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Humbucker Wiring


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Okay, I really couldn't find a straight answer on this by searching, but can anyone explain to be what wiring humbuckers and series or parallel does, and how it affects the sound? Only having worked with single coild and one simple coil-split 'bucker, I'm not entirely sure what all this mumbo-jumbo is about...

Right, simple version (please, electronics gurus, correct me if I fluff part of this up): humbuckers consist of two coils, out of phase (windings go the other way on one coil). This phaseing lets the the pickups buck the 60-cycle hum. Standard wiring for a humbucker puts the two coils in series with each other (one 'feeds into' the other, daisy-chained coils), giving you that fatter, warmer, mid-rangey tone that characterises a humbucker. Parallel operation is like having both coils selected as individual single coils, and that's sort of what it sounds like: a humbucking, louder single coil-esque tone. Coil tapping generally shorts one of the coils to ground, taking it out of the circuit, leaving a 'true' single coil output, with some hum potential, lower output level, often quite 'thin'.

My 'favourite' tones out of a single humbucker are, in order, proper humbucking, then parallel operation, then at some distance single coil tone. The single coil/coil tapped sound is one I don't find incredibly useful, generally because the humbuckers' coils are not equal to a 'proper' single coils in terms of output, tone, etc (magnet layout's rather different, etc.). Rather have a real single coil for that, but parallel operation will do in a pinch.

However, this is pretty darn simple to just test for yourself. Wire 'em up (wiring diagrams at stewmac and various other spots), and see if you like the sounds.

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  • 2 weeks later...

just to be noted and because i found out the hard way.. originally "COIL TAPPING" was not coil splitting that we have now. it was done on single coils [and hums too. :D ] as it had more than one winding you could "tap" the coil in its middle point or some other pre determined point.



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