Do you get confused when people around you talk about guitar gear?
Things are not as complicated as you may think!
In this series of articles, we will explore the crucial points any electric guitarist and bass player should get to know in depth –
Particularly before upgrading or purchasing an instrument.
Sound fundamentals –
Where does it come from and how?
When we talk about guitar sound, we should keep in mind that our signal runs through a chain of many components. Starting from the guitar pickups set (after the strings of course), through a variety of electronics, cables and amplifications.
All of these components have an effect on our sound. So, it’s never really up to only one component. Here at Coils Boutique, after years of experience in the industry and handling guitars on a daily basis, we can’t help but notice the substantially crucial role the electromagnetic pickup plays in the guitar sound quality.
Why guitar pickups are so important in the study of sound?
From a technical point of view, a pickup is an electromagnet that converts and translates the vibrations of the string into an electric signal, using a very simple mechanism. But! And it’s a very big but! The influence of other components really does shrink down in comparison to the pickup responsibility over our sound.
As pickup designers, we have endless possibilities of how to shape the electric signal. When doing so, we reshape the original sound of the organic naked instrument.
When we isolate the pickup, we see that it’s responsible for the following aspects: the gain, frequency range, resonance peak, dynamics (output range – the lowest and highest signals) and further more over the artistic characteristics that ‘color’ your sound in different ways.
The sound also includes countless unmeasurable variables; the guitar build is responsible for the natural ‘body’ of each and every note of our instrument. We can call this the character or resonance of your instrument.
Nonetheless, the electronic properties are measurable and can be crafted more accurately than the acoustic features of an electric instrument.
All of the above make the field of pickup design – objective and highly impactful on the guitar sound, giving room for personal customization, toning and upgrading.
In our next article, we will explore how these facts may affect you, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned musician.