Humbuckers with "offset" pole screws

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by stevel, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I've seen these on Teles - I think the 72 Custom tele or Thinlines, etc.

    It's a traditional-sized PAF-like humbucker but the pole screws, rather than being all in line one one side of the pup are offset in a 3/3 arrangement.

    Are these any different than traditional "in-line" buckers? Or did they just put 3 screws in one coil and 3 screws in another - for looks, or is there a technical reason (or purported reasoning behind doing so)?

    How do they sound? Do they compare with standard HBs or do the 3 offset pole screws make a sonic difference (I can see where, by being closer to the bridge, one of the set of three could produce more/different overtones than the other set of three).

    ????

    Steve
     
  2. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    I have them in my 74 Tele Deluxe. The sound good, well at least the guitar does. I can't speak to Fender's design reasons. I think your reasoning/theory at the end is right.

    One design flaw is that the spacing of the pole pieces, fine on the bridge pickup, but too wide in the neck position, as such the high E and low E are inside their pole pieces. Tough to get enough volume from the high E in the neck position.
     
  3. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Thanks Art.

    Anyone else? Anybody compare them with "standard" buckers?

    Steve
     
  4. buchla300

    buchla300 Member

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    The Fender ones were designed by Seth Lover (who designed the PAF for Gibson) I believe
    I had an early 70's Tele Custom and a slightly later Starcaster and thought they sounded very nice. I have heard that there are different versions. The originals and then 2 different reissues that are built differently.
    I think they did it to be different from Gibson...
    I can't think of any other humbuckers like them to be honest.
     
  5. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    Read up on the "Wide Range Humbucker" which is what Lover designed for Fender at that time. Two things you can confirm in your own reading: first the WRH is larger than a PAF style humbucker so the same pickguards or mounting rings will not fit. Second, the reissues are not made the same as the originals, they only look like it.

    OK I promised not to get into the details, but the original WRH's had CuNiFe (copper nickel iron) magnets instead of AlNiCo (aluminum nickel cobalt) or ceramic material. The polepieces were the magnets, just like a Fender single coil pickup, so the wire is wrapped around the magnet itself.

    PAF style humbuckers have a bar magnet underneath the coils (actually under one half of each coil since it runs down the middle) and it works because metallic slugs or screw polepieces run from the side of the magnet up through the coil.

    I've seen it posted, with sufficient regularity and consistency to believe, that the reissue WRH's are simply PAF style pickups inside a larger cover with wax to fill the void.

    Now having said all that, there's a story that Fender came out with the '72 Custom (and the subsequent Deluxe's) because Keith Richards had the bright idea to put a PAF in the front of one of his Telecasters (ok he wasn't the first one to do it but he deserves the credit anyway). SO if you're interested in having a humbucker in the neck position of your telecaster type axe, then my humble opinion (worth every penny that you're paying) is that you should do a regular humbucker routing and pickguard then you have an endless number of humbuckers to chose from and swap until you're happy. As for the offset polepiece thing, well, whaddayagonna do? (actually there are custom pickup makers who will do that for the asking).
     
  6. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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  7. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Thanks for the info Bob.

    So looking at the Seymours - which I now realize are not direct replacement (it even says so!), what is the advantage, if any, to having the offset pole pieces?

    I wouldn't think SD would make them NOT to be a direct replacement for the Wide Ranges unless there was some other advantage to the offset poles (though, the advantage could be in marketing hype, of just "to be different" player's tastes).

    Steve
     

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