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A Question About Pickup Bells And Whistles


MrMuckle
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Series/Parallel, Phase Reversal Switching, Blow Switches, Coil Taps, etc. Do you find that given all these options you really end up using only one or two different sounds.? On a Strat I use the 2 and the 5. Never used the coil tap on my PRS McCarty. I'd like to hear from someone who makes use of the full palette.

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YES

But you know, got to set these things up discretely and something usefully.

My new LP has 22 "sounds" similar to the Jimmy page thing...but all 'hidden' in push pull pots...with them all down it is just a standard LP and you cant see it is there. Pull the bridge tone, it's in parallel, so a good single coil sound with no noise, pull the neck tone, and you get a nice straty like rhythm sound to switch back to from a full HB mode say for lead with the bridge...pull both...and you get both coils cut for more fendery sounds in all positions.

Of course, you just tend to pull the things for the song you are about to play, setting teh guitar up to produce the sounds you want.

Also, highly interactive for the pickups that you use...not everything sounds good split...

The out of phase thing can be very hollow, or you can add a cap to 'half phase' to taste...similar with splits to maintain more bass from an HB split by rolling off the tone on one coil with the switching...so many options. One control switches both HB's in series...that's 4 a huge 4 coil HB, a powerful thick sound but sounds quite jazzy as well...but again, so many options...the main things are that you do it discretely, don't mess with the function of the guitar and there is a point to all these mods and they are reliable and useful...not just a 'gimmick'.

But, it is good to avoid to many switches or to think that you need to play switches while playing teh guitar...properly done it has a lot of character. There is something cool about a single pickup guitar with nothing as well of course...there is no "need" for all this stuff...but you can get radically different and highly useful sounds out of a single guitar and pickup sets with experimentation if you learn what you are doing and work with the pickups and guitar rather to a formula.

But hey, if you have had those options and you just stock to a few sounds, then perhaps it's not your thing. Unless you play relatively clean, you aren't going to hear a lot of difference unless you do something completely off the wall...like full reverse phase and it just sounds "nasty" like some of those old LZ records

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Well if you look at my builds I don't believe in clouding the signal path. I think it actually effects (only slightly) the overall straight tone of the guitar.

I usually do a push/pull to switch pups.

I only use a tap push/pull on single humbuckers. I have done a blo switch or two ... nothing more fun than a bridge pickup straight to the input jack.

I wired up a tap/phase with a switch/tone/vol setup for a few guys but I never use silly stuff like that.

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YES

But you know, got to set these things up discretely and something usefully.

+1 Clean/Discrete placement is important... do you know how silly the old 70s BC Rich's looked? You can try concentric pots, rotary switches, push/pull pots. And ALLPARTS is selling a Push/Push pot that is pretty cool. I might start using it for switching in the future... imagine playing full speed and smacking the volume knob to switch to the neck pickup. :D

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You know, on a future build I think I will add a few more bells and whistles. I shouldn't be judging strictly by the split coil sound I heard with the PRS. I like your ideas of keeping it discrete with the push/pull knobs. Blow switch here I come!

Are you sure you had a 'split' switch on that PRS? They originally ahd a so called "sweet' switch that was just stupid...simulates a long cable or something daft!

It's a good idea if you really want to get into this kind of thing to get a cheap guitar and try out all kinds of things as a test bed...go nuts and see what works...then refine that into what works for you and how things sound. Gives you a chance to 'go nuts' and get a lot of this kind of thing out of ones system.

If you want a look at a huge arrange of wiring schemes, you can't go past DGB Studio

Discrete is good, works well on my new LP...

LPepickupbridgeknobpull.jpg

So, no visible switches, but 22 combinations!

These switches can be fiddly though, sometimes a simple toggle is better or even necessary for some things (if you need more than a 4pdt)...a 'blow' switch might be better with a toggle than pulling on knobs while trying to play.

And there are other things you can do with pots...the so called 'spin-a-split' tone control uses the tone pot to go from split on 10, HB around 8 and normal tone roll off beyond that...without any switching.

A good treble bleed on the volume control can add treble as you turn down...turn up the amp, cut back on the guitars volume and you have more volume and fat midrange in reserve.

And, different pickups have different qualities, some sound good in split or parallel, others don't. If interested in getting some 'different' sounds, there is a lot to explore. I'm quite taken with the parallel sound on my LP's bridge pickup, fairly cheap overpowered HB's but come out with quite a powerful bright single coil sound without the noise in that mode.

If you thing is distortion though, really there is so much to be said for the EVH approach, one pickup and the volume marked as 'tone'.

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"Series/Parallel, Phase Reversal Switching, Blow Switches, Coil Taps, etc. Do you find that given all these options you really end up using only one or two different sounds.? On a Strat I use the 2 and the 5. Never used the coil tap on my PRS McCarty. I'd like to hear from someone who makes use of the full palette. "

i'm a hard fans of everything versatile,so those things are very cool for me. i use everything that i have done,so nothing is useless,(imagine yourself playing hard palm mutes of Dimmu Borgir or Lamb of Gods into dancey-funky out of phase sounds of ska and punk in just one guitar,and many other tones left to dig)

yeah.but,if you have satisfied with sounds that comes on stock don't bother doing any mods. not to mention the amount of time to get used to the mods itself.

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I just finished a build that has coil splitting and series/parallel switching. I really dig the sounds. Having both pickups coil split with them in series with each other is a tone to behold. Of course, things like coil splitting really depend on the pickups being used, as some sound great split and others just so-so.

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