HumBucker Pickups, Pick Up What You Like

Bright tonality, tight sound, and Hum-free. Humbucking pickups made history in modern rock and metal genres. they are versatile and well-known as best in delivering distortion into Amps.

seymour duncan pickups on spalted maple tele
seymour duncan pickups on spalted maple tele

around us guitarists there are alternating magnetic fields which create hum, as we know that alternating current electrical equipments such as amps produce magnetic fields, and, the humbuckers reduce alternating magnetic fields’ interference via phase cancellation by connecting the coils together out of phase.

Other Humbucker designs

Stacked humbuckers.

Stacked humbuckers
Stacked humbuckers

this is an alternative humbuckers design to compensate old guitar designs which has single coil size hole on its body. instead of put the pickups side-by-side, stacked humbucker saves size into single coils’ size and can be installed to stratocasters model.

hotrails and quadrails on Fernandes FR 55
Hotrails and Quadrails on Fernandes FR 55

Rail humbuckers. this design divides single coils pickups size in half. These pickups are just like a normal, a bit smaller, humbucking pickups. the two pole pieces resemble a rail. currently I put these pickups into my Fernandes FR-55 guitar which has awesome-looking.


Coil splits. actually this is another stacked humbuckers which can be separated into single coils using the coil tap. my Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster Spalted Maple Top HH uses this concept and i applied it to my Fernandes too. sounds great with more tone options.

Gretsch Mini Humbucking Pickups
Gretsch Mini Humbucking Pickups on Gretsch G5236 electromatic pro jet 125th anniversary

other design you might notice is mini humbucking pickups. basically they are resized humbuckers and this design is cute! :))

various humbucker pickups on guitars
various humbucker pickups on guitars

The main idea of humbuckers is reducing hum, so we can have no worries about overdrive hum and distortion noises. we can hit the blues note clearly. But it also creates another sound which is different from single coil pickups’ and become recommendations for modern rock and metal guitarists.

For the sake of my life-time guitar learning, Here I made Humbucker pickups shoot out on YouTube, focused on bridge position. Each type produces slightly different sound but generally it’s bright. I’m using ZOOM Q3HD for capturing the videos, while I connect its Line-In directly to my Behringer Xenyx 502 mixer’s Main Out. I was not using any DirectBox, I only use BOSS GT 8 as my guitar effects processor connected to my mixer.

Bridge Humbucker pickups ShootOut

so, have you consider your humbuckers pickups choice for your guitar? hope you like my video shootout and get some better consideration after you watch it. have nice day, metalheads!

four humbuckers pickup wiring diagram – all hotrails and quadrail

Recently i installed my spare pickups to my Fernandes FR 55, they are Duncan Designed hotrails pickups and a quadrail pickup(brand unknown). It is temporary until i get the pickups i want,though. but here’s some problems i encounter when i installed them:

– can’t find the right phase for all pickups

– cable colors are confusing

well, it’s actually only two problems, but i spent the whole day to get the right phase for these pickups. you can solve this problem with an AVOmeter, but since i don’t have it, i have to try it one-by-one with cablejacks and miniamp to test the connectivity.

and this is what i got from that:

hotrails quadrailFYI: i forgot to draw the unwrap cable output from pickups, but i solder them all to ground. and consider that some unknown brand using different cable color for hot and ground. this was my real problem with the unknown brand quadrail pickup.. it has the same cables colors, but when i connected them according to seymour duncan cable coding, it is gone out of phase.  the pickup wiring diagram above is exactly what I’ve done to get the right phase.

the sound i got from that pickup wiring diagram:

i use the coiltap to split all the pickups. so in lifted-coiltap, i have S-S-H pickups formation.  AND, in pushed-coiltap, i have the H-H-HH pickups formation.

the output is actually awesome, BUT, my pickups are the default factory ones, so, their sound quality isn’t that good. can’t get more clarity, since the default pickups usually are average-to-bad pickups. it’s muddy, but i can overcome that with compression pedal.

but, i tell you, this could be awesome if you have high-quality hotrails and quadrail pickups. the hum-cancelling works perfectly. there are no noise on my guitar sound output. the tone is actually hum-free with very good sustain. but i need better hotrails and quadrail, though, to get the wood tone comes out of my guitar. (my fernandes is maple neck and mahogany body, tough one)