Fine-Tuning the Adjustment of Passive Humbuckers

It’s been said that the best things in life are free, and I find that saying is never more true than when applied to getting a better tone from our guitars. With so many products on the market that claim to improve guitar tone in one way or another – from fancy new picks made…

Cage Match: Active vs. Passive Pickups

Pickups come in two basic flavors. One is active, and the second is passive. If your guitar requires a battery, chances are that it has active pickups. If it doesn’t, or will function without a battery, then the pickups would be considered passive. From what I have seen, guitarists generally prefer one or the other…

Active and Passive in the Same Guitar – Can It Be Done?

It’s a question we get asked a heck of a lot here at SD, and a question that appears all over the internet – how should I wire up a mixture of active and passive pickups in the  same guitar? The answer, either from us or elsewhere on the internet, is always either “It’s very…

Active Or Passive Bass Pickups: Which Is For You?

When the electric bass as we know it was first invented by Leo Fender and co, there was no such thing as ‘active and passive’ bass electronics; there was just ‘what was there.’ If you wanted to fine-tune your sound on a single-pickup Precision Bass, you had a passive tone control whose job was to reduce the…

Hot-Rodding the STC Preamps

When you’re a gear-head, nothing is ever – EVER – completely perfect. Sure, you’ll throw in the Steve Harris Signature Pickup into your P Bass, and enjoy the tone (and for my impressions, click here). But then you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t an STC preamp completely unleash the beast?” and you’d be right. But you’re left with…

Taking It To Passive

We all do it. Buy a new instrument, play it, say it’s the greatest thing, and then start pouring through the Seymour Duncan website, looking to get that little bit “extra” out of your sound. For many bassists (myself included), this usually means installing an active preamp into your bass. But what about those folks that have an active bass but want to make it passive? Yeah, it happens.

Active Pickups And How They Are Different

Some thirty odd years ago active pickups hit the market and they were doing something amazing. Lots of output paired with no hum, noise or buzz. What else could you ask for? As time went on, players demanded more and more. More tone, more dynamics, more nuance in their playing. And yet it’s still a…

Digging Out of the Hole You’re In: Breaking Out of Playing Ruts

We’ve all been there before: when we’re uninspired and everything we play sounds, well, the same. Playing ruts, or more accurately named plateaus, are problems every instrumentalist faces and has to work through. In this article, let’s look at some ideas on how to break through the imaginary wall holding your playing back. I’ve been…

Seven-String Pickup Options

One thing 7-string players continually cite as an attraction to the extended range of the seven is that they can still play everything that they could play on a six-string guitar – as well as getting down into much lower musical territory. And that’s true of tone too: the sounds you get out of your six-string pickups are also available from 7-string versions. Many of our popular models are available in versions for 7-string players, and even if we don’t offer a production 7-string version of a six-string pickup you’ve just gotta have on your seven, the Custom Shop may be able to help!

Introducing the Gus G. FIRE Blackouts System

Hard rock and metal guitarists no longer need to choose between the power of active pickups and the response of passive pickups. The Gus G. FIRE Blackouts System blends the best aspects of both. “This system combines the massive tone, kick, and distortion of Blackouts with the rich tone and expressive feel of my favorite…

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