Well, I think I just don't like humbuckers ...

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by nosuch, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Meister

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    the tele i just put together is the first guitar i have had single coils in for at least seven years. i have been playing a gretsch and a es 335 recently both amazing guitars but as soon as i plugged in this tele i knew straight away i am a single coils guy, exactly like you said they are more expressive. i love em to bits! IMG_8195.JPG
     
  2. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Full-size humbuckers are not my favorite pickups, but I do keep one of those guitars around because once in a while I just need to hear that sound. Also, I don't like them clean - they do their best with some drive. Like the guy who commented above, it balances out the mud.
     
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  3. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    A stock tele with good pickups is one of the best-sounding instruments EVER for jazz. Just listen to Ed Bickert, Ted Greene, Tim Lerch, Jim Campilongo, Julian Lage or Bill Frissell. It's more about setup, strings, amp and touch for jazz, IMHO. Plus, they're FAR less expensive and MUCH more durable than any archtop or hollow body. An arch top can fall out of a guitar stand and end up with a hole in it or a broken off headstock...gig over. A tele will probably still be in TUNE.

    As an added benefit, the tele's modular platform lends itself to easily trying other pickup combinations in a routed out second guitar...just in case you need to scratch that itch.

    For now, your cheapest and best solution, short of trading your 335s in on a great tele (that would be my choice), might be an EQ pedal. You can dial in more of the frequencies you're missing. Won't quite be the same as single coils, but could be a fix until you find the tele you want. Maybe this was a necessary journey to get there. Maybe the ideal instrument for your combo was NEITHER the George Harrison NOR the semi-hollows...but another, beautiful, wonderful, mysterious and elusive tele out there, just waiting to coyly seduce you into a wonderful long-term relationship.
     
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Assuming your humbuckers have screw poles, this is what I've done to several HH guitars:
    -Lower the neck pickup level to the trim ring/pickguard. Raise the screw poles in a Strat stagger (look up google images if you don't have one available to look at) at least 1/8th inch or a little more if you have the space.
    -Lower the bridge pickup level to the trim ring/pickguard. Raise the screw poles 1/8th inch+ but keep them level to each other just like a Tele/P90.
    -Turn up the amp volume (both pickups will be lower output than before, further from the strings and accentuating one bobbin not two)
    -Adjust the bridge pickup height until you get volume parity switching between neck and bridge pickup. Or maybe a little higher and slightly more volume on the bridge. Don't forget you can adjust E vs e side 'tip' of the pickups for tone adjustment to remove ice pick or increase brightness or balance off too much bass.

    Play it and you may think its 'a little better' but best to put it aside for a day before making any decisions if you like it or not. Your ears will readjust over night and you'll hear all the subtleties the next day. Almost single coil tones. Strat neck pickup and a Tele/P90 bridge but maintaining humbucking noise protection.

    As long as you don't lower the pickup so far it falls off the elevator screws or the screw poles go above their keeper strip at the magnets the settings are easily reversible. If they do fall off the rails you'll have to take the strings off but it's still an easy fix.

    .
     
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  5. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    Horses for courses, personal preference, and all that!

    Love my humbuckers into a Marshall for the rawk.

    I like my Teles for jams where I take a smaller combo, and may play blues or classic rock. They really have a lot of versatility.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Your tastes change with time.

    When I was young, I couldn't stand Fender type single coil pickups because most of them sounded too thin, had too much high pitch tone and the 60cycle hum was too annoying. So all my guitars got humbuckers.

    Now I'm leaning back towards some of the single coils.

    I have also dabbled in mini-buckers, Firebirds and Filtertrons. These pickups are the best of both worlds. Single coil bite and attitude without the hum. If you dislike regular humbuckers, you should give these a try.
     
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  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    No one like humbuckers? Right.

    That's why Gibson has sold a bazillion guitars with them and Fender a half-bazillion.

    This place cracks me up sometimes.
     
  8. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a couple of PRS SE guitars, and the humbuckers in them are quite different. The older Korina SE has an almost single-coil sound. The newer SE has a fatter sound, the typical hb. I'm having trouble getting used to that one. It's a lot louder than the Seymour Duncans in my Strat, and so when I change guitars mid-set, I have to adjust volumes and drive levels on my pedals. It also seems to require a different style of playing. I've had an SSH Yamaha for over 30 years, but I used the bridge position only when playing solos or needing some definite rock distortion for that classic '70s sound. With the bluesy stuff I've been playing the last 10 years, I always had a Tele-style guitar or a Strat, or my P90/HB custom.
    I need to learn how to use this PRS, though, because it feels so good to play. I do wonder if it's just not the right guitar to play through a Princeton Reverb.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's been a long road for me too. I'm probably talking at least 20 HB guitars bought in the last 15 years. And my conclusion is I like single coils. I like tone when some other people play HB's... so I dont know what my problem is. But, You can adapt a Strat SC into a HB ring etc.
     
  10. Post-HK

    Post-HK Tele-Meister

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    335 into a Vibrolux Reverb is love for me. It's my current setup for soul, R&B, jazz, etc. That said, there's a great organ trio locally and the guitarist uses a Tele, plenty jazzy enough. Play what works for you!
     
  11. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    Well, the good news is: they are already there.
    The 52RI was my first Fender branded telly.
    Then a friend introduced me to MJT which was fun, so after the first (white blonde) I put together two more partscasters.
    Two years ago my wife gave me that beautiful modern american standard, which is the best of the bunch for playing clean and punchy funk rhythms in one of my bands.
    The tuxedo partscaster is "the special one"– it has that special well hung tone – while I could perfectly live with any of the others.
     
  12. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

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    Maybe a GH Gretsch Duo Jet.
     
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  13. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    Are you sure it isnt the centerblock that is the issue and not the HB

    You might want a es175/es275/L5 or similar?


    Or a es330 .. hollow with single coils? (P90s)
     
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  14. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Funny,I have just watched a Jimmy Hendrix concert where he only played his strat,than another Led Zeppelin concert where Jimmy Page only used his tele,than I thought of the HUNDREDS of gigs I have played throughout my lifetime with my single coil Teles...

    Guess what?
    NOBODY in the audience minded,heard or noticed the "hum" in ALL of the a/m occasions.
     
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  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Come on now,I am SURE you DO know better :)

    (ok it is not a trio,but it is an organ one ...)

     
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  16. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like what Gibson is doing with burstbuckers. Tried dropping the bass side of the pickups for clarity .

    Also someone said Gretsch - cutting single-coil-like tone, no hum.
     
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  17. DaphneBlue

    DaphneBlue Tele-Meister

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    In my case I prefer single coils. The only HB I've enjoyed was a Gretsch filtertron.
     
  18. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Tele-Holic

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    One of the situations that i prefer humbuckers is when i play with the duo, one guitar and one voice, it sounds to me that my 335 fills more the absence of another instrument compare to the Tele because the sound is much fuller.
     
  19. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I'd love to try that. I have some jazz boxes, but no thinline hollowbody like the 330.
     
  20. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    This one hurts, because Cropper is playing a rosewood tele here – like the one I traded for the 335. :(
     
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