Humbucker to Single Coil in 2 Minutes

I had no idea what I was doing when I bought my first guitar. I didn’t know a Humbucker from a hole in the ground. My main goal was to buy the coolest looking guitar on the H&H Music Store wall.

Decades have since passed and, while I may know a bit more than that first day, I am still attracted to unique guitar shapes and styles more than I am to sound. If a striking design sounds good too, well that’s just a bonus. (My favorite Parker Fly happens to deliver the best of both worlds.)

CLGs (coolest looking guitars) always seem to have Humbucker pickups. I have envied the crisp sound of Strats and the twang of Teles for a while now. Recently, I typed “make a humbucker sound like a single coil” into a Google search, more as a joke to myself, never expecting any real solution. I was surprised to find lots of info on the subject. Several mods involved Coil Splitting, an aftermarket fix that requires major surgery to the internal wiring.

But there was one link to a provocatively titled forum post – Make ANY humbucker sound like a single coil in 2 minutes. A laughingly bold claim? Click-bait if there ever was any, right?

I took the bait. It lead to a video by Scott Grove with the afore-mentioned title. Scott is one of my online guitar heroes and has hours and hours of YouTube videos full of great playing, advice and instruction. To make a long story short, the Humbucker to Single Coil conversion involves grabbing a screwdriver and removing the post screws from the back side of each Humbucker. Scott’s video explains the technique in detail, and this forum thread debates the pros, cons and alternatives.

IMG_2972A few minutes (with an allen wrench in my case) was all it took to transform the magnetic output of my Parker to a brighter, downright twangy sound.

Every guitar is different and your mileage my vary, but try out this quick mod and see what you think. It can easily, and quickly, be reversed by simply replacing the screws.

As president of Tracy Evans Productions, Inc. for over 18 years Tracy splits his time between being an animator, director, producer, stage magician, graphic designer, art director, programmer, editor, consultant, speaker and writer of third-person autobiographical blurbs.

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