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Standard or Split Coil Wiring, tonal differences..?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ripper75, May 15, 2019.


  1. I bought a pair of Wilde L90 pickups and need to decide how to wire them. Any thoughts on wiring these standard vs split coil..? I don't really understand this but found this interesting article with graphics: How Does Coil Splitting Work For Humbuckers? - Fralin Pickups

    I'm probably going to have a professional install them because I don't know what I'm doing. I just don't understand the tonal differences in wiring these standard vs. split coil. I play heavy post-punk type music if that makes a difference and these pups are going into a Gibson Ripper and I play an Ampeg V4 amp. If possible I would like to create a similar tone as the "super humbuckers" that were originally in the Ripper. Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  2. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Pretty sure the original Ripper pickups were wired in the typical series fashion. They were not very hot, though, like 6.5-7.5K and about 2.4H inductance. Hopefully that's the spec of your L90s.
    What I would do is take advantage of the 5 wires of the Wildes and make it so you can get have series or parallel wiring on your bass. This way you can get the thicker, slightly louder series tone and the brighter parallel tone with none of the noise associated with split coil operation. IME, with bass, parallel is so tonally similar to the split coil tone that the lack of hum is the deal maker and I just don't do single coil operation anymore. This can be done with push/pull pots if you don't want to drill more holes.
     
  3. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    Here's the info from Wilde: Wiring & Tech Info

    If you're gonna do one, wire/have it wired in series. Do you have the Q-Filter? That might help sweeten the series humbuckers without doing the series/parallel switch, though I'm not sure how well that works...
     
  4. Awesome thanks! The ripper bass I am restoring currently has one dimarzio model one pup in it with just a volume knob so I will most likely need to get some knobs and pots...any suggestions there? I’m trying to figure out what I need to get these L90s installed. I’d like to get some knobs and make it look similar to the ripper if possible. I got a new pickgaurd but it doesnt have any holes drilled in it yet for pups or knobs. Thanks again!
     
  5. I dont have a Q filter...
     
  6. This Ripper has no original hardware or electronics just fyi so I’m trying to restore it closer to its original design/setup. The seymour duncan replacement pups were just too pricey for me
     
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Any good quality 500kohm pots will do. Just make sure your knobs match the splines on your pot shafts - generally US pots are fine spline (24 splines) while import pots are coarse spline (18 splines). Or, you could use solid-shaft pots and knobs with set-screws, but that would be slightly less authentic looking.

    As for wiring the pickups, series wiring is standard, but split or parallel is a nice option to have too. The L90s have lots of top-end clarity, so there’s no concern about losing crispness while in series mode.

    Edit: good info on pot shafts and knobs here: Choosing the correct knob for your guitar or bass. – Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    Ripper75 likes this.
  8. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    The last Ripper I had my hands on was my friend's black 1977, he inherited it after it sat for years and wanted me to get it all set up, cleaned up and operating 100%. Having it in my possession for a couple days really got me familiar with the instrument and gave perspective as to what was the goal of it's design (very smart and unique, as is all things Bill Lawrence) and how it plays out in today's bass world. If I was redoing a Ripper from scratch, first thing I would change is to ditch the rotary switch in favor of a standard, Gibson style 3-way toggle switch. The rotary's 4 positions really only have two settings that get used by the vast majority of players: both pickups in phase in either series or parallel (positions 1&3). The soloed bridge pickup (position 2) and both pickups series/out of phase (position 4) are a little funky and honky for most. The stock wiring doesn't allow neck pickup soloed (which sounds great).

    The original Ripper had the master volume/tone and the midrange (Q filter). I have a bass Q filter on a T45 type bass. I messed around with cap and resistor values to get it tuned as close to 500Hz has possible so it would do a nice sounding mid scoop. With a 250K pot, a .047uF cap and 4.7K resistor got it pretty close. It's cool, but I can't say that it's a fully necessary control, as I hardly use it. However, it's part and parcel with the Ripper and it is much more useful than passive bass cuts on a bass guitar (I'm looking at you, G&L) for getting fat, scoopy, dubby tones.

    To keep it real and in the spirit of the Ripper with 2.0H or 2.4H L90s (wired for series operation), I would have the 3 way switch, 250K master volume (audio or linear), 500K audio taper tone (.047-.068uF cap) and 250K audio taper Q filter (.047uF/4.7K). If you really want to exploit the ability to get every usable tone possible from the original Ripper wiring, get a CTS push/pull pot to replace the tone control and have it do the combined pickups in series (when pulled up) or parallel. You could add another set of push/pulls to make each pickup operate in series or parallel, but the 2.0 or 2.8 Henry L90s already have clarity like the original Ripper pickups, so it's probably unnecessary. If it were me, I would do all push/pulls with 2.8H L90s. This way I can get the Ripper's punchy clarity and Jazz bass clarity out of the bass. It would be a complicated wiring scheme, hope your tech is up to the challenge! :)

    If you really want to keep it simple, yet get all the usable sounds, get a 250K linear taper CTS pot for the neck pickup, a 250K CTS linear taper push pull for the bridge pickup and a 500K audio taper CTS tone pot (with .047-.068uF cap). Wire it up like a Jazz Bass with the push/pull doing series or parallel.
    OR... 3 way switch, master volume, master tone with series/parallel switch.
     
    Ripper75, sikamikanico and ctmullins like this.
  9. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    If you decide to add it: Q-filter
     
    Ripper75 likes this.
  10. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Oh, and if you get CTS pots, those blue tinted knobs will fit. I just put the same knobs (only green tinted) on some CTS pots I installed on a Les Paul.
     
  11. Thanks! I will try and understand all this stuff and maybe post a pic once its all put together. Its been an expensive restoration project but I'm pretty damn excited! Always wanted a ripper and this was basically the only way I could afford one. It plays like a dream, just got to get some good clear punchy tones coming out of it. The Dimarzio model one that was in there has some nice low end tones, hopefully these pickups maintain some of that...we'll see
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  12. I originally thought of just adding an L90 at the bridge with the Dimarzio model one at the neck, but then thought it would look better and hopefully sound better with two L90s...really hope these still have some nice low end to them but I'm sure I can dial in the tone on my amp if need be.
     
  13. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Good luck with the restoration! If you can do your own wiring, that will save a good chunk of $$. However, doing a full-on Ripper wiring is pretty tricky. It took a bit of experimentation to get my T45 style harness wired up since there really wasn't any applicable vol/tone/q filter diagrams out there that worked properly.
     
  14. Thanks! I'm definitely not going to be doing a full-on Ripper wiring and I'm tight on $ so considering having an electrician friend help me do this but not sure. I've just never done any wiring on my basses but lately have been learning a lot of DIY stuff so possibly up for doing a basic wiring job that will give me some tonal options. I'm still trying to figure out what pots I need to do this so I can have series and parallel settings/tones. Keep in mind I don't have any of the original Ripper knobs/wiring/electronics but I did buy some Gibson style speed knobs. Do these pots look like what I'll need..?

    CTS Push Pull 250K Audio Pot Fine Spline Split Shaft | eBay

    BOURNS 250K PUSH PULL SHORT SPLIT SHAFT AUDIO TAPER POT / POTENTIOMETER DPDT 759681031437 | eBay

    Not sure if I need the 3-way toggle switch and how exactly that will work... 3 Way Pickup Toggle Switch. Fits Gibson® Les Paul, Epiphone & More USA Seller! | eBay

    This one doesn't say 6mm anywhere, does that matter..? CTS 500K Split Shaft Audio Taper Mini Potentiometer Pot US Fine Spline | eBay

    Thank you so much!!!
     
  15. I would like to be able to have neck pickup soloed so I'm assuming I will need that 3-way switch..?
     
  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Step 1: decide what combinations of pickups you want.

    Step 2: decide what rotary controls you want to go with them.

    Step 3: build it and test it before changing your mind again. :cool:

    In my opinion, you should keep things relatively simple. If I were in your shoes I would use a three-way switch to select neck/both in parallel/bridge, with a master tone and master volume. Then play it for a while to see if that does everything you need.
     
    Ripper75 likes this.
  17. Agreed, thanks! Sounds like my electrician friend is going to help me do the install.

    So if I'm understanding correctly these are the pots I need..?

    toggle switch: 3 Way Pickup Toggle Switch. Fits Gibson® Les Paul, Epiphone & More USA Seller! | eBay

    I don't know which is master tone and which is master volume...

    master tone?: CTS 500K Split Shaft Audio Taper Mini Potentiometer Pot US Fine Spline | eBay

    master volume?: CTS 250K Split Shaft Linear Taper Potentiometer Pot US Fine Spline | eBay
     

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