Jump to content

Coil Tap


Recommended Posts

From Guitar Nuts

Splitting (single coil): One coil is shorted out (if humbucker is wired for parallel operation the circuit to one end of one coil is broken -- this tends to be susceptible to noise). This allows operation in normal humbucking or in single coil mode. This is most usefull with fairly "hot" humbuckers. Splitting "soft" humbuckers tends to result in a very weak single-coil sound similar to the wimpy pickups on the very cheap Asian Strats.

Series/Parallel switching: Allows wiring the two coils of the humbucker in series ("normal") or in parallel. The tones are different and series tends to be a bit hotter.

Splitting allowing use of either coil as single coil: In most applications this is of little use -- I simply can't hear any difference between the two coils when used as single coils. Where this could be useful is when combined with other switching mods. For example, if you have set up your pickup selection to allow the neck/bridge combination (as well as mid/bridge), then you would want to select one coil for hum-cancelling with the neck and the other for hum-cancelling with the middle. Another case where this could be useful is if you are uncertain of the polarity of the mid pickup. This would allow you to select the "correct" (hum-cancelling with mid) coil of the humbucker without having to disassemble the guitar to swap wires around if you got it "wrong" the first time. Finally, allowing selection of either coil doesn't "cost" anything (assuming it is the only switching you are doing on the humbucker) -- you still have only one switch and simply use a SPDT on-off-on instead of a SPST switch.

Phasing the two coils: The ability to put the two coils of the humbucker out of phase with each other is even less useful than the ability to put two pickups out of phase with each other. The coils are so close and so similar that you end up with a very weak signal -- plus a lot of noise (the coils become hum-aiding when you put them out of phase).


Edited by AlGeeEater
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coil-splitting is nice if you have a Strat with a bridge humbucker. If you want to get your single coil treble and blend with the middle pickup back, just flip the switch and there it is. All it does is shunt one coil to ground, effectively "turning it off".

If you want a good demo of the different sounds you can get from this, check out Parker Guitar's website and they have a video with the Fly Mojo you can download. Yes, it's an ad for the guitar, but the demonstrator does an excellent job showing one all of the different switching combinations you can put on any guitar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A true coil tap consists of a single coil coil pickup that has been wound with an extra wire that bypasses a portion of the full coil's windings, allowing you to "tap" the signal off the smaller coil (fewer windings), lowering the output level and raising the resonant frequency of the pickup, making it sound more like an underwound pickup. Coil splitting involves shorting one entire coil of a humbucker to ground. Theoretically you could wind a humbucker with taps built in to both coils, making coil-tapping a humbucker a possibility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...