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Thoughts on tone

Why are the neck and bridge version of the same pickup wound differently?

As I described in an earlier post about the differences in neck and bridge pickup position sound, the mix of harmonics from the string that the pickup "sees" is a major driver of the difference between neck and bridge pickup sound.  That said, manufacturers also tend to wind neck and bridge pickups differently, even of the same model.  They do this partially to compensate/account for the different harmonic mix and output levels the pickups see, and partially because there is now a norm that the guitar is usually set up for the bridge pickup to be more of a drive/lead/solo sound, and...

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Why does the same pickup sound different in the neck and bridge position?

Just to be clear about what this article is describing, we are not talking about the general differences in neck pickup vs bridge pickup construction and tone.  What we are talking about here is how the sound of a given pickup would change if you shifted the same pickup at the same height from the bridge position up to the neck position.  It definitely will sound different - you'll get a lot more of the fundamental (the "note" you think about playing when you play) vs. the harmonics (the overtones which are multiples of the frequency of the fundamental that give...

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What is the difference between a humbucker and a trembucker?

Within a given model line (say we are talking about the Seymour Duncan JB bridge humbucker), the only difference is supposed to be that the trembucker is ever so slightly wider on account of the pole pieces being ever so slightly farther apart.  I say supposed to be as I am curious myself if there is a measurable difference in tone, given that you would have to either use slightly fewer turns to achieve the same DCR/output, or you would use the same number of turns and have a slightly higher output and slightly more rolled off high-end.  I think any...

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Does DiMarzio really own the trademark for double cream pickups?

The short answer: yes!  In fact you can find and read the real trademark by searching HERE for Serial Number 73150505.   If you check out the above link and scroll to the bottom you will see that the trademark is listed as "LIVE", that means it is still valid and in force. This was filed all the way back in 1977.  At some point I'd like to talk to some folks from the industry that were around back then to better understand why Gibson/others didn't fight this trademark, but for now I will summarize the best arguments I've read on the internet...

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How do I improve my guitar's tone if I cannot afford new pickups?

First of all I completely feel where you are coming from.  Your gear is only part of your music-making but if it is off or you aren't into the sounds, it can take some of the fun out of playing guitar.  As a gearhead even from a young age there has always been (and still is) a good chunk of gear I either couldn't or shouldn't buy. That said I hope to have a few practical tips here that are either free or cheap that can help you find a new tone or flavor.  I've ordered them from free to less cheap:...

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