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Question: mini humbucker v. hot rail-style

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by sean79, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    I was looking at really cheap pickups - I'm thinking about using one as a soundhole pickup in an acoustic guitar. Wanting to avoid noise, I thought I'd try some kind of humbucking pickup. Wanting to keep things small, I thought I'd avoid a full-sized humbucker.

    So... Are those single-coil-sized dual rail pickups actually humbuckers? If so, how do they compare to a normal mini-bucker? For this application (soundhole pickup for an acoustic), which would be better?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017

  2. chris m.

    chris m. Friend of Leo's

    Why not buy one made for the application? Costs more, I know...
     

  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    That is unlikely to sound good. Sorry.
     

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  5. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Well... I borrowed one of those Dean Markley ProMag pickups one time. It didn't sound super awesome, but it didn't sound too bad. Isn't that just a passive humbucker in the soundhole?
     

  6. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    Not the Plus, which is probably what you're referring to. Their website is pretty clear it's a single. The Gold is noise canceling, which does not make it a humbucker either.
     

  7. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    You're right. The on I used probably wasn't a humbucker. It looks like they have one that is, but it's not the one I borrowed.

    I have a minibucker in the neck position of a Tele, and I like it. Does some part of the design of those dual rail single coil sized humbuckers make them sound different than mini humbuckers? I've never played anything with those hot rail-type pickups.
     

  8. chris m.

    chris m. Friend of Leo's

    Because a dual rail is the width of a single coil it captures a narrower view of the strings. Hence all else being equal the dual rail HB will sound just a little more clear and focused than the equivalent pickup in a wider body. However, depending on the number of winds, magnets, and other variables, a dual rail could end up sounding middier/muddier than a mini-humbucker. Also, lots of variety among mini-humbuckers. In particular the construction of a Firebird pickup is quite different than say an Epiphone mini-humbucker such as you'd find in a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. Makes the Firebird sound much more like a single coil.
     

  9. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Thanks, guys. I might try wiring something up and see what happens.
     

  10. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    I suspect you're not going to like the sound of a "distortion"-type "dual rail". There are many twin blades on the market that are better for the application, in part because you probably want to *avoid* going humbucker inductance and higher.
     

  11. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    27
    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    many of you are mistaken. I have a $8 rail humbucker in my acoustic wired in parallel. Sounds good enough, but wont perform like a pickup more optimized for acoustic amplification
     

  12. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    How did you mount it?
     

  13. chris m.

    chris m. Friend of Leo's

    Wired in parallel is a great way to make a thick sounding pickup a lot thinner sounding. Good move.
     

  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    Just use the pickup you have handy. I put a strat sc in an acoustic and it sounds like a strat, until volume is turned up with distortion gain and the guitar howls with feedback. It's kind of fun for a bit but not long term, so do the experiments but don't spend big money or time selecting the pickup.

    .
     

  15. archetype

    archetype Tele-Meister Ad Free + Supporter

    384
    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    If you can figure out a way to mount it, a mini-humbucker is worth trying. Years ago I gave a buddy an early '60s Firebird pickup and he ended up mounting it in the sound hole of a dreadnought he'd built. Not an airy, transparent, accurate tone, but a really good one when the gain was turned down. Turn the gain up, and really hit the strings, and each note goes BANG with a tone like no other guitar. I suspect a good, regular mini-humbucker would give you tamer, more-controllable tone.
     

  16. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    27
    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    I cant remember the brand name off the top of my head but i paid about $25 for a plastic mount that secures in the soundhole, after initially testing with a cardboard mount. You can get strat sized or full humbucker sized mounts
     

  17. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Was it EurekaSound?
     

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