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When you split a humbucker does the single coil sound good.

podboy3
June 15th, 2009, 01:38 AM
I am about to ready to start putting together an Esquire and I am thinking of putting a stacked humbucker in, I would like the optioned of a humbucker but I do not want to lose out on the sound when it comes to the single coil..... The single coil sound definitely comes first.

so if you have a humbucker stacked or regular and you split it for a single coil do you really get a decent single coil soundl? I am guessing a lot of it has to do with how many turns the bobbins have on them and what the output is.

In any case, can some people give me some ideas on what would be a good stacked bucker to go with that would give me excellent single coil esquire groove.

Guitfiddler
June 15th, 2009, 02:02 AM
I've had several (and still have one) guitars that have split bridge humbuckers. I really like the tones for certain vintage, jangely type sounds, but if you're going for a Tele bridge sound, I haven't found a spilt bucker that will approach that kind of grind and punch.

You said that single coil tones come first, why not just drop in a great, traditional tele bridge pup?

bobthecanadian
June 15th, 2009, 02:11 AM
If you were using a regular humbucker you would probably get a better sound.

Astro1176
June 15th, 2009, 07:33 AM
I've wired a dimarzio PAF and a couple of Seymour Duncan regular PAF sized HBs ('59 and jazz in the neck position) to be split, and to me the sound was disappointing and not at all the same as the sound which comes form the single coils I like. I guess it is nice to have the extra sound and it contrasts a lot with the full sound. To me the sound becomes brighter as you would hope, but thinner and weaker than what a good SC sounds like.

This is just based on 3 pickups in 2 guitars, ymmv and your ears may judge differently etc etc.

clintonb
June 15th, 2009, 05:53 PM
I think most split humbuckers sound too weak and thin. It's OK in the neck position, but not in the bridge position.

If you split a hot humbucker, the tone isn't as weak, but it still has the tone of a "hot" pickup, which I really don't care for.

Rio Grande makes some humbuckers that are really just two of their single-coil pickups combined together: Vintage Tallboy, Halfbreed, Muy Grande. They sound good split, because each coil is a standard single-coil pickup. However, I think they exert too much string pull compared to a normal humbucker. I had to really lower the pickups on my guitar otherwise they cause a "warbly" sound when you are playing high notes on the high E-string.

My Reverend Guitar (one of the discontinued Danelectro-like models made in the USA) has a decent coil split sound. But those pickups are supposedly Reverend-designed and not for sale.

I think Eric Johnson used to use one of Dimarzios noiseless "single-coil" pickups (a stacked humbucker) in coil-split mode. I think he said that just having the second coil without even using it seems to reduce the noise quite a bit.

I never tried these, but they look interesting:

- Joe Barden two-tone
http://www.joebarden.com/main.php?section=Products&pageID=HB%20and%20HB%20TwoTone

- Dommenget Double Bucker:
http://www.guitarmaker.de/patent.html

- Lindy Fralin Unbucker
http://www.fralinpickups.com/humbuckers.asp

Zhangliqun
June 15th, 2009, 07:15 PM
You can get much better results with a humbucker that has one coil tapped about halfway through. On an 8k, that would be 6k. Doesn't sound just like a Tele bridge but it's much, much closer than 4k.

octatonic
June 15th, 2009, 07:31 PM
You might want to look at keeping the single coils but use a 4 way switch to combine the two pickups in series, which is a humbucker type tone.

I like SOME pickups when they are split.

Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz are quite nice, but they aren't 'real' single coils.
It depends on what you are shooting for really.

podboy3
June 15th, 2009, 11:11 PM
I am really looking for something that is going to nail that single coil Telecaster Esquire sound, It seems like I am just going to go with a single coil.... If I could have found something that did bother well then that would be fantastic, If I could find something that did the Tele bridge tone and the humbucker was there as something extra then I would have been very happy, but I am not willing to sacrifice the single Tele bridge sound.

This is my first Esquire and I want it to do the Esquire thing very well. To any one that is reading this and knows a single coil Tele Bridge pickup that is just heaven for a Tele or Esquire then please let me know. This is a single coil, not a humbucker that splits.

Al Watsky
June 16th, 2009, 10:24 AM
Back in the day, when everyone was spliting humbuckers I worked with a guy that claimed he could hear that the sound of the pickup was effected even when both coils were on. He would always advise his customers to avoid coil split switching and even discouraged the use of 4 conductor wiring. He could hear the wire run and switch,in his opinion, and it was a bad thing.
Its been my experience that coil cut isn't of much use to Me.
Curious about folks using multi-taps in way overwound Tele bridge pickups though.
Aren't there several custom winders offering multi-tap , P90 vibe , tele bridge pickups ?

FatTeleTom
June 16th, 2009, 11:49 AM
My experience isn't directly helpful for the Tele bridge position, but:

The stock DH-1 neck humbucker in my Fat Tele sounds really nice split. Sounds like a good Tele single-coil tone to my ears.

I've also got a Duncan Lil '59 in the bridge position, but have never tried it split on its own. Instead, I've got it set to split in conjunction with the middle pickup (a Fralin Strat pickup) that I've added. Same with the DH-1 in the neck. Both buckers do a pretty grid "in-between" strat sound when split with the middle pickup.

I also have a Duncan JB in a Strat copy, and it splits pretty well--sounds like a workable Strat bridge single-coil. I think you need a fairly high-ouput humbucker, so that when split, it splits to something like a normal single-coil outpuat. Either that or one of the buckers that is designed to split unequally, like the aforementioned Fralin Unbucker. Here's the Unbucker description from Fralin:

"In our Unbucker, we wind the screw coil stronger than the slug coil. This makes the pickup sound a little more single coil, but the best reason to do this is for coil tapping. When tapped the stronger coil is active as opposed to half a pickup. Our best selling set of these is 7.5K neck (4.5-3) and 8.5 Bridge (5-3.5) 3 conductor lead with a Vintage Hot reverse middle in-between. (Humb.-single-Humb.).

Combining the two coils gives a total ohm reading or approximate output to compare to normal humbuckers."

winny pooh
June 16th, 2009, 12:27 PM
I have no personal experience but there is the Duncan P-Rails...

Deaf Eddie
June 16th, 2009, 03:56 PM
Does a humbucker sound good when coil-shunt (single coil playing)?
It certainly can, and I use that tone all the time on my Gibsons.

Can a coil-shunted humbucker sound like an Esquire (Tele) bridge pup?
Not any that I have ever seen or heard.

podboy3
June 17th, 2009, 01:26 AM
Does a humbucker sound good when coil-shunt (single coil playing)?
It certainly can, and I use that tone all the time on my Gibsons.

Can a coil-shunted humbucker sound like an Esquire (Tele) bridge pup?
Not any that I have ever seen or heard.

Deaf Eddie this is exactly what I was trying to get at when I mentioned I wanted it to sound like an Esquire (Tele Bridge), I use to have a PRS and put 59 and JB in it with the rotary switch and the single coil stuff sounded good but not a sound that I want in this project. I also do not want a "normal" humbucker, I wanted a single coil that would fit in a vintage 3 barrel style bridge.

As far as pickup choice I have it down to two pickups, a Don Mare 3 speed Sting Ray or the Bill Lawrence Keystone bridge. I will probably get the Keystone because of price (and they sound freakin great), The Sting Ray cost an awful lot but the real reason I am not getting it mainly because I think there is a such thing as two many selections of tone on one guitar..... you would have the three sounds from the pickup it self plus the three tone control settings for each of those three sounds..... I think it will turn into more of a switching fest when I practice them just sitting down and playing.

My Alder body just came in today and the Keystone will go into that, maybe my Pine Body will also be an esquire with the Don Mare Sting Ray?

Ignatius
June 17th, 2009, 08:26 AM
I really wish someone would make a single coil sized humbucker for the Tele that would sound decent when split. To me and for what I want to do, that would be the perfect bridge pickup. Apparently the laws of physics make this an impossible feat or else it would have happened by now.

930vet
June 18th, 2009, 11:00 AM
I really wish someone would make a single coil sized humbucker for the Tele that would sound decent when split. To me and for what I want to do, that would be the perfect bridge pickup. Apparently the laws of physics make this an impossible feat or else it would have happened by now.

I had asked about this in an email to the Lawrences, and got an answer back from Becky suggesting that maybe there was some kind of circuit that Bill was going to publish that would accomplish what you (and I and probably a lot of other people) are looking for. The Lawrence double rail does not have the leads for splitting or parallel wiring. My further attempts to extract information on what they were suggesting have been fruitless. I think it may have something to do with the Q-filter, but I don't know. Maybe I just need to call them and see if I can nail it down.

podboy3
June 18th, 2009, 12:57 PM
I had asked about this in an email to the Lawrences, and got an answer back from Becky suggesting that maybe there was some kind of circuit that Bill was going to publish that would accomplish what you (and I and probably a lot of other people) are looking for. The Lawrence double rail does not have the leads for splitting or parallel wiring. My further attempts to extract information on what they were suggesting have been fruitless. I think it may have something to do with the Q-filter, but I don't know. Maybe I just need to call them and see if I can nail it down.

Heck Yeah!!! I think everyone needs to call until they tell us or come on here and give us the info.

Zhangliqun
June 18th, 2009, 01:59 PM
There's no split humbucker that will sound just like a Tele bridge. The Tele coil is wider than one humbucker coil, has rod magnets and a steel baseplate. They're just different critters. The best you can hope for is something Tele-like. A split Stag Mag (alnico rod humbucker from Duncan) would probably get you as close as you're going to get.

petebradt
June 21st, 2009, 11:23 AM
If you want to sound like a Tele, get a Tele. There really is no good way to fake it.

TG
June 21st, 2009, 04:29 PM
What you can do to make a 'split' humbucker usable is to run the wire that dumps the coil when you split it through a resistor. 2 to 4 Kohm is what I've used (I think resistors are measured in Kohms...it was about 3.5 'somethings').
What this does is to only dump a percentage of the coil when you split it so you end up with a coil and a half or whatever. The end result is somewhat single coil-sounding but with some meat left on it.

Cheap, easy and reversible.

Roli
June 21st, 2009, 08:05 PM
My experience is that a full, low output humbucker sounds much more Tele-like than any split one. I'm not saying it's spot on, but you can get much closer than you would think.

Here's a little solo I played over getbent's great backing track, it's the full bridge humbucker of my Jet King, into a Roland Cube 30, tweed model: http://www.box.net/shared/u50tdbahe0

.

TG
June 22nd, 2009, 05:29 AM
My experience is that a full, low output humbucker sounds much more Tele-like than any split one. I'm not saying it's spot on, but you can get much closer than you would think.


That's been my experience too. The resistor trick I mentioned above will make a usable split sound, but it won't make a middy-mushy bridge humbucker into a twanger. I only use it for neck humbucker.

I spent years loathing bridge humbuckers since every one I used was too dark and mushy for clean playing. Even several supposedly 'PAF' style ones. But I have a Dimarzio Virtual PAF low output set in my les paul and the bridge pickup actually sounds pretty, musical and clear played clean. And in my Tokai 335 I just bunged in a couple of Duncan '59s and I found the same thing. Neither is exactly 'telecaster', of course, but they're a similar mix of clear and biting yet still balanced and full.

jefrs
June 22nd, 2009, 05:41 AM
When I've split a humbucker, it's usable but it does not sound quite like a single coil.

I think the consensus here is that a split humbucker is no substitute for a tele bridge single coil.

xjazzy
June 22nd, 2009, 06:55 AM
I have no personal experience but there is the Duncan P-Rails...

+1.

930vet
June 22nd, 2009, 03:01 PM
Heck Yeah!!! I think everyone needs to call until they tell us or come on here and give us the info.

I don't know if I was being clear about this, but my correspondence with the Lawrences was in the context of buying pickups from them. It's interesting that they claim that the best way to get a single coil sound out of a humbucking double rail doesn't require splitting the coil at all. The Q-filter seems to do something along the lines of the resistor mentioned above, except that it uses an inductor coil to create the effect of taking winds off the pickup coil(s), and it supposedly works its best with a high output pickup.

I try to plan stuff out ahead of time instead of waiting till I'm ready to order pickups to figure out how I'm going to wire the whole guitar and which pickups I'm going to use, so the Lawrences' business plan is hard for me to work with, despite the fact that I really want to use their pickups. Slogging through their old forum archives doesn't seem to give a straight answer, either: is a Qfilter a better approach than splitting a double rail humbucker (which you can't do with a Lawrence double rail anyway, so you have to go with a competitor's pickups)? Assume we have already decided that we want a single guitar that can switch between single coil twang and dark humbucking. In other words, once we have decided to make that compromise, what is the best way to go about it?

podboy3
June 23rd, 2009, 08:27 PM
I don't know if I was being clear about this, but my correspondence with the Lawrences was in the context of buying pickups from them. It's interesting that they claim that the best way to get a single coil sound out of a humbucking double rail doesn't require splitting the coil at all. The Q-filter seems to do something along the lines of the resistor mentioned above, except that it uses an inductor coil to create the effect of taking winds off the pickup coil(s), and it supposedly works its best with a high output pickup.

I try to plan stuff out ahead of time instead of waiting till I'm ready to order pickups to figure out how I'm going to wire the whole guitar and which pickups I'm going to use, so the Lawrences' business plan is hard for me to work with, despite the fact that I really want to use their pickups. Slogging through their old forum archives doesn't seem to give a straight answer, either: is a Qfilter a better approach than splitting a double rail humbucker (which you can't do with a Lawrence double rail anyway, so you have to go with a competitor's pickups)? Assume we have already decided that we want a single guitar that can switch between single coil twang and dark humbucking. In other words, once we have decided to make that compromise, what is the best way to go about it?

I don't remember how I meant what I said at this point but I'm pretty sure I misunderstood what you said. I having been holding off on getting a Q-Filter for a long, long time but I after talking to people who have used it, reading Bills explanation, and talking to Bill about what it did I am positive that I will be putting this on my Esquire build along with a Keystone Bridge unless he, or you have another idea for a pickup.


I have no personal experience but there is the Duncan P-Rails... I plan on trying the P=-Rails out on my Thinline when I am done playing around with the Lead III Humbuckers that are going in it... I have many doubts about these P-Rails though, It is one pickup that is supposed to do everything and that usually means that one might be spot on but the other two will just not cut it. I know that what I am describing it getting the best of everything... but I figure with two sounds (types of pups) it should be easier but the more you add the harder it becomes to get the "everything" you want. I will still try the P-Rails just not in this build.

If you want to sound like a Tele, get a Tele. There really is no good way to fake it.

I am going to go the Tele (well Esquire) route, First thing is that it has to sound like a tele and if there was a way to get that sound from a stack humbucker either by using a Q-Filter or by splitting coils and having some other method to do it.

I need to call Bill and see if it is possible to do this with a stacked bucker and a Q-Filter or not..... If not I am going for a keystone bridge pup, a 4 way switch wired for 1: Volume, Tone
2: Volume, no tone
3: Cocked Wah
4: Volume, Q-Filter



Sorry if I rambled there, I took some prescription meds for my shoulder and now I am bit whacked out.