I was just thinking about what I would want in a versatile guitar, not actually customising one or building anything just yet so I thought this would be the best sub-forum.

If you had 3 humbuckers, each with it's own volume, tone, coil-tap and phase controls would that essentially have every practical combination covered?

I was thinking something like this, 3 controls (A, B, C)

Where A handles the split and pup volume, B handles the phase and tone, and a killswitch just because

Sounds like you´d be spending more time dickin with the contols rather then playing the guitar.
Quote by sstony
Sounds like you´d be spending more time dickin with the contols rather then playing the guitar.

Yep. All these wiring tricks look so nice on paper but when you get there and you're in the heat of the moment, you want something simple and distinct.
That being said, I encourage you to try all of them and decide yourself which one to keep and which one to abandon.
Split humbuckers usually sound weak and you get single coil noise. If you want the same, thinner kinda sound without the hum, I suggest you to wire the two coils in parallel instead of just shunting one of the coils to ground.

Also, make sure you put those controls to places where you can easily reach and manipulate them.
you're only scratching the surface of what you can do with 3 humbuckers i'm afraid.

once you begin thinking of each humbucker as 2 single coils, and then, thinking about your pickup config as 6 single coil pickups, well there are 6 possible combinations from one humbucker:

1. coils in series as normal
2. coils in parallel
3. coils in series and out of phase
4. coils in parallel and out of phase
5. top coil
6. bottom coil

and then of course if you do that with each pickup that could open up all kinds of possibilities:

top coil of bridge humbucker in series and in phase with bottom coil of middle humbucker, with the addition of the neck pickup with both coils in series and the bottom coil out of phase, in parallel with the other 2 pickups....

of course, there's a reason people don't do this - it's too ****ing complicated

honestly my fender tele has all possible combinations you can get from 2 single coil pickups, but i just don't use the extra ones very often
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Last edited by Blompcube at Jul 11, 2010,
sstony- my thoughts behind this were say if I was going to get an amazing bit of wood, with all the top of the line hardware etc, you could easily have 3 or 4 configurations availible at the press of a button for live playing, but in the studio the one guitar can handle everything you want. Obviously alot of other factors change the tone but this would allow me to get as close as I could do everything with one guitar.

Tinderwet- my understanding was a split humbucker is just a single coil (hence the single coil noise).

Blompcube- thanks for the thoughful reply. I was basically thinking about each humbucker as a humbucker OR a single coil. While I understand you could use either the top or bottom coil the tonal variance would not be enough for ME to worry about which one was being used.

However I am interested in options 1, 2, 3 and 4. I had not considered parallel or series, so what I am really looking for is an efficent manner to adjust the coil-split, phase, volume, wiring, and maybe 'tone' of a humbucker. Any guitars had a go at this already? Any more advice to forgot about this?
Last edited by squidlips at Jul 12, 2010,
I have looked at the PRS 513 and the first problem for me is the price. I've been trying to look at tone holistically (fingers, picks, strings, pickups, hardware, wood, cables, amp, mics, PA etc etc) and for about $4500AUS ($3900USD) I just can't see the value.

For now I just wanted to discuss IF this was possible, and if so, what would be the different ways you could go about it. I like the idea of HSH and 5-way selectors however what I'm thinking about at the moment is adjusting the coil-split, phase, volume, wiring, and maybe 'tone' of a humbucker.
Quote by squidlips
Tinderwet- my understanding was a split humbucker is just a single coil (hence the single coil noise).

Yes it is! I only suggested that if you're aiming for that kind of sound, you can get it or at least pretty close to it with wiring the two coils of the humbucker in parallel (in phase), then it will still be humbucking too.
Quote by squidlips
Any guitars had a go at this already?

Some production guitars I know of use at least part of what you want to achieve, but not the whole. There's the Peavey T-60 for example, it only has the coil splits, but it's achieved by turning knobs and not switches.
Then there's the Gibson L6-S that's got too humbuckers and a 6-position chicken head knob to choose from neck, bridge, both in parallel, both in series, both in series out of phase, both in parallel out of phase+a bass filter.

They are both 70s and early 80s guitars, and are considered "sleepers", can be gotten for around 500-1000USD.
I was just wondering if a mod could move this to the building forum, I think theres a different group of people there that might be more interested in this.
Please? I sent a private message to all the mods, my only next option is to post some photos of breasts :P
We have a ultimate wiring thread. Read it, there's plenty of info there, diagrams, etc. You could easily get the knowledge to make a schem, and post it in the thread for people to check. Or if someone is feeling nice, you might get a diagram made if there isnt already one.

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