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What Is So Special About The Fender Wide Range Humbucker?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by darylcrisp, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    They are magnetized to set values, though, right? That's the last step in manufacture. They aren't set at a specific Henries reading from then moment they are cast. The only question would be the upper bound.

    I'm interested in the actual results in comparing magnets of the same strength but different materials - and then matching up those sonic results to the material qualities, which I understand you are laying out.
     
  2. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I think what was also said about CuNiFe vs Alnico is that you could get an Alnico magnet to have a similar strength to CuNiFe, but not in the same size / shape. And that impacts their position relative to the strings. Correct me if I'm wrong, @Telenator.
     
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  3. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Cavalier 'Phoenix' Firebird pickups is your answer - clear, clean, sparkly - with a relatively even high-fidelity tonal response.
     
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  4. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    The dual volume controls - a la Gibson - allow a unique blending that the single volume pot on other Teles does not.

    I find a great tone playing these dual volume pot guitars with both pickups selected together, neck volume pot on about "8" and bridge volume pot on "10". There is a precise point when dialing the neck volume pot down from '10' where a significant shift in tone occurs. You retain much of the neck pickup's fullness, but a tonal sparkle emerges in the change of balance between the two pickups. Wonderful, sparkly and full tonal character, in this way - to CuNiFe or not to CuNiFe! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
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  5. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That's an important point to all of that, I guess. With mine, I like to blend in just a bit of the bridge pickup with the neck pickup. A very stratty sounding neck tone then occurs. I wonder how dual controls would work in regular single-coil teles.
     
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  6. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    That effect works great with "regular" humbuckers, too.
     
  7. Kristian

    Kristian TDPRI Member

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    I DID mention Telenator as the only manufacturer using CuNiFe, and I found the info in your discussion posts and website extremely helpful. I even mentioned that you made an excellent job capturing the WRHBs properties with AlNiCo.
    Back when you still offered your CuNiFe pickups, I simply couldn't´t afford them, but I wish, I could have gotten my hands on them. Then I found my original vintage one.

    I am curious, though, why you stopped making pickups altogether - and why 7ender served you a cease and desist order.

    Best, Kristian
     
  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Firebirds are great pickups but they are a bit more “smeary”, and what I think of as more compressed, than Wide Ranges in my experience.
     
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  9. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I am sure I am in a minority here but I am not that crazy about them. I have owned a 75 tele deluxe and a 73 tele custom. I find the neck pickup too bright on treble and too dark on bass- it seems like the pole pieces should be reversed to me, I did really like the bridge pickup on the 75 deluxe but it was really hot and loud. Overall I kind of feel like a lot of folks back in the 70;s did-I prefer a Gibson humbucker and regular old tele single coils to the wide range humbucker. Having said this they are a unique type pickup and I would like to own one again...and i love their look
     
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  10. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    The original Fender Wide range Humbucking Pickups actually have 6 screw pole pieces on each coil, three of which on each coil are screwed in from the back of the pickup, and are covered in the front by the pickup cover. If one took the pickup cover off a WRHB pickup you could have 12 adjustable pole pieces for custom pickup settings.
     
  11. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

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    I do that while recording but can't get the blend right playing live.
    Love this thread.
     
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  12. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]

    The distance of the coils argument in the pre-cunife reissue is irrelevant...it’s just a PAF with standard size bobbins and a bunch of goop to make it fit. There are a lot of different kinds of PAF style buckers. How many turns? What gauge wire? What type of mags? Find a something marketed as a humbucker with the same specs and they will probably sound the same. These aren’t any different. It’s just marketing. If you don’t want to splurge on real WRHBs and you don’t like the sound of these, you’re better off buying a set of humbuckers where you know exactly what you’re getting rather than some vague spiel from fender.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  13. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    They're really not special IMO. The only real unique feature only existed on the real originals that used those Cunife mags or whatever. The mags themselves were a unique material and could be made into screw shapes, so the magnet itself was essentially a polepiece. This changes the tone over a steel pole piece, but it's also adjustable, which is unique. There are humbuckers with alnico pole pieces, but they generally can't be adjusted because alnico is too brittle to fashion into that screw shape. Other than that I dont see what's so special about them, other than they're a different size, so they kind of stand out from regular PAF styles.
     
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  14. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I agree that if someone wants to make a MIM WRHB, which is like a regular steel poled HB, all they have to do is pop out the screws or slugs and replace them with A3 pole pieces. I don't think those CuNiFe magnets get adjusted too often, and it might even be the case that they were made adjustable for patent reasons, and not for functional reasons.
     
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Different size, shape, wind, width, bobbin height etc., are always what make pickups sound different. I don’t think I follow your point.

    Those are the reasons P90s sound different than HB’s and Filtertrons.

    Same things that make Wide Ranges play and sound different from standard construction humbuckers.

    ? People adjust them all the time. I think @Telenator wrote out a tutorial for how to adjust Wode Ranges. I had stumbled on that method through trial and error. But pole pieces are critical to their adjustment.
     
  16. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    PAF screws are no adjusted often. Sure, the topic comes up ones in a while, but I'd hazard to say 99.9% of the time the screws are found to be flush with the pickup's cover, and I just doubt that WRHB users are an exception. I think the adjustable pole piece concept is mostly a gimmick, just considering how many players are satisfied with non-adjustable pickups. Fender tried the stagger with the Strat, but subsequent to that, their pickups almost all feature flat, non adjustable pole pieces. Odds are that the WRHB had adjustable pole pieces in order to look more like a PAF without stepping into their patent.
     
  17. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I’m not sure what your basis is for assuming PAF screws are not adjusted often.
     
  18. soundcloset

    soundcloset TDPRI Member

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    In my "yoot" I got one of these from Zern's, a then really old and seedy flea market. Back, way back in a far corner was a little instrument store, and I asked about used pickups, as I tend to. And having no one tell me they were mystical, after using them in a few projects and being underwhelmed, I took them apart. I was probably aching for mid-rangey complex Les Paul at the time. One coil lived on as an in-hole acoustic pickup for a while. I was able to find the slugs in a parts box and offered them up to eBay and got crickets in response. Had I known they were supposed to be special I might have decided I liked the tone better. So...
     
  19. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Aside from direct observation, and seeing flush screws very nearly always, there's the fact that Seth Lover originally designed it to have no screws, but Gibson insisted there be six screws in order to make it look related to the P-90. So the fact that there are screws there in the first place had and had more to do with marketing than usefulness.
     
  20. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Every used guitar I’ve seen with adjustable pole pieces has them adjusted. I don’t look at new guitars as often or as closely but I think the same applies to them of memory serves.
     
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