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Coil tapping

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fruitlabor, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I have a set of pickups that came out of a Tune Technology bass which has 4 color wire and 1 mesh type wire. Does this mean they can be wired to a switch somehow? How to wire them normally. I appreciate any help...thank you.
  2. Almost certainly. Series/parallel/split should be all available with the right switch(es).

    Not sure. There's no real standard for wire colours. But with a multimeter you can work out which is which and also wire them in phase.

    If you decide to go with single coil splits, use a north coil form one pickup and a south from the other, that way you'll get a bit of hum cancelling in that setting.
    bholder likes this.
  3. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I have a multimeter but can't figure it out to determine where to put it to check. I have a guitar guy but it's crazy to keep spending money to do something I know I can if I can figure out the meter settings
  4. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Thank you for your help
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Set the meter for measuring resistance, then measure the resistance between pairs of colored wires until you sort out how they pair up - if resistance is infinite, you've got a mismatched set (one wire from each coil), the pairs that go together should measure non-0 but not infinite. If any pairs show zero resistance, there's a short. Not sure how to determine phase with the multimeter - @RobbieK - know any good tricks?
  6. Set the meter to DC millivolts range and connect the probes to a pair of coil wires. Then rest a little screwdriver or something on the top of the pickup. As you pull it off you should see a little voltage. It doesn't matter whether it's negative or positive, as long as all the coils in your bass read the same.

    If you skip to 7 min in this vid, you'll see me do this exact test.

    To choose which coil is south and which is north, i use a cheap orienteering compass.
    bholder likes this.
  7. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    This is really helpful. I'll give it a try...blessings
  8. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Just an FYI - what you're looking to do is coil splitting, not coil tapping.

    Coil tapping is having an additional output wire that is spliced part-way into a coil winding; this additional output is basically an under-wound coil, and thus will have a brighter output tone, although with a lower volume level.

    The terms do often get mis-used/confused. Actual coil-tapped pickups are pretty rare.
    fruitlabor and Killed_by_Death like this.
  9. Must be an American thing. I'm not sure where the OP is, but in the UK and here in Australia when a humbucker is switched to single coil, it's usually called a coil tap switch. I only heard the term "splitting" when I started writing on this board.

    I hope the OP gets the pickups happening though, I'd like to know how they sound. I remember Tune basses sounded really great back in the day...
  10. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I'm in the USA and I always heard coil tapping. I have Bartolini in the bass now but I think if I can get the Tunes in with the switches might sound better.

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