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Author Topic: Making your own humbucker backplates...  (Read 494 times)
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Sneaky Pete
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« on: March 20, 2013, 02:45:49 pm »

I like to fiddle around hot-rodding guitars, and one of the most fun things is making your own version of a humbucker.

I don't mean starting from scratch and winding etc...but rather taking a few single coils and strapping them together.
I started doing this because I lusted after the Gibson Burstbuckers 1,2 and 3

But at $125 each, they're not in my price range.

Sooo...I picked out a 6.0k single coil and a 5.2k one, found an old humbucker backplate, mounted them on, connected them in series
and WOW!  ...... it's an 11k humbucker, but because the coils are un-matched, you get the most incredible harmonics.
The strong coil gives you the attack at the top end, the weaker coil gives you mid-range warmth.
This bad boy got put into a Squier strat which sounded better than every other strat we could find, including the big-bucks USA models.

But wait...can't find a HB backplate?....make your own...

And here's the best part....it doesn't have to have those stick-down bendy legs at all.
My understanding is that in the early days, pickups had those legs because they were often mounted to the guitar body and not suspended from the pickguard. It's OK to cut out a flat backplate and just drill the necessary holes in it, including the two holes for the adjusting screws.
I found a piece of 1mm stainless steel and cut some out of that with tin snips/ side cutters....worked great.
Why not give it a try...if you've got a couple of old single coils lying around. And because you're connecting them in series you can even use those old lame 4.8s, 5.0s and other underpowered stuff.    Good luck...it's worth it!
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Manfred Klose
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 04:01:05 pm »

sounds like a fun project.

you took any pictures ?
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Alan Ratcliffe
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 04:12:42 pm »

Yup. Although, the metal used does make a difference (see here for details). Nickel silver (German silver) is the preferred metal.

Also, for combining two single coils into a humbucker, you need to pay attention to magnet and coil polarity so that it actually bucks hum. Smiley

Here's a plan for those wanting to try make their own:


BTW: so many guys were mixing coils from the Duncan Custom and '59 to get the "Brown sound", that Duncan brought it out as a standard model - the SH-16:

Présentation du micro Seymour Duncan '59 Custom Hybrid - SH16 TB16
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