Best HB w/ Tapped Strat Tone

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by markesquire, May 17, 2020.

  1. markesquire

    markesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Is there a humbucker pickup that actually has a good strat tone when split/tapped?

    I’ve only heard of one pickup designed for that: Barden two tone.

    Any others?
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Seymour Duncan Stag Mag!
    It sounds great in neck or bridge position, single coil or humbucking.
     
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  3. markesquire

    markesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks! Any others?
     
  4. markesquire

    markesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Also, anyone actually try the Barden 2-tone?
     
  5. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    Give me a day or so and I can get back to you about the DiMarzio Bluesbucker. It's kind of an oddball in general, but supposedly does a good Strat thing when split. I'm currently wiring one into the bridge of my Strat. Here's a really nicely done demo of using them in both ends of an HSH with splitting.



    I'm with @brookdalebill about the Stagmag, though. It's an outstanding pickup. I just wanted to try out something different with this one and have never really fiddled with DiMarzio, so went for it. If the Bluesbucker doesn't cut it for me, I'll be swapping it out for a Stagmag.
     
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  6. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Seymour Duncan Custom 5 -- I have it in a HSS strat on a 3-way toggle so can select either coil as well as full. A bit of a beast in full HB mode but the spilt coils work really well.
     
  7. Dunkerhook

    Dunkerhook Tele-Meister

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    I think Lindy Fralin designed the Unbucker for this. I’ve never tried it, but I’d like to.

    Is this about unbalanced coils? Do split humbuckers sound weak because most individual coils are not strong enough to stand on their own? If so, then making one coil stronger than average and the other weaker might produce a usable tone when split without losing the sweetness of a roughly 8k humbucker in humbucker mode.

    I don’t make pickups so I’m guessing. It would be a fun experiment...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Same here. I originally bought one for my Carvin Bolt kit build back in the 90's. I swapped it out and used a number of other splitable bridge humbuckers before returning to it a couple of years ago. It is the best at doing both sounds although it is kind of hot as a HB.
     
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  9. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Without getting in the semantics of coil split vs tapping...
    Fishman Fluence does a great split sound. I have an Ibanez AZ 2402 and the hyperions sound great split. They're based on the Pegasus/Sentient set so presumably those would sound great split?

    Stag mag is supposed to be great split. I've had a custom-wound pickup that was based on that concept and it sound great split.
     
  10. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The StagMag is like two strat pickups fused together. Would like it better if the poles were not actually staggered, but I guess they would have to name it something different then.

    Does anyone make a pickup that is just a strat pickup in a humbucker case? I have seen on cheap 70's Japanese guitars but I wondered if there were any quality, intentional builds like that.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  11. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    John Suhr certainly did it to Mark Knopfler's Pensa Suhr strat, via EMG's
     
  12. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Seymour Duncan custom shop can make one with the same specs with flat poles. I'm not sure how this would affect the tone though.
     
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  13. Al Nico

    Al Nico Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  14. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    So, a little late than my quoted return, but back with some thoughts about the DiMarzio Bluesbucker.

    Firstly, it is definitely not an HB that splits to a Strat. With both coils it's sort of a P-90ish thing with a little more sparkle, but also still kind of Stratty, just with a little "more". Where along that spectrum from chubby Strat to bright P-90 it falls depends upon the orientation of the screw coil, though it's somewhat of a minor difference from my experimenting. The "split" sound definitely does Strat pretty well, but is a little less scooped in the midrange. Honestly, the difference between split and not is more of the shaping of the mid/low-mid voice than a change of the overall character of the pickup. It clucks pretty well in either mode, though it is definitely much more pronounced in the split mode. There is a difference in the way it hits your amp between the normal and split modes, but it's not so much output as it is those thickened low-mids driving the amp a little harder, I would imagine. It's certainly not a "loudness difference".

    I really enjoy it as it's got a very unique thing going on. It's not a humbucker, it's not a noiseless single coil, it's not an HB-sized P-90. It's one of the few pickups I've heard that's not either a PAF, roided PAF, P-90, or some manner of Fender-esque single coil. It's really refreshing, honestly. The amount of difference between split and normal mode seems very heavily influenced by pickup height and the coil orientation to a degree. It's certainly got plenty to fiddle with, so I've got a lot to look forward to as far as finding sounds with it.

    Is it going to do what a Stag Mag does? Nah, and it's not really meant to. But, it can cover pretty much any Strat sound you need north of low output, and can tackle a lot of ground through P-90 and "vintage" output PAF range, depending upon your tone knob and such. I'd go for the Stag Mag if you really, really need a great, classic Strat sound when split and don't mind having to balance the hotness of the full pickup. I'd go for the Bluesbucker if you're looking for something that's a bit more of its own thing and can cover a lot of territory while keeping a unique voice.
     
  15. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've got them in a Tele and a Strat. They are spectacular. Like all Bardens, they sound best with juicy sounding amps - Vox, Marshall, Bad Cat, Matchless, etc. (as opposed to simple sounding amps) and variations in the tone and volume controls on the guitar are a must. There are a bunch of demos on youtube.
     
  16. REWTX

    REWTX Tele-Meister

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    It is a Tele pickup in a humbucker case but it might get close-The Lollar Novel T pickup.
     
  17. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    Uh...everbody ferget about Seymour Duncan P-rails?

     
  18. richbike

    richbike Tele-Meister

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    i made my own. Got a cheap second hand Japanese style HB with slugs on both sides. i replaced the slugs with alnico 5 rods and swapped the bar magnet for a lump of steel.
    Im quite pleased with it.
     
  19. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Other than the type of humbuckers that are actually 2 Strat pickups wired together for humbucking, IME none of them sound exactly like a Strat pickup when split.
    Typically a PAF style humbucker is around 7/8 K maybe a bit more for a hotter PAF, so split half that and you have a weak sounding single coil. Hotter humbuckers do better split but then you may not like the full humbucking tone.
    Just checked the Duncan StagMag is 16.6K, so split thats a bit over 8k, still a fairly hot Strat pickup.

    The Fralin Unbucker (and some other by other builders) has one coil that is wound more than the other so when the pickup is split the stronger coil is used.
    I had some Tom Anderson alnico humbuckers that to me had a great split coil sound.

    My buddy has an older Brian Moore with some Bare Knuckle humbuckers, in split coil that guitar sounds very Stratish, but they are hot pickups, he had to lower the pickups a lot to get closer to the humbucker tone that he wanted.

    I just got a 2018 USA PRS CE24, the 85/15 pickups sound great split, not weak or thin but again not exactly the same as a typical Strat pickup.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  20. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    I remember Orianthi playing SRV P&J on her PRS, obviously split, and it sounded pretty SRVish...
     
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