Question about mounting two single coils...

When using 2 single soil pups, a neck and a bridge, depending on how they're wired, can they become a humbucker? Sort of the way radio telescopes miles apart become a huge telescope, much larger than either?

I'm not good at electrical on my own...

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One has to be wound in reverse polarity of the other? Here’s a present from the outer fringe of Google:

Ah..... so it's a winding thing rather than a wiring thing, right?

Even the middle  reversed wound pickup in a strat combined with either the neck or bridge is still not a humbucker. The combination is 'hum canceling. It's a distance thing. Yes they cancel the 60 cycle hum. But because they are far apart they also cancel frequencies from the strings. That's why both the bridge plus mid and neck plus mid have a quacky sound to them. So if you did use the mid reversed wound pickup in the bridge position along with the standard neck pickup you would end up with an out of phase sound. Because of the distance between the two pickups. Using both bridge and neck pickups will give you close to a tele sound. Then you can use the mid pickup in another build. By itself or with another mid pickup so they don't phase each other out. 

A old Tele or old Les Paul had 2 single coil pickups that were the same polarity and direction and had a thin sound when the 2 pickups were used together in parallel. They did slightly buck some hum. This lead to having one of the pickups RWRP(reverse wound reverse polarity) of the other and did buck hum in the middle switch position. This was in parallel wiring.

1957 saw the developement of Gibson's double coil humbucker pickup, but some still preferred the single coil sound. Jimi Hendrix and a couple other well known musicians were getting creative with the switches on their Fender guitars and Jimmy Page actually wired his pickups on his Tele in series for the first 3 albums of Led Zeppelin. Later a 4 way switch was developed for the Tele that offered parallel and series humbucking and a 5 way switch for the Strat that offered parallel humbucking with pickups that were RWRP.

For parallel quack sound, the pickups need to be within a certain distance of each other for better effect. Single coil pickups with distance between them can be wired in series and achieve humbucking results, but the tone can be less desirable with greater distance. Jimmy Page sounded like he was playing a HB equipped LP on those first couple albums, but it was a Tele with 2 singles wired in series and a phase issue.

People call the double coil pickup a humbucker because that's what it was designed to do and it does it. Old versions were 2 wire pickups, but newer versions come in 4 wires to allow parallel/series/coil split/coil tap and phase shifting. Singles in a 2 or 3 pickup guitar can be wired or modded for hum cancelling(AKA Humbucking), but their tonal qualities are different due to distance between pickups.

I have a Strat type guitar with a double coil bridge pickup and 2 single coils in middle and neck positions. This is known as a H/S/S setup and many modern Strats come with this setup. The bridge pickup is splitable(didn't care for it because the split coil was only 6k and a bit thin sounding), the 2 singles are low wind(5.5k middle/5k neck) ceramic mag pickups and were a bit lackluster. I wired the singles together in series as a humbucker and installed a 3 way switch. Result was one of the best neck humbucker tones on any of my guitars. Those 2 singles are 1" apart from each other instead of the usual 2" on regular Strats and that probably plays a part in those results.

Fender made a double coil pickup in the early days called a Wide Range Humbucker(AKA WRHB) and used on their Deluxe Tele and Thinline Tele Deluxe. These pickups were 2 Strat coils in a wide housing that created a slight amount of space between the coils. The Alnico poles were replaced with CUNIFE screw poles(3 up and 3 down for each coil) and the coils were wired in series. These pickups are awesome tonewise and originals can go for 400 to 500 dollars apiece. Reissues were made, but they are completely different and only come close to sounding like the originals.

Pickups are awesome and wonderful things. Some sound great, some sound terrible and some can be mediocre. The smallest change can make a big difference.

Wow. I had no idea it's so esoteric. 

I'm still trying to sort out all the different tonalities being described with what I remember hearing from various artists. Maybe you can answer this...

Gilmour (if I had a wish, it would be to play like him) on 'Comfortably Numb'...that first note or two when he launches into that second solo,  (at 5:05) what is that? It sounds to me like borderline feedback or maybe a harmonic, but no matter what, how the hell do you control something like that? Is is playing on a ragged, razor's edge, or is it something else?

Pretty basic stuff there James, he’s simply bending a false harmonic, but the Delay pedal & the gain coming from the Big Muff is what makes it so foreboding? The only way to get there is to learn the basic fundamentals of the the guitar & lots of practice? He’s a real master of the Pentatonic scale, one of the best? 

Well, as a non-player and just a fan, for my money he's at the top. I've seen Zep, Outlaws, Boston, E.L.P., etc. and NOTHING evokes such emotion (negative emotions, anguish, despair, etc.) IMHO. It's his soul flowing through wood and steel...

That first note of the Comfortably Numb outro solo has always sounded accidental (in a very very good way) to me. Interesting that it's a 'basic technique'....

Who knows, it probably was a happy accident, Lol, everything changes when the tapes roll in’? After the edge of the pick leaves the string, meaty part of your thumb deflects off the string, causing that false harmonic sound? I say it’s basic, cuz I learned it in my first few years of playing? Mostly on accident, I just got better at controlling it. You can do anything if you put your mind to it, practice & a little help & guidance is really the key to learning? I’m self taught, I learned from watching people play & have played by ear since the beginning, these days you can learn to play like Gilmour on YouTube, I had to figure it out for myself, maybe a few simple video lessons for beginners will help you get on your playing journey? I’m sure you have a few friends patient enough to show you a few things? That’s how I got started? On this build, you should pop in a humbucker & split the coils, I have wired some laps with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gate’s humbuckers & the range of tones you can summon is pretty impressive? 

Yeah, I have a 2 wire 'bucker I'm putting in. When my woodworking skills raise enough to not scrap out a nice piece of wood, the baritone build has a Kent Armstrong 213 (IIRC) waiting for it.

Accidents happen more than we will ever know.

A lot of things we here in recordings can be hard to copy due to all the effects and recording techniques being used in the studios.

He's hitting the string and pulling it sharp with the tremolo, then does a bend afterwards.

Gilmour is fantastic, love all his stuff. Other players that really stand out to me is Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, SRV, EVH, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Gary Moore, Pat Travers, George Lynch, Zack Wilde and Joe Bonamassa.  Another good guy from my home town of Memphis and he's making a comeback these days is Eric Gayles.


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