From what I can gather, generally speaking, the higher the DC resistance on your pickup, the more compressed and warmer it will be. The lower the DC resistance, the more open, and brighter it will be.
This defines what your tone is like when the tone control is set to 10. As you start to lower the tone control away from 10, you roll off the high ends from the “live” pickup sound. The amount of high ends you roll off depend on your capacitor.
I did some research to compare the various DC resistance of typical pickup styles for high-end brands, and you can explore that in this Google spreadsheet.
- Sean’s Jazzmaster with the “Pure Vintage ’65” pickups has the lowest DC resistance of the 4 other Jazzmaster pickups I compared, although Fralin will make one that is lower if you special order it. This means those pickups are going to be naturally a lot brighter than others.
- My Custom Shop Tele has a crazy range of DC resistance spanning just about the max levels for both high and low.
- The “Pure Vintage ’65” pickups in the reissue Jazzmaster and Jaguar have identical DC resistance.
- The humbuckers made by Lollar and the Creamery that emulate the Gibson P.A.F.’s are pretty much identical, with the Lollar’s being a touch warmer.
- Jazz Bass pickups have DC resistance in the range of typical humbucker pickups.
- Precision Bass pickups have the highest DC resistance, and the most compressed, warmest, natural tone.
- Inductance (Henries) seems to affect the tone, too. Will have to investigate that further.
Check out all the details: