Out-of-phase sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by denverbarnes, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. denverbarnes


    Feb 8, 2017
    Here's a video of Ric Fierabracci demoing his Xotic XB-2:

    Check out 2:00 in the video, and tell me if this is at all possible. How can coils out-of-phase sound so darned good?
  2. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I'm just on my laptop right now, but yeah that doesn't sound like a phase switch. I'd bet it's a series/parallel switch, or perhaps a coil split switch.
    denverbarnes and RobbieK like this.
  3. denverbarnes


    Feb 8, 2017
    Thanks, my thoughts exactly.
  4. denverbarnes


    Feb 8, 2017
    Last week I installed two phase switches on my dual MM bass, only to meet with utter disappointment at the result. I did read somewhere about the use of a capacitor to retain some low end when out-of-phase but for now that's a little beyond me.
    I'm now thinking of making different use of those two switches - for series/parallel switching. I'm after the Stingray sound
  5. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Agree 100% here. Putting both pickups out of phase would sound exactly the same. Putting the two coils in a humbucker out of phase would greatly reduce the output.
    denverbarnes likes this.
  6. Humbuckers are made with the coils out of phase, that's how they cancel out any electromagnetic hum fields. Putting the coils in phase will just give you an ordinary single wound coil, with another inductor which will load the signal, and also pick up even more extraneous hum. Not very useful, in my books.
    denverbarnes likes this.
  7. denverbarnes


    Feb 8, 2017
    Thanks for the responses above.
    What sort of differences in sound (if any) can I expect from coils out-of-phase in a parallel-wired humbucker as opposed to a series-wired humbucker?
  8. ChristoMephisto


    Sep 4, 2011
  9. I added a “phase switch” on a couple of basses, a Fender Jazz and an Ibanez RB850. In the picture you can see the small switch on the Fender.

    The switch inverted just one of the two pickups. The result in sound was a kind of a deep scoop of the middle frequencies. Instead of the two pickups signal sum you get a kind of subtraction: what is “same” signal on both is erased, so in the output you just have the difference between them. The effect is maximum when both volume pots are fully open, anyway tweaking the pots some very interesting result could be obtained. It is almost the same principle used on helicopters microphones for noise cancelling.
    denverbarnes likes this.
  10. denverbarnes


    Feb 8, 2017
    I can see it working somewhat in a scenario such as yours, where the two pickups are drastically different in the signal each produces. In my case the two MM pups ended up cancelling each other too well, resulting in mostly unusable tones.
  11. I performed the same modification on an Ibanez RB850, equipped with two humbackers very similar to the MM. The effect is very strong with the balance between the two pickups at maximum, but it can be modulated by playing on the difference in volume between the two pickups.