will play the bridge pickup more often. On a Tele, it's the reverse, pretty much, with the bridge pickup having a much stronger character than the neck PU. Indeed, many opf the aftermarket solution for Teles, over the years, have been an effort to give the neck PU more character and body.

It's also the case that, for those that like effects, the neck pickup is often the PU of preference for their choice of effects because it makes the effect behave better. So, octave-down and octave-up units prefer the neck pickup, because the fundamental is much stronger, therefore easier to detect. Conversely, if one leans towards flangers, chorus, wah, and autowah, the bridge pickup provides more harmonic content for the filtering action of those effects to play with. For fuzzes, overdrives, and distortions, either PU will suffice, with some players aiming for the vocal sustain the neck PU can offer up, and others aiming for the bite of the bridge.
 
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