Pros and Cons of wiring pups in series or parallel

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassist 4 life, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. I was just wondering, what are the pros and cons of wiring pups in series or parallel, I heard they make different sounds, if so, can someone describe them?

    thank you
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    did you look in the pickups faq? there are a number of helpful series/parallel links in there.
    There are two things people talk about with series/parallel, sometimes people get them mixed up.
    There's a master series/parallel where, for example, you take a standard jazz bass. It will typically have two single coil pickups, run by default in parallel (two vol controls, or vol/blend). You can wire them in series, giving you only one master volume control.

    Or there is at the individual pickup level, wiring each pickup in series / parallel. This can only be done with pickups with two or more coils, so not your standard single coil jazz bass for example.

    The two can be combined, so you can have two pickups individually wired in parallel but in series overall.

    In terms of pros/cons, I'm not sure what I'd say. Having switching available is certainly helpful, so you can go back and forth. However, you can also have too many options available to you meaning you spend too much time messing with switches and not playing.

    Sound differences:

    50% louder than parallel on average, stronger low-mid/mid presence, somewhat reduced highs

    relative to parallel: quieter, less mids, more highs

    If it helps, a stingray is a humbucker wired in parallel. Now, there's obviously all the other factors in there - woods, electronics etc etc, but it gives you some idea.
  3. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have my Jazz wired in series and the sound is definitely more beefy than parallel. Plus, I love just having one volume knob so I can adjust it quickly.
  4. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland

    I hardwired my MIA Fender Jazz V in series, I´ve got Barts in it and the sound became alot beefier when wired in series.