Fender Wide Range

The Fender Wide Range Humbucker is a humbucker guitar pickup, designed by Seth Lover for Fender in the early 1970s. This pickup was intended to break Fender's image as a "single coil guitar company", and to gain a foothold in the humbucker guitar market dominated by Gibson.

The pickups enjoyed some popularity, though they certainly were never as widespread as Fender's single-coil pickups. Original Wide Range pickups were available from 1971 and subsequently installed in the Deluxe, Custom and Thinline Telecasters as well as the Starcaster, ceasing production successively in 1979 when these models were discontinued. Fender Japan were the first to introduce a reissue in 1983, followed by the Made in Mexico version around 1998. The Wide Range Pickup found on American made Fender guitars is actually the Mexican-made model introduced in 1998. All reissues differ from the original Seth Lover design in both construction and sound (see below).

Fender Wide Range
Period1971–1979 (original)
1983–present (Japan reissue)
1998–present (Mexican reissue)
TypePassive humbucker
Magnet typeCuNiFe – (original), ceramic – (Japanese RI), AlNiCo – (Mexican RI, Ranaldo model RI)
Output specifications
Voltage (RMS), V211.9 mV at 7.135 kHz resonant frequency
Impedance, 602 at 7.135 kHz resonant frequency
Sonic qualities
frequency, Hz
7.135 kHz


The Wide Range pickup was conceived to be sonically closer to Fender's single coil pickups than Gibson humbuckers. Due to the difficulty of machining AlNiCo magnets into screw-type pole pieces, this concept called for the use of the more easily machinable CuNiFe (Copper/Nickel/Iron) rod magnets as pole pieces within the coil structures, to function more like a regular Strat pickup than a Gibson humbucker. Whereas Gibson humbuckers use a single bar magnet under the coils of the pickup, Wide Range pickups have individual CuNiFe magnets that were threaded and slotted to resemble the adjustable screw type poles of a Gibson humbucker. The pickup bobbins were wound with approximately 6200 to 6800 turns of 42 awg poly insulated copper wire around the pole-pieces and the Wide Range pickup has a DC resistance of around 10.6 kΩ.

There have been three reissues of the pickup, one manufactured in Japan using ceramic magnets, one in Mexico using alnico. Despite an almost identical appearance, both are constructed differently from the original 1970s unit. The current Mexican reissues, much like a Gibson humbucker, feature a bar magnet underneath the bobbins that abuts to 6 screw type pole-pieces in each coil; they are simply conventional humbuckers placed in the larger "wide range" humbucker casing, and the gap is filled with wax. Although neither pickup precisely replicates the sound of the original, they are at least tonally similar with the Japanese reissue sounding hotter and the Mexican reissue sounding more like a standard Gibson humbucker. A more recent reissue, currently exclusive to the Lee Ranaldo signature Jazzmaster, has been "re-voiced" to Ranaldo's specifications, but appears to be constructed similarly to the Mexican reissue.

There are several pickup makers producing modern replacements based on the original design; Revel Custom Pickups, Mojotone, Jason Lollar, Curtis Novak, and Seymour Duncan in the United States, and The Creamery and Oil City Pickups in the United Kingdom.

In the 1970s, the Fender Wide Range was wired using 1M audio volume and tone pots, which resulted in an open, bright sound. Modern reissues are commonly wired using 250K volume and tone pots, resulting in a more choked and muddy sound.


Original Wide Range pickups are described as sounding "fat" but with improved clarity and detail over Gibson humbuckers. Combined with a bridge single coil pickup on a Telecaster, it produces a smooth and warm yet biting sound. Famous users include Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, Graham Coxon of Blur, Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit/Black Light Burns, Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, Ryan Adams, Win Butler of Arcade Fire, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Lúcio Maia of Nação Zumbi, Roy Buchanan, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, singer-songwriter Kim Ralls, Chris Shiflett of Foo Fighters, The Edge of U2, Jonny Buckland of Coldplay, and Tab Benoit as well as Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth's modified "Jazzblasters" which featured Wide Range pickups on modified Fender Jazzmaster guitars.

Market value

Due to the use of the Wide Range by both old and modern groups, such as Sonic Youth, Jim Weider, Josh Ramsay, Zac Wrixen, John Fogerty and Franz Ferdinand respectively, and the fact that reissue FWRH pickups sound different from original vintage pickups, demand has grown for the original pickup, leading to high prices and slim availability. The value has risen from a mere $75 in the late 1990s to an average of $375 in 2016.[1]


  1. ^ https://reverb.com/nl/marketplace?decade=1970s&query=wide+range+humbucker

External links

Fender Jazzmaster

The Fender Jazzmaster is an electric guitar designed as a more expensive sibling to the Fender Stratocaster. First introduced at the 1958 NAMM Show, it was initially marketed to jazz guitarists, but found favor among surf rock guitarists in the early 1960s. Its appearance is similar to the Jaguar, though it is tonally and physically different in many technical ways.

Fender Starcaster

The Fender Starcaster is a semi-hollowbody electric guitar made by the Fender company. The Starcaster was part of Fender's attempt to enter the semi-hollowbody market, which was dominated by Gibson's ES-335 and similar designs.

Fender Telecaster

The Fender Telecaster, colloquially known as the Tele , is the world's first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar.

Its simple yet effective design and revolutionary sound broke ground and set trends in electric guitar manufacturing and popular music. Introduced for national distribution as the Broadcaster in the autumn of 1950, it was the first guitar of its kind manufactured on a substantial scale and has been in continuous production in one form or another since its first incarnation.Just like the Fender Stratocaster, the Telecaster is also a versatile guitar, usable for most styles of music and has been used in many genres, including country, reggae, rock, pop, folk, soul, rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, punk, and heavy metal.

Fender Telecaster Bass

The Fender Telecaster Bass (also referred as the Tele Bass) is an electric bass introduced in 1968 by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. With few physical changes through the 1970s, it was discontinued in 1979 and reissued in 2007 by Fender's subsidiary Squier as the Squier Vintage Modified Precision Bass TB, which was discontinued in 2014.

Released as a reissue of the original version of the Fender Precision Bass, it was named as "Telecaster" after the Telecaster guitar model. The Telecaster Bass differs in shape from the original Telecaster guitar in that the latter is a single cutaway guitar and the bass is double cutaway.

Fender Telecaster Custom

Fender Telecaster Custom is a model of electric guitar made by Fender. Ever since the release of the Telecaster Custom the market generally refers to the guitar as the "1972 Custom", indicating the year this model was originally released.The Telecaster Custom model should not be confused with the "Fender Custom Telecaster" manufactured between 1959 and 1968, which only differs from a standard Telecaster in having a bound body.

Fender Telecaster Deluxe

The Fender Telecaster Deluxe is a solid-body electric guitar originally produced from 1972 to 1981, and since re-issued by Fender in 2004 as the '72 Telecaster Deluxe.

Fender Telecaster Thinline

The Fender Telecaster Thinline is a semi-hollow guitar made by the Fender company. It is a Telecaster with body cavities. Designed by German luthier Roger Rossmeisl in 1968, it was introduced in 1969 and updated in 1972 by replacing the standard Telecaster pickups with a pair of Fender Wide Range humbucking pickups, bullet truss-rod and 3-bolt neck.

The design was originally an attempt to reduce the weight of the solid-body Telecaster guitar, which had become ever heavier throughout the 1960s due to the dwindling supply of the light ash wood Fender had formerly used. The f-hole and reshaped pickguard are the most apparent visual clues to its construction.

There have been many different versions of the Telecaster Thinline over the years, although the original two are more recognizable. The 1969 version has two standard Telecaster pickups and a mahogany body, while the 1972 version, based on the Fender Telecaster Deluxe, has two Fender Wide Range pickups and a natural swamp ash body. Thinline versions have been made in Mexico and Japan as a part of the Classic Series of guitars and basses, followed by higher-end American-made Factory Special Run (FSR) versions from the Fender Custom Shop in 2005 and 2013.

A much lower price Thinline design was produced in China and featured P-90 pickups and a mahogany body. While it retained the "Fender Telecaster" name on the headstock, it was not labeled as a Thinline, although the F-hole design and hollow construction makes its heritage obvious.


A humbucking pickup, humbucker, or double coil, is a type of electric guitar pickup that uses two coils to "buck the hum" (or cancel out the interference) picked up by coil pickups caused by electromagnetic interference, particularly mains hum. Most pickups use magnets to produce a magnetic field around the strings, and induce an electrical current in the surrounding coils as the strings vibrate (a notable exception is the piezoelectric pickup). Humbuckers work by pairing a coil with the north poles of its magnets oriented "up", (toward the strings) with another coil right next to it, which has the south pole of its magnets oriented up. By connecting the coils together out of phase, the interference is significantly reduced via phase cancellation: the string signals from both coils add up instead of canceling, because the magnets are placed in opposite polarity. The coils can be connected in series or in parallel in order to achieve this hum-cancellation effect, although it's much more common for the coils of a humbucker pickup to be connected in series (see "series/parallel" below). In addition to electric guitar pickups, humbucking coils are sometimes used in dynamic microphones to cancel electromagnetic hum.

Hum is caused by the alternating magnetic fields created by transformers and power supplies inside electrical equipment using alternating current. While playing a guitar without humbuckers, a musician would hear a hum through the pickups during quiet sections of music. Sources of studio and stage hum include high-power amps, processors, mixers, motors, power lines, and other equipment. Compared to single coil pickups, especially unshielded ones, humbuckers dramatically reduce hum, and (especially when the coils are connected in series) produce a louder signal with more mid-range presence.

Made in Mexico

Made in Mexico may refer to:

Made in Mexico (band), a band with Skin Graft Records

Made in Mexico (TV series), a 2018 reality television series

"Made in Mexico", a 2006 song from the video game Guitar Hero II

Made in Mexico, a 1998 version of the Fender Wide Range guitar pickup

Manufacturing in Mexico

Seth Lover

Seth E. Lover (January 1, 1910 in Kalamazoo, Michigan – January 31, 1997 in Garden Grove, California) was a designer of amplifiers and musical instrument electronics and effects. He is most famous for developing the Gibson humbucker or hum-cancelling electric stringed instrument pickup, most often used on the electric guitar.

Thurston Moore

Thurston Joseph Moore (born July 25, 1958) is an American musician best known as a member of Sonic Youth. He has also participated in many solo and group collaborations outside Sonic Youth, as well as running the Ecstatic Peace! record label. Moore was ranked 34th in Rolling Stone's 2004 edition of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." In May 2012, Spin published a staff-selected list of the top 100 rock guitarists, and ranked Moore and his Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo together at number 1.In 2012, Moore started a new band Chelsea Light Moving, with their first track, "Burroughs", released as a free download. Chelsea Light Moving's eponymous debut was released on March 5, 2013.

Key figures
See also

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