single coil pickups

A super-minimal ticket to thick low-gain tones that can push an amp to glorious organic distortion.

Like much of the world, the modern guitar sphere often teeters toward brain-numbing maximalism—maximum presets, maximum amp models in a single floor unit, maximum nitpicking over minute differences in aftermarket pickups. On some days it’s enough to make the Shnobel Tone Clean Boost look like the most beautiful piece of guitar gear in the world. As it turns out, beauty is more than enclosure deep in this very practical exercise in design economy.

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The Chthonic Fuzz is designed to offer sludgy, tight-grain fuzz tones and is impactful with guitars outfitted with any types of pickups, though specifically designed for “brighter” single-coil, P90, DeArmond, or gold-foil equipped instruments.

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Small refinements make this Kurt Cobain-designed fusion of Fender short scales a sweet-playing serving of surprises.

Improved, more versatile pickups. Fast and narrow neck. Excellent quality. Unique styling by Kurt Cobain himself.

Humbucker can still feel a touch antiseptic and flat. Narrow neck will be too narrow for some. Mustang-style switching can be cumbersome.

$1,249

Fender Jag-Stang
fender.com

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It doesn’t take deep analysis of Kurt Cobain’s lyrics, journals, and visual art to glean that he was, in many ways, a fluid and impulsive artist—one that reveled in riding waves of free-association and stoking musical and poetic conflagrations from sparks of incidental information and observation. Cobain also admired (and collaborated with) author, poet, and visual artist William S. Burroughs, whose embrace of cut-up technique, a collagist approach to writing and language, informed his most famous work, the novel Naked Lunch.

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