Neck humbucker opinions

SixStringSlinger

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 21, 2006
Posts
5,486
Location
Space
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.

Yup that’s all it was. Just swapped the bridge leads around, back in business now!!

It's pretty much 50/50, particularly when dealing with pickups from different manufacturers.
 

Fender-guy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Posts
925
Age
42
Location
Canada
Yeah it’s weird because I’ve never experienced this. I’ve also only ever had one guitar with humbuckers. This humbucker and a single is a whole new world to me.

I just knew something was off as far as the drop in volume/tone change. Been playing it now for the last hour. It’s so well balanced, it’s surprising with basically stock 250k pots and modern tele wiring. The tone reminds me of my long missed 52 hot rod tele with the SD mini humbucker.
 

jvin248

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Posts
11,248
Location
Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
.

Don't forget that you can:
-Raise the screw poles when you lower the pickup (in any EQ manner you like) 1/8th to 3/16ths works well. This gives you more of a single coil, brighter, and still noise reducing

-Rotate the screw pole side of the pickup so the poles are to the 'inside'. On a neck pickup you'll get more of a Strat middle pickup (actually more between neck and middle pickup) kind of tone shift. I do this on bridge humbuckers to get more of a P90 tone with the raised screw poles.

If you did not swap pickups yet, I would have suggested using a series cap on the muddy pickup hot lead. That cuts the effective internal capacitance of the pickup, just like getting a hand-scatter-wound boutique pickup.

The best series of events on fixing bad guitar tone: pickup height adjustments, measure actual and swap pots 'n caps, series cap, swap pickups, then back to the beginning. Goes from free mods to most expensive.

.
 

ChicknPickn

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Posts
2,970
Location
Ole Virginny
.

Don't forget that you can:
-Raise the screw poles when you lower the pickup (in any EQ manner you like) 1/8th to 3/16ths works well. This gives you more of a single coil, brighter, and still noise reducing

-Rotate the screw pole side of the pickup so the poles are to the 'inside'. On a neck pickup you'll get more of a Strat middle pickup (actually more between neck and middle pickup) kind of tone shift. I do this on bridge humbuckers to get more of a P90 tone with the raised screw poles.

If you did not swap pickups yet, I would have suggested using a series cap on the muddy pickup hot lead. That cuts the effective internal capacitance of the pickup, just like getting a hand-scatter-wound boutique pickup.

The best series of events on fixing bad guitar tone: pickup height adjustments, measure actual and swap pots 'n caps, series cap, swap pickups, then back to the beginning. Goes from free mods to most expensive.

.
Agree with every bit of that. But just in case the OP NEEDS to spend money, he should try the Seymour Duncan Jazz. Probably the least muddy bucker I've played with. Highs really sparkle.
 

Fender-guy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Posts
925
Age
42
Location
Canada
I do like to spend money!! However I did install the SD 59 in it’s normal position. So screws closer to the neck.

I wired the hot to the 3 way switch and the braided to ground at the volume pot. That caused the middle position to be out of phase, oops.

So I swapped the leads on the bridge pickup around. Sounds much better in all positions. However now I have a bunch of unwanted noise and hissing when I touch the strings. Man I just can’t win.

Can I switch the leads around on the humbucker? Braided to the switch and hot to ground on the volume pot?
 

NoTeleBob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Posts
3,175
Location
Southwestern, USA
I don't know that humbucker... but does it have four + 1 leads i.e. four pickup wires and a ground? Or just two, or four leads? If only two or four, does one of them connect to the metal shell (test with meter).

I assume the single coil has only two? My inclination wold be swap the leads of the single coil since they don't really have a ground (to the shell) like a humbucker does. Either one is hot. So if the pickups are out of phase, you flip the single coil the other way.
 

Fender-guy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Posts
925
Age
42
Location
Canada
I don't know that humbucker... but does it have four + 1 leads i.e. four pickup wires and a ground? Or just two, or four leads? If only two or four, does one of them connect to the metal shell (test with meter).

I assume the single coil has only two? My inclination wold be swap the leads of the single coil since they don't really have a ground (to the shell) like a humbucker does. Either one is hot. So if the pickups are out of phase, you flip the single coil the other way.
Yes the humbucker just has 1 wire and the braided ground. The Gibson humbucker I removed had the braided ground wrapped and soldered with a push back cloth wire soldered to the switch. Then the hot wire of it grounded to the volume pot.

I now have the new SD pickup wires this way. It works but I’m just not sure this is possible to do without damage.

Yes the stock bridge pickup I swapped initially the leads but just got a bunch of noise though as if it wasn’t grounded. It was grounded.

This is what the previous owner did to the Gibson pickup wiring. Black wire went to ground.
image.jpg
 

The Angle

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Posts
1,369
Location
Seattle, WA
This is why I opted for a mini humbucker with coil-splitting instead of a full-size humbucker in my modded Bullet. It still sounds dark with the 250K volume pot, but not overwhelmingly so, because the mini is just brighter overall than a full-size humbucker. Being able to split it to a single-coil when I want something closer to a standard Tele middle position sound is an added bonus.
 

Fender-guy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Posts
925
Age
42
Location
Canada
Yeah I don’t think I can use this single wire pickup. If I reverse polarity on the bridge pickup there’s so much noise. I can add a ground wire under the bridge plate and the noise is gone. Only problem is the bridge pickup reads zero as soon as the ground touches the bridge.

I need the 4 wire SD 59, that way I can easily reverse polarity.
 

MarshallHeart

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 15, 2018
Posts
1,570
Location
here,there and everywhere
I have a CS nocaster modded with a Gibson type humbucker. It’s a stock 2005 nocaster with the stock bridge pickup and 250k pots/wiring.

I find the humbucker has way too much bottom end. I want something with a lower output just to match the bridge. 7.2 on the neck and 6.8 on the bridge as is now. They seem well balanced currently just the neck pickup has so much bottom end.

What about a SD 59, Gibson 57 classic, others in the lower output humbucker realm that may have what I’m after?
Duncan Jazz!
 

hopdybob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 28, 2008
Posts
2,309
Location
netherlands
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.

i use the G&L PTB and the basscut workts really fine.
now i would want that basscut on a on/of switch so i could change it with a flip of the toggle
 

NoTeleBob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Posts
3,175
Location
Southwestern, USA
Yeah I don’t think I can use this single wire pickup. If I reverse polarity on the bridge pickup there’s so much noise. I can add a ground wire under the bridge plate and the noise is gone. Only problem is the bridge pickup reads zero as soon as the ground touches the bridge.

I need the 4 wire SD 59, that way I can easily reverse polarity.
Agreed that that will work And give you some flexibility. You really can't run the ground as the hot side when the pick up has a metal case like that. But I don't understand why reversing the bridge pick up, which should feed from just a wire on each side of the coil with nothing around it, doesn't work. But again, the four wire will give you a lot more flexibility.

The suggestion above about the mini humbucker it's also a great idea. Minis are much brighter than standard humbuckers and still give you strong drive when you crank them up to "10". However, you need some kind of adapter ring to fit one in where there was previously a full-size hum bucker.
 

Fender-guy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Posts
925
Age
42
Location
Canada
Agreed that that will work And give you some flexibility. You really can't run the ground as the hot side when the pick up has a metal case like that. But I don't understand why reversing the bridge pick up, which should feed from just a wire on each side of the coil with nothing around it, doesn't work. But again, the four wire will give you a lot more flexibility.

The suggestion above about the mini humbucker it's also a great idea. Minis are much brighter than standard humbuckers and still give you strong drive when you crank them up to "10". However, you need some kind of adapter ring to fit one in where there was previously a full-size hum bucker.
I’d love to find a SD mini with the proper pickguard. Some day. I’m already invested into the SD 59 but should have got the 4 conductor pickup instead. Oops.

The previous owner had the 1 wire Gibson humbucker wired with the braided ground to the switch so I just assumed that’s what I’d do. Not the case.

I can flip the magnet in this SD 59 to make it work or leave it with the middle position out of phase. For some reason I can’t flip the leads on the bridge pickup. Maybe because the bridge is already RWRP.
 

NoTeleBob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Posts
3,175
Location
Southwestern, USA
I’d love to find a SD mini with the proper pickguard. Some day. I’m already invested into the SD 59 but should have got the 4 conductor pickup instead. Oops.

The previous owner had the 1 wire Gibson humbucker wired with the braided ground to the switch so I just assumed that’s what I’d do. Not the case.

I can flip the magnet in this SD 59 to make it work or leave it with the middle position out of phase. For some reason I can’t flip the leads on the bridge pickup. Maybe because the bridge is already RWRP.

That bridge situation is odd... RWRP is in the eye of the beholder. That is, it only exists in relation to the "other" pickup you have. So you should be able to flip one, or the other. Shouldn't matter which one, subject to your grounding issue with the HB. But... whatever.

As for a mini - unless you want to have a custom guard made, the easiest route would be to get a P90 cut guard and put the mini in one of the shells they used in the LP Deluxe type. They make a mini fit the P90 cut perfectly. Available from the usual sources for limited money.
 

Fender-guy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Posts
925
Age
42
Location
Canada
I figured it out in a way I guess. My bridge pickup has a ground to the pickup plate so flipping those leads and grounding the bridge plate to the pot shorts out the bridge pickup.

Reversing the leads on the neck pickup I can do but I didn’t realize the entire braided section of the pickup is now HOT. Oops. So basically I just wrapped the braided section in heat shrink. It’s working now
 

eclecticsynergy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Posts
2,986
Location
Albany NY
Yeah I don’t think I can use this single wire pickup. If I reverse polarity on the bridge pickup there’s so much noise. I can add a ground wire under the bridge plate and the noise is gone. Only problem is the bridge pickup reads zero as soon as the ground touches the bridge.

I need the 4 wire SD 59, that way I can easily reverse polarity.
It's not hard to flip the magnet in a 59N if you want to get back to grounding the braid.
Duncan and Fender pickups are traditionally opposite polarity from each other.
Mixing Duncan and Fender usually requires reversing the polarity even when they're all singlecoils.
One exception is very early vintage Fender singles, which were oriented South up, the way Duncan still does theirs.
 

Fender-guy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Posts
925
Age
42
Location
Canada
It's not hard to flip the magnet in a 59N if you want to get back to grounding the braid.
Duncan and Fender pickups are traditionally opposite polarity from each other.
Mixing Duncan and Fender usually requires reversing the polarity even when they're all singlecoils.
One exception is very early vintage Fender singles, which were oriented South up, the way Duncan still does theirs.
It’s actually what I did today. Didn’t like the idea of the braided wire now being hot. Super easy flip the magnet and is what I should have done from the start.
 




Top