#1
Recently I've started playing blues, classic rock and some surf rock.
My guitar is an Ibanez rg350, but the clean sound of it isn't really that great.
Would there be much difference between the sound of a real single coil (like from a Squier CV strat or MIM standard strat) and my rg350 with coilsplitting?
#2
I have a guitar w coil taps and a strat w single coils...there is a difference to me. TO ME, it sort of sounds like the coil tapping just cuts some output off the humbucker, where the single coil has a crisper, chimier, bell like tone that everyone associates w strats. Again, thats just what it sounds like to me, I don't know the technology behind coil taps and what they technically do though. Taps don't sound bad, but they don't sound like a single coil to me, especially clean.
#3
Yes it will be different because of the way the wire is wrapped.

Its not going to sound hugely different, but its definitely noticeable.
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#4
maybe

the middle single coil in your ibanez is a proper single coil. it mightn't be that great of a one, but it is a proper single coil. so if you use the middle position on your pickup selector (especially if you swap it for a decent quality single coil), there's no reason why it can't sound pretty good.

when you split your humbuckers, you get one coil of the humbucker, which looks like a proper single coil... on the surface. However, it's not quite the same design. A single coil uses (normally alnico) polepieces, whereas a humbucker uses a bar magnet underneath the pickup, and then steel (?) polepieces which are magnetised by said magnet. Anyway, long story short, they don't sound exactly the same, and that's pretty much why "real" singles sound better.

don't get me wrong, split 'buckers will do in a pinch and might be better than carting around 5 guitars. And if you use humbucker tones 95% of the time but only occasionally need single coil tones they're pretty useful. But they generally don't sound quite as good as real singles, either.

you can get humbuckers which have polepieces rather than the bar magnet which are meant to sound better when split. However, I haven't tried them, and logic suggests that teh reverse problem might be true for them- the single coil tones are better but the humbucker tones might suffer.
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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
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jan 26, 2012,
#5
Yes.

A split humbucker is a poor substitute for a single coil.

Doesn't a 350 have a single in center position?
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#6
Also, the coil split position on the 350 uses the single in the middle and one of the coils from the corresponding humbucker. Its a bit weird
Where's Waldo?
#7
Yes, the rg350 has a single coil in the middle position. But I ment the coil splitting of the bridge and neck humbucker =)

But, if I understand correctly, the pickup-style of a strat or tele would be a lot better for clean tones?
#8
I prefer and use single coil guitars but my oldest(to me) guitar has a split coil bridge hb. IMO, a split coil really just cuts the output, sounds more hb than true single coil. I use the switch as a "boost".

ps. ever try p90's?
#10
It depends. An RG, even on the middle setting, won't sound like a Strat. They're just two different guitars. There are many types of single coil pickups. There's the Strat, Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Tele, P-90, and other specialized pickups. There isn't just one single-coil sound. If you want a strat tone, get a strat. They're not necessarily better for clean tones. They're just different. I use positions 2-4 on my RG a lot even though I have a Strat too. They may both have a middle single coil but they sound very different. Positions 2 and 4 don't sound anything alike but they all sound good in their own ways. And remember, you don't need a single-coils to play those genres. Humbuckers sound good clean too but they may not work for surf.
#11
As was hinted at above, there will also be variation depending upon the specific humbucker getting split. Some sound pretty close to single coils, some don't. Some not only don't sound much like single coils, they sound BAD when split. (I'm told Lace Alumitone Deathbuckers fall into that last category...and I say that as a fan of Alumitones in general.)
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#12
Thanks for all the comments guys

I guess the best thing to do now is to go to a guitar center and test some guitars with single coils to see if they suit me the better =)
#13
Quote by lucky1978
I prefer and use single coil guitars but my oldest(to me) guitar has a split coil bridge hb. IMO, a split coil really just cuts the output, sounds more hb than true single coil. I use the switch as a "boost".
What you're describing sounds more like you're switching between series and parallel wiring than series and split.

Quote by Dave_Mc

you can get humbuckers which have polepieces rather than the bar magnet which are meant to sound better when split. However, I haven't tried them, and logic suggests that teh reverse problem might be true for them- the single coil tones are better but the humbucker tones might suffer.
I've got two such pickups and the humbucker tone does rather blow, at least in the sense that they sound nothing like a traditional humbucker.
They do, however, sound rather good in their own right. One of them, a Swineshead AMP (alnico V pole pieces, wound to around 8k) sounds rather like a jazzmaster pickup does with the JM's brighter volume and tone circuits on. In fact I never use the split on that because the series sound is so good, it's the perfect overwound, beefy single coil tone and of course has no hum. The other, a SD Stag Mag (A2 and wound to something stupid like 16k), is next to useless wired series, but parallel sounds much like the AMP does and split gives a really good single coil tone, better than the AMP's split tone.

Next I want to try The Creamery's humbucker-sized Wide Range pickup. He makes them like a proper Wide Range pickup so it has 12 individual magnets like the AMP and Stag Mag, but it's wound with the humbucker tone as the priority. Should be rather tasty.

Quote by lucky1978

ps. ever try p90's?

Funnily enough, a split humbucker typically does sound like a P-90, since they both use bar magnets. In that sense a split humbucker does do a very good of replicating single coil tone, since a P-90 is a true single coil. It's just that when most people say "single coil", they mean the Fender design.
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#14
Quote by MrFlibble

I've got two such pickups and the humbucker tone does rather blow, at least in the sense that they sound nothing like a traditional humbucker.
They do, however, sound rather good in their own right. One of them, a Swineshead AMP (alnico V pole pieces, wound to around 8k) sounds rather like a jazzmaster pickup does with the JM's brighter volume and tone circuits on. In fact I never use the split on that because the series sound is so good, it's the perfect overwound, beefy single coil tone and of course has no hum. The other, a SD Stag Mag (A2 and wound to something stupid like 16k), is next to useless wired series, but parallel sounds much like the AMP does and split gives a really good single coil tone, better than the AMP's split tone.

Next I want to try The Creamery's humbucker-sized Wide Range pickup. He makes them like a proper Wide Range pickup so it has 12 individual magnets like the AMP and Stag Mag, but it's wound with the humbucker tone as the priority. Should be rather tasty.


oh yeah, i mean a lot of those things can sound pretty good if you judge them on their own merits, but just if you have a preconceived notion of what "good tone" is, or if you need a specific classic tone, then, as you said, you might be disappointed.

it's a shame SH stopped trading. they had some nice, more unique stuff, and the prices were good (at least a bit before they stopped trading... just before they did the prices shot way up, i'm guessing that was the writing on the wall moment ).

heard good things about those The Creamery pickups, but i haven't tried them.
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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?
#15
Yeah I was one of the suckers that about a bunch of Swineshead pickups right after their prices skyrocketed. £90 this AMP one cost me, then after it arrived I found out it'd been £35 two months before. I'd love to know what exactly went wrong with them, their pickups were great and it was really bizarre how they jacked up their prices for a month then disappeared without a trace. A particular shame since they had so many bobbins and cover options. I've got a set of their humbuckers with rosewood and ebony bobbins that I'm desperate to find a guitar for.

I've got three pickups from The Creamery, a hum-sized alnico 4 P-90, a slightly overwound alnico 5 single coil and an alnico 8 humbucker. All three are fantastic. I'm finding it really hard to not order replacement pickups from them for all of my guitars.
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#16
£35? that sounds a bit low. they were £50 (at least) any time i saw them when the prices were lower (if that makes you feel any better). And that was probably with plastic covers (which cost less than the fancy wood ones).

I mean i got my normal plastic humbuckers several years before they closed and they were £40 each.

But yeah, their pickups were great. Not sure what happened. As i said, though, i'm guessing the massive rise in price had something to do with it, but whether that was a symptom or a cause (or a bit of both), I have no idea. But if they'd managed to keep them at the £40-£50 mark they deserved to stay in business. At that price even a mediocre guitar was worth upgrading, if you were never going to sell it.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jan 27, 2012,
#17
Quote by MrFlibble
What you're describing sounds more like you're switching between series and parallel wiring than series and split.


Funnily enough, a split humbucker typically does sound like a P-90, since they both use bar magnets. In that sense a split humbucker does do a very good of replicating single coil tone, since a P-90 is a true single coil. It's just that when most people say "single coil", they mean the Fender design.

The guitar I was referring to is def split. Funnily enough, my current guitar love is an old lp jr with gfs mean p90s. I used to like split coil, now I love p90s. Go figure