What Is So Special About The Fender Wide Range Humbucker?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by darylcrisp, Sep 15, 2020 at 2:46 AM.

  1. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    some interesting comments, i have no idea what or who knows what they are talking about with the CuNiFe WRH, but the first comment seems to have a lot of info

     
  2. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Double Platinum Supporter

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  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    I know they brought in Seth Lover from Gibson to design the pickup. Lover used the different mag alloy and staggered the screw poles to avoid a patent infringement on Gibson's humbucker. Other than that--it's very similar to a Gibson pickup.
     
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wonder if they actually sound that great or if they are just mystical since they’ve been out of production for so long
     
  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    They do sound good. I have a pair of 70s-era WRHBs in a Tele I built a few years ago.

    They will not make you or I or anyone sound better. Only proper practice does that.
     
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  6. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wonder if the design changes a lot to fit them in a regular humbucker casing

    I’d like to get some for my R7, either them or single coils in a humbucker casing

    I love my Les Paul, I just can’t get on with the pickups, I assume they are some type of burstbucker
     
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  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    I would guess the WRHB pickup won't sound a whole lot different (different enough?) compared to a Burstbucker to make much of a difference, because they're both not necessarily a high-output pickup.

    What is missing from the tone you have? What do you want to hear more/less of?
     
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  8. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    Well, the construction is quite different from a Gibson humbucker: like a Fender single-coil pickup the WRHB uses magnets for the pole pieces (made from CuNiFe) whereas the Gibson designs (& most other humbuckers) use plain steel pole pieces with a bar magnet underneath. I’m not sure if the details of the Gibson parent and how much Seth Lover had to change to avoid infringing, but since he was the original inventor no doubt he had some good ideas!
    According to the Wikipedia page the CuNiFe magnets are weak compared to a bar magnet and so the WRHBs are overwound to compensate, which in turn is why they are wider. I believe there is also talk about the WRHB “sampling” a wider part of the string but that may be post-design marketing speak.
    I believe it was Seth Lover’s intention to create a humbucker which had a more “Fender-y” sound — brighter / lighter? — than a Gibson. Whether he succeeded I don’t know, not having significant experience playing WRHBs.
     
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  9. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This one sounds nice,,,:)




     
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  10. shupe13

    shupe13 Tele-Holic

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    I personally really like how they sound.
     
  11. Tarkus60

    Tarkus60 TDPRI Member

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    I have set of mojo tones in a thin line I like them . They can ice pick really quick.
     
  12. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    The Mojotone 72 Clones are really, really close. Close enough that I am not sure that the difference isn't down to variances in other parts of the guitars.

    Many people believe very strongly that the Cunife responds differently somehow. I won't refute them, but I don't hear it or know of a mechanism for how it would be. There is nothing preventing someone from charging magnets to spec for a weaker magnetic field, regardless of material. That wasn't as common back in the day - they used the Alnico (or in this case Cunife) that came in the strength they were looking to use from a parts list.

    I can see why bar magnet + steel pole pieces sounds different from threaded magnet pole pieces without the bar. The shape of the resulting magnetic field is different. I could see why the poles being located differently relative to the strings would change the sound, too. Guitarists tend to fixate on the characteristic that is expensive and/or rare.
     
  13. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Holic

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    Judge for yourself....

     
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  14. Aldus Bunbury

    Aldus Bunbury TDPRI Member

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    I have a 77 Tele Deluxe and my subjective experience is that there is something special about the way those pickups sound.

    I don’t know that I could identify significant differences on a recording, but when I’m playing, (and this sounds odd even as I’m saying it) I can feel a difference in the response. The tone feels smoother, more buttery—to use one of those less helpful descriptors.

    I don’t know enough about the science, materials, or construction to tell you what’s going on, but the closest I’ve come to recreating that experience is with the Seymour Duncan SH-2.

    So, there’s one more opinion, freely offered, and a bargain at twice the price.
     
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  15. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’d like to have more defined high end and clarity, everyone has their own descriptions but the humbuckers I have definitely sound “muddy”, it’s all a bassy middy mess

    I think it would be best to find a single coil like strat pickups hidden inside humbucker casings
     
  16. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    The WRHBs do sound a little more hi-fi (less mid-rangey) than a typical humucker, but not peaky like a Strat pickup. A pickup you may like is the TV Jones Filtertron in the standard humbucker package. Go give 'em a listen and see if they may be your thing.
     
  17. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    Well, I don't know about "mystical" but I think there might be a bit of mystique surrounding those Fender Telecaster with WRHB pickups because, since they were comparatively cheap compared to other Fenders, they were used by up and coming indie bands back in the 80's and 90's.

    In my opinion Fender WRHB pickups don't sound very good and are highly overrated, probably by folks who have never played them. They aren't as good as a humbucker (or a P90) and they aren't as good as a good single coil, either, in my opinion. If you want a pickup that is about halfway between a humbucker and a single coil, but not as good as either of them, then they might be suitable.
     
  18. Grandy

    Grandy Tele-Meister

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    I've only ever played the Squier version. I like them but I never owned a guitar that has them. A tele with them sounds more like a tele than an LP, not quite as pokey and dynamic though.
     
  19. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I played one in a Custom tele on the road for 2 years. Swapped it out for a Di Marzio humbucker and was much happier. Eventually dumped the Di Marzio for a Custom Seymour Duncan I asked him to build. I never missed the WRHB.
     
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  20. Tim E

    Tim E TDPRI Member

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    As AAT65 notes, the WRHB is deceptively different from a Gibson style humbucker. The WRHB is more akin to putting two Strat single coils under one pickup cover, in series, in a hum cancelling configuration. The way the magnetic fields envelop the coils, without steel slugs and screws for polepieces, changes the way a signal is produced in a profound way. I'm not so sure they're bigger because they're over wound. The DC resistance measurements I've seen isn't too crazy, and the coils wouldn't be that big unless they used unusually heavy gauge wire to wind them. I'm guessing they simply weren't concerned with making something that was compatible with Gibson's form factor.

    I am very curious with the inductance reading they have. I'm guessing they would have a significantly lower inductance than a Gibson style humbucker with identical DC resistance, since they don't have steel polepieces, a factor which should also reduce eddy currents, a property responsible in reducing some of the highs. I'm curious how CuNiFe compares with alnico regarding permeability and conductivity. Depending on how they compare, it might be possible to get a very close sound by making a humbucker with alnico slugs rather than the typical steel polepieces/bar magnet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020 at 12:59 AM
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