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hum in stewmac pickups

5/16/2006 6:40 PM
hum in stewmac pickups
I bought and installed the stewmac prewired strat. sounds good except it hums on 1,3,5 not 2 and 4. any suggestions?  
5/16/2006 6:37 PM
Steve Dallman

You have 3 single coil pickups. The middle one is reverse wound, which causes 2 and 4 to be humbucking. 1,3, and 5 are demonstrating typical single coil hum. You could heavily shield everything and rewire to avoid ground loops (sites like "Guitar Nutz" will show how) but you'll never get rid of it all unless you go to some sort of single coil sized humbuckers.  
The cheapest route is to buy three EMG Select pickups from Stew Mac. While not the most sparkling, toneful pickups in the world, they do a nice job. If you want to spend some more money, you could try any of the Duncan or Dimarzio noiseless offerings. If money isn't an object, go with Kinmans. The new samarium cobalt Fender Noiseless pickups aren't bad.  
Single coil pickups are hum antennas. I quit using them in the 70's and won't go back. Many put up with the hum to get that particular tone.  
Single coil pickups will pick up hum and noise from florescent lights, light dimmers, compressors (as are in refrigerators, coolers, air conditioners, etc) TV's, Computer monitors, neon lights, and on and on.  
Were you not aware that single coil pickups would hum as they do?
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5/16/2006 7:12 PM

thanks steve,no I wasn't. I have a old electra and it has double humbuckers and my others are acoustic. I put these into a guitar I built from scratch and it does sound really good on 2 and 4 after I leveled the frets and brought the strings down a little. I have been playing 20 years and never give the strat hum a thought. I will try and shield it better and check the site. If it's not too hard I may rewire it. I am dabbling in the relm of stompbox construction also.  
thanks again,  
5/17/2006 5:10 PM

He's right -- your Stew Macs are performing as they should. #2 and #4 no hum, #1, #3 and #5 with hum. Nothing to be worried about.
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