Pickup Placement on SG Classic

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Tanqueray, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. Tanqueray

    Tanqueray Member

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    What sort of effect does pickup placement relative to the bridge have on tone? I've noticed that the placement for the P90s on my SG Classic is different than on other P90 equipped guitars like the LP Special and SG Special 60s Tribute. The treble pickup is further away from the bridge on the Classic, and it looks like both pickups are actually closer to one another than on the other guitars.
     
  2. ivan H

    ivan H Well-Known Member

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    Hi, as it gets closer to the bridge the tone gets brighter & harder, for want of a better word. It also naturally will have less output, hence the bridge pickup being wound hotter & placed closer to the strings to compensate, due to the strings vibration lessening as it gets closer to the bridge. Notice the difference between picking the strings near the neck or near the bridge. I'm sure someone will offer insight into the placement of the P90's. Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    since I really like my P-90 sounds with the switch in the middle position,
    I would probably like the placement you describe.

    The effect should be more output and a warmer sound from the bridge p'up.

    Neck p'up placement has to do with a 'sweet spot' right where one of the harmonics
    would be. One issue with SGs is that the body/neck joint has always been a problem
    due to not enough wood there. So SGs are built with a tongue of wood inserted and glued into
    the body to firm up the neck joint and keep the neck from being so easy to wobble. Les Paul
    hated that wobbly neck, because the early SGs (that everyone worships so much) were actually
    not strong enough there. Ol' Les Paul liked a firm and solid neck joint, so he could horse his
    guitar around without throwing it out of tune. The price for that is weight.

    What that means to pickup placement, and tone... is that when the sweet spot under the
    harmonic is taken up by the tongue of wood that strengthens the neck, then the pickup might
    be placed farther back than the perfect spot. Several of our members here prefer '70s guitars
    with the pickup placed under the harmonic and (very likely) screwed into a hole cut into the
    neck tenon as well as the surrounding body wood.

    I have two modern SGs that both sound excellent, and I don't know and haven't measured to
    see if the neck p'ups are under the harmonic. I just play them. And I've never played a '70s
    SG. I absolutely love the neck p'up sound of both my SGs. One has hum buckers, the other
    has mini hums.

    When it comes to P-90s, I love the tone of each pickup on my Epi ES-339 P-90 pro...
    but even more do I love the combined sound of them, so I play mostly in the middle
    with the P-90s. For me, the neck and the bridge P-90s each have a distinctive sound,
    each is great by itself and when combined it's something else again. Pretty cool.
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    alexander paul and ivan H like this.
  4. Tanqueray

    Tanqueray Member

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    Thanks Col Mustard. That was extremely informative. =)
     
  5. Rayco

    Rayco Active Member

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    Yep SGs should have the neck pup all the way up....this is real downer for me...and really takes away from the tone...I would rather a Les Paul for this reason.
     

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