Is it weird that I hate neck pickups?

EMM

I am the cat who walks by himself
#1
I might be a bit weird but I have never liked the sound of neck pickups (especially humbuckers).
They sound sort of ok for cleans but when someone uses the neck pickup to play solos I find it very unpleasant to listen to. I hardly play on the neck pickup on any guitar I own and have yet to find a neck pickup that I like the sound of.
Does anyone else not like the sound of neck pickups or am I the only one?
 

A1binoA11igat0r

Well-Known Member
#13
Yeah, I can see your issue with the tone control, but if you don't dig a good neck pickup? There's something wrong.

I don't find tone controls necessary, but I'm glad it's there when I need it.
 

Lone Star

Well-Known Member
#18
I was in this place as well where I didn't understand why the neck pickup gave me mushy horrible tones when playing chords. I was about 17 at the time. Everything had to sound hard, edgy and trebly.

Then I started playing blues and how to sustain a note. Right now I couldn't live without the neck pickup... Amazing leads tones, smooth and rounded. Learn to play it with less overdrive and you'll appreciate how good it can sound
 

Garry Parker

Well-Known Member
#19
Ooooo, the hate!

I have to say that I tend to agree with the OP. It's completely down to the type of music and guitars you play. I play with a lot of gain and use heavy mahogany guitars with hot pickups. Using the neck pickup usually sounds more muddy and too bassy compared to the bridge. Whenever I switch to the neck pickup or roll off the tone it usually sounds worse. To the point where I can get away with the bridge most of the time and only have a bridge pickup in some of my guitars.

There are plenty of influential players who feel the same. Phil X for instance. Neck pickups also reduce sustain due to the pull of the magnets on the strings, so if you aren't using it then you may as well take it out and bypass the tone control and switches completely. Better overall tone and sustain.

Having said all that, I think the quality of the pickup can make a big difference. I have a Seymour Duncan '59 in the neck of one of my guitars and it does sound great for certain solos. Maybe try a pickup swap before you give up on them completely.
 

Robstafarian

The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”
#20
Having said all that, I think the quality of the pickup can make a big difference. I have a Seymour Duncan '59 in the neck of one of my guitars and it does sound great for certain solos. Maybe try a pickup swap before you give up on them completely.
For that matter, install Leo Fender's passive treble and bass tone circuit before you give up on tone controls. You might just find that rolling off the bass on the neck pickup is more to your liking.
 
Top