A question about pickups?

Hi all,

If you have 2 guitar with identical pickups on 2 completly differnt guitars.

If you played both guitar through the same amp, would you get near identical sounds or is there something more subttle going on that would produce a discernible difference in sound.

If you’ve read my past pasy about my ES-339, I’m thinking of revamping it to a build to near match Gibson ES-339 from 2016.

That guitar came with Burstbuckers but, my Les paul also has burstbuckers ,so…

Is this then really a little pointless because as this year is my 60th birthday adn 6 months away, I may just opt for a new ES-339 with 57’s pickups on instead…

Any insight to either the same sound or different I would appreciate your knowledge of such things.


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They’d sound the same.

I’ll add there’s a lot more to a guitar than just pickups…


That’s fine, it’s made it simpler now. I can just go for the 339 I have used for the last 14month with different pickup. I use it so much that I feel that my failing epi will be missed if I don’t do something this year.



There’s a potential deeper argument thats more subtle than its just pickups and strings but it’s not something science has proven…

A guitar’s sound is 99.9% pickups. The guy in the video proves it.


I have 2 guitars, a telecaster and a les paul, both made by Artist Guitars, with identical pickups; Artist designed “Bullbuckers”
The guitars do sound quite different. My ears can hear it, plus I’ve recorded them.
Whether its the bridge type, maple vs rosewood fretboard, American Ash vs African Mahogany body, some combination of this, how I play them, or something else, who knows.
But they are significantly different.

Cheers, Shane

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Nope, not me. Never. Pickups are too easy to swap out especially with the guitarfetish Kwikplug system:

I’ve seen guitars with hot swappable pickup modules , which is cool!

Aren’t you limited to their PUPs though Clint. When I saw this a while back I thought it may be adaptable to any brand but from what I’ve seen it limited to their own range. Correct me if I am wrong. :thinking:

Yes, it’s more than just the type of pickups. As noted in the video, when he compares his 2x4 guitar with a real telecaster, several aspects were the same on both “guitars”. In particular, the scale length, the position of the pickup along the strings and the height of the strings above the pickups. I imagine that these could be different for your two guitars (scale length is different, right?), which would definitely lead to different tones.

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It’s an interesting discussion. I would say that, when recorded, they’ll sound almost exactly the same - but might sound very different in the room. That’s because different guitars resonate very differently, and the acoustic sound of the instrument will (unless you play very, very loud) be part of what you hear. I really like guitars that resonate a lot, in fact when picking new electric guitars the sound and feel of them when played unplugged is an important factor for me.

The bridge definitely also affects the tone, especially if one is with a trem system and the other a hard tail.


No, you can buy the Kwikplug male and female parts and retrofit your current rigs. The main take away is that the guitarfetish pickups are really good and well priced, the Kwikplugs are the icing on the cake.

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Thanks for confirming Clint. I couldn’t see them listed separately, may be my old eyes. :sunglasses: