#1
Are single coils generally weak? It seems like they sometimes deaden quickly or don't act loud enough. Are my pickups just weak?
#2
Like humbuckers, single coils vary. Humbuckers generally have more output, but single coils do pretty well (the strat is still the single-most-purchased guitar). There may be something else wrong with your guitar.
#3
Quote by dspellman
Like humbuckers, single coils vary. Humbuckers generally have more output, but single coils do pretty well (the strat is still the single-most-purchased guitar). There may be something else wrong with your guitar.

It's not really that it's wrong, might just be the sustain of the guitar too. Sometimes if I put gain on it, it will sound like when I turn my volume down on a humbucker near the end of the chord or note.
#4
Speaking in very general terms, single coil pickups do have lower output than humbuckers. There are a lot of reasons why but the easiest explanation is that a vintage output strat pickup has between 6,000 and 8,500 turns of wire when a vintage output humbucker will have around 10,000 turns of wire. The shorter sustain isn't actually do to with output. Instead it's the result of the shape of the magnetic field and how it pulls on the string. A single coil pickup has more pull focused directly under the string which can dampen vibration and decrease sustain. You also have to factor in what type of guitar they are going in. Humbuckers are more likely to go in heavy guitars which produce more sustain anyway. If you of comparing the humbuckers in an lp to the single coils in a strat then most of the the sustain gap is do to the difference in guitar design, not the pickups.
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#5
And there's the rails style single coils and single coil humbuckers, essentially trying to get a humbucker sound out of a single coil body. Obviously you can't get an exact humbucker tone, but the character differences aren't necessarily bad and they can be pretty fierce.
#6
In addition to what others have written, there is, in very broad terms, a trade-off between lower-output bright twangy single coil tone and higher output warmer humbucker tone. I have a set of very hot, high output single coil ceramics, and they sound more like PAF-style humbuckers than Strat single coils. Conversely I have some low resistance, low output Gretsch style humbuckers that sound reasonable close to single coils.
#7
^thats what makes threads like this hard to answer. There is so much variety and so many exceptions that it's difficult to give an accurate answer without writing a book to explain it.
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