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Out of phase wiring on one humbucker in a two-pickup bass - useful?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ripbobbysheehan, Dec 13, 2017.


  1. ripbobbysheehan

    ripbobbysheehan

    Dec 1, 2017
    It's generally agreed that wiring two pickups out of phase in a two-pickup bass or the coils of the sole humbucker out of phase in a single-pickup bass is useless in most situations due to the overly thin sound produced. But how about putting the coils of a single humbucker out of phase in a two-pickup bass and combining it in either series or parallel with the other pickup - does that generally result in a useful sound? For instance, taking a MM+J bass and setting the MM coils out of phase with each other before combining with the J pickup in the neck.
     
  2. It all pretty much sounds the same. It's a distinctive sound that usually only works as a novelty.
     
  3. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    In a mod I made to a Rickenbacker I had almost 40 years ago, I put in humbucker pickups and a phase switch. I ended up never using it.
     
  4. ripbobbysheehan

    ripbobbysheehan

    Dec 1, 2017
    Thanks, that's good to know. I like the out-of-phase sounds on guitar but I've never tried it on bass so I was wondering if it would be worth checking out. Doesn't sound like I'll waste my time.
     
  5. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    It's a novelty. It was fun to tell people I had a phase switch, and they'd ohh-ahh a bit and then ask me how it sounded. It sounded thinner, not really useful. That mod lasted maybe a year, and then I did another mod with no on-board controls at all. I have never been tempted by a phase switch again since then.
     
  6. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    A humbucker does 2 things:
    1) Adds the signal of two half pickups, so you get 2 x the signal of a single coil. Yes, at high frequencies, it cancels some due to comb filter efects
    2) Cancels the hum that you'd get from a single coil.

    What you're proposing will
    3) Cancel the signal from the two coils. Yes, the comb filtering means it'll have some output at high frequencies.
    4) Add the hum from 2 coils to each other

    Other than weak, thin sound with tons of hum, I see nothing wrong with your idea.
     
    BlueTalon likes this.
  7. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Hahahaha! I don't remember the hum, I just remember the sound not being usable.
     
  8. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    On a positive note, if you do some experimentation, you may find that one of the mm coils in combination with the J pickup gives a cool sound, and is humbucking - probably not perfectly, but at least less than a single coil alone.
     

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