Low-hum single-coil?

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Steve Sawyer
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Low-hum single-coil?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Having been playing a humbucker-equipped guitar for a few months, I’m finding the hum of my (super well-shielded) Strat to be really annoying. Looking to stay in the ballpark tone-wise, but ditch the hum.

Has anyone any experience with Lace Sensor pickups? They seem very reasonably priced for a set of three and have good reviews on Amazon, but not a lot mention the hum specifically.

Whaddya think?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000B3ZFYM/re ... wEbAWQDVEP

Thanks!
==Steve==

David King
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Re: Low-hum single-coil?

Post by David King »

I've taken a couple of them apart over the decades and they are somewhat unique on the inside with some attempt at shielding but they are not hum cancelling by any stretch of the imagination. They are wound with extremely fine wire, like awg 46 which is wrapped around a pair of low carbon steel combs with fingers that are bent over at 90º to form the top and bottom of the coils. The magnets are flexible ferrite strips which are stuck to the outside of the coil on either side and between the bent over fingers. The sound has been described as smooth and mellow, not what I'd associate with a strat and this is probably because the aperture under the string (length of string being sensed) is wider than a normal single coil.
You can add a dummy coil to any single coil pickup to render it hum canceling but with any luck at all your 3 pickup set will be Reverse Polarity Reverse Wind so that either combination of neck + middle or middle + bridge will be hum canceling.
If you really want to get a hum-free strat tone you might want to look at a higher end pickup set like the Kinman pickups from down under.

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Low-hum single-coil?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Thanks for your thoughts, David. My Strat's center is RPRW, but even when running it in conjunction with the neck or bridge pup, I'm getting some noise, especially when running any kind of overdrive (I have to stand in a certain position to get it to completely quiet down).

I looked at those Kinman's, and depending which "named set" I go with, they're really not too bad. About $250 for their "blues" set.
==Steve==

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: Low-hum single-coil?

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

You said it hums less depending on how you're standing.
That means you are picking up 60 cycle interference from somewhere.
Could be almost anything. Lights are the biggest culprit, but a bad ground in the house wiring can also contribute.
Even old wiring in the wall can add hum.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

David King
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Re: Low-hum single-coil?

Post by David King »

Not to mention the power transformer in your amp.
I'm not seeing any evidence that the Lace sets are RPRW but the middle PU can be modified as i have done with the Jazz bass sets. It's a very tricky epoxy picking job, not for the faint of heart.
Lots of options out there for hum free strat pickups (all the major aftermarket manufacturers make them) but not all of them will give you a convincing strat sound. Split coils, stacked coils, side by side coils, dummy coil schemes like the one built into the back of the pickguard used by Suhr guitars. If you don't need that exact Albert Collins "ice pick" sound a set of Joe Bardens or Seymour Duncan HotRails, Red Devils etc might be just fine for you and heavily discounted on the usual platforms.

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Low-hum single-coil?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Thanks David. And yes, Gordon - that was my conclusion as well. My house is pretty well wired, but I know that there is one outlet in our bedroom - across the hall from the music room - that has a bad ground. I've shielded the hell out of this Strat, and used a continuity tester to make sure everything including the "Faraday cage" is grounded, but I'm still getting an annoying amount of noise.

I'm not a purist wrt tone, but I do like the twang of the single-coils, and would like to preserve as much of that as possible. I'll take a look at the Joe Barden and Seymour Duncan options.
==Steve==

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