Wide Range Humbucker for Blues ?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by dixonator, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. dixonator

    dixonator TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys,

    I have a tele custom with a WRHB in the neck position......I cant seem to get on with it for Blues playing and just wonder what your thoughts were on this pickup for playing Blues or indeed if you know of anyone who makes use of this pup for Blues ?

    The bridge is great but I just cant seem to get a suitable tone with the neck WRHB

    I play pretty much in the West Coast / Kid Ramos style ie no pedals etc but a reverb tank and cranked amp and am thinking of putting a p90 in the neck instead.....

    be interested to hear your thoughts......

    Cheers,

    Dave
     
  2. StratBluesRock

    StratBluesRock Friend of Leo's

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    Buddy Guy has a Tele Deluxe from the '70s that he likes to play sometimes. He manages quite well with the WRHBs.
     
  3. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    The modern WRHBs are nothing like the vintage ones. The moderns, as I understand it, are just conventional HBs, similar to what Gibson is putting into its guitars these days.

    Just saying. There's nothing "magic" about modern WRHBs.

    PS: Nice username, OP! We must be long-lost relatives.
     
  4. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    Blues as an artform can be played on any guitar and pickup configuration...it's more about the tone in your hands and soul.But looking at it technically,you might prefer a single coil pickup if you are chasing those Kid Ramos tones since that is what he primarily plays whether it is Strats,Teles or Gibsons with p90s.Typically that west coast swing Blues style is played on single coils because the inspiration for that music comes from the 1950s where a huge portion of Blues,Rockabilly and Jazz was played on single coils...humbuckers only came out in 1957 and single coil guitars were still the standard.
     
  5. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Tab Benoit comes to mind...
     
  6. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    Have you tried lowering the neck pickup so that it doesn't over-power the bridge one?It would help bring more clarity and even output.
     
  7. Chautauqua

    Chautauqua Tele-Holic

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    Yes, with the right amp and the right player the WRHB is a monster of blues tone waiting to be let loose. They're a far more "bright" Humbucker then Gibsons or anything else. The big thing for my style of playing is having an amp that has a good predictable break-up and knowing how to use the amp's master volume and your guitar's volume knob to get it clean or dirty depending on the song. So yes, WRHB's are great for blues playing, but then, what do YOU call blues??? DO you mean "blues rock" or real true "Delta Blues"??? Those two things may have the word "blues" in them, but they're really very different types of music based around the same scales.

    Not true. They are significantly different in construction and they do sound different (RI versus "vintage", I have both a Vintage 73 Deluxe and a 72 Deluxe RI) but they're voiced VERY differently then a Gibson or SD Humbucker... They're just a better pup then "typical" HB's. They have a lot of "single coil attributes" but still have the desirable traits of a Humbucker without the typical "dark" tone that you hear. For this reason they're really in a whole other league of versatility IMO.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  8. Stoked

    Stoked Tele-Meister

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  9. dixonator

    dixonator TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the comments guys....always nice to hear everyones thoughts......
    It is actually a proper WRHB in the neck NOT a re-issue one but still I cant seem to get on with it........I think I am basically a single coil guy as those are the sounds I am after as per Sonny Wolfs comments......oh well, its the p90 for the neck I think....

    Cheers,

    Dave
     
  10. javabirds

    javabirds Tele-Holic

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    Neck pup blues... Maybe change the pot value? Original WRHBs were paired with 1 Meg pots, I think. The RIs come with 250ks but I was happiest with 500k pots with my WRHBs.
     
  11. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Those original WRHBs really souind terrific when they're in good shape.

    Did you recently aquire this guitar?

    If so, does the neck pickup sound fat, rich and balanced with great articulation and note clarity?

    If it doesn't, it's possible someone has been fooling around with it. One of the most common problems we find here is that people swap the magnet screws around so the cleanest looking ones are showing throught the pickup cover. The problem in doing this is, 6 of the magnets are charged with the screw slot end north, and 6 are charged with the screw slot end south. If you mix them up, it's going to sound weird.

    Sometimes the magnets will lose some of their charge as well, making the pickup sound imbalanced.

    The Tele Custom is a tricky guitar because so many people want the neck and bridge pickup to have equal outputs, but the neck pickup just buries the single coil bridge.

    The original WRHB is about 10.5K dc ohms. Having a MIM Re-issue modified for a Tele Custom works really well because the MIM is only 8K.

    I would first have your pickup checked out unless you're sure it's OK. Then, you might consider a modified re-issue that will sound killer and keep the guitar's original appearance.
     
  12. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    I'm glad you've had success with the newer WRHB; it is, indeed, a fine pickup, but when I was playing around with some a couple years ago, the differences were not great at all to my ear. My research at that time confirmed what I was hearing (or wasn't) pointing out that the "guts" of the post-'70s WRHB were drastically different than what they had been. Different strokes, different folks.

    I'm firmly in the single-coil camp (P-90 or Tele neck for blues), so I'm not an authority on HBs. I've strayed as far as a Filtertron, but no farther... though if I could get my hands on a real, CuNiFe WRHB, I'd probably find something to do with it. ;)
     
  13. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    www.telenator.com

    As real as it gets!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. shades

    shades Tele-Afflicted

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    WRHBs are used by quite a few blues axe slingers, they have a warm,wonderful and full tone.
    I'd suggest going to 500k pots and lowering the neck p'up a tad.
    You'll be in blues heaven then.

    :cool:
     
  15. Racer5

    Racer5 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is a must IMO, going to at least 500k for these. A humbucker with 250k just doesn't sound right.

    The more I play the WRHB reissues the more I think they aren't too bad. Maybe they aren't like the originals, maybe they are just regular old humbuckers and a block of wax, but they sound pretty good to me. I've thought about changing them a lot in the past but with the upgraded pots, I don't think it's necessary.

    That and I'd probably hate myself for spending $200-400 for a drop-in replacement :cool:
     
  16. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm good using the RI WRHB neck pickup for blues. Can't comment on the originals.

    As someone else pointed out, there are different perceptions of the term "blues". I am thinking Allman Brothers type blues.
     
  17. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The vol pot value for a neck humbucker and a single-coil bridge is a juggling act.
    The humbucker likes 500k and the single coil hates that.
    The single coil seems to hate the 500k more than the humbucker dislikes the 250k.

    I find a 250k vol pot does work with a neck humbucker around 8k (vintage PAF type), it does not want to be too hot or it will defo drown the single coil at bridge.

    With a 500k the bridge single coil becomes shrill and has to be dropped. With a 250k it can be raised, this increases its power. The neck humbucker will always be loudest and has to be dropped to balance, the 250k will drop its top-end a little so it will be a little cool sounding but with plenty of clarity and power.

    I got fed up with the juggling act and fitted a Barden T bridge pickup, that matches up with a humbucker's power but it hates 500k more than the single coil does. 250k vol pot.

    The Barden is powerful so it allowed me to raise the neck humbucker and regain its top end lost to the 250k.
     
  18. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    Atta boy Telenator! But where are the single coils?

    M
     
  19. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    We have purposely stayed out of the single coil business because it's already too saturated with other pickup makers who do an excellent job of making them.

    When we started doing WRHB mods 4 years ago, we were one of only two companies doing them. Now everyone has jumped on the bandwagon.

    Fortunately, we're the only ones doing a real CuNiFe repro, and an inexpensive alnico II mod for the WRHB. Without our little niche' in the market it wouldn't make sense to continue.
     
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