#1
I know Humbuckers are essentially single coils put together facing towards eachother, and are hot rails basically the same thing? What are major differences in how they function/ sound? Hot rails don't seem to have the screws/ round metal pieces that humbuckers and single coils have. The one thing I notice is they're more rumbly/ high gain but what makes them that way?
Curious because a friend put dimebuckers in his Gibson SG and it sounds ridiculously good with his MESA Boogie/ Crate Head.
#2
Hot rails are just humbuckers that fit a standard Fender single coil slot. They are deeper where Gibson PAFs are wider. When you use different magnets and different wire in a different configuration they tend to sound... different.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

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Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
They are single coil size humbuckers. Instead of pole pieces for individual strings (like on most pickups), they have "rails" (hence the name) that basically do the same thing.

Hot Rails are high output pickups. I doubt it has much to do with the "rails", though. I mean, there are also high output pickups with normal pole pieces. But I'm not an expert when it comes to pickups so really can't comment on that.


BTW, Dimebucker =/= Hot Rails. They are different models. Yeah, both have rails instead of pole pieces, but Hot Rails are single coil sized humbuckers whereas Dimebucker is a normal humbucker.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 17, 2016,
#5
Quote by brandonpryan18
(a) I know Humbuckers are essentially single coils put together facing towards eachother, (b) and are hot rails basically the same thing? (c) What are major differences in how they function/ sound? (d) Hot rails don't seem to have the screws/ round metal pieces that humbuckers and single coils have. (d) The one thing I notice is they're more rumbly/ high gain but what makes them that way?
Curious because a friend put dimebuckers in his Gibson SG and it sounds ridiculously good with his MESA Boogie/ Crate Head.


(a) They aren't really. Single coils (well, Fender style ones, anyway) generally use alnico rods for the polepieces (so the polepieces are the actual magnets in the pickup) whereas Gibson-style humbuckers have a bar magnet underneath the pickup and steel polepieces which are magnetised by said magnet. this creates a different tone (generally a lot brighter in the case of the fender-style single coils), in addition to the size of the pickup affecting the tone (humbuckers are bigger so pick up the sound from a bigger section of the string, which results in a "bigger" tone, for want of a better word.

(b) well, they're smaller, and they use blades for the polepiece, but i suspect they're closer to a humbucker than a single coil design other than that (i.e. a bar magnet under the pickup).

(c) the hotrails probably sound a bit narrower. it's ages since i've tried the bridge hotrails but the neck one actually sounds pretty fat, but in a way i don't like. it's like they knew the flaw with the single coil-sized format was that it'd sound too bright, but they overcompensated and just made the thing sound muddy (to my ears).

(d) how high gain they are is nothing to do with the shape of the pickup, it's to do with how many winds of wire are in the pickup and how strong of a magnet the pickup has. so the hot rails has a ceramic magnet (strong) and i'm guessing a fair number of winds. you can get humbucker-sized humbuckers which are as hot as a hot rails.

by "rumbly" i'm guessing you mean "bassy". either they compensate the wind to make the pickup seem fatter (as i said above), or maybe they didn't- as pickup outputs go up, if you leave everything else equal, pickups tend to get darker-sounding. so that can be a factor with some hotter pickups.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#6
I use one of these in my guitar, in the middle position. It's a hum canceling single coil, though it's definitely sounds more humbucker than most single coils. The tone is basically a punchy humbucker. I wouldn't buy it if you want Stratocaster type single coil tone. I use it with a coil tap, so I can get both tones from it.


The Lil 59, which I have in the neck position, is a true humbucker, and sounds much more typical for what it is.
#7
brandonpryan18 There is a significant difference between a hot rails or humbucker style single coil and a regular humbucker - the difference has a lot to do with the actual positioning of the pickup - single coils sit in a different space then a humbucker and that difference has a big impact on tone. That can either be "good" or "bad" depending on what you're looking for.

Satriani talks about that in one of his interviews where he talks about his newer red/orange model with the single coil sized bucker in the neck position. They spent a lot of time figuring out the right placement. I still find that guitar sounds worse than all his other dual Humbucker guitars, though the worsening of his tone may have to do with signature Marshall Heads he just released.

There is no pickup that can nail the single coil and humbucker sound - that simply does not exist, despite the marketing hype and coil tapping etc. If you want the single coil tone, you really do need a single coil.
#8
^ yeah i haven't tried anything that does both, though i admit i haven't tried close to everything which is on the market.

Quote by cdgraves
I use one of these in my guitar, in the middle position. It's a hum canceling single coil, though it's definitely sounds more humbucker than most single coils. The tone is basically a punchy humbucker. I wouldn't buy it if you want Stratocaster type single coil tone. I use it with a coil tap, so I can get both tones from it.


yeah the split tone from the hot rails is actually quite decent
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
yeah

plus if i prefer the single coil tone there are single coils i'd prefer for that
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?