If you’re a modding addict like me, then you likely have a box full of spare parts kicking around and nothing to do with them. Well I’m here to say that if you’ve got a guitar with some single coils you aren’t entirely satisfied with, and some extra parts laying around, then there are some cool things you can do with them. So on that note, let’s talk about hacking your single coil pickups.

Today’s hack is adding punch to a single coil pickup in just 3 short steps! This hack is intended to make a regular single coil sound more like a telecaster bridge pickup. How is this done? Easy, but there are a few things you will need for this hack:

  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • A thin piece of metal (I like to use steel, but copper, aluminum and brass will work – feel free to experiment with any metal that is either ferrous, can conduct electricity or both)
  • A hacksaw
  • Epoxy or paraffin wax
  • Some extra hookup wire

(This mod requires basic soldering knowledge. If you don’t have any experience in this I’d recommend reading our article called “Guitar Soldering for Beginners”.)

1. What you’re going to do here first is remove the pickup you would like to mod and trace it onto the piece of metal, now cut that shape out as close as you can (This is where some nice files or a grinder can make life easier with the fine tuning of the shape).

2. Attach the newly cut baseplate to the bottom of the pickup with a few tiny dabs of epoxy or a sticky thing of your choosing. Make sure it’s stable though. I use thick viscosity epoxy (that quick set stuff in hardware stores), because it can help stabilize the slice of metal and keep it from creating any microphonic feedback.

3. Now attach a grounding wire to the bottom of the baseplate with some solder and bango! You’ve got yourself a punchier single coil.

Now what exactly did this hack do? Well depending on the metal you chose will affect how it interacts with the single coil. First off if you used steel, this is a ferrous metal that also can also affect the pickups electrodynamic capabilities. What does this mean for you? Well basically a ferrous metal sticks to magnets – this will increase the magnetic strength and pull of the pickup which will add top end and increase the pickup’s attack, assuming you used a reasonably thick piece of steel. On the other hand the steel also increases the inductance of the pickup and will also provide a bit of extra shielding because it is also conductive and creates an eddy current interference which will essentially help warm up the tone by shifting some of the focus towards lower frequencies – this part is what will happen if you chose a metal like brass, copper or aluminum because they aren’t magnetic, but will conduct electricity.

I hope this article was helpful, or at least interesting! If you enjoy modding, check out another guide of ours called 3 Easy Humbucker HacksIf you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some more. We upload articles, review, guides, and more every day!

This article was written  by Keegan Connor, our editor located in Canada.

About The Author