What's up with unbalanced coils in custom humbuckers ...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Phil Harmoneeek, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Phil Harmoneeek

    Phil Harmoneeek Member

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    A Hapy New Year to all ... so I've heard people talk about ordering pickups with unbalanced coils ... what's the reasoning/pros/cons? Also what tonal differences you'd find comparing uncovered coils to a good (nickel) / bad (whatever) covered pickup?

    Thanks Randall
     
  2. brian marshall

    brian marshall Member

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    well, just speculating on this, but perhaps they are trading off noise rejection for coil splitting volume????

    or are you talking indiviually unballanced for each string??? I thought that was normal to accomodate frequency range, but really I know very little about pickups, I understand how they work, but other than installing them I've never taken a close look at them.
     
  3. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    The only one I've played was a bit less compressed and a bit more 'open' sounding in the mids/treble than a 'regular' humbucker. It did have a tiny bit of hum going on, but just a tiny bit. Thought it was pretty cool.

    --chiba
     
  4. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Senior Member

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    I think he's talking about the slug pole VSV screw pole. This issue makes a huge difference when sliptting a HB. Depending on what you're spliting, those inbetween position could sound like dog farts.
     
  5. Phil Harmoneeek

    Phil Harmoneeek Member

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    I believe it was along the lines of what Chiba has said, due to the windings of one of the coils being more or less than the other. Anyone else have the definitive explaination.

    Randall
     
  6. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Are you talking about assymetrical windings on the two coils? I believe many PAFs were wound this way (read somewhere around here). It appears to do exatly what Chiba described. It should come handy when splitting coils too, since you'd have a half humbucker closer to a single coil.
     
  7. Phil Harmoneeek

    Phil Harmoneeek Member

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    Yes ... that's what I mean. Has anyone had this done ... by let's say WCR or whoever, & what are the particulars.

    Randall
     
  8. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    It's like this, Susie and Mary are winding pickups back in late 1958 and while talking with Mary Susie drops her cigarette, while reaching down to pick it up the winding machine blows past the 5000 turn spec they are supposed to adhere to and the coil ends up with 5300 turns on it instead. Being Lazy she doesn't want to start over because she gets paid per piece so she throws it the box with the other windings. This is basically a smart ass story as to the magic of unevenly wound humbucking pickups.

    Since one winding has more turns on it it creates an unbalanced field since one side is stronger then the other, slightly. This is fundamental difference in all the unbalanced pickup designs. Wire type and gauge also matter but the different amount of turns is the key.
     
  9. Deaj

    Deaj Member

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    I have a Fralin Unbucker in the bridge position of my strat. The Unbucker has unbalanced coils with one hotter than the other so that it will split well. I can say that it sounds great with both coils or split. It's a great sounding PAF inspired humbucker! Position 2 (humbucker split out of phase with the middle pickup) sounds closer to a strat in this position than any other split humbucker I've used to date. The only drawback is that unbalanced coils do not entirely cancel out 60 cycle hum but rather reduce it significantly. It's a more than acceptable trade-off for the great tone and flexibility. YMMV :)
     
  10. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    +1 on the Unbuckers... I had a set of them in a Baker B1, and they sounded fabulous. First humbuckers I've played in a LONG time that I actually liked...!
     
  11. Phil Harmoneeek

    Phil Harmoneeek Member

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    Great info ... checked out the Unbuckers at the Fralin site & it gave me more insight into it ... neato. Now what about my other question about the pickup covers ... tones ... on vs. off.

    Randall
     
  12. BrownDog

    BrownDog Member

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    I have a set of Fralin '57 Goldtops that are a special wind and not too strong at 7.5 and 8.5. They are "unbalanced" like his Unbuckers. The humbucking tones have a clarity and high-end "sizzle" similar to that of a great PAF, with a nice touch of mids. Pus, the single tones are great, surprisingly very musical and, therefore, very useful.

    In terms of covered/uncovered, mine reflect my preference: uncovered zebras. Also, this set of Fralins are unpotted, another preference.

    For myself alone and with tone and oneness, Mike
     
  13. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Gibson have been doing this for years no?
     

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