Best noiseless single coil pickups

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by bojomojo, May 21, 2019.

  1. desire machine

    desire machine Member

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    My solution has been to use a splitter as a killswitch at the end of my board. I play clean on amp and use a mythical OD and tonebender which are both very noisy pedals ... but the issue is really just if you're not playing and I find that's really only issue at beginning or end of song or where there's a pause so a killswitch has been working great. I also have a Zuul noise gate which also works great but that requires using something to split the signal before pedals and I got enough **** on my board, so I haven't been using w/ current setup.

    I would guess anything active would lose some of the dynamics and single coil ishness and would prob be more expensive than a $40 killswitch $200 noisegate
     
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  2. bojomojo

    bojomojo Member

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    Don’t ever sell your pickups. Bill Lawrence passed away some time back and those pickups are no longer made.
     
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  3. a person

    a person Member

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    Putting active pickups in a strat is silly. Just don't. Maybe 40 years ago there was briefly a valid reason for it, but it certainly wasn't because they sounded better. There are plenty of great sounding noiseless pickups out there that are all way better than any active strat pickup.
     
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  4. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    Not work? Explain.
     
  5. pipedwho

    pipedwho Member

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    It’s not hotter. It has less winds of thinner wire, so the resistance is higher due to the thin wire. But the output is lower.

    Another example of why DC resistance isn’t a particularly useful parameter by itself.
     
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  6. mojah

    mojah Member

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    https://www.ilitchelectronics.com/ He's the patent holder and makes them. There are at least 3 coil models in varying strengths. I have the Pow one in my Blackmore strat with Duncan 1/4 pounders and it's as quite as my HB strat with Dunacn Pearly Gates.
     
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  7. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Supporting Member

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    Oh?

    Ya, they have six winds compared to one. Considering them sextcoils is beside the point IMO.
     
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  8. PB+J

    PB+J Member

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    In my experience you just don’t get multi coil pickups t sound like single coils. Great sounding pickups, sure, but not like single coils. I haven’t tried the zexcoils, but I’ve tried most every other kind of hum canceling pickup
     
  9. pipedwho

    pipedwho Member

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    There are a few kinds of humcancelling pickups:

    1) The stacked type are the most common and are the least single coil sounding - they have a 'plastic' sounding treble. Some are better than others, but none sound close enough to actual vintage singles for my taste.
    2) Side by side rail (or pole piece). Some are designed to sound like high hitting 'buckers (Duncan Hotrails, Mini-JB, etc), while others try to sound like normal singles (Barden, Mojotone quiet coils). These are pretty good for what they do, but I haven't found any that are vintage enough (although I haven't tried the latest Mojotone Quiet coils)
    3) Split rail (or 3/3 pole piece) . Fralin and others do these, and the ones I've heard sound pretty good. Not quite my cup of tea, but the ones I tried weren't really trying to be 'vintage' sounding.
    4) Ultra low impedance single wind (Alumitones), these get their hum cancelling by using a low impedance current based design that is fed into a transformer for standard level output. They sound good, but they have their own sound.
    5) Active designs. Separate dummy coils that can be amplified for cancelling, and internal preamps and filters to get them sounding like regular pickups. Lots of good options here too. I had a set of EMG SAVs that sounded pretty close. But, they also were on the hot side of things. I don't own a guitar with the Fishman Fluence, but played a set in a friends guitar and they were great - both the hot and vintage settings - they could easily be mistaken for 'true' vintage single coils.
    6) Hexcoils/sextcoils/sexcoils/Zexcoils. These have one winding per pole piece and can be tuned in a multitude of ways to sound like regular pickups of different styles.

    Most examples of all of the above go for their own tone, so they intentionally don't cop the 'true single coil' tone. Some are closer than others depending on what sort of 'true single coil' tone you're after. I used to think stacked was the way to go and tried at least dozen examples over the last couple of decades from all the big names and some smaller ones too, and they came up luke warm at best.

    I had some legacy Zexcoils that also sounded great, but were way too hot for my tastes (although the Signature set is fantastic if you're going for a HSH style sound). However, my current set of Z-Series Vintage Underwound Zexcoils are what's in my guitar now, and have stayed longer than any other humcancelling single that I've tried. I haven't even bothered to put the true single coil loaded guard back on (which is what happened after 6 months every other time previously).
     
  10. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Supporting Member

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    So you wouldnt' consider split blades to be single coil either?
     
  11. PB+J

    PB+J Member

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    I would not, but I'm just some dude on the internet basing his opinions on personal experience
     
  12. Snoopydogg

    Snoopydogg Member

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    His family still has the company going, so they’re available:
    http://www.wildepickups.com/Wilde_Bill_s_Twin_Blades.html

    I have the NF Singles (stacked humbuckers) in my Tele, L290 and L202. They sound great.
     
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  13. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Supporting Member

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    Fair enough, I think I get what you mean.

    I will add I've had a few "stacked" style noiseless and these are a completely different animal that scream SC to me in practice.

    So the blades didn't do the SC thing for you? I was going to try one of those one day and had high hopes. I assumed the issue would be some weirdness around the G and D string.
     
  14. modernp

    modernp Member

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    They sound great clean. I dont use those positions with any of my strats but my Tom Anderson. They are a side by side single coil so you are going to loose something. But for the blues and rock they smoke.
     
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  15. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    Here are some of my favorite Video demos of the new Zexcoil Z series pickups


     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  16. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Like a broken record... Dimarzio Area's are great. I have several and love all of them. Nothing "plastic" about the high end. Wouldn't that mean typical humbuckers would sound like "plastic" too?

    When it comes to the high end content - it seems that Area's have about a 2-5% less high end than real singles. That's just fine by me, cause I still roll back the tone control a bit - especially on my Tele Area T bridge. And I definitely like plenty of high end and clarity.
     
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  17. pipedwho

    pipedwho Member

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    Areas are stacked coils, not typical side by by side humbuckers.

    In stacked coil pickups the second coil being under the primary coil not only subtracts hum, but also cancels some amount of the string signal. If you split the coils in a stack, it gets much louder. The difference is how much near/far signal is being subtracted. This seems to cause not just a volume drop, but also a change in overall frequency response. Stacks aren’t bad, but they are like a simulacrum of a single coil. Good enough for live, but aren’t as dynamically sparkly as a true single for many people.

    Both coils in a side by side humbucker contribute to the signal in a positive way, so they don’t have that same ‘plastic’ thing going on.

    This is not to say stacks can’t be great, just that they may not completely satisfy someone chasing ‘true single coil tone’.
     
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  18. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    Hey, here's another opinion.
    I really have had good results from the Ilitch backplate and regular single coils.
    Takes a little wiring and setting the trim pots, but not too hard.
    I also still like my Kinman Woodstock set in one Strat. Nice quack in 2 and 4. Top end isn't as strident as real singles, but they are useful.
    I liked DiMarzio Area T in a Tom Anderson T I sold.
    You guys made me want to try the Zexcoils though. Might do it.
     
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  19. saladin

    saladin Supporting Member

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    Using Dimarzio Area's in my Strat and Tele, they sound just fine and give me the tones I want. No need to look any further!
     
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  20. vadsy

    vadsy Supporting Member

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    is there something special about a stacked Telecaster noiseless bridge pickup that may keep it from giving a clear ohm rating when using a meter?
     

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