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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need some honest answers here. Can anyone tell much difference between humbuckers in the same position - other than the obvious low output vs high output.

I am just setting up a stock Epi Les Paul for a friend of mine and and compared it to mine which has CTS pots and Gibson Burstbuckers in it. There was an obvious difference at first until I adjusted the pickups on the stock LP. Now they pretty much sound the same....

Which make me wonder...how does a pickup really affect the sound of your guitar. They are essentially all made the same way with the exception of different magnets.

Maybe I need to try some more pups but...Is most of it hype????
 

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Some of it is undoubtedly hype, but not all of it.

The sound you get involves everything from your fingers to the speaker--well actually it starts before your fingers---inside you.

BUT--there are differences--I have ceramic Seymour Duncan pickups in my Les Paul, and they're more powerful and a broader tone than Alnico. I also have them wired by push/pull pots so each pickup has the coils play in series (as they normally do) or in parallel (like 2 single coils next to each other.) They sound different.

The number of wraps, type of wire, size & strength of magnets all affect the sound--and other things will as well.

But in the final analysis it's how you hear it, and if you like the sound.
 

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I've installed thus played a lot of HB's of various makes, also some single coils and I believe pickups play an important part of the sound of a guitar. Some will be hard to pickup on until you have given them some time.Some make a difference right away. Naturally there will be some hype, always is, sometimes it's the cheaper ones that sound good. But as Zontar said there are a lot of other things that make the tone of a guitar including the player.
 

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I would say that anything that sounds decent can be made to sound so much better if you take the time to adjust the height to get what you are after. I'm not saying that a POS will sound better than a Seymour Duncan or a custom wound pickup, but adjusting the height does wonders for the final product regardless of what you sprung for.

I've often been told that neck pickups were too mudy only to find that they have been adjusted as close to the strings as they can possibly be - or the owner got bent out of shape if the low end was sitting lower than the high end.

As usual, it's all a matter of personal taste when it comes down to this product is better than that product.
 

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I would say that anything that sounds decent can be made to sound so much better if you take the time to adjust the height to get what you are after. I'm not saying that a POS will sound better than a Seymour Duncan or a custom wound pickup, but adjusting the height does wonders for the final product regardless of what you sprung for.

I've often been told that neck pickups were too mudy only to find that they have been adjusted as close to the strings as they can possibly be - or the owner got bent out of shape if the low end was sitting lower than the high end.

As usual, it's all a matter of personal taste when it comes down to this product is better than that product.
Bingo!

The best pickup in the world will sound like crap if it isn't adjusted properly.
 

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Some of the differences are small, overtones for example. But pickups do make a big difference. Depending on what you are after though, the most expensive pickup isn't necessarily the one you want.

And I think it depends on how you have your amp set up, well, even what kind of amp you are using, as to how the pickups will deliver. If you play through a triple rectum fryer set on buzz saw, you obviously aren't going to hear the tones that you would through a vintage Fender set on clean.
 
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