#1
hey i was just wondering is it possible to ake a single coil pickup sound like a humbucker with out replacing it. ie0 pedals amps anything????
Bryce
#2
Not really.

Usually if you combine it with a 2nd single coil, it ACTS like a humbucker, but doesn't sound like it.

On say a strat with three single coils and a 5 way switch, usually position 2 and 4 on the switch are a combination of 2 single coils (either Neck+Middle or Bridge+Middle).

That acts like a humbucker as in that it is 2 coils in reverse polarity. So it cancels out the hum. Hum cancellilng is one of the main purposes of a humbucker. Hence the name Hum - Bucker.

But it still doesn't sound like one. Just noise cancelling.

If you want humbucker sounds, get a humbucker.


there are digital effects that CLAIM to emulate the sound.
The have options for making a SS sound like a Bucker, and vice versa, make a bucker sound like a ss.

But they really don't work that well...

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Last edited by jonmo1 at Sep 25, 2009,
#4
Simply put, no. There are a few pickups that are technically humbuckers but in a singlecoil size, but even those don't sound like full humbuckers. No matter what the advertising claims, just simply being smaller means they will not sound like full humbuckers.

The closest I've ever come across is on the Clapton and older Richie Sambora signature Stratocasters, they had an active mid-boost circuit that would greatly ''fatten'' the tone. When combined with the position 2 and 4 pickup selections (middle/neck pickups together or bridge/middle pickups together), the result was fairly close to vintage humbuckers, but even then it was obvious it wasn't an actual humbucker.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Sep 25, 2009,
#5
Id say just get a bucker. Save yourself a lot of time and money trying to buy the right gear to emulate the sound.
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#6
thanks guys i was jw because every1 tells me to get a new amp b4 i even have guitar tht sounds right for my style do u no what i shood do???
Bryce
#7
Quote by jonmo1
Not really.

Usually if you combine it with a 2nd single coil, it ACTS like a humbucker, but doesn't sound like it.

On say a strat with three single coils and a 5 way switch, usually position 2 and 4 on the switch are a combination of 2 single coils (either Neck+Middle or Bridge+Middle).

That acts like a humbucker as in that it is 2 coils in reverse polarity. So it cancels out the hum. And the hum cancellilng is one of the main purposes of a humbucker.

But it still doesn't sound like one. Just noise cancelling.

If you want humbucker sounds, get a humbucker.

A humbucker is wired in series. Strat positions 2 and 4 on a standard strat are wired in parallel. That's the main difference. Wiring it in series like some strats with the S-1 switch will get you close to a humbucker sound. You can maybe get a push-pull pot and wire it like an American Strat. Then maybe get a clean boost pedal.
#8
There's a few wiring tricks you can do, but the simplest and most effective would probably be the series switch, as mentioned above. Only major difference besides it not being a real humbucker is that it will still have that 60 cycle hum. But it will still do a pretty good job.
#9
Quote by xoguitarist95ox
thanks guys i was jw because every1 tells me to get a new amp b4 i even have guitar tht sounds right for my style do u no what i shood do???


Looking at your gear, yes upgrade amp first...

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#10
No. It takes two coils to knock out the hum so that sound needs something like a single coil sized humbucker (hot rails etc) or a stacked twin coil.
So how do famous Strat players get such a rich sound? Usually with twin full stacks in the backline. Hendrix used Marshalls, Gilmour used Hiwatts (12 at one gig) with combination speakers (Hiwatt and WEM)
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#11
but why do i need to upgrade the amp im currently only playin in my bedroom and i got cash to spear woodnt it be smarter to upgarde guitar sory if i sound stubbornim just confused i likee things my way
Bryce
#12
Quote by xoguitarist95ox
but why do i need to upgrade the amp im currently only playin in my bedroom and i got cash to spear woodnt it be smarter to upgarde guitar sory if i sound stubbornim just confused i likee things my way


It depends on the purpose you wish to upgrade your gear.

If you are not happy with the tone you are getting - upgrade amp.
If you are not happy with the playability/feeling of the guitar - upgrade guitar.


From your post asking to make your guitar sound like a humbucker, then it sounds like you're not happy with your tone. Upgrade amp.

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#13
Normally I do go along with the "if you don't like your tone, you need to change your amp" camp, since changing pickups doesn't effect tone much if you're just changing from say, a low-output humbucker to a slightly higher-output humbucker.

However there is a big difference in sound, through any amp, between a humbucker and a singlecoil. If you're trying to get humbucker tones when your guitar only has singlecoils then changing amp isn't going to do that for you. Similarly if someone only had high-ouput active humbuckers and wanted classic singlecoil tones, changing amp wouldn't help them either.


If you really want humbucker tones and you have no use for your current singlecoils, then by all means upgrade. In your profile it says you have a Squier Strat, which are routed for humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions. So, you could buy a new pickguard that is cut for humbuckers and get new pickups (just take the old electrocnics off the previous pickguard and put them on the new one).
Or, you could buy singlecoil sized humbuckers - things like Seymour Duncan Little '59, JB Jr, etc - and put them in your current guitar without needing to buy a new pickguard or change any other electronics over. They won't get you full humbucker tones, but they'll be closer than regular singlecoils will be.
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#14
Or, you could buy singlecoil sized humbuckers - things like Seymour Duncan Little '59, JB Jr, etc - and put them in your current guitar without needing to buy a new pickguard or change any other electronics over. They won't get you full humbucker tones, but they'll be closer than regular singlecoils will be.

thats just what im now considering to do, I need some gain for metal on a strat, till i get a new guitar just for metal! i thik ima go with dimarzios.. mmm though duncans are awesome too..
the point is i dont want the HB tone but i want the HB Gain!!! singles are not that gainey!
#16
thanks guys i think im gonna get a hot rails pickup be seymour and then upgrade my amp does this sound like a ood move???
Bryce
#17
Well, to both you and vigenharutyunya up above:

Putting in hot pickups like those is a good idea if you have a suitable amp and you're setting everything up a very specific way, but for many people high output pickups like Hot Rails will just cause problems.

Basically, you use hot output pickups when you don't want to use boost pedals, you don't want to use distortion pedals, you like the tone of your amp but even with the gain maxed out the distortion is not quite 'hard' enough for you. That is when you bring the high output pickups in; the increased output hits the amp harder, forcing harsher clipping - in other words, the amp's being driven harder as if you were turning the gain up, so you get more distortion. You can then use the guitar's volume control to lower the pickup output and get less distortion, or even a totally clean tone, without having to touch anything on the amp or use any pedals.

However the problem with this is it only works with the very specific set up: you need a naturally mid-gain or high-gain all-valve amp (solid state amps won't work, they don't distort in the same way), you need to be using no boost/overdrive or distortion pedals and there's no point using it if you have an amp with multiple channels for different levels of gain or if you simply don't use your guitar's volume control.

Since a lot of people find it easier to use a pedal while playing rather than reaching down to the volume control, for many people it's smarter to use low output pickups and use a boost or overdrive pedal instead. This way you click on the pedal and your output is boosted - driving the amp harder just like as if you were using high output pickups (in fact most boost and OD pedals can give much higher output than any pickup can). Then you can just click the pedal off and instantly go to a clean tone. You don't have to take yur hands away from playing for a second and there's no guessing involved, you get to flick between distorted and clean tones perfectly right away. The added benefit is low output pickups respond to your playing dynamics better than high output pickups do, so even when using distorted tones the low output pickups will sound better as they react to your playing much better.




Or, short version: if you have a high-gain all-valve amp that you already fully crank but want to push it a bit further and you hate using pedals, get high output pickups. Otherwise, get low-output pickups and use pedals.
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#18
Quote by MrFlibble

Or, short version: if you have a high-gain all-valve amp that you already fully crank but want to push it a bit further and you hate using pedals, get high output pickups. Otherwise, get low-output pickups and use pedals.

don't you mean a low gain all valve amp? i don't see how anyone would want to crank a high gain amp and push it even further, that's why I use low output humbuckers with my triple xxx.