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Single Coil vs. Split Coil P bass wiring. Extra ground between volume and tone pot?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Diesel Kilgore, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. I was looking at a pre made solderless harness for a P bass to use on a single coil project.

    No problem as far as I can tell.

    The diagrams show that they are nearly identical. Except that Seymour Duncan's diagrams show an extra ground wire between the pots for the single coil, but not the split.


    What is the reason for that extra ground between the volume and tone pots on the single? I'm assuming it has to do with reducing single coil hum?

    Can I get away with wiring the single coil just like the split without that extra ground?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Ground connections between pots can usually be completed by a metal control plate, or metal tape on the back of a pickguard. Soldering a ground wire from pot to pot is a more stable connection, and a better safe than sorry measure. Once I’m dealing with the wiring, and have the ol’ soldering iron fired up, I’ll run a ground wire from pot to pot if it hasn’t been done already.
  3. I won't have a metal plate to work with, but I could add some foil tape to that area behind the pickguard.

    Is your safer than sorry measure a matter of tone/hum or for electronics safety?
  4. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    I think that one is just missing the ground connection between the pots. I'd add it.
  5. I'm a fan of Seymour Duncan, but that 2nd diagram is a misprint or mistake. You definitely need a wire there. If your pickguard doesn't have foil on the back, that circuit wouldn't work at all because the pickup would have no earth connection. And even with foil, if the volume pot ever became loose (very common), the pickup would cut in and out.
  6. +1 to all the above. The second diagram is probably assuming a metal plate or shielding tape on the pick guard. I would still add a ground wire. It’s cheap and easy insurance against issues down the road.
  7. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    It’s to ensure that the electronics work properly and that there is no hum.
  8. Thanks all.

    I'm glad I asked first. I'll follow the 1st diagram with that extra ground.
    RobbieK likes this.

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