Yet another mod, Humbucker from Hell? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yet another mod, Humbucker from Hell?

In my "mod" guitar, I have already experimented with both a push/pull, single coil/humbucking switch for a dual humbucker guitar. It worked as advertised and I got both the standard Gibson sounds and the Fender sounds. In this setup, there is the common issue of having the humbuckers overpower the single coils in a pickup not designed to be split. It must be a frequencies issues as much as just a pure output issue.

I also tried the "Green sound" which was making one of the humbuckers out of phase with the other one causing more frequencies to be cut out making a "Fender" type sound when both humbuckers are on. This works better in the sense that there's not as extreme a volume drop off.

Now under the same dual humbucker routing, I am going to consider a third option for the single coil type tones which would be to use the advertised DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell either in neck or bridge, or even both positions. The motivation besides getting that thinner, glassier tone which I like is to have decent output.

Has anyone tried this DiMarzio model?

Last edited by 63Blazer; 11-20-2015 at 11:23 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Yet another mod, Humbucker from Hell?

Interestingly, I want to try and brighten the sound of a humbucker, but here's somebody with the DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell and they want to darken it (or warm up the tone) probably making it sound a lot like a standard PAF humbucker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMS8ykeyP14
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 11:37 AM
 
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Re: Yet another mod, Humbucker from Hell?

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Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
It must be a frequencies issues as much as just a pure output issue.
While that might factor into it a tiny bit, I assure you 95% of your problem is output - a "real" singlecoil will get overpowered by most humbuckers, as well.

I've, currently, got an Air Norton 7 and a Tone Zone 7 in my Suhr, and there's a definite volume drop when I pull the coil tap vs when I have the full humbuckers running. These are pickups that are "designed to be coil tapped," inasmuch as any 4-conductor humbucker is or is not "designed" to be coil tapped - it's simple physics, a single coil has fewer magnets and a smaller amount of copper around it than two coils wired in series.

For me, what matters isn't that the humbuckers and tapped humbuckers aren't "equivalent" in volume, so much as a medium-hot set of humbuckers, when split, gives me about the output of a medium-hot singlecoil, so the playing response feels about right.

Another thing you could try is wiring the humbuckers either in parallel, or with a series/parallel switch - parallel wiring cuts the output and gives you more of the "sound" of a singlecoil, but still bucks hum. I prefer a full split, but some people prefer this as a better, noiseless compromise, and IIRC it should be a little hotter than a split coil, though still not as hot as a series humbucker.

I know this isn't what you're asking, but I just want to explain that you're basically chasing a ghost here, trying to get singlecoil and humbucker tones out of the same pickup with no change in output. You'd need some sort of an active preamp to do that, and maybe that's worth exploring, a coil tap that also pulls a preamp into the circuit, with some sort of trim pot that you can adjust to get balanced output between the two.

Last edited by Drew; 11-20-2015 at 11:45 AM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Yet another mod, Humbucker from Hell?

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Originally Posted by Drew View Post
While that might factor into it a tiny bit, I assure you 95% of your problem is output - a "real" singlecoil will get overpowered by most humbuckers, as well.
Thanks for reply.

I think I can address that issue with Humbucker from Hell, maybe? I am guessing but I don't know.

Let's say I have a standard humbucker in one spot and then the DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell in the other, I wonder if the Humbucker from Hell (while much brighter) will have way less volume than the other humbucker, all other things being equal like DC resistance?

The only YouTube I saw with that setup had such a poor recording that I couldn't tell if there was a volume drop off.

One pet peeve I have is playing live with two pickups in same guitar with a huge volume difference. I guess that's why some who have HSS setup have resorted to dual blade single coils like DiMarzio Cruiser (or similar) for their single coil space(s) on guitar.

What would be great, but maybe not possible, is a mini toggle that could simultaneously do two things:

1) switch a humbucker to single coil

and and the same time,

2) put a mid-boost on the single coil mode to bring volume up to an equal level with original humbucker

This could be done with two operations which would be a mini toggle or push pull pot, and then hit the mid-boost mini switch, but a single operation, while playing, would make all the difference. I do know a very good player who uses a volume pedal and when he switches to solos, or to a weaker pickup, he can instantly boost a deficient signal and keep playing without missing a beat. He's also a luthier so when he put a humbucker into my strat he mentioned I should master this volume pedal technique to minimize issues with mismatched ratings on pickups in same guitar.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 11-20-2015 at 02:28 PM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 04:40 PM
 
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Re: Yet another mod, Humbucker from Hell?

Well, like I said, you could probably do it with active electronics, and a wiring scheme where whenever you split a humbucker, it also engaged a boost. You'd probably want a trim pot in the control cavity somewhere so you could dial it in so there was little to no perceived change in volume. Note that I've never heard anything else on the market that does this.

But, at the end of the day, this is something you pretty much have to live with - singlecoils have less output than humbuckers, all else equal.

On my Strat, when I had it wired SSH (it's SSS now), I dealt with this by using relatively hot singlecoils and a lower-medium output humbucker (an AT-1) in the bridge, set a little further from the strings than normal. I.e - all else was NOT equal. You could do something similar, where if you want a single coil sound in the neck and a humbucker in the bridge, then maybe the best option is going for a weaker bridge humbucker, rather than trying to somehow make your split neck pickup louder. The downside of this approach would be that, if you ever used your neck pickup in full humbucker mode, then it would be audibly hotter than the bridge pickup, but you could deal with this by either 1) just wiring it permanently either split, or with the coils in parallel, or 2) simply getting into the habit of also rolling back the volume a little whenever you use the neck pickup on full humbucker mode.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Yet another mod, Humbucker from Hell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Well, like I said, you could probably do it with active electronics, and a wiring scheme where whenever you split a humbucker, it also engaged a boost. You'd probably want a trim pot in the control cavity somewhere so you could dial it in so there was little to no perceived change in volume. Note that I've never heard anything else on the market that does this.

But, at the end of the day, this is something you pretty much have to live with - singlecoils have less output than humbuckers, all else equal.

On my Strat, when I had it wired SSH (it's SSS now), I dealt with this by using relatively hot singlecoils and a lower-medium output humbucker (an AT-1) in the bridge, set a little further from the strings than normal. I.e - all else was NOT equal. You could do something similar, where if you want a single coil sound in the neck and a humbucker in the bridge, then maybe the best option is going for a weaker bridge humbucker, rather than trying to somehow make your split neck pickup louder. The downside of this approach would be that, if you ever used your neck pickup in full humbucker mode, then it would be audibly hotter than the bridge pickup, but you could deal with this by either 1) just wiring it permanently either split, or with the coils in parallel, or 2) simply getting into the habit of also rolling back the volume a little whenever you use the neck pickup on full humbucker mode.
All this is so troublesome, but that's the way I like it on my mod guitar.

The videos of the Ibanez Timmons has the single coils (dual rail humbuckers) almost as loud as the full sized humbucker. It's not perfect but a lot better than what I used to do which was have regular strat single coils competing against regular humbuckers. But back then in the 80s there was always a huge difference and the lower output humbuckers and hotter single coils were not out in as large numbers.

I suppose I could have gone with my original PAF and paired it with two Seymour Duncan 1/4 pounder strat pickups and maybe that could have been more or less equal with PAF backed way off. Ibanez really worked it out well in the Timmons model because the DiMarzio Cruisers actually have a nice Fender type sound without being too dark or muddy. I think the 25.5" inch longer scale over the shorter Gibson scale is an advantage for better attack. The ultimate mod guitar imho are the bolt-on longer scale superstrats instead of Gibson scale instruments.
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