Humbuckers are for metal

Hello there!

I’m yet pretty ignorant about guitar gear, but at least I thought I knew that Metal is played with humbuckers because they stand better with the high gains of the genre…

And then, last night I saw live this guy playing Heavy Metal with a Telecaster :joy:. He is Mariano Sánchez, the rhythm guitarist of a Spanish band called Dünedain

Another example that you can play whatever you like, with whichever guitar you like.

PS: The photo isn’t mine :sweat_smile:


There are Teles that come with humbuckers, too, like this one:

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Sure are. My Tele comes with a pair of split coil humbuckers.

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I do fine with metal and my Strat has no humbucker. If it sounds good it is good.

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Totally agree with the idea of play anything on anything idea. Electric guitars are versatile instruments.

But, what makes a telecaster a telecaster?

If it has dual humbuckers, what makes it different from a dual humbucker SG, or even a jazz master, and so on?

Other than having the body of a telecaster, it has the guts of something else entirely, and I think a reasonable argument is that the most influential part of an electric guitar is the pickups.

This same argument goes on in classical guitar forums. When is a classical guitar no longer a classical guitar. This is of course a silly argument.

If it looks like a telecaster in the outside, call it a telecaster. But I find it all fun to think about.


You see how I don’t have any idea? :joy: I didn’t know a tele could come with humbuckers. However, the tele that you send as example, József, has the humbucker at the neck pickup, and I’m pretty sure the one I saw was single-coil at the neck :thinking:. Anyway is good to now that there are HS Teles. Thanks :slight_smile:


Sure there will be nuances aside from the aesthetics. However I agree, all the yt guitarists I see with a tele talk about the tone that the single coils give to them. But … :man_shrugging:t2:. A difficult discussion, indeed. But I can’t contribute to it, because I only own an electric and never played a telecaster.

Edit: I Edit to add a photo of mine (poor quality, sorry). To show that I think the neck pickup was single coil

It’s a shame his strumming arm is covering the bridge pickup @Rumil
In the first photo (not yours) it looks like it may be a single-coil sized or even a regular sized humbucker. It is not angled like a normal Telecaster bridge pickup. The photo makes it difficult to be sure.


Certain companies make humbuckers that fit the gap of a single coil pickup for Strats, Teles etc.
You saw Iron Maiden recently, Dave Murray plays an HHH Stratocaster.

Then there are active pickups - battery power and extra zing for the real brutalz!

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The humbucker is definitely better for Metal but the big factor is that what ever type of pickups used MUST be high output.
Humbucker pickups with lower output are great for jazz but would probably struggle to get a real metal growl!
I have two electric guitars that have P90’s, one will do metal ok the other won’t, it’s all about output. I originally planned to use aftermarket pickups for the sound I wanted on both guitars but both were good without swapping them out, the only thing was that the wrong guitar had the hot ones :joy: but hey ho c’est la vie!

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Nearly got these Strat style HBs when I pimped the Strat Affinty.

But wanted the Classic HSH look so went for these instead.

Dual coil splittable single style


Shirley you could use a boost pedal to push the effective level up?




You can but I’ve always found that you don’t get the same thing by doing that, by boosting low output pickups it can produce a quite muddy sound with a lack of separation, if you want it right the hotter wound pickups are the best way to go.


These guys make great pickups, great customer service and very, very reasonable prices even shipped overseas. I believe they are in the UK.



Yes they are UK based and mail overseas. Got mine a few years back and sent to France with no issues or additional cost. But the UK was still in the EU at the time, so European buyers be aware of possible additional cost. If I recall who are the distributor, now take off the VAT for EU customers, which means you would be liable for excise duty from your local customs officials.



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Yep, excellent pickups, my go to place for years - you can’t go wrong with their stuff! :+1::+1::+1:


So much valuable information, thanks to all!

Didn’t know the topic would be so interesting :star_struck:.

Talking about pickups, you just remembered me that one of the upgrades I can do to my axe is changing pickups. However, I don’t even know which pickups my 13 year old guitar has :sweat_smile:


My Learning Log has the story of the Affinity upgrade, if you need an idea of what’s involved.
No easy link, as it was a cut n paste from the old forum.


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Thanks Toby,

I’ll check it out :blush:

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