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Series, Parallel, Single Coil functions.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by halfnote, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. halfnote


    Feb 1, 2001
    Hi. Can someone explain the difference between these three things and their specific applications to me? Why would a bassist want to use a serial mode as opposed to a parallel etc. (Maybe there is a web resource you could point me toward?) Thanks alot. Talkbass is really cool.

  2. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    This won't be very technical but I'll try.

    This part you probably know already. A single coil pickup is just that - one single coil of wound pick-up "wire". General clearer but thinner tone...and they are subject to 60 cycle hum.Double coil (aka Humbucking pickups) are two coils of wound wire. The tone is thicker, fatter, not as clear but no 60 cycle hum.That'a because the two coils cancel each other's hum.

    Some basses (and guitars) are wired for what is called a "coil tap" where you have a humbucker that has a switch that lets you use one or both coils. If you have two humbuckers you can have different combinations.Eg.SC/SC or SC/HB or HB/SC or HB/HB (Neck/Bridge). All these have different tonal variations.

    Additionally, you can wire these humbucker pickups in parallel or series. Parallel is the full humbucker mode while series cuts the noise but sounds a little like a single coil.To my ears it's kinda half SC tone and half humbucker (or parallel). All this adds a bunch more tonal options.Eg: S/P or SC/P or P/P or S/S or SC/SC etc.

    The result of all this is incredible tonal variety.

    The best current example of this is the Fender Roscoe Beck. I have one and with all this variety I never touch my amp EQ in a gig or rehearsal. Everything is flat in every room.I do everything from the bass. When I want classic Jazz tone it's SC/SC. When I want more Precision bottom I use SC/P.

    I hope that this wasn't too confusing...hell, I'm confused !Maybe someone else can fill in some blanks for you.

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