#1
Hello there. I never really understood what they are for. Can someone explain what does each one of them do? Is one of them better?.

and would it be useful in a HSS Strat for example? Thanks in advance
#3
Coil Taps are very rare, coil splits are probably what you're thinking of. Thats when one of the coils of a humbucker is turned off. A coil tap is when there is a 'tap' in a coil that can be used, effectively reducing the number of winds in the coil, thus reducing its output.

Parallel wiring connects 2 coils (usually of a humbucker) in parallel, that is the positive ends of each coil are connected to form the hot wire, and the negatives ends connect to and go to an earth. Current will flow through both coils, but it can go through either coil, not both.
Series wiring is where the positive end of one coil is connected to the negative of the next coil, so all of the current passes through both coils. This gives more output, and is how humbuckers are usually wired.

Parallel wiring still cancels 60 (or 50) cycle hum, coil splits dont, and they both sound different. Both will reduce the output and give you a better clean tone, but parallel will have no hum, splits will.
#4
^he got it


Coil TAP is when you start the single coil from a certain point in its winding so you get a quieter, less hot sound. This can only be done on single coils

Coil SPLIT is when you ground one of the coils of a humbucker, making the hum sound more like a single coil. Obviously can only be done on humbuckers.

Some companies mess up the wording (schecter is one that ive notice) and call a coil split a coil tap.

Series and Parallel is just the basic wiring of the pickups. Im pretty sure a normal strat is wired in parallel. Wiring it in series would give it a more hot output. Humbuckers can also be wired in series or parallel. Normally they are wired in series.
Last edited by michaelbot9000 at Jun 15, 2010,
#5
Thanks for the replies guys. So I also read that the coil splitting sounds not as good as a real single coil.

So can you rewire a strat so one switch position will connect the bridge and neck pups? Has this been done?
#6
Yes. My strat is wired so that the 5 positions of the switch go:
1-Bridge
2-Neck+Bridge in parallel
3-Neck+Bridge in series
4-Neck+Bridge in series and out of phase
5-Neck
One of the tone controls acts as a volume for the middle pickup.
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#7
+1 on what littlephil said.

I would imagine splits would be better on your fat strat, because in position 4 (imo, anyway) you'd ideally want to split the bridge humbucker when it's combined with the middle single coil.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#8
Quote by haceteunosmates
Thanks for the replies guys. So I also read that the coil splitting sounds not as good as a real single coil.
Depends on the pickup. Most humbuckers don't sound like Stratocaster/Telecaster style single coil pickups when they are split or wired in parallel, instead they sound much more like P-90 pickups, since in terms of construction the humbucker's bar magnet & one coil is a P-90, not a Fender style coil (which would be six separate magnetic pole pieces & one coil). When most people think of "single coil tones" they are thinking of the Fender style of single coil pickup and not P-90s, hence why many people say a split humbucker doesn't sound like a single coil pickup should do.

There are some ''regular'' humbuckers that are designed to sound much more like Strat/Tele single coil pickups when split though; these are the Seymour Duncan Stag Mag and the Swineshead AMP. There may be others, but I'm buggered if I've ever heard of them, these two are the only ones that have really come up so far. These don't use bar magnets and instead use six separate magnetic pole pieces for each coil, so when you split them you are left with a Fender-style single coil design: six magnetic pole pieces and one thin, tall coil. When you wire these pickups in parallel they tend to sound like the pickups found in an early Jazzmaster guitars. The downside to this is that when they are in regular (series) humbucker mode, they won't sound like normal humbuckers any more, since the pole pieces give more note separation than the humbucker's usual bar magnet would.
Then there is the Seymour Duncan P-Rails, which is a P-90 and a rail style single coil in one. When wired in series, they sound like a full, if slightly muddy humbucker. Wired parallel and they sound like a slightly muddy P-90. Split to the P-90 and they sound almost like a full P-90, although because of the size difference between this pickup and a real P-90, the P-Rails does sound a little thinner and weaker. When split to the Rail single coil the tone is somewhat close to a Strat-style single coil, although without such pronounced clarity and string separation.



Long story short: you can buy pickups which are made specifically for splitting or wiring parallel that will sound almost exactly like the real single coil pickup, however this comes at the cost of a slightly worse humbucker tone. If you split or parallel-wire a regular humbucker you'll get a P-90 tone. Parallel = hum-cancelling, split = fractionately better string separation. Personally I think parallel is always better if you use anything above light gain, split is better if you're keeping your tone clean.
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#9
i don't think split or parallel-wired humbuckers sound anything like p90s. the split ones sound a bit like tele singles to me (the bridge pickup), the parallel just sound like lower output, airier humbuckers, to me.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
It depends on the pickup, but I've found most alnico-based humbuckers sound like original P-90s or Phat Cats when split. Not so much the modern full P-90s, granted, but that's more because the modern takes on P-90s tend to be wound a little too hot to my ears. I've yet to find a regular humbucker that sounds closer to a Strat or Tele single coil than it does to an old P-90 when split, not counting the Stag Mag and AMP.
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#11
that's possible. the p90s on my jj are indeed pretty hot. even though I've tried plenty of other p90s, the ones I own are going to bias me a fair bit

and a tele bridge pickup is kinda halfway between strat and p90.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
I would still go with the opposite. To me a Tele's bridge pickup is even brighter with even more string separation than a Strat's is, quite the opposite of a P-90. Again, depends on the model of course. My Thinline's bridge Hot Rails is wired parallel and sounds a lot like a P-90, but then that's considerably different to a regular Tele bridge pickup.

Balls. See, now I've got Warmoth's body builder open, setting up a triple-P-90 Telecaster. This is why I'm dirt broke. I've really got to stop coming on here.
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#13


and yeah, i think you're right, i'd also say it depends very much on the strat and tele, and pickups, in question. my tokai strat doesn't have a tone wired up to the bridge pickup, so it's extremely bright. whereas (good) tele bridge pickups tend to be a bit hotter and warmer. Or maybe that's just the ones I like.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Thanks for all the interesting replies

Quote by HeavyReverb
Yes. My strat is wired so that the 5 positions of the switch go:
1-Bridge
2-Neck+Bridge in parallel
3-Neck+Bridge in series
4-Neck+Bridge in series and out of phase
5-Neck
One of the tone controls acts as a volume for the middle pickup.


That sounds interesting, and I've found it on another forum too. Can you name the differences between series and out of phase parallel? Because the guy above you didnt point them out, if there's any (in sound).

How's a tele wired for example?
Last edited by haceteunosmates at Jun 16, 2010,
#15
A tele would be in parallel like pretty much all standard combined pickup selections. Finding pickups in series in stock wiring is quite rare however the two coils in a humbucker are in series. don't take my word on this though because Im not 100%. Series generally sounds darker and eliminates hum which can also be accomplished by having 2 pickups in parallel with one of them being reverse polarity (like the middle pickup in MIA/CIJ Strats and neck pickup in MIA Teles).
1 2

Little solace comes
to those who grieve
as thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a House of Leaves

My Rig
Quote by Will Swanson
HeavyReverb = Hero of The Pit 2010.
Quote by I-Shot-Jr
You sir are my absolute hero.
#16
Quote by HeavyReverb
A tele would be in parallel like pretty much all standard combined pickup selections. Finding pickups in series in stock wiring is quite rare however the two coils in a humbucker are in series. don't take my word on this though because Im not 100%. Series generally sounds darker and eliminates hum which can also be accomplished by having 2 pickups in parallel with one of them being reverse polarity (like the middle pickup in MIA/CIJ Strats and neck pickup in MIA Teles).


Pretty cool. I'm sorry to bother you so much but is there any place you know of where I can listen to some samples of this combinations? I'm interested in doing this to my strat. Youtube, anything will work.
#17
series is higher output, like a humbucker. parallel is less output, like the in-between positions on a (modern-style) tele or strat.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
You could probably find clips on youtube or google if ou look around. I can link you to a wiring diagram for doing this to strats or teles if you want.
1 2

Little solace comes
to those who grieve
as thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a House of Leaves

My Rig
Quote by Will Swanson
HeavyReverb = Hero of The Pit 2010.
Quote by I-Shot-Jr
You sir are my absolute hero.