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22 Vs. 24 Fret Pickup Placement:

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Not looking for Tone Voodoo, however:

1) What is the basic sound difference going to be between a 22- and a 24-fret guitar (obviously on the neck pickup)?

2) Does anybody find they like or even prefer the tone of the neck pickup on a 24-fret guitar? I know Hiscock recommends against them because the 22-fret neck places the pickup right on a node or whatnot (where the base note repeat at the harmonic). However maybe people tend to find one or the other more appealing for one reason or another, or specific types of music.


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I think it depends on your playing style among other things. I'd imagine placing the pickup under a harmonic node really only effects the open strings, (perhaps the 12th fret as well) - once you fret a string, those harmonic nodes start to move, don't they?

That said, with humbuckers, I prefer the placement a bit more towards the bridge necessitated by a 24 fret neck. I actually prefer it almost a little further back, to tell the truth - sort of inbetween a neck and middle position pickup. This lets me roll in a bit of the neck pickup and get a "fuller" tone without getting too muddy.

With single coil pickups like a strat, I prefer the tone of having 'em pushed up right against a 22 fret board, if for nothing else than it really places nicely with my Octavia clone as far as getting the octave sounds out of it.

My prefered pickups are actually Firebird-style minihumbuckers, and I prefer the latter (22-fret-style) position on those as well.

That said, it's all subtle differences, and I've never faulted a guitar for having either one. I think the deciding factor should be whether or not you really need those frets - for me, I think the ideal number of frets is actually 23 - There's a couple of songs where I make it all the way up there because of capo placement, but usually I would be fine with a 19 fret board. I don't know how you play, though.

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i think its best to ignore node placements and just realise that closer to the centre of the vibrating section of the string you will get the more fundamental and fewer harmonics, so a "warmer" sound. i say the centre of the string, not the 12th fret as the centre of the vibrating section moves as you fret, and sometimes the neck can be brighter on the highest frets.

so if you think the neck pickup could do with some more clarity then move it closer to the bridge. if you think it could be more bassy move it towards the neck. same goes for the bridge. as you get closer to the bridge you will get less output as the strings wont have as much amplitude, which is why bridge pickups are usually matched with a neck pickup.

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