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coil tapping humbuckers?any use?


8 replies to this topic

#1 ride85

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 01:16 AM

I was wondering if you can coil tap humbuckers so you can use em in single coil mode for funkier clean tone stuff. and if you can, does it work well or is it a waste of time..anyone have any knowledge about the subject...i'm thinking it might be an option for my own LP for tonal versatility in my covers band.
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#2 builtmyownbass

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 01:43 AM

I'm glad you are looking into this - it can be very effective!
A standard humbucker will have 4 main wires comming out of it - a hot output, ground/shield, and two other wires (the end of one coil and the beginning of the other).
These two wires (usually twisted together) can be soldered to a switch which sends them to ground.

When they are sent to ground, the current only passes through one coil of the humbucker (the other coil effectively has both ends of the coil going to ground - therefore no signal).

You can use a button, switch, push-pull pot, etc. - whatever lets you send that cable to ground (basically a piece of hardware that lets you join the two wires to a ground wire).

This will give you the clearer, crisper sound of a single coil.

One problem which may be encountered is the coil-tapped sound becoming too thin. Because not all humbuckers were designed to sound as good as a single coil when tapped, you can make a few minor adjustments to make them sound clearer.
You can wire a capacitor to where the coil gets sent to ground. This will give you the clear treble of the single coil, with the bass of a humbucker (here, only the treble of the second coil gets sent to ground, while the bass remains).

If this gives you too much bass, wire a resistor in parallel with the capacitor. (e.g. the treble of the second coil is sent to ground, while about 60% of the bass from the second coil gets sent to ground). I can give you more details about the values of the capacitors and resistors if you like.

If you have any questions, just ask smile.gif .
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#3 kurtlives

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 06:54 AM

Ya its a neat feature. I did it own the humbucker in my fat strat. It dosent sound exactly like a single coil but pretty damn close.

The only problem is that you are using only one of the two coils so your output is cut in half. This mean the pickup wont be as loud as before.

Why not try it though. All you need is a pushpull pot, a wiring diagram, a soldering iron and a few minutes.
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#4 ninjato

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 06:55 AM

Single coils aren't for me. No matter how many times I've tried them, I can't get over the thin tone. The mod would be cool as in a "geek" thing to do, but I don't see myself ever using the mod myself.

#5 SmashySmashy

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:46 AM

You just need to get push/pull pots in order to coil tap, with an HSH pickup configuration, you can get up to 5 different single coil sounds on a 5 way switch through coil tapping, my Ibanez RT650 has it and I really like the sounds it produces, good for clean rhythm on the bridge position humbucker (Seymour Duncan SH-5) and nice clean leads on the neck humbucker (stock Ibanez pickup).

#6 kurtlives

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 12:16 PM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 4 2007, 02:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You just need to get push/pull pots in order to coil tap, with an HSH pickup configuration, you can get up to 5 different single coil sounds on a 5 way switch through coil tapping, my Ibanez RT650 has it and I really like the sounds it produces, good for clean rhythm on the bridge position humbucker (Seymour Duncan SH-5) and nice clean leads on the neck humbucker (stock Ibanez pickup).

I really like coil tapping my bridge and combining it with my single middle pup. This way the ouput is not so low. It also sounds pretty nice.
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#7 builtmyownbass

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE (kurtlives @ Nov 5 2007, 07:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 4 2007, 02:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You just need to get push/pull pots in order to coil tap, with an HSH pickup configuration, you can get up to 5 different single coil sounds on a 5 way switch through coil tapping, my Ibanez RT650 has it and I really like the sounds it produces, good for clean rhythm on the bridge position humbucker (Seymour Duncan SH-5) and nice clean leads on the neck humbucker (stock Ibanez pickup).

I really like coil tapping my bridge and combining it with my single middle pup. This way the ouput is not so low. It also sounds pretty nice.


I do that too (actually, with the guitar below) but the higher strings sound too sharp compared to the bass strings which sound alot better... maybe I need to fiddle with the p'up heights a bit.
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#8 Covenant

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 08:01 PM

QUOTE
Single coils aren't for me. No matter how many times I've tried them, I can't get over the thin tone. The mod would be cool as in a "geek" thing to do, but I don't see myself ever using the mod myself.


Same. It's irritated me to the point where guitars without double humbucker configs irritate me and I'll generally turn them down. Probably the only exception to this is a standard telecaster, and it's versatility is to the point where it almost outweighs the lack of humbuckers.

Either way, any guitar I presently own or plan on owning soon, has two humbuckers.

#9 Orchestrazia Ardwick

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:01 AM

I bought a Gordon Smith guitar recently that has a coil-tapped humbucker in the bridge position, and I find it really useful. Gives a good rich humbucker tone with the switch in, and a lovely twangy, almost Tele-like tone with it out. Given that I never really use neck pickups (too dull for my tastes), it's useful having two bright, yet very distinctive, pickups.

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