#1
I admit, when i first heard of the idea of coil tapping i got pretty psyched. Best of both worlds? How awesome would that be? Since then i always wanted the coil taps. I knew it wouldnt perfectly replicate the sound of single coils because essentially it's half the winding of the humbucker therefore not as...articulate i guess. But it did play a factor into my purchase.

Now that i have a guitar with coil taps and having played several others, i can safely say that it's a bit of a lame gimmick. Flicking the switch to split the coils in every guitar ive played with that feature introduces a lame-duck sound that is neither powerful enough or natural enough. It sounds very forced, like it's a not-quite-ironed-out prototype of some kind. It ends up only being a usable sound on the bridge pickup for extra jangle and twang, but it loses a LOT of output and renders it somewhat useless. Overall, i do feel let down that it turned out to be such a gimmick. How naive of me, i suppose.

What do you think about coil taps?

Thus, id like to replace the stock humbuckers in my electric guitar. Im looking at Dimarzio Crunch Lab/Liquifire combo because it sounds like lesbians having sex. I just have a couple questions for those so inclined to answer.

1. Are pickups difficult to install? Im honestly the last person in the world who should be fiddling with wiring of any sort, but id like to give it a go to get more familiar with instruments. Is it something i could do myself?

2. Is the fact that the current pickups are tapped going to add any extra difficulty to the whole operation?

3. I would also like to replace the volume and tone pots with ones that are more responsive and smooth. Is this also very difficult? I have the time, but i want to be sure that it wouldnt require additional tools i dont have.

Any help would be muchos appreciatos.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
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Last edited by Acϵ♠ at Dec 26, 2011,
#2
Coil tapz aren't worth it. They're practically a marketing ploy.

Generally rewiring pickups isn't difficult but it might require a bit of practice. Splitting the coils won't really complicate the wiring much. Its just a couple extra wires between the pickups and the pots.

What amp do you use?
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 26, 2011,
#3
I think you're getting the wrong idea here. Pretty much all pickups are made to be coil tapped. So playing them in 'normal' mode isn't going to make a difference. Change pickups only if you don't like the tone of them under normal setup.

Changing the pots can make a significant difference however. I had a cheaper guitar where I changed from the stock cheap 500k pot to a CTS 500k and it really opened the guitar up a lot. Do that first, then see if you still don't like the pickups. By the way, what guitar is it and what pickups are in it?
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#4
The amp i use isnt what's important (Well it is, but not in this case), but if you have to know it's a Blackheart Little Giant.

I know the humbucking mode of coiltapped pickups makes no difference, but im not entirely satisfied with the stock pickups. My guitar is a Schecter C-1 Exotic. The pickups are supposedly made to Schecter's custom shop specs, but it sure doesnt feel like it. The tone is nice enough, but im looking for something hotter and more sensitive to touch as my playing is largely based around legato and these pickups arent *quite* cutting it.

Is changing the pots really going to do that much? Can you increase the volume and tonal range by swapping pots and leaving the pickups? How difficult is a pot swap?
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#5
Well in your case, I think you already have good pots in there. I'm not familiar with Schecter guitars but I thought maybe you had some cheap $300 guitar. As for the pickups, if you're looking for something hotter then well...you're looking for something hotter :-) There's so much out there so don't limit yourself. I know a lot will come on here saying "buy Bareknuckle pickups" or similar. It's all a personal preference though. I use Youtube a lot to get a good feel of how the pickups sound so start there. Right now I'm loving the Suhr Doug Aldridge pickups.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#6
Coil splits are good for some pickups, bad for others. It really depends on what coil you're left with. Most classic humbuckers have low output coils when split with a very warm tone, almost like a P90 but quieter. Most modern humbuckers go down to classic single coil oupt when split but their ceramic magnets sound terrible, basically what you're left with is the crap ceramic singles that the cheapest Squier guitars have.

But then you get some pickups made with unusual magnet layouts or uneven coils, specifically designed to sound right when split. but in turn those then don't give you a normal humbucking sound either.

The only way to truly get the best of both is to use the dual mode EMGs which actually are two pickups in one. Get the X series for a more passive tone. But that eats up a lot of battery power since you're basically running four pickups instead of two and of course not everbody likes active tone, even the X models which sound much closer to passives.
#7
1. Are pickups difficult to install? Im honestly the last person in the world who should be fiddling with wiring of any sort, but id like to give it a go to get more familiar with instruments. Is it something i could do myself?

Swapping pickups is not difficult provided you have the right wiring diagram, fortunately guitars are not a dark art and most pickup manufacturers have diagrams on their websites for whatever control layout you have.


2. Is the fact that the current pickups are tapped going to add any extra difficulty to the whole operation?

3. I would also like to replace the volume and tone pots with ones that are more responsive and smooth. Is this also very difficult? I have the time, but i want to be sure that it wouldnt require additional tools i dont have.

Answering both, if you want to swap the pots, the pickups in your guitar will have wiring for each coil, the pots will have more wiring going to them as a result, it will look more complicated than conventional wiring for humbuckers. the pots will work without split coil humbuckers but if you want to change them anyway it will make it easier to follow something from scratch than possibly get something in the wrong place where there wont be any wiring after the swap.
With regards to tools, you will need screw drivers to take the covers and pickup rings off. if you go with EMG pickups the wiring is completely cold. just plug in and away you go. no soldering required. If you go with another brand you may need to solder the wiring. Changing the pots will require a flat head screw driver if you can't just pull the knobs off, a cloth to stop you scratching the paint on the guitar if you use a screw driver and a socket. If you need to take the switch out they have a special tool for the ring that holds them. However I have always managed to remove them with a pair of pliers used gently to prevent any damage.

I'm sure there are guides on here as to what to do but its really not something to be afraid of, worst case scenario is if you wire it wrong and can't get it to work, take it to a tech a get them to sort it out. You could save yourself the money of changing it in the first place.
#8
Quote by Acϵ♠
The amp i use isnt what's important.


The amp you use is the MOST important.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#9
Quote by Cornishrob
1. Are pickups difficult to install? Im honestly the last person in the world who should be fiddling with wiring of any sort, but id like to give it a go to get more familiar with instruments. Is it something i could do myself?

Swapping pickups is not difficult provided you have the right wiring diagram, fortunately guitars are not a dark art and most pickup manufacturers have diagrams on their websites for whatever control layout you have.


2. Is the fact that the current pickups are tapped going to add any extra difficulty to the whole operation?

3. I would also like to replace the volume and tone pots with ones that are more responsive and smooth. Is this also very difficult? I have the time, but i want to be sure that it wouldnt require additional tools i dont have.

Answering both, if you want to swap the pots, the pickups in your guitar will have wiring for each coil, the pots will have more wiring going to them as a result, it will look more complicated than conventional wiring for humbuckers. the pots will work without split coil humbuckers but if you want to change them anyway it will make it easier to follow something from scratch than possibly get something in the wrong place where there wont be any wiring after the swap.
With regards to tools, you will need screw drivers to take the covers and pickup rings off. if you go with EMG pickups the wiring is completely cold. just plug in and away you go. no soldering required. If you go with another brand you may need to solder the wiring. Changing the pots will require a flat head screw driver if you can't just pull the knobs off, a cloth to stop you scratching the paint on the guitar if you use a screw driver and a socket. If you need to take the switch out they have a special tool for the ring that holds them. However I have always managed to remove them with a pair of pliers used gently to prevent any damage.

I'm sure there are guides on here as to what to do but its really not something to be afraid of, worst case scenario is if you wire it wrong and can't get it to work, take it to a tech a get them to sort it out. You could save yourself the money of changing it in the first place.


Looking over some basic diagrams, it does look like the pickups are something i can do myself. The pots though are kind of intimidating me a bit, to replace those i think id just take it to a tech and watch him do it so i can at least learn myself. The pots on this guitar are not as responsive as id like them to be, and going from dialed all the way down to all the way up, the most change happens in the first 20% or so then not much happens in the remaining 80%. I want to change that so that it's nice and even the whole way from zero to max, both for tone and volume. I have a squier stratocaster that has better pots, or at least ones that im much more accustomed to and like a lot better than these ones. If possible, id also like to put in a 5-way switch as opposed to a 3-way to give me some more tonal options since id be losing the coiltaps.

Quote by JustRooster
The amp you use is the MOST important.


In this case it's not important in the slightest bit. I know my gear and how it sounds, my amp has nothing to do with my displeasure. I have a good ear, I can distinguish the difference between the effect on tone that my pickups, guitars, amp, pedals, and even cables have all separately and these pickups are what's holding it back for me. But thanks anyways.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#10
i've recently got an ESP ltd ec-256 which comes with the coil tap facility. i switched out the pups today for a set of seymour duncan sh-4jb and sh-2n.
as far as wiring goes, i'd never done anything like it before i installed my first set of pickups a couple of years ago... but as long as you take your time and follow a wiring diagram, which you can get from the pickup manufacturers website, all should be fine. i never had any problems and have since installed many sets into my own and my friends guitars.
now getting back to the topic, the duncans i installed today transformed the sound dramatically, so i would highly recommend upgrading..... but i wouldn't look too much at the coil tap transforming the guitar into a single coil machine, just more of a tonal variety tool. i wouldn't want to use mine as an alternative to a strat or tele, but it gives me 6 viable alternative tonal options when using the 3 pickup positions in and out of the coil tap.

Chapman ML2 x 2
Dean Razorback Slime Bumblebee
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ESP Ltd EC-256 (SH4jb/SH2n)
Jackson DKMG (EMG 81/60)
Epi SG Iommi
Squier Classic Vibes 50's Tele
Ovation MT-37
Peavey 6505+ 112
#11
Quote by Acϵ♠

In this case it's not important in the slightest bit. I know my gear and how it sounds, my amp has nothing to do with my displeasure. I have a good ear, I can distinguish the difference between the effect on tone that my pickups, guitars, amp, pedals, and even cables have all separately and these pickups are what's holding it back for me. But thanks anyways.






Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Coil tapz aren't worth it. They're practically a marketing ploy.


+1
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#12
I'd upgrade the pots, capacitor and pups yourself. Its really very easy and theres 100's of us here that can help. As far as the unresponsive pots you are going to want 500k Linear pots.
#13
After telling me that your gear isn't the issue, then looking up your gear on your profile, I think it's high time I stopped checking in on this thread.


Good day, sir.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#14
You people over evaluate this situation way to much. The answer is simple, look for a quality pickup that has a decent low end response, and your coil split wont be so weak and thin.

I think the Liquifire and Crunch lab will do the coil tab brilliantly, I'd go with those....


BKP FTW!!!!!!!
#15
Quote by StateFarmsThere
I'd upgrade the pots, capacitor and pups yourself. Its really very easy and theres 100's of us here that can help. As far as the unresponsive pots you are going to want 500k Linear pots.


What effect would 500k have? I dont know much about the super techy aspects of guitar. Is there any way to know what's in it now?

Quote by JustRooster
After telling me that your gear isn't the issue, then looking up your gear on your profile, I think it's high time I stopped checking in on this thread.


Good day, sir.


yeah sorry im not rocking the latest prs and mesa stack you elitist prick. the change i want to make lies with the pickups. If i wanted to change my tone entirely then yes maybe i would get a new amp. I didnt ask "durr how can i sound like *guitarist*?? Will new pickups make me Steve Vai?? I want hotter, more responsive pickups (never mind i asked some simple questions about the installation and process, which you seem unable to answer) because im content with the amp and pedals set up. Go back to guitar center and stroke yourself silly over the gear neither of us can afford. Dick. Seriously did you even read the OP?

Quote by ethan_hanus
You people over evaluate this situation way to much. The answer is simple, look for a quality pickup that has a decent low end response, and your coil split wont be so weak and thin.

I think the Liquifire and Crunch lab will do the coil tab brilliantly, I'd go with those....


BKP FTW!!!!!!!


Lol i wont be splitting these ones unless it's either A) easier because of the wiring currently in it, and B) that seems like a savage mockery of a good set of pickups. Whether that's true or not i dont know.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#16
I have a coil tap on one of my guitars (JS1200) and I quite like the sound of it personally. I've gotten more use from the high-pass filter, but the single coil sound is very nice in my opinion. As somebody mentioned above, the pickups will generally determine how effective the coil tap is.
Last edited by :-D at Dec 29, 2011,
#17
I like coil taps and anything that will give me more tonal options. As mentioned, some pickups tap better than others, and I find the same thing with out-of-phase: on some guitars it doesn't add anything valuable. Also, a guitar with 46 different sounds probably only has 3 or 4 worth using. (unless you really are a tone god, because some people can use everything) The three I like might not be the same as yours. One may wonder why I would have tones in my guitar that are for someone else?

Anything you do between the pickups and amp is going to reduce the output. Every component has some kind of inefficiency. Know that when you switch off or on a circuit it will affect your output and adjust your volume to compensate. If you start 'clean' with your volume at 10 you have no way to compensate. Start in the middle and try not to get too close to the limits. Proper use of the volume knob is just as important as proper use of a pick.

Switching pickups or pots is really quite simple, if you are willing to read about it for a while. The hardest part is deciding what you actually want. It is the kind of stuff that has to be done right to have it work at all. Fortunately, you can un-solder and re-solder until you do get it right. (not like cutting wood, where once its too short, it pretty much stays to0 short, no matter now much more you cut it.) So its nearly risk free to learn on your own.

If you're making a wiring change, like not using the coil tap switches, what is there already is not very important. You want to keep it simple and only have what you need in there. Start from scratch.

About your complaint about consistent change as you dial up..
Quote by Acϵ♠
the most change happens in the first 20% or so then not much happens in the remaining 80%. I want to change that so that it's nice and even the whole way from zero to max, both for tone and volume.

There are three standard "tapers" (profiles) for pots, (and you almost never see the third one) read this http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/potsecrets/potscret.htm to see what you need to think about when getting different pots.

It might take a little effort to understand it, but its well worth it. It's one thing to know what you like. Its another to know why you like it. Once you know why, you can fix things. Before that you just have to settle for finding things.
#18
^^ thanks dude, that link is really helpful. so if every circuit the signal runs through weakens the signal by however much, is there a pedal or some other kind of signal that will boost it back to what it originally was or even more?
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#19
Quote by Acϵ♠

yeah sorry im not rocking the latest prs and mesa stack you elitist prick. the change i want to make lies with the pickups. If i wanted to change my tone entirely then yes maybe i would get a new amp. I didnt ask "durr how can i sound like *guitarist*?? Will new pickups make me Steve Vai?? I want hotter, more responsive pickups (never mind i asked some simple questions about the installation and process, which you seem unable to answer) because im content with the amp and pedals set up. Go back to guitar center and stroke yourself silly over the gear neither of us can afford. Dick. Seriously did you even read the OP?




I'm not either, but I'm not running boss pedals into a bass amp and saying the trouble with my tone is my pickups.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
Last edited by JustRooster at Dec 29, 2011,
#20
Right. Neither am i. And you still dont get the point of this thread.


Are you done making yourself look stupid, or do you actually have something to contribute now?
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#21
I thought coil taping would be cool, it's not that great. I'd rather get an HSS Strat.
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#22
Another noob question i have: is it possible to switch a VVT pot configuration to a VTT configuration? I dont like not having a master volume button and id much rather control the tones independently for each pickup than vice versa.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#23
Instead of having the pickups go to the volume pots then to the toggle switch then back to the tone pot, you work it in rverese: wire two of the pots as tone controls and have the pickups go to those first, then to the toggle switch, then the hot signal goes from that to the remaining pot which you wire as a volume control then that goes to the jack.