# Pickups

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Just a quick question! If you wire a p/u reversed(eg. Hot to ground and ground to say your volume pot or wherever its headed next) is that called out of phase or does it not matter which way the signal passes through a p/u?

And if it is wired that way will it change the sound of the p/up?

My guess is that it should not matter which way the signal passes through as its just a coil of wire around a magnet? Im no expert though so i thought i would ask all you clever kids!

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It is called "out of phase", but is really only able to be called anything when there is another pickup available to compare it to.

If it is the only pickup in the signal chain, then it should not matter and no, you will not hear a difference. But, where you will hear a difference is when that pickup is activated with another pickup simultaneously. Out of phase, this is how humbucking is achieved, but in that case it is not only a mtter of which lead is + or -, but the polarity of the magnetic poles as well. That's a simplistic explanation though, and I'm sure someone else with more knowledge on the subject can give a more in depth explanation.

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The direction it passes through won't change the sound if it's the only pickup selected, it just reverses the magnetic field(and the phase of the signal you generate when you play). To your ears, a 180 degree phase shift doesn't make a difference. This only matters when you have more than one pickup selected, because if you have one pickup's field going one way and the other pickup going another way, in effect you get a "negative" signal from one pickup when the other one is putting out a "positive" signal, so they cancel(or come close to cancelling if they're wound differently), thus killing a lot of the sound. If one pickup has more output in a certain frequency range than the other pickup, that range is all that you'll hear. This usually winds up being some treble frequencies, since the pickup closer to the bridge is getting more high order harmonics, and you wind up with a weaker output and only in that trebly range, kind of a "tinny" sound.

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Thanks guys. I have a set of golden age hums and want to wire in a mini toggle for a coil cut and i was thinking the easiest way would be to wire both finish sides to the switch and then to ground when active. Therefore cancelling the coil that has both ends to ground. But im going to do it differently now so it should be fine!

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For a coil split diagram:

But I definitely recommend that you also try the series/parallel option instead of the coil split. With that you still get a clearer, more SC like tone, but without the volume drop and hum problem the coil split gives.:

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Thanks Swedish that is how i was originally going to wire it But those links you provided are both the same!

Edited by chops1983
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I did find a schematic for that though!

The only problem with this is golden age p/ups dont come with four wire hookups! Just a north start, a south start and the finishes joined together.

How hard is it to pull apart a p/up and add 2 independent finish wires instead of the one joined one?

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Thanks Swedish that is how i was originally going to wire it But those links you provided are both the same!

Oups, sorry.

It is really not that hard. Did they come with covers? If so the best way to get them of is actually laying them upside down on a hard but protective surface (think cork or similar) and lightly tap a single edge razor blade in between the cover and the base plate. Then you loosen the four screws that hold the bobbins. With the bobbins laying "on the back" gently remove the base plate carefully, unsoldering the three wire cable from the base plate. Now you should be able to locate the four lead wires from the coils. If not you might have to carefully carefully remove a bit of the protective tape. And I must state this once again. If you remove the tape GO CAREFULLY. If you break the delicate magnet wire you are bound to have a lot of problems. As soon as you have the wires visible it is a breeze to solder them to a four lead cable, solder the shield of that cable to the base plate, assemble the parts and you are good to go. Clint Searcy shows how to build a HB on this clip:

and that might give you some more info on how a HB is constructed.

Good luck

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Thanks Swedish! Im bang up for taking things apart. I just might have to do this. Ill let you know how i go.

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