Tips for Testing a Guitars Pickups While in the Store

By Dargavel

  • When testing pickups, having listenned to the acoustic sound, find a half decent solid state amp with passive EQ, and crank every knob to full. With the EQ open and no tubes to sweeten the sound, you can get a fairly good idea of how the pickups really sound in the guitar.
  • Crank the gain on your amp, while keeping the volume low, then tap the pickups to hear if they are microphonic.
  • Check all the pots for scrathiness and how well they really do taper off the sound. Fiddle with your volume pot with a little overdrive on, and see how high you can get the gain while retaining a relatively clean sound. Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix practiced this a lot, and then just used the volume to control the overall gain of the sound.
  • Learn a sweep picking maneuvre complete with a hamer-on on the top note. Test this with varying degrees of gain to determine if the pickups get muddy in a higher gain situation.