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Flipping the neck humbucker on an HH guitar

Dave Merrill

Axe-Master
I've been working on balancing the tone of the neck and bridge humbuckers in my Collings City Limits. As is pretty common I think, if an amp is set for a nice full bridge pu tone, neck gets woofy, and lacks clarity.

I recently noticed that @Mark Day had his neck pu flipped around, so the screw coil, the more active one, is on the bridge side, instead of the more common neck side. I'd think that would give it more top end.

Have any of you folks tried that?
Does it have that effect?
Did you like it?

Thoughts are welcome, including yours Mark.
 

JoKeR III

Fractal Fanatic
I did some reading awhile back on this. Seems that it's dependent upon the pickup and can affect the tone of the pickups in combination more than just a pickup on its own. I remember seeing a Dimarzio pickup or two that had the recommendation to rotate the pickup to get a slight change in tone. Not sure how much of a difference it would make in the neck position alone on a PAF type pickup though. Doesn't hurt to try, may be the 'secret sauce' you've been searching for.
 

Dave Merrill

Axe-Master
There was a recent thread about adjusting the pole pieces on humbuckers, in particular for the neck pickup.

I lot of good info in that thread.

https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/handy-humbucker-setup-guide-pole-pieces.185511/
Yes good thread, been there.

I already raised the screws on the neck pickup, which did make it a bit brighter, but it's not really out of the woods yet.

Flipping it around is kind of like moving it closer to the bridge, the active coil anyway. That should make for less low end, but also possibly a different character in general. Guess I just need to try it.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Yes good thread, been there.

I already raised the screws on the neck pickup, which did make it a bit brighter, but it's not really out of the woods yet.

Flipping it around is kind of like moving it closer to the bridge, the active coil anyway. That should make for less low end, but also possibly a different character in general. Guess I just need to try it.
Raised, or adjusted? Because part of the thread also included lowering some to help balance things.

Also, unless I'm missing something, aren't both coils "active"? I'm not a PAF expert but as far as I understand they are humbuckers with both coils in use when not spilt. Maybe I'm just not understanding?
 

State of Epicicity

Fractal Fanatic
I know you didn’t want to switch over to a single coil or noises single coil, so, maybe this one other suggestion: did you consider going to one mega ohm pots for the neck only, maybe going to 250 for the bridge just for balance? Sorry, I know this isn’t what you’re asking, but I had to put it out there.
 

Wired

Experienced
I bought a HH guitar a while back and neck pickup was flipped. I put it the normal way, and liked the sound better with it flipped.
Next time it’s on my bench I’m going to flip it around again.
 

skolacki

Power User
Don’t know about rotating the pickup. I think it’s just the nature of the beast, the imbalance.

I lowered my neck and the poles are closer on the bright side, bigger gap on the lows. I drop the volume on it and I have a treble bleed on it also. Low cut on the input block can take out some mud. @2112 ‘s Gift of tone has a nice ‘make a humbucker sound stratty’ PEQ block. I was playing around with that this evening and it’s a keeper. It puts a shine on a neck pickup, gives it some spank. Thanks LT! Every set of buckers I have bought over the years have been imbalanced despite the neck having less winds. Not sure of why they make them this way but they do.
 

MisterE

Fractal Fanatic
I flipped the neck pickup to have humbucking when selecting the inner or outer coils.
If your pickup's bobins are the same, it would't matter how you turn it I think.
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
The difference can vary slightly according to how perfectly symmetrical the winds are and the difference in the slug and screw bobbins (and the screws themselves.) If you'r looking for a subtle change and don't mind the appearance try it. On some original PAF's the difference is noticeable but this is usually down to asymmetrical coils (accidental .)
 

greiswig

Power User
As I understood it, the slugs typically have a stronger magnetic field than the screws, so all other things being equal that side would be stronger. But all other things are hardly ever equal.

it’s an easy experiment to try, but I’d make recordings and control as many variables as I could, like overall pickup height.
 
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