Author Topic: Humbucking Or Single Coil Pickups For Electric Ukuleles?  (Read 4638 times)


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Humbucking Or Single Coil Pickups For Electric Ukuleles?
« on: August 18, 2013, 09:50:28 AM »
Humbucking Vs. Single Coil Pickups
Easy to to understand. Not so easy to choose. Two questions rise right to the top of this choice.

1) TONE - Do you want an electic ukulele that sounds more "Gibsony" or more "Fendery" ?

2) NOISE - How much noise (the bad kind known as hum) will you be dealing with ?

      You have plenty of reference outside of electric ukuleles to guide you here. Since I'm talking only about electric ukuleles that are outfitted wiith magnetic pickups and strung up with steel strings you can reference the sound of various electric guitars that sport either humbucking or single coil pickups. Just be careful not to admit that you listen to guitars when speaking to other ukulele fanatics!

     Writ large, you can figure that your humbucking pickup equiped ukulele will sound closer to the higher-in-pitch notes played on elecrtic guitars that sport humbucking pickups (traditionally Gibson sound). Conversely, your single coil pickup equiped ukulele will sound more like higher notes played on electric guitars that have single coil pickups (traditionally Fender sound)

Players of electric instruments have sometimes chacterized there tone with words such as:

Humbucking pickups  (heavy, jazzy, chainsaw, smooth, bluesy, solid, crunchy)
Single coil pickups     (glassy, surfy, twangy, open high end, articulate)

The instrument (hollow or solid body, species of wood) also effect the tone of electric ukuleles. And of course the amplification and electronic processing of the ukulele can radically transform the sound and then some. If tons on overdrive and extreme effects are involved it can also become challanging to know which type pickup you are hearing.

     Humbucking pickups are inherently "quieter" (meaning less undesirable hum) than are single coil pickups. Hence, the word "humbucking" or "humbucker". However, proper shielding and grounding of electic ukuleles equiped with single coil pickups can significantly reduce unwanted hum on these instruments. Its also notable that playing with a "clean" tone using less overdrive will result in less hum on any electric ukulele. But we sometimes crave overedrive! Humbucking and single coil electric ukes all make the world go 'round.

     We love them both. We need them both! They just sound different and wonderful. Which voice do you select for your expression?

Aloha with 110voltsAC !!,
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« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 10:53:40 PM by Cstring »