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Thread: Covered HBs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Covered HBs

    Hey all.

    I’m interested in some covered Anderson HBs. My favorite Anderson pup is the H2+. What’s the closest to that in covered pickups? I’m less interested in the output level than I am in the tone. Why isn’t there a covered version of this pickup? Seems like it’s pretty popular.

    Thanks...
    Tiger Eye Hollow Drop Top, Hollow T (with M's), Gold Dust Classic (SSS), Honeyburst Bulldog, Carved Top Bengal Burst Suhr Modern (Floyd), Strandberg Boden OS7, Fractal Audio Axe FX XL, Mesa Boogie Triaxis/2:90, Mesa Boogie Lonestar, other stuff :-)

  2. #2
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    The H2+ has very wide hifi like presence with a powerful and full midrange and good bass compared to regular traditional PAF style humbuckers. Anderson's covered humbuckers (the HC series) have a very different response curve, more like a PAF. They are covered versions of the HF series.

    The HC2 sounds like a medium output PAF, but doesn't have the presence of the H2+. It has more of a narrow mid presence like a slightly overwound PAF and does what it does really well. But, it doesn't sound like the H2+. I have a HF1+ that is IMO the perfect vintage PAF style option for the bridge. A bit more sparkle than a real PAF, but can be made to sound almost identical by rolling down the tone slightly. I've become a low output pickup convert as all my amps (and pedals) have more than enough gain to take a low output pickup and boost it to death metal levels. Tone controls and EQ adjustments can roll off high frequencies and boost mids when needed.

    I haven't tried the HF3+ or HC3+, but those are supposed to be the hot versions and might sound more modern just because they are so much hotter than a vintage PAF. They inherently have less treble and therefore sound more middy for that reason. Still won't have the full range 'balls' of the H series.

    The H series (H2+, etc) don't have as much mid boost as traditional humbuckers, and need to be EQ'd differently to cut through the mix. But, I've found I can get excellent tone out of both the HF1+ and the H2+. They just need to be dialled differently. The H2+ has a similar wide response to EMG actives (like the 81/85), but in a passive design.

    I also find that a covered pickup loses a little of the high end sparkle that I love for clean playing. I took the cover off a HC2 and it sounded more clear without the cover. Although for really low output pickups, I can live with the cover as the pickups have more than enough sparkle to take the hit. IMO, covering a H2+ with a nickel cover would take away some of the magic. But, if you really wanted to, you could file down the sides of the bobbins to fit it into a cover and try it out - and you need to find a cover deep enough.
    Last edited by pipedwho; 07-03-2019 at 04:10 AM.

  3. #3
    tom is offline Supreme Commander of the Anderson Empire
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    there have been enough requests on this discussion that i think it is time for us to do a little experimenting here to see if we can keep what people love about the H2+ while adding a cover to it.
    a question, would an open top cover be enough, or are you all really after the full metal cover?

  4. #4
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    Wow, exciting!

    I personally really like the look of the open covered PH, but I also like the look of the uncovered fibre bobbins of the HF and H series. But, I see all these great vintage looking TAGs with the black H series pickups that would look more the part with covered pickups.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    there have been enough requests on this discussion that i think it is time for us to do a little experimenting here to see if we can keep what people love about the H2+ while adding a cover to it.
    a question, would an open top cover be enough, or are you all really after the full metal cover?
    I’d prefer the look of a full cover (for what I have in mind). ��. I’ve got an HF3 in the bridge of my bulldog. It sounds great, but it lacks the clarity that I love in my drop top.
    Last edited by pneil; 07-06-2019 at 11:39 AM.
    Tiger Eye Hollow Drop Top, Hollow T (with M's), Gold Dust Classic (SSS), Honeyburst Bulldog, Carved Top Bengal Burst Suhr Modern (Floyd), Strandberg Boden OS7, Fractal Audio Axe FX XL, Mesa Boogie Triaxis/2:90, Mesa Boogie Lonestar, other stuff :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by pneil View Post
    Id prefer the look of a full cover (for what I have in mind). ��. Ive got an HF3 in the bridge of my bulldog. It sounds great, but it lacks the clarity that I love in my drop top.
    Keep in mind that a mahogany neck/body short scale guitar like the Bulldog will have less of that sparkling clarity of a longer scale, maple neck, ash/alder/basswood bodied S type guitar - irrespective of the pickup. That said, the H2+ does sound great and clear in my Cobra S which is also short scale/mahogany. But, the same pickup sounds much more clear in my Droptop.

    It sounds like you might be a low output pickup guy and not know it. I had the same issue, and tried out the HF1+ and it had everything I wanted in spades. Just needed to turn up the gain on the amp and roll down the tone for high gain stuff. Definitely something worth considering - unless you've already gone there and ruled it out.

    I feel the H2+ matches better tonally with a set of M1s in the neck and middle. The H series (even the hotter ones) are like the M's and have a similar single coil like clarity that regular mid emphasised PAF style humbuckers don't have.

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