Written By Sage Lazzaro Via Observer.com
Musicians don’t own 10 or 20 different guitars just because they want to rock out with different looking instruments from time to time. Different types of electric guitars produce drastically different sounds. Some are good for jazz, others for heavy metal—it all depends on the pickups, the metal pieces that rests underneath the strings at the base and translate a string’s vibration into an electrical signal that you can pump through an amplifier.
A new invention, however, is giving guitarists the option to play in many different ways with only one guitar. New Yorker Andrew Strassell used 3D printing to invent a system of interchangeable pickups that pop in and out with ease in seconds.
Typically, pickups are fixed permanently into guitars. Some brave souls will deconstruct their guitars to customize them and change the pickup in the process, but this is extremely time consuming and even risky. “What you’d have to do to get it out would be, take off the strings, get out a soldering iron, rip the whole thing apart,” Mr. Strassell told the Observer when he gave us a demo.
In the end, your guitar might sound terrible and you might have completely ruined your instrument. But even if you do successfully change the pickup, you may have a different sound, but still you can still only play one way.