in parallel as stock. makes that fender 'quack' cause the signals are mixed, that's why the volume hardly changes when you switch from neck to middle to bridge.
in series voltages add tho.
i think it's especially important for a beginner to have a visceral response to an instrument - how it sounds, feels, hey how it looks etc. agree it's stupid and unnecessary to "intellectualize" that kind of purchase, to say nothing of actually bullshitting somebody.
i wanted to branch out into mandolin and i was prepared to pay for a nice player grade instrument. i was surprised when at a very reputable (renowned, even) music shop they steered me away from even demo-ing any of the vintage bowl backs. "what kind of music are you going to play?" asks the sales guy... my response was well i don't have an instrument so the fucking music doesn't exist yet, does it?
for all i know i wanna get into klezmer music or maybe classical or maybe bluegrass or maybe i need a singer's instrument... i just don't get the point of pigeonholing that decision at all.
have you demo'd any large diaphragm condensers?
there are some inexpensive (relatively speaking ) options and if you sniff around you can of course find bargains and they do have usb models as well.
i have a sennheiser mk4 that i like but it's not the cheapest. i also tried an inexpensive shure LDC that i liked. as you might expect they all seem to have their own color.
i think you're talking about 2 different mics: i doubt that the gear you need to record birds, rain, etc outdoors is gonna be appropriate for any type of vocals.
when you originally posted, i assumed you meant ambient room sounds. i would've looked at an ldc in that case.
if you're talking outdoors, then I'm pretty sure that's a different ballgame entirely.