I am writing a blog about how humbucker pickups work. I want to explain the different sounds you can get from them and how to wire humbucker pickups for the tone you are looking for. Humbuckers have been used by some of the most famous guitarists in history including Jimmy Page, Angus Young, and Joe Walsh. The 2 coil design of a humbucker pickup gives it its characteristic sound. Learn all about the world of humbucking pickups in this blog.
The Humbucker Pickups are named for their ability to “buck the hum” (or cancel out the noise) picked up by coil pickups, especially when two coils are connected in series, and reverse-wound with reverse-polarity.
The two coils of the typical humbucker are wired in series and are used together. Each individual coil of a humbucker is reverse-wound with reverse-polarity. This means that the coils themselves are connected directly in line with each other, but they’re also connected to each other in opposite directions.
The magnetic poles of both pickups are oriented oppositely as well: one pickup’s south pole faces upward, while the other pickup’s south pole faces downward. The effect is that when the magnets polarities oppose each other, string hum is cancelled out. The two coils will be wired either in series or parallel depending on the desired sound and whether or not hum canceling is desired.
The Humbucker Pickups are a type of electric guitar pickup that is wound in such a way that it cancels out hum.
The Gibson Les Paul guitar featured two P-90 Single Coil Pickups that were situated close together. This design allowed the magnetic fields from the pickups to interact with one another and cause interference which resulted in a hum sound, hence the name of “Humbucker”.
Humbucker Pickups are so called because they are designed to remove the hum that comes from single coil pickups. This is done by using two coils, with opposite polarity. Their wiring results in what is known as a humbucking effect.
The humbucker pickup was originally designed by Seth Lover of Gibson in 1955. The original patent number is 2,896,491 and it can be found on the U.S Patent website here: Humbucking Coil Patent
It’s also worth bearing in mind that most humbuckers are made of two single coil pickups wired together with opposite polarities, although there are variations to this design such as active humbuckers which use onboard electronics to reduce noise and pickups like the Gibson Dirty Fingers which feature adjustable pole pieces for each string for a more even output across all strings.
Humbuckers are the most common guitar pickups. They are found in more than 80% of all electric guitars, and come in several types. A humbucker is a double coil pickup with two coils wound in opposite directions. This is done to eliminate a phenomenon called electromagnetic-humming that is created by single coil pickups.
The humbucking effect works by using two coils in series and wiring them so they are 180 degrees out of phase. This causes the magnetic fields to cancel each other out, reducing the electromagnetic noise. The sound produced by a humbucker is thicker and smoother than that of single coil pickups because humbuckers have twice as much wire on them. The sound produced by a humbucker is also darker than the sound produced by a single coil pickup because it has less high end frequencies and more bass frequencies.
There are several types of humbucker pickups with different shapes, names, and sounds:
Single-coil sized humbuckers: These are built in the shape of single-coil pickups and are usually found in Fender guitars such as the Telecaster or Stratocaster. They tend to be brighter than regular humbuckers and often give a twangy sound when played clean.
Dual coil wired hum
Guitarists have an almost infinite number of ways to customize their tone and sound. Whether through amps, pedals or even the way they hold their guitar, there are many factors that go into how a song is played. Another way to customize one’s sound is with the type of pickups in their guitar.
Pickups are magnets wrapped in copper wire that convert string vibrations into electric signals. Because they are so important to a guitar’s overall tone, different types of pickups can drastically change the sound of a guitar.
The most common type of pickup used by electric guitars are single coil pickups. They come in two varieties: pole pieces, which use separate magnets set in a row beneath each string, and blade pickups, which use a bar magnet beneath all six strings. Both types have similar sounds that feature lots of highs and mids but not much bass.
These types of pickups have been around since the invention of the electric guitar and are still used by many iconic guitarists today. However, these pickups tend to pick up electromagnetic interference from other electronics around them. This interference causes an unpleasant hum at certain frequencies.
To get rid of this hum while maintaining the same tone as their single-coil counterparts, a new type of pickup was invented: humbuckers.
Hi, I’m Jon. As a child I always loved music and was always interested in the technical side of it, taking things apart to see how they work.
Today I have spent some time putting together this website to share with others what I have learned about pickups over the years. My love for pickups began in the mid 90’s when I got my first electric guitar, a cheap black Squier Strat copy. The guitar came with three single coil pickups, 3 individual pickups that pick up the strings vibrations and send them to the amplifier to be amplified. It sounded great for some styles but not so good for others. What was needed was something different, something better…