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Fender Telecaster Bass Humbucker vs. Gibson Mudbucker.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by redielg, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. redielg


    Jun 9, 2008
    From my understanding, these two pickups have vastly different construction. The Fender one is the bass version of the Wide Range humbucker, with cunife magnet pole pieces. The Gibson mudbucker had bar magnets though, right? as per usual with gibson humbuckers.

    However, they're both notoriously muddy (not necessarily a bad thing) from what I've heard in person and through youtube clips. Is is this due to the position of the pickups? the number of winds of coil? the pot and cap values?

    Just a bit curious I guess.
  2. mc_muench


    Sep 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Love me some mud...

    I have no valuable input on this topic, just love a good old mud pie maker
  3. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    The Fender one is close to the WRHB, you're right. The Gibson Mudbucker, on the other hand, is a sidewinder. Unlike the WRHB which has upright coils (with the polepieces facing towards the strings), the Mudbucker has sideways coils with a set of polepieces in the center and bar magnets on the outer edges.

    I'm not sure what resistance the Telebucker is wound to, but a mudbucker can go in excess of 30 kOhm DCR (which is a lot if you consider a regular pickup to be in the 7 to 12 kOhm range, give or take). The fact it's wound so heavily gives it an almost-pipe-organ sound, the facts it's close to the fretboard gives it mud, but the fact it senses the coil mostly through the one row of polepieces gives it clarity.
    Will_White and Wilkins like this.
  4. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I would love to play and examine a fender humbucker some day. I long to try an ovation with its disgustingly massive pickup as well. I have three mudbuckers. One an eastwood? telle copy with a EBO setup, an italia mondial, and an epiphone rivoli. All three of those pickups sound so different. All wonderfully muddy, all three of their resistances are very different. The italia is the most articulate with the lowest at 8k. The one has about 30k! THAT THING SINGS THE BASS! look out headroom! Here comes thunder and pant flappage!
  5. redielg


    Jun 9, 2008
    Does anyone know what potentiometer and capacity values were used respectively with each pick up?
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The Gibson used 500K volumes and 250K tones. I'd guess the Fender used 250k, which is what the Tele Deluxe guitar with the WRHB uses.

    They are very different pickups. The WRHB is on the dark side, but the Gibson mudbucker is extremely overwound to the point that it has pretty much no treble response.

    The Ovation pickup was actually very clean sounding, since it has four separate coils.

    Another great mudbucker was the old Guild humbuckers they used after the Hagtrom Bi-Sonics. They were ultra fat sounding, and sounded different from the Gibson pickup.
  7. redielg


    Jun 9, 2008
    I thought the tele deluxe used 1meg pots.
    ChristoMephisto likes this.
  8. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I tried one of the new Modern Player Tele Basses, and while it had a huge bass response, it did not sound muddy like, say, an EB-0 might. Granted I don't know how much the new product deviates from the original design either.
  9. MechEngr


    Jun 26, 2007
    The 70's Tele basses with the big humbucker used 1 Meg pots with different part numbers. I suspect, but I can't say for sure, that the volume pot was audio and the tone pot was linear.
  10. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    Modern Player humbuckers are wound to 20K.
  11. I'm toying with the idea of adding a muidbucker-type pickup to my P/J bass. I just love the old Jack Bruce/Cream and other EB-x type tones, but I'd rather not play a short scale bass.

    It seems like these pickups are also somewhat hard to source - I can't find any WRHBs for sale, and as for the mud buckers its either the super expensive Novak pickup or the Gotoh (which as I've read around here is not too bad), unless you can find one out of a Gibson/Epi.

    Any thoughts on which one would work better in a P/J setup?
  12. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man- Supporting Member

  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    if you are mud curious you can try a gibson grabber with the pickup pushed all the way towards the neck
  14. I've seen the Novak. Apparently it sounds amazing, and its also expensive, so I'm considering less expensive options first.

    As for the Grabber suggestion, there are definitely a lot of basses with pickups slammed against the neck that I'd love to try. In particular, the Lakland Decade is on my GAS list. My question though is about adding some sort of dark, bassy, muddy pickup to my existing P/J bass.
  15. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Grab an Artec EB-0 pickup. They cost about 30 USD and they are wound to the same high specs as the original. And, if you find the tone too muddy, the four conductors can easily be rewired into parallel so you can get a cleaner yet still deep tone.
  16. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    also if you want mud, get the marshall brown ibs shallow 115s with the celestion sidewinders, almost forgot
  17. I figure it'll have to be the Artec or the Gotoh if I'm staying in a lower budget. Then, if I really like the tone and use it often, I can upgrade to a vintage EB-O pup, a Novak, or something like that.

    I do still wonder about a Fender WRHB, but they seem rather hard to locate.
  18. I've just put the original Fender WRHB pickup back into a 73 tele-bass for a bloke I'm working for. whoa it is neat sounding, quite wide-open not much focus to the tone, but it sounds big and somewhat muddy doesn't overpower in the low end and has a bit of drivey growl in the low mids.

    Definitely not MY kind of sound, but I can see how it could be used if you're going for a ZZ-Top kind of sound.

    Personally I much prefer the earlier tele-bass single coils, those are dirty but focused.
  19. brainburst


    Jan 10, 2012
    bronx ny
    I have a pair of those Artec mudbuckers in an Epi eb3

    Wired them in both series and parallel within and between the pickups. Sound awesome.

    But those Artec had to be fixed. Magnets and coils were wired wrong. Artec persists in wiring them like traditional hum buckers. Also you know the magnets are wrong if the pole pieces do not pull strongly as the top and bottom seem to.
  20. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I just made a discovery this weekend. I know all us mudbucker lovers enjoy clarity some of the time....
    I was practicing yesterday and my mind wandered until it found a good excuse not to run scales and arpeggios. There was a screwdriver close by. I adjusted my pole pieces in below the chrome cover. Its a prettier wooly fart that is much more well rounded! I don't really know what to attribute this too, perhaps less magnetic pull, maybe more "sensing" from the magnets...but I say try it. The string balance is better than ever and the whole notes bloom more.
    mrlvx likes this.

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