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Two split-coil pickups: pickup halves in parallel, pickups in series?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by sikamikanico, Feb 27, 2016.


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  1. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    I’m considering a PP build, and thought about having 3 series/parallel switches, one for each pickup + another for the two pickups together.

    However, I read here that all these options are not as useful. People tend to prefer having individual pickups (pickup halves) wired in series (like a p-bass), and to have the two pickups wired in parallel (like a jazz bass).

    However, how would it be different to instead have the two pickup halves wired in parallel, but the pickups in series? From the DC resistance point of view (in my limited understanding), I think this should lead to the same configuration. But would they sound different, at least in a noticeable way?
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    you're correct, the total measured DC resistance would be the same. (just like wiring up four 8Ω speakers in a 4x10 cab to get an 8Ω total cab)

    i haven't tried it with double P pickups but i have wired up split-coil dimarzio J pickups this way (almost the same thing), and it's a very different sound! you really do get that fat series bass and low mid boost, while it doesn't get too overwhelmingly loud or boomy like it would if you had everything all in series.

    i think it's worth a shot!
     
    sikamikanico likes this.
  3. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    Series the E and A halves, and parallel the D and G halves.
     
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  4. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    Thanks Walterw, seems like three switches might be a worth a try!

    Rufus.k, I like the idea of trying that, though I suspect I wouldn't like it... Is there a switching diagram you have that would enable it?
     
    rufus.K likes this.
  5. uOpt

    uOpt

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    No, that should come out exactly the same, assuming you are talking about standard passive pickups being combined without any preamps or other impedance changers.

    Your switches are still worth trying if you combine them with the ability to go out of phase. I get some of my most interesting sounds out of combining a regular pickup out of phase with an in-series pickup. Out-of-phase makes it less bassy, everything in series goes back. Very interesting sound with lots of phase messes (frequency cancellations) going on. For best effect, make one of the pickups less powerful. A split style P pickup with coils in parallel sound as less powerful.
     
  6. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    Interesting... I once had a bass with a phase switch and did not find it useful, but maybe I did not use it right. Sounds like you did it in series wiring - is it only possible in series, or is it just not useful in parallel?
     
  7. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    I dont have a diagram, but Im sure someone could come up with one if you asked around
     
    sikamikanico likes this.

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