Fender Doubletap Humbucker in Tele neck position - very wooly

marc2211

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So I bought one of these guitars late last year, and never really had a chance to play with it or set it up much until recently:


It has a 'Fender Doubletap' Humbucker in the neck, and I find it really really muffled and wooly. I select the pickup and it just sounds like my amp is suddenly under 5 layers of carpet. I have been compensating by turning up the treble on the amp, but it's not really a solution as I am finding I am having to change it back down for literally every other guitar I have, and it's still not crisp by any stretch.

The sound I am after is a clear and crisp OD sound, kind of like the Stones 'Start me up' or 'Brown Sugar' - I can get this to a degree on my LP with SD59s, and also my 335 with stock MIK humbuckers - however with the tele it's just muffled and thickly indistinct.

I've not altered PU height, or done any dabbling as yet, but am wonderig if anyone can advise me if they think highering/lowering the PU may help, or any other possible solutions to try?

The bridge single coil (a Yosemite) sounds amazing, so really don't want to touch anything that may effect the tone there.

Maybe it's just the character of the pickup? I've never heard another 'DoubleTap' to compare to. At this point I am thinking I may just swap in a SD59 as I know it gets me where I want to be on other guitars...

Help! :)
 

Peegoo

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marc2211

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If the guitar was bought new, return it. If bought used, chances are good the previous owner messed with the wiring and flubbed it, because the DT Shawbucker's wiring could not be farther from "intuitive."

Pop it open and look closely at the wiring to see if there's any 'aftermarket' (sloppy) soldering on the switch.

More info here: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/fender-double-tap-shawbucker-wiring-how-to-humbuck.1090789/



Look here

Thanks for the reply Peegoo - it was bought new and never touched until now - due to my setup procrastination I am out of the return period ><

With the treble turned up high on the amp it sounds nice, but I am not used to having to change the amp that much to cater for one guitar.
 

Peegoo

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The thing to do would be to use a meter to Ohm the coils and compare the readings to those in the article I ref'd in the thread link above.

You can do this easily: set the guitar's 3-way switch to the neck position and test across the conductors of a short guitar lead plugged into the guitar's output jack. Use the switch to select between the various settings for the neck pickup.
 

Bruxist

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I would play with the heights first. If you can't get it where you want it, I would look at an inline capacitor.

Does it have 250k or 500k pots, I wonder?
 

Peegoo

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I think there may be something wonky with the wiring or with the pickup itself, because the neck pickup in my pal's Tele was plenty bright...moreso than most other typical humbuckers. More like a Fender WRHB.
 

Si G X

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Yeah make sure it's wired correctly... the 'double tap' name comes from the way the coil tap works, in humbucker mode it's supposed to be tapped, then when you switch to split single coil mode it un-tapps itself so you get a stronger single coil sound.

it sounds like a lot of possible places for something to go wrong to me in either the pickup or the wiring.
 

Tuxedo Poly

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The Fender service manual is useful for checking the wiring

The pickup has one coil + part of the second coil in normal mode and the whole of the second coil in split mode.
This representation may help
Fender_Double_Tap_Operationx.jpg
 

marc2211

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I opened the guitar up and had a check through - it's all untouched and afaik 'as it was' from the factory. Looking at the diagram, it does seem to be wired correctly. (Not unexpected as I bought the guitar new).

I played around with things this morning - in coil tapped mode, with a clean amp (Supro Blues King and a Studio Silver Jubilee), the guitar sounds almost like a strat neck/mid, really full bodied, but clearly a single coil. With even low gain, it becomes really *thick* and full - giving a very saturated sound, almost like there is a very mild fuzz effect. It takes me by surprise as it's much thicker than my LPs neck PUs.

Turning down the bass on the amp and leaving the treble alone, there *is* treble and definition there, it's just mixed into an overall *huge* sound. (I also moved the whole pickup a bit higher, which also seemed to add some definition.)

Being purely objective, it actually really doesn't sound bad at all - I was playing some Cream type songs and it sounds very good - just not like I was expecting a Tele with a Humbucker neck to sound like! It's thrown me that it's bigger and much more rounded sounding than my LPs and p90 guitars.

I'll carry on experimenting, but as it stands it really does give a huge range of tones with the H/S setup, just not the ones I was expecting! :D
 

marc2211

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I take back my last post about how the pickup sounds 'huge', now that I did a 'taste test' compared to my other humbucker guitars and not my single coils. I'm firmly in the meh camp again. Now you have the chance to hear what I did!

I had 10 mins earlier to do a super dirty demo before I jammed with some friends for the first time in years. Please keep in mind I haven't played for more than 30 mins in 4 or 5 months, so am very out of practice! I'm also the worlds worst recorder! Anyway, here goes!

Set up:
Shure 57 mic
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Mac Mini M1/Garageband (flat EQ, only effect on was a touch of reverb).

Instruments/Amps:
Vox MV50 Clean (set to lowest output)
Open back cab with Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker
Wampler Plexidrive pedal

Guitars in clip:
1 - 2012 Gibson SG 50's Tribute SG with stock Gibson p90's
2 - Epiphone Les Paul Standard with Seymour Duncan SD-1 59 PU
3 - Epiphone Dot MIK - standard pickups
4 - Performer Tele with Doubletap humbucker (Not set to coil tapping)

Same guitar and mp settings used for all:
Neck pickup, tone pot fully open.
Treble 7
Bass 4
Volume 2 (you can hear me picking the stringsm so I wasn't at all loud!)
Reverb added in Garageband

Plexidrive pedal settings:
Volume 5/10
Gain 6/10
Tone 8/10

CLIP:


0-11 Sec - Gibson SG p90s
11-20 - Les Paul with SD 59's
21-31 - Epi Dot
30+ - Performer Tele

This really confirmed my thoughts that there is something really *different* about the Doubletap Humbucker for me. Seems to have a much lower output, and while is is much 'bigger' than a SC, it just sounds thin and wooly compared to my other humbucker guitars.

Hearing the clip, what do you all think? Just normal for this PU, or do I really need to change the amp settings hugely when switching to this Tele?

I love the bridge pickup, and really like the guitar - but now considering putting in a Seth Lover or SD-1 '59 in the neck, as I'd just like it to sound more in line with the other guitars in the clip...

(P.S. The SG in the clip was up for sale, I just took down the advert, I like it best out of them all I think! :lol:)
 
Last edited:

RobRiggs

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I don’t have a guitar with the DT Shawbucker to compare it to but I can say that’s a greater drop in output than I get switching between any of my guitars, SC or humbucker.
 




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