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Discussion Starter #1
...here's my take on the single coil/p90 hum debate:

correct me if i'm wrong, but the only time the hum becomes an issue is when you're using a fair amount of gain. at least, that has been my experience. the amount of hum you encounter on clean and mildly overdriven settings can easily be offset in a number of ways, including shielding, finding that sweet spot in front of your amp that induces the least amount of noise, turning down the volume control when not playing etc.

once you get into high gain territory, the level of noise is often as loud, or even louder, than the signal coming off the strings. but, keep in mind that your precious single coil mojo is also sacrificed at the altar of fuzz and distortion, so the fact that you are using traditional single coils/p90s is moot.

the solution?

well, the one i suggest is having two guitars: one equiped with traditional single coils/p90s for clean and mildly overdriven settings, and one equipped with noiseless or humbucking pickups for high gain settings.

another option, if your guitar has a trem cavity, is the suhr silent backplate system. i had one installed in my g&l legacy, with the result that i get all the single coil mojo i could ask for, and none of the noise.

:food-smiley-015:

-dh
 

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While it's true that single coil hum is accentuated by higher gain, there are also alot of other factors that can contribute to it even through a clean running amp. Proximity to a larger amount of electrical conduits or high voltage lines can do it (I've seen this on a couple of stages where all the electrical runs up one wall, in smaller venues flourescent lights can really add to it, as well as in some stadiums, rinks etc, the mercury vapour lights can play havoc as well. Shielding works great for this usually.
 

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the suhr backplate would be nice to have, unfortunatly my strat has SCN noisless pup's so it would cost too much to get the backplate and new pup's.

The SCN's are missing that sparkle of regular SC pups, however I can get into mega distortion mode and my strat is quieter than my HB equiped guitars. In a blues setting I add a little more treble to my amp and it sounds realy nice.

I have a nice little modded peavey classic 30 with a hellatone speaker, JJ tubes (blues option from eurotubes) use only the clean channel at about 4 on the volume and have a boss CE-2 + TB wah and a tokai metal driver( basicaly a tube screamer).

With this setup at the last couple jams i've been to, the tone just killed for classic rock and blues, I had many compliments on the tone and all the player who tried it, loved it. Simple setup...killer sound. :food-smiley-004:
 

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single coil hummmm

I hear ya !! Mt Strat has a SD stacked single in the bridge And I notice if i keep the gain down the annoying hum is at a minimum,so to get that crunch I want I adjust my stomp box accordingly.(Not as intense as if the gain were higher) But I do like Davids Idea,My hum used to make me Real Angry at times ,,but i've learned to live with it! and have an Epi LPwith me at all times sitting beside the Srat.
 

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SCREEM said:
...
The SCN's are missing that sparkle of regular SC pups, however I can get into mega distortion mode and my strat is quieter than my HB equiped guitars. In a blues setting I add a little more treble to my amp and it sounds realy nice.
....
I just put SCN's in our guitarist's 'new' mid-70's Strat. We do a few songs requiring higher gain and 'wah' and it was un-usable in stock condition. I did the guitarnutz shielding mod and it helped somewhat, but not with the higher gain. So, he got the SCN's and he's completely in love with the guitar now. No, they're not exactly like vintage single coils, but the extremely large majority of people won't notice or care. It still sounds like a strat.
 

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I agree that shielding is a must, I've done both of my strats and it did improve it. My solution at the moment has been a noise gate, I set it relatively low so I don't lose the sustain but it does filter out some of the noise. In my case the amp has a little noise when turned up and the gate helps there also. Nice feature is the mute... when your done playing just select the mute and it's all quiet. I'm still thinking of changing the amp but it's a tough decision because it really has a sweet sound, just a little noise.
 

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For me single coil hum is not the worst thing that can happen... but controlling it is necassary... I use a ISP Decimator... IMHO simply the finest noise gate there is. Very transparent and does not effect sustain as badly as any other gate on the market. It's a brilliant design.

Khingpynn
 

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I have built several guitars with Fender noisless pickups. (Both vintage & hot) They are noisless.
My own guitar has Twin Blade Humbuckers tey also are extremely quiet and the same size as a single coil but they don't sound as good as the fender noisless.
 

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Gotta get me an axe with single coils to test this hum thing out at sometime. I was thinking a Hamer Special w/ P90s. (1992-98 - very reasonable used prices)
 

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I've had good experiences with my noiseless pickups, but I fixed up my strat with some proper sheilding and have no problems with my Fralin pickups anymore. So I might try doing that with my Tele sometime.
 

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When I was young/just starting out the only pickups I would play were humbuckers.

In the mid eighties I picked up an early sixties SG special (soap bar P-90's).
This was my back up for a 69 ES-335 and an 82 B.C. Rick Warlock (the first year these things came out).

Quite a contrast....old 335/new Warlock.

Anyway that old SG showed me something about single coil pickups.

They would hum....but nothing I couldn't control.

But suddenly....I could really "hear" myself.

It sounds sort of f*cked up...but there's really no other way to describe what was happening.

Humbuckers started to sound dull...lifeless and very muddy.

It took some time but now I am unable to play a guitar with humbucking pickups.

PAF's??

You can have em.

Best regards,

Brian

PS

I have yet to find a "noiseless" single coil that doesn't sound muddy to me.

I am happy to live with the noise.

:wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
55 Jr said:
I have yet to find a "noiseless" single coil that doesn't sound muddy to me. I am happy to live with the noise. QUOTE]

...as are many single coil players, and more power to 'em! chances are this is because you are not using sufficient gain to cause the noise to be several times louder than the actual signal, which is the reason many of us CANNOT live with the noise. there is no one size fits all solution for this kind of problem.

i'm curious to know which noiseless pickups sound muddy to you. while i am now a convert to the suhr backplate system, i can assure you that there is nothing remotely "muddy" about the kinman traditional mk IIs in my strat plus.

-dh
 

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david henman said:
...here's my take on the single coil/p90 hum debate:

correct me if i'm wrong, but the only time the hum becomes an issue is when you're using a fair amount of gain. at least, that has been my experience. the amount of hum you encounter on clean and mildly overdriven settings can easily be offset in a number of ways, including shielding, finding that sweet spot in front of your amp that induces the least amount of noise, turning down the volume control when not playing etc.

once you get into high gain territory, the level of noise is often as loud, or even louder, than the signal coming off the strings. but, keep in mind that your precious single coil mojo is also sacrificed at the altar of fuzz and distortion, so the fact that you are using traditional single coils/p90s is moot.

the solution?

well, the one i suggest is having two guitars: one equiped with traditional single coils/p90s for clean and mildly overdriven settings, and one equipped with noiseless or humbucking pickups for high gain settings.

another option, if your guitar has a trem cavity, is the suhr silent backplate system. i had one installed in my g&l legacy, with the result that i get all the single coil mojo i could ask for, and none of the noise.

:food-smiley-015:

-dh

My solution is similar in a sense. I prefer Hum-Sing-Hum guitars with coil taps on the humbuckers.

I prefer single coils (not P90 or similar) for cleans and humbuckers for dirt. Problem solved.

Of course, and i realize that some players don' tlike them, the fact that I use EMGs makes hum a non-issue anyway.
 

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david henman said:
55 Jr said:
I have yet to find a "noiseless" single coil that doesn't sound muddy to me. I am happy to live with the noise. QUOTE]

...as are many single coil players, and more power to 'em! chances are this is because you are not using sufficient gain to cause the noise to be several times louder than the actual signal, which is the reason many of us CANNOT live with the noise. there is no one size fits all solution for this kind of problem.

i'm curious to know which noiseless pickups sound muddy to you. while i am now a convert to the suhr backplate system, i can assure you that there is nothing remotely "muddy" about the kinman traditional mk IIs in my strat plus.

-dh
My amps:

A superchamp, either on the dirty channel or using the clean channel with a FDII will produce lots of gain.

Lots.

A Marshall 74X cranked with a FDII in comp cut mode....again a lot of gain available.

The newest guitar I've got was made in 1968.

The other one is from 1955.

P-90's in a Les Paul Jr:



Or a 68 tele:



Believe me...I use a lot of gain.

And the noise is nowhere near "several times louder than the actual signal".

"several times louder than the actual signal"???

If I had that problem I guess I could see your point.

But I don't have that problem...and I don't see your point.

Lace Sensors and Fenders attempt at the "vintage noisless" series pickups sound like ass...to my ears.

The stacked single coil humbuckers from Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio.....ugh.

The stacked P-100 series from Gibson?

Sounds like a mud puddle compaired to a 50's P-90.

Again this is all my opinion.

I have heard good things about kinman pickups.

It's possible they may catch my ear.

If I ever feel the need to replace a pair of 38 year old/amazing sounding pup's from my old tele the kinmans may get the nod.

But I doubt it.

:)

Best regards,

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
55 Jr said:
Believe me...I use a lot of gain.
And the noise is nowhere near "several times louder than the actual signal".
"several times louder than the actual signal"???
If I had that problem I guess I could see your point.
But I don't have that problem...and I don't see your point.
Brian
...the reason that you don't see my point is that, relatively speaking, you don't use "a lot of gain". i say "relatively speaking" because compared to the type of gain i'm referring to (a tonebone hot british with the "drive" dimed, for example), an fdII is a very mild overdrive.

nothing wrong here, just a matter of understanding what players like me are talking about. a cranked amp is an entirely different matter. for years i used a p90 loaded sg into an ampeg half-stack. rarely had a problem, and never had a desire to switch to humbucking or noiseless pickups.

in the 80s i started using high gain devices, starting with the rockman technology. you're just going to have to believe me when i tell you that the single coil hum in certain venues and recording studios was 5-10 times as loud as the actual guitar signal. i guarantee you that there are players who are reading this who know exactly what i'm talking about.

more to the point, humbucking pickups, noiseless pickups, the suhr backplate system and other new emerging technologies WERE NOT designed for guys, like you, that "don't have a problem" with single coil hum.

-dh
 

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Using a pedal into a clean amp for gain is....well....not my idea of gain.

That is pedal/pre amp distortion. It usually comes off sounding like a hive of bees to me.

If that's the "high gain" you are talking about.....it's possible you may have a noise problem.

It's nothing that can't be checked out.

I'll take my old Les Paul to a store that pimps such devices and see if I can get noise "several times louder than the actual signal".

I've got the week off....this should be interesting

If anyone else here has experienced this "several times louder than the actual signal" thing please post your thoughts.

There’s no doubt if that sort of thing happened to me I would be changing things my rig very quickly.

Tone bone you say?

I’ll try that one out and report back.

Best regards,

Brian

PS the wait for my Savage amp continues………





This shouldn't need much more than a clean boost to hick her into high gear but we will see what happens when it shows up.



Waiting for an amp sucks!
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
55 Jr said:
I'll take my old Les Paul to a store that pimps such devices and see if I can get noise "several times louder than the actual signal".
Brian

...your les paul has single coils (p90s)?

plug into a typical high gain distortion pedal (tonebone hot british, line six uber metal, for example) and dime the "drive" knob. turn the amp up to stage volume and, voila!

but, given your first sentence, i think you'll find that your method of achieving gain is far preferrable, and less noisy.

the problem is that most of us "more mature" musicians are no longer in situations where we are able to crank those power tubes, and therefore have to resort to overdrive and distprtion pedals.

-dh
 

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david henman said:
...your les paul has single coils (p90s)?

plug into a typical high gain distortion pedal (tonebone hot british, line six uber metal, for example) and dime the "drive" knob. turn the amp up to stage volume and, voila!

but, given your first sentence, i think you'll find that your method of achieving gain is far preferrable, and less noisy.

the problem is that most of us "more mature" musicians are no longer in situations where we are able to crank those power tubes, and therefore have to resort to overdrive and distprtion pedals.

-dh
Hey.

Back from the Edmonton Long & McQuade.

Tried the Tonebone British thing as well as my personal fav buzz box the Soldano GTO.

The tone thing was OK (I plugged it into some kind of Mesa set for a loud/clean tone).

It sounds ok, I'm sure in a band setting it would be fine. Not quite a touch sensitive as I like.

In contrast the Soldano cleaned up quite nicely when I rolled off the guitar volume pot.

The GTO really reacts like a cranked tube amp.

I still prefer a cranked amp with clean boost.

This is possible using:

Low wattage amps (Fender Super champ and Marshall 1974X are both 18 watts....the Savage Macht 6....which ain't here yet is 6 watts).

G12M Greenbacks ( well the Super champ has an EVM10....but everything else I have uses Greenbacks).

And the thing I cannot live without....an attenuator.

I'm using a Z Airbrake....works very well.



BTW

The signal/noise thing with those buzz boxes and my old Les Paul Jr. was not an issue.

It just wails.

:)

They tried to buy the old girl from me.....offered me 6000$ Canadian for my guitar.


As if!!

Best regards,

Brian
 
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