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Single-coil that looks like a humbucker. Dummy humbucker project

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by ryanrobinson, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    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 Files:

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  2. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    104
    Oct 14, 2009
    California.
    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.
     
  3. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    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 Files:

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
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  5. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    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 Files:

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  6. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    104
    Oct 14, 2009
    California.
    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 ****.
     
  7. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    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.
     
  8. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    104
    Oct 14, 2009
    California.
    Cool please do. I am loving this. Kind of a Steve Morse look so far.
     
  9. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Most Honored Senior Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    US
  10. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    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 Files:

  11. StratoTerr

    StratoTerr Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 21, 2011
    Lewes De.
    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).
     
  12. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    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!
     
  13. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    The finished result. Could you tell it's not a humbucker?
     

    Attached Files:

  14. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    104
    Oct 14, 2009
    California.
    Those controls are sick, and yes but I really had to look at it.
     
  15. Cus2310

    Cus2310 New Member!

    3
    Jul 26, 2012
    Glasgow
    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.
     
  16. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    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).
     
  17. Lindén

    Lindén Strat-Talk Member

    92
    Aug 5, 2012
    Sweden
    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!
     
  18. ryanrobinson

    ryanrobinson Strat-Talker

    239
    Feb 14, 2011
    Oxford, UK
    Changed the Texas Special for the single-coil from Fatboy Guitars.

    Sounds exactly as I wanted now :)
     

    Attached Files:

  19. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    104
    Oct 14, 2009
    California.
    Congrats man. I was gonna ask you how it turned out.
     
  20. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 14, 2009
    Southeast USA
    Is that —heh— a "Dumbucker"? ;)
     
  21. adam2043

    adam2043 Strat-Talk Member

    36
    Dec 22, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    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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