humbuckers

Fig. 1

This mod enables variable splitting of humbucker pickups, allowing you to easily blend your desired amount of humbucker and split-coil tones.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. As a follow-up to the “Tapping and Splitting: What’s the Difference?” column in the October 2021 issue, this month we’ll take a closer look at variable splitting of humbuckers that’s also known as the “spin-a-split” mod. This mod can be applied to all humbuckers with a 4-conductor wiring because we need access to the start and end of both coils. You can’t do this mod to humbucker pickups with a standard 2-conductor wiring. Most humbuckers can be converted from 2-conductor to 4-conductor wiring; however, you need to open the pickup for this, which can be a delicate job. That job is best left to a guitar tech, because destroying the pickup is easy to do.

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Power to the pinky—the variety of sounds in this homage to the 1960s Colorsound Fuzz is damn near astounding. The PG Vick Audio Lucky 13 review.

Recorded with a Royer R-121 and a Shure SM57 going into an Audient iD44 then into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Eastwood Sidejack Baritone DLX with Curtis Novak Widerange Jazzmaster pickups into a Goodsell Valpreaux 21. Neck pickup, first with pedal bypassed, then engaged with Lucky 13 level at max and neck pickup selected, then middle position, then bridge, then back and forth between positions, adjusting guitar volume to various levels throughout.
Clip 2: Curtis Novak Tele-V Telecaster bridge pickup into the Lucky 13 (bypassed first, then engaged with level at 3 o’clock and guitar volume at max) then into the boost side of a SoundBrut DrVa MkII and a Ground Control Tsukuyomi mid boost, then into a 1976 Vibrolux Reverb with a Celestion G10 and a WGS G10C/S.
 
 

Ratings

Pros:
Myriad fuzz tones—from thick and gnarly to reedy and sqwonky—via guitar-volume tweaks. Cleans up really well with humbuckers. Pretty decent price.

Cons:
Somewhat unpredictable sounds, guitar to guitar/rig to rig. Can be quite noisy with single-coils.

Street:
$119

Vick Audio Lucky 13
vickaudio.com


Tones:


Ease of Use:


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Value:
 
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A Homemade “Third Hand”

While on a Gibson factory tour, I learned I could easily make my own DIY humbucker installation tool out of materials lying around my shop.

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