November 10th, 2007, 11:32 AM
I read somewhere that a humbucker is essentially two single coils that are wired in series, with opposite polarity.
Does that mean that if I stick two single coils really close to each other, then i'd get a humbucker tone?
And if I switched one off, i'd get a single coil tone?
November 10th, 2007, 12:18 PM
Assuming they are wired in series, reverse wound, and of reversed polarity, like you said. And they don't necessarily have to be close together. Lots of Strat pickup sets are RW/RP in the neck and bridge (or is it the middle????) to get a hum-cancelling effect.
November 10th, 2007, 12:47 PM
So a strat can pretty much produce a humbucker tone?
November 10th, 2007, 08:43 PM
Easiest thing to do is install one Of Deaf Eddie's Fat o Caster switches, it replaces one tone control on a Strat and gives you a couple of series wiring combinations from your stock single coils, not exactly the same tone as a full size humbucker but a good sound from something that you already have.
Check out his site for lots of cool wiring tricks and info.
November 10th, 2007, 09:44 PM
So a strat can pretty much produce a humbucker tone?
well, not quite, 2 strat pickups in series can get you closer towards the ballpark area (up in the nosebleeds, perhaps) of a gibson sound- but it's a different beast.
the spacing between the two pickups is the culprit as to why it won't sound QUITE like a Gibson humbucker, but technically it IS acting as a humbucker, but due to the coil spacing, it's not the sound you'd normally associate with a gibson-style humbucker.
do not be afraid
November 11th, 2007, 02:03 AM
well, here's the thing: if you stuck two single-coils right next to each other, and wired them in series, then, yes, you'd get a humbucker tone but, it won't be a Gibson humbucker tone, unless the two single-coils you're using are the two single-coils which make up a Gibson humbucker! that's the rub! and also something a lot of people don't realize: there's really no such thing as a "humbucker tone!" a Gibson humbucker sounds completely different from a Gretsch humbucker (or "Filter'Tron"), and, for that matter, a Gibson minihumbucker sounds completely different from either one, and a Gibson Firebird minihumbucker sounds completely different from all three, and so on! while picking up the string twice, at two different points, and combining the signals together in series, is part of the sound of all of them, the design of the coils, magnets, etc, is far more important!
still, it is popular to wire up guitars with single-coils so that they can be combined in either the usual parallel or in series to get more of a humbucker tone though probably not as popular as a coil-split on a humbucker (which is, of course, the same idea in reverse and which works about as well, or, uh, unwell.) from my experience the resulting sound is more of a midboost (though technically all the frequencies are boosted, and the highs are then rolled off! sounds about the same either way
) which works well for the things humbuckers work well for, but which doesn't really sound much like any humbucker i've ever heard!
November 11th, 2007, 02:15 AM
That's the idea behind the 4-way switch for the telecaster. In position 1 you get the bridge, position 2 bridge + neck in parallel, position 3 the neck, and position 4 the bridge + neck again, but this time in series.
I have one installed on my tele and it does give you a humbucker-type sound, though not exactly the same. Basically, just thicker tone with greater output, more mids and reduced high end. To me anyways that about sums up a typical humbucker. YMMV.
November 11th, 2007, 12:53 PM
Basically, just thicker tone with greater output, more mids and reduced high end.
I think that's what the OP meant.
November 13th, 2007, 12:09 PM
Just be careful not to confuse hum-cancelling operation with humbucker "tone." A Strat with a RWRP middle pickup, in switch positions two and four, still sounds like a Strat - just without the noise. Humbuckers have smaller coils with fewer turns of wire, bar magnets underneath the coils instead of magnetic polepieces, metal baseplates, and usually a metal cover - all of which contribute to the tone.
I agree with 'Afraid about the variation in tone from all the different buckers. Also consider that there are lots of different single coils to chose from if you want a meatier, darker, gain-friendly pickup without sacrificing the sparkle that only a single coil can give you.
November 13th, 2007, 12:31 PM
To restate the points made above, don't confuse the terms "humbucker tone" and "GIBSON tone".
If you are refering to the tone you get from two coils in series, then yes, two Strat pups in series will give you a humbucker tone - which, as Guitar_Ninja sez, is fatter, warmer, hotter output - more fundamental, less emphasis on harmonics.
Two Strat pups in series won't give you the stone GIBSON tone, though... Let's call it "Gibson-ISH"...
Some examples from an MIM Strat, with stock pups:
Here's the bridge and neck PARALLEL (http://www.deaf-eddie.net/samples/b-p-n.mp3), and here's the bridge and neck in series (http://www.deaf-eddie.net/samples/b-s-n.mp3)...
You all know what the bridge + mid parallel "quack" sounds like, right?
Well, here's the bridge and mid in series (http://www.deaf-eddie.net/samples/b-s-m.mp3).
The bridge and mid in series really does have a "Gibson-ish" flavor, no?