Humbucker and single coil

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by dougbgt6, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. dougbgt6

    dougbgt6 TDPRI Member

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    I have installed a Gibson 490 neck pickup and a Fender single coil bridge pick up. I've a 500k volume pot and a 470k resistor across the bridge pickup so that the humbucker sees 500k and the bridge 250k. Received wisdom says this is good.

    I've adjusted the pickup heights to compensate the different volume outputs. And switch positions 1 and 3 sound great. Very pleased with it.

    But switch position 2? The HB, (internally, standard, in series), is in parallel with the bridge. I was expecting too much volume and the HB to dominate, but no, it's a drop in volume and the bridge dominates. To be honest position 2 is barely different from bridge only. How can I get a bit more HB out of position 2?

    db
     
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  2. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Doctor of Teleocity

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    You do know that Gibson and Fender pickups will not be in phase with each other
     
  3. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Afflicted

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    Wire the resistor to the switch so that it's not in the circuit in position 2.

    They could be! Maybe what you mean is they can't hum-cancel together.
     
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  4. Zoso420

    Zoso420 Tele-Meister

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    I would try the switch the phase of one of the pickups first.
     
  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    As mentioned, they may not be in phase and so are lower volume and hollow sounding. Is that the case?
     
  6. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I once tried to pair a Gibson Classic 57 w/ a Nocaster bridge. They were out of phase together and thin sounding. If the Gibson is a 4 wire pickup, it's fixable...just need to find the correct wiring schematic. If it's a single lead and 2 wire bridge pup...there's the problem.
    There are possible fixes to this...but I've never tried any of them and couldn't recommend them unless I knew for certain it'd work. It would involve doing things to one or both of the pickups I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending.

    Another possible solution, a stacked volume control.
    I recently bought a Gibson LP Classic and it's possible to get that out of phase setting...think Peter Green. If the volume of both pickups is perfectly matched, it's very thin. When I set one higher or lower, that starts to remove that thinner tone.
    This could work with you configuration. Lowering the neck volume would allow the bridge to cut thru, or lowering the bridge volume would allow more of the fatter tone of the neck HB thru....I think. Someone with a better technical understanding would be able to weigh in on this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  7. Novatuc

    Novatuc Tele-Meister

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    Two pickups in parallel have less output than the least powerful pickup. Two pickups in series have more output than the most powerful pickup.
     
  8. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    First of all, remove that resistor. I have never heard of such a thing, and if it's parallel to the bridge pickup, it'll be parallel to the neck as well. If it's in series with the bridge pickup, the bridge pickup is less loud, maybe not even audible.

    If it's even brighter in the middle position than the bridge by itself, the pickups are likely out of phase.
     
  9. dougbgt6

    dougbgt6 TDPRI Member

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    The resistor goes across the bridge pickup in parallel so that in position one the 500k volume control appears to be 250k as it should on a Tele. In position three the resistor is not in circuit and the humbucker sees 500k as it should on a Gibson. This is a common mod on humbucker/single pole circuits and can be seen here, it works very well.

    Humbucker Neck & Tele Bridge.pdf (fralinpickups.com)

    The middle position with both pickups was not as loud as the bridge by itself and the tone barely different.

    However, thanks to everyone who said out of phase because that's what it was! The neck is a Gibson 490 and the "hot" wire is red, causing much confusion, the Fralin pick up in the diagram above has white as "hot". After some contemplation of what was North and what was South and what colour went where I rewired. The 490 had red as hot, green and white together and black to ground. Reversing the phase on it puts red to ground and black "hot". Now I have what I was expecting from position 2, warm Humbucker with a sharp Fender twang at comparable volume to the other two positions.

    Doug
     
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  10. ChristoMephisto

    ChristoMephisto TDPRI Member

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    I tried the resistor trick with a 560k and a 500k pot and had a better sweep but couldn't get along with the volume jump
    Threw a 1.5M resistor across it for 375k and it worked better for both pickups
     
  11. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Glad you solved it, OP. For the record, here are both ways to add a resistor to emulate a 250k pot. The simple way everyone knows affects middle position as well as bridge position. The second way affects only bridge position. Personal choice, depending what sound you like best in your middle (parallel) position.

    Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 11.48.07 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 11.48.29 AM.png
     
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  12. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    Moosie to the rescue !

    Thanks for posting the diagrams. I copied them for my records in case I decide to install a humbucker on my Tele.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
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