Thick single coil sounds

63blazer

Member
Messages
99
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders fall in between traditional single coil and a regular PAF yet it’s still a single coil and approached as such.

A really small humbucker like a Duncan Little ‘59 will act more like a humbucker but will lack the full low end of a full sized humbucker.
 
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supergenius365

Silver Supporting Member
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10,483
I’ve been a single coil player most of my years. I have owned humbucker guitars, but always end up back with a Strat or Tele. I recently got a Hamer T51 with Mojotone Nocaster pickups and they are by far and away the fullest sounding singles I have played in 35 years. Playing on the bridge through a Keeley 1962, I was amazed at the Duane/Dickey tones I was getting at rehearsal recently.

That’s all I got.
 

jzgtrguy

Silver Supporting Member
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6,536
What would you tell a guy used to playing humbuckers is the key to getting a thick tone with single coils?
Two things, first get a graphic EQ and put it in front of the guitar and take some of the top end off and boost the mids.
Second. Roll your tone knob back.
 

gtrgene

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
725
I like a little compressor on a strat. It’s magical, it just adds the sustain that strats are kind of missing and evens everything out and fattens up the high end. Gives you that compression your use to from playing humbuckers. The tele doesn’t need anything though. I like it as is.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,090
What humbucker to what single coil?
I have transitions, thornbuckers, and whatever is stock in my old les Paul. Going to a EBMM Valentine. Trying to get the bridge position to thicken up. Usually the things I’d do with humbuckers don’t work (obviously) and I haven’t used single coils in forever so I thought I’d ask the folks who use them all the time.
 

Larsenpeople

Member
Messages
223
i'd tell ya to turn some knobs
Yes, but not the ones on the guitar.
People has advised to lower volume or tone, but it’s the pedals and amp that you should reset. If you switch from high output humbuckers to single coils, you are sending a drastically different signal.

You can get amazing fat tones from low output with typically broader bandwidth (highs and lows) and dynamics than high output.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
5,823
Starting with different amp settings is a good start. Don't expect an amp set up for humbuckers to sound good on single coils.
This.
It kills me to see guys keep the same settings and complain that it doesn't sound right. Those knobs are for twisting!
I'm a single coil guy and my tones are often thicker than most humbucker guys.
 

IAE

Member
Messages
959
Duncan’s Quarter Pound line are pretty thick single coils. They have them for most types of guitars.

Edit: I see they’ve already been suggested...so, maybe you should look into them. ;)

Also, The MXR Ten band EQ (or similar unit) is a must in my experience. I only just started using one this year as previously I thought it would be of no great use...I was very wrong.
 

Tootone

Member
Messages
5,466
@jrjones

Best advice generally is

1) Don't overthink it.
2) Buy a Strat.
3) Get used to it.

Tips

EQ Your Amp
Use Guitar Tone Control
Clean - Light Compression/Compressor
OD - Boost your amp or use a TubeScreamer, OCD
Dirt - RAT, TurboRAT, Fuzz, Muff
 

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,154
1st stop: re-EQ the amp

2nd stop: pickups (as suggested, something like Quarter Pounders, or P90s if it's the right guitar)

3rd: many pedals out there will allow you to NOT adjust the amp, simply step on a pedal to re-EQ when switching to or from sing/humbuckers: Graphic EQ, Overdrive, EP Booster, etc. Personally, I think the EP booster does a great job. Seymour Duncan has the Pickup Booster pedal, which does a really good job at re-EQing a single coil guitar to sound like humbuckers, but why would you want to do that? Humbuckers are for sounding like humbuckers, and single coils are for sounding like single coils.
 

lost sailor

Member
Messages
370
P90s - I was given a guitar after a friend passed....it is a Fender Mustang 90
I jammed Saturday with it and it just blew me away with the tone and punch.
I have some hum sized p90s in a Strat too.....they are pretty good too.
 

soundchaser59

Thank You Great Spirit!
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,515
Starting with different amp settings is a good start. Don't expect an amp set up for humbuckers to sound good on single coils.
Yup!
And there's no substitute for power and volume. Good amps sound a lot different cranked up, especially with Strat type pickups, especially if you don't use a compressor. If you want to thicken up a Strat without using pedals you have to turn it up.
 

Ron Kirn

Platinum Supporting Member
Vendor
Messages
6,692
the suggestion that the pickup is what's responsible for the "thick" sound is about as complete an explanation as a High School Student's Thesis explaining the difficulties "marrying" Quantum Physics and General relativity.

a few thousand pages just isn't gonna cut it...

r
 




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