Why Don't You Like Humbuckers

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by digthosetubes, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    If you don't like 'em why not?
     
  2. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    They're just not my favorite in the low end. I like a lot of articulation that seems to be missing with 'buckers, especially in chords with a lot of close voicing.
    I use Fralin P-92s, which give me that note definition along with a sweet high end, the power to push the amp when I want to, and no hum.
     
  3. Frankee

    Frankee Wartime Consigliere

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    Because P90's exist.
     
  4. mbetter

    mbetter Member

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    For me, they tend to be too thick and take up too much space in a mix.
     
  5. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    Well played. :AOK
     
  6. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    Humbuckers ain't humbuckers. There's a lot to choose from. Everything from low output PAF replicas (which are often pretty clear) to distortion types and even EMGs (=lots of tops). Having said that I do like the articulation of single coils which you don't get with most passive 'buckers.
     
  7. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    I don't dislike buckers, really, I just love single coils for their immediacy and clarity in a huge sonic range.
     
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    End of story. ;)
     
  9. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Same here.
    They also sound dark & muddy compared to single coils.
     
  10. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    What everyone else said so far ... but I do have a humbucker in the bridge of 2 HSS strats for higher gain tones. I don't think you can touch single coils or P90s for clean and mildly overdriven tones. When the gain gets into classic rock territory and beyond I like the smoothness of humbuckers (or P90s) more than single coils.
     
  11. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    depends.

    I'd HATE them in my strat, I'd probably be okay with them in a tele, I LOVE them in my PRS and my Godin...

    depends on the guitar. (but I am also quite NOT the P90 fan... I guess I'm the only guy around who doesn't dig them... yet...)
     
  12. vchizzle

    vchizzle Supporting Member

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    But single coils sound so bright, thin and wimpy:stir :D
    I'm actually a humbucker guy, I just came to see what reasons there were. I love good P90 or tele tones though.
     
  13. jiml

    jiml Supporting Member

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    Humbucker guy here too, but appreciate a good noisy woody single coil too..
     
  14. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    For the longest time I didn't much go for humbuckers. The usual reasons, most of all being lack of clarity and definition in comparison to my favorite single coils.

    Now, as I'm bonding with a really fine set of humbuckers, in the right guitar ('66 ES-335), I'm realzing it is possible to find clarity and detail in H/B pickups. Not only are most HBs wound too hot for my taste ... it seems I respond more to hollow and semi-hollow HB tones, the airier side of things. It was just a matter of finding the right pickups, guitar and wiring/pots/setup.

    I still generally prefer single coils, but the hums are working their way in.
     
  15. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    There's a hollowness to the tone of singles that I really like in the right applications, but for the most part, I am a humbucker guy. I have SD 59s right now, but the neck is muddy and I dislike it.
     
  16. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    I have a set of bursbusters in a Gary Moore Les Paul that I purchased.
    These are my first foray into the world of humbuckers.

    Man. These pickups are powerful compared to any of the single coils I have, whether Alnico, Ceramic or "Samarium Cobalt."

    Add in the sustain of the LP body and I get the idea why so many folks like LPs, certainly for rock kinda stuff and blues.

    The burstbusters, I believe, are much closer to a the single coil sound than the typical humbuckers found in a Gibson Les Paul.
     
  17. tastylicks

    tastylicks Supporting Member

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    I don't really dislike humbuckers, but I do agree that they can sound muffled or muddy, especially on a solid body guitar played clean. For example a Les Paul totally clean just sounds spongy and sonically limited to me. Now on a hollow body they can sound pretty nice clean.
    I just love the clarity of single coils (including P-90s), the air, the fuller frequency range. I also don't care at all about the hum generated by pickups.
     
  18. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    I don't dislike them. I've had some really nice sounding humbucker guitars but when I used them I only liked how they sounded with the volume and tone knobs wide open.

    With a P-90 or a tele single coil the variety of sounds you get by adjusting the knobs is so much more usable, IMO.
     
  19. stratlad

    stratlad Member

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    Different tools. Some HBs are muddy - which is why you need to get good ones and match them with the right guitar. My LP R7 is not muddy but is obviously thicker than a strat. However I recently played in a jazz gig with the LP and it was perfect - the strat would have been inappropriate in that particular setting.

    I also have 2 Strats and a p-90 guitar - I like em' all.

    Humbuckers can be finicky, but if you get good ones they do their own thing quite well.
     
  20. amc

    amc Member

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    I DO like Humbuckers as well as P90's
    In fact, almost every time I get a P90 guitar, I eventually switch to Lollar minihums
    that can be split for even more tonal diversity.
     

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