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What is your favorite humbucker for; Neck position? Bridge position? Coil-tapping?


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  • What is your favorite humbucker for; Neck position? Bridge position? Coil-tapping?

    Not looking for the best humbucker for a particular type of music, or in a particular guitar, looking for what YOUR favorite humbucker is in the neck position, in the bridge position, and when coil-tapping.  It would be cool if you can say a little about what you like about the pick up(s), the general characteristics, and maybe something you don't like about it.

    -Ed Willock
    In A Can Productions

  • #2

    I'm traditional so I would vote for the Gibson PAF


    • #3
      I like both Gibson 57 Classics and Burstbucker Pros almost equally. They have very different characteristics, but they do what they do quite well.

      Honestly, I haven't really found a humbucker that sounds great coil tapped, though the SGs that had that function sounded ok. I think they were 490s.
      Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud


      • BydoEmpire
        BydoEmpire commented
        Editing a comment

        Suhr SSV for neck, definitely.  Super clear and articulate.  It's also the best sounding split HB I've ever heard - very convincing single coil tone.

        I like both the 57 Classic in the bridge of my LP and the SSH+ in the bridge of my suhr.  I think they're probably pretty similar, but it's hard to tell how much is the wood and how much is the pickup since the two guitars are very different.  I've had other bridge HBs and sticked HBs in variousg guitars, but I like those two the best from what I've owned.

    • #4
      So far, it's a three-way tie. There's the underwound BG bucker Bryan made me, the stock neck humbucker in my Tex Mex Tele Special, and the DiMarzio D-Activator.
      Mazi Bee Militia!
      JJ Pistols Kickfụck Brigade
      My gear list is in serious need of an update...


      • honeyiscool
        honeyiscool commented
        Editing a comment
        Duncan Jazz, definitely.

    • #5

      Not really a fan of coil tapping, doing phase reversals so no opinion here.


      In the neck position I tend to be more picky about tones that I find pleasing. I tend to gravitate toward the PAF tones. I also like the P90 for the neck position. So for the neck I'm liking the :

      Duncan JB Jazz and the Duncan Phat Cat

      Gibson Soap Bar P90, Classic '57

      DiMarzio PAF Pro

      For the bridge I pretty much like the DiMarzio super distortion. It just works and works well.


      All of the above are subject to change as I try more pickups in different styles of guitars. I still want to try the Duncan Pearly Gates and a couiple more of the newer DiMarzio models.. I'm still exploring tonal differences with and without metallic covers.

      I have no particular interest in active pups like the EMGs mostly because I don't want to deal with batteries.

      '78 Hamer Sunburst, Gibson LP Special, Electra X410, Fender StratFender "The Twin", '78 Fender Twin, Bugera V22, Marshall JTM 30, Marshall DSL 40C


      • jtr654
        jtr654 commented
        Editing a comment

        Mini Humbucker & EMG 89.

    • #6

      To date the WCR Darkburst is my favorite bridge PAF 'bucker. I have it in a cheapo Vintage SG clone and it sings. I have a WCR Crossroads set in my Les Paul. The bridge Crossroads is totally low output "You get out what you put in" Paf goodness. The Darkburst is SLIGHTLY hotter, a little more juice. To be fair, the two guitars are on opposite sides of the quality spectrum. I have a Crossroads neck in both and it is hands down my favorite neck pickup. Smooth, not muddy. Now that I've been playing with low output PAF types for awhile I may replace the stock Pickups in my '91 PRS Artist with a WCR combo Godwood-bridge, Darkburst- neck. Maybe a tad more presence. Dick at WCR is a class act and his waiting time is almost nil. His stuff ain't cheap but his reputation is justified.


      • InACanProductions
        InACanProductions commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks for all the replies, I've got a lot to consider.

        I have a Les Paul copy made by a Japanese company, Ventura.  I like the neck better than real LPs, but the pick ups are noisy and in use with any high gain amp they are microphonic.  I got this guitar from my friend's uncle, who found it on his garbage route.  I've had this thing for years but only used it as a back up to my 1981 Ibanez Destroyer II, but I'm playing in a project where the look of my Destroyer isn't appropriate so I want to outfit the Ventura with better pick ups and do a full rewire.  I want to use the Jimmy Page wiring scheme with coil taps, phase and series switching on push-pull pots, I'm not trying to sound like Page I just want those options.  I'm going to check out as many of PUPS you guys have mentioned as I can until I find something that I like.

        For amps I use a 3 channel Mesa Dual Rec with JJ 6L6's through a Marshall 1960a cab and I just got an Egnater Renegade 212 combo.  The amps are different but I play through each with a generous amount of gain.  I play mostly heavy rock, punk, hardcore, metal, but with the new project I'm playing more blues and classic rock.

        The opinions you guys provided have given me some good options to consider.  I'll post once I settle on a pair of PUPS and I'll try to remember to take pictures as I work on the rewire.

    • #7

      I like a lot of neck HBs but I could easily say the Carvin C22 is my best neck HB. It seems to have the perfect blend of warmth and smoothness with an almost single coil-like bite, and top-end clarity. Its sings with smooth and creamy gain tones and sparkles when played clean.  The high notes chime and the low notes pop. I would describe it as "bouncy".  I guess those are qualities found in the best examples of Paf-style HBs.

      Oddly enough the C22s on my Carvin also have the best split coil tones Ive ever heard, no bull****************. Im not really a Carvin fanboy or anything, I only own the one guitar. Maybe I just got a good one.

      As for bridge HBs, theres too many I like to pick just one, but I tend to like lower out put "Paffy" bridge pickups and use my amp and dirt boxes to control the output.


      • PaulLesFetish
        PaulLesFetish commented
        Editing a comment
        The neck pickup in the Steve Morse set is a fantastic neck pickup. The bridge is cool too, but I love the neck. Super smooth, low or high gain.