Humbuckers for a really dark sounding guitar?

wildschwein

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Posts
1,967
Location
Perth, Western Australia
I would also recommend 1meg pots. Short of that P-90s type or unpotted PAF replicas perhaps. Wilde pickups have more top end than most so worth thinking about. They offer L500s or L90s — both excellent and have very clear highs.

 
Last edited:

hopdybob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 28, 2008
Posts
2,400
Location
netherlands
I’m using a helix and even reducing the bass to a ridiculous amount doesn’t seem to do much.
sorry, i understood your question wrong, i thought you wanted a dark sounding guitar, me bad.

but than, go Bill Lawrence.
the L90 is available at different H versions, and my favorite, the L500 to.
special housing and bobbin options for the last.
and in parallel mode with itself a great pickup to.
with the good Henry type, maybe tele territory is possible (i come close with mine)
throw in the G&L basscut tone wiring, ore only the basscut when needed.
 

Novatuc

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Posts
421
Location
Canada
Another vote for Wilde by Bill Lawrence. I have the L500 C and L set in a guitar and they can easily fake a Tele tone. Clean and bright.
 

YoGeorge

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
1,072
Location
Michigan
Lose the JB and put in a Duncan '59 or Jazz bridge pickup. There are no good clean tones in the JB, wired parallel or otherwise.
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,796
Location
Near BWI Int'l
I've had a JB and clones of it in different humbucker guitars, and IMO they are mostly incapable of sounding bright, because they are seriously overwound.

So IMO the answer (especially for the bridge pickup) is easy - just get anything that's similar to how PAFs were originally wound, which typically translates to like ~8K DCR.

For an exceptionally open sounding neck humbucker, I'd try either a DiMarzio Humbucker From Hell, or a Tonerider Alnico IV Classic (AC4N).
 

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
359
Age
39
Location
Germany
Supposedly it keeps the pickup humbucking but makes it a lot brighter. It changed the character of the sound to something I like more, but didn’t really lighten it up any more.
That's actually what DiMarzio does with the Blues Bucker, a Humbucker with an unmagnetized second coil. That makes it more into a P90 kind of sound. If you split it, it still has enough beef but clears up well with no volume drop. You can even rotate the pickup with the magnetised coil orientating towards the bridge to make it more Strat like.
Blues Bucker would have been my tip, for the neck. Otherwise, although pretty cheap, a Roswell HAF has good highs and good output.
 

Ascension

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Posts
1,704
Age
64
Location
Birmingham Alabama
I have two guitars. A MIJ Fender Telecaster that sounds fantastic, and a ESP ES-1000 with evertune that plays fantastic.

My ESP feels amazing in the hands and is very easy to play, but the Seymour Duncan pickups are really dark. I'm playing through a Helix LT and I haven't really been able to overcome how dark it sounds. The telecaster will do ice pick bright, and then you roll off the tone and it's perfect.

The pickups in the ESP are Seymour Duncan HB/Jazz set, which I've read are supposed to be pretty bright for humbuckers. I've fiddled with their spacing and even removed the pole pieces to help lighten them up a bit, but it hasn't really been enough. A more experienced guitar player I play with mentioned they sounded a bit dark to him as well. I know the EC-1000 will never be as bright as the telecaster, but I'd like it to be closer than it is now.

I've thought about new humbuckers. Not sure where to begin looking. If the JB/Jazz set is a brighter set of pickups, then I think I may need to find something ridiculously bright, like maybe a Dimarzio Humbucker from Hell.

I can't find anywhere online what the tone pot value is. I'd be surprised if it isn't a 500k, but stranger things have happened.

Any recommendations?

When I play live its at a large church using a Helix LT direct into the sound system. I need something brighter, and I'd prefer relatively low output since I can add whatever gain I need through the Helix. (and the sound people take care of volume). I'd prefer a great clean sound that I can thicken up as needed.

Thanks in advance.
Couple suggestions. Like you I primarily am a Worship player so my first thought would be a Duncan Saturday Night Special set. Really sweet tight and articulate with a nice crisp high end. Very very nice clean with an almost acoustic character when used together. Will be much clearer and brighter than you JB/Jazz Hot Rodded set. Also the A4 mags give these a unique attack. Very very very solid set for the tones you see in Modern Worship. If you go with these use the full set.

The second would be a Suhr Thornbucker set. The Thornbucker bridge is very similar to the Duncan SNS bridge and is also a A4 mag. Uses a A5 in the neck and is also very nice. Downside is the Suhr set is a good bit more expensive.

I personally prefer the Duncan SNS set here and have both.
 
Last edited:

cousinpaul

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Posts
4,078
Location
Nashville TN
I spent a couple of weeks with an Evertune equipped LP Studio. It's possible that massive chunk of metal could have some effect on tone. I'd try the higher value pots, series cap, and treble bleed networks on the volume pots before buying a pickup. If it finally came down to a pickup swap, the SD '59 bridge or Seth Lover bridge are said to work well with the Jazz. Also, if you do swap pickups, be careful mixing brands to avoid out of phase in the combined position. They're not all wired the same.
 

WilburBufferson

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Posts
2,259
Location
Hogtown
Two ideas: 1) SD Seth Lovers! My favorite mass produced humbuckers which, like original PAFs, are on the brighter end of the spectrum. 2) Klon-type pedal. I have a Wampler Tumnus Deluxe. Set the gain at 0, the tone knobs to 3 o'clock, and the volume as you like/need it. It instantly brings to life any drab tone situation, for any and all of my guitars, but especially humbuckers.
 

old wrench

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Posts
3,251
Location
corner of walk and don't walk
I like my humbucker guitars with sparkle and chime

The Basic Recipe -

- A set of Lover/Duncan SH-55's (no need to over-pay for some exotic custom wind when ya can buy these at a fair price)

- 500K pots, .022 cap for the bridge and .015 for the neck

.
 

Redleg37

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Posts
218
Age
39
Location
Rapid City, SD
I know I’m kind of raising this thread from the dead but I’ve got some updates.

First of all, the neck humbucker is a Seymour Duncan Jazz and I have no complaints with it.

The bridge pickup sounds really dark, or muffled, almost like it’s far away. It’s a Seymour Duncan JB. JB’s are supposed to be really bright and even shrill. Looking online there are a lot of people who complain about how dark they are, and others who won’t use them because they are too bright. I think there may be a QC problem with these. SD recommends the JB to brighten up dark guitars; my JB certainly doesn’t do that and I found multiple other players saying the same thing in different forums.

The pots are supposed to be 500k, I didn’t measure them but everything I’ve read online says they should be 500ks.

The JB resistance is supposed to measure 16.4k. Mine is 18.4k.

Removing a few db from 240hz and lower, and then boosting 750, 2000, and 6000 by 3.5db made the tone a lot more pleasant.
 




Top