Tom Anderson HF/HC Humbuckers

hdahs143

Silver Supporting Member
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1,288
Anyone got any mileage on these? Been thinking of trying one. My Andy came with the H3, which a couple of years later was swapped with the H2. They just seem to be missing some sweetness, and maybe some focused punch, if that makes any sense.

Thanks
 

ducmike

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,709
I replaced the H2+ in my Classic (solid alder, rosewood board) with the HF2 last week. It seems to have as much, if not a little more output than the H2+. The HF2 has a smoother sweeter top end and reacts better to picking dynamics and volume adjustments (to my ears). I liked the H2+ with higher gain, but not the clean tone. The HF sounds great clean, much fuller tone, and works better with the SFs in the neck and middle.

I also have a Cobra with HC1-HC2. Not a perfect comparison because of the wood and scale difference. But, the HC2 in the bridge is a little warmer on the top than the HF2, and a little less output. I can coax some early Billy Gibbons type tone out the HC2 through my Z RxJr.

I think you will find them sweeter with better punch than the H series. To me, the H2 seemed sterile in any thing outside of high gain.
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
I replaced an H2+ with an HC2 in a Hollow Cobra S. The H2+ was better for higher gain, but the HC2 is much sweeter for mid/low gain and cleans.

I also tried and HF1+ in this guitar and it was a little bright when compared to the M1 neck and middle pickups. Nothing that couldn't be dialed out, but just didn't match the other two pickups as well as the HC2.

The H3 is also a fantastic high gain pickup. I have one in a Drop Top, and it isn't going anywhere. It splits well for single coil bridge sounds, but sounds huge when I need it to. I've tried an HN2+ in this guitar also and it was the ultimate high gain pickup, but the H3 was much more versatile when toning back to classic rock and crunchy blues.

The HO2 is also another nice pickup, no quite as 'sweet' as the HC2, but definitely more 'vintage' sounding than the H2+. It's sits about half way between the HC2 and H2.

I also have an HW2 that is sitting waiting to be tried in something. But I'm currently loving the sound of the HC2 in the guitar that it was going into, so it'll have to wait.

I really love these pickups! :aok
 

hdahs143

Silver Supporting Member
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1,288
Thanks very much for the detailed reply. Im definitely looking for more punch. In as much as the chambering in my guitar adds some nice overtones, it does diminish some of the punch. It was nice to hear the distinction between the covered and uncovered models as well. Im leaning toward the covered. Ill probably stick with my SA1's for now, and see how they mate with the HC2

.
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
If you have single coils in the guitar, you could probably get away with the HF2. The HC2 is basically the same sound as the HF2, except the cover rolls off a tiny bit of the top end treble/presence.

Also, the HC2 is a little squarer on the corners and older guitars (older than about a year) will have to have the humbucker cavity corners dremelled out so the corners are less rounded to make the covered pickup fit.

The SAs have a nice modern sound to them, they'll work quite well with the HF2/HC2, but you might find they aren't as well matched in their 'chime' and top end. The SFs do a great job in that department. I changed out a set of SDs in my Drop Top for SFs (primarily because some idiot guitar tech put a scredriver through one of them and I wanted to try the SFs). The SDs (and SAs) have a wonderful sound on their own merit, but the SFs get a little closer to that ideal vintage single coil sound while still getting rid of the hum.

I'd keep the SAs in there until you've found the right humbucker. The SAs will still match quite well with the more vintage humbucker.
 

Charvel951

Growth is about evolving w/o it we become stagnant
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
320
I replaced the H2+ in my Classic (solid alder, rosewood board) with the HF2 last week. It seems to have as much, if not a little more output than the H2+. The HF2 has a smoother sweeter top end and reacts better to picking dynamics and volume adjustments (to my ears). I liked the H2+ with higher gain, but not the clean tone. The HF sounds great clean, much fuller tone, and works better with the SFs in the neck and middle.

I also have a Cobra with HC1-HC2. Not a perfect comparison because of the wood and scale difference. But, the HC2 in the bridge is a little warmer on the top than the HF2, and a little less output. I can coax some early Billy Gibbons type tone out the HC2 through my Z RxJr.

I think you will find them sweeter with better punch than the H series. To me, the H2 seemed sterile in any thing outside of high gain.
I have an older version Cobra but with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. I'm looking to replace the pickups to get a vintage type tone.Btw, I moved away from higher gain pickups. There's not that many videos on these pickups. I'm settled on the the HC1- for the neck in my COBRA(via TA reccomendations), but what are the "tone differences" of the HC1, HC2 and HC3 or HF1, HF2, H3 for the bridge? Do they stay vintage at at HC2, HF2, HC3 OR HF3 outputs?
 
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pipedwho

Member
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1,681
The HF1+ is still in the vintage camp without being too shrill in the bridge. HF2 starts to get a bit more into medium/hot territory, the HF3 is even hotter, but neither starts to sound as 'modern' as the H series. HC is basically the same tonally as the HFs.
 

Charvel951

Growth is about evolving w/o it we become stagnant
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
320
The HF1+ is still in the vintage camp without being too shrill in the bridge. HF2 starts to get a bit more into medium/hot territory, the HF3 is even hotter, but neither starts to sound as 'modern' as the H series. HC is basically the same tonally as the HFs.
Is the HF1 brighter than the HF1+?
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
What's the differences between the HF1+ and the HF2?
The HF2 is a bitter hotter and middier than the HF1+. The HF2 is IMO where these humbucker depart from vintage PAF into something a little more modern (but still with a very PAFish character - unlike the H series which is more modern/hifi across the board). The HF1+ is ideal for a vintage PAF bridge that doesn't sound too anaemic.
 

Charvel951

Growth is about evolving w/o it we become stagnant
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
320
The HF2 is a bitter hotter and middier than the HF1+. The HF2 is IMO where these humbucker depart from vintage PAF into something a little more modern (but still with a very PAFish character - unlike the H series which is more modern/hifi across the board). The HF1+ is ideal for a vintage PAF bridge that doesn't sound too anaemic.
The Cobra already has tons of mids, so u think the HF1+ will add a little bit of fatness to the bridge or would the HF2 give it more fatness or just give it more output?
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
Yes, the HF2 will give both more fatness and output. I have the HF1+ in a Cobra S, and felt the HF2 was a little too much for my liking. It's easy to dial in a little more fatness, but harder to dial it back out.

If you like vintage tone, the HF1+ is beautiful, the HF2 is good, but is more for people that like a hotter sound. If you always play classic rock and up, the HF2 is perfect. If you like to do a lot of clean (along with the rock), the HF1+ is better IMO.
 

Charvel951

Growth is about evolving w/o it we become stagnant
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
320
The HF2 is a bitter hotter and middier than the HF1+. The HF2 is IMO where these humbucker depart from vintage PAF into something a little more modern (but still with a very PAFish character - unlike the H series which is more modern/hifi across the board). The HF1+ is ideal for a vintage PAF bridge that doesn't sound too anaemic.
That's exactly what I needed to read. HF1+ in the bridge is what I'll be looking for, then a HF1- for the neck. MY COBRA will be pretty awesome sounding!
 

Charvel951

Growth is about evolving w/o it we become stagnant
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
320
Yes, the HF2 will give both more fatness and output. I have the HF1+ in a Cobra S, and felt the HF2 was a little too much for my liking. It's easy to dial in a little more fatness, but harder to dial it back out.

If you like vintage tone, the HF1+ is beautiful, the HF2 is good, but is more for people that like a hotter sound. If you always play classic rock and up, the HF2 is perfect. If you like to do a lot of clean (along with the rock), the HF1+ is better IMO.
Great info!
Thanks!
 
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7,595
Do the HF/HC series hums split as well as the original H series?
I'd love to have a little more midrange richness than the H2 gives in a 25½" scale HSS guitar.
They appear to have pretty similar construction.

Speaking of which, somebody once described them as a vertical magnet design.

Would love to confirm whether they actually use rod mags or just double slugs with a bar underneath.
Has anyone here opened one up?
 




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