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Humbuckers Or Single Coils?

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I could not choose. I'm down to 2 guitars: humbucker and single coils precisely because they offer a completely different feel. I love the smoothness and bit of humbuckers but sometimes I want that bell like, snappy tone of a Tele.
Depends on who I've been listening to in the past few days.
 

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I like them both for different reasons and often combine them. The only pickups I have tried but never found a use for are P90s.

I've never really tried Filtertrons or other Gretsch designs or Rickies so I have no opinion on those. The guitars they are usually found on aren't really my type of guitars.
 

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loaded question, I voted single coil because of P90s. Thought if I could only have one the P90 can cover a lot of ground, I go through phases right now its almost exclusively HB, but then I pick up a Strat or a Tele and go in the opposite direction.
 

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I'm a Fender guy, so I like more the look and the sound of single coil.
I have some Gibson guitars too.
I don't like guitar with many switches to split coils........
I agree. I like the complexity (if at all) to be under the hood.

For that reason when I want coil splitting or tapping in my recent builds, I use the automatic coil cutting wiring so that in position four (bridge + middle) the bridge humbucker is automatically coil cut.

I don't even like tone knobs in most guitars.
 

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I like to approach guitar like subtractive synthesis. That is, you start out with a harmonically rich base signal,and carve/filter away what you don't need/want. Sometimes, the 'carved-away' tone is identical to a humbucker, sometimes to some other category of pickup. But I also like to stumble onto distinctive tones, falling into the 'none of the above' category.

There are probably more varieties of what counts as single coil than what counts as HB. Obviously there is a near infinite set of wire-gauge, #turns, magnet type, base material, and cover possibilities for HBs, but they are often visually indistinguishable. Form-factor-wise, though, single coil designs are all over the map.

All of that said, the slender profile of many single-coil designs allows them to fit, or be moved, into positions where interesting and "different" sounds can be obtained. Consider the pickup on the "John Lennon" Gibson J160 acoustic, that has a very narrow SC pickup at the end of the fingerboard, between fingerboard and soundhole.

 

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Unless you play super heavy stuff, requiring mad amounts of distortion. Single coils are more versatile (the are exceptions of course with push pull pots for coil splits of course). It’s easier to make a single coil sound like a humbucker than it is to make a humbucker sound like a single coil. Kinda like it’s harder to make a dark guitar sound brighter than it is to darken a bright guitar.

Want PAF tone? A good Blackguard-spec tele will get you that tone with volume/tone rolled off a bit (flat pole w/ 43g plain enamel wire but underwound to output ~6.5-7.5kohms in the bridge). But if you need that cutting bright tone you have that too with the touch of the volume knob/tone. They always say “this LP is so great; it sound like a tele” and vice-versa “this tele has PAFish tone”.

To me though, an SSS strat with a floating trem is perfection. Low output vintage pickups, screwed all the way down to the same level as the pickguard. Clarity, “round” honkiness, and sweetness while also being able to cut through if needed. If you find a good middle position pickup (ie one with an A3 magnet that can sound sometimes like it’s already kind of in 2nd position), you can also do HSS with a PAF in the bridge and then one guitar can do it all pretty much.
 
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