#1
Hey everyone!
I'll just make this short.
I'm looking at the new Ibanez RGAIX 7-String, since it has pretty much all I could want from a guitar.
I already own a 6-string, but I sometimes find myself in need of a 7 string. Locking Tuners, Passive pickups for Prog etc.
However, I'm also playing a lot of other genres which utilize funk/jazz chords, especially funk getting a good acoustic "chugga" sound.
So, naturally I'd want a single-coil guitar as well (like a Stratocaster) to play those genres.

The good thing about this guitar, is that it supposedly fixes both my needs with the coil-tap switch. But before I buy anything, I'd like to know how efficient such a switch is, since I have no prior experience with a coil-tap switch.

So, will this guitar be able to function as a great guitar for playing Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder with the coil-tap switch, or will I find it lacking compared to an actual single-coil?
I realize that it might not be as good as an actual single-coil, but will people be able to tell? Will I be able to get the funk-sound I'm looking for, or is it basically just a waste of money for a feature not worth having?

EDIT:
I just researched the topic, it seems what I'm interested in isCoil Splitting", which is what the linked guitar has, but they refer to it as coil-tapping instead.

- Kris
Last edited by KrisHQ at Feb 20, 2016,
#2
Some are excellent and some are terrible. The pickups themselves are what determine how decent the coil split is. So it's going to come down to that specific guitar, because there's a big range of how they sound and perform. I haven't played that specific model, but I have to make a trip back to the shop this week and I noticed they had one when I was there last weekend, so I'll give it a try and report back.

One good piece of news is that you can coil split nearly any aftermarket pickup, it just has to have a 4-conductor wiring setup.
#3
Quote by Roc8995
Some are excellent and some are terrible. The pickups themselves are what determine how decent the coil split is. So it's going to come down to that specific guitar, because there's a big range of how they sound and perform. I haven't played that specific model, but I have to make a trip back to the shop this week and I noticed they had one when I was there last weekend, so I'll give it a try and report back.

One good piece of news is that you can coil split nearly any aftermarket pickup, it just has to have a 4-conductor wiring setup.


If you would do that, it would be incredibly helpful!
#4
I've done it on SD Jazz pickups. I prefer to call it "single" rather than "tapping" or "splitting". It worked well for me, but it only approximates to a single coil sound insofar as it gave a bright edge, better note separation and less output. You can also use parallel switching instead of single to keep the noise cancelling effect. Mine has both single and parallel, and the two sound very similar on the SD Jazz; they might sound quite different on other pickups. For single I used the screw poles rather than the slug poles so that I could retain the good string-to-string balance achieved from setting the pole heights.
#5
You must remember that the placement of the pickup in the guitar have a very noticeable effect on how a guitar will sound. A Strat sounds like a Strat not only because the pickup is single coil but also distance from the bridge and the slant are a huge part of the equation.
A split coil humbucker can get close but it wont sound exactly like a Strat.
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#6
Really depends on the pickup. I had a Dimarzio Air Norton which split fairly well, but I also had V1 and V2 pickups in an ibanez that were awesome when in hum mode, but they were *horrible* splitting. I would wire them in parallel. Sounds a lot better to me.
#7
I have a number of HSH guitars (a real single coil between the two humbuckers).
The cool thing about them is that they have five-ways, which allows you to run them as a strat with coil taps. As has been mentioned, distance between pickups is a factor. Thus, in this guitar, the cream coils are the ones left active when the coil taps are engaged:



To use it as a strat, just engage the coil taps and use the five-way as you would with any strat.

With the two humbuckers restored to serial humbucker use you get a new set of sounds, but there's one missing: the neck+bridge humbucker "middle" position on a Les Paul. The third miniswitch, right next to the five-way, is a "bridge pickup add-in" switch, and it effectively adds the bridge humbucker to everything, so when you're on the neck pickup with the five-way, you get the "middle" LP position. It also adds several other sounds (bridge plus neck single coil, for example) that you don't get from other guitars.

If you have just a pair of humbuckers on a guitar with a five-way, you can set it up so that the 2 and 4 positions are the bridge and neck pickups on single coil mode.

The trick to getting your bridge pickup (in particular) to sound more like a strat single coil is to have a fairly hot pickup in that position so that when it's split, it still retains strat-like punch. One Carvin I have set up like that has an M22SD, a 14Kohm AlnicoV pickup in the bridge. It's a gorgeous-sounding pickup when split.
#8
^^ At 14K split it would have close to the DC resistance of a decent Single coil PU! One of the problems with splitting a PAF style or normal output HB is the two coils in series are often 7-8K. So one coil (if halved) is 4K or so which would have considerably less windings and lower R than a typical Strat SC PU.
Moving on.....
#9
Remember the strat tone owes a lot to 250k pots. If you have humbuckers you're likely using a 500k pot. Splitting the coil still leaves it on the 500k pot, leaving a too-bright and brittle sound (in many cases)
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#11
Quote by 21GunSalute
Remember the strat tone owes a lot to 250k pots. If you have humbuckers you're likely using a 500k pot. Splitting the coil still leaves it on the 500k pot, leaving a too-bright and brittle sound (in many cases)


That actually hasn't been an issue. Remember that the tone controls are really just treble rolloff pots.
#12
From what I can gather it highly depends on the guitar, and splitting the coils will end up in a slightly more Strat-sounding guitar, although not like an actual strat.
I assumed this would obviously be the case, which is fine, since funk is not my main genre.
I'm interested in any experiences using coil-split with humbuckers to actually play funk.
Anyone have good bad experiences with that?
#13
I honestly don't think a lot of people will have experiences with playing funk on a 7 string Ibanez as that isn't typically the guitar a funk player would go for.

I have coil taps/splits (not sure which it actually is) on my Les Paul, it sounds pretty decent, lower output, quieter, clearer, a little brighter.
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#14
KrisHQ, I own a few guitars and have modded most of them.. 4 guitars I have coil-split via push-pull pots (B500k linear potentiometers) 3 guitar which are HH pickup configuration (separate coil-split with 2 push-pull pots) and a HSH configuration FR guitar. The pickups are all upgraded with much high ohms (it is my personal preference to have hotter pickups and coil-split them than lower output).

Coil-split humbuckers are not single coil so any one claiming they are.. Lie.. they do approximate sound close, if you're in a pinch and needed to play a song needing single coil pickups but didn't bring a stratocaster or Tele, then it isn't bad idea to get one of your guitar modded with it.. I suggest push-pull pots instead of switch, that way there is no additional drilling on the pickguard.
I have Washburn guitars 'Maverick Series' and bass 'Bantam Series' and a few pedals and amps, but man I wish to have more patience and drive practicing my playing, if it's equal to the modding itch, then I'm golden.
#15
I have a H H shecter with coil splits, no it doesn't sound just like a strat, but I do love the middle position with both pickups split. I use it a lot of the time I'm playing clean, but definitely when I'm playing funky ska rhythms
#16
I'll usually know, when heading to a gig, what I'm going to be playing.

So I'll sometimes set up the guitar and amp to sound really good with the single coils before anything else, and consider switching to humbucker mode a sort of boost.

I prefer miniswitches to push-pulls. I can tell at a glance where I'm set, I don't change a setting by accidentally rotating the knob, I don't start damage to the wood around the pot shaft with the pushing and pulling, and I don't risk losing the knob into the audience on a pull (don't ask).

There's also this: You can use three-way miniswitches and wire them for serial/parallel/single coil (as on my early-80's Ibanez AR-300).
#17
Coil splits typically do the job sufficiently, within the context of a mix of instruments - it won't sound like a strat or tele but it'll do a good enough job to get in the same kind of ballpark.

The main compromise imo is that you also can't really switch the pots and caps to values that better match the split coil - you've usually still got 500k pots in there, and they tend to leave a bit of brittleness in the high end that isn't present in regular single coil equipped guitars with 250k pots. Turning the tone knob down when you use the coil split helps, but that can be a bit inconvenient when you want to switch mid-song and don't have much time to do it.
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#18
Thank you for the many replies. I think coil-splitting is going to be sufficient enough for me. I dont think I'll ever really be switching mid-songs, but it could happen that I'd have to play some Stevie Wonder with a band.
And basically, it would be much more convient for me, if the 7-string could accomplish that.
It sounds like coil-taps are actually decent, and can be used for exactly that.

Looking forward to hear Roc8995's opinion on how the DiMarzio Fusion sound when split!