The Ultimate Guitar Pickup Guide

pickups

So, what’s the deal with pickups, then? Check out this piece I wrote for Andertons which breaks it down for ya, from the basics to more advanced stuff like the difference between coil splitting and coil tapping. A snippet: “The simplest way to think of a pickup is “like a microphone for an electric guitar.” And have you ever noticed that if you pluck the string close to the bridge the note will sound bright and twangy, whereas if you pick right down by the neck you’ll hear a softer, rounder tone? Well if you place a pickup near the bridge of the guitar it will sound sharper and brighter compared to one that’s placed near the neck. This is why the majority of guitars have more than one pickup: so you can select different sounds from the full and warm to the thin and snappy.”

INTERVIEW: DragonForce’s Herman Li & Sam Totman

The mighty DragonForce have always brought the epic energy, triumphant power-metal riffage, anthemic choruses and intense shred to their work, but what makes their new album Maximum Overload stand out a little from the rest of their catalog is their willingness to step outside of their established sound just far enough to keep it fresh. Vocalist Marc Hudson has well and truly settled in now (he joined prior to the recording of previous album The Power Within, and Trivium’s Matt Heafy contributes his vocal power to three tracks as well. And for the first time DragonForce have worked with an outside producer, Jens Bogren, who has also produced, mixed or mastered the likes of Soilwork, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation, James LaBrie, Devin Townsend. Throw it all together and you have Dragonforce’s biggest-sounding album yet. Read More …

Seymour Duncan Re-Releases The Pickup Booster!

The Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster is one of those pedals that really shook things up, introducing a lot of players for the first time to the idea of boosting their signal before it hits their amp, thereby making the preamp tubes work harder and creating all sorts of great sonic textures from vibrant cleans to screaming overdrives. It was discontinued a little while ago but now it’s back, with a new look at some subtle improvements. All the regular features are still there, including the Pickup Resonance Switch, which lets you select different resonant frequencies for different sonic results; the idea is that its two modes will make a single coil sound like a vintage or modern humbucker, but you can use it with humbuckers for cool sounds too. And there’s now a discrete push-pull output stage and the capability for 0dB unity gain, so you can use it simply as a buffer or for the tone-sculpting abilities of the Pickup Resonance Switch without changing your level of gain. Read More …

Soundwave 2015 Line-Up Announced!

Soundwave 2015 Line-Up Announced

It’s that time again! Soundwave line-up announcement – and 2015 will be huge. First of all it’s great to see the return of one of my favourite bands, Faith No More, to Soundwave. And there are plenty of other repeat offenders on the bill: Slipknot, Lamb of God, Marilyn Manson, Slash… plus Judas Priest, Soundgarden, Ministry… aw why don’t ya just read the press release… Read More …