s Different types of guitar pickup

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The first pickup for the electric guitar was probably invented around 1931 by George Beauchamp and Adolf Rickenbacker during the construction phase of the first electric solid body lap, better known by its nickname “the Frying Pan” for its shape which slightly resembled a frying pan.

The first electric guitar crafted by Adolf Rickenbacker
e George Beauchamp.

We can divide electric guitar and electric bass pickups into two categories: There are at least three main winding techniques used for guitars and electric basses:

The former, mostly used on guitars and electric basses, are divisible into two main groups: ceramic and alnico. The latter are prevailingly used on guitars, acoustic basses, or hybrid instruments.

Pickups may also be divided into humbucker and single coil pickups and into active and passive pickups. The latter are produced by various companies such as EMG, Fishman and Seymour Duncan.

Among passive pickups we have “soapbar pickups” like the Gibson P90, large single coil pickups marked by a warmer and more powerful sound than in the classic single coil Fenders.

There are finally many different types of magnetic pickup just like: humbuckers single coil active and passive Among standard magnetic pickup we find soapbar pickup like Gibson P90 and their hum-cancelling version P100, a sort of fat single coil which tone is very close to a humbucker and bass pickup in the style of EMG or Bartolini which most of the times are humbuckers.

An Alumitone humbucker pickup produced by Don Lace, a
forerunner in pickup crafting for electric guitars.

Another classification that has spread considerably in recent years is that of "noiseless" pickups (free of humming) that appear as single coils. Among these we remember the Kinman, the Dimarzio Virtual Vintage, the "Fender noiseless", the Lace Sensor and the so-called "stack" humbucker pickups produced mainly by Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan, which are based on the vertical coupling of the coils.

These pickups, although not particularly loved by purists of the "vintage" sound, have still been met with a remarkable response on the market thanks to the excellent balance of sound and silence.

Dimarzio Virtual Vintage noiseless single coil.

Galeazzo Frudua

Galeazzo Frudua

As a luthier and guitar making and repair teacher, since 1988 he has built making more than 350 boutique guitars and basses priced from 2,900 to 5,600 Euros and repaired and customized thousands of stringed instruments. His instruments and amplifiers are used by flagship artists, such as Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Ennio Morricone, Carl Verheyen. He owns two YouTube channels—where he teaches music—that count up to 40 millions views and almost 200.000 subscribers.

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