By Emely Greenfield. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 06:41:56 AM.
There are a number of pickups marketed as single coils that don't hum, including Fender's Vintage Noiseless pickups and Lace Sensor's "Holy Grail" pickups. For the most part, those types of pickups are actually tiny, bright sounding humbuckers. They are made to look like single coils by stacking the two coils on top of each other, instead of laying them side by side. No matter what anyone tells you the only thing that really sounds like a single coil pickup is a single coil pickup.
As for the copper wire, "overwound" pickups tend to sound louder and have more midrange and bass; pickups with less windings tend to sound softer and brighter. One of the reasons humbuckers sound the way they do is because it takes more wire to wrap the two coils. The thickness of the wiring and the type of insulation that is used are additional factors that affect the sound (e.g. Fender's early Strat pickups had Formvar insulation instead of enamel; insulating them that way gave them a clearer tone). Today most humbuckers are also wax potted so they won't squeal at high gain, but the wax potting hurts the clarity a little too (Gibson's modern Burstbucker pickups and Seymour Duncan's Seth Lovers attempt to reproduce the clearer tone of early humbuckers by eliminating the wax potting).
Another thing to consider is the location in the amplifier of the preamp tube you are replacing. The preamp tube that is located the furthest away from the power tubes will generally have the greatest effect on the tone of the amp; and the preamp tubes that are closer to the power tubes will have the least effect on the tone. So you could put a premium Tung Sol or Mullard in V1, but then a less expensive JJ or a Chinese tube might make more sense in V2. Even if you find a long plate too noisy for any of those positions, a long plate tube might still make a good phase inverter tube for the V3 position (or whichever position is closest to the power tubes).
Guitar Wiring Explored – Switches Part 2. In this article we look at a new kind of toggle switch – the "onoffon" switch. Having understood that, we look at how we can use this switch to split a humbucker to either coil, or use it as a regular humbucker, all on the same switch.
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