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a humbucker with more clarity/definition? almost single coil-like?

mrpinter

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,721
My first answer would be to agree with Lithsp, and leave the 335 stock and get another guitar MEANT to sound like a single coil instrument. But if you're determined to replace the pickup, a Seymour Duncan Screamin' Demon has the qualities you're looking for - it's highs and upper mids are prominent and it has a chime-y, airy quality to it. The name is misleading, it is a low to moderate output pickup that's tonally in the PAF family.
 

Average Joe

Member
Messages
12,144
How long have you had it? If this is your first 335 or even first HB guitar then I'd refrain from modding for a while until you get to know it. Most 335s can be made to twang and chime (some more than others of course) once the rest of the gear is dialed in around it.

Otherwise i would recommend the DiMarzio HFH or if you want true single coil sounds Duncan Phat Cats.
 

ur2funky

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,045
Ever try a Suhr guitar? They have a hi-fi like clarity that I love. Try one and if you like, grab some of his pickups.
 

2HBStrat

Member
Messages
41,221
while the humbucker's in my newly acquired 335 sound great-- very warm and full--, i'm looking for something with a more single coil-like character; more clarity/definition/articulation. i play mainly clean (ambient type stuff) and while a more traditional humbucker sound could no doubt find a place in my stable, i'd really like something with a bit more of that chime. what do you guys recommend?

If you're wanting a humbucker that doesn't sound like a humbucker just have your pickups wired in parallel.......still noise cancelling but more articulate, cleaner and single-coil-like.......
 

C-4

Member
Messages
14,535
I found the Thornbucker neck pickup to be really clear and not at all bassy or muddy sounding. It splits really well too.
And it is very well balanced with no accentuated frequencies that I can hear. ymmv
 

Zexcoil

Vendor
Messages
5,944
Find someone who makes an AlNiCo poled humbucker, and have it wound close to single coil specs (combining the two coils). Or if you want "almost" single coil tone, have it wound hotter to approach the output of your standard bucker.

More than any other single factor, it's the pole piece that defines the tonal character of a pickup.
 

Mincer

Member
Messages
4,581
Go with either a clean & clear Jazz in the neck, and a scoopy sounding Custom 5 in the bridge. If you want to mimic the output of a single coil too, drop in a set of Phat Cats.
 
Messages
7,403
As for completely removing the pole screws, with a PAF wind humbucker you'd be left with a really wimpy sound. Might be worth trying on a higher output pickup like a Duncan Custom or Distortion, but not good enough with a lower wind. This is why coil cut HBs never became popular until the higher winds of the 1970s, when we all mistakenly called it coil tap. That hasn't changed: coil cut just doesn't cut it (sorry, couldn't resist a bad pun) on vintage wind pickups. However, coil cut augmented with a resistor- so only part of the affected coil's signal gets shunted to ground- is a mighty good option for just about any 4-wire humbucker. Which I don't believe the OP has in his 335, they're likely to be '57 Classics.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,894
As for completely removing the pole screws, with a PAF wind humbucker you'd be left with a really wimpy sound. Might be worth trying on a higher output pickup like a Duncan Custom or Distortion, but not good enough with a lower wind. This is why coil cut HBs never became popular until the higher winds of the 1970s, when we all mistakenly called it coil tap. That hasn't changed: coil cut just doesn't cut it (sorry, couldn't resist a bad pun) on vintage wind pickups. However, coil cut augmented with a resistor- so only part of the affected coil's signal gets shunted to ground- is a mighty good option for just about any 4-wire humbucker. Which I don't believe the OP has in his 335, they're likely to be '57 Classics.
I've tried both - admittedly with fairly hot pickups. Removing the screws doesn't sound the same as shunting one of the two coils. The DCR stays the same instead of reducing by half. The inductance drops but not by half. With a coil switched out, the shape of the field magnetizing the strings is still the same and with the screw removed it's different.
 

71strat

Member
Messages
9,802
You have to listen to Walter.

If those Pots are 300k its killing it IMHO. Could be the pickups are fine. IMHO many of the original PAFs were very Tele/Stratty sounding. Low Wind Alnico II or 4 magnets. Im partial to Alnico II for this application.

Ive got some Tom Holmes H450 x H455s with a .015 neck cap and an .022 Bridge cap.

It is so clean and clear through my Metro GMP45 with 2 Hemp Coned JBL E120s that it out quacks my Strats and the bridge pickup sounds like the best Tele Bridge pup you've ever dreamed of.

This is also coming from a Strat guy. Ive played Strats since I was 12.5 in 71. I got an Oly Wht 4 bolt Strat in 71, and I still have it, and it was my #1 guitar until 2009. I have 3 other Strats. I love Hendrix. Hes the reason I got a Strat.

I didn't own a LP until 2014. Actually it is a high quality repro using all old vintage correct wood/materials and construction ect.

I can get it to sound like the Clavinet in Stevie Wonders Superstition. Very clean and clear, and these pickups also Lose 0000 Highs when turned down. I also had the neck magnet reversed and 50s wiring.

( You have to Listen to Walter. Change caps/pots/wiring harness, and get a good 1. RS Guitarworks is great. )

You do lose a little volume when using both pickups and the volume controls rolled back a bit. All I do to compensate is set my amp to sound good/louder in this position, and then adjust neck and bridge to sound good at ths setting.

If Im not going to be using both pickups , with volumes rolled back, I will adjust to sound good for the individual pickup settings.

But if your pots are 300k it very likely really stuffing the highs.

Gotta have those pots tested, or if Walter says they are 300k for sure, they have to go. No testing necessary.
 

CubanB

Member
Messages
2,148
Go with either a clean & clear Jazz in the neck, and a scoopy sounding Custom 5 in the bridge. If you want to mimic the output of a single coil too, drop in a set of Phat Cats.
In my experience, Custom 5 split is VERY single coil sounding. And in some ways better than actual SC's.
 

Dale

Member
Messages
10,311
I have a C5 in the bridge and a Seth in the neck of the guitar in the avatar. I don't like the C5 split. But, I have never heard a split bucker I thiught was nice. A z90 wss suggeted. I like that sound.
 

wilblee

Hack sans shame
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,056
Agree totally with Walter about the pots.

As to pickups, Kinman makes some that will fit the bill. Their P90-bucker and their Twangbucker are HB-sized noiseless single coils. Their Extra Vintage is more PAFish, but still very clear and articulate.

I'm considering a pair of one of these for my 335.

I'm also considering TV Jones filtertrons. I really like his Classics in my Gretsch Jet, but I'm leaning more towards the Kinmans right now.
 

RJLII

Member
Messages
10,510
Lollar Low Wind Imperials are supposed to be bright and airy sounding. I've heard them in a 335 and they sounded great. As others have suggested, I'd take a hard look at pot values. As an aside, My '11 Fat Neck sounds plenty bright with the stock '57 Classics. I may have the 500K pots from the factory in mine. In any case, it sounds great and I'm not planning on any changes.
 

beanoboy

Member
Messages
76
while the humbucker's in my newly acquired 335 sound great-- very warm and full--, i'm looking for something with a more single coil-like character; more clarity/definition/articulation. i play mainly clean (ambient type stuff) and while a more traditional humbucker sound could no doubt find a place in my stable, i'd really like something with a bit more of that chime. what do you guys recommend?
Most low output PAF hum buckers are bright and articulate. I have a set of Wolfetone Dr. Vintage buckers that are exceptional. Very musical.
 




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