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Guitar pickups are devices that capture the vibrations of the guitar strings and convert them into an electrical signal that can be amplified and heard through a speaker. In this article, we will take a look at the different types of guitar pickups available, how they work, and how to choose the right pickups for your guitar.
The two main types of guitar pickups are magnetic pickups and piezoelectric pickups. Magnetic pickups use a magnet and a coil of wire to generate an electrical signal. They are the most common type of pickup and are used in most electric guitars. They come in different shapes and sizes, and they offer a wide range of tones, from bright and twangy to warm and smooth.
Piezoelectric pickups are less common and use a crystal to generate an electrical signal. They are often used in acoustic-electric guitars and offer a natural and authentic tone. They are also less affected by external interference than magnetic pickups and can provide a more consistent sound.
When choosing pickups for your guitar, it’s important to consider the type of music you play and the tone you’re looking for. Magnetic pickups offer a wider range of tones, while piezoelectric pickups offer a more natural and authentic tone. It’s also important to consider the pickup’s output level, which is measured in millivolts (mV). Pickups with higher output levels will produce a louder and stronger signal, while pickups with lower output levels will produce a softer and more subtle signal.
Another important consideration is the number of pickups on your guitar. Most guitars have at least one pickup, but some have two or more. Multi-pickup guitars offer more versatility, as you can switch between pickups to achieve different tones.
It’s also important to know that pickups can be replaced or upgraded, and that it’s an easy process that can be done by most guitar techs or the guitar player themselves. This can be an option for players who are not satisfied with the tone of the pickups that come on their guitar or want to experiment with different sounds.
In conclusion, guitar pickups are devices that capture the vibrations of the guitar strings and convert them into an electrical signal that can be amplified and heard through a speaker. The two main types of pickups are magnetic pickups and piezoelectric pickups. When choosing pickups, it’s important to consider the type of music you play and the tone you’re looking for, the output level of the pickup, and the number of pickups on your guitar. Upgrading or replacing pickups can also be an option to achieve different sounds. With the right pickups, you can take your guitar playing to the next level and achieve the tone you’re looking for.