Tech Tip:What Is A Humbucker?


There are two main types of electric guitar pickups: single coils and humbuckers. Single coils were the first pickups invented. They consist of a single bobbin (spool) containing one or more magnets. Humbuckers, developed by Seth Lover while working for Gibson in 1955, are two single coils that are wired together. By hooking a pair of single-coil pickups together, you get less noise than a typical single coil, and you get fatter, richer tone. You also get much more output than single-coil pickups, so they overdrive amps much differently. Humbuckers usually have two bobbins side-by-side, but there are also "stacked" humbuckers that are actually two single coils stacked on top of each other. Stacked humbuckers require no new holes or modifications to a standard single-coil guitar, and they deliver the same fat tone as side-by-side humbuckers.