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Single Coil or Humbucker Guitar Pickups ?

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Single Coil or Humbucker Guitar Pickups ? - So which is it ? Well all pickups work off the same basic principle, you wind a magnet with wire 100s or 1000s of times and when you pluck the string the vibration is "picked up" by the magnetic field and sent down the wire to the tone circuit in the guitar, down the cord where this tiny signal is "amplified" by your amp to the gods of thunder. Kerangggggggggggggggg ! Very simple ! The single coil guitar pickup came first, and I must say these guys had it pretty much nailed in the late 40s and 50s. That single coil pickup was crisp, tight, it could be bright or darker depending on the placement in regards to the bridge. Closer to the bridge the more treble, more towards the neck the deeper the sound. This is for all pickups not just single coils. But for a palette of tones this is why the strat guitar is so pleasing with 3 pickups and an array of tones. For me the single coil as I have gotten wiser and older is just the pickup for me, I love the transparency and clarity. It also seems to work better with guitar pedals than humbuckers. They are so well made today I rarely hear any hum or noise to complain about but in the day it drove players nuts. Hence the solution the HUMbucker, get it HUM bucker.

Seth Lover came up with the idea of taking two single coils and making the magnetics opposite at each end thereby cancelling any hum. It is a genuis idea, and did create the first quiet pickups and also a new sound. By the use of 2 single coils the magnetic pickup field is twice as wide so your picking up much more tone so the signal got louder or hotter and also fuller. You can tell a humbucker sound because it's very beefy and chunky right off the bat, for this reason it became the favorite of rock guys right away. But to me you get all the fullness at the expense of being muddy you lose the crisp detailed sound of single coils. It becomes very hard to get the guitar to cut thru as easily as a single coil does, but yes you can make it work it just doesn't inspire me as much as a killer single coil.

Which is for you ? We live in a time with 1000s of guitar pickups being produced. But these are the two basic schools, single and humbucker. Too chose just play guitar, listen, and get inspired.