Teach me about Humbuckers!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Uncle Daddy, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Gotta say, I know absolutely nothing about humbuckers, apart from an occasional dalliance with Filtertrons that always ended badly. I've only really ever been a single coil kinda guy, but is there something I'm missing out on?
     
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  2. nick0

    nick0 Tele-Meister

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    Grit , definition and quiet when pushed into overdrive, but can sometimes sound dark for clean tone. Much like Single coils though every set is different.
    I personally like SC for clean , HB for overdrive or distortion.

    Good luck in your quest:)
     
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  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Depends what you like and what music. If you like a Strat or Tele tone then maybe not.
     
  4. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    For me, it's like definitely single coil for clean, but a good humbucker overdriven has a fat sound that you can't achieve with a single coil. I'm not saying that single coils don't sound good overdriven, quite the contrary. But the humbucker is warmer, and definitely fatter sounding than a single coil. That's always been the case for me, that's why my Strat has a HB in the bridge, and SC's neck and middle, the best of both worlds!
     
  5. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    To me, this is a good general statement. Obviously all kinds of nuances and exceptions, but this is a good starting point.

    When I think of good humbucker rock n roll tone I love, I think Whole Lotta Love, lots of stuff by ac/dc, zz top, bad company, etc.
     
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  6. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is silly, but I can't stand the look of that (assuming it's a full sized bucker in the bridge). I have had a Strat with a (Lil Duncan 59, I think?) in the bridge, and that was a nice sounding guitar. I just have to have the 3 single coil look on a Strat--dumb, I know! :)
     
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  7. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The most important thing for you to know (being a single coil kinda guy), is that P90 pickups are made in humbucker sized format.
     
  8. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    In the beginning there were single coils. However, they were noisy with 60 cycle hum that was prevalent in the power supply. So a second coil was introduced that was reversed, it in effect canceled out the noise from the first coil. Each coil countered the noise from the other, hence the name humbucker. Crude but roughly accurate description of how the two coils interacted to eliminate the hum.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  9. nick0

    nick0 Tele-Meister

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    Maybe you would get on well with Burns Tri-Sonic pickups?, Burns now make strat sized pickup where you don't need to route out the body. They sound nearly as full as a humbucker tone without the hum when cranked, they also sound sparkly when clean.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  10. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The stock pat # pickups in the ‘66 ES-335 I used to own were the best humbuckers I ever heard. You could do anything with that guitar.

    Only the second best pickups I ever heard overall though.

    The number 1’s for me were and still are the silverfoil Dearmonds that came on countless Harmony’s, Silvertone, etc.

    A magnet and a wad of wire stuffed in a business card case ! :lol::lol::lol:
     
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  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    P90s are what humbuckers were designed to match while providing reduced noise. So rock a set of P90s. Unless you need noise reduction those P90s are fantastic and versatile.

    The other option ... if you have a regular SS Tele is install a 4-way switch. The best $11 humbucker mod you can do. Start there.

    Find a cheap used Epiphone Special II, often under $50, and try out humbuckers. You can play the stock ones for a while and then swap others in for a while, realize the stock ones are pretty good. Then sell or give it away after the curiosity wears off. I have an Epi Special Junior that beats out the Gibsons in the fleet for play hours, fun, and great tone.

    .
     
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  12. Gretev1

    Gretev1 TDPRI Member

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    humbuckers are generally louder and break up sooner than single coils. When overdriven they crunch in the mids much stronger than single coils. The distortion is generally gnarlier and louder than single coils. The mids are much more pronounced and the highs hit your ears like a whip.
     
  13. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    I tried an Epi Special of some sort at a local pawn shop. Gotta say that it felt pretty darn good! It was more than $50, IIRC, but not by much. Mmmm....
     
  14. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

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    Perhaps ten years ago, I tried a pair of Fralin P-92s in his shop and bought a set of slightly under-wound. P-92s are like P-90s encased in a humbucker style unit. At the time, I didn't have a guitar to put them in. So, I bought a used Epi Dot and had them installed in that. This was my go-to guitar for several years, and still gets played in rotation with two other guitars.
     
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  15. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    I used a Strat for the first 25 *years* of playing, until I got a guitar with humbuckers. I don't think I could go back. I need the warm clean of a neck humbucker.
     
  16. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

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    Seth Lover deserves a monument. Hail.gif
     
  17. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Watched a tone video by Joe Bonamassa on the LP. Nothing dark about his tone with those humbuckers.....i get good clean tone from my LP. A lot is in the amp too. Lotsa variables to tone.
     
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  18. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just remember that you can always add gain but you can't take it out if it's built into the guitar, so IMO a humbucker equipped guitar is somewhat limiting. I do have a few humbucker guitars, but I save them for hard rock and metal; gotta be in the right mood. None of them sound as good clean as my Strats or Teles.
     
  19. Downshift

    Downshift Tele-Holic

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    I get a kick out of Les Paul dudes searching for that quintessential PAF tone, and then go through a series of tests with overdriven, crunched, fuzzed growl tones. What tone is left?
     
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  20. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

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    I’d say you’re missing something. But answers here
    Won’t really help. Got to go play them and listen.
     
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