Whaddaya use humbuckers for?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, May 8, 2021.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Say you’ve got teles, solid body or thinline.

    And say you’ve got humbucker equipped guitars. For the sake of comparison, lets stick with solid body or semi-hollow body construction.

    Or maybe you’ve got a tele (solid or thinline) with humbuckers.

    Oh, and the humbuckers are not particularly hot. Let’s say in the PAF ballpark.

    So, what do you use the humbuckers for? Do you change from single coils to buckers for the certain genres or certain songs?

    If the former, what genres call for single coils, and what genres have you switching to humbuckers?

    If it’s the latter, i.e., determined by the song, what songs on your set list call for humbuckers?

    And don’t tell me “Tone is in the fingers,” for two reasons.

    One, it’s not news; I’ve heard it before.

    And B, tone isn’t always in my fingers, especially when it comes to humbuckers. :oops:

    It may just be because I’m mainly a single coil guy, but some things just work better for me than others when it comes to hum-cancelling pickups.

    So…what do you use humbuckers for?
     
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  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use humbuckers for almost everything. I use single coils mainly for classic clean Tele and Strat tones especially when playing rhythm. But for lead and rock tones I gravitate towards humbuckers.

    I do have a Strat with a DG EMG pickup set. I can get decent distorted rhythm and lead rock tones from its bridge pickup using the active mid boost. So that’s my “ do it all with one guitar” guitar.

    I also could do a whole gig with a LP Jr equipped with a nice P90.
     
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  3. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    I use humbuckers for ashtrays, paperweights and sometimes doorstops.
     
  4. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to prefer P90s in neck position and humbuckers in bridge position. I also prefer the combination of both pickups.
    I bought a Sterling by Music Man St Vincent back in March and I'm massively enjoying the mini-humbucker.
    I'm still hooked on the combination of neck and bridge pickup, but I'm not so strictly P90 anymore....
    EDIT: the pickup in my resonator is a mini-humbucker, but I forgot that, because it's a Tesla Lipstick type that looks like a singlecoil to me. It sounds great, absolutely satisfied with it and never thought about anything else.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  5. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    They can also pass as conversation pieces .
     
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  6. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I tend to use humbucker-equipped guitars (at live gigs) 60+ percent of the time.
    Classic rock, boosted, distorted mostly. Real crunchy stuff.

    Acoustic guitar, 10 percent of the songs.
    Eagles, classic country, that sort of stuff.

    30 percent of the material is all Fender single coil required music.
    Steve Miller Band, Beach Boys, Eric Clapton, Merle Haggard, Buddy Holly, etc.

    If we play an old people's high school reunion, I don't want to just do their favorite songs.
    I want to do their favorite songs and I want the guitars and vocals to sound just like they just dropped the needle on the record back in 1978.
    Close their eyes and let the memories flood over them.

    The right guitar for the right song, in other words.

    :)
     
  7. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Many times a tube amp can be pushed with a humbucker. A single coil may not get there without the help of a booster.
     
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  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    For rock’n’roll mostly
     
  9. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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    The magic of a Fender amp with a Gibson low output humbucker driving it for a blues rig.

    I know tele is "the" country guitar for electrics but a 335 can be made to sound plenty of country. Before music turned into image driven cliched nonsense there were guys who played country electric on Gibsons Jerry Reed cough Chet Atkins cough Roy Clark cough cough
     
  10. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    I play lots of different genres. Blues, funk, rock, metal... I use HB guitars for any genre, only exception is funk. You just need a clean, spanky tone for it.
     
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  11. metalosophy

    metalosophy Tele-Meister

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    When I was a kid I thought single coil pickups were stupid, because of the hum.

    As I got older, coil taps were less appealing.

    Now I play almost exclusively on my neck pickup of my tele or my middle pickup on my super strat.
     
  12. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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  13. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Friend of Leo's

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    Door stops. Although they are not very good at that either.
     
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  14. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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  15. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes a just want a break from the cheese-grater-in-a-blender sound I get from the bridge.
     
  16. BUG80

    BUG80 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Or magnets for on your refrigerator.

    Jokes aside, I used PAF-style humbuckers in a thinline Tele in an indie rock band for years, but I am now in the process of switching (back) to single coils. I just like the extra character/mojo of single coils and it "blends" better with the sound of the other guitarist (who plays with humbuckers exclusively).

    The sound by itself is great though, especially through my AC30 (the trebly amp combined with less-trebly pickups works really well).
     
  17. Rockdog

    Rockdog Tele-Afflicted

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    I still, at times, get caught up in the "single coils are for this, humbuckers are for that" rigmarole, but it's changing now that I only have one humbucker-equipped guitar, an SG. The SG is just one of those guitars that seems to have its own sound regardless of what pickups you put in it. So instead of thinking that a particular song needs a humbucker sound, I'm more inclined to say "This song needs the SG."
     
  18. davidchagrin

    davidchagrin Tele-Afflicted

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    I use HBs for everything. I don't even own a guitar with single-coil pups. I can't cope with all of the 60 cycle noise.
     
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  19. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Tele-Afflicted

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    I prefer P90s. My SG and Melody Maker aren't getting played much any more.
    The SG has ThroBak TTops. The Melody Maker has TTop PAFs. The older buckers are warmer with a slightly lower output.
     
  20. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Electric guitar?

    I don’t really get the construct of the question.

    It’s all just electric guitar. Singles, p90s. HBs. Turn up the amp drive. Turn it down. Move mids, bass and treble around.

    It all sounds amazingly similar coming out of an amp and in a mix. I mean, it would take pretty extreme conditions (which I have yet to find despite playing all manner of dives) for even the noise floor to make any real difference while playing.

    My opinion is many overthink and make too much of “differences”.

    But I suppose that opinion is worth exactly what y’all paid for it.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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