Humbuckers - Any benefit to adding single coil tap over parallel-series switching?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by -Asdfgh-, Dec 26, 2012.


  1. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Hello,

    I have Squier Telebass (officially a Precision) which has the mudbucker at the neck but an added MM at the bridge. All wiring is passive. The neck on this bass is really lovely. I am comparing it against a jazz bass with stock wiring, and it would be nice to have more of an overlap in sounds to allow them to back each other up if possible, although a wide tonal palette from each also has its attraction. At the moment both pickups have 500k pots on, ditto for tone with a 0.22 capacitor. These may or may not be the optimal values as blending the pickups seems to be more an on-off affair, and the tone control isn't very effective.

    I have added series-parallel switches for each pickup, and this takes some of the mud out of the mudbucker, and some of the midrange out of the MM, but would I get more crossover with the jazz by changing that for series-parallel-single (inner coils)? And should I consider changing the pot or capacitor values to improve operation? Or am I on a highway to nothing and should I treat the Tele and Jazz as their own things and get as close as I can to matching them for backup purposes (output volume and sound) with an EQ pedal at the head of the signal chain?

    Modes that are closest are Jazz (middle) compared to Telebass (both) and
    Jazz (both) to Telebass (bridge, parallel).
  2. hamfistUK

    hamfistUK

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    Not sure about your particular bass obviously, but my Warwick STreamer $$ has series/parallel/single coil switching on both it's humbuckers. The single coil mode (apart from being my favourite) is a very different sound and is well worth adding to the sonic potential if you ask me.
  3. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    hamfist, thanks for that.

    The reason I'm not just charging in and trying it is that the wiring underneath the big Telebass-style pickguard is a pain to work with compared to the likes of a jazz bass with its neat and small control plate so it's worth knowing if I am going to do anything significant or useful before opening the whole thing up again and getting fustrated with it!
  4. T-34

    T-34

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    France, Paris region
    I have the same experience: the "single coil" mode is different from both series and parallel.
  5. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    What you mean is "coil split". The term "coil tap" usually means only using parts of one coil.

    The sound split (using just one coil) is very different from parallel mode. Parallel mode shifts the frequency of the resonance peak very high, effectively neutralizing it. Split mode is in between.
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Single coil mode can sound a little different from parallel. But they are very close, and parallel does not hum.

    Her's a clip I did of one of my Jazzbuckers in series/parallel/single

    It also depends on the pickup. If the coils are wide apart like a Musicman, then it might have a greater difference in the tone. Musicman pickups are usually wired in parallel.

    It's simple enough to have all three if you are using a toggle switch. Just use an on-on-on switch.
  7. hamfistUK

    hamfistUK

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    Yes I see what you mean. Coil split is the right phrase.
  8. Emibass

    Emibass

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
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    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    I did parallel / single coil / series to my L2500.

    The single coil sounds wider, more opened, smoother
    The parallel sounds with stronger mids, but loose those high highs and very low lows, more agressive.
    Series is a beast, so I use it with caution.
  9. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Sorry, yes I mean split rather than tap.

    Of course I wish I'd put a three way selector in when I initially rewired it for series-parallel!

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