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Are the two coils of a Precision pickup interchangable?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by itchy, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. itchy


    Jan 3, 2009
    Bay Area
    I'm set to recieve a Precision pickup which the two halves are not wired together.

    I want to know, when I go to join them together, does it matter which coil goes "on top" or bottom?

    Does it matter which coil gets the positive lead, and which one gets the negative lead?

    Sorry if it's a dumb question, but I've never been educated in electronics.
  2. They are generally identical, unless you have a set with asymmetrically staggered pole pieces.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i've thought about this, and the one area in which they are not quite the same is that being series, one coil is essentially lifted from ground by the resistance of the other coil; that means that whichever coil has the hot wire to the volume pot will be a little noisier if you touch the polepieces.

    so i guess if it matters at all, whichever coil position you touch the least while you're playing should be the "hot" coil rather than the "ground" coil.

    i've also wondered about how a dedicated "low strings coil/high strings coil" P pickup would sound? maybe wind the bass coil to be brighter with less lows (taller, narrower coil shape maybe?) and the treble coil to be darker and fatter. the trick would be making them similar enough to keep good hum-canceling.
    ex-tension likes this.
  4. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    And they would be different for a 5 string.
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    On a standard P pickup, I'd use different magnets instead of different coils, for example, alnico 5 in the EA for more definition, and alnico 2 in the DG for more sustain and less twang. The humbucking comes from having identical coils. Change the coils and you change the humbucking characteristics.
    ex-tension likes this.

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