The Great Humbucker WAR

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by trinitysun, Nov 24, 2005.


  1. trinitysun

    trinitysun Member

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    Ok, there are a million threads, soundclips, and the like regarding single coil pickups and prewired setups, but for those of us who cringe at the sight of a strat, where are all the bucker reviews!

    I am upgrading from my SD 59s and need a no-holds-barred battle of the humbuckers. Who makes your favorite? Who makes the best? What is your humbucker and what tone does it nail? Fralin, Lollar, WCR, Voodoo, Gibson, Rio Grande, lets hear it!
     
  2. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    The most significant thing for me about pickups is the type of magnets...alnico 2, alnico 5, ceramic

    What magnets work best with tonewoods or power tubes. For example I like alnico5 humbuckers with my el34 amps.. and ceramic magnets with my 6l6 amp

    IF a guitarist first decides what kind of magnet will work best.. then he can help narrow down the search a bit

    or am I just too anal???:D :D
     
  3. Phil Harmoneeek

    Phil Harmoneeek Member

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    Hey dinrodef ... can you elaborate on that alnico w/ el34's /// ceramic w/ 6l6's ... very intriguing...

    Randall
     
  4. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Depends on what you're looking for and greatly depends on the guitar you're putting them in. If you like the general flavor of the Duncan 59's, I think Lindy Fralins are an improvement on that basic design (PAF-type), as are Tom Holmes' if you can find them. I also really like the Harmonic Design Vintage + humbuckers a lot, but they're a bit more hi-fi than vintage PAF, great even spread across the strings and tonal range.

    I personally found Rio Grandes to be a bit dull, and I've never tried WCR's or Lollars
     
  5. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    Yes you are.

    CT.
     
  6. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    It's just my personal preference...

    el-34s have a nice cut but can get cold... alnico 5s warm up the sound and still remain tight

    6l6s are warm and chunky but can get muddy... ceramic magnets have a nice cut that tightens things up

    Usually, if I plug ceramic magnet humbuckers into a el-34 amp I just can't stand the harsh treble... drives me nuts

    6l6s + alnico magnets is so warm it starts to sound muddy to my ears

    Certainly, there are lots of players that don't hear things the way I do... but after 16 years of tweakin my ear I've kinda got a system worked out :D
     
  7. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    If cost is no object: Holmes (about $ 500.00 a set)

    If cost matters: Fralin, DiMarzio Virtual Vintage's, WCR's, or Wolfetone's (although the Duncan's ain't bad neither...)

    :dude
     
  8. rclemmer

    rclemmer Guest

    Has anyone compared the Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickups to one of the boutique brands (Lollar, Fralin, WCR, etc.)?
     
  9. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Member

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    The best humbucker for me, out of the many I've tried, is definitely the WCR Darkburst. (Haven't tried the Holmes though) I have them in two of my Thorn guitars, and they are the most toneful pups I've ever had. Just my $.02
     
  10. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Yes, and I think they stack up pretty favorably. They're especially nice in hollow or semi-hollow bodies. Duncan can still make a great pickup - I like the '59's, JB, Seth Lovers, Jazz neck, Antiquities. The Seths aren't wax potted though, if that's an issue. Still, I like the Fralins for the vintage PAF thing just a tad more.
     
  11. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    No one has mentioned Heritage's HRW pickups. These are fantastic, too.

    Jeff
     
  12. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't claim to have the most experienced ear regarding humbuckers but my favorite that I've tried out of SD Antiquities and Seth Lovers, Fralin Unbuckers, Gibson Burstbuckers and 57 Classics, are {by far} the Antiquities. I think they have an airy, hollow and woody tone that sounds absolutely stunning. The bridge pickup produced the lowest output out of all the others but can still drive the amp and I hear a lot of classic tones in there.

    They smell good too!
     
  13. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

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    Of the humbuckers I've used in my guitars -- Gibson 57 Classics, Burstbukcers 2 and 3, PRS, Voodoo, and Fralins -- my favorite are the Fralins. They are amazingly clear, rich, complex and fat sounding -- lots of woody thump and lots of overtones too. Just a beautiful, musical sounding pickup. My second favorites are the Voodoos, which are very nice, but not quite as clear, complex and fat as the Fralins. I think I prefer the neck Voodoo when overdriven to an overdriven neck Fralin, though.
     
  14. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    What resistance, magnets and positions are you using with your Fralins?
     
  15. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Senior Member

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    Faves are original PAF's, and Suhr DSV+'s in strat-style guitars. Would love to try the Darkbusrts but just can't pay the asking price.
     
  16. SlinkyMan

    SlinkyMan Member

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    I love my Dimarzio FRED. Really bitey lead/overdriven sound in general, but with the volume down on the guitar (or when clean) sounds very nice and woody. Mmmmmmm tasty.
     
  17. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

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    8k in the neck, 9k in the bridge. Alnico magnets. They're based on Gibson PAF's. I've been thinking of replacing the Voodoos in my Les Paul R8 with these. Maybe put them in my ES-335 too (to replace the 57 Classics, which are nice, but not as nice as the Fralins).
     
  18. stompbox

    stompbox Member

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    in my book, there is no competition, TIMBUCKERS are far and away my favorites!
     
  19. jcs

    jcs Member

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    jeff at highorderpickups.com...

    excellent quality and tone at a great price and there are several players with jeffs pickups who own timbuckers-holmes and real pafs as well...

    the waiting list is 6-8 weeks though...
     
  20. gtr777

    gtr777 Supporting Member

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    I've tried a lot of pick-ups and always come back to the Dimarzio Tone Zone...They just work for me for some reason...My 2 cents.
     

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