Neck humbucker opinions

eclecticsynergy

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490R is not a clear, focused sounding humbucker; IME they lack definition. I doubt an A3 mag swap would redeem that pickup. Better off selling it to somebody who like Gibson hums.

Duncan 59N is a sweet scopped hum with big tight lows, full but never muddy.
You might consider the Duncan Jazz neck. Bright, sparkly, and fairly restrained lows.
Pearly Gates neck is worth reading up on too. Vintagey feel, works very nicely almost anywhere.

T-tops were a good rec. Crisp, dry, low output.
Also the TV Jones; I have a PowerTron neck that's great - sweeter and fuller than a T-top.

Another worth looking at is the Lollar El Rayo, wound with unusually heavy coil wire. A great combination of singlecoil clarity and humbucker body. Excellent neck choice, especially for a Tele.
Click on the reviews button.

For any humbucker a 500K volume pot is a good idea; with a 470/500K resistor to ground on the singlecoil bridge to let it see a normal 250K.

Might think about a hum-sized P90 too.
Or even a GFS Surf 90 - thinner than a true P90, nice in neck position, and cheap to try.
 

Fender-guy

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490R is not a clear, focused sounding humbucker; IME they lack definition. I doubt an A3 mag swap would redeem that pickup. Better off selling it to somebody who like Gibson hums.

Duncan 59N is a sweet scopped hum with big tight lows, full but never muddy.
You might consider the Duncan Jazz neck. Bright, sparkly, and fairly restrained lows.
Pearly Gates neck is worth reading up on too. Vintagey feel, works very nicely almost anywhere.

T-tops were a good rec. Crisp, dry, low output.
Also the TV Jones; I have a PowerTron neck that's great - sweeter and fuller than a T-top.

Another worth looking at is the Lollar El Rayo, wound with unusually heavy coil wire. A great combination of singlecoil clarity and humbucker body. Excellent neck choice, especially for a Tele.
Click on the reviews button.

For any humbucker a 500K volume pot is a good idea; with a 470/500K resistor to ground on the singlecoil bridge to let it see a normal 250K.

Might think about a hum-sized P90 too.
Or even a GFS Surf 90 - thinner than a true P90, nice in neck position, and cheap to try.

Thanks guys!! Lots of good suggestions here. Today I’m going to pick up a used. SD 59 and there’s also a SD jazz in stock locally at one of my guitar shops.
 

eallen

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i rather would suggest a L500 and use the parallel option to with a mini switch if you would go for the R version ;-)
I use the L500 in builds as well but they are much hotter pups with the lowest being the R with 6 henry I believe. Both the 500 & L90s are excellent in their own right. I prefer the lower output L90 to blend with singles which allows the humbucker to still be used at a nice pickup height in its performance range without blowing away the volume when changing switch positions.

Eric
 

hopdybob

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I use the L500 in builds as well but they are much hotter pups with the lowest being the R with 6 henry I believe. Both the 500 & L90s are excellent in their own right. I prefer the lower output L90 to blend with singles which allows the humbucker to still be used at a nice pickup height in its performance range without blowing away the volume when changing switch positions.

Eric
from the site the L500 comes from C, don't know the Henry.
personally i like the attack from the L500 more than the L90 (compared both high output pickups) but i have that to with the L280/L45 were i like the L280 more than the soft attack from the L45
How come? in don't know, but te Wilds of Bill & Becky (and of course Shannon) have flavors for everyone ;-)
 

cousinpaul

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I've used a SD 59 and a Phat Cat in the neck position with good results. I'd strongly recommend a treble bleed with either to keep the highs when rolling back the guitar's volume. A series cap between the pickup's hot wire and it's lug on the switch might be another option.
 

Fender-guy

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I've used a SD 59 and a Phat Cat in the neck position with good results. I'd strongly recommend a treble bleed with either to keep the highs when rolling back the guitar's volume. A series cap between the pickup's hot wire and it's lug on the switch might be another option.
Well I got the pickup yesterday. Just need to find the time to install it!! I also put a treble bleed/tone saver fender PIO cap on every guitar I own. It makes a huge difference to me at least.
 

cousinpaul

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I've got 2 versions of the 59. One has the vintage style braided cable like the pickup in your photo. The other is modern 4 conductor. I mention it because you may be out of phase in the middle switch position. It's pretty common when you mix brands.
 

Fender-guy

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I've got 2 versions of the 59. One has the vintage style braided cable like the pickup in your photo. The other is modern 4 conductor. I mention it because you may be out of phase in the middle switch position. It's pretty common when you mix brands.
Yeah I did notice there was a 2 or 4 wire version. The SD 59 I picked up yesterday is the 2 wire version. I’m clueless when it comes to humbuckers. Never needed them or looked into them. I have no option now as this nocaster has one.

So I guess I’m asking is how will I know it’s out of phase? The pickup installed now is actually backwards. I don’t want it out of phase or backwards.
 

northernguitar

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Well I got the pickup yesterday. Just need to find the time to install it!! I also put a treble bleed/tone saver fender PIO cap on every guitar I own. It makes a huge difference to me at least.
I also highly recommend a bass cut switch for any humbucker guitar. This comes standard on most Yamaha Revstar guitars (they call it a 'dry' switch). I have the RS420 and swapped in a set of Gibson 490R/498T humbuckers. With the bass cut engaged, the 490 in the neck becomes much sweeter and vibrant in tone. The effect on the 498 is a whole other thing, especially with heavy distortion. Like a good treble booster pedal, I find it acts like a 'woof shaver' and really improves the tone and dynamics.

This article looked at the 'dry' switch and reverse-engineered it.

 

Fender-guy

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I also highly recommend a bass cut switch for any humbucker guitar. This comes standard on most Yamaha Revstar guitars (they call it a 'dry' switch). I have the RS420 and swapped in a set of Gibson 490R/498T humbuckers. With the bass cut engaged, the 490 in the neck becomes much sweeter and vibrant in tone. The effect on the 498 is a whole other thing, especially with heavy distortion. Like a good treble booster pedal, I find it acts like a 'woof shaver' and really improves the tone and dynamics.

This article looked at the 'dry' switch and reverse-engineered it.

Ok not a bad idea. I’ll see what this SD 59 sounds like as is. I should be able to install it tonight. If it’s still to fat I may have to ad this “woof shaver” because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.
 

northernguitar

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Ok not a bad idea. I’ll see what this SD 59 sounds like as is. I should be able to install it tonight. If it’s still to fat I may have to ad this “woof shaver” because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.
I had a Godin Icon that had 59's in it. Very nice sounding, though at the time, I found them to be too 'polite'. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on them because I know I was too dismissive of them.

Good luck, brother!
 

68tele

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charlie chitlin

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I recently a/b-ed a Duncan Antiquity with a real deal unopened '58 PAF and I would not want to have any money riding on my ability to tell the difference between the 2.
I also had a budget Blizzard of '59 pickup that sounded just like the Antiquities.
 

ndcaster

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I'm liking the DiMarzio "Humbucker from Hell" that I can switch between series and parallel.
 

cousinpaul

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Yeah I did notice there was a 2 or 4 wire version. The SD 59 I picked up yesterday is the 2 wire version. I’m clueless when it comes to humbuckers. Never needed them or looked into them. I have no option now as this nocaster has one.

So I guess I’m asking is how will I know it’s out of phase? The pickup installed now is actually backwards. I don’t want it out of phase or backwards.

For the 59 with a braded cable, I paired it with a Tex Mex bridge pickup. The Tex Mex doesn't ground to a base plate so the wiring can easily be reversed to correct phase. The TM also is fairly hot which helps get a good blend with the neck HB. They're cheap and sound good.

With the 4 conductor 59, I think you could correct the phase via wiring if need be. My 4 conductor was used as a bridge pickup with no issues but I'm sure you can find help here if you have a problem.
 
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Bartholomew3

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Dimarzio DP211 - Eric Johnson humbucker...have that combination on a vintage tele, best one I've used over the years since cutting it for a humbucker at the neck.

Have to lower the bass side of the p/u slightly but is way better than the other 2 or 3 PAF that I used over the years - which were all too bass-heavy.
 

Fender-guy

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Ok well I found the time last night and installed the SD 59. It’s the 2c model so just the one wire to the switch and the braided section grounded to the pot.

I also had the neck off and had to take care of feet sprout. So I didn’t get much time to play around as it was getting late. The Gibson pickup was reversed so this new SD 59 I positioned correctly.

Its definitely a lot brighter than what was in there. Even at higher volumes the woof is gone. Almost like there was a blanket over the speakers. Super happy with this pickup, just have to play around with the height later today.
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Can anyone identify this Gibson one now that the cover is off?
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Fender-guy

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Ok so I was able to adjust the height and the humbucker and nocaster bridge are very well balanced.

However the middle position just sounds ok. Lower volume slightly but just sounds honky and kinda thin. Is this normal?
 

SixStringSlinger

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Ok so I was able to adjust the height and the humbucker and nocaster bridge are very well balanced.

However the middle position just sounds ok. Lower volume slightly but just sounds honky and kinda thin. Is this normal?

It's possible your pickups are out of phase. A simple wire-flip will fix that. I think your humbucker has only two wires? In which case just pick a pickup, doesn't matter which, and switch where its hot and ground wires are soldered.
 

Fender-guy

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It's possible your pickups are out of phase. A simple wire-flip will fix that. I think your humbucker has only two wires? In which case just pick a pickup, doesn't matter which, and switch where its hot and ground wires are soldered.
That’s pretty much what I figured but confused before it’s on the 2 wire humbucker. So yea the braided section is grounded to the pot. I’ll probably just swap the bridge leads.
 




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