Wulf's Webden

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Les Guitar

My electric guitar, a Hamer Californian 4, is in the Fender Stratocaster lineage – three pickups, a five way selector switch and a classic rock guitar sound. However, it is quite different from the other classic rock guitar sound, the Gibson Les Paul (and other dual humbucker models). I recently made the mistake of watching some videos comparing the two tones and, almost inevitably, I tended to prefer the one I didn’t have!

Pickups on my Hamer guitar

Blue Guitar

Fortunately, I watched a few more videos and gleaned that I could get at least part of the way across that divide with FX. The characteristic of the humbuckers is that they have a thicker tone with a stronger midrange. Last night, I got round to messing around with my Zoom unit and got a pleasing result by combining a graphic EQ, a gritty DI box (based on the SansAmp Bass Driver box) and an amp model.

Maybe there will still be another guitar in my future (I’m currently making the mistake of watching videos about the current Variax modelling guitar line-up) but this will do me for now. It’s sounding good in the practise room; I’m looking to try it at church tomorrow (and I’m also going to count the photo towards my 52photos project).


  1. You could introduce a switch to add two of the single coils together to get the humbucker sound…I have one on my telecaster and it works a treat.

    • I’d assumed that was what the five-way switch did – I’ll have to do some more homework. I had seen a mod where you rewire the pickups so that position 4 (normally neck and mid) becomes neck and bridge, for a tele type sound, which would appeal apart from the fact that neck and mid is currently my default favourite setting.

      Perhaps I just need more guitars…

      • I think (i am by no means sure) that a standard 5 way would give you a series configuration but you could wire it to make it parallel…(or is it the other way round?). Either way i had a 4 way switch installed on my Tele and it does achieve the desired result IE 2 pickups working together as a humbucker as opposed to its out of phase pairing.

      • You can never have too many guitars 🙂