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Old August 13th, 2012, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project

So, without boring you with the details I have a Maverick F1 (two humbucker superstrat type guitar) but want to install a singlecoil in the neck position, however I want to retain the original look of the guitar so have been researching single-coils that look like humbuckers.

I haven't really been able to find any, so the other day I thought why can't I just attach a neck single-coil I already own (Fender Texas special) onto a humbucker chassis with a row of dummy coils below it to make it look like a humbucker?

So, armed with my Texas Special neck pickup and an old broken humbucker given to me by a friend I've started the project. Here's how I've got on so far:

Photo 1: The broken humbucker I'm gutting to fit the singe-coil into/make the dummy coil from

Photo 2: After removing bar magnet and unscrewing from chassis

Photo 3: Dummy coil after having unwound all the wire

Photo 4: Dummy coil held next to the Fender Texas Special I'm installing. The singe-coil is ever so slightly wider than the humbucker coil but it should all fit okay.
Attached Thumbnails
Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-30.jpg  Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-31.jpg  Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-33.jpg  

Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-32.jpg  

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Last edited by ryanrobinson; August 13th, 2012 at 07:14 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice you may want to put a few hundred turns on the dummy coil. It will cancel some of the hum. The other thing with the tone on these is coil structure. When we wind a single coil as opposed to a bucker for a specific use the coil design differs. With that it may not sound as single coily as you may want.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Drilled a hole (or 3!) into the chassis so the wires of the Texas Special can be brought out the back and out of the way.
Attached Thumbnails
Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-34.jpg  Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-35.jpg  
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Old August 14th, 2012, 06:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Have now screwed the dummy coil below the singlecoil... looks like a humbucker to me!

As the height of the dummy coil is a lot lower than the singlecoil I screwed the dummy coil in with a piece of rigid foam underneath it to make them level.

Also as there is no way to attach the singlecoil onto the baseplate I'm just going to tightly tape around the outside of them both to hold them securely together. I'm now just waiting on the delivery of a black cover for the singlecoil.
Attached Thumbnails
Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-36.jpg  Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-37.jpg  
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Last edited by ryanrobinson; August 14th, 2012 at 05:06 PM.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One other thing I just noticed. having the plate touching the mag for the single may shape the tone a bit as well. Kind of like putin a steel plate on the back of a single.

I like where you are going with this and think it is cool as ****.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captcoolaid View Post
having the plate touching the mag for the single may shape the tone a bit as well. Kind of like putin a steel plate on the back of a single.
I did wonder about this and thought about covering the area of the baseplate that would be in contact with the singlecoil with some electrical tape. I read up about what difference adding a metal baseplate to a singlecoil has however and apparently it adds bass and mids (two things this pickup could benefit from!). I'll let you know if it makes any difference to the tone when I've got it fitted but for now I'll leave it in contact with the plate.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 01:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Cool please do. I am loving this. Kind of a Steve Morse look so far.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Instead of monkeying with this, try this one:

Stag Mag™ SH-3 - Seymour Duncan High Output
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Old August 15th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Black cover arrived today, I don't think you'd ever know it wasn't a humbucker to look at it!

Before taping them both together I wound some string around the dummy coil to make it of equal thickness as the single-coil and then covered that with some electrical tape. I then taped the single-coil and dummy coil tightly together so the loose single-coil wouldn't move around and would be tight against the dummy coil (the dummy coil is screwed to the baseplate).

All that remains now is for it to be wired in.

Photo 1: Single-coil now with black cover
Photo 2: String on the dummy coil to match thickness of single-coil.
Photo 3: String on the dummy coil taped up
Photo 4 and 5: Single-coil and dummy coil taped together
Attached Thumbnails
Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-38.jpg  Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-39.jpg  Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-40.jpg  

Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-41.jpg  Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-42.jpg  
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Old August 15th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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G-Dummy-Real-Hot may sound different than G-Real-Dummy-Hot so try it both ways. Noise canceling and Tone may both be effected. W unequal Z real coils the lower Z should be grounded or you get filtering effects ( which are sometimes good, but obviously theres almost no signal adding here).
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Old August 15th, 2012, 11:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd just like to clear something up based on some of the responses I've gotten regarding this.

All I have done here is put a regular Fender Texas Special neck single-coil pickup onto a humbucker baseplate to install in the neck position of a guitar that was previously 2 humbuckers. As I wanted the neck pickup to be a single-coil but still look the same as it did previously I have just made a dummy row of coils to sit below the single-coil so it appears to be a humbucker. The dummy coil is just for show and in no way wired in, I have unwound all of the wire on it and it's only purpose is to sit next to the single-coil and make it LOOK like a humbucker.

It seems some of the responses have thought that the dummy coil was still being used for hum cancelling or was still wired in. I've heard that attaching the single-coil to the baseplate can make a tonal difference but I'm fairly sure that taping a piece of plastic wrapped in string next to the singe-coil shouldn't make any difference!
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Old August 16th, 2012, 07:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The finished result. Could you tell it's not a humbucker?
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Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-43.jpg  
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Old August 17th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Those controls are sick, and yes but I really had to look at it.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Good job, I can't tell which one is the real HB, the neck pup cover seems to fit a fraction more than the bridge but I am guessing. If you had not told me what you had done I would not have even thought about it.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 01:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well I've now used this guitar live and the Texas Special is too trebly for my taste (precisely why it happened to be lying around) so I'm replacing it with a neck pickup from Fatboy Guitars. At least then I know it'll give me the sound I want (I have them in 2 other of my guitars already and love them).
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Old August 21st, 2012, 03:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Didn't know it would look so smooth when I first saw this thread but now.. Yup. Couldn't tell it wasn't a humbucker, the only thing was that the screws are round at top and on the single coil it's plain, that's the only thing I can tell from that. And there are many humbuckers which are all plain so. Nope, couldn't tell. And from a distance, even less visible.
Nice job!
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Changed the Texas Special for the single-coil from Fatboy Guitars.

Sounds exactly as I wanted now
Attached Thumbnails
Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project-photo-44.jpg  
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 11:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Congrats man. I was gonna ask you how it turned out.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Is that —heh— a "Dumbucker"? ;)
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 08:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanrobinson View Post
Changed the Texas Special for the single-coil from Fatboy Guitars.

Sounds exactly as I wanted now
That is a very cool guitar! Did you cut the body yourself to get the controls like that? I've never seen anything like it before.
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