Single Coils Should Be Illegal:

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Robert Herndon, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Robert Herndon

    Robert Herndon Well-Known Member

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    Played for a blues/50's classic group the other night. Two guitarists, drummer and me on bass. Both Kats with Fender Custom Shop Stratocasters, one playing through a Tweed and the other a Twin Reverb.

    The buzz from those Fenders was really unbelievably strong in unison. In the blues genre, the amount of stops in the music give you lots of downtime in a measure and the noise during these periods is unreal.

    Why do people not just tolerate this racket, but actually seek it as if it is some sort of Tonal Grail???

    So many noiseless pickups out there these days...
     
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Or at least, learn to you the volume knob.
     
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  3. Robert Herndon

    Robert Herndon Well-Known Member

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    No! That's too difficult! LOL!
     
  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Right. That's probably why it is situated so close to your pinkie.
    But you have to admit that someone who knows what he's doing, find ways to alleviate that hum. I love P90s and I deal with the hum.
     
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that "noiseless" single coils are usually dead, tone wise. I have a set of Fender SCN in my partscaster that are great for some styles, but are not what most people think a Strat should sound like. I am usually in selector position 2 on my MiM Strat, which cancels the hum quite well. I have also found that badly made cables are a leading cause of hum. Now, if one of my guitars develops a hum, I switch the cable and 99% of the time, it's cured. My P-90 single coils are indispensable and damn the hum, just turn up the amp.
     
  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I second that !
     
  7. Robus

    Robus Active Member

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    I haven't heard noiseless pickups close to the sweet sounds of a strat or tele with vintage style SCs. Not saying they don't exist, but I haven't found any. I can see compromising tone if you are playing a lot of gigs in noisy environments. But it is a compromise. Or humbuckers...yeah, right.
     
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  8. RVA

    RVA Well-Known Member

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    I do not think noiseless singles sound the same as standard singles, but I also do not think they compromise tone, which is subjective. I love my Bill Lawrence Noiseless Singles and my Tom Anderson PQs (the "Q" is for quiet).
     
  9. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    Like Biddlin, I'm often in position 2 on my Strat, or position 4, which is also hum cancelling.

    I use a volume pedal, so I just ramp everything down if I only want to use one pickup, but I need to be quiet for a passage. It's easy to bring myself back in.
     
  10. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Dimmer switches should be illegal.

    I went to play my SG and plugged the amp in where I normally do in my girlfriend's bedroom.
    Before I even got the cord plugged into the SG, I turned on the little Solid State Peavey 110 and got hellacious
    hum. Tried different outlets and no change.

    Went downstairs and turned off the ceiling light in the living room to kill the dimmer switch use.

    Ta Daaaa no more buzz.
     
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  11. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    There it is!

    The real problem isn't the pickup.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  12. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Member

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    That's what I say. My teles, strats don't hardly hum at all. My Twin has some, but only at bedroom levels. Florescent lights, dimmer switches, cheap pedals, cheap cables and other sundry things are often the real culprit.
     
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  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    That's funny. My single coils don't hum ...

    In a perfect world, no pickup will hum. But we don't live in a perfect world, so single coils hum. If you can't control the environment where you play, big chance they will hum. So, I say admit it and deal with it.

    It's like saying ... my skin doesn't burn. But there are irritants such as flames, soldering iron, harsh sun, laser, embers, etc.

    Single coils by definition will hum, if you give them a chance.
     
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  14. Robert Herndon

    Robert Herndon Well-Known Member

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    I have to compare to my 87 Stratocaster with DiMarzio Stacked Single Coils...totally silent, yet vibrant! ! !
     
  15. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Robert, Have you ever tried T Top Humbuckers? Mine aren't potted, but they took a good to me sounding Epiphone Les Paul and with a bone nut, Alpha pots stock, T tops, and a pro setup, and mad eme absolutely rate it as GREAT. I would put my Lowly Epi in the hands of a talented player like you and feel pretty good that you would not hate it terribly.

    I been wondering about that SG you were less that satisfied with sound wise. Wonder how some nice T tops would make that thing behave?
     
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  16. jjudas

    jjudas Well-Known Member

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    I gave 2 Stratocasters and a Telecaster and none of my single coil pickups hum.
     
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  17. Robert Herndon

    Robert Herndon Well-Known Member

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    Chili,

    You are too kind. I'm no fabulous player. I just have a strange ear for tonal nuances and I really dislike "floor noise" or "buzz" or "60 cycle hum" or whatever it is called, and anything I did like seems to jump out at me!!!! LOL

    The SG really does sound good 100% stock with the 490T/490R. The problem is its tone at high volumes. This, I think, is the uncovered/United 490's as the SG sounds fabulous otherwise....
     
  18. Robert Herndon

    Robert Herndon Well-Known Member

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    I listened to a video of an old show from 1988 and the buzz from my Stratocaster was loud and proud...that was totally stock, before I went DiMarzio HS3....
     
  19. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Robert, does that HS3 change the Strat to a less Stratty sound to make it bearable for your aversion to Strat tones?
     
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  20. Robert Herndon

    Robert Herndon Well-Known Member

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    Nope!!!

    It's 100% faithful to the Strat tone...Just quiet.

    I ended up using a DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Solo in the bridge, my original HS3 in the middle and a YJM in the neck. Great tone....I kept it on hand because I sometimes need a Strat for certain musical projects...super quiet!!!! 1987 Squire Stratocaster.jpg Stratoblaster Copper Shielding Tape.jpg
     

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