coil tapping humbuckers

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MAMMOTHvolume, Sep 10, 2010.


  1. Just about to make myself a bass and i'm in two minds at the minute whether to go with just single coils (prefered sound) or to go with humbuckers and coil tap.

    My question is when you tap a humbucker even with one coil grounded will it still have an effect on the sound of the other coil, acting as a dummy load etc. Or will it be able to work effectively as a single coil with no real noticable difference?
     
  2. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    when in single coil mode, that pickup is a single coil, no humbucking, no load. It is just like a jazz bass.
     
  3. That would be coil splitting, not tapping.

    When you split a humbucker into single coil mode, the other coil is disconnected from the circuit.
    Typically you would just short the unused coil out.
     
  4. yes but is the other coil not going to have an effect on it?
     
  5. Nope. The other coil is either disconnected or shorted.
     
  6. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    for what it is worth. I had 2 coil splits on my fless loaded with nordy DC's. and I actually preferred the sound on parallel as opposed to true single coil. I was using 2 500k vols, and the single coil mode was too darn bright, so I opted for one 4PDT for series/parallell mode for both pups.
     
  7. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    There will also be a decent volume decrease when going from HB to SC and an increase in hum pickup.

    mech
     
  8. okay thanks, was just wondering if having the other magnets so close would effect the field in any other way that might cause a noticible difference.
     
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I advise people to use parallel instead of single coil when splitting humbuckers. The reason is that one coil from a humbucker is not wound as hot as a single coil, so it tends to sound weak. And of course it hums.

    Parallel sounds almost exactly the same, doesn't hum, and you are getting the output from both coils.
     
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    All three is the way to go. Get an on/on/on switch. To me, parallel has never sounded close to cutting a coil. On my Warwicks & G&L's, series is of course thickest and meatiest. Parallel is lower output, almost like coil cut but still thicker. Does not have the punch or grit of coil cut. Coil cut mode is my favorite. Tons of lows, and very very snappy.
     
  11. A440Hz

    A440Hz

    May 31, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Digital Audio Developer, ScratchAudio.com
    There was a wiring question thread recently in which the OP was arguing (based on some info from someone at TGP or some such) that having another coil that was unattached to the circuit could cause excess noise.

    Shenanigans. You're fine either disconnecting the hot lead of the coil being switched out, or grounding it. I like SGD's parallel suggestion, though.

    The only other issue here, though it's a slight one--you can't remove the magnetic pull of the inactive coil. Permanent magnets are just that. Again, not a huge deal, but just something to consider. Stacked and split-coil humbuckers, being that they're both composed of one row of magnets and not two, don't have any more magnetic pull than a normal single-coil.

    One future experiment I'm itching to try is two split-coils right next to each other in a P-pickup location. That way, I can get P, reverse-P, J, and dual-coil (quad-coil, really) tones. Not perfectly, mind you--locations and coil dimensions can't all be perfectly done to get all setups to match the originals. But I think it could get pretty close.
     
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yes, but depending on the humbucker it could be less pull than something like a Jazz bass pickup. Most humbuckers use steel poles charged with a magnet. You will get less string pull that way. Even with my neo pickups, they read about 300G at one blade. A typical alnico pole piece on a Fender pickup reads between 600-800G.

    Either way, it wont affect the tone of the bass.
     
  13. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    ...Then it wouldnt be splitting, just parallel.
    In my opinion, parallel fron 2 near coils, does not sound like single coil.

    In soapbar sized (p2 size) pickups, the single coil mode will sound thin and weak, true. But in MM or larger pickups, single coil is awesome. Works good on 250k pots.And sounds very distinct than parallel.
     
    PawleeP likes this.
  14. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Depends on the pickups. Not all soapbars are made the same. Mine sound very similar in parallel to single.

    Series/Parallel/Single

    You gotta say they are almost exactly the same. Single is slightly brighter.
     
  15. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I would say: less bass, extended highs, thinner, clearer.
    The closer the coils are, the less noticeable, but the effect of picking the string in 2 different places is there.

    If you run 2 of this in parallel, the difference in single coil will be much more noticeable. This happens with all pickups.

    I want a Wal pickup.
     
  16. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Exactly. This applies to all pickups I have tested. Even Quad coils in soapbars behave the same way.

    I like 4 way wiring, with rotary switches. this allows single/parallel/series/single. Im expecting some of those switches for my Mozina Bass. In MM sized pickups it does make a difference wich coil you use.
     
  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Very soon now...


    On my bridge pickups the two coils sound very different too. They are voiced differently.
     
  18. Oh no you don't! Not before you make me a P bass pickup!:hyper:

    Unfortunately though, after all my waiting, right now I can't squeeze a set of pickups into the budget anymore.:bawl::bawl:
    (*Damns everything to hell and pulls up couch cushions looking for quarters.:crying:)
     
  19. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I have some prototypes made... no bass to fit them into yet though.

    That seems to be the way it is at the moment...
     
  20. I thought you said a friend was loaning you a Deluxe P that you were going to try some pickups with?
    I'll have to dig up the PM.:hyper:
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 17, 2021

Share This Page