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Old 05-12-2014, 11:47 AM   #1
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Best Humbucker for split coil?

Hi, everybody.

What´s best humbucker for split coil and even keeping its volume/gain?

Recently i bought a Fender USA Telecaster with a humbucker + split coil by push/pull knob, but there´s no information about that humbucker (resonance, etc).

My only concernig is "how to keep the volume after split on/off"?

I´ve read about the ´59 / Custom Hybrid by Seymour Duncan wich offers a ´59 coil with a 7.1k of resonance. I don´t know if it´s enough to keep my guitar volume balanced.

That´s my model:


Thank you!

Last edited by radioerick : 05-13-2014 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:02 PM   #2
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Keeping even with the other pickups, or with itself? A split humbucker is by definition going to have a much lower output when split. You're removing one of the coils from the output. Even asymmetrically wound coils aren't generally that far off from each other.

If you want the volumes to be closer between settings on the same pickup, you should replace the coil split with a series/parallel switch. That keeps both coils active but gets you closer to a single coil sound.

Usually, though, a major point of the switch is to drop the output significantly.

Try something new

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Old 05-12-2014, 02:52 PM   #3
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Most of the guitars I have seen with coil splitting HBs are configured one of these ways:

1) with a mix of humbuckers & singlecoils, the split HBs output roughly matches the output of the Singlecoils. This means that the HB in normal mode will be a bit to significantly louder than the singlecoils, depending on the HB.

2) with a mix of humbuckers & singlecoils, the HBs have a dedicated volume control, so you can control how the HBs balance with the singlecoils. Haven't seen this often, though.

3) if the guitar only has HBs, there is one tone and one volume, and when split, ALL HBs are split.

2) if the guitar only has HBs, each one has a tone, volume, and individual split, for maximum flexibility
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 05-12-2014 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:20 PM   #4
Tony Done
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Single or parallel have a lot less output than series. I would go for something in the mid output range, I had an SD JB that I thought was muddy in series mode but very good in parallel. I currently use SD Jazz in series/single/parallel, because they are very bright by humbucker standards, and have a good single-coil type sound in single or parallel.

FWIW, I prefer parallel to single, the tone of the two is very similar, parallel is a tiny bit brighter and a tiny bit lower output than single, but you keep the mains hum cancelling.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:56 PM   #5
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My favorite pickup for splitting is the Carvin M22SD (about 13kohm -- and it's not "resonance," by the way, but resistance). The Suhr Aldrich bridge pickup works pretty well. Generally higher output humbuckers will give you better sounding single coils that will match with real single coils.

You can't keep single coils and humbuckers balanced in volume, usually. There IS a way to engage a boost at the same time that you split the coil (I've got an old Alembic that does that), but that's going to require some advanced electronics.

I know someone's going to throw rocks at me for this, but...
Way back when we bitched at Line 6 because the Variax' strat model (and a few others) had a noticeable volume drop from, say, the LP models. "But," says Line 6, "This is part of being accurate with the models. Those guitars ARE lower output than the others. Our models reflect that." The interesting news is that you can tweak all of that with their Workbench software and EQ them where you need them. Bee Ching.

Last edited by dspellman : 05-12-2014 at 08:57 PM.
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