2 Krivos-make your own Krivo humbucker project

I had this idea for a while, as in the title.

I use a Krivo pup and my buddy John has one as well although he's exploring other ways to amplify.
So I wanted to try how I could combine the two Krivos and come up with a humbucking sound and get rid of that single coil noise which was not bad to begin with but I was curious never the less.
Simple enough to wire up the two pickups in series but unless you can reverse the polarity of one of the pickups it's useless.
Krivos being sealed in their wood casing makes it impossible to do any internal work so how do we accomplish this?
Well, it turns out it's simple.
You do this: the bottom pic

Well since I don't know where the pictures will end up I'll 'splain: you reverse the polarity, but not electrically; physically, meaning you flip one of the pickups upside down.
And what do you know, it works.

I got the little project box and made a two input/one output switch box.
I added a DPDT on/on/on switch and wired it; parallel/single/series.

In parallel the noise is completely absent, the pickups are quiet a 100%.
The sound is a little less loud compared to other positions and lost some body or bass. Also it doesn't have a single note punch that I like in these pickups, which reminds a little of amplified archtop sound.
But very usable sound none the less.

In single position...well I don't have to describe that, just search "Krivo" on the forum and you'll find out.
I did notice though, my pick up has a slightly more acoustic sound and John's has a slightly more electric sound. I also noticed my wood casing is a bit thicker than his, maybe that contributes to this difference but I wouldn't know.

In series position, or the way a humbucker is normally wired, the noise is mostly gone but not a 100%, though very little is left.
I don't think it would be a problem even for a solo guitar performance where a regular Krivo may be too noisy. Krivo pickup is generally perfectly acceptable noise wise in a band performance. The only time I had a "negative" comment from a sound guy is when we played a gig and the entire band was mic-ed and into the house PA. The sound guy said during a sound check that my amp sound was noisy but also he said he didn't think it will be a problem with a whole band.
In this series position the sound was actually fairly similar to a regular Krivo sound though a bit warmer, with more body and bass. It still preserved a single notes punch, which I like with these pickups, and that punch was pretty much gone in a parallel position.

Lastly however silly looking (only if you know it's there, others might think two Krivos next to eachother is silly looking), if you place one of the pickups on the back of your guitar, it will still preserve a humbucking properties of noise-riddance and sound great, as long as they're physically opposed to each other.

The sound will change according to where you place the pickup; closer/further to the neck though with the two sitting next to eachother you can only push it so much towards the bridge before it starts getting in your picking.

I'm gonna stick with this setup, the two sounds, parallel/series are totally usable and better than "single" sound, both being quiet.

Oh, and I did try Jason's own humbucker pickup but I thought...well pretty much what I described here in paraller position, it seemed quieter and lost that punch. I really like that punch though, that you get in the single coil and also in the series position wired this way. Though parallel position is very welcome addition and will be used.

So there you have it.


Don't mind the fuzzy pictures, I wanted to throw this together and still have time for a little evening practice.
Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel


  • Posts: 2,706
    I should point out that the pickup when placed on the back of the guitar does nothing to the signal/sound transfer. It only provides reverse polarity to the pickup that's placed on top, thus cancelling the single coil noise.

    This certainly isn't a cheap proposition but Krivo humbucker is already more $ than single coil and you get two humbucking sounds plus a single coil sound this way.  

    Some of you use Krivo for gigging plus some people were looking for his humbucker which is rarely available, though Michael has them in stock at this time, so there's another option at least.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 733
    Interesting idea but I don't see how a pickup on the back can produce a humbucking effect as it won't be generating a signal to provide the noise cancelling element. Maybe someone with a better knowledge of pickup principles and operation can help me understand this.
    always learning
  • edited November 2016 Posts: 2,706
    What I think I understand is going on that both pick ups don't need to generate the signal. The signal is generated by the one pickup mounted under the strings.
    But then the signal travels through both pickups.
    Along the way electromagnetic noise is also generated by the outside sources. The signal travels in the same direction regardless of the coils windings or magnetic polarity.
    Noise however follows the coil windings so when it meets from opposite directions, from the two pickups, it gets cancelled.

    That's the gist of what I think is happening. I don't know a whole lot about guitar pickups either, I'm more of a hands on type of guy, try it and see if it works or not. And it does work.
    There should be the some sound difference between having both pickups under the strings vs one of them on the back but I've yet to compare the two extensively.

    I'd like to hear from someone with a real pick up knowledge.

    Next is to add some pots for tone/volume and see what that adds to the mix.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • edited February 2015 Posts: 2,706
    Just redone everything with this new box and added volume and tone pots.
    Funny thing is this way there's much less difference between parallel and serial position, they're almost identical. Another funny thing is that the noise in single coil position is now louder than originally.
    It's too late to try as I type but I'll try plugging in just one of the Krivos straight to the amp and see if there's a difference.
    I guess it makes sense with added circuitry, more wires and longer signal path but I would have never guessed.
    But in the humbucking position it is dead quiet and possibly little louder than single coil.

    Probably not everyone would like it but I'm enjoying the sound. The other night we played a gig and a friend told me afterwards if he had to make a blind guess he'd say it was an old 175 or something similar.
    So sometimes I go with this set up, sometimes I use a mic. I like variety.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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