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Unscrewing Humbucker screws to make it single coil

WoodenDuckMaker

Senior Member
Messages
1,978
Has anyone done this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g8qF9vC11s

I'd like to try it. But I have a spankin' new gibson LP and I don't want to mess up the pickups or alter its tone after putting them back in.

I know it's not going to sound exactly like a fender single coil. I just want to know of any risks or repercussions to doing this.
 

Taller

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,891
Somebody else will be able to tell you for sure, but I THINK the coil windings are right up against those screws. There is a possibility that if you try to reinsert the screw, you run the risk of driving it down and severing a wire.
Theoretically, the wire is wax potted and sort of 'stuck' in place, so it might be a small risk, but I'd definately excercise caution.
 

hogy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,780
Somebody else will be able to tell you for sure, but I THINK the coil windings are right up against those screws. There is a possibility that if you try to reinsert the screw, you run the risk of driving it down and severing a wire.

No, that can not happen. The wire is wound onto a molded plastic bobbin. It does not touch the pole screws, or the slugs on the other coil.
 

dconeill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,725
The screws go through a plastic form called a "bobbin". The wire is wrapped around the bobbin. There are magnets under the bobbins. When you move the screws they deform the magnetic field up or down to allow some adjustment of the sensitivity of the pickup to the strings.

If you take out the screws, I don't think you'd damage anything. You'd still have a humbucking pickup, but it would no longer be adjustable. Taking the screws out would likely effect the tone some, but it wouldn't make the pickup a single-coil.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,118
You would still have double coils.
Yes but only one is magnetized. Removing the polepieces will also lower the inductance. I've both pulled poles and replaced with brass or non-magnetic stainless if I need to keep a certain look. I have one guitar where I only pulled half of the poles. It's all good and reversible. You'd have to really work hard to cross thread or mangle the bobbin while re-installing the polepieces.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,673
I did that on the neck pickup of my SG. It cut the bass a lot and reduced the signal strength quite a bit. It was a little brighter and lighter than I wanted, so I put the screws back in. No harm was done.

What I ended up doing in the end was, turn the pickup around so the screws are away from the neck. lower the pickup away from the strings, and raise the polepiece screws closer to the strings. That made a good compromise between the two previous:

Original setting: screws in, flush to the cover, pickup close to strings
Too much bass, louder than the bridge

Second setting: screws removed
Too much weaker than the bridge, a little more treble than desired
 






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