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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Pairing A Humbucker & S. Coil On A Tele

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Vortexan, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Vortexan

    Vortexan Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    I tried to search out this question before posting but couldn't really find any good answers. You guys that have a Tele with a neck humbucker and a single coil at the bridge which brands of pickups pair up well together and why? For a Tele setup like a "Micawber" which pickups work well together and what value pots and caps would you choose and why? Thanks for your responses.

  2. bluezguy

    bluezguy Tele-Meister

    I got a Gibson 57 Classic in the bridge, Texas Special (RwRp) in the middle and a Bill lawrence (Wilde) L280N in the neck. Five way Fender switch, 250k CTS volume pot, Fender NO-Load tone pot, Fender Vintage bridge plate cut down. Awesome, versatile performance through both Marshall 100w and fender HR DeVille.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013

  3. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Meister

    Sep 12, 2006
    Long Island, New York
    Funny timing, I just posted that combining a Dimarzio Area Hot T bridge pickup with the stock Fender DH1 neck bucker in my 2000 US Fat Tele solved the EQ and output balance issues I had without taking away the twang.

    That guitar uses 500k pots plus a resistor that causes the bridge pickup to "see" 250k. It would probably work fine without the resistor, though. If you don't need noiseless pups I bet that one of Rob DiStefano's Lion pups would be great in the bridge with a moderate output neck HB.

    If you need to stick with 250k pots I've had good results with the dimarzio Eric Johnson and the Duncan jazz buckers in the neck.

  4. '56Teleman

    '56Teleman Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 25, 2006
    Lindenhurst, IL
    This one has a SD Antiquity Firebird in the bridge.

    I have another Tele with a Klein Broadcaster in the bridge and a Klein S6 Strat pickup in the neck.

    Do what works for you.

  5. akukulich

    akukulich Tele-Meister

    Jul 7, 2008
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I've got a Lollar mini-humbucker in the neck matched with a Lollar '52T in the bridge. The pots are 250K and if I remember correctly, there's a 0.22 tone cap. A 500k pot might work better for the HB, but I like the 250 better for the single coil. It's a compromise that works for me.

  6. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 20, 2003
    Tug Hill Plateau
    It's a tough call.
    'buckers want 500k & fender single coils want 250k.
    I use 500k for both.


  7. Vortexan

    Vortexan Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    I've been looking into Lollars. Thanks! Wonder what using a 500k pot would do to the single coil?

  8. '56Teleman

    '56Teleman Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 25, 2006
    Lindenhurst, IL
    Very bright and thin!

    I once tried 500k pots and using a 250k resistor off the bridge pickup lug on the switch, to ground. It was still awful so I switched to 250k pots and all was well. Many manufacturers use 250k.

    I'd use 250k and EQ your amp so when you're on the neck pickup you have the tone control wide open and roll it back when switching to the bridge. I do this regardless of what pickup is in the neck position.

    Good luck

  9. Vortexan

    Vortexan Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    Good advice appreciate it!

  10. Vortexan

    Vortexan Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    From what I'm learning with a 500k pot if you want to retain the brightness of the humbucker go with a 500k volume pot and a .022mfd value cap. Doing so would make the single coil a little bright but you can usually dial that out with the cap (tone pot). With a 250 k pot any ideas what value cap I would need? I primarily use the bridge pickup so I want to wire it with that in mind. Any ideas are appreciated.

  11. '56Teleman

    '56Teleman Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 25, 2006
    Lindenhurst, IL
    I'll admit I'm not sure but pots & caps are cheap. I used a .047 cap in mine with both the 500k and 205k pots. The bridge pickup suffered horribly with the 500k pots and the neck HB was ok with the 250k's and .047.

    All of this is subjective, though.

  12. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

    I have a Lollar El Rayo bucker in the neck, which is very P90ish, and a Lollar Special T in the bridge. The work well together in the middle position. Note that I have an ACME Tone Shaper with 500k resistor for the bucker and 250k for the bridge. 250k for both would make the bucker too dark and 500k for both would make the bridge too bright.

  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I have loved the neck HB, bridge single coil combo for decades.
    My favorite bridge pickups are Rio Grande Muy Grandes.
    They are slightly more mid-rangey than stock, without being muddy.
    My current favorite neck HB pickups are TV Jones Supertrons,
    or Classic + models.
    Honorable mentions for humbuckers are Duncan Jazz, Gibson minis, and
    Lollar Imperials.
    I like to add a push/pull tone pot for out of phase options.
    It's not a tone I use a lot, but it is fun to call up, now and then.

  14. Alex Strekal

    Alex Strekal Tele-Meister

    Dec 25, 2012
    Euclid, OH
    I hope this isn't derailing a little, but I'm curious about output-balance with a tele with neck HB and bridge single coil, as I've only ever played on teles with single coils. Do people sometimes run into issues with the neck HB being vastly louder than the single coil, and/or do people with this setup typically keep the neck HB low to avoid a volume imbalance?

    I ask this because my limited experience with guitars with both hums and singles is that I ran into this problem, although it was an Ibanez H-S-H guitar (a Jem7v, to be exact). No amount of pickup tinkering was able to completely get rid of the vast increase in volume when switching to the humbucking positions.

    This can be related back to the question about pickup brands if certain pickups are thought to be better balanced with a single coil than others. I feel pretty clueless on this, although I'm going to guess that lower-output humbuckers are often used on teles.

  15. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2008
    Peterborough, UK
    20 years of playing my home made Tele with a 60s Gibson humbucker in the neck and regular single coils in the bridge...

    The imbalance of tone and volume was always a problem until three years ago I did two things.

    One was to get a bridge pickup with more output and less top end - a Bare Knuckle Pickups Piledriver.

    The other was to add a second tone control, so now I permanently have the bridge pickup with its tone rolled off a little.

    The guitar works perfectly now.

  16. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Tele-Holic

    Feb 8, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Ok, here is what you do.

    You want a 500k volume pot and a 250k tone pot. Wire up the pickups normally and then you run a 470k resistor (which you can pickup in any RadioShack parts bin, 1/4 watt or 1/2 watt it doesn't matter) from the lug on the switch that you run your hot bridge wire to and solder the other end to ground on the top of the volume pot. This lets the humbucker "see" 500k and the bridge pickup "see" 250k. I know that this works extremely well because I did it yesterday.

    Another option would be to check out the Toneshaper for single coil bridge and neck humbucker, it essentially does the same exact thing.

    As for pickup combinations, I would wholeheartedly recommend a Cavalier Nashville Lion from our own Rob Distefano and a Wolfetone Kauer wind in the neck, very good match. A lot of people on here love Duncan Seth Lovers and Lollar low wind Imperials for the neck position of these types of guitars too.

  17. stevieboy

    stevieboy Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    the valley
    I'm a big fan of the Harmonic Design S90 bridge pickup and that's what I would use to match with a neck humbucker. I have a parts caster with a neck rout, but I have an HD Z90 hum sized single in there, that is similar to using a humbucker in a lot of ways though. They both like 500K pots so no resistor required, and they match up well in terms of output and amp settings, which to me is the biggest challenge of matching a humbucker (or P90 or P90 type) with a standard wind tele single.

  18. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    500K will work on all but the brightest and/or lowest wind pickups. 7.5K and up should be fine.

    you could do 300K for both as well if the bucker is low wind, paf style or mini bucker.

  19. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    That mini-hum in the neck spot is the way to go. Mine is a Tom Short Undercover Mini - full size case but a true mini. Paired with a TS single in the bridge. Two volumes on that guitar, so easy to get to pot values right. So many useful sounds in this combination, it may be the most versatile guitar I play.

  20. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Tele-Holic

    Feb 8, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    I beg to differ, I just put an 8.3k 42 AWG Cavalier Lion with A3 magnets and forgot to solder the 470k resistor to ground. The bridge pickup sounded awful and thin, no bass. When I went back in and soldered it down, the bridge pickup came to life. You can't run a single coil with 500k pots unless it's REALLY hot, or a P-90.

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