Do humbuckers have more magnet pull than single coils?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by SixShooter, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    Considering an HH strat maybe with a single coil middle pickup. Would an HSH config have more magnet string pull than an HH config? So just wondering in general if humbuckers pull on the strings more than single coils.
     
  2. tonejam

    tonejam Tele-Holic

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    In my experience, single coils usually have more pull. Depends on the pickup, of course.
     
  3. doolbon

    doolbon Tele-Meister

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    They generally have less pull and can be set closer to the strings
     
  4. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Humbuckers generally have the magnets on the bottom of the pickup, with poles and slugs directing the shape of the magnetic field. As a result, standard humbuckers have much less magnetic pull than most single coil pickups.

    There are some 'buckers with magnetic slugs (like a single coil), but that's not the standard configuration.

    P90s also have the magnets on the bottom.

    So P90s and Humbuckers can get real close to the strings without ill effects.

    P.
     
  5. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting. Opposite of what I expected. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Tazz3

    Tazz3 Friend of Leo's

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    There called hum buckers cause they where made to take the hum out something
    I forget what it was
     
  7. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Depends on the pickup. If you use an alnico poled humbucker, it will have roughly twice the pull of an alnico poled single coil with the same magnets.

    Some single coils have less pull than humbuckers. Alnico 3 rods have extremely low pull. And a single coil with a small magnet under non magnetic pole pieces would have low pull as well.

    I have alnico 3 poled pickups which seem to have less pull than a particular set of single coils, with a bar magnet underneath. I've also experienced similar pickups with a smaller and weaker bar magnet which seemed as if it had less pull than the A3's

    A single coil with A5 rods may have more pull than a bucker with an A5 bar mag. Then again, maybe the A5 rods are degaussed and could end up with less pull... Maybe the bar magnet is oversized, increasing its pull.

    Then there's the factor of different pickups requiring different height adjustments. Certain pickups could potentially be set further from the string, reducing pull. A pickup with more magnetic pull (when measured at a particular distance) that is set further away from the strings, may have less pull than a pickup with less magnetic pull (measured at a set distance), that needs to be shoved way up into the string.

    It's not safe to generalize with these things.
     
  8. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Flying V with ceramic magnet humbuckers. Those magnets are so bleepin' strong, they can make the guitar fret out, if you don't back the pickups away from the strings. Took me a while to figure that out...
     
  9. copperheadroad

    copperheadroad Tele-Holic

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    Using a Gauss meter to check strength at the pole Most A5 rods usually read 800 to 1200gauss A3 will usually read 500 to 700 .
    Humbuckers don't read so high
    at the poles the usually read anywhere from 200 to 500 at the poles
    though a thick ceramic type pickup like a super distortion can read 500 to 700 at the top of the poles .
     
  10. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good info, copperhead. Now let me ask you something. If the poles on a humbucker read 500 and the poles of an A3 single coil read 500. Does the bucker have more pull because it has twice as many poles, with the same gauss reading?
    Even if the readings were the same, it seems that a bucker has a larger magnetic field (generally) which could cause more string pull than a gauss reading may imply. Or am I missing something?
     
  11. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

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    A reading telling the magnetic field strength at that point and always indicates the
    pull. A magnetic can have different shapes so to be sure the reading should be taken
    at the lowest point of the strings.

    Cheers
    L-zr
     
  12. drmcclainphd

    drmcclainphd Tele-Afflicted

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    Humbuckers have more magentic flux reaching the strings. A bucker is like two single coils next to each other. They share a magnet between them. A single coil has one pole of a magent putting flux up through the posts. A bucker has one pole affecting one coil and the other pole affecting the other coil. Both poles with flux directed to the strings means twice as much flux. However, the polarity is opposite, so they affect the strings in an opposing manner, coming close to cancelling the effect on the strings while still receiving signal from both. It's twice as much flux, but appears to be a great deal less than a single coil's with regard to causing stratitis.
     
  13. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    The earliest musicman guitar pickups are a terrible case of this as well. I had to see to believe it. Pickups close to the strings and the guitar frets out! Shortly after their introduction the magnet pole lengt was greatly reduced for that reason but those pickups with their huge alnico slugs remained problematic because of their high pull.
     
  14. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thought I'd bump this thread, while offering some more personal experience.

    I recently bought a cheap single coil sized rail humbucker pickup with a very small ceramic magnet. At first inspection I expected this pickup to have a very low magnetic pull, due to the design, small magnet, and what people are saying here. Boy, was I wrong. Thing caused string warble like crazy, and notes were fretting out, until I backed it down some. This was from one pickup, not a set of 2 or 3.

    I have alnico 5 PAF humbuckers, which I can adjust until the screw polepieces touch the string, without warble or noticeable string damping.

    My alnico 3 tele pickups can also be adjusted until the polepieces touch the strings, without warble or damping.

    My A3 strat pickups get some warble if they're adjusted extremely close, probably due to the 3rd pickup compared to the tele, which has 2.

    G&L S-500 MFD pickups seem to have quite a bit of pull IME. They have a huge ceramic magnet under those steel poles. They're quite thick compared to a lot of the ceramic bar mags I've seen on pickups. Dimensions of the mag are roughly 2.5'' x .5'' x .25''

    I still need to do some testing with my Wilde L-90's I'm most curious if they have more/less pull than a Alnico 5 PAF. Wilde implies, they have extremely low magnetic pull. I dont have gauss equipment, so raising the pickups until I hear damping or warble, is the best I can do, for now.
     
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