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Old 05-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
GuitarNewbee
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Sound drop when splitting coils... can it be fixed?

So I know it's normal for the sound to drop when splitting coils but is there any way to reduce or eliminate the sound drop? i lose like 1/3 of the sound when splitting the coil which is no problem when i'm playing my amp at a loud volume because i can still hear the sound very easily and loudly... but sometimes like right now i want to practice but my parents are sleeping in the next room and the only way to practice is by playing at a low volume which is fine when im using the humbucker but when i split the coil i can't really hear it that well as i'd like to because of the low volume that the amp is already at
i can hear the sound a bit but the part that annoys me is hearing the sound of the strings which is what happening since i'm using the split coil position for clean playing so when ever i start playing on the split coil i can hear the strings playing and i can't differentiate between the amp and the strings which for some reason really annoys the hell out of me ... i just don't like hearing the strings!!!!


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Old 05-20-2013, 02:08 PM   #2
Arby911
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Does your guitar have a volume knob? I've heard they are an excellent tool for adjusting the output of the guitar.....
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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clean boost pedal? adjust your amp?
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
forsaknazrael
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No.
Splitting coils halves your pickups DC resistance. Of course output is going to drop.
I suggest trying wiring your pickups to have a series/parallel switch instead. Less output drop, still cleans up fairly well, sounds brighter like a single coil. But it's also still hum cancelling.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
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If you're only using it to play clean/lighter stuff, you might want to look into a compressor pedal. It'll bring everything to the same level volume-wise, plus compressed cleans have a cool sort of squishy-ness to them that's really pleasing to the ear. Something like the MXR Dyna-Comp will do this nicely and they're pretty cheap to boot ($70 USD new).

But that's just what I'd do.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:39 AM   #6
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I agree with forsak, series/parallel your pups. Sounds way better.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
darkwolf291
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You could put a clean boost in your guitar that activates with the coil split
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogar
If you're only using it to play clean/lighter stuff, you might want to look into a compressor pedal. It'll bring everything to the same level volume-wise, plus compressed cleans have a cool sort of squishy-ness to them that's really pleasing to the ear. Something like the MXR Dyna-Comp will do this nicely and they're pretty cheap to boot ($70 USD new).

But that's just what I'd do.

That won't work.
A compressor brings everything to the same volume, yes, but only relative to what's being played that second.
It won't even the volume between split and humbucker.

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Old 05-22-2013, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danvwman
I agree with forsak, series/parallel your pups. Sounds way better.


I've been saying it for years.
Rarely see anyone with it in their setup, though.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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Parallel drops the output even more than splitting, though. But yes, it is better. Same sound, more or less, and no hum.

As for evening up the split output, no, there is no way to 'fix' it. It's not 'broken' for there to be any fix. You're splitting the pickup in half so you're getting about half the sound. Using your volume control to turn down the series sound and turning up for the split, or getting a clean boost to turn on when you split, are the only ways around it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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Nah, I'm pretty sure it's not less. At least not perceptibly. Definitely sounds louder and fuller than a split when I use it...My guitar has series/split/parallel on a toggle. The DC Resistance is lower, I'm sure, but there's more to output than just DC resistance.

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Old 05-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
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It's not, it's less. It's impossible for it to even be the same, let alone more. The output can be no more than the loudest coil (which is what you'd always split to, though the vast majority of humbuckers have matched coils anyway), minus a little of the most extreme treble and bass and the pickup is still hum-cancelling (and therefore losing a few other frequencies along the way).

Parallel wiring is always half the output of series minus a little more (to maintain hum-cancelling), usually 5% or so as that is the sort of maximum difference in coils you can get while still removing all hum. With more greatly mismatched coils you can get more or less output but then you also get more hum (even with a lower-output combination), rendering it effectively the same as split coil at best.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:23 PM   #12
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Okay, sure, maybe that's been your experience. Except I know that my guitar has more output on the parallel setting than split. I use PAF-influenced pickups that are fairly hot, with AlNiCo 8 magnets.

Output is determined by more factors than simply DC resistance. That is truth. If you asked any pickup winder, they would agree with me. You are speaking about DC Resistance.

I haven't tried parallel wiring on a lot of pickups, but I would venture to say that it could depend on what kind of pickup it is. I Googled the whole dealie, some people agreed with you, some people agreed with me. This means that variable here is different pickups, not the wiring style.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:25 AM   #13
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LOL.....Mr Flibble aint always right. He thinks he is.....he is not. Technicly speaking the output in voltage will be the same as the highest coil but with a higher mA output . So in no way will it be less of an output of just one of the coils.

I deal with this at work with diesel vehicles with 2 12 volt batteries , 2 12 volt 800 ca batteries in parallel will yield 12 volts 1600 ca.

When testing the battery system on these types of vehicles you need to isolate the 2 batteries because one good battery can mask or hide a bad one.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forsaknazrael
Output is determined by more factors than simply DC resistance. That is truth. If you asked any pickup winder, they would agree with me. You are speaking about DC Resistance.
No, I'm not. Jesus, learn to read. I'm the only buger around here who is always saying to ignore DC resistence because it tells you nothing.

For series you've got coil 1 added to coil 2; some frequencies are lost in order to cancel hum.
For split you have coil 1 or coil 2; no frequencies are lost from the active coil but everything is lost from the coil sent to ground.
For parallel you have coil 1 alongside coil 2; some frequencies are lost in order to cancel hum.

The only time—the only time—parallel can result in more output than split is if your coils are massively unbalanced and you have chosen to split to the weakest coil, something I've only ever encountered people doing either by accident or when wanting to use all four common 'modes' of an SD P-Rail.

Even with pickups which have mismatched coils, the coil mismatch is going to be within 5%. More than that and you're going to get hum even when wired series, so it becomes pretty obvious if something's weird with your pickup. Unless your pickup is giving you 50/60-cycle hum, you know your coils are wound within 5% of each other. The exceptons would be very unusual pickups designed to only use one ocil, such as the DiMarzio Bluesbucker. BUt that's a specialised picup and if you're buying that then you probably know what you're getting into (not to mention in the case of that particular pickup, different wiring doesn't do much other than bring hum back in; it's effectively already giving you the split sound even with series wiring).
The signal of an average humbucker—something like an SD '59, for example—is around 7dB. Each coil on its own (i.e. split) creates around 4dB. It shouldn't need to be explained that 5% of 4dB is a difference so small as to be utterly inaudible, both to human hearing and as far as an electric guitar preamp cares.

4dB + 4dB does not equal 7dB. Yay, maths. There are some frequencies that aren't picked up equally by each coil so these aren't doubled up all nicely and there are some that are lost entirely in the hum-cancelling process.
With parallel we're not adding 4dB to 4dB. We've got two things at 4dB that just happen to be on at the same time. None of the frequencies they share get added together but some of them do get cancelled out, to remove hum. So we've got 4dB minus however much is needed to get rid of hum. In series wiring this often is around 1dB with a medium-wound, 'hot PAF'-style humbucker, as is common. With parallel it's about 0.5-0.7dB.

So:
For series you've got 4dB added to 4dB; around 1dB is lost in order to cancel hum.
For split you have 4dB or... 4dB; no frequencies are lost from the active coil but everything is lost from the coil sent to ground.
For parallel you have 4dB alongside 4dB; a bit under 1dB is lost in order to cancel hum.

See how parallel ends up quieter?

Before you go all RAH RAH WELL I HAVE THIS PICKUP, I too use PAF-style pickups with A8 magnets. Actually wound a couple myself just a few weeks ago, talked about it in a NGD thread. There's no magic pixie dust in A8 magnets or the words 'PAF' that make them work differently to other pickups when split or parallel. Pickups are some wire and magnets, as long as you're following the same two coil, one bar magnet formula, things are going to go down the same path.

And 'danvwman', pickup coils are not car batteries.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:33 AM   #15
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No they are not, BUT they both produce an electrical current. And 2 coils in parallel are capable of producing more current(at the same mV of the strongest one) than one coil by its self.

It is almost impossible for parallel to be weaker than a single coil from the same pup if you know electricity laws, you need to read more about electricity.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:54 AM   #16
Arby911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble

And 'danvwman', pickup coils are not car batteries.


And decibels aren't used to directly measure electrical signal strength. given that they are a ratio of a physical quantity that requires an initial reference...what the **** are you on about?

Ohms law applies across the board, I don't care if it's money, magic or marbles...(or car batteries and guitar pickups...)
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #17
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Lol okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby911
And decibels aren't used to directly measure electrical signal strength. given that they are a ratio of a physical quantity that requires an initial reference...what the **** are you on about?

+1

Quote:
Before you go all RAH RAH WELL I HAVE THIS PICKUP, I too use PAF-style pickups with A8 magnets. Actually wound a couple myself just a few weeks ago, talked about it in a NGD thread. There's no magic pixie dust in A8 magnets or the words 'PAF' that make them work differently to other pickups when split or parallel. Pickups are some wire and magnets, as long as you're following the same two coil, one bar magnet formula, things are going to go down the same path.

It never was about anything "magic" with my pickup, you read my post entirely wrong. I was saying, "well this is what I have, it's different than what other people have". Because my point was that parallel vs coil split probably depends on what pickup you're using it in. Using it on a Seymour Duncan JB will not yield the same results as using it on an Ibanez Super 70 or a Dimarzio PAF Pro. You're being argumentative for no reason just because someone disagrees with you.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danvwman
No they are not, BUT they both produce an electrical current. And 2 coils in parallel are capable of producing more current(at the same mV of the strongest one) than one coil by its self.

It is almost impossible for parallel to be weaker than a single coil from the same pup if you know electricity laws, you need to read more about electricity.
The current is determined by voltage and resistance, not it's current sourcing ability. The current rating defines a maximum limit, not the current being pulled. If you parallel up 50 12V batteries and place it across a 12 ohm load you get 1 amp - the same as one 12V battery would (given that it is capable of sourcing 1 amp). It may be capable of sourcing more current but unless you have passed the max limit that is irrelevant.

However, I have indeed noticed more volume out of paralleled coils compared to just the one coil. Not as marked as when compared to series (one of my guitars has a series/parallel/split switch) but it is certainly noticeable. I'd say that paralleled would be close enough not to cause distress though.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby911
And decibels aren't used to directly measure electrical signal strength. given that they are a ratio of a physical quantity that requires an initial reference...what the **** are you on about?
I didn't say it was a way of measuring the strength of the signal. We're talking about how loud things are and the difference in volume between wiring modes. Guess what volume is measured in.


Okay, here's a super-simple, foolproof example that you have to be completely and utterly stupid to not understand.

Get yourself a Telecaster or a Stratocaster. Listen to one pickup on its own, say, the bridge pickup. Hey, that's the sound of one coil! Now let's switch the pickup selector one notch along so we get bridge + neck or bridge + middle. Look, now we have two coils wired parallel. What has happened to our output? Well blow my nuts off, it's gone down!
Hey, try it with a two-humbucker guitar, it's the exact same thing. Er, unless your pickups are out of phase. Which you should already be aware of, if they are.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #20
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Gone down? I dunno, it's a pretty small amount for me when I do that on my Strat. I understand what you're saying, but if they're in phase, it doesn't really cancel that much of the frequencies out. That's the whole point of wiring them in phase.

Anyway, whole point, parallel wiring sounds like fuller and doesn't drop in volume as much compared to single coils, IMO. This is the case with all my guitars. According to Google searches, some people have had the same experience, some people haven't.
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