#1
Hey guys -- I'm in the search for a new guitar and I'm pretty much going to have to go used, because I want something decent but don't have a ton of cash. I want to get something that's worth upgrading with better pickups -- but the biggest thing I want out of this guitar is versatility. I'd really like to be able to coil-split the neck pickup to get more "stratlike" tones on cleans (doesn't need to nail Strat tones, just needs to be bright and twangy on cleans for more of a Hendrixy sound when playing bluesy leads and passages).

My question is, with a push/pull pot upgrade, can any humbucker be split? If so, this would broaden the range of guitars I might buy if the price is right.
#2
Well do you happen to know what humbucker you have & if it is a four conductor pickup?

You need a four conductor version to split.
Last edited by steven_ferns84 at Nov 4, 2014,
#3
Quote by steven_ferns84
Well do you happen to know what humbucker you have & if it is a four conductor pickup?

You need a four conductor version to split.

If it's not already 4 conductor, you can rewire it. As with all wiring jobs, it'll sound utterly gash if you bodge it, but get it right and it'll be fine.
#4
^It may not make any sound at all if bodged badly, it's a job best left to someone with experienced soldering skills when converting two conductor version to four. Most SD pickups come in both variants, cant remember if DMZ has any two conductor variants at all. I wonder what pickups TS has in mind.
#6
Well that's just the thing -- I don't have the guitar yet. But when I do, I've been interested in a Dimarzio Liquifire in the neck position and something else in the bridge. It just depends what I end up with. My question is a little more basic in nature;

Let's say I find an Explorer or clone, for example. Would I be able to purchase a push/pull tone pot and perhaps new pups and make it more versatile? Or does that ability depend on the pickups?
#7
^ as they said, they need to be 4-conductor versions (you can convert 2 conductor to 4 but it sounds like a faff... i haven't done it). if they're 4-conductor, you can absolutely do what you want.
#8
So yes, you can add this functionality to a guitar if it doesn't have it. There are push-pull pots (not expensive) and most aftermarket pickups are four-wire pickups. Go nuts.
#9
You can also get one of these instead of push pull potentiometers http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/seymour-duncan-ts-2-triple-shot-carved-top-pickup-mounting-ring?_requestid=1365887#productDetail
The one in the link is for carved tops, you can also get them for flat tops.

Look into the P-Rails from SD if you are into versatility, its a humbucker that can be split into a true P90 or single coil i think.
#10
Quote by dametalone
Most EMGs cannot be split.

Give me a band saw and I'll prove you wrong.

It'll sound better, too. YMMV
#11
Alright, thanks guys! My local music store has this sweet LTD Explorer-style guitar with a Crunch Lab in the bridge and I don't know what in the neck. I was originally after more of a super-strat type of guitar but damn, that LTD is awesome. I just need to be able to get a reasonable single-coil-like tone out of the neck pickup. This guitar will be tuned to E or D# Standard and used for everything from metal to Henrixy blues stuff and ambient cleans.
#12
Quote by KailM
Alright, thanks guys! My local music store has this sweet LTD Explorer-style guitar with a Crunch Lab in the bridge and I don't know what in the neck. I was originally after more of a super-strat type of guitar but damn, that LTD is awesome. I just need to be able to get a reasonable single-coil-like tone out of the neck pickup. This guitar will be tuned to E or D# Standard and used for everything from metal to Henrixy blues stuff and ambient cleans.


does the store owner know? you would think he would. liquifires are common with crunchlab (John Petrucci) set.

a high percentage of mainstream picks are 4 conductor, especially dimarzio and SD, it gets more questionable when you get into PAF's and they may not be.
#13
This is a strange question in that yes, technically any passive humbucker can be coil split, but if you have to ask the question you probably don't have the skills to accomplish it...
#14
Quote by Arby911
This is a strange question in that yes, technically any passive humbucker can be coil split, but if you have to ask the question you probably don't have the skills to accomplish it...


couldn't say it better than that.

i haven't tried, but i have watched a video. i could do it, but i have no reason to personally.
#15
Quote by KailM
Alright, thanks guys! My local music store has this sweet LTD Explorer-style guitar with a Crunch Lab in the bridge and I don't know what in the neck. I was originally after more of a super-strat type of guitar but damn, that LTD is awesome.


Make sure it's not neck-heavy before you buy.
#16
Quote by trashedlostfdup


a high percentage of mainstream picks are 4 conductor, especially dimarzio and SD, it gets more questionable when you get into PAF's and they may not be.


Oddly enough, a lot of Gibsons come with 2-wire pickups, while the same Gibson pickup purchased in the aftermarket is 4-wire. Same kind of discrepancies exist when it comes to potted or non-potted pickups. Odd.
#17
I imagine it's a good idea to also research what pups sound best when split. I split some single coil sized GFS Lil Punchers and didn't really think the tone changed enough to give a single coil sound.
#18
Quote by dspellman
Oddly enough, a lot of Gibsons come with 2-wire pickups, while the same Gibson pickup purchased in the aftermarket is 4-wire. Same kind of discrepancies exist when it comes to potted or non-potted pickups. Odd.


every gibson i own is two wire, but yea i did know aftermarket gibson pickups are different just forgot about that.

some gibson models have coil tap, mainly the newer ones from what i have seen.
#19
Quote by Arby911
This is a strange question in that yes, technically any passive humbucker can be coil split, but if you have to ask the question you probably don't have the skills to accomplish it...


I have over 20+ years of experience welding and fabricating as well as dismantling/rebuilding various electronic and mechanical devices. I've got the skills to do this, just not as much specific knowledge as I'd like. That's why I asked the question.

FWIW I have installed an aftermarket pickup once and it worked great on the first try.
#20
^ LOL

retracted

Quote by Arby911
This is a strange question in that yes, technically any passive humbucker can be coil split, but if you have to ask the question you probably don't have the skills to accomplish it...


That's what I was thinking I know it can be done and it's way beyond me. There was a tutorial thread on here (maybe G B&C) way back in the day saying how to do it (it probably still exists), and it sounded like an awful lot of faffing about, with the very real risk of killing the pickup if you didn't know exactly what you were doing.

If I remember correctly.

Quote by dspellman
Oddly enough, a lot of Gibsons come with 2-wire pickups, while the same Gibson pickup purchased in the aftermarket is 4-wire. Same kind of discrepancies exist when it comes to potted or non-potted pickups. Odd.


yeah
#21
Quote by KailM
I have over 20+ years of experience welding and fabricating as well as dismantling/rebuilding various electronic and mechanical devices. I've got the skills to do this, just not as much specific knowledge as I'd like. That's why I asked the question.

FWIW I have installed an aftermarket pickup once and it worked great on the first try.
It was a perfectly legit question. There is no correlation between the knowledge of using a soldering iron and general electronics, and the specifics about humbucker designs being 2 and 4 wire.

Now if somebody asked what ohms meant and how to fix a tube amp, that would be different.
#23
Hey guys, I just wanted to run this past you. I went to the local music store yesterday and looked at that used LTD Explorer copy and played around with it. It's a beautiful guitar and played very nicely -- the weird thing was, it had an EMG in the neck and either a Dimarzio D-Sonic or Crunch Lab in the bridge (we couldn't tell, as they look the same with that solid bar-style magnet on one side). It also had a push/pull tone pot, which I couldn't tell whether was working or not.

Well, a store employee and I took the cover plate off to see what was going on in there because we'd both been under the impression that running an active and a passive pickup was not an easy thing to setup. We were thinking that maybe it was just an EMG cover over a passive pickup. Nope, there was a battery in there, and also the tone pot wasn't even wired-in (then I knew I wasn't crazy from not being able to tell a difference). So whoever owned this before probably replaced the bridge pickup with the Dimarzio and left the EMG or vice versa; hard to tell (though, there wasn't a separate cavity for the battery). The pickups are only wired to the volume pot and selector switch.

The shop guy said the EMG sounded good but the Dimarzio was thinner than it should sound -- I couldn't really tell anything was wrong because they both sounded decent through the 5150 I demoed the guitar through.

My question is, if I get this guitar, I'd likely ditch the EMG and keep the Dimarzio, then get a Dimarz. neck pickup to go with it. I should be able to wire everything in properly with that tone pot and get a coil-split on both pickups, correct? It just has a tone pot (push/pull) and one volume pot, and a 3-way selector switch.
Last edited by KailM at Nov 9, 2014,
#24
Quote by trashedlostfdup
does the store owner know? you would think he would. liquifires are common with crunchlab (John Petrucci) set.

a high percentage of mainstream picks are 4 conductor, especially dimarzio and SD, it gets more questionable when you get into PAF's and they may not be.

I know for a fact the Dimarzio PAFs ARE 4 conductor.
I just threw one in my Rhoads