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a question of output/resistance


unclej
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if you have a single coil with an output of 145 mV and a resistance of 8.28k and a humbucker with an output of 272mV with a resistance of 8.26k and you coil tap the humbucker would the resulting single coil of the humbucker come close to matching the output of the single coil? in other words is it a true equation of one coil equals half of the output of the two together?

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In a series-wired humbucker, cutting one coil cuts the effective output level in half, but it also cuts the resistance in half and lowers the inductance by more than half, since the coils are close enough to generate at least a small amount of mutual inductance. For a rough guide, compare a split humbucker with a single coil that has half the resistance and twice the resonant frequency of the humbucker - unless they're wound very differently or have very different magnets, they'll probably sound fairly close if used in the same position. The whole answer is a lot more complicated, and involves some math that's out of my comfort zone and some measuring equipment that I can't afford, so I'll pass any further explanations to you guys with degrees, inductance meters, gaussmeters and good oscilloscopes. :D

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thanks..that's really what i needed to know. i'm going to tap the humbucker and got curious about how much practical difference in volumn there will be when i play the middle pickup (single coil) and the neck with just one coil operating when i use them together.

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There are 2 other things to keep in mind.

1. Even if the split coil of the humbucker was identical to the single-coil pickup, it would have a lower output since there is smaller string vibration near the bridge than at the middle and neck positions. So that would be an unbalanced situation, and it's also why a hotter pickup is usually placed in the bridge position.

2. Splitting the 8.26K humbucker will give you a 4.13K coil, and that low impedance will load the signal of the 8.28K single-coil pickup if you connect them in parallel, weakening the overall signal. That's not to say that you won't end up with a useable sound, though. You'll have to try it to know. You might also want to try connecting the humbucker's split coil in series with the single-coil pickup to see what that sounds like.

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