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Thread: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

  1. #1
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    Default Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    ^

    I was thinking about the EMG 85. On the lighter side of things, it was used by Larry Carlton and Mark Knophler. Then you've got Steve Lukather and Reb Beach, all the way up to the metal guys like Kirk Hammett.

    Then there's the JB. Used by Jeff Beck and Seymour himself, but also used for a whole range of rock music up to an including Megadeth/Maiden/etc.

    Perhaps the '59 in the neck? Used by Dicky Betts but also Dimebag!

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Silver; 02-05-2018 at 04:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver View Post
    ^

    I was thinking about the EMG 85. Only the lighter side of things, it was used by Larry Carlton and Mark Knophler. Then you've got Steve Lukather and Reb Beach, all the way up to the metal guys like Kirk Hammett.

    Then there's the JB. Used by Jeff Beck and Seymour himself, but also used for a whole range of rock music up to an including Megadeth/Maiden/etc.

    Perhaps the '59 in the neck? Used by Dicky Betts but also Dimebag!

    What do you think?
    Burstbuckers or the original paf maybe? Otherwise, probably jb/59
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    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Super Distortion is definitely in the running, I wouldn't call it #1 though. To be honest, I don't really know what I'd call #1.

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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    Super Distortion is definitely in the running, I wouldn't call it #1 though. To be honest, I don't really know what I'd call #1.
    I almost said super distortion but then i thought its mostly a hard rock thing
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    Super Toneologist VinceT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Strat single coils. Buddy Holly through to Richie Blackmore, stopping off at Nile Rodgers and Dick Dale on the way. Tough to argue any other comes close.


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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by VinceT View Post
    Strat single coils. Buddy Holly through to Richie Blackmore, stopping off at Nile Rodgers and Dick Dale on the way. Tough to argue any other comes close.


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    Yeah, I was thinking SSL-1s and SSL-2s might be pretty close to the top.

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    Mojo's Minions Ayrton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by VinceT View Post
    Strat single coils. Buddy Holly through to Richie Blackmore, stopping off at Nile Rodgers and Dick Dale on the way. Tough to argue any other comes close.


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    This is what I was thinking. However, once you get outside the "single" or "humbucker", hard to pin down what "model" of each.
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by dxlxntxxlxr View Post
    the original paf
    Was there just one original "patented applied for" pickup, or do you mean the original DiMarzio PAF?
    Pickups don't "take" gain.
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    Ultimate Tone Member dxlxntxxlxr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregory View Post
    Was there just one original "patented applied for" pickup, or do you mean the original DiMarzio PAF?
    i was mostly referring to seth lovers original gibson humbucker
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Of which there was not just one. If there was then you wouldn't see countless attempts at recreating the perfect glory of yesteryear. It would be a done deal.
    Pickups don't "take" gain.
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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    I'll wager that the Duncan Distortion has shown up on far more recordings than we are aware of.

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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Sure, but I'll wager not as many as the Super-D or JB.
    Pickups don't "take" gain.
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Stock Fender Strat pickups and stock Gibson humbuckers...from every era.

    I doubt that most players swap pickups.
    Last edited by Lewguitar; 02-05-2018 at 08:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    I would think the JB/Jazz set. So much of the 80s was recorded with it.
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    I would think the JB/Jazz set.
    I dunno about that! No, I really think the answer is stock Fender Strat pickups.
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewguitar View Post
    I dunno about that! No, I really think the answer is stock Fender Strat pickups.
    Which ones? Strat single coils weren't any more "accurate" than the PAFs of the day. They changed from year to year as well.

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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Short version --> I would say the PAF, JB, PAF pro, Fender single, and hot rod deluxe/texas style type singles. The DiMarzio HS series was pretty popular for recording too, as they were clean, low output, and stacked for no hum.


    Long version --> I don't think a lot of guys are using EMG anymore, kinda like Crate amps. I'm not saying they're bad pickups, or amps, but I hear mostly metal guys talking about them anymore. Personally, I think they sounded decent, but most guitarists shy away from batteries in their axes.

    I know that a lot of pickups were hot-rodded, especially for the stage. That's where the JB comes in, along with many others. And it was one of the first hot-rodded pickups anyone could easily buy. I think Fender single-coils were no different, however, and I've heard that a lot of guys will record, or would record, with a strat. The reason being that the recording is usually done with software or some kind of preamp, where a cleaner pickup will work best, and not muddy the waters. The strat is also lighter, was cheaper back in the day and not extremely collectible, so a lot of studios had them on hand. Kinda like $500 LP Studios...

    Funny, I've seen a lot of guys using humbuckers on stage with something highly-prized and shiny, and then hear how they recorded the album with a single-coil. Personally, I mostly play with a humbucker, but that's because I go from my od808 straight to my amp and play heavier rhythm...

    One other thing to point out is that, even though the strat came out in 54-55, it was kinda considered a working man's guitar. It wasn't until the 60's that guitarists were flocking to them. Before that, a lot of guitars were bigger and hollow, like Guild, Rickenbacker, Danelectro, Harmony and Silvertone...basically country gentlemans and some with bigsby-styled vibratos. Until the Gibson PAF, they used single-coil pickups...

    Late 70's really pushed the humbucker, the 80's popularized it, and the 90's started to perfect and/or try new things with it, so I think it depends on the time frame, where you're playing, if you're recording, and if you're using modeling software/pedals - otherwise it really doesn't matter.

    I think amps/preamps matter(ed) more.
    Last edited by jammer669171; 02-05-2018 at 11:20 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    Which ones? Strat single coils weren't any more "accurate" than the PAFs of the day. They changed from year to year as well.
    But any individual pickup has a range of possible K and possible wind patterns.......even machines are not perfect at accurately mirroring every last detail one to another. So in that case every pickup ever produced is its own thing. In that case you would have to find the pickup in one guitar that one artist has used to record the most music styles.......probably Brian May's Trisonics

    So, setting aside meaningless hair splitting we can then say strat singles, PAF's as well as any production model were wound 'intended to be the same'. Which has to be good enough for the loose definition of this thread.

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    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexR View Post
    So, setting aside meaningless hair splitting we can then say strat singles, PAF's as well as any production model were wound 'intended to be the same'. Which has to be good enough for the loose definition of this thread.
    But we can't. The production tolerances were so much looser back then. The local tech of 30 years in my town was just telling me about a neck pickup he found in a '62 LP that had 18% coil mismatch and an A6, where the bridge had 4% coil mismatch and an A3.

    With modern pickups, you're exactly a right, all pickups under a single name will sound darn near identical, but earlier on pickup winding machines didn't have an automatic shut off, and some companies (like Gibson) just bought whatever magnet was cheapest.

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    Mojo's Minions Lewguitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which pickups have been used by the most diverse range of recording artists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    But we can't. The production tolerances were so much looser back then. The local tech of 30 years in my town was just telling me about a neck pickup he found in a '62 LP that had 18% coil mismatch and an A6, where the bridge had 4% coil mismatch and an A3.

    With modern pickups, you're exactly a right, all pickups under a single name will sound darn near identical, but earlier on pickup winding machines didn't have an automatic shut off, and some companies (like Gibson) just bought whatever magnet was cheapest.
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