# 2 Single-coil = 1 Humbucker?

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hey, i was just wondering if its possible to emulate a humbucker by combining 2 single-coils, like place them beside each other, and connect them to the same lug, that sorta thing. but if not, then what's the result? soundwise. thanks.

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It will be hum-cancelling if you wire it up correctly and one of the pickups is reverse-wound and reverse-polarity.

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It will be hum-cancelling if you wire it up correctly and one of the pickups is reverse-wound and reverse-polarity.

alright, it'll hum-cancel similar to a strat position 2 or 4, but does the shorter distance improve the hum-cancelling? and would it sound anything like a 'real' humbucker?

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By "real", I'm assuming you mean like a Gibson humbucker. In a word, no, not exactly, but it'll depend on how the single coils were constructed. If it's a traditional SC, then the polepieces are individual magnets. Gibson humbuckers use a bar magnet that touches all the polepieces to prevent string dropout and simplify assembly. Now, some cheaper SC pickups also use small bar magnets on steel polepieces for simplicity and cost, and using two of those might sound closer, but you have to keep in mind that SC pickups are usually wound hotter than the individual coils on a humbucker, so YMMV.

Check out Rio Grande Pickups. They've been using the "two single-coils as a humbucker" concept for a long time.

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A humbucker is two coils wired in series, which means you get the sum of the outputs of the two coils (so twice the output of one of the coils). Positions two and four on a strat are two coils wired in parallel, which means (essentially) that you get the average of the outputs of the two coils - there's not an increase in output over a single coil by itself.

If you keep them in parallel like a strat is wired, you'll never have anything close to a humbucker. If you wire them in series, that'll at least get you closer and will make a lot bigger difference than how close together the coils are.

The hum-canceling effect has very little to do with the distance between the two coils. If you have a strat that hums a lot in positions 2 and 4, either there's a problem with your wiring, your pickups have significantly different output levels (number of windings), or the control cavities and wire runs are not shielded.

Edited by jnewman
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The Duncan "Stag Mag" are two SCs combined into one HB. I have tried it and I say that I didn't like the HB sound at all. I didn't even like the SC sound either. I get a better SC sound from the Jazz bridge pickup I traded the Stag Mag for, and that is a traditional split coil HB!!!

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