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Stacked Humbuckers


Jon Bell
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How do stacked humbuckers work? I know some strat replacements are stacked humbuckers. Is it just like a folding humbucker in half or is there something more complicated going on? Assuming it is two coils on top of each other is the bottom coil just for hum cancelling or does it add to the sound of the pickup as well?

Has anybody ever used them? Do they have a single coil or a humbucker sound? Or perhaps a mixture?

Thanks,

Jon

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they put one coil above the other instead of side by side. the two coils stop the hum, and the singles are claimed to still make a single coil sound, with no hum (i wrote hum with no sound at first!) i havent tried one so i don't know how accurate that claim is. This is what the fender "noiseless" singles are. i also thinkl they have a slap of steel to isolate the coils. meh. someone else will give you a more detaled explaination, but thats what i know.

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some are designed to sound sigle coilish, like dimarzio hs2. while other sound really close to a full size, like the seymore jb jr. i like hotrails pickups for retro fit. the are essentialy mini hbs for strats, sound cool too.

look at the dimarzio web site for a detailed explanation of the design.

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I have the Seymour Duncan Classic Stacks in my strat and they sound pretty clean to me. Although I've never been able to stand actual single coil 60-cycle hum, nor have I ever heard the "bell" sound of a single coil, so my version of clean may be different than yours. But they are clean enough to where the don't distort on the clean tone, hold ther own under Mesa distortion (with no hum), and actually look like the 50s Fender single coils.

As far as the works go...humbucker wires are in a figure eight pattern, and stacked or mini humuckers either use thinner magnets in their figure eight (looks compressed) or are rotated 90 degrees in the Z-direction. They use less windings if they are trying to achieve a "clean" tone. With that being said, the smaller ones should sound just like the full size humbuckers, but being that the pole positions aren't in the same place, it'll probably sound a little bit different.

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I have stacked single coils in my Ibanez 540R (Like a JS) and it has stacked PUs in the neck and middle position. I think they sound great. It all depends on what you want. For a real vintage or boutique Strat or Tele sound, better to go with traditional PUs (Modern single coils will actually cancel hum in the "in-between" positions if they are reverse wound). But for a modern single coil tone, the stacks are very good. I can actually get a petty convincing strat/tele sound out of my guitar, even though the B/M position uses half of the humbucker.

-Sven

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