Magma Plume - Humbucker sized Wide Range humbucker

Magma Plume - Humbucker sized Wide Range humbucker

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Fender's Wide Range humbucker was designed and introduced in 1971. It was designed by Seth Lover (the designer of the Gibson humbucker) to help Fender compete with the ever-growing fandom of Gibson's humless pickups. It was designed to essentially recreate the single coil tone in a humless package, and was featured on Telecaster deluxes.

 

It was short lived, however, because it didn't end up sounding a whole lot like an authentic single coil. The Fender fan club had already fallen in love with their single coils - in the sense of tone, and the look of them. Wide Range humbuckers were discontinued in 1979, but have recently been seeing a huge resurgence in popularity. 

 

The Wide Range humbucker, despite following the same electronic principle as a humbucker to achieve the humlessness, sounds vastly different. This is due to the significant construction differences. The coils of the Wide Range humbucker are much larger than those of a Gibson humbucker. This means more turns of wire, more output, and a larger string sensing window (more harmonic content). They're wound with the same gauge of wire, so we can do a direct comparison when comparing the two - Wide Range humbuckers have a wind count around 30% higher than a standard Gibson humbucker. 

 

The method of magnetising the strings is also significantly different. Gibson humbuckers use a bar magnet and steel slugs and screws, Wide Range humbuckers use magnet pole pieces (CuNiFe in vintage Wide Ranges and FeCrCo in ours due to CuNiFe's modern lack of availability). Magnet pole pieces are much stronger than their steel charged by a bar magnet alternatives, magnetising the strings to a much higher saturation. This increases the output and gives the pickups a much more spanky, bright and aggressive tone.

 

In the design of the Magma Plume, we were able to wind the coils to a Wide Range specification. Unfortunately we discovered that winding the coils so much tighter than those of a Wide Range (so that they'd fit on the much smaller Gibson sized bobbins) altered the tone of the pickup to the extent that it wasn't an accurate tonal copy of a Wide Range humbucker. We've eased up on the wind count a little bit to compensate and keep the original Wide Range tone in tact. Expect fat, chimey single coil-esque tones and a moderate output.

 

Both neck and bridge models are made to identical specifications, just like vintage Wide Range humbuckers. 

 

Specifications (neck/bridge):

Resistance (Ohms): 9.7k/9.7k
Magnet: FeCrCo magnet screws
Lead wire: 4 conductor + shield
Baseplate: short legged nickel silver
Wax potted
Supplied with mounting screws & springs