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Split Humbuckers are bollocks, so how to get that single coil sound?

Messages
298
My study has revealed that no traditional humbuckers sound good split (despite reading about hundreds on tgp that "split well")....so what's left for the quest for single coil tone? Which HB sounds good in parallel mode? What are the technical advances of the lace dually, SD stagmag, RioGrande..something and the Fralin Unbucker?

Has anyone been able to put 2 single coils side by side and get a HB tone in series, without too much string pull and compromise in tone? I would assume one of the pickups could be quite weak, just to cancel hum. That is the concept of the unbucker I believe..
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,540
Duncan p-rails provide a pretty good series (hb) sound and a pretty good p90 (sc sound) and a weak sc sound from the other coil.
 
Messages
298
I can't stand a p90 in the bridge, sounds like instant corny southern rock to me...good solution for the neck though..thanks
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,765
The P-rails does a decent job. I was thinking about two singles making a humbucker the other day. I think the way to do that one is have one coil wound like the coil of whatever humbucker you'd like, maybe 4K to 6K, and have the other coil tapped at that same point then an additional wind up to the single coil tone you'd like, probably 8 to 10K. Use the full coil for single coil tones and the tapped part in series to get the humbucker sound. IIRC Duncan offers tapped versions of some of their hotter single coils.
 
Messages
298
Coil tapping is going to be the next buzz in the guitar community, the unbucker seems like a front runner at this point though, just a trad HB with a weaker coil, but if that could be achieved by tapping one of the coils of any humbucker really, hence you can unbuck your favorite HB...and get better split tone..or parallel, which I prefer, it get's rid of some of those shrapnel like artifacts in split tone.
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,083
What kind of guitar are you wanting to put it in?

I ended up using the GFS equivalent of the SD Invader in the bridge of my Carvin Bolt. I like it a bit better than the StagMag I put there originally but it still isn't what I want. I do like the SD Jazz I have in the neck of that guitar and it does well split.
 
Messages
298
Strat, not interested in normal HBs that "split well", interested in re-engineered HBs, and I can't run more than a PAF pro type output HB anyway coz my rig is sensitive, but why would the unbucker have a better split sound?..I don't get that, I guess because the other coil is messing up the tone less...still the stagmag has 2 actual single coils, isn't it? I heard the HB sound suffers...so there are two approaches
 

71strat

Member
Messages
9,362
IMHO the cleanest, clearest most Single Coil sounding untapped type bridge humbucker Ive used/heard is the Tom Holmes H455. Its 8.3k and Alnico 2 magnet.

Sounds like the Best Tele pup you've ever heard.

I think that Throbak has 1 in the same territory... 8.1k Alnico II in the SLE 101's.
 

cardinal

Member
Messages
5,266
What humbuckers have you tried splitting? And have you accounted for the value of the volume and tone pot when splitting?

Tom Anderson humbuckers are built with the magnet oriented differently than most. I think that's suppose to help with their split sound.

I think the Duncan Stag Mag is built with rod magnets as pole pieces (like a single coil) rather than slugs/screws magnetized by a bar magnet.

Something like the Dimarzio Air Zone, with a slug coil wound with a somewhat high DC reistance, might work for you without being much hotter than a PAF Pro.
 
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SamBooka

Member
Messages
2,222
It's late and I'm drunk but what is that thing that Paul Reed Smith does work he doesn't necessarily take one of the coils are the circuit but attenuates it with a resistor in a pastor or he puts a volume control on it or something like that I don't know I'm drunk somebody know what I'm talking about?
 

kevmin

Member
Messages
1,439
IMHO the cleanest, clearest most Single Coil sounding untapped type bridge humbucker Ive used/heard is the Tom Holmes H455. Its 8.3k and Alnico 2 magnet.

Sounds like the Best Tele pup you've ever heard.

I think that Throbak has 1 in the same territory... 8.1k Alnico II in the SLE 101's.
I'll second that. Very true. I had a pair of Holmes in a Gibson ES-347 that had a stock coil-splitting switch. The single coil tones, using the slug coil, were truly awesome.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,506
I never liked the split coil humbucker tones until I tried Zhangbuckers. The coils are not balanced, so David wires them so the hotter coil is the split coil you hear. IMHO, they're pretty incredible sounding
 

Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,679
I used a Stag Mag for a few years, it's pretty high output in series, and meant to be split, one coil grounded. I think the scale length of the instrument is the critical thing. Fender or PRS scale instruments you can use a lot of buckers in parallel and get a fairly single coilish Fendery sound. That is until somebody plugs in a Fender with stock pickups next to you on the stage. I gave up on the idea and decided to different routes. The Twangbanger single by Seymour is a Tele output, base plated single coil that sounds better than a stock Fender in the bridge positiion. Also sounding better are the lace Sensor dually in series, and a Harmonic Design Z-90. I also have a Dimarzio Bluesbucker that sounds good in parallel, provided the scale length is 25" or above.
 
Messages
298
No-one has solved the problem of the ages it seems.....going to stick with parallel switch for now...maybe there is a hot noiseless single that sounds like a bucker? which I can roll down the volume and get my true single tones ya?
 

Eagle1

Senior Member
Messages
8,655
You can split a humbucker through a cap to leave some signal and it stays humbucking.
 




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