Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

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Lost In Autumn
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Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Lost In Autumn » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:53 pm

My 2015 Fender Player Standard HH Jazzmaster has a set of Seymour Duncan licensed Jazz and JB pickups in it, wired through 1 meg tone and volume pots. They’re surprisingly great pickups, I like them better than the actual Duncans and most humbuckers, but, I don’t love them. I don’t generally like humbuckers at all, I find them a bit muddy and dull sounding. Recommend me a PAF sized humbucker, for people who don’t like humbuckers. My ideal pickup would have the low end response of a P90, but the sparkle and jangle of a boutique Jaguar pickup, without the buzz and hum. I mostly play the neck pickup and rarely use distortion; what would you suggest?
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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by j mascis » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:58 pm

If the pickup you describe existed we'd all have it.

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Horsefeather
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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Horsefeather » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:01 pm

Try wiring the coils in parallel and see what you think. It's much more like a single coil sound than a typical humbucker sound. But it still bucks hum!

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:03 pm

You know, you might actually like the GFS dream 180. Which are cheap enough that you're not out too much if you end up not liking them.

Most people who try them, though, seem to like them a lot. I know I do. That's about the closest thing I can think of to the ideal sound you describe.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Gordon » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:09 pm

Lost In Autumn wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:53 pm
My ideal pickup would have the low end response of a P90, but the sparkle and jangle of a boutique Jaguar pickup, without the buzz and hum.
TV Jones Magna'tron in humbucker mount?
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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:22 pm

^^^

That's another good recommendation.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by jvin248 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:29 pm

.

Before you run that credit card through the pickup retailer ....

Get a couple of 0.047uF tone caps and solder them in series with the muddy pickup(s) hot lead.
You can also try other typical tone caps like 0.033 or 0.022uF if you don't have the 0.047 handy).

A series cap cuts the pickup's internal capacitance dramatically.
It's like swapping a muddy machine wound pickup into a boutique hand-scatter-wound affair.

I've found SD pickups in generally are muddy, just their design and manufacturing process, and the extra hot picukps like JBs have double the wire of a PAF to get their higher output that only makes them even more muddy. There are some ebay 2/$15 import pickup sets that have the same kohm output but half the internal capacitance of the SDs, and I'll yank the popular SDs and put those in (they have no brand other than the 2/$15 pricing). But SDs have their fans. The fix though is the series cap.

You can also lower your pickups to the trim ring and try raising the screw poles about 1/8th inch.
I use a Strat scatter pattern on neck humbuckers and level to each other for more of a Tele/P90 bridge pickup tone on bridge humbuckers.

Another mod ... rewire the series neck humbucker into two parallel coils or have a push/pull switch -- one HH guitar I have the p/p down is the neck single coil split and the p/p up is both coils of the neck pickup in parallel (which also bucks the hum) while the bridge pickup remains a series humbucker.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by alexpigment » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:55 pm

I have some Fender Diamondback humbuckers that I thought were really nice (8.4k output) on their own, but I wired them in parallel and liked them even better. If you like vintage single coil output in humbucker form, this is my recommendation.

UPDATE: I just re-read the original post and you said PAF-sized humbucker. Not sure how set you are on that.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:15 pm

Lollar El Rayo.
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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by HarlowTheFish » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:53 pm

I think the Kiesel Lithiums might fit the bill, but you probably wouldn't be too keen on them - they sound like a big, hi-fi, modern P90. Tons of mids, bright and pokey in the treble, and with a really tight and defined low-end (for reference, when I plug in my Kiesel with these I need to re-set my amp settings if I'm coming from another humbucker, but I only have to adjust the gain if I'm coming from my Mustang with single-coils). The thing is they're also super aggressive and have a pretty unique response, so they're often weird for both humbucker and single-coil folks, but if you like them then it's a really specific sound that nothing else really does.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by rat n' fuzz factory » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:10 pm

I really like Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates for exactly the title of this post, I don't really ever like humbucker clean sounds but the Pearly Gates sound sound as clear and airy as sgood ingle coil tele/strat/JM pickups, to my ears, and with distortion slightly more dynamic and wire and wood sounding than humbuckers. I like them, pinch harmonics, harmonic and musical feedback seem easy with them too.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by fleezinator » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:26 pm

P909 + single coil +humbucker? Sounds like you're describing an SD P-Rail https://www.seymourduncan.com/single-product/p-rails

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Pepe Silvia » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:36 pm

I hated humbuckers after my high gain teen years until I tried Lollar Imperials. I later bought a SG just so I could have a guitar suited for the pickups. Not cheap, but they are great pickups.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by mbene085 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:54 pm

There's also firebird pickups, which can fit in a humbucker adapter pickup ring, or D'Urbano Magnetics' Big Bird pickups, which are Firebird-style construction but on PAF-sized bobbins. Firebirds have some of that extra girth in the lows but maintain a very Fendery string attack and high end.

Then there's Fralin's Twangmaster, P-92, and Big Single pickups, which all sound different but capture a singlecoil style tone in a noiseless PAF sized format (Fender-style for the Twangmaster, P-90 style for the P-92, and goldfoil style with the big single IMO).

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by BoringPostcards » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:15 pm

Gibson 57 Classics are great. They have a really nice clean tone, and are not at all muddy or overly compressed sounding.
Not exactly a perfect single coil tone, but closer than any other HB I've used.
I never liked Humbuckers, besides the Fender Wide Range HBs in Tele Deluxes, but these Gibsons are really nice, at least in my SG Standard.
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