As most of you will know, most guitars do come either with Humbuck- or Single Coil Pick-ups. Some type of guitars mix both pick-ups but most of the time it is either one or the other.
When it comes to changing pick-ups, you can actually do this yourself. What about putting single coils on a Les Paul, would it sound good? You need to try to see what it sounds like!
The big differences between Humbuck-and Sinlge Coils is: A Humbucker is darker and thicker sound, Single Coil is much brighter and tinner in sound. Some people may perceive a Humbucker as louder in output. Personally I think this depends on what you are accustumed to: Some Single Coils may also give you a high output. Once you put a Humbuck pick-up in a guitar with Single Coils you can actually test this theory for yourself.
Using Humbuckers and Single Coils with a distorted amp will give you different results: The Humbucker is smoother in sound because of its thicker and somewhat softer sound. A Single Coil is brighter and tinner. A Single coil put through a distorted amp may still cut through a mix of bass and drums when it comes to playing single notes. It all depends on how you play and use your pick-up settings: The Bridge pick-up is usually quite bright and will certainly cut through the mix regardless.
Getting the Balance of your Pick-Ups Right:
To check the level and balance of the output of your pick-ups you can check by doing the following: Play a chord and switch between pick-up settings: You want the hear the sound changing, you do not want one pick-up to be much louder than the other one. Be careful with the height of the bridge pick-up: This pick-up is naturally higher in output, because of its location–The Strings do not vibrate much because they are close to the bridge, therefore the pick-up needs to be a tad higher in output to pick up the sound of the string. If your bridge pick-up is set too high it will overpower the other pick-ups. To overcome this you can lower the bridge pick-up a bit.
When you check for output level and balance of sound use a clean sound, once the balance is right you will get similar results when using distortion.
Happy Playing and hope to catch you soon again,