A Conversation for How Guitar Pickups Work

Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 1

Varindweion

Hey,

I was wondering if you can make a humbucker by wiring two single coils together.
You say that a humbucker is made of two single coils, but the wire is wound in the other direction.
How about the polarity of the magnet? Is that the same or reverse or it doesn't matter?

Why do I ask?

I've got some old single coils lying around and a friend of mine gave me this old guitar. I'm going to rewire it and I want to place a humbucker on it. But instead of buying a new one, I was thinking of reusing the old single coils for making a humbucker.

Do you think it's possible? And if yes, how would you go about it?

But besides that: great article smiley - winkeye


Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 2

Dr Hell

My gut feeling says yes, it should be possible. Now things, unfortunately tend to get more complicated than that...

In principle the only thing is you have to make sure that SC1 is producing the same signal than SC2 but with opposite signs. In a humbucker this is achieved by wiring the coils clock- and counter-clockwise (turning the magnets around and use the same winding sense would do, too). So far for the theory. (BTW, I found this site - which might be useful: http://www.1728.com/guitar1a.htm ) Note that the design of the HB on this site is different from what we're talking about here! I'd say you *either* use reverse windings *or* reverse polarity of the magnets - if you use both reversed you'll end up with two single coils and no humbucking (but please check it out for yourself)

An important detail about humbuckers is that both halves have to be matched (number of windings, distance of the magnets to the strings, or other fields)... Otherwise you don't get rid of the hum.

In conclusion... you're not likely to get a proper humbucker just by wiring two single coils together in a quick & dirty easy way. BUT...
With a little bit of luck and some patience you might be successful.

Because I am a curious guy, I'd like to see you go ahead and try - if it's cheap enough and/or entertaining for you. But please, don't expect miracles, and mind that all the stuff above is merely opinion and are not in any way a guarantee that your project will work.

If you do it, keep me informed - I am really curious smiley - cheers

Dr. Hell


Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 3

Varindweion

Thanks,
I'm gonna try it and let you know how it turns out.
The problem is probably that I don't have a clue as to the other details you mention (number of windings...) of the two SC's. But we'll see how it turns out.
If I don't get a proper humbucker I might as well wire the SCs as two seperate SCs, that way I get a bit of humbucking. And that would be better than nothing, I suppose.


Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 4

Dr Hell

Yah... A little humbucking. You might have noticed that some noise disappears when you turn two (properly wired) SCs on by using the 'intermediate' switch positions... smiley - winkeye

Have fun!

HELL


Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 5

Varindweion

Just to let you know:

I've done some more research.

Apparently, the middle pick-up of a standard strat is usually RWRP (reverse wired reverse polarity). At least, if you're strat is younger than about 20 years.
Hence 'a little humbucking'.
And I'm in luck! One of the two SCs is a middle pickup of a strat-type guitar.
The other one is the bridge of a Telecaster.
So, if I just wire 'm in series, I should have a humbucker.

Hope for the best and no electrocution smiley - winkeye


Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 6

Dr Hell

Yep... sounds good.

Just let me know how it turned out!
(And don't test it in your bath-tub)

smiley - winkeye HELL


Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 7

davser

First guitar I had used a coil tap which converted 2 single coils into a humbucker so it must be possible.


Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

Post 8

Dr Hell

They have to be very close and matched (magnet and windings) - in principle it is possible (as stated above) - but it's not as simple.

Cheers,

HELL


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Can you make a humbucker using two single coils?

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