OK, school me on humbuckers!

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Bob M, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    1,577
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Location:
    North of Boston
    I have a late '90s Guild Starfire IV. It is a Westerly, RI made model that is beautifully made and compares favorably in build quality to an ES 335. While it sounds pretty good, I've always suspected the pick ups were lacking. If I could install a PAF type pick up I think that would go along way to improve the guitar. I know single coils-not so much humbuckers. I don't need coil cutting-just a solid PAF sound.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    507
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    wisconsin
    As a huge fan of that era of Guild and Guild in general, I’ll say don’t change a thing!

    But those pickups are their own sound, and if you want a PAF they’re not that.

    My favorite is the Wolfetone Legend. If on a budget, Duncan 59/Alnico 2 pro set.
     
  3. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    If you are looking for "real" PAF humbucker tone and not the modern over-wound humbucker tone, check out the Duncan/Lover SH55's. I put a set of those in my homemade HH Tele and really like them. If ya look around, ya can buy a new set for $165 - $175 bucks.

    They have the chime and sparkle of a good PAF without darkness or mud. And, they really sing when you push the amp hard.

    I like humbuckers that will play well with the amp - get a sweet overdriven tone on 10, but when ya roll back the guitars volume they clean up nicely and clearly. Not the best description maybe, but that's what I expect from a good PAF. Early Clapton or Allman type tone ;).


    g
     
    Hiker, lineboat, Mincer and 1 other person like this.
  4. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    21,169
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    Ya. Seth lovers. Lollar imperials. Dimarzio anniversary
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  5. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    723
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    United States Of America
    Good options. Dimarzio transitions if you want the EQ of the PAF 36th Anniversary with more oomph and a tiny bit more mids.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,116
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    Tonerider alnico classics (II or IV).. great, affordable PAF tones
     
    BB likes this.
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,441
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Pickup heights
    Pots and caps swapping
    Pickup swapping

    Go in that order, testing after each change. Takes you from free to expensive mods. I hardly ever need to go beyond the second step which costs a nickel to $10. Some like to skip to swapping pickups and then are left trying to randomly match an expensive pickup to the comparably inexpensive controls.

    .
     
    Golem likes this.
  8. LightningPhil

    LightningPhil Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    211
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    If you're feeling like messing about a bit. Try meddling with thre magnet or removing the cover.
     
  9. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,482
    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Location:
    Great Pacific NW
    Some great advice here. I have a Lollar low wind Imperial in the neck of my Tele, (and love it) but have used and loved Seth's, Dimarzio PAF's, Tonerider A4's, Antiquites, Manlius, among others, to great effect. For me, the lower winds work best.
     
  10. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,345
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Location:
    NW USA
    For a certain era of the mid 90's, the Guild humbuckers were made by Seymour Duncan. They are called SD-1 pickups by Guild collectors. Duncan claims they are based on the 59 model and put onto a Guild bottom. I like the mid 70's Guild HB-1 pickups quite a bit. They wont fit into anything Guild made after 95/96 when Fender took over the Guild brand name. The pickups made by Fender for Guild guitars can sound quite lifeless. The Starfire IV in question might be from this era. Duncan's Seth Lover pickup is a well done PAF type pickup at a fairly reasonable price. There are many others as well.
     
    Mincer likes this.
  11. Jim Sams

    Jim Sams Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    558
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    What style do you play? For boutique buckers l like Vineham.
    www.vineham.com
    59s and Seths are good also. I personally like the unpotted humbucker if you don’t play super high gain.
     
  12. Buffalo0993

    Buffalo0993 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    977
    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    I put sd jazz in the neck position always. Its a clear pickup that never gets muddy.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.