This question is inspired by Avril Lavigne's signature Telecaster (one humbacker only and it is not P-Rails one).

It has one humbucker with three selection switch front, both, rear.

Does this configuration make any sense? Why not have two selector switch here?

2 Answers 2


The three position selector switch may actually be set up as:

  • Single pickup
  • Humbucking configuration
  • Out of phase configuration

These three sound dramatically different. The out of phase configuration cancels a lot of tones and accentuates some higher tones. Some describe it as thinner/jangly/cutting through. I use it on one of my guitars for a bit of dynamic range - changing from the fat Humbucking sound to a piercing cut through accentuating pick and finger noise, as well as some harmonics.

According to this page, however, Avril's guitar is set up as:

  • front
  • both
  • rear

So this will still give you a range of sounds, just not that different. Moving the effective pickup position by a small amount will affect some of the higher harmonics, specifically.


This looks like a coil-split configuration for one pickup: north, both, or south. Even though the two coils are close to each other, they can sound more different from each other than one might expect.

Here is a video with a pretty good controlled comparison of configurations @ about 5:00

Of course, the pickup used and the placement on the guitar is going to have a dramatic impact on the actual sound.

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