#1
I'm looking for a neck humbucker that sounds like an HS-4. I assume that coil-splitting will help, and that's doable. I was thinking of a Humbucker from Hell or an EJ custom neck, but will that be close to an HS-4? And can you put a single coil into a humbucker slot? Taht would solve everything haha. Seymour Duncan and other companies are totally foreign to me, so ANY suggestions are available.
Quote by blackflag49
Condoms, for all the copious amounts of pussy with which you will be inevitably bombarded from this moment onward.


#2
Splitting a humbucker doesn't really provide a singlecoil tone - at least, not a Fender style singlecoil. Instead it makes more of a P-90 tone (the singlecoil pickups Gibson use). However if you're going to do that, a better ption is a Seymour Duncan Phat Cat or Gibson P-94, which is an actual P-90 in a humbucker size (so you don't need to faff around coil splitting). Also it's worth thinking of parallel wiring; humbuckers are usually wired with the two coils 'in series'. If you wire the two coils 'parallel' instead you get a sound almost exactly the same as if the humbucker was split, but the pickup remians hum-cancelling.

The reason a split humbucker doesn't sound much like a traditional singlecoil is because a humbucker uses a bar magnet while a singlecoil uses six separte magnetic pole pieces. This means the humbucker, even when split, will always have a smoother and more even response while the singlecoil - even if you use two of them wired in series like a humbucker - will always have better clarity and be more precise.
There are however two humbuckers that are made with magnetic pole pieces instead of bar magnets. These are the Seymour Duncan Stag Mag and the Swineshead AMP. The SD Stag Mag is only available for the bridge position, though it can technically be used in the neck as well (though it will be very, very loud there). The Swineshead AMP is made in two versions, one for the bridge and one for the neck position.
The point of these pickups is that when you split them, the remaining coil is exactly a real, tradtional Fender-style singlecoil pickup. Even when wired in parallel, they produce the same traditional Fender-style singlecoil tone (and remian humless). The downside to them is that as humbuckers they can sound a bit weak; even when wired in series, they just sound like beefed-up singlecoils, more than normal humbuckers.
The differences between them are the Stag Mag uses Alnico II rods and is overwound for a more bassy tone when used as a humbucker and when split or wired parallel has slightly more output than most actual singlecoil pickups while still sounding fairly smooth. The AMP uses Alnico V rods and isn't wound as hot, meaning in both humbucker and singlecoil modes it has more traditional (lower/medium) output while still sounding very clear. Neither is outright better than the other, which is best for you depends mostly on the type of guitar it's going to go in, the type of amp you use and what you playing style is.

I personally uses the AMP in the neck position of a Thinline Telecaster wired in series like a normal humbucker and even then it sounds about halfway between a singlecoil and a humbucker. Really precise and clear but with significantly more power behind it than a singlecoil and it's completely silent in terms of hum. The only problem with them is Swineshead pickups are only built to order and cost about £100 depending on the colour you want. Seymour Duncan stag Mag pickups can be found in msot shops or ordered online very easily and cost no more than other Seymour Duncan pickups.



So, long story short: that HS-4 is a stacked (noiseless) singlecoil with Alnico V rods. The most straight forward way to replicate this in a humbucker space would be to get a Swineshead AMP humbucker and wire it with the two coils in parallel. This is however the most costly option and would take the longest (Swineshead aren't taking any more orders at the moment and there's no telling when they'll start taking orders again).
The next closest would be a Seymour Duncan Stag Mag wired in parallel and you'd just have to put up with it being obnoxiously loud and perhaps a bit booming.
Following that would be a Gibson P-94, as that is a P-90 singlecoil pickup made with Alnico V magnets. This is likely to be rather expensive though and it's not noiseless.
The last option is the Seymour Duncan Phat Cat, probably the easiest and cheapest to get hold of. However it's also the furthest from the HS-4 in terms of spec.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#3
Wow information overload! I spend 20 minutes rereading it several times. Thanks a lot. I'll still have to think about those options for a while though.
Quote by blackflag49
Condoms, for all the copious amounts of pussy with which you will be inevitably bombarded from this moment onward.


#4
Yeah, it's not exactly a straight-forward problem/solution you have. You're either going to have to take your time to really learn about how pickups work and what makes them sound different or you'll need to basically ''give in'' and buy a guitar with an actual singlecoil in the right position or whatever. Pickup choice can get far more complicated than people first think.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.